Wednesday, March 30, 2016

My Review of Don't Let My Baby Do Rodeo by Boris Fishman

Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Harper (March 1, 2016)

About Don’t Let My Baby Do Rodeo

The author of the critically admired, award-winning A Replacement Life turns to a different kind of story—an evocative, nuanced portrait of marriage and family, a woman reckoning with what she’s given up to make both work, and the universal question of how we reconcile who we are and whom the world wants us to be.

Maya Shulman and Alex Rubin met in 1992 when she was a Ukrainian exchange student with “a devil in [her] head” about becoming a chef instead of a medical worker, and he the coddled son of Russian immigrants wanting to toe the water of a less predictable life.
Twenty years later, Maya Rubin is a medical worker in suburban New Jersey, and Alex his father’s second in the family business. The great dislocation of their lives is their eight-year-old son Max—adopted from two teenagers in Montana despite Alex’s view that “adopted children are second-class.”

At once a salvation and a mystery to his parents—with whom Max’s biological mother left the child with the cryptic exhortation “don’t let my baby do rodeo”—Max suddenly turns feral, consorting with wild animals, eating grass, and running away to sit face down in a river.

Searching for answers, Maya convinces Alex to embark on a cross-country trip to Montana to track down Max’s birth parents—the first drive west of New Jersey of their American lives. But it’s Maya who’s illuminated by the journey, her own erstwhile wildness summoned for a reckoning by the unsparing landscape, with seismic consequences for herself and her family.

Don’t Let My Baby Do Rodeo is a novel about the mystery of inheritance and what exactly it means to belong.

The blurb is a bit misleading regarding what the story is about. My interpretation is that the book is centered mostly around Maya, not Max and any issues that are happening with him appear like an excuse to dig deeper into her personal issues.Therefore, I am leaving Maya’s personal problems, mostly untouched as not to give that topic away. The main adult characters, Maya, her husband Alex, and his parents are immigrants who came to America for a better way of life, though I find it surprising that they not only disliked Americans but also anyone who is not like them or has their beliefs, the family also thinks adopted children are second class citizens due to the fact they are unwanted by their biological parents. This implies something must be wrong with them. One aspect of the book that I found strange is that when Maya married into Alex's family, she took on their family's beliefs and views on life, leaving hers behind including her self-esteem. There contains an immense amount of hatred in the book making it tough to read, for example:

“Alex had never touched a gay man before, but now he was holding one’s hand as the twenty Participants formed a grieving circle to commemorate their failed fertility. Why were the gays grieving? They hadn’t been failed by fertility, they had been failed by their dicks.”

Why did Maya and Alex adopt Max if to them he is a second class citizen?  Certainly they thought something was wrong with Max since they were all over the “situation” that took place like it was the end of the world. They assumed something ought to be detrimentally wrong with him because he is adopted, so let’s find his biological parents due to a request the biological mother had given (what did this have to do with his behavior?) or maybe he could just be acting like a boy. I found the need to track down Max’s biological parents extreme. Whereas, some things are genetic like health issues or physical looks. I highly doubt liking nature, such as sitting in a river looking at fish, having an interest in different types of grasses, sleeping outside in a tent would fall under genetic traits or be anything to get your panties in a knot about.   

The prose is nicely written yet I found myself uninterested more often than not. To me the book lacked substance such as adequate situations to keep the reader stimulated, intrigued, or fascinated. Reading the book was more a chore for me yet I never gave up thinking something has to happen at some point that made this worth the tim
e I’ve put into it, nope.


Boris Fishman was born in Minsk, Belarus, and immigrated to the United States in 1988 at the age of nine. His journalism, essays, and criticism have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and many other publications. His first novel, A Replacement Life won the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award and the American Library Association’s Sophie Brody Medal, was one of The New York Times' 100 Notable Books, and was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Pick. He lives in New York.

*I received a copy of this book from HarperCollins but the review is my opinion only.

