Category Archives: Book Parties

Aaron Dries: Author, Filmmaker, Artist! Meet at Virtual Party for Release of A Place for Sinners

It’s the new wave!! Virtual parties!! For an author, it lets them reach all their friends and fans internationally!! How cool is that to be able to party across the miles??

In this upcoming case, for instance, of award winning horror author Aaron Dries who is from Australia, we all can’t pile in a car, a plane, a boat, and well….go for a two hour book signing party can we? We could, but that might get rather expensive.

So, we’ve got a fun VIRTUAL party you can drop by for on Hook of a Book Facebook page to help congratulate and celebrate Aaron’s new release from Samhain Horror, A Place for Sinners! We’ve got some books and an original piece of Aaron’s artwork to giveaway also, courtesy of Aaron. THANKS AARON!!

Here is the awesome cover, isn’t is gorgeous? Don’t be fooled, the book is SCARY and will leave breathless.

A Place for Sinners

You can read more about Aaron and his new book after the party details…..

DETAILS ABOUT PARTY

The virtual party sponsored by Hook of a Book (www.facebook.com/HookofaBook) page takes place on the actual wall of the Facebook page (not on the invite wall if you have a FB invite) from 9-11 p.m. US EST or 1 p.m. Australian time. The cool thing is that we’ll be talking across two days….I’d come just to say you accomplished being in Friday and Saturday at the same time….though you’ll leave which much more, like getting to know Aaron!

Attendees are able to ask Aaron any questions they want by PRE-ASKING or asking during the party via an email submission which will then be posted by the moderator to the Hook of a Book wall. Attendees can see questions answered and be able to comment.

Aaron is a wealth of knowledge on books, TV, film, art…..you genuinely don’t want to miss this chance to pick his brain. You’ll learn a lot and get some great opinions!

HOW TO ASK QUESTIONS

Please pre-ask questions using email listed below or Erin will also take limited questions during the party which will go in a queue to be asked in order received. Email Erin at hookofabook@hotmail.com (subject: Dries question). Again, emailing a question enters you or you can email just to enter to win.

The night of the event you can also inbox message Erin Al-Mehairi on the Hook of a Book Facebook page (below) if you can’t email and it will go into the queue.

Please, NO attendees should post questions to the wall of the party just because it gets too confusing. If questions appear on the wall, Erin will put in to the queue and then re-post the question as a status. Authors won’t answer those, but will wait for them to be re-posted and then answer. However, you can post to the wall to say congratulations and authors can comment on that too.

GIVEAWAY

We’re giving away some books too! Copies of choice of his books in e-format will be up for grabs. All that ask questions will have a chance to win or you can email to enter!

For the grandprize, the award is a signed paperback copy from Australia PLUS his original black and white artwork piece he drew for A Place for Sinners. That is a HUGE prize, right??!!

ARTWORK GIVEAWAY

The giveaway of the original painting created by Aaron, which is titled “They Closed In,” can be seen at the link. It’s black and white watercolors on paper. It depicts a scene from the first chapter of the book. See all his promo art for the book at the link…

http://www.aarondries.com/apps/photos/photo?photoid=189540354

“Amity was trapped, her back flat against the cave wall. The dogs glared at her with candle-flame eyes, flickering with the potential to burn and cause pain. The dogs had claimed her as their own. Coveted her. Her blood was a sweetness they found favorable, and they were desperate for more.” – A PLACE FOR SINNERS by Aaron Dries

REFRESH YOUR BROWSER!

Please remember that refreshing your browser is very important to see all questions and answers ongoing during the event. Also remember to be patient. The moderator, Erin, is constantly working in the background and will be taking your emails, inbox messages, posting questions, and monitoring the party all at once.

You can RSVP or see more about the event here:

https://www.facebook.com/events/629992483758374/

You also have to “like” the Hook of a Book page here: www.facebook.com/HookofaBook

About Hook of Book Facebook Page

Like the Hook of a Book Facebook page at www.facebook.com/HookofaBook! We post reviews and interviews from this site there, but it also gives us the opportunity to talk books with you more, feature upcoming covers and releases, post free or discounted books, discuss literature, and showcase books we have on list to review.

Oh, for the Hook of a Book! Blog is an extension of Hook of a Book Services of Addison’s Compass Public Relations. We do book publicity, editing, proofreading, developmental consulting, media relations, press releases, and more.

A PLACE FOR SINNERS, SYNOPSIS

A Place for SinnersSometimes, survival is a sin.

Amity Collins has been deaf since she was seven. That was the day the wild dogs attacked, fighting for her bones. The day her father died. This trip to Thailand is exactly what Amity and her brother, Caleb, need—freedom… As their boat slits through saltwater, Amity, Caleb and the other passengers are having the time of their lives. They watch the island emerge on the horizon. Its trees twitch, as though impatient or hungry. Within its shadows, secrets best kept hidden will be unearthed. Sacrifices will be made. Terror will reach out to grasp Amity, as real and frightening as what’s lurking in the dark.

AARON DRIES, BIOGRAPHY

Aaron 1In 1984, Wes Craven unleashed Freddy Krueger on the world. That year also saw lonely children riding Luck Dragons in “The Neverending Story. And somewhere between these two pop culture events, there was the (relatively) unnoticed birth of a ginger-haired child. Aaron Dries.

Raised in a small New South Wales town in Australia, the former video store clerk, pizza delivery boy, retail specialist, aged-care nurse, document scanner, video editor, commissioned artist and amateur filmmaker always had a strong interest in creating stories. Were it hand-drawn X-Files comic books or home-made movies starring himself and his family (the best of which had Aaron running over a friend with a lawnmower, followed closely by a remake of “Scream” starring his brother as Drew Barrymore), there was always something in the works.

Aaron graduated from the University of Newcastle with a Bachelor of Communication under his wing, majoring in creative writing and video production. As a filmmaker, he won a number of awards for his short films at home and abroad, including Best Film at the Newcastle Film Festival for “Placebo,” coinciding with the publication of his earliest stories in literary magazines.

His first novel, HOUSE OF SIGHS was originally written under the title “Disunity” for the Leisure Books / Rue Morgue/ Chizine Publications FRESH BLOOD Contest. The premise of the novel stemmed back to a local murder that took place in Aaron’s adolescence. A mother on his pizza delivery route shot and murdered her husband and children before turning the gun upon herself. As was the case with everyone who read about the incident, Aaron’s mind churned with questions of morality. Why do bad things happen to good people? What is the origin of evil? What makes apparently sane people do insane acts? These questions would become the genesis for HOUSE OF SIGHS some years later.

Promo1

When he is not writing, Aaron Dries is thinking about writing, or upcoming film projects. He is also an avid traveler. The first draft of his debut was written over a three month period on a borrowed semi-functional laptop whilst living in overseas hostels.

People often ask Aaron, “Why horror? Why aim to terrify and disturb people?”

To this he has very little justification. “I guess I write horror because it pays better than jumping out from behind doors and scaring people- although I’ve got no plans to stop doing this either.” Aaron’s second book was the highly-acclaimed THE FALLEN BOYS, which was voted as one of the Best Horror Novels of 2013 by Fearnet.com, alongside works by Stephen King and Joe Hill. Also available is AND THE NIGHT GROWLED BACK, a disturbing novella set in the Icelandic wilderness. His third novel is A PLACE FOR SINNERS, which is garnering glowing praise.

Drop Aaron a line at www.aarondries.com. He won’t bite. Much.

Promo2

BOOK TRAILERS

Here is the link to his Youtube channel, which is where all of his book trailers and multimedia are kept. AND THEY ARE AWESOME!!!
http://www.youtube.com/user/aarondriesdisunity/videos

BUY LINKS

Samhain store Aaron Dries purchase link: http://store.samhainpublishing.com/aaron-dries-pa-1699.html

Get on discount in e-book and paperback for limited time!

Amazon author page with purchase links: http://www.amazon.com/Aaron-Dries/e/B008GXNU64

2 Comments

Filed under Book Parties

To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis, by Andra Watkins, is Literary, Unique, and Absorbing

To Live ForeverThis book is a hard one to review. When that happens to me, it is  usually because I liked the book so much that I can’t find the words to give it justice or that the book was so unique, undefined in genre, and really hard to put your finger on to explain to anyone other than to beg them to read it. In the case of Andra Watkins’ To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis, both of these scenarios are the case. Sometimes a book you just feel and hop inside and get lost in–this was one of those books.

