Category Archives: Book Spotlight

Travels with Maurice an Outrageous Adventure in Europe1968 by Gary Orleck with Giveaway!!!

Join Us For This Tour From April 12 to May 2

 
Book Details:

Book Title:  TRAVELS WITH MAURICE AN OUTRAGEOUS ADVENTURE IN EUROPE IN 1968 by Gary Orleck
CategoryAdult Non-Fiction (18+), 250 pages
GenreTravel Memoir
Publisher: TOUCHPOINT PRESS
Publication Date: April 5, 2022.
Tour dates: April 12 to May 2
Content Rating: G

Travels with Maurice is a gem of a
book that just sneaks up on you with its greatness. While the title
makes you think it’s a travelogue or road trip book (and we’ve all read
enough of these), Travels is so much more
.” – Michael Berman

Book Description:

“Every Woman Wanted to Be with Him, Every Man Wanted to Be Him.”― Gary Orleck

 
A simple “thank you” led to the trip of a lifetime, along with an unbreakable friendship of two opposites. See them come of age while rubbing elbows with the rich and famous like the Shah and Queen of Iran, The Who, Paul McCartney, Brigitte Bardot, and even Shirley Temple Black. An unbelievable story, yet it’s true because nobody could make this story up. Find out things the rich and famous do not want you to know.
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Book Spotlight

In the mid-1960s, Gary Orleck bumped into a friend from college. The student was from Iran, a country most Americans had never heard of. Gary didn’t know it at the time, but his friend was from the wealthiest family in the world. He asked Gary to join him that following summer to drive through Europe—his friend offering to be his tour guide since he knew Europe like the back of his hand.

At first, Gary was hesitant because of his friend’s perceived reputation, but he was very persuasive, promising to be the best tour guide ever. Reluctantly, Gary agreed, which led to the most mind-blowing experience—a ten-week trip through 12 countries and 19,920 miles of earth-shattering adventures that included turning a ship around in the middle of an ocean, dining with the King and Queen of Denmark, and the King and Queen of Belgium, meeting The Who backstage, being entertained by the Empress of Iran Empress Farah in Paris, gambling with the Shah of Iran in Monte Carlo, and even being rescued by Shirley Temple Black after being arrested during the Czechoslovakian Revolution in the summer of 1968.

Gary says, “It took ten years for me to process that trip—five years of research plus five years of writing—because I wished to share the greatest adventure a young naïve boy from Rhode Island could ever imagine happening. So, fasten your seat belts for a ride inside the elite world of the rich and famous and join me on the trip of my lifetime. A trip you will never forget. I promise you that!”

Meet the Author:

I grew up in Lincoln, R.I. which is a blue-collar town, went To Babson University School of Business, and graduated with a BSBA in 1966. I worked my way around the USA for six months.

Two years later, I traveled with the son of the richest man in the world – covering 19,988 miles, twelve countries, and ten weeks.

Then, I went to work at Broadway Tire Inc. Twenty years later, I bought the business. I then owned and operated it for thirty more years before retiring in 2016!

In Between, I met and married my wife Ronna and had two beautiful children, and now I have five grandchildren!

The love of travel remained with me, and I’ve been fortunate enough to have visited 75 countries – each in a unique style – all my own way, using much of which I learned in my travels with Maurice in 1968.

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


Tour Schedule:

April 12 Working Mommy Journal – book spotlight / giveaway
April 12 – Cover Lover Book Review – book spotlight / giveaway
April 12 – 
The Official Blog of Amy Shannon – book spotlight
April 13 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
April 13 – Novels Alive – book spotlight / giveaway
April 14 – Splashes of Joy – book spotlight / giveaway
April 14 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
April 15 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book spotlight / giveaway
April 18 – Kam’s Place – book spotlight
April 19 – Westveil Publishing – book spotlight / giveaway
April 20 – Books are a Blessing – book spotlight / giveaway
April 20 – Sadie’s Spotlights – book spotlight / giveaway
April 21 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
April 22 – Literary Flits – book spotlight / giveaway
April 25 – Mostly Mystery Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
April 26 – Captive Dreams Window – book spotlight / giveaway
April 27 – Stephanie Jane – book spotlight / giveaway
April 28 – Books for Books – book spotlight
April 29 – 30-something Travel Blog – book spotlight / giveaway
May 2 – Pick A Good Book – book spotlight / giveaway