         Tour Schedule:
  Wednesday, March 2nd: Reviews by Amos Lassen
Thursday, March 3rd: Dwell in Possibility
Friday, March 4th: Bibliophiliac
Monday, March 7th: I’m Shelf-ish
Tuesday, March 8th: Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews – spotlight
Wednesday, March 9th: Raven Haired Girl
Wednesday, March 9th: The Year in Books
Thursday, March 10th: Fearless Creative
Tuesday, March 15th: BookNAround
Wednesday, March 16th: From the TBR Pile
Thursday, March 17th: Mother’s Circle
Monday, March 21st: Thoughts On This ‘n That
Wednesday, March 23rd: I’d Rather Be At The Beach

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

New Book Giveaway #TheWanderSociety

Keri Smith—author of the phenomenal Wreck This Journal, which has sold over 2 million copies in the US—was browsing at her local bookstore when she stumbled upon strange notes in a worn copy of Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman: “WW will show you the way,” “Solivitur ambulando,”and then “The Wander Society” accompanied by a small thunderbolt symbol. Intrigued, she followed the clues and discovered pamphlets, more hidden messages, and a like-minded professor to help her in her search. Keri Smith compiled all her findings into THE WANDER SOCIETY  a manifesto of a secretive group that extols the notion that in order to find your way and live deliberately, soulfully, you must wander. 

Lavishly designed and packaged with a set of stickers and badges, THE WANDER SOCIETY is a guide to disrupt, subvert, and inspire with the power of walking aimlessly into the unknown. Readers will discover prompts and calls-to-action, as well as how-tos and practical tips and strategies for wandering fieldwork:
  •  A List of Fellow Wanderers: Walt Whitman, Charles Baudelaire, Aristotle, Rebecca Solnit, Thich Nhat Hanh, & more.
  • Secrecy, Or How To Be Invisible: “Camouflage. Hide in plain sight. Dress plainly, in bland colors so as not to attract attention. You are an animal in the wild, able to blend into your surroundings when needed.”
  •  Assignments: Color Tracking, Sound Tracking, Perception Hacking
  •  Document the Wind.
  •  How-To: Make a Wander Badge, Carve a Wandering Stick, Sew a Neck Pouch.
  •    The Wanderer’s Creed: “Let us not be tied down by clocks, schedules, rules, dictates. Let us remember who we were before we learned these things. We are the masters of our own existence.”
  •   Leave Behind: Wander Society stickers, badges, inspirational quotes, How and Why to Make a Wander Society Station. 

Take a look at Wanderings @ Instagram #TheWanderSociety

This book is like no other. You do not just sit down and read it. Nope, you participate in the activities within also motivating you to use your imagination. It will inspire people to do strange things, be creative, and of course wander. It is a great book for readers of all ages. I absolutely think it is grand and I think you will too. Come and join The Wander Society with me!    

Keri Smith is a bestselling author, illustrator, and thinker. Her books include Wreck This JournalThis is Not a BookHow to Be an Explorer of the WorldMessFinish This BookThe Pocket ScavengerWreck This Journal EverywhereEverything Is ConnectedThe Imaginary World of... as well as Wreck This App, This is Not an App, and the Pocket Scavenger app. She enjoys spending time with her husband, experimental musician Jefferson        Pitcher, and two children.

"Thank you, Viking Publishing for this opportunity"

Friday, March 18, 2016

GIVEAWAY 50$ Amazon or B&N Card & BREAKING THE STORY Book Blitz

Breaking the Story
Ashley Farley
Publication date: March 17th 2016
Genres: Adult, Suspense
Passion, peril, and a scandal that will rock American politics.
Scottie Darden’s life is a disaster. Her marriage has become toxic, and her career as a photojournalist has stalled out. To attract the attention of the main players in the news industry, she needs a standout story with a unique perspective. What she finds is a scandal that could turn the 2016 presidential election upside down. But before she can release her damaging images to the media, Scottie must uncover the truth behind the photographs. She turns to handsome mystery man Guy Jordan for help. When they join the campaign trail in search of answers, their investigation quickly becomes deadly.
Hop on board for a wild ride of adventure where desire ignites, lives are threatened, and secrets are revealed.

Her cell phone lit up on the seat beside her, and Brad’s name appeared across the screen. She reached for the phone and powered it off. The next time she communicated with him would be through an attorney.
Scottie contemplated her options for a place to spend the night. Already approaching the fifty-mile mark, she couldn’t drive much farther on her spare tire. Her best friend, Anna, had been avoiding her since Christmas, since Scottie had inadvertently placed Anna’s husband in danger of losing his medical license. The rest of her friends would undoubtedly be spending quiet weekends at home, nursing their babies and making love to their husbands. She could drive to Church Hill to her brother’s house, where she knew she’d find a sympathetic shoulder to cry on. But Will would want all the details, and she wasn’t ready to give voice to her drama. Tonight, she needed time alone to think. Tonight, she needed to drink tequila.
She took a right-hand turn onto the Boulevard, drove one block, and then turned left onto Franklin Street. She parked under the portico in front of the Jefferson Hotel, handed her key to the valet, and went inside to the front desk. After booking the cheapest room available, she wheeled her suitcase around the corner and rode the elevator to the third floor. The consolation prize to having the smallest room in the most luxurious hotel in the city was the stunning view overlooking downtown Richmond.