With amazing sentence structure and description, original word choices and phrases, and literary techniques that take talent or practice to perfect, this novel is an achievement in fiction. As Watkins’ debut novel, An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis reads as if a classic, seasoned author penned it. It’s superb plot, subtle nuances, and plot twists and points that left you guessing or thinking all worked together in order to bring out the genius of this book. I applaud Watkins for her stepping out of the box in regards to her fiction writing and taking a chance on marketing to readers. It’s pure literary fiction, but one that most readers can enjoy. Literary fiction as this is like art–it’s fluid, ornate, and does not like strict boundaries or edges.

With having a bachelor degree in English, I read a lot of literature at the University. It cemented my love for the obscure books that value creative writing rather than cookie-cutter, assembly line mainstream novels that many bestselling authors publish. Watkins novel is definitely one that can be used in classes now in order to teach how creative writing can let go and still be…..well….creative and quirky. The depth and atmosphere of the novel moved me, absorbed me, and I’ll be reading this one again (something I rarely do).

So since I’ve said that it doesn’t fit “into a box” or genre, it makes it hard to recommend to readers. Many read only certain types of books in certain genres. I ask you today to think about reading outside your comfort zone. Let the art of her words take you away to a place of enlightened reading. It can be considered historical because one of the main characters is Meriwether Lewis, a very famous man in history (Lewis and Clark, of course), yet really it’s his ghost that is helping the protagonist (a little girl) in the novel as she runs from a deranged judge. Yes, I did say his ghost. The story is in the late 1970s so it isn’t really set in the exploration days of the celebrity duo. It’s more paranormal, but not probably in the way that mainstream is now defining paranormal. It’s otherworldly and fantastical, inventive and entertaining, yet not creepy or scary.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone as long as you keep an open mind and don’t try to categorize it in any way beyond literary creative fiction. Read for pleasure and taste every word. This is a great for a summer vacation or vacation day because it’s so addictive you’ll read it without ever getting up.

Watch for my interesting interview with Andra Watkin’s tomorrow (Tuesday, April 22)!

TO LIVE FOREVER: AN AFTERLIFE JOURNEY OF MERIWETHER LEWIS, Synopsis~

To Live ForeverPublication Date: March 1, 2014
World Hermit Press
Formats: Ebook, Paperback

Is remembrance immortality? Nobody wants to be forgotten, least of all the famous.

Meriwether Lewis lived a memorable life. He and William Clark were the first white men to reach the Pacific in their failed attempt to discover a Northwest Passage. Much celebrated upon their return, Lewis was appointed governor of the vast Upper Louisiana Territory and began preparing his eagerly-anticipated journals for publication. But his re-entry into society proved as challenging as his journey. Battling financial and psychological demons and faced with mounting pressure from Washington, Lewis set out on a pivotal trip to the nation’s capital in September 1809. His mission: to publish his journals and salvage his political career. He never made it. He died in a roadside inn on the Natchez Trace in Tennessee from one gunshot to the head and another to the abdomen.

Was it suicide or murder? His mysterious death tainted his legacy and his fame quickly faded. Merry’s own memory of his death is fuzzy at best. All he knows is he’s fallen into Nowhere, where his only shot at redemption lies in the fate of rescuing another. An ill-suited “guardian angel,” Merry comes to in the same New Orleans bar after twelve straight failures. Now, with one drink and a two-dollar bill he is sent on his last assignment, his final shot at escape from the purgatory in which he’s been dwelling for almost 200 years. Merry still believes he can reverse his forgotten fortunes.

Nine-year-old Emmaline Cagney is the daughter of French Quarter madam and a Dixieland bass player. When her mother wins custody in a bitter divorce, Emmaline carves out her childhood among the ladies of Bourbon Street. Bounced between innocence and immorality, she struggles to find her safe haven, even while her mother makes her open her dress and serve tea to grown men.

It isn’t until Emmaline finds the strange cards hidden in her mother’s desk that she realizes why these men are visiting: her mother has offered to sell her to the highest bidder. To escape a life of prostitution, she slips away during a police raid on her mother’s bordello, desperate to find her father in Nashville.

Merry’s fateful two-dollar bill leads him to Emmaline as she is being chased by the winner of her mother’s sick card game: The Judge. A dangerous Nowhere Man convinced that Emmaline is the reincarnation of his long dead wife, Judge Wilkinson is determined to possess her, to tease out his wife’s spirit and marry her when she is ready. That Emmaline is now guarded by Meriwether Lewis, his bitter rival in life, further stokes his obsessive rage.

To elude the Judge, Em and Merry navigate the Mississippi River to Natchez. They set off on an adventure along the storied Natchez Trace, where they meet Cajun bird watchers, Elvis-crooning Siamese twins, War of 1812 re-enactors, Spanish wild boar hunters and ancient mound dwellers. Are these people their allies? Or pawns of the perverted, powerful Judge?

After a bloody confrontation with the Judge at Lewis’s grave, Merry and Em limp into Nashville and discover her father at the Parthenon. Just as Merry wrestles with the specter of success in his mission to deliver Em, The Judge intercedes with renewed determination to win Emmaline, waging a final battle for her soul. Merry vanquishes the Judge and earns his redemption. As his spirit fuses with the body of Em’s living father, Merry discovers that immortality lives within the salvation of another, not the remembrance of the multitude.

Read an Excerpt HERE.

Buy the Book

Amazon (Kindle Ebook)
Amazon (Paperback)
Barnes & Noble (Nook Ebook)
Barnes & Noble (Paperback)

About the Author

Andra WatkinsHey. I’m Andra Watkins. I’m a native of Tennessee, but I’m lucky to call Charleston, South Carolina home for 23 years.

I’m the author of To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis, which published March 1, 2014. It’s a mishmash of historical fiction, paranormal fiction and suspense that follows Meriwether Lewis (of Lewis & Clark fame) after his mysterious death on the Natchez Trace in 1809.

I like:

hiking
eating (A lot; Italian food is my favorite.)
traveling (I never met a destination I didn’t like.)
reading (My favorite book is The Count of Monte Cristo.)
coffee (the caffeinated version) and COFFEE (sex)
performing (theater, singing, public speaking, playing piano)
time with my friends
Sirius XM Chill
yoga (No, I can’t stand on my head.)
writing in bed
candlelight

I don’t like:

getting up in the morning
cilantro (It is the devil weed.)
surprises (For me or for anyone else.)
house cleaning
cooking

Author Links

Website
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Google+
Pinterest

Natchez Trace Walk

The Natchez Trace is a 10,000-year-old road that runs from Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee. Thousands of years ago, animals used its natural ridge line as a migratory route from points in the Ohio River Valley to the salt licks in Mississippi. It was logical for the first Native Americans to settle along the Trace to follow part of their migrating food supply. When the Kaintucks settled west of the Appalachians, they had to sell their goods at ports in New Orleans or Natchez, but before steam power, they had to walk home. The Trace became one of the busiest roads in North America.

Natchez map

To launch To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis, I will be the first person of either sex to walk the 444-mile Natchez Trace as the pioneers did since the rise of steam power in the 1820′s. March 1, 2014 to April 3, 2014. Fifteen miles a day. Six days a week. One rest day per week. I will spend each night in the modern-day equivalent of stands, places much like Grinder’s Stand, where Meriwether Lewis died from two gunshot wounds on October 11, 1809.

I will take readers into the world of the book. You’ll see the places that inspired scenes and hear the backstories of different characters, with running commentary by my father, who’s tagging along with me.

I’ll also have a daily YouTube segment where I answer reader questions about the book, my walk, my arguments—I mean—interactions with my dad, and whatever readers want to know. Ask me anything at:  mystories(at)andrawatkins(dot)com.

Tour Schedule: http://hfvirtualbooktours.com/toliveforevertour

Tour Hashtag: #ToLiveForeverTour

To Live Forever_Tour Banner_FINAL

 

1 Comment

Filed under Book Parties

Celebrating W.D. Gagliani and Wolf’s Cut: Talk with “the Werewolf guy!”

