DAUGHTERS OF IRAQ
Click on book cover to read excerpt
Book: Daughters Of Iraq
Author: Revital Shiri-Horowitz
Genre: Women's Fiction, Historical Fiction, Jewish Fiction, Jewish History
The following is my May 31, 2012, 5 Star review: A heartwarming family tale of love and loss.
I feel the need to start this review out by stating that DAUGHTERS OF IRAQ by REVITAL SHIRI-HOROWITZ is more than just another novel. This is family storytelling at its best. Every once in a while, you come across a book that the author has put her whole heart and soul into and is able to convey every emotion flawlessly to the reader. This is one of those very special books. I was completely absorbed by the stories of Violet, Farida and Noa and I felt the love in the words as I read them. I took my time with this book. I savored every word and emotion and didn't want it to end. Through Ms. Shiri-Horowitz's words, I felt the joy and the pain of these women. I was very touched by this book.
We learn of Violet as a vibrant child and then woman through the family stories that her sister, Farida, shares with Violet's daughter, Noa. We learn of Violet as a mother through Noa's recollections and through Noa's pain and guilt of losing her. Then we are treated to something so special by the author. She introduces Violet to us and her family as a woman through her diary that she writes to her loved ones as she lay dying from cancer.
This book is full of hardship, joy, pain and through the amazing storytelling ability of RIVITAL SHIRI-HOROWITZ, we as the reader feel it all. I laughed. I cried. This is an amazing book and I will most definitely be reading it again.
Amazon Purchase Links and Blurb:
Blurb taken from author website:
"Daughters of Iraq” is the compelling story of three women from the same family. It is the story of emigration from Iraq to Israel in the early 1950’s as experienced by two sisters: Violet, whom we learn about through a diary she kept after being diagnosed with a critical illness, and Farida, whose personality unfolds through her relationship with her surroundings, and with herself. The third character is Noa, Violet’s daughter and a student, a young woman in her twenties who is searching for meaning. Noa embarks on a spiritual quest to the past, so that she can learn how to build her life in the present and the future.
The book is the story of love, of roots, and of how the two interface: the love between mothers and daughters, between sisters, between fathers and daughters, between a brother and sister. It is also the story of romantic love, sometimes fulfilled sometimes unrequited, stories that are forever engraved in the hearts of lovers.
TIES THAT BIND
Click on book cover to read excerpt
Book: Ties That Bind
Author: Carolyn Arnold
Genre: Crime Drama, Thriller, Police Procedural
The following is my May 28, 2012, 5 Star review:
If you like thrilling crime dramas, this is the book for you!
TIES THAT BIND is the first book in the Madison Knight series by CAROLYN ARNOLD. This book has twists and turns that keeps the reader guessing as well as the lead character, Homicide Detective Madison Knight. This character was so much fun to read about and get to know. Throughout TIES THAT BIND, the reader is taken on a journey of clues and gut instincts from one murder to the next. I became so riveted in this investigation that I felt a part of it as the book progressed, so much so that I found myself getting angry and yelling aloud at some of the players as I continued to read.
I don't want to give too much of the book away, but there were some very twisted but brilliant clues left specifically for the police at the initial crime scene by the bad guy to move the investigators in the direction he wanted them to go. For those of you that have read the book, you know what I'm talking about. That's right. The picture. For those of you that haven't read the book, I can't wait for you to read about the picture and see what I'm talking about. This was an AMAZINGLY creative twist. MS. ARNOLD kept me completely absorbed with the action, as well as the dialog between characters, while reading this book.
If you like crime dramas, police procedurals and suspenseful, edge-of-your-seat thrillers with a strong-willed, intense female lead, you have got to read this book! You won't be disappointed. I highly recommend TIES THAT BIND by CAROLYN ARNOLD.
**Newly formatted and includes a BONUS sneak peek of JUSTIFIED, the second in the series, at the end of the book.**
Detective Madison Knight concluded the case of a strangled woman an isolated incident. But when another woman's body is found in a park killed by the same line of neckties, she realizes they're dealing with something more serious.