Author Bio:
Ashley Farley is a wife and mother of two college-aged children. She grew up in the salty marshes of South Carolina, but now lives in Richmond, Virginia, a city she loves for its history and traditions.
After her brother died in 1999 of an accidental overdose, she turned to writing as a way of releasing her pent-up emotions. She wrote SAVING BEN in honor of Neal, the boy she worshipped, the man she could not save. SAVING BEN is not a memoir, but a story about the special bond between siblings.
HER SISTER'S SHOES—June 2015—is a women's novel that proves the healing power of family.
Merry Mary—October 2015—a holiday novella, a young woman longing for a child stumbles upon a Christmas miracle.
BREAKING THE STORY is scheduled for release on March 17, 2016. A romantic political suspense. Passion. Peril. And a scandal that will rock American politics.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

25$ Amazon Card Giveaway & Miss Misery Series Blitz

Wicked Misery
Tracey Martin
(Miss Misery #1)
Published by: Samhain Publishing
Publication date: October 7th, 2014
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
It s all quasi-legal fun until somebody gets framed for murder.
Jessica Moore thrives on misery. Literally. Thanks to a goblin’s curse, she gets a magical high from humanity’s suffering. A shameful talent like that could bury a girl in guilt, so to atone, she uses her dark power to hunt murderers, rapists and other scumbags until one of them frames her for his crimes.
In desperation, Jessica seeks refuge with the one person she trusts to not turn her in, a satyr named Lucen. Like every member of his race, Lucen uses his lusty magic to control Boston’s human population, and Jessica isn’t immune to his power. But the murder victims belonged to a rival race, and when they discover Lucen is harboring Jessica, dodging the cops becomes the least of her problems.
With only five days to find the real killer, Jessica faces a danger far more serious than the brewing magical war. The danger of succumbing to Lucen’s molten seduction.
Warning: Contains a heroine with a lust for misery, creepy murders, and creepier goblins, satyrs so hot you’d sell your soul for one, and scaly sewer rats masquerading as dragons. Who said magic was all sparkles and tiaras?
The complete series:

WickedMisery300 DirtyLittleMisery300 MiseryLovesCompany300

DarkestMisery300 MiseryHappens300
Lucen hung up, and I jogged the rest of the way down the block to the bar. He was already outside by the time I got there, looking freshly showered in jeans but no shirt or shoes. His blond waves dripped water on broad shoulders. I winced. He’d better put on a shirt soon or 

I was going to have a hard time concentrating. Yeah, being framed for murder sounded like it should easily take precedence over a chiseled chest and a six-pack, but only to someone who never spent time around satyrs. I couldn’t take my eyes off him.
Lucen stood on the stoop next to the bar, holding the front door open. “Come on in.”
“I didn’t know you lived above The Lair.”
“There’s lots you don’t know about me because you’re always running away.”

I squeezed past him, getting a good whiff of his cinnamon-tinged skin and undoubtedly a good dose of his lusty magic. My hands twitched, eager to attach themselves to that broad swath of chest and trace every contour of muscle, to follow that thin line of blond hairs on his stomach to where it disappeared into his waistband and beyond. I dug my nails into my palms. The pain helped, but not as much as usual. “I hate to be rude since you’re doing me a huge favor, but could you put on a shirt?”
“If you insist, or you could take off yours and call it even.”
“I’m being framed for murder. I’ve got more important things to worry about than whether I’m wearing my pretty bra.”

Abruptly, some of my lust subsided pulled back almost as though a blanket had been tugged off my skin. Lucen gaped at me, his eyes filled with shock.
Could he do that? Keep a handle on his power if he wanted to? Granted, not all my desire had disappeared, but the worst of it had. Damn it, if I didn’t need his goodwill right now—whatever little goodwill a satyr might have, that was—I’d want to kill him for never bothering to do this before.