You’re most likely strolling through Facebook in the evening if you’re spending the night at home and are 30 and over, right? Not to generalize, but c’mon, we all know most of us live inside Facebook. You might be posting your favorite book, cartoon, and chatting with friends in between watching a cool show or settling down for the evening?

We’ve got a fun VIRTUAL party you can drop by for as well to help congratulate and celebrate horror/suspense/crime noir author W. D. Gagliani and his release of Wolf’s Cut! Gagliani is a Bram Stoker Award finalist for Wolf’s Trap, the first book in the werewolf detective series of which Wolf’s Cut is number five.

WolfsCut72lg-330resizeDate/Time~

Virtual Party on March 28, 9 to 11 p.m. EST
Place:  http://www.facebook.com/hookofabook
See details of party below, plus book and author information!

Giveaways~

We’ll also have some books to giveaway that you can enter to win, courtesy of W. D. Gagliani himself! It will be a howling great time!!!

GIVEAWAYS~ 1) one print copy and one digital of Wolf’s Cut up for grabs to newsletter signer uppers (send Erin at hookofabook@hotmail.com your email you’d like to receive it at for a newsletter a few times a year).
2) two print copies of Wolf’s Cut, and one e-book version, available to attendees just to asking a question.
3) one digital copy of Wolf’s Cut (or choice in series) for the announced contest during the party.
4) one complete print and signed series to grand prize winner!!!

You must ask a question to enter into any of them. You can choose just one to enter (for instance if you have already purchased a copy of one of them) or you can choose to have your name thrown in for all 1-4.

DETAILS ABOUT PARTY:

The virtual party sponsored by Hook of a Book (www.facebook.com/HookofaBook) page takes place on the actual wall of the Facebook page (not on the invite wall if you have a FB invite) from 9-11 EST on Friday, March 28, 2014.

Attendees are able to ask W.D. any questions they want by PRE-ASKING (or asking during the party via an email submission) to hookofabook(at)hotmail(dot)com, which will then be posted by the moderator (Erin) to the Hook of a Book wall. Attendees can see questions answered and be able to comment.

HOW TO ASK QUESTIONS:

Again, please pre-ask questions using email listed below or Erin will also take limited questions during the party which will go in a queue to be asked in order received. Email Erin at to hookofabook@hotmail.com (subject: Gagliani question). The night of the event you can also inbox message Erin Al-Mehairi on the Hook of a Book Facebook page (below) if you can’t email and it will go into the queue.

Please, NO attendees should post questions to the wall of the party just because it gets too confusing. If questions appear on the wall, Erin will put in to the queue and then re-post the question as a status. The author won’t answer those, but will wait for them to be re-posted and then answer. However, you can post to the wall to say congratulations and authors can comment on that too.

We’re giving away some books too!  Emailing a questions, and following any other terms noted, will secure you a giveaway entry. All that ask questions will have a chance to win! For the grand prize, you may need to also sign-up for his newsletter.

Questions are encouraged, but you don’t have to ask one.  You can just hang out and have conversation in the comments and enjoy your time!

REFRESH YOUR BROWSER!

Please remember that refreshing your browser is very important to see all questions and answers ongoing during the event. Also remember to be patient. The moderator, Erin, is constantly working in the background and will be taking your emails, inbox messages, posting questions, and monitoring the party all at once.

You can RSVP or see more about the event here:

https://www.facebook.com/events/231251147067149/

You also have to “like” the Hook of a Book page here: www.facebook.com/HookofaBook

WolfsCut72lg-330resizeWolf’s Cut (Samhain Publishing), Synopsis~

The Nick Lupo Series Book Five.

Nick Lupo: A cop, a werewolf…and a target!

Homicide detective–and werewolf–Nick Lupo is hoping to finally have a chance to focus his attentions on the woman he loves, instead of the Wolfpaw mercenary werewolves who tried so hard to kill him. Lupo survived that battle–barely–and brought down Wolfpaw. But Wolfpaw was backed by a super secret group within the Pentagon whose sinister plan is already in motion. And a new enemy has set its sights on the local casino. Nick Lupo thought he was home free, but whenever he tries to get out, they drag him back in…

Wolf’s Cut is fourth novel following the Bram Stoker Award-nominated novel Wolf’s Trap, so it is the fifth in the savage series of horror/thrillers about the werewolf/cop. These “North Woods Noirs” are set mostly in the wilds of Northern Wisconsin, where werewolf legends abound and the moon paints the treetops silver. Warning: adult content. The next book in the series will arrive in 2015.

See more, including the other books in the series on his site:  http://www.wdgagliani.com/

Available now, purchase Wolf’s Cut here:

Amazon–

http://www.amazon.com/Wolfs-Cut-W-D-Gagliani/dp/161921816X

Barnes and Noble–

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wolfs-cut-w-d-gagliani/1115811728?ean=9781619218161

Samhain Horror–

http://store.samhainpublishing.com/wolfrsquos-cut-p-73333.html?osCsid=5cc83bd048a97d58f2412198f46a6ff1

Author W.D. Gagliani, Biography~

W.D. Authorpicgambit-210W.D. Gagliani is the author of the horror/crime thriller WOLF’S TRAP (Samhain Publishing), a past Bram Stoker Award nominee, as well as WOLF’S GAMBIT (47North), WOLF’S BLUFF (47North), WOLF’S EDGE (Samhain), and the upcoming WOLF’S CUT (Samhain). WOLF’S TRAP was reissued by Samhain Publishing in 2012. Gagliani is also the author of the hard-noir thriller SAVAGE NIGHTS (Tarkus Press), the collection SHADOWPLAYS, the novella THE GREAT BELZONI AND THE GAIT OF ANUBIS, and the holiday-themed short stories “The Christmas Wolf” and “The Christmas Zombie,” all available for the Kindle and other formats.

A collection of collaborations between David Benton and W.D. Gagliani, MYSTERIES & MAYHEM (Tarkus Press), is available for Kindle and all other formats. Five collaborative short stories are included, as well as one solo short story from each author, and several bonuses along with a guest short story.

Gagliani is also the author of various short stories published in anthologies such as ROBERT BLOCH’S PSYCHOS, UNDEAD TALES, MORE MONSTERS FROM MEMPHIS, WICKED KARNIVAL HALLOWEEN HORROR, THE BLACK SPIRAL, THE MIDNIGHTERS CLUB, THE ASYLUM 2, ZIPPERED FLESH 2, MASTERS OF UNREALITY, DARK PASSIONS: HOT BLOOD 13, MALPRACTICE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF BEDSIDE TERROR, and ZIPPERED FLESH 2 (the last four with David Benton), and more.

He has also written book reviews, articles, and interviews that have been published in places such as THE MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, CHIZINE, CEMETERY DANCE, HORRORWORLD, PAPERBACK PARADE, CINEMA RETRO, HELLNOTES, FLESH & BLOOD, BOOKPAGE, BOOKLOVERS, THE SCREAM FACTORY, HORROR MAGAZINE, SF CHRONICLE, BARE BONES, and others. Also published in the Writers Digest book ON WRITING HORROR (edited by Mort Castle), THEY BITE! (edited by Jonathan Maberry and David Kramer), and in the Edgar Award-nominated THRILLERS: THE 100 MUST READS (edited by Morrell & Wagner), published by Oceanside for the International Thriller Writers. In October 2011, THE WRITER magazine published his article on writing werewolf epics.

His interests include old and new progressive rock, synthesizers, weapons, history (and alternate history, secret history, and steampunk), military history, movies, book reviewing, and plain old reading and writing. He is an Active member of the Horror Writers Association (HWA) and the International Thriller Writers (ITW). He lives and writes in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.

Ketchum-210

W.D. Gagliani and Jack Ketchum

About Hook of Book Facebook Page~

Like the Hook of a Book Facebook page at www.facebook.com/HookofaBook! We post reviews and interviews from this site there, but it also gives us the opportunity to talk books with you more, feature upcoming covers and releases, post free or discounted books, discuss literature, and showcase books we have on list to review. We’ll talk about the book, publishing and writing industry. We’ll probably also talk grammar tips and ask lots of questions, as well as post interesting historical articles, art, photos, and other things we find intriguing.

