The Castle Blues

October 21st, 2014

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castle-blues-quake-cover 300ppiAbout the Book

THE CASTLE BLUES QUAKE by Linda Covella

Children’s, Young Adult – Sci Fi / Fantasy

Tour Dates: October 14 – October 24, 2014

Blog Tour with Giveaway

12-year-old Pepper Connelly leaves her best friend, Chrissie, behind when her family moves from New York City to Santa Cruz, CA. Pepper discovers a boy, Corey, hiding in her backyard shed. Unknown to Pepper, Corey is a ghost trying to contact his grandfather, Boppie, before he crosses over. He tells Pepper he must locate Boppie before Social Services finds him. Pepper agrees to help.

While Pepper’s communication with Chrissie dwindles, her friendship with Corey grows. She tells Corey about her passion for writing songs, and throughout the story, she composes a song about Corey. Corey teaches Pepper to play the harmonica. Soon, she’s torn between finding Boppie and knowing when she does, Corey will certainly go back on the road with his traveling-musician grandfather.

Other characters help her on her quest: new classmate Ally Cressman, who dresses in an odd-ball, non-mall style; Sawtooth Sam, the mysterious saw-playing street musician; and Madame Mchumba, who performs her psychic readings at the Boardwalk amusement park.

Earthquakes, haunted house rides, poltergeists, and crystal ball readings propel Pepper toward the shocking conclusion of her search.

You can buy THE CASTLE BLUES QUAKE at:

 Amazon

A Special Post From The Author

The Kinetic Energy of Creativity

First, I want to thank the Cici’s Theories for having me on this blog and for being a part of my Castle Blues Quake blog tour. And thank you to the readers for stopping by!

Kinetic: moving, energizing, dynamic.

To be creative, you must get your mind—and sometimes your body—moving. It takes energy to create something, and often the hardest part is getting going, taking that first step. You might have to really push yourself, but you can’t move forward until you start moving. I have to do this when I write my first drafts; for me, that’s the most difficult part of writing a novel.

To be creative, you have to be energized. Be excited about your project. The more energy you put into it, the more ideas you’ll produce and the more satisfaction you’ll have. That initial energy will also compound itself—as you get more involved in your work, you’ll become more excited and more energetic.

To be creative, you must be dynamic. Being dynamic is related to energy and motion, but it’s also characterized by continuous change, activity, or progress. You have to keep moving forward, but you also have to be willing to change if something isn’t working out for you. Remember, there’s never one solution to creativity. Your first attempt isn’t always your last. If you want to be dynamic, that is, if you want to progress, you have to be open to new ideas, new methods, open to change.

How do you get moving to unleash your creativity? 

About the Author 

Linda Covell Author PicLinda Covella’s varied job experience and education (associate degrees in art, business and mechanical drafting & design, a BS degree in Manufacturing Management) have led her down many paths and enriched her life experiences. But one thing she never strayed from is her love of writing.

A writer for over 30 years, her first official publication was a restaurant review column in a local newspaper, and as a freelance writer, she continued to publish numerous articles in a variety of publications. But when she published articles for children’s magazines (“Games and Toys in Ancient Rome” and “Traveling the Tokaido in 17th Century Japan,” in Learning Through History magazine, and “Barry’s Very Grown Up Day” in Zootles magazine), she realized she’d found her niche: writing for children. She wants to share with kids and teens her love of books:  the worlds they open, the things they teach, the feelings they express.

Yakimali’s Gift, a historical novel for young adults published by Astraea Press, and middle grade paranormal The Castle Blues Quake published by Beau Coup Publishing are her first novels.

She’s a member of Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).

No matter what new paths she may travel down, she sees her writing as a lifelong joy and commitment.

You can find Linda at these links:

Linda’s Website     |     Facebook     |     Twitter

Goodreads     |     Pinterest

 

Excerpt

As I started to close the door, I looked down and gagged. On the doorstep lay a stiff dead rat, so big I pictured it running around the house slamming doors with its pointy nose or long tail. Its tiny black eyes stared at nothing, and its legs, stretched straight out, ended in open claws as if it had fought whoever or whatever had taken its life. The insides of my stomach were about to erupt when Dad looked over my shoulder and made me jump.