Despite mounting pressure from the Sergeant and Chief to close the case even if it means putting an innocent man behind bars, and a partner who is more interested in saving his marriage than stopping a potential serial killer, Madison may have to go it alone if there's not going to be another victim.
JUSTIFIED, the second in the Madison Knight series, is also available.
Today's Special Guest Author Is:
I've got a real treat for you today! I'm introducing you to Ashley Fontainne, author of the suspenseful, thrilling Eviscerating the Snake series. This series needs to be read in order. Book 1 - Accountable To None. Book 2 - Zero Balance. Both of these books were fast paced, well written stories with twists and turns in the plot that has the reader sitting on the edge of their seat just waiting to see who's going to get theirs next. Ashley has moved quickly to the top of my favorite author list.
A little about Ashley Fontainne taken from her website:
My earliest memories from childhood are of reading. Growing up as an only child, I found solace from the lonely times in books. I believe, at one time, I owned every Nancy Drew book available, and read them all numerous times. During those early years of my life, I became hooked into the world of mystery and suspense. I began to write poetry and short stories in high school, although I rarely shared my musings except to a few select friends and one lovely English teacher. It was a beautiful release for me to scribble down my thoughts in a journal, whether the words stemmed from joyous events or tragic ones.
As I grew, I discovered Stephen King, James Patterson, Robin Cook and John Grisham. I fell in love with all of their works, especially those of Stephen King. The way that gifted man strings words together is nothing short of amazing. By the time high school rolled around and I was introduced to classical literature, I was thoroughly addicted to the written word, especially thrillers that tugged at the heart strings.
Out of all the great classical texts that deal with revenge, the one that became a part of me, and what inspired me to pen Accountable to None, was The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas. The physical and emotional pain suffered by Edmund Dantes left me an emotional wreck. His calculated plans against all those that used him as a pawn in their life-altering game fascinated me. Edmund's transformation from the meek, mild-mannered gentleman into a revenge-fueled creature is truly a dark glimpse into the ravaged remains of a ruined mind.
Revenge for injustices perpetrated upon us is a tightly interwoven thread of the human condition. Responding to immoral acts in a violent manner has been a part of society since the beginning of time. The only thing that has changed over the centuries is the means by which an avenger might seek to accomplish their redemptive plans.
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to be directed to the YouTube video.
Book 1 - Accountable To None
The following is my March 13, 2012, 5 Star review:
Book 1 - Accountable To None
The author of Accountable To None, Ashley Fontainne, took me on an emotional roller coaster ride, feeling everything from pain and heartache of a character that the reader finds themselves wanting to wrap in a warm embrace, to the evil sense of entitlement on one of the most brutal characters I have read about in a long time. I'm exhausted. I could not put this book down. It gripped me from the very beginning and the intensity level just kept building and building. I found myself holding my breath as I read. I suggest you start this book on a Saturday morning with nothing planned for the day, because once you start, you won't be able to stop. This is an AMAZING READ! I highly recommend it.
Book 2 - Zero Balance
The following is my May 17, 2012, 5 Star review:Book 2 - Zero Balance I can't stop thinking about this book!
ZERO BALANCE is book two in the Eviscerating the Snake series. I highly recommend that you read book one, ACCOUNTABLE TO NONE, first, so you don't miss a thing.
I LOVED THIS BOOK! Often times a reader will pick up the second book in a series to be sorely disappointed because they enjoyed the first book so much. That is not the case with ZERO BALANCE by ASHLEY FONTAINNE. I'm going to try to write this review without giving too much of the story away. That's going to be tough, though, because I could talk about ZERO BALANCE for hours!
The story picks up one week prior to Olin's trial. Audra is starting to feel guilty about taking vengeance out on all the partners instead of focusing on Olin. Little does she know that she's awakened the sleeping psycho in the remaining partners at the accounting firm and they're out to get a little justice of their own. And then there's Piper, the unexpected villain.