Oh, for the Hook of a Book! Blog is an extension of Hook of a Book Services of Addison’s Compass Public Relations. We do book publicity, editing, proofreading, newsletter and blog articles, draft consulting, media relations, press releases and more.

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Announcements, Book Parties

The Debt of Tamar, by Nicole Dweck, is an Absorbing and Mesmerizing Journey Redemption that Spans Centuries

The Debt of TamarThe Debt of Tamar, by Nicole Dweck, was a completely beautiful and emotional journey. I quickly became lost in the story and was taken through a gamut of emotions as I read this gorgeous novel.  Set initially in the 16th Century, a Jewish family is taken under the wing of the family and harem of the Turkish Sultan. This sets the foundation for the novel, as the Jewish child and the son of the Sultan, a future Sultan, play and grow up together and eventually form a bond. This section read like a tale from the 1001 Arabian Nights, though it was rich with real history as well. It touched the five senses through words and left me enveloped and engaged, so much so that I couldn’t put the book down. I stayed up all night reading this book until I collapsed crying and spent from the emotional impact of the story.

Dweck’s novel is her debut, but she writes like a seasoned writer. Of course, she is a writer in degree and work as well. But it’s hard to cross over to fiction all the same and Dweck does it with amazing storytelling ability. As she intertwines the lives of the descendants of both lineages down through the decades, she writes with such purpose and with such seamless accuracy that I was never lost.  Not only did I always feel connected to the story and the characters, no matter which religion or country the character was from of living in, but I also felt connected to a theory of fantastical nature that is our fates align with others and are destined, that people are put into our paths, that life takes on history’s mysteries and unresolved turmoils in order to be remembered or to fix.

And I love stories of the Middle East, the history, the intertwining of faiths. She shows us how the cultures, countries, and faiths changed with each century, decade, and major historical time markers like WWII to the modern age. I was especially grateful, as a Christian, in her showing how for those who are Jewish it’s a calling, a destiny to follow and yet how for Muslims in history have been humanitarians and hold a strong bond to their faith as well. In many ways this book shows that love, whether a mothers, a brothers, or a romantic interest, knows no bounds of faith, culture, time, position, or tradition.

I never give any spoilers, but Dweck’s gentle wordswomanship in relation to dying and death, to redemption and faith, to restoration of the soul is outstanding. This book is one that will be a lasting memory for me and I hope to read much more from Dweck in the future. It wasn’t just reading a book, it was an experience.

The Debt of TamarThe Debt of Tamar, Synopsis~

Publication Date: February 4, 2013
Devon House Press
Paperback; 332p
ISBN-10: 061558361X
During the second half of the 16th century, a wealthy widow by the name of Doña Antonia Nissim is arrested and charged with being a secret Jew. The punishment? Death by burning. Enter Suleiman the Magnificent, an Ottoman “Schindler,” and the most celebrated sultan in all of Turkish history. With the help of the Sultan, the widow and her children manage their escape to Istanbul. Life is seemingly idyllic for the family in their new home, that is, until the Sultan’s son meets and falls in love with Tamar, Doña Antonia’s beautiful and free-spirited granddaughter. A quiet love affair ensues until one day, the girl vanishes.
Over four centuries later, thirty-two year old Selim Osman, a playboy prince with a thriving real estate empire, is suddenly diagnosed with a life-threatening condition. Abandoning the mother of his unborn child, he vanishes from Istanbul without an explanation. In a Manhattan hospital, he meets Hannah, a talented artist and the daughter of a French Holocaust survivor. As their story intertwines with that of their ancestors, readers are taken back to Nazi-occupied Paris, and to a sea-side village in the Holy Land where a world of secrets is illuminated.Theirs is a love that has been dormant for centuries, spanning continents, generations, oceans, and religions. Bound by a debt that has lingered through time, they must right the wrongs of the past if they’re ever to break the shackles of their future.

Buy the Book~

Amazon (eBook)
Amazon (Paperback)
Barnes & Noble
iTunes

Author Nicole Dweck, Biography~

Nicole DweckNicole Dweck is a writer whose work has appeared in newspapers and magazines across the country.

As a descendant of Sephardic (Spanish) refugees who escaped the Inquisition and settled on Ottoman territory, Dweck has always been interested in Sephardic history and the plight of refugees during the Spanish Inquisition. The Debt of Tamar, her debut novel, was a two-time finalist in the UK’s Cinnamon Press Novel Award Competition. It has also received an honorable award mention in the category of Mainstream/Literary Fiction from Writers Digest and was the highest rated book for two weeks running on the Harper Collin’s “Authonomy” website. It has claimed a #1 Bestseller spot in the Amazon Kindle Middle East Fiction category, a #1 Bestseller spot in Amazon Kindle Jewish Fiction category, and has been included as one of the “Hot 100″ Kindle bestsellers in the category of Historical Fiction.

Dweck holds a BA in Journalism and a Masters Degree in Global Studies with a focus on Middle East Affairs (NYU) . Her non-fiction articles have appeared in several magazines and newspapers including The New York Observer and Haute Living Magazine.

She lives in New York City with her husband and son.

For more information visit Nicole’s website. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Tour Hashtag: #DebtofTamarVirtualTour
The Debt of Tamar_Tour Banner_FINAL

2 Comments

Filed under Book Parties

Denise K. Rago’s Vampire Romance Sequel Hits the Shelves & Virtual Party!!

Planning on spending Friday night at home?  Maybe a glass of wine, a snack, some relaxation?  Hopping on Facebook to post your favorite book, cartoon, and chatting with friends in between watching a cool show or settling down for the evening?

Well, we’ve got some fun VIRTUAL plans for you, a virtual party you can drop by for at any time during the event to help congratulate and celebrate paranormal romance author Denise K. Rago’s newest release, Blood Tears (the sequel to Immortal Obsession). We’ve got some books to giveaway also that you can enter to win, courtesy of Denise!  Let us tell you about the book series first, then you can check up on all the details about the party and read more about Denise below.  If you are interested in buying her books, those links are below too.

Immortal Obsession, First Book in the Series~

Immortal Obsession coverAs a young man in eighteenth century France, Christian Du Mauré impulsively follows his best friend into the complex and warring world of the Parisian vampires. Against the backdrop of the French Revolution and following an affair with a mortal aristocrat, he promises to watch over her daughter – only to learn the child is his.

Now settled in Manhattan, only two descendents of his union remain, Amanda and her brother, Ryan. After Amanda witnesses a savage murder in Central Park, she is determined to find the ethereal stranger who saved her life. When their worlds inevitably collide, Christian finds he cannot prevent Amanda from becoming a pawn in a centuries-old struggle for power. As a confrontation between ancient enemies comes to a head, Christian must face a betrayal from his past that still haunts him and threatens the woman he loves.

Blood Tears, sequel, NOW OUT!!

Blood TearsAmanda knew she had to track down Christian after he so gallantly saved her from his fellow vampire Gaétan. Having done so, she is now his mortal lover and will not leave his side. But that is exactly what she’ll have to do when Christian decides to return to Paris. He informs her of his plans and leaves the vampire Michel, his most trusted comrade, behind to watch after her in Manhattan.

What she doesn’t yet know is she’s carrying a child, and that the father is either Gaétan or Christian. Christian finds Paris rife with secrets, rich secrets including past love affairs that have the power to destroy his life. These secrets had been safely hidden—until now.

While Christian is in Paris, word of Amanda’s pregnancy gets out, and she is hunted by a vampire order that believes her child could be the one foretold by a prophecy. Can Christian discover the answers he needs in time to save Amanda?

As enticing as her first book, Blood Tears is Denise K. Rago’s latest novel in her ongoing chronicle of the vampire Christian Du Mauré.

DETAILS ABOUT PARTY:

The virtual party of Denise K. Rago, hosted on the Hook of a Book (www.facebook.com/HookofaBook) Facebook page takes place on the actual wall of the Facebook page (not on the invite wall if you have a FB invite).

Attendees are able to ask Denise any questions they want by PRE-ASKING or asking during the party via an email submission which will then be posted by the moderator to the Hook of a Book wall. Attendees can see questions answered and be able to comment.