“Someone has a sick sense of humor,” he said. “The police are on their way. Now please, let’s go tell your mother and Sage everything’s okay.” He headed out of the kitchen.

Before shutting the door, I peered into the back yard. The fog had thinned a little. I could just make out the thick trunk of the tree and the swing hanging next to it. Then I froze. A face. A white face with black holes for eyes. Staring at me from behind the tree. I tried to call Dad, but my mouth and throat were dry. My voice wouldn’t work. I gripped the doorknob. Don’t run, I told myself. Don’t be afraid. Afraid, bade, fade…fade, fade, please go away whoever you are. Whatever you are. It hadn’t budged an inch. Maybe I was seeing things. Maybe it wasn’t a face. I squinted then blinked. And it was gone. Just the fog and the tree and the swing.

Then the hairs on the back of my neck prickled when I noticed the ropes and the seat swaying as if from a breeze.

The only thing was, the air was as still as could be. There was no breeze.

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LOOP

October 21st, 2014
About The Book
 Loop
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Loop #1
Author: Karen Akins
Release Date: October 21, 2014
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
 

At a school where Quantum Paradox 101 is a required course and history field trips are literal, sixteen year-old time traveler Bree Bennis excels…at screwing up.After Bree botches a solo midterm to the 21st century by accidentally taking a boy hostage (a teensy snafu), she stands to lose her scholarship. But when Bree sneaks back to talk the kid into keeping his yap shut, she doesn’t go back far enough. The boy, Finn, now three years older and hot as a solar flare, is convinced he’s in love with Bree, or rather, a future version of her that doesn’t think he’s a complete pain in the arse. To make matters worse, she inadvertently transports him back to the 23rd century with her.

Once home, Bree discovers that a recent rash of accidents at her school are anything but accidental. Someone is attacking time travelers. As Bree and her temporal tagalong uncover seemingly unconnected clues—a broken bracelet, a missing data file, the art heist of the millennium—that lead to the person responsible, she alone has the knowledge to piece the puzzle together. Knowledge only one other person has. Her future self.

But when those closest to her become the next victims, Bree realizes the attacker is willing to do anything to stop her. In the past, present, or future.

 
 
Praise:
 
“A creative take on romance in a high-stakes, high-concept mystery that trusts its readers’ intelligence.” – Kirkus
 
“LOOP is a page-turning adventure with some brilliant and original twists to the time travel genre. I devoured the entire book in one sitting!” – Julie Cross, Author of the TEMPEST series
 
“Hilarious and suspenseful with a delicious dash of romance, LOOP is a mind-bending good time!” – Melissa Landers, Author of the ALIENATED series 
 
About The Author
Akins - Publicity Shot 1aKaren Akins lives in the MidSouth where she writes humorous, light YA sci-fi. When not writing or reading, she loves lightsaber dueling with her two sons and forcing her husband to watch BBC shows with her.Karen has been many things in her life: an archery instructor, drummer for the shortest-lived garage band in history, and a shockingly bad tic-tac-toe player.
 
 

 

 

Giveaway

Must be 13+ To Enter | Ships in US Only
 
One Winner will get a signed final copy of LOOP + a swag pack
 

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Martyr

October 14th, 2014
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SYNOPSIS:
 
MARTYR
The Hunted Book One
Author: A.R. Kahler
Release Date: October 28th, 2014
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Young Adult
 
Three years have passed since magic destroyed the world.
Those who remain struggle to survive the monsters roaming the streets, fighting back with steel and magic—the very weapons that birthed the Howls in the first place.
Tenn is one such Hunter, a boy with the ability to harness the elements through ancient runes. For years, the Hunters have used this magic to keep the monsters at bay, but it’s never been enough to truly win the war. Humans are losing.
When Tenn falls prey to an incubus named Tomás and his terrifying Kin, Tenn learns there’s more to this than a fight for survival. He’s a pawn in a bigger game, one with devastating consequences. If he doesn’t play his part, it could cost him his life, his lover and his world
 