 

ENTER the TRAVELS WITH MAURICE AN OUTRAGEOUS ADVENTURE IN EUROPE IN 1968 Book Tour Giveaway at link below:

TRAVELS WITH MAURICE Book Tour Giveaway

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In Search of a Prince by Toni Shiloh

Publisher’s Summary

It seems like a dream come true . . . until it forces her to question everything.

Brielle Adebayo is fully content teaching at a New York City public school and taking annual summer vacations with her mother to Martha’s Vineyard. But everything changes when her mom drops a bombshell–Brielle is really a princess in the island kingdom of Ọlọrọ Ilé, off the coast of Africa, and she must immediately assume her royal position, since the health of her grandfather, the king, is failing.

Distraught by all the secrets her mother kept, Brielle is further left spinning when the Ọlọrọ Ilé Royal Council brings up an old edict that states she must marry before her coronation, or the crown will pass to another. Brielle is uncertain if she even wants the throne, and with her world totally shaken, where will she find the courage to take a chance on love and brave the perils a wrong decision may bring?

Clipart Library

OK, before I start—can I just swoon (and maybe drool a little) over this cover and the dress, oh my, how beautiful!!

Brielle Adebayo is shocked and taken aback when her mother reveals to her that she is really a princess of the island kingdom of Ọlọrọ Ilé, off the coast of Africa. Not only that, but her grandfather is gravely ill, and she has to immediately assume the duties of her position, despite the fact that she has neither been to nor heard of the island before.

It’s simple to empathize with her and put oneself in her place. Realistically, anyone would be nonplussed and unnerved if they were asked to do what Brielle was asked to do. Yet, Brielle leaps in with both feet, eager to take on the challenge, but only after spending time in prayer.

As Brielle’s best friend, accountability partner and prayer buddy, Iris is the ideal confidante and ally. It was deeply moving to observe their mutual kindness, love and mercy toward each other. I loved reading about their interactions, chiding and teasing.

Shiloh crafts an extraordinary novel with brilliant plot and character development, as well as a powerful topic of faith and the perfect blend of obscuration and intrigue. She has created an island that is chimerically too good to be true, and the plot fits the backdrop. Ọlọrọ Ilé is a beautifully transcendent, magical island with a lot to offer.

I received a review copy of this book from NetGalley. All opinions are my own, and I am voluntarily leaving this review.

Along a Storied Trail by Ann H. Gabhart

About the Book

Kentucky packhorse librarian Tansy Calhoun doesn’t mind the rough trails and long hours as she serves her Appalachian Mountain community during the Great Depression. Yet she longs to find love like the heroines in her books. When a charming writer comes to town, she thinks she might have found it–or is the perfect man actually closer than she thinks?

Perdita Sweet has called these mountains home for so long she’s nearly as rocky as the soil around her small cabin. Long ago she thought she could love, but when the object of her affection up and married someone else, she stopped giving too much of herself away to others.
               
As is so often the case, it’s easier to see what’s best for others than to see what’s best for oneself, and Perdita knows who Tansy should choose. But why would anyone listen to the romantic advice of an old spinster?

Saddle up for a heartfelt story of love–love of family, love of place, and the love of a lifetime–from bestselling author Ann H. Gabhart.

I have always been ensorcelled and captivated by stories about packhorse librarians, and Ann Gabhart’s book, Along a Storied Trail, is no exception.

Tansy Calhoun, a packhorse librarian during the Great Depression, not only tenderly cares for the books she carries, but also for the people to whom she distributes.

Public Domain

Several people make up the story’s cast of characters. One of my favorite characters is “Aunt” Perdita. Her aunt title is honorary, as she appears to be the honorary aunt to everyone, despite the fact that she’s seemingly not a true aunt to anyone.