When an author deals with a psychotic personality, it is sometimes difficult for the reader to get too close to that character. Through Ms. Fontainne's writing, we, as normal, well adjusted people, are taken into the mind of a truly demented mentally ill woman. This was done flawlessly through Ms. Fontainne's writing each chapter in ZERO BALANCE through the eyes of a specific character. For a short time, we, as readers, are thrown into a truly twisted mindset. I must say, I was very uncomfortable being there, but I loved the fact that the author was able to make me understand the depths of Piper's anger and excitement at taking another life through her mental illness.
If you ask me, ZERO BALANCE can't be pigeonholed into one specific genre. This is a suspense, thriller, dark fearsome horror story with a little romance thrown in. I CAN'T WAIT UNTIL THE THIRD IN THE SERIES COMES OUT!
Books available by Ashley Fontainne:
Announcing a special event!
Click on the Kindle picture to be taken directly to the event.
May 15 & 16th
This event will go live Tuesday, May 15th at 6:30 a.m. Eastern Standard Time
~~ 7 Authors ~~
~~ 14 Books ~~
Load up your Kindle with #Kindlefever!
Get TWO books FOR the price of ONE!
MEN'S ACTION & ADVENTURE
MYSTERY & CRIME DRAMA
MYSTERY & TREASURE HUNTING
CHILDREN & FANTASY
ROMANCE & PARANORMAL
There's also something available for those of you that use an e-reader other than a Kindle!Click HERE to be directed to the #Kindlefever event page for full details.All information for #Kindlefever provided by Carolyn Arnold at Celebrating Authors.Please help spread the word about this event by tweeting your peeps and Facebooking your friends!
Today's Special Guest Author is
I am happy to introduce you today to Mitzi Kelly, author of the humorous mystery novel, Deadly Policy. This is the second book in the Silver Sleuths Mystery Series. Classic Revenge is the first book in the series, but they do not need to be read in order.
I am hosting a Deadly Policy Book Discussion and would love to see you over there. You will have the opportunity to interact with Mitzi and ask her any questions you want about her wonderful novel Deadly Policy.
While reading about Mitzi, I couldn't believe how much we have in common. Here's a little more information about her taken directly from her website:
Mitzi grew up in Texas, loving everything about the huge state. From the stark beauty of the desert plains, to the majestic glory of the mountains, to the intense power of the ocean, she’s never had a desire to live anywhere else. Traveling is nice, but there’s no place like Texas!
She was raised in El Paso with her three brothers, and credits her parents, Lewis and Lucretia Rothman, for providing an idyllic childhood. There hasn’t been a sport invented that the family was not involved in, and Mitzi vividly remembers weekends where the family rushed from a gymnastics meet to a football game and then to the golf course, and still somehow fit in chores and meals! Her parents are her true heroes and there aren’t enough words to express her gratitude.
Her family relocated to Houston, but Mitzi moved to San Antonio with her grandmother and landed her first job where she found she had a love for bookkeeping and making numbers work. In 1981 she married her soul mate and best friend, John, and in 1982 their son, John Lewis, was born. Mitzi thoroughly enjoys the moments her husband steps in as her "co-plotter" to add spice to a scene with his unique sense of humor. With the love and support from the two most important men in her life, Mitzi has had the freedom to explore a myriad of interests and that’s when she discovered she loved to write. Before tackling novels, Mitzi wrote several feature articles for Our Ageless Times and a current event article for Builder/Architect.
The following is my May 3, 2012, 5 Star Review:
Don't mess with Millie!
DEADLY POLICY by MITZI KELLY was such a fun read. This is the second book in the Silver Sleuths Mystery series, but it is a stand alone. I have not had the pleasure of reading Classic Revenge, the first book in the series, and I had no problem following the action in Deadly Policy.
What do you get when you have a tenacious 80 year-old bulldog of a mother, Millie Morrow, a 65 year-old timid, soft spoken, genteel woman, Edna Radcliff, and a 45 year-old woman who is the voice of reason, Trish Anderson? You get a team of women on a mission that has a combined total of 190 years of life's experience as well as laugh after laugh.
When it becomes clear that Millie's daughter is being implicated as the inside person at an insurance agency for a rash of car thefts perpetrated on policy holders, Millie and her friends kick into high gear to clear her name. You will follow the funny actions these silver sleuths take to solve the case. This is a lighthearted read that will have you laughing at the interactions of these elderly ladies taking on not only the bad guys but the local police as well.