My Thoughts:
Once again, I am taking myself out of my normal reading comfort and into a genre that I typically shy away from.  I have been trying to break out of my norm and appreciate books of all genres.  Not always the easiest thing to do, but sometimes it is worth it.  MARTYR was a well written story that made the task of reading outside of my comfort zone worth it.
There is a gifted way in which this story is told, it is not written by bullet points that leave you guessing what will unfold next.  It is all too often that I read a book and in my mind say, “oh, let me guess…”.  That is not going to happen with MARTYR.  There is a lot going on, a lot of discovery to be made within the words, and more yet to come.
A well written book that is sure to take you through a roller coaster of emotions, leaving you with a desire to read more.  I suggest you take some time to read MARTYR, step outside of your comfort zone, appreciate the gift of writing that Alex has, and enjoy!
 
About The Author

1521924_709307065945_1861723222_nAlex is many things, but first and foremost, he’s a Sagittarius.

Born in Iowa and educated across the States, he’s taught circus in Amsterdam and Madrid, gotten madly lost in the Scottish wilderness, received his Masters in Creative Writing from Glasgow University, and drummed with Norse shamans. Sometimes he also walks about on stilts. Or sews. Or hammers tiny pieces of metal into pretty shapes.

When he’s not writing or climbing in the rafters, he’s probably drinking coffee. And seeing as he currently resides in Seattle, there’s coffee aplenty.

Website: http://www.arkahler.com/
Twitter: @ARKahler

 
Giveaway
Must be 13+ To Enter | Ships in US Only.
 
One winner will get a signed copy of ‘Immortal Circus: Act Two’ and ‘Immortal Circus: Final Act’
+ Martyr swag, including stickers, bookmarks, a signed bookplate, and trading cards.

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Spooktacular Giveaway Hop

October 14th, 2014

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It’s that time of year again!  Thank you to Kathy at I Am A Reader, Not A Writer for hosting this fun hop!  I am giving away a fall holiday package of goodies with my favorite fall scent, Harvest (Yankee Candle), some yummy treats, a custom bookmark, and a copy of a Stephen King thriller to complete the package.  Just enter via the rafflecopter link for your chance to win!

*must be 13 years of age or older to enter.  Only open to United States residents.

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Unstrung Cover Reveal

October 13th, 2014

Young Adult / Sci-Fi / Dystopian

Synopsis:Book One: Unstrung Series

Lexa Pate, seventeen-year-old thief extraordinaire, has burned a bridge or two in her life. You don’t make a career out of stealing other people’s property without making enemies.

When a risky job goes from bad to worse, Lexa and her adopted family find themselves on Precipice Corporation’s hit list because they’ve accidentally stolen the wrong thing–plans for a new model of genetically-engineered super humans. Now every bounty hunter, cop on the take, and snitch in the city is after them.

Lexa’s world crumbles around her as she fights to keep her family safe even as someone strolls out of her forgotten past. Quinn claims to know who Lexa really is, but can she trust a stranger she met while robbing his boss?

More importantly, does she really want to know what Quinn has to tell her?

Based on the fairy tale Pinocchio, UNSTRUNG takes you into a near future world where the lines between fake and real are blurred, all that’s pristine isn’t always innocent, and being a criminal isn’t always wrong.

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Montreal

October 9th, 2014

Montreal Street Photography

 

Book Synopsis:

Street photographer, Debra Schoenberger aka “girl with camera” captures the more unusual side of Montreal in her foot travels around the city. The images portrayed in the book are from 2010 to 2014

View more photos from her world travels on her profile page at Your Shot National Geographic.

My Thoughts:

I have never reviewed a photograph book before, so this was a first.  One may wonder what you can possibly say about a book of photographs, well I am here to say, I am without words.  Photos are a snippet of time, a moment stood still, captured through the eye of the camera holder.  It may just be a building or some children, but if you take time to really look, you will see beauty, joy, adventure,mystery… a story.