HOW TO ASK QUESTIONS:

Please pre-ask questions using email listed below or Erin will also take limited questions during the party which will go in a queue to be asked in order received. Email Erin at to hookofabook@hotmail.com (subject: Denise question). E-mailing a question enters you for the giveaway if you also like her Facebook page. Again, to enter e-mail a question and like her Facebook page. When you e-mail be sure to say which prize you want to enter. There will be a list of giveaways at the event to choose from.

The night of the event you can also inbox message Erin Al-Mehairi on the Hook of a Book Facebook page (below) if you can’t email and it will go into the queue.

Please, NO attendees should post questions to the wall of the party just because it gets too confusing. If questions appear on the wall, Erin will put in to the queue and then re-post the question as a status. Authors won’t answer those, but will wait for them to be re-posted and then answer. However, you can post to the wall to say congratulations and authors can comment on that too.

GIVEAWAYS!!

#1) 1 set of signed Immortal Obsession, #2) 2 ebooks (one per winner their choice of either title), and then #3) a grand prize of a $25 Amazon card plus choice of book!!!!!

Please state your choice of package if you have a preference or ask for your name to be put in all three.  All that ask questions and like Denise’s Facebook page will have a chance to win! Or just hang out and have conversation in the comments.

REFRESH YOUR BROWSER!

Please remember that refreshing your browser is very important to see all questions and answers ongoing during the event. Also remember to be patient. The moderator, Erin, is constantly working in the background and will be taking your emails, inbox messages, posting questions, and monitoring the party all at once.

Blood Tears Banner

RSVP LINK TO PARTY~

You can RSVP or see more about the event here:

www.facebook.com/events/581392068620149/

You also have to “like” the Hook of a Book page here: www.facebook.com/HookofaBook

Denise Rago, Biography~

DeniseKRagoA chance encounter with a mysterious man during a date-night in Manhattan changed my life forever. This paranormal experience inspired me to write Immortal Obsession, in which I created vampire Christian Du Mauré. His story continues in the sequel, Blood Tears.

I am an avid reader, who carries a passion for art museums, the French Revolution, and all things vampire. My life-long dream has been to publish books and nothing makes me happier than to have readers wanting more stories.My credentials include a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and a master’s degree in museum professions. I combine all these passions in these novels. I live in New Jersey with my husband surrounded by my large Italian family.

Purchase Links~

blood-tears-font-and-back-covers-4

Blood Tears

AMAZON (Paperback and e-book)

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_26?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=blood+tears+denise+k.+rago&sprefix=Blood+Tears+Denise+K.+Rago%2Cstripbooks%2C154&rh=n%3A283155%2Ck%3Ablood+tears+denise+k.+rago

BARNES AND NOBLE (paperback and e-book)

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Blood-Tears-Denise-K-Rago?store=allproducts&keyword=Blood+Tears+Denise+K.+Rago

Denise’s website:  http://denisekrago.com/

Immortal Obsession, Book 1

Denise’s website:  http://denisekrago.com/

**********************************************************************

About Hook of Book Facebook Page~

Like the Hook of a Book Facebook page at www.facebook.com/HookofaBook! We post reviews and interviews from this site there, but it also gives us the opportunity to talk books with you more, feature upcoming covers and releases, post free or discounted books, discuss literature, and showcase books we have on list to review. We’ll talk about the book, publishing and writing industry. We’ll probably also talk grammar tips and ask lots of questions, as well as post interesting historical articles, art, photos, and other things we find intriguing.

Oh, for the Hook of a Book! Blog is an extension of Hook of a Book Services of Addison’s Compass Public Relations. We do consulting, book publicity, line editing, proofreading, developmental editing, media relations, press releases and more, like these parties for authors!! Ask about our services today!

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Parties

Stop by Author Stephanie Dray’s Celebration Party! Talking Historical Fiction, Daughters of the Nile, and Prizes!

I absolutely love Stephanie Dray and am thrilled to say that after I read her newest release, Daughters of the Nile, I was mesmerized with even more love for her writing. My review is coming soon too, it’s been so hard to do this book justice with a review because it was just such an experience. In the meantime, she’s having a celebration party!  Right here—> https://www.facebook.com/events/417636111702126/ (if you can’t click on it, put it in your browser).

FBPartyDray

In commemoration of the opening of the Ara Pacis on January 30, 9 BC, and in celebration of Stephanie Dray’s new book about the daughter of Cleopatra (which is, in part, about this famous monument) she’s having an event to talk about ancient Rome, Augustus, and win goodies from historical fiction authors!

Participating Authors and Bloggers Will Include:
(All Times EST)

Stephanie Dray 12pm-10pm
Jeannie Lin at 12pm
M.m. Bennetts at 12:30pm
Kate Quinn at 1pm
Erika Shephard Robuck at 1:15pm
Heather Webb at 1:30pm
Vicky Alvear Shecter at 1:45pm
J.F. Ridgley at 2pm
Kristina McMorris at 2:15pm
Donna Russo Morin at 3pm
Amy Phillips Bruno at 3:30pm
Eliza Knight at 4pm
Gillian Bagwell at 4:15pm
Sophie Perinot at 4:30pm
Kathryn Kimball Johnson (aka Mary Hart Perry) at 5pm
Audra Friend at 6pm
Helen Hollick at 6:15pm
Alma Katsu at 7pm
Roberta Oliver Trahan at 8pm
Marci McGuire Jefferson at 8:15pm
Stephanie Thornton at 8:30pm
Stephanie Cowell at 9pm
Sabrina Darby at 9:45pm

And more…

To learn more about the Nile series, visit:
Lily of the Nile: http://ow.ly/t4ZXh
Song of the Nile: http://ow.ly/t5038
Daughters of the Nile: http://ow.ly/t50aY

See you there!!

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Parties

Jeannie Ruesch’s Cloaked in Danger to Launch with a Beautiful Cover and Release Party

I just wanted to announce the new release Cloaked in Danger by Jeannie Ruesch! She’s having  a party to kick things off and all the information is below if you’d like to hope over to Facebook Monday, Jan. 27 from 3-7 p.m. EST (NOTE: It is EST, confirmed)! The book looks like a lot of fun too and I can’t wait to read it!
Cloaked in Danger LBP Banner
What:  Jeannie Ruesch’s Facebook Launch Party for Cloaked in Danger
Hosted by Historical Fiction Book Tours
When:   Monday, January 27.  3:00 – 7:00pm PST
Cloaked in Danger
Cloaked in Danger, Synopsis~

Publication Date: January 27, 2014
Carina Press
eBook
ASIN: B00F93X7ZI

Aria Whitney has little in common with the delicate ladies of London society. Her famous father made his fortune hunting archaeological treasures, and her rustic upbringing has left her ill prepared for a life of parties and frippery. But when Gideon Whitney goes missing in Egypt, Aria must embrace the unknown. Armed with only the short list of highborn men who’d backed her father’s venture, she poses as a woman looking for a husband. She doesn’t intend to find one.

Adam Willoughby, Earl of Merewood, finds London’s strangest new debutante fascinating, but when he catches her investigating his family’s secrets, he threatens to ruin her reputation. He doesn’t intend to enjoy it so much.

When their lustful indiscretion is discovered, Adam finds that he regrets nothing. But now, as Aria’s father’s enemy draws near, Adam must convince his betrothed that she can trust him with her own secrets…before it’s too late.

Jeannie Ruesch, Biography~

jeannieJeannie Ruesch wrote her first story at the age of the six, prompting her to give up an illustrious, hours-long ambition of becoming a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader and declare that writing was her destiny. That journey to destiny took a few detours along the way, including a career in marketing and design.

Her first novel, a fairy-tale like historical romance, was published in 2009, but the darker side of life had always captivated her. So after a dinner conversation with friends about the best way to hide a dead body, she knew she had to find a way to incorporate suspense into her writing. (The legal outlet for her fascination.) Today, she continues writing what she loves to read – stories of history, romance and suspense. She lives in Northern California with her husband, their son and an 80 pound lapdog lab named Cooper.

She is also the creator of the WIP Notebook, a writer’s tool to help stay organized while you write, which you can find at her website. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and Pinterest.

2 Comments

Filed under Book Parties

Like Chilling Horror? Cheer for Giveaways? Virtual Book Launch Party for David Bernstein and Adam Cesare!