I thoroughly enjoyed this read and highly recommend it to women of all ages. Especially to those of us over the age of 40. I can only hope that I'm as spunky as these wonderful characters when I reach their age.
Books by Mitzi Kelly:
Classic Revenge Blurb:
The tragic accident claiming the life of Susan Wiley had been classified as just that, an accident. Then why is her husband being charged with her murder? The very thought is ludicrous. But Chief of Police Henry Espinoza doesn't agree, refusing to listen to arguments that Sam's neighbors, Trish Anderson, Edna Radcliff and Millie Morrow present regarding his character and the relationship he had with his wife.
Angry at being dismissed so easily, the women resolve to prove Sam's innocence, not only to help their friend, but to show Henry they are not ready for a nursing home just yet. Using the experience, determination, and pigheadedness their combined ages of 193 years afford them, they rush headlong into danger and intrigue, learning something about themselves during the process. They seem to have a knack for this detective stuff!
Deadly Policy Blurb:
When a sudden rash of stolen cars brings Millie Morrow's daughter under suspicion for conspiracy to commit insurance fraud, Millie convinces her two best friends, Trish Anderson and Edna Radcliff, to help her find out who is trying to frame Michelle. Knowing the odds are against them that they will be able to discover who the thugs are, Trish and Edna nevertheless go through the motions of investigating, hoping Millie will feel productive in helping her daughter while the police do the real detective work.
But the situation becomes much more serious when a body is found in front of the insurance office Michelle works for. And even though the evidence pointing to an inside job is purely circumstantial, it could still destroy Michelle, something the ladies are determined to prevent. They're going to have to work fast to present a different theory for the police to consider, though, since Millie has once again alienated Henry Espinoza, the chief of police. And she's alienated someone else, too, if the suspicious incidents suddenly plaguing her are anything to go by.
Keeping Millie out of trouble while attempting to clear her daughter's name will take every ounce of skill . . . or luck . . . the amateur sleuths possess.
Link to YouTube video here.
Deadly Policy Excerpt:
Trish tapped lightly on the horn to let Millie know they were out front. “She said she just had to run home to grab something. I wonder what’s taking her so long.”
Night had fallen over the quiet neighborhood and a brisk breeze had sprung up, ushering in another cold front. Lights were coming on in the houses and the comforting smell of firewood smoke wafted through the air. Trish shivered, wishing she had brought her coat. She could be sitting in front of her own fireplace, watching television and sipping hot cocoa instead of venturing out in the cold to find a mischievous car that may or may not be parked in its owner’s driveway, and that may or may not have been involved in the damage at Millie’s. Geez . . . she really needed to make more friends and rethink her whole social life.
“Here she comes now,” Edna said as Millie’s front door opened. Then she looked closer. “What is that she’s carrying?”
Trish shrugged. “I don’t know, but it looks like she’s bringing everything but the kitchen sink.”
Millie scrambled into the backseat amid a lot of grunting and groaning, and then something landed on the floorboard with a loud thud. She pulled a pair of dark sunglasses from her purse, slipped them on her nose and leaned back in the seat. “What are we waiting for?” She was wearing a straw gardening hat with purple daisies stitched on the brim, a black sweat suit with black tennis shoes, and from her neck hung a pair of binoculars which looked as if they originated from the Civil War era.
“What’s with the sunglasses?” Trish asked. “And what was that noise?”
“I don’t want Barbara to recognize me if she happens to be outside, and I brought my baseball bat for protection. We don’t know what kind of neighborhood Barbara lives in. And, just in case we need a distraction, I brought my megaphone.”
“Oh, of course.” Trish gave Edna a look that said Millie needs to be committed. Barbara Ferguson lived in an upscale neighborhood not far from the community of Grand River. Millie’s baseball bat probably wouldn’t be necessary. The subdivision was fairly new with a few houses still under construction. Two-story and large one-story structures built with brick, rock and stucco made up the majority of the homes on the street Barbara lived on, and the fresh landscaping of young trees and bushes in the tiny front yards were evidence this area of the subdivision had been only recently completed.