I have not yet been to Montreal, that I can recall.  My mother is from Edmonton, I know we used to travel to Canada as a child, but I have no real memories of our travels.  I can say, that there is a side of Montreal captured within these pages that makes me want to experience all that it has to offer.  So often we look to the obvious for a stop, a holiday, or a need, but maybe we should take the time to look for the picture that has yet to be taken.  The story yet to be told.

Debra captures what goes unseen, the beauty beyond.  Hers is a book that takes you to a different plane, a different perspective, a moment of peace and reflection.  You will sit with her book and see beyond the brick and mortar, beyond the tranquility and bustle.  We all need something that will help us pause in time.

 

Debra SchoenbergerPhotographer​‘s Bio:

My dad always carried a camera under the seat of his car and was constantly taking pictures. I think that his example, together with pouring over National Geographic magazines as a child fuelled my curiosity for the world around me. Although I worked in the field of photography for over 20 years, it wasn’t until very recently in 2010 that I bought myself a secondhand professional camera and started experimenting with street photography. I shot over 50,000 images that first year and gradually began to improve.

Photographers I admire are Vivian Maier, Robert Frank, Steve McCurry and Edward Steichen to name but a few amongst the many incredibly talented people over the last century.

​ ​
Street photography is my true passion. Having a slightly off-kilter sense of humour helps keep me looking for the unusual.”

Connect with Debra:

​ ​

Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter

Where to buy the book:

Amazon
B​lurb

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The Devil’s Liege

October 8th, 2014

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Snow Demons– Are They Possible? by Danielle DeVor

In The Devil’s Liege, my main character, Mathias, encounters a snow demon who makes his life interesting. She doesn’t have much resemblance to the Christian idea of a demon except that she feeds on souls. That led me to wonder, minus the Christian pantheon, would a demon who is empowered by cold be possible in other religious traditions.

The answer is yes.

In looking at various traditions about Hell and the Underworld, once you enter the world of the fae, everything gets turned sideways. Summer and Winter. The dark fairies of Winter are cold, tricky, and deadly while being impossibly cruel. Stealing children, stealing the youth and hearts of young men. It certainly sounds demonic.

Now, my demon is pretty different from the dark fairies, but her basis is the same.  Kind of nice to discover a monster you create has a folklore base. Maybe I need to make more monsters.

 

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Vampiric Virtual Book Tour

The Devil’s Liege

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LARGE MASTER_THEDEVILSLIEGE_DANIELLEDEVOR

 

Being a vampire isn’t all it’s cracked up to be- in fact, it kind of sucks.

After surviving his duel with Lilith, Mathias thought that he could relax. That is until he discovers that, Nossy, the new king, has been kidnapped.

When the investigating vampires seem to have no clue how to rescue Nosferatu, Mathias must step in. Everything is peachy until Mathias is named the next new king in order to stop the man behind Nossyís kidnapping from taking over the throne.

Suddenly, his life is not his own again, and Mathias must make a choice: risk his life to find his friend, or sit back and watch disaster unfold.

You can buy The Devil’s Liege at these links:

Amazon US†and Amazon UK

 

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Danielle DeVor

DanielleDeVorAuthorPhotoDanielle DeVor spent her early years fantasizing about vampires and watching ìSalemís Lotî way too many times. After living briefly in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, she moved back to her hometown to write. When not writing and reading about weird things, you will find her hanging out at the nearest coffee shop, enjoying a mocha frappuccino.

Danielle has been on a writing roll this year! With the release of†Tail of the Devil,Constructing Marcus and†Sorrowís Point†she already has three books out.

 

You can follow Danielle at these links:

Danielle on Twitter

Danielle on Facebook

Danielle on Goodreads

 

†Giveaway

This Giveaway is open internationally. Must be 13+ to enter.

1 Winner – $10 Amazon Gift Card, 1 signed bookmark each for THE DEVIL’S LIEGE †and THE TAIL OF THE DEVIL

2 Winners – eCopy of THE TAIL OF THE DEVIL

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Please check out the other hosts on the tour for chances to enter the Giveaway HERE!

 

Origin

October 8th, 2014
Contemporary / Women’s Fiction
Date Published:February 14, 2014
Alexandra Kamin is everywoman. At 42, she has a loving family, terrific children, a great career with a superlative income, a gorgeous face with a terrific figure, and a loving boyfriend. Most impressive is that she is in complete control of every ambit of her life.