“Have a seat. I’ll be right back.” He disappeared to the right, and feet pounded up some unseen stairs. I wandered deeper into his apartment, not expecting to find it so light and airy. The kitchen was immediately to my left. Through a doorway, I could see steps and beyond that a small tastefully decorated living room. Muted sunlight seeped into the joint kitchen and dining area through linen drapes. I pulled them aside and discovered sliding doors leading onto a small deck that overlooked a parking lot. All in all, not a bad spot. But then, rents in Shadowtown were cheaper than almost anywhere else in the Boston area. For all I knew, Lucen owned this entire building.

He was right in that regard. I’d never bothered to learn much about him. Prolonged conversations had always felt like an invitation for trouble.

With that thought in mind, I plunked myself down at the kitchen table, wondering whether this had been a bad idea of Biblical proportions. Until now, I’d never exactly sought out Lucen’s company. Since the beginning of our relationship, it had always been the other way around. After all, most of the major religions taught that preds were on this planet to tempt humanity to ruin, and I usually saw no point in throwing myself at temptation.

Author Bio:
Tracey Martin grew up outside of Philadelphia, the lucky recipient of a drama-free childhood, which is why she spent so much time reading about other people’s lives. It was while she was working on her doctorate in psychology that she had an epiphany–imaginary people are way more fun than real ones. And so she began writing. Never able to choose just one of anything, she currently writes both urban fantasy for adults and contemporary stories for teens.
She likes her coffee simple, her music epic, and her movies to contain explosions. A city girl at heart, she doesn’t understand how she and her husband ended up living in New Hampshire, but writing keeps her off the mean, small town streets. You can find her online at

Thursday, March 10, 2016


Black Water Tales: The Unwanted by Jean Nicole Rivers 
Publication date: March 31st, 2016
Genres: Adult, Horror

In the remote, eastern European town of Borslav there is St. Sebastian orphanage, a place where people discard their unwanted children. For the American, Blaire Baker, it’s the perfect place to volunteer her services. Paired with a cheerful volunteer nurse, Blaire is enthusiastic about the possibilities but is quickly discouraged when she encounters the nefarious nature of the staff and the deplorable conditions of the facility and the children.

Upon arrival, one of the children informs Blaire, “There’s something in the basement.” It isn’t long before strange things begin happening, including Blaire’s flashbacks of the accident that killed her parents. The children soon suffer injuries that Blaire, first, fears may be the deeds of the callous workers but she soon thinks the abuse may originate from a source that is less than human, something unwanted.

The unwanted is coming but in order for Blaire to fight it, she must dig into St. Sebastian and herself in search of truth. Blaire wants nothing more than to help the children, but when discovers the tragedy that happened in the basement and learns that the same evil forces are still at work, it will be Blaire who needs help… There’s something in the basement.

I was born in the tiny, but lovable town of Centralia, IL which has a two-screen movie theatre, one high school and still celebrates May Fete, so I had no choice, but to develop a fantastic imagination. Since childhood, I have been writing everything from short stories to songs, but I have always aspired to compose a novel. Black Water Tales: The Secret Keepers is my first novel and the first book in what will be a series of thriller novels.

Philosophy was my study in college and I received a Bachelor of Arts in the subject from Florida International University. Writing is one of my most favored artistic pursuits, but my love for the arts does not stop there, I am also a vocalist and actress and participate in local theater in Houston Texas.

             Author's Website/Facebook/Twitter/Goodreads                                           

Tuesday, March 8, 2016


An ambitious and unforgettable epic novel that spans a hundred years of Guatemala’s tumultuous history as experienced by four American women who are linked by the mysterious disappearance of a little girl