Halfway down the block, Edna said, “Here it is! This one on the right with the tan stucco exterior. Is that Barbara’s car, Millie?” A soft light from the garage reflected off of a silver Mercedes sedan parked in the driveway.
Millie had her nose pressed up to the glass. “Hmm . . . I think so. Pull up a little bit, Trish, and I’ll go check it out.”
Trish bit her lip as she edged closer to the curb right past Barbara’s house. Millie’s plan to investigate Barbara’s car had seemed harebrained when they had discussed it. Now that they were actually sitting in front of Barbara’s house, the plan seemed downright insane. “I don’t think this is such a good idea, Millie. What if someone sees you?”
“That’s why I wore a disguise! Besides, I’ll only be a second.”
Millie pulled her camera out of her purse and opened the car door. Bending low, she started tip-toeing across Barbara’s yard toward the driveway, and that’s when Trish noticed she was also carrying the bat. “I don’t have a good feeling about this.”
Edna sunk low in the seat. “Me, neither.”
They watched Millie make her way to the driveway and then slowly circle the car. When she was standing at the hood, she bent down to look at it closely and then raised her fist in a success gesture. She lowered the bat to the ground and snapped a couple of pictures. Trish glanced quickly at the neighboring houses, hoping the flash had not aroused any suspicions, but everything seemed perfectly fine.
Edna let out a deep breath as Millie headed back toward them. “I’m glad that’s over and we can get out of here,” she whispered.
Trish was about to agree when she saw Millie stop beside Barbara’s mailbox. Her eyes widened as she saw Millie struggling to raise the bat over her head. “Oh, no!” she exclaimed, just as Millie took a swing at the mailbox. Clang! The loud ringing sound reverberated through the still night as Millie hit the ground, the force of her swing knocking her on her rear. Momentarily stunned, Millie shook her head, then she scrambled to her feet, grabbed the bat and rushed to their car.
“What are you waiting for?” she gasped. “Let’s get out of here!” Millie struggled to drag the bat in the car before slamming the door. She was breathing hard and . . . laughing!
Trish noticed a couple of porch lights come on and decided now was not the time to lecture Millie on her behavior. She pressed her foot to the floor and she clamped her lips tight. She rounded the corner, wheels screeching, and then forced her foot to the brake, slowing the car down to the speed limit. Her hands were shaking so badly she couldn’t loosen her grip on the steering wheel. It was a good thing, because had she been able to, she would have reached into the back seat and strangled Millie.
“What were you thinking?” she demanded, turning to glare at Millie. “Do you realize you just damaged government property?”
“Watch where you are going, dear,” Edna said calmly. “We sure don’t want to get in a wreck and have the police arrive.”
Trish turned back around but she cast a quick look Edna. Her friend wasn’t quite as calm as her voice portrayed. Her face was pale and her eyes were opened wide, and her hands were clasped tightly in her lap. She wants to clobber Millie too, Trish thought, comforted by the knowledge that she wasn’t the only one considering murder.
Millie scooted forward and placed her hands on the front seats. She was still chuckling. “Wow! That was fun!”
Edna turned slowly. “Fun? Millie, do you realize you probably just committed a felony?”
“Hogwash! You two need to stop overreacting. Anyway, if it is a felony, I bet Barbara’s is worse. She destroyed my garbage can and my mailbox!”
Trish was dismayed at Millie’s flippant attitude. “This is serious, Millie.”
“I’m not joking, either. I can claim I was emotionally attached to my mailbox and went temporarily insane,” she said, matter-of-factly. “There’s nothing to worry about, girls.”
“Okay, wiseacre,” Trish said sardonically. “And how will you explain temporary insanity when you took the time to grab your bat and drive all the way over here? It sounds like premeditation to me, and probably any jury too.”
Millie leaned back in her seat. “Well, I hadn’t really thought about it from that viewpoint. Maybe we better go home now.”***
Don't forget to join us over at the Deadly Policy Book Discussion!