Where do you go when you are at the top?

ORIGIN takes you back to the beginning… the beginning of Alexandra’s life in America, the beginning of the truest of love affairs, and the beginning of an entrepreneurial life. Through a series of flashbacks and conversations, Alexandra explains every nuance that made this beautiful family a dynasty that you want to root for.

Schooling, work, child rearing, and family affairs are all under Alexandra’s Order are all accounted for as the years go by.  GNO, love affairs and the truest of loyalties are best second time around.

My Thoughts:
Having a strong character makes for a very different story than having a lost or weak character that needs to be rescued.  Alexandra is a character that is relatable and easy to cheer for from behind the pages.  I think that many women will be able to relate to the struggles and experiences faced by our leading lady.  How much of our past influences and affects who we are today and how we deal with our lives?
This is the first book of Emilia’s that I have had the opportunity to review, overall I really enjoyed her style and her ability to pull the reader into the characters and storyline.  I look forward to reading more of her work in the future and know that my followers will enjoy the characters that she brings to life.
About the Author:
originEmilia I. Rutigliano is an attorney who writes about people that she finds interesting.  Although her books are fiction, she weaves in a lot of the events of her own life, practice and travels.  She lives in New York City with her husband and three precocious teenagers (who occasionally acknowledge her existence when the internet is malfunctioning).
ALEXANDRA’S ORDER is Emilia’s second book series, and is geared toward readers who enjoy a full story about multi-dimensional characters.  Because ORDER takes place in many locations with many different cultures, Emilia doesn’t write it unless she visits each location and meets the people who speak, think and act the same way as the characters in the book.  It’s a tough life, but she perseveres

 

Virtual Book Tour – August 31st – October 19
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A Matter of Grave Concern

October 7th, 2014

Grave concern

 

About the Book:

When Maximillian Wilder joins the notorious body snatchers known as the London Supply Company, the last thing on his mind is love. He’s worried about Madeline, his vanished half sister, who was last seen in the company of Jack Hurtsill, the gang’s conscienceless leader. Raiding graveyards, stealing corpses, and selling them to medical colleges as dissection material is dirty work, but he has to gain Jack’s trust. He’s determined to find out what happened to Madeline—and to bring Jack to justice if she was murdered for the coin her body could bring.

Beautiful, spirited Abigail Hale, daughter of the surgeon at Aldersgate School of Medicine, detests the challenging, hard-bargaining Max. But she must procure the necessary specimens if she is to save the college and her father’s career. She believes she is going to be successful—until Jack double-crosses her. Then she’s swept into a plot of danger and intrigue, one where Max must intervene and protect her, no matter the risk to his plan . . . or his heart.

My Thoughts:

Ms. Novak has done it again!  From the very first sentence I just knew this was going to end with my house being a mess and burnt leftovers for dinner!  I could not stop reading this intriguing historical romance!  The details were written so well that I felt dirty, like I needed to brush my teeth, or that I had encountered a corpse myself, or even worse, Jack at one point or another.  The resurrection business certainly lent itself to a great storyline, one I will not soon forget.

Abigail and Max were so easy to love.  The way that Novak was able to bring these two together happened so seamlessly and so believable.  Abby may have been a bit naive and innocent when it came to men, but she was able to hold her own in a man’s world.  And Max?  Oh my word!  Another historical hunk brought to life by Ms. Novak!  While the characters stood out, they did so while amplifying the entire story.  I really enjoy Ms. Novak’s writings, it is very easy to fall into her stories and forget where you are, especially her historicals!

One quote from the book that reminds me of a lost love:

“You fill my mind, dominate my thoughts.  Even when I tell myself not to think of you, I can’t help it.”

It’s those encounters with love that fill our minds, our hearts and never truly leave.  That is the craving that lingers after reading A MATTER OF GRAVE CONCERN.

About the Author:

brenda novak(from Brenda’s site)

“I caught my day-care provider drugging my children with cough syrup and Tylenol to get them to sleep while I was away,” Brenda says. “It was then that I decided that I needed to do something from home.”