You’re most likely strolling through Facebook in the evening right? Posting your favorite book, cartoon, and chatting with friends in between watching a cool show or settling down for the evening? We’ve got a fun VIRTUAL party you can drop by for as well to help congratulate and celebrate horror authors David Bernstein and Adam Cesare’s newest releases! We’ve got some books to giveaway also so be sure to enter to win, courtesy of David and Adam!

DETAILS ABOUT PARTY:

The virtual party sponsored by Hook of a Book (www.facebook.com/HookofaBook) page takes place on the actual wall of the Facebook page (not on the invite wall if you have a FB invite) from 9 to 11 p.m. EST, on Thursday, Jan 16, 2014.

Attendees are able to ask David or Adam any questions they want by PRE-ASKING or asking during the party via an email submission which will then be posted by the moderator to the Hook of a Book wall. E-mail to me at hookofabook@hotmail.com.  Attendees can see questions answered and be able to comment. These two authors are fun and interesting so you won’t want to miss the action.

HOW TO ASK QUESTIONS:

Again, please pre-ask questions using email listed below or Erin will also take limited questions during the party which will go in a queue to be asked in order received. Email Erin at to hookofabook@hotmail.com (subject: Dave or Adam question).  Emailing a question enters you or you can email just to enter to win.

The night of the event you can also inbox message Erin Al-Mehairi on the Hook of a Book Facebook page (below) if you can’t email and it will go into the queue.

Please, NO attendees should post questions to the wall of the party just because it gets too confusing. If questions appear on the wall, Erin will put in to the queue and then re-post the question as a status. Authors won’t answer those, but will wait for them to be re-posted and then answer. However, you can post to the wall to say congratulations and authors can comment on that too.

We’re giving away 10 books, one print copy of Amongst the Dead from David and The Summer Job from Adam and four e-books from each, your choice of their titles! All that ask questions will have a chance to win or you can email to enter! Or just hang out and have conversation in the comments.

REFRESH YOUR BROWSER!

Please remember that refreshing your browser is very important to see all questions and answers ongoing during the event. Also remember to be patient. The moderator, me (Erin), is constantly working in the background and will be taking your emails, inbox messages, posting questions, and monitoring the party all at once.

You can RSVP or see more about the event here:

https://www.facebook.com/events/629267487136823/

You also have to “like” the Hook of a Book page here: www.facebook.com/HookofaBook

About Hook of Book Facebook Page~

Like the Hook of a Book Facebook page at www.facebook.com/HookofaBook! We post reviews and interviews from this site there, but it also gives us the opportunity to talk books with you more, feature upcoming covers and releases, post free or discounted books, discuss literature, and showcase books we have on list to review. We’ll talk about the book, publishing and writing industry. We’ll probably also talk grammar tips and ask lots of questions, as well as post interesting historical articles, art, photos, and other things we find intriguing.

Oh, for the Hook of a Book! Blog is an extension of Hook of a Book Services of Addison’s Compass Public Relations. We do book publicity, editing, proofreading, draft consulting, media relations, press releases and more.

If you are interested in your own Facebook Launch Party at Hook of a Book, please e-mail!

ABOUT David and Adam~

David Bernstein, Biography

dave! lol 043David Bernstein is a dark fiction/horror writer who lives in NYC, but is originally from upstate NY and loves the countryside. His novels and novellas include The Tree Man, Damaged Souls, Amongst the Dead, Tears of No Return, Machines of the Dead, and the Bizarro title Fecal Terror.

He writes like a madman and this year (2104) has books coming from the Samhain Horror line—Witch Island and Apartment 7C, and from DarkFuse, the titles Relic of Death and Surrogate, and from SeveredPress, the third installment of the Machines of the Dead trilogy. He loves hearing from his readers, so drop him a review, send him an email, or contact him on Facebook.

You can check out his blog and information at http://davidbernsteinauthor.blogspot.com/

The Tree Man, Synopsis—

TreeMan-The72lgCan two kids alone stop a monstrous evil?

Women and children have been mysteriously disappearing from Evan’s town. And now Evan may know why. He was climbing a tree in the woods when he saw a decrepit old man toss a helpless woman into the mouth of a hideous tree-like creature.

Evan knows he can’t stop the man and the creature by himself, but he also knows no one will believe a kid with such a wild story. Only his best friend, Peter, can help him confront this terrifying evil. But if they aren’t careful, they will soon be missing too.

Samhain Purchase:

http://store.samhainpublishing.com/The-Tree-Man-p-73164.html

Amazon Purchase:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Tree-Man-David-Bernstein-ebook/dp/B00H54X8IK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1389674777&sr=8-1&keywords=the+tree+man

*************************************************

Adam Cesare, Biography~

cesareAdam Cesare is a New Yorker who lives in Philadelphia. He studied English and film at Boston University.

His books include Video Night, The Summer Job and Tribesmen. His nonfiction has appeared in Paracinema, Fangoria, The LA Review of Books and other venues.

You can check him out at: http://adamcesare.wordpress.com/


The Summer Job, Synopsis—

Welcome to Mission, Massachusetts. Praying won’t save you, but it couldn’t hurt.

Claire is an alternative girl looking for an alternative. Her post-college prospects have fizzled and she’s looking for a new job, a new town, a whole new life. A summer position at a remote hotel may be just what she needs.

SummerJob-The72smVery soon, though, she begins to suspect the hotel may have decidedly sinister motives. At the same time she falls back into her old wild ways with the young people of the town, a radical group totally at odds with the sinister leaders of a local cult. Caught between two worlds, Claire has to plot her escape while spiraling deeper into a nightmare of ritual sacrifice and killer parties.

Samhain Purchase:

http://store.samhainpublishing.com/the-summer-job-p-73163.html


Amazon Purchase:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Summer-Job-Adam-Cesare/dp/1619218127

You can also order books from the info detailed in the notes section on the Facebook page during or anytime after the party (30% off at Samhain link there for a limited time) or enter the giveaways.

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Parties

My 10 Year Old Reviews Award-Winning Author David Adler’s Danny’s Doodles

Danny's DoodlesEmma is reviewing again today on the site! Today, it’s just her giving her review on this children’s book by award-winning author of the Cam Jansen Series, David A. Adler (but I do add some notes)!  If you have children who like to read, are a teacher or librarian, or need a book to buy for a child, check out her review of his new Danny’s Doodles: The Jelly Bean Experiment!

Emma used to love the Cam Jansen books, so while she is on to higher level reading now, she does tend to want to get in an entertaining book for an hour and just have fun. She likes books that surround “doodling”  and adventures of her male peers. I suppose that even though she likes her flashy fashion, being a sports buff she and her friends are also tomboys. You know, girls who like to laugh, play sports with the boys, and get dirty in nature.

However, it’s a new type of girl emerging, one that is well-rounded, appearing feminine and liking average female fashion and dolls, yet can run with the boys. I love it! That said, she likes books like Diary of a Wimpy Kid, the also new The Doodles of Sam Dibble, and other books where humor or mishaps or adventure is involved. She can read them really quick and has a lot of fun looking at the doodles inside of them. So, Danny’s Doodles caught her attention immediately!

My one mom note is that they are usually shorter in nature, so they are a very quick read and not challenging for kids who are reading on an 800 lexile level in 4th grade like Emma. It’s recommended for ages 7-10, so if you’re a parent or teaching purchasing you really need to see if it fits your child’s reading level or will be just a short, fun read and you’ll want to see if your library will be purchasing for their stock.  That said, some kids are on a 3-400 reading level in 2-4th grade so this would be a good read for them.

Danny's DoodlesDanny’s Doodles: The Jelly Bean Experiment, Review~
by Emma A, Age 10 (yep, she just had a birthday!)

I have just learned in school this week about an author’s purpose. This book isn’t informative or persuasive, so I think it is entertaining. It did entertain me and took me about an hour to read on a Saturday afternoon. I was first attracted by the cover (and the word jelly beans -laughing- I love jelly beans) so I was curious about the book. After reading, I’d say it made me laugh and I enjoy the doodling and drawing in it as I like to doodle. I also really like to play softball, so I was hoping that Danny and his friends would talk Calvin into liking baseball. I liked that it had to do with sports and I am sure some boys I know would like the book too.