1902: Eight-year-old Evie Crowder watches as her parents work in vain to keep their fledgling wheat farm going. Far from their New York home, the Crowder’s struggle against corrupt government officials and inscrutable natives, both of whom have little time for Americans who think that buying cheap Guatemalan land entitles them to any rights. When her parents mysteriously disappear, Evie’s fate hangs in the balance and her legacy will haunt the Land of Eternal Spring for decades to come.
1954: Dorie, the wife of the American Ambassador, is entangled in an affair that puts her in the center of the multi-national fight for control of Guatemala. With her husband actively involved in the CIA’s covert operation to topple President Jacobo Arbenz, Dorie desperately wants to flee with her lover, Tomás. Tomás’s loyalties, however, are split between Dorie and his employer, United Fruit—the real source of money and power in Guatemala.
1983Lenore Beasley was called by God to be a missionary in Guatemala. Or, more accurately, she was called by Pat Robertson to join President Ríos Montt’s drive to bring his country to Christ. Lenore and her husband Dan move into a model village with instructions to baptize the droves of resettled Mayans. As Lenore becomes involved with an enigmatic blue-eyed Indian woman, her faith in God and the mission begin to flag, putting her dangerously at odds with the armed militia controlling the village.
1999: Single mom Jean takes her adopted daughter Maya on a Roots Tour of Guatemala, hoping the trip will heal their fractured relationship. Jean wants to ground her teenager in history, but she also wants validation that taking Maya from her homeland was the right thing to do. The trauma Jean thought was in their past, however, confronts them with full force. In the middle of a nation trying to heal after decades of war, Jean also finds her own fraught path to healing.
Kelly Kerney’s novel tells a powerful story that draws on the history of Guatemala and the legacy of American intervention to vividly evoke The Land of Eternal Spring in all its promise and all its devastating failures. This is a place where a volcano erupts and the government sends a band to drown out the sound of destruction; where a government decree reverses the direction of one-way streets; a president decides that Pat Robertson and Jesus will save the country; and where a UN commission is needed to determine the truth. A heartrending and masterfully written look at a country in perpetual turmoil, Hard Red Spring brilliantly reveals how the brutal realities of history play out in the lives of individuals and reveals Guatemala in a manner reminiscent of the groundbreaking memoir I, Rigoberta Menchu. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kelly Kerney’s first novel, Born Again, was listed among the best debuts of the year by Kirkus Reviews, was a Book Sense Pick, and was recognized by the New York Public Library as one of the best books of 2006. A Virginia Commission for the Arts fellowship recipient, she lives in Richmond, Virginia.

You can pre-order here:

Viking Publishing
On sale: March 29th, 2016
Hardcover: 448 pages
ISBN: 0525429018

Friday, March 4, 2016

A preview of a to be released book you need to see to believe!

  Undisputed Queen Of Adult Coloring Books Is Releasing A New Coloring Book!

 #1 New York Times bestselling author Johanna Basford’s newest coloring book for adults;  MAGICAL JUNGLE: An Inky Expedition & Coloring Book will be released this fall!

Follow the inky trail through the Magical Jungle and discover a forgotten word of flora and fauna just waiting to be explored and coloured.

This exotic rainforest is teeming with creatures large and small. There are speckled tree frogs and dainty hummingbirds, prowling tigers and cheeky monkeys. Let your imagination run wild amongst the leafy tree top canopy or find yourself drawn to the world of delicate blossoms and tropical orchids.
Counting Down The Days To This Mind-Bending Book?
Here are some previews to get you pumped*


What words can you come up with to describe these & Johanna's other drawings?

Johanna Basford's  hand-drawn illustrations have sold more than 16 million copies worldwide, and are loved by those who have colored in (sometimes more than once) her previous bestselling books Lost Ocean (1.9 million in print of the US and UK editions / sold in 32 territories), Secret Garden (11 million published in 40 territories), and Enchanted Forest (4.2 million published in 35 territories).

You can preorder NOW:

 Colouring Tutorial BY Johanna Basford


I draw pictures and make colouring books. Welcome to my world...

Tumble down the rabbit hole and find yourself in my inky black and white Wonderland... I'm an illustrator and ink evangelist who prefers pens and pencils to pixels. I create intricate, hand drawn illustrations predominately, although not exclusively, in black and white.
My creativity is cultivated by a curious imagination and a delight in the fantastic. Much of my work has roots in the flora and fauna that surrounded me growing up on my parent's fish farm in rural Scotland.
I graduated in 2005 from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Dundee with my degree in Printed Textiles and a portfolio stuffed with monochrome silk screen prints and drawings. Following that, I set-up my little studio and began on my mission to vanquish the vector and champion the (wobbly) hand drawn line.
Every piece I create starts life as a simple pencil sketch, evolving into a rambling pen and ink drawing usually spanning several sheets of paper. I love the tactile nature of the materials I use and the joy of smudgy fingerprints. My delicate hand inked designs intend to charm and delight, inviting you to peer closer and discover the hidden intricacies.
For me, computer generated graphics can feel cold and soulless whereas hand drawing captures a sense of energy and character which no pixel can ever replicate.                                                                                  

More Adult Coloring Books By Johanna Basford

*From Johanna's Facebook Page