I was thrilled to read and learn about the Federal Writers’ Project and the Civilian Conservation Corps, which were both New Deal projects during the Great Depression. Look into the programs and the packhorse librarians if you have the opportunity. It’s an intriguing period in American history.

Public Domain

Gabhart’s books are consistently enjoyable to read. I appreciate her research and commixture of faith with scriptural truths. She has a rare talent of being able to write across multiple genres, and each book is unique and gratifying to read.

Along a Storied Trail is a wonderful story of faith, community and friendship.

I received a review copy of this book from NetGalley. All opinions are my own and I am voluntarily leaving this review.
       

Invisible (A Mendocino Village Novel Book 1) by Ginny L. Yttrup

This extraordinary book is currently free on Amazon. (I don’t know for how long, so be sure to check before buying.) Be sure to put the entire title in or you will not find the book.

About the Book

When an overweight woman who’s hidden from romance discovers a handsome doctor is in love with her, will she finally risk her heart?

Ellyn–chef, café owner, and lover of butter–is hiding something behind her extra weight. While she sees the good in others, she has only condemnation for herself. So when a handsome widower claims he’s attracted to Ellyn, she’s certain there’s something wrong with him.

Sabina–tall, slender, and exotic–left her husband, young adult daughters, and a thriving counseling practice to spend a year in Northern California where she says she’s come to heal. But it seems to Ellyn that Sabina’s doing more hiding than healing. Why?

Twila has come out of hiding and is working to gain back the pounds she lost when her only goal was to disappear. When her eating disorder is triggered again, she’s tempted to go back into hiding.

As these women’s lives intertwine, will they dare to come out of hiding?

Ginny L. Yttrup is an award-winning author whose novels explore the issues everyday women face.

My Review

Invisible, by Ginny L. Yttrup,  is set in Mendocino, California and written in the four voices of the main characters.  Each person is hurting and hiding from life.

Ellyn, the chef and owner of a restaurant named Ellyn’s, is a lover of butter and slightly overweight.  She fights the battle of the bulge constantly but to no avail. Ellyn’s inner voice, whom she has named Earl, is persistently belittling her and causes her to second guess everything.  When one of the town’s doctors shows an interest in her, she is sure that something must be wrong with him.  She regularly struggles with her relationship with God and where she stands with Him.

Sabina, an exotically beautiful African-American, is on sabbatical from her job as counselor and from her family.   She came to Mendocino to heal.  Life hurts too much to face, recover and heal from, so she let depression take hold and is hiding instead.

Miles, a doctor, is recovering from the death of Sarah, his wife of twenty eight years, who lost her battle with cancer two years earlier. He’s always enjoyed Ellyn’s company when at her restaurant or treating her as a patient.  Sarah had noticed his interest and suggested that after she died, he should pursue a friendship with Ellyn.

Twila is the fourth voice.  She is a young woman recovering from anorexia and helping her Mom manage a health food store.  Twila has two tattoos, one very obvious on her face, and another not so obvious on her wrist. The tattoo on her face is a branch of thorns, chosen as a sign of solidarity with people who suffer. The one on her wrist says “Imago Dei” the image of God.  She chose both tattoos to remind her that others suffer and are also made in God’s image.

As they embark on journeys of friendship, each person’s life becomes interwoven with the other, in unexpected and helpful ways.

I really enjoyed reading Invisible. It was well-written, both accurate and true to life in its portrayal of the characters. The inspirational aspect is handled beautifully with prayer and Godly council throughout. I could easily empathize with the main characters, and in fact, have faced some of the challenges and problems they faced. Invisible is a book to savor and will linger in your mind long after you finish reading it. I know it has in mine.

Freedom’s Song by Kim Vogel Sawyer

About the Book

Indentured servant Fanny Beck has been forced to sing for riverboat passengers since she was a girl. All she wants is to live a quiet, humble life with her family as soon as her seven-year contract is over. So when she discovers that the captain has no intention of releasing her, she seizes a sudden opportunity to escape—an impulse that leads Fanny to a group of enslaved people who are on their own dangerous quest for liberty. . . .