Danny’s new friend really cracked me up. The things he wanted to make Danny do were crazy and I couldn’t believe his last name was Waffle!! If I had to put jelly beans in my pocket, I’d have to eat them!

I laughed through the book and still think boys are weird, but it is fun to read about them. He should make a girl version of Danny’s Doodles. I didn’t want to stop turning the pages, even when my little sister was distracting me.

From Sourcebooks~

David A. Adler, the award-winning author of children’s nonfiction and the creator of the Cam Jansen Series , introduces a delightful and funny new chapter book series – his first in nearly a decade. David brings his unerring ability to relate to a kid’s point of view to DANNY’S DOODLES: THE JELLY BEAN EXPERIMENT with its terrific blend of humor, schoolyard drama and memorable characters.

Mom Note~

Here is a link to the Cam Jansen series, if you don’t remember: http://www.camjansen.com/. Also, David has written many other fabulous children’s book, some historical!  There is a wealth of information on his website: www.davidaadler.com.

Praise for Danny’s Doodles: The Jelly Bean Experiment~

“Adler again displays his versatility with this empathic first book in the Danny’s Doodles illustrated chapter book series . . . The novel delivers laughs as well as a clear message about friendship and acceptance, even when one’s friend is ‘100% weird.’” —Publishers Weekly

“Adler starts a new series of gently humorous stories aimed at those just starting chapter books. The first-person narration, realistic characters and occasional line-drawing “doodles” will keep pages turning. Young readers will easily see themselves in Danny and his compatriots.” —Kirkus Reviews

Danny’s Doodles: The Jelly Bean Experiment

Danny's DoodlesSourcebooks Jabberwocky
September 2013
ISBN: 9-781-4022- 8721-3
Paperback/$4.99
Ages 7-10

The Legendary David A. Adler’s Newest Series for Young Readers!

Here’s a statistic: Fourth-grader Danny Cohen’s new friend is 100% weird. Calvin Waffle is curious about everything, he claims his father is a spy, and he likes to conduct experiments. Experiments like asking Danny to fill his pockets with jellybeans, but to not eat any.

Through words and drawings, Danny tells a series of stories about Calvin’s antics as the oddball challenges every rule on their teacher Mrs. Cakel’s notorious “No” list:

No talking in class without Mrs. Cakel’s permission.

No mumbling

No calling out

No walking about. You have a seat. Stay in it.

No slouching. Sit up straight.

No gum chewing.

No eating in class.

No note sending.

Calvin’s strange ways may get him in trouble, but they come in handy for Danny’s baseball team, as his powers of observation let him predict the opposing pitcher’s every throw. The problem is, for all his eccentricities and enthusiasm, Calvin doesn’t particularly like baseball. How can Danny and his friends change Calvin’s mind in time to win the big game?

Author David A. Adler, Biography~

Picdavidjacobbo-210

David A. Adler, a former math teacher and editor, is the author of more than two hundred books for young readers including the Cam Jansen Mysteries, the entire Picture Book Biography series and Don’t Talk To Me About the War. He lives in New York. He’s pictured above with his grandson.

Emma A., Age 10, Reviewer~

EmmaEmma is just ten years old and a straight A student with a gift for reading and writing.  She has read at a higher level than her peers ever since the summer between Kindergarten and First Grade when she spent almost the entire summer at the beach. That was also the summer Mom was reading the Twilight series, and took her to see Eclipse at the theater, and Emma found herself loving vampires, werewolfs, and other abnormals when once she was deathly afraid of them.  This newfound knowledge of stories allowed her to overcome her fears and she now sleeps with Monster High dolls by her bed that are the daughters of a Mummy, the Abomindable Snowman, and a Werewolf.

She also likes reading about girls and boys her age, adventure and action thrillers, magic, fantasy, and history.  Besides reading and writing, she also enjoys softball, soccer, fashion, history, art, writing stories, shopping, singing, asking questions, cooking, chocolate, and coffee. She has now added learning the violin to her list. Whew!

Watch for more of Emma, and her siblings, reviews!  And if you have a recommendation for her, send it her way via Mom (Erin Al-Mehairi).

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Parties

Queen’s Gambit by Elizabeth Fremantle Showcases the Compassionate Katherine Parr, 6th Wife of Henry VIII

Queen's GambitAh, another Tudor Era novel, with Henry VIII’s last wife, Katherine Parr at the helm. Queen’s Gambit by Elizabeth Fremantle was an entertaining read that I truly enjoyed because of its emotional characters, amazing insight into the human psyche, and its excellent visual details.

I know many people are exasperated by the many novels stemming from this Tudor King’s life and reign, but there are so many stories to tell and so much speculation and intrigue to behold that stories keep erupting. With so many holes in history, historical fiction writers have plenty of room to use their imaginations.  I have read some novels featuring Katherine Parr and am fascinated by her role as his sixth and final wife. I don’t think, as some do, that she is the least known wife as I’ve read other novels featuring her. However, I do feel that Fremantle has brought even more of her to light for us.

Parr was first and foremost a caregiver. In our modern times, she probably would be a doctor. She knows not only how to treat many ailments with her use of herbs, but she has an ability to see also what a person needs mentally in order to thrive.  This makes her a fabulous mother, but also a wonderful wife. She knows what a man needs and desires in a mature way and how to care for those needs.  She understands that if she puts her own emotions or needs “in check” in order to satisfy theirs, she many in the end gain peace of mind as well as success.  She cares for the happiness of others and tries to see both sides of any human being or situation. With this motherly way of reading people, she finds much success with people both before and after she is Queen.  She is extremely compassionate.

This compassion, and her caregiver skills, is most likely what drew Henry VIII to her in the first place.  It’s documented in many places that he was selfish, intolerable, and had a violent, impulsive temper, but it’s also written, sometimes more subtly, that beneath this he was a child who most likely had fears and self-esteem issues. He wanted so badly to be respected and loved, which is why I think he most adored his third wife Jane Seymour and Katherine Parr. Both women were the wives with the least personal agendas and had more caring and patient natures.  I think he felt a safety that he didn’t feel anywhere else around him in his conniving court. He found some solace, compassion, and care for the times that he was most self-aware of his faults and allowed his human vulnerability to surface.  Just as Parr felt that Elizabeth (Henry VIII’s daughter who would become Elizabeth I) was misunderstood for her impulsiveness and blunt behavior as a child and teen, she also knew that Henry had this side to him also. Taking the children, including Elizabeth, under her wing as their mother helped to ground them, support them, and ultimately for Elizabeth would secure her being able to take the Crown as a woman. She also can be credited with nurturing Elizabeth’s personality along the way in order for her to be a better ruler.

All that said, Fremantle brings these topics out in the book to me. She shows the kindness that Parr carried in her heart even after losing two husbands, being raped, and having her greatest love (Thomas Seymour) sent away when the King asked for her hand in marriage. After the King’s death, she even endured betrayal by Seymour that was beyond fathom. Yet, she remained always forgiving and kind.

During her marriage to the King, she patiently and unconditionally supported him through his pain, his rants, and his abusive sex in their bedroom. She took time to hold intellectual conversations with him, something that he seemed to revere with a partner he felt on his mental level. I believe this led to her being able to be named Regent by him during his absence when there was war with France. This wouldn’t have been an easy thing for him to do and didn’t please many of the men surrounding him, of course.  Fremantle showcased her ruling ability with the King’s counsel, and detailed her informed decisions. Her power was something almost unheard of for a woman to be doing in that era. Her strength and passion for England and her uncanny ability to see the big picture of everything and everyone, helped her rule England well during that time frame. I loved that part of the book and felt proud of her, as Fremantle showcased Parr’s determination and wisdom. I am always swayed by women in history who aren’t afraid to take on men when the cause is just and the decision right.  Her ability to rule may have been a catalyst for Henry understanding that a woman could rule England and she was a force behind him dictating that Mary and Elizabeth, as the King’s daughters, be put in the succession. I think she taught Elizabeth so much more than we could ever know and as observant as Elizabeth was, maybe even more than Parr knew herself.