However, writing was the last profession she expected to undertake. In fact, Brenda swears she didn’t have a creative bone in her body. In school, math and science were her best subjects, and when it came time to pick a major in college, she chose business.

Abandoning her academic scholarship to Brigham Young University at the age of 20 in order to get married and start a family, Brenda dabbled in commercial real estate, then became a loan officer.

“When I first got the idea to become a novelist, it took me five years to teach myself the craft and finish my first book,” Brenda admits. “I learned how to write by reading what others have written. The best advice for any would-be author: read, read, read….”

Brenda sold her first book, and the rest is history. Many of her novels have won or placed in contests such as the National Reader’s Choice, the Bookseller’s Best, the Write Touch, the Award of Excellence and the Beacon Award for Published Authors.

Brenda and her husband, Ted, live in Sacramento and are the proud parents of five children—three girls and two boys. She juggles her writing career with her children’s softball and soccer games, field trips, carpool runs and homework sessions.

When she’s not spending time with her family or writing, Brenda is usually working on her annual fundraiser for diabetes research—an on-line auction held at her website May 1st – May 31st. Her youngest son, Thad, has diabetes, and Brenda is determined to help him and others like him. She also enjoys traveling, watching sporting events and biking–she rides an amazing 20 miles every day!

JUST CLICK TO BUY!

I hope you all enjoy A MATTER OF GRAVE CONCERN!

Cheers!

Cici ♥

Angel of Losses

October 3rd, 2014

The Angel of Losses

 

About the Book:

The Tiger’s Wife meets A History of Love in this inventive, lushly imagined debut novel that explores the intersections of family secrets, Jewish myths, the legacy of war and history, and the bonds between sisters. (Ecco/HarperCollins, July 2014.)

When Eli Burke dies, he leaves behind a mysterious notebook full of stories about a miracle worker named the White Rebbe and the enigmatic Angel of Losses, guardian of the lost letter of the alphabet that completes the secret name of God.

Years later, Eli’s granddaughter Marjorie stumbles upon his notebook and everything she thought she knew about her grandfather—and her family—comes undone. To learn the truth about Eli’s origins and unlock the secrets he kept, she embarks on an odyssey that takes her deep into the past, from the medieval Holy Land to eighteenth-century Venice and Nazi-occupied Lithuania. What she finds leads her back to present-day New York City and her estranged sister, Holly, whom she must save from the consequences of Eli’s past.

Interweaving history, theology, and both real and imagined Jewish folktales, The Angel of Lossesis a family story of what lasts, and of what we can—and cannot—escape.

My Thoughts:

It isn’t very often that a book stays on my mind for long after I’ve read it.  That’s not to say I haven’t read some touching, intriguing, captivating books, but that it isn’t often they spur continual thoughts.  When you read so many books in a week/month, you have a continuous stream of stories, so the book can’t really stick with you for too long.  THE ANGEL OF LOSSES, stuck with me a little longer than most.  I spent a little more time thinking about the characters and the story itself, but I also spent some time evaluating myself, my thoughts, and my beliefs.   Having some of my own family drama, this debut seems to captivate the truth and realism that plaques sisters when there is discord.

One of my favorite parts of the book was near the end, I feel as though I must share it with you:

“Only the Almighty can bring the redemption, Mannasseh says.  

We must hope only that he hears our prayers and is merciful.  

No man can cross the river until that day.

     And no man knows if today is that appointed day, Yode’a said.  And no angel, either…”

This story is a good mixture of family drama, mystery and myth.  It will leave you wanting to go explore your own family journals and history and look for the story you may have missed.

About the Author:

Stephanie FeldmanStephanie Feldman grew up in Philadelphia and studied writing at the University of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Arts, and Barnard College. She lived in New York City for 10 years before returning to the Philadelphia area with her husband and daughter.The Angel of Losses is her first novel.

You can follow Stephanie on Twitter and a few other places, and write to her at sbf@stephaniefeldman.com.

 (from http://stephaniefeldman.com)

 

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