Widower Walter Kuhn is overwhelmed by his responsibilities to his farm and young daughter, and now his mail-order bride hasn’t arrived. Could a beautiful stranger seeking work be the answer to his prayers? . . .

After the star performer of the River Peacock is presumed drowned, Sloan Kirkpatrick, the riverboat’s captain, sets off to find her replacement. However, his journey will bring him face to face with his own past—and a deeper understanding of what it truly means to be free. . . . 

Uplifting, inspiring, and grounded in biblical truth, Freedom’s Song is a story for every reader who has longed for physical, emotional, or spiritual delivery.

Freedom’s Song, by Kim Vogel Sawyer, takes you on a journey through mid-America in the 1860s. Sawyer’s Christian historical fiction tackles a variety of topics with a unique approach, beginning with a near-drowning and ending with freedom for many.

Fanche “Fanny Beck,” a riverboat songstress and indentured servant, is providentially supplied by the Lord with a means of release from indenture. Traveling across several states, by rail and on foot, while trying to reach her home in New York, Fanny stumbles upon a farm and hears a baby weeping.

Walter Kuhn is a widower attempting to care for his farm, earn a living and provide for his little one. He arrives home one day to discover Fanny caring for his baby, whom he had left asleep in a “pen” he had built.

On many levels, Freedom’s Song pulls together spiritual, emotional, and physical freedoms. I value how Sawyer entwines those freedoms together and shows how God is the only One who gives us genuine freedom.

The story is well-written, with well-developed characters and historical accuracy. An underlying theme of suspense and romantic element runs throughout the story.

I always appreciate and enjoy Kim Vogel Sawyer’s works, and this is perhaps my favorite so far because of its topic and spiritual elements.

I received an advance review copy of this book from NetGalley and Waterbrook Multnomah. All opinions are my own and I am voluntarily leaving this review.

To Disguise the Truth (The Bleeker Street Inquiry Agency #3) by Jen Turano 

Publisher’s Summary

When a man arrives at the Bleecker Street Inquiry Agency, anxious to hire them to find a missing heiress, Eunice Holbrooke realizes her past has finally caught up with her . . . and that she may no longer be able to hide under the disguise that has kept her safe for so long.

Arthur Livingston’s goal in life is to make his mark on the world as a mining industrialist, but after the man who could help him achieve his goal is murdered, Arthur feels compelled to seek justice for the family—but he’s left with more questions than answers after the eccentric Bleecker Street Inquiry Agency refuses to take on his case.

Desperate to conceal her real identity and avoid the irritatingly handsome Arthur, Eunice takes on a different case that requires her to go deep undercover and entangles her in one troublesome situation after another. When other secrets come to light, Eunice has no choice but to confront her past, hopeful that it will set her free but knowing it could very well place her life—and the lives of those she loves—in jeopardy. 

Jen Turano has outdone herself again! Another of her books has captured my heart.

Turano has penned yet one more delightfully charming mystery and suspense novel that will keep you on tenterhooks through the majority of the plot. The novel captures your attention from the very first sentence and does not let go until the very last page.

To Disguise the Truth is book three of “The Bleeker Street Inquiry Agency” series. (However, you could read it as a standalone.) You would, however, miss out on the genius that is Jen Turano, which, in my opinion, would be a tragedy.

The female prime mover in this iteration, Eunice Holbrooke, is droll, sharp and extremely entertaining. 

Her nemesis, Arthur Livingston, is the perfect foil for her. They are both knowledgeable enough to keep each other on their toes. In addition, their pointed and quick-witted comebacks made for a delightful read.

I enjoyed getting to know Eunice’s back-story as she’s always been an enigmatic, inexplicably mysterious person with a lot to discover. Turano clarified Eunice’s history in an adroit way, thus satisfactorily answering all my questions.

I received an advanced review copy of this book from NetGalley and Bethany House.  All opinions are my own and I am voluntarily leaving this review.