Also appealing to me was Fremantle’s underlying plot line that showed how Parr kept the Protestant Reformation at a slow and important trickle, knowing that with the King she needed to ride the fine line between his Catholic ideals inbred in him and his newfound Protestant devotion. Since he himself rode the fence, never wanting to declare himself fully either way, she knew how and when to speak to him of religion, while also educating herself on the Bible and the new faith. She was a high thinker, reader, and writer, eventually publishing books herself.  Fremantle alluded in the book through various scenes of how she might have been assisting the Reformation’s agenda, but never accused Parr of ever being the trailblazer and master manipulator even when those around her such as Cat Brandon were pretty open about their Protestant beliefs and enjoyed taunting Catholic factions. However, I am sure all this group of women led to Elizabeth I’s strong Protestant faith.

I especially enjoyed the character of Dot, which was Parr’s maid from her former marriage that she brought to court with her. Being around the same age as Parr’s teen step-daughter Meg, who she also brought with her, they became like sisters. Parr’s ability to treat everyone equally no matter their social standing, sexual orientation, or bad habits really was a part of her enduring legacy. I think that Fremantle brought this to the forefront in her book. By creating a personality for Dot (not much in history is known about her), she also then brings her in as a narrator for us as readers, juxtaposing chapters with Dot’s thoughts, emotions, dreams and desires. We not only see the life of the noble playmakers at court, but we also see the life of the lower rung, much like Downtown Abbey or Upstairs/Downstairs. I have really been liking when people do this with books as we get to see how social standing stereotypes people in such wrong ways.  Commoners with dreams and intellect who can never get to fulfill their dreams due to their lineage, and how being free in a country like America was founded on this class issue, are power themes for the times and one that Fremantle takes on by giving us a well-rounded view of the relationship between Dot, the staff, and the Queen.

I liked Fremantle’s fictional character of Huicke, who was the King’s doctor, her dearest friend, and a gay man dealing with being in love with a poet/playwriter who treated him poorly.  His addition to the story was a nice complement to Parr’s character and sometimes we could get a better glimpse of her, through him. As she always put everyone before herself, Huicke put HER first and we see how someone close to her might have viewed her.

I think that all Fremantle’s characters were well-done and supported. Fremantle doesn’t write like Philippa Gregory, because her writing is even better as it is more lyrical. It’s more of a fictional tale than what Alison Weir might write, with less focus on accurate non-fiction and more spotlight on an entertaining story that is filled in with factual hypothesis. It resembles Hilary Mantel’s work, but is most like Nancy Bilyeau and Sophie Perinot to me. I enjoyed her writing style; Fremantle pulled me in and made me feel connected to Parr’s story. I didn’t want to put this book down day or night. I love history and like it to be accurate of course, but with a story like this, who cares about every tiny detail and its accuracy? I’m not saying it’s not accurate either and Fremantle addresses this at the end, but many people judge historical fiction like it should be a textbook!  It’s fiction written for our entertainment and fiction lovers who like this time period will love it. Readers who like Downtown Abbey will love it. It’s better than Showtime’s The Tudors, because her descriptions gave a more accurate portrayal of King Henry, Elizabeth I, and the Brandons and is not pretentious.

Fremantle’s descriptions of her characters were absorbing and clear, as well as it didn’t surprise me that her fashion depictions were glorious and eloquent since she is a fashion writer and editor extraordinaire. Her debut from this magazine world into fiction was a phenomenal red carpet entrance and I can’t wait to read more from Elizabeth Fremantle! I’d say this 5-star book will be another on my top books of 2013 list.

Get this book now for Fall and spend a few nights cuddled up with it, with a mug of tea on your nightstand, and let Fremantle’s tale take you to a familiar time and place, but in a whole new way.

**********************************************

Giveaway!~

The giveaway is for TWO copies and that means TWO WINNERS!! It’s open to US only, though. Please comment in the section under the post and leave your email so I can contact the winner! Or email me to hookofabook(at)hotmail(dot)com.

Extra entries: +3 for “liking” my Hook of a Book Facebook page at www.facebook.com/HookofaBook and +2 for following my blog.

***********************************************

QUEEN’S GAMBIT, Synopsis~

Queen's GambitPublication Date: August 6, 2013
Simon & Schuster
Hardcover; 432p
ISBN-10: 147670306X

Widowed for the second time at age thirty-one Katherine Parr falls deeply for the dashing courtier Thomas Seymour and hopes at last to marry for love. However, obliged to return to court, she attracts the attentions of the ailing, egotistical, and dangerously powerful Henry VIII, who dispatches his love rival, Seymour, to the Continent. No one is in a position to refuse a royal proposal so, haunted by the fates of his previous wives—two executions, two annulments, one death in childbirth—Katherine must wed Henry and become his sixth queen.

Katherine has to employ all her instincts to navigate the treachery of the court, drawing a tight circle of women around her, including her stepdaughter, Meg, traumatized by events from their past that are shrouded in secrecy, and their loyal servant Dot, who knows and sees more than she understands. With the Catholic faction on the rise once more, reformers being burned for heresy, and those close to the king vying for position, Katherine’s survival seems unlikely. Yet as she treads the razor’s edge of court intrigue, she never quite gives up on love.

View the Official Book Trailer: http://videos.simonandschuster.com/video/2472116122001

Praise for Queen’s Gambit

“This is a superbly written novel… Fremantle is surely a major new voice in historical fiction and this book is the answer to the question about what Hilary Mantel fans should read while waiting for the final part of her trilogy.” – The Bookseller

“Wildly entertaining…lively, gamey, gripped with tension…one of the best historical novels I’ve read.” – Liz Smith

“Elizabeth Fremantle’s rich narrative breathes vibrant life into Henry VIII’s most intriguing, intelligent and least known wife, Katherine Parr.” – Anne Easter Smith author of A Rose for the Crown and Royal Mistress

“Queen’s Gambit is an earthy, vivid portrait of Tudor England seen through the eyes of Henry VIII’s last wife Katherine Parr and her loyal maid servant. Elizabeth Fremantle has added a richly written and engrossing novel to the endlessly fascinating story of the Tudors.” – Stephanie Cowell author of Claude and Camille: A Novel of Monet

“Queen’s Gambit is a lovely, sensual, subtle read, telling the story of Katherine Parr with both rich imagination and scrupulous attention to factual detail. After reading this historical novel, you truly comprehend what it would mean to be the sixth wife of a dangerous man wielding absolute power. Katherine is no selfless nurse here, nor religious fanatic, but a complex and compelling person who both men and women were drawn to. This is a very impressive novel.” – Nancy Bilyeau author of The Crown

“Beautifully written and finely observed, this suspenseful tale of Henry the Eighth’s last wife expertly conveys all the dangerous intensity and passion of the Tudor court.” – Rachel Hore, author of A Place of Secrets

“With a painter’s eye for detail, Fremantle brings the dazzling, dangerous Tudor court to life and sheds an intriguing new light on Katherine Parr, one of history’s great survivors. An enthralling tale of power and passion, loyalty and betrayal.” – Elizabeth Wilhide, author of Ashenden

“Fremantle…navigates Tudor terrain with aplomb.” – Publishers Weekly

“Sins, secrets and guilt dominate the landscape of British writer Fremantle’s debut…[her] emphasis is on intrigue, character portraits and the texture of mid-16th-century life. Solid and sympathetic.” – Kirkus Reviews

“Intrigue, romance, and treachery abound in Fremantle’s debut novel . . . . This compulsively readable fictional biography of the ultimate survivor is infused with the type of meticulous attention to historical detailing that discerning fans of Alison Weir and Philippa Gregory have come to expect in the Tudor canon.” – Booklist

Author Elizabeth Fremantle, Biography~

Elizabeth FremantleElizabeth Fremantle holds a first class degree in English and an MA in Creative Writing from Birkbeck College London. She has contributed as a fashion editor to various publications including Vogue, Elle and The Sunday Times. QUEEN’S GAMBIT is her debut novel and is the first in a Tudor trilogy. The second novel, SISTERS OF TREASON, will be released in 2014. She lives in London.

For more about Elizabeth and her future projects see www.elizabethfremantle.com. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

Link to Tour Schedule: http://hfvirtualbooktours.com/queensgambittour
Twitter Hashtag: #QueensGambitTour

Queen's Gambit_Tour Banner FINAL

13 Comments

Filed under Book Parties