Spotlight on Silencing the Siren by Denise Barela

Silencing the Siren by Denise L. Barela is being released on January 4! Be sure not to miss preordering yours now to get a special discounted pre-order price and a special pre-order bonus!

Get your copy here: Silencing the Siren

(Not an affiliate link)

Book Cover: Silencing the Siren

Silencing the Siren offers a retelling of “The Little Mermaid” that will keep you gripped to the edge of your seat as the story unfolds.

Book Spotlight: The Three Little Monsters and the Cranky King by Teydon Rae

ABOUT the BOOK

Discover the importance of accepting others and making new friends!
Enlightening and playful, The Three Little Monsters and the Cranky King tells the story of a lonely monster king watches over his land of monsters from a castle high atop a bumpy hill. The little monsters in his kingdom are warned to stay away from him because their parents think he looks too scary. But when three little monsters stray too far from home, they unexpectedly find themselves face-to-face with the king. What they find is a very lonely king, who is really not mean at all.

With lovely and endearing illustrations, this is a book adults will love reading over and over again with their kids as readers learn about making unexpected friends. The Three Little Monsters and the Cranky King is the perfect children’s picture book to read for soccer season, monster month or every day of the year!

The Three Little Monsters and the Cranky King’ heartwarming lesson of friendship will stay with the reader for a lifetime.
Book Extras!
Audiobook link available!
Cute rhyming songs/chants!

You won’t want to miss inspiring your precious little one with this brilliant monster fairy tale!
Perfect for ages: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and up

For a Copy, click below (NOT an affiliate link): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09KMWYJGQ/ref=dp_kinw_strp_

Coming January 1st!

The Three Little Monsters and the Cranky King: A Story About Friendship, Kindness and Accepting Differences for Kids 4-8 by Teydon Rae.

Help children to discover the importance of being kind, accepting others and making new friends!

The Three Little Monsters

Novel Dreams by Jessica Anne Renwick

About the Book

Can the man who shattered Anna’s dreams help her pick up the pieces?

A wounded heart. A cancelled book contract. A part-time job that doesn’t pay the bills. When Anna Simone moved to Cedar Lake last summer to concentrate on her writing, nothing went as she had planned. Scrambling to find more work, she jumps at the opportunity for more hours at the Starlight Inn. But when her new co-worker turns out to be the man who crushed her author dreams, her excitement slams to a halt.

Once a hotshot editor for a publishing house in Toronto, Matthew Talbot returned to Cedar Lake after the company collapsed. Stuck between jobs and tired of delivering produce for his brother’s market garden, he agrees to help the owners of the Starlight Inn prepare an old barn for an upcoming community dance. The last person he expects to work alongside is an author—especially not one whose book deal he decided to cut.

When he offers Anna a kind gesture to ease his guilt, unexpected feelings rise between them. But with family drama, unresolved pasts, and a pattern of miscommunication—can these two learn to forgive and trust each other?

Cedar Lake, a beautiful, quaint Canadian community, is featured in Jessica Anne Renwick’s second part of the Starlight Inn series, Novel Dreams. I think I’d love to live there because it’s so charming. (I liked the name of the bookstore that also offers loose teas, Steeped in Books, which is a clever play on words!)

Cedar Lake’s residents are a kind, friendly and welcoming group. They rally behind Anna Simone after her dreams of becoming a writer are shattered. Her supervisor offers her additional work, although for a limited time. It does, however, effectively illustrate and reflect the community’s citizens’ kindness, warmth and care.

After the company he works for goes bankrupt, Matthew Talbot comes home to assist his brother, Marshal. He never expected to be digging up potatoes and turnips, but that’s not the worst of his surprises.

Renwick has created an engaging story that explores various facets of the inn, the Talbots’ vegetable farm and numerous of the town’s enterprises, including Steeped in Books. She also highlights individual people of the community, their strengths and faults, in addition to the town’s firms.

I haven’t read Harvest Wishes, the first story in the trilogy, but Novel Dreams works well as a stand-alone.

I received an advanced review copy of Novel Dreams for free from Book Sirens, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.