Sunday, October 20, 2019

Book Spotlight - Bruce's Big Storm (Mother Bruce Series) by Ryan T. Higgins + Giveaway

Photo Credit - Amazon

About the Book
Author: Ryan T. Higgins
Pub. Date: September 3, 2019
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Pages: 48
Find it: GoodreadsAmazonKindle, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, TBD

Bruce's home is already a full house.

But when a big storm brings all his woodland neighbors knocking, he'll have to open his door to a crowd of animals in need of shelter-whether he likes it or not.

Readers will love this next installment of the uproarious, award-winning Mother Bruce series.

About Ryan:
Ryan T. Higgins is a New York Times Bestselling author/illustrator residing in Southern Maine. He lives with his two dogs, two cats, one gecko, one tortoise, one son, one daughter, and one wife. As a child, he lived on a diet of cartoons, cheese sandwiches, and climbing trees. At the age of four he decided to become a cartoonist and he’s been making his own cartoons ever since.

Giveaway Details:
3 winners will receive a finished copy of BRUCE’S BIG STORM, US Only.

Rafflecopter link:

Tour Schedule:
Week One:
10/1/2019- Shortcake_bibliophage- Excerpt
10/2/2019- Cindy's Love of Books- Excerpt
10/3/2019- Review
10/4/2019- BookHounds YA- Review

Week Two:
10/7/2019- PopTheButterfly Reads- Review
10/8/2019- Do You Dog-ear?- Review
10/9/2019- Savings in Seconds- Review
10/10/2019- The Try Everything- Excerpt
10/11/2019- Starlight Reads- Review

Week Three:
10/14/2019- Treestand Book Reviews- Review
10/15/2019- Beagles and Books- Review
10/16/2019- Little Red Reads- Review
10/17/2019- Wonder Struck- Review
10/18/2019- Life Within The Pages- Review

Week Four:
10/21/2019- Fyrekatz Blog- Review
10/22/2019- Southern Girl Bookaholic- Review
10/23/2019- Two points of interest- Review
10/24/2019- Novel Novice- Review
10/25/2019- Here's to Happy Endings- Review

Week Five:
10/28/2019- YA Book Nerd- Review
10/30/2019- Nerdophiles- Review
10/31/2019- Wishful Endings- Review

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Book Review - What Makes Us by Rafi Mittlefehldt + Giveaway

Photo Credit - Amazon

The only thing Eran Sharon knows of his father is that he left when he was a baby. Eran is a senior in high school who is living with his overly protective mother who refuses to talk about his father. Eran is deeply passionate about social justice and equality. When he learns that the Houston police have launched a new program to increase traffic stops, he organizes a peaceful protest with this classmates.

When a heated moment between two protestors goes viral, a reporter connects the Sharon family to a tragedy fifteen years earlier. The reporter asked if Eran is anything like his father who is a supposed terrorist. After finding out about his father, Eran wonders how much alike he is with his father.  He worries, even more, when people he knew for years start treating him differently.

The novel isn't usually my choice genre but, I found the book to be an emotional read. I sometimes wonder if the "sins of the father" should be passed on to the children and to which degree do we inherit our personality. I thought the novel was an interesting read on how forgiveness and perception.

  **Disclosure - I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion. This post may contain affiliate links which means I earn advertising and/or referral fees if you purchase an item through my link. Please note, there will be no extra charges to you. Thank you for your support.**

Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Candlewick (October 15, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0763697508
ISBN-13: 978-0763697501

Praise for WHAT MAKES US

What Makes Us is a heart-stopping, heartbreaking read — a book full of heart. Mittlefehldt’s thoughtful, nuanced exploration of identity pulled me in from the very first page, and I could barely put it down. Eran’s story takes a universal coming-of-age theme — finding out your parents aren’t who you thought they were — to a tightly wound and thrilling extreme. Most important, this book provides satisfying, much-needed representation of a contemporary, complex Jewish teen and his family. ―Lisa Rosinsky, author of Inevitable and Only

Provocative. ―Kirkus Reviews

A viral video reveals a teen’s dark family history, leaving him to reckon with his heritage, legacy, and identity in this fiery, conversation-starting novel.

Eran Sharon knows nothing of his father except that he left when Eran was a baby. Now a senior in high school and living with his protective but tight-lipped mother, Eran is a passionate young man deeply interested in social justice and equality. When he learns that the Houston police have launched a program to increase traffic stops, Eran organizes a peaceful protest.

But a heated moment at the protest goes viral, and a reporter connects the Sharon family to a tragedy fifteen years earlier — and asks if Eran is anything like his father, a supposed terrorist. Soon enough, Eran is wondering the same thing, especially when the people he’s gone to school and temple with for years start to look at him differently.

Timely, powerful, and full of nuance, Rafi Mittlefehldt’s sophomore novel confronts the prejudices, fears, and strengths of family and community, striking right to the heart of what makes us who we are.

You can purchase What Makes Us at the following Retailers:

Photo Credit: Damien Mittlefehldt

Rafi Mittlefehldt is a writer who has worked as a newspaper reporter, freelance theater critic, and children’s author. His debut novel was It Looks Like This. Rafi Mittlefehldt lives with his husband in New York City.

Shortly after the horrific Boston Marathon bombings in 2013, I read an article that mentioned one of the bombers having left behind a wife and three-year-old daughter. It was a throwaway line, but it stuck with me — I couldn’t stop thinking about that girl, who was too young to understand what had happened. When would she find out who her father was, and how would she process that? How would others react to learning about her family history? Would she keep it a secret? Would her mother?

What Makes Us began very simply as a story exploring those questions. But as I fleshed out the two main characters, Eran and Jade, their personalities took the story deeper, toward matters that are personal to me but relatable to so many. Eran’s volatility and tendency to react instinctively force him to confront issues of impulse control and anger management. And both characters’ uncertainty regarding their own pasts compels them to wrestle with self-determination and to ask, What makes a person? As the novel switches between Eran’s and Jade’s perspectives, we see them reluctantly frame and then try to answer this question, all against the backdrop of a community on the brink of chaos.

OCTOBER 15th TUESDAY Book Queen Reviews REVIEW
OCTOBER 16th WEDNESDAY Two Points of Interest REVIEW
OCTOBER 17th THURSDAY Crossroad Reviews REVIEW

OCTOBER 24th THURSDAY The Phantom Paragrapher REVIEW
OCTOBER 25th FRIDAY Movies, Shows, & Books REVIEW

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*

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Saturday, October 12, 2019

Book Review - What You Don't Know by Merry Jones + Giveaway

Photo Credit - Amazon

Nora Warren is an expert at hiding her dark side because she's has years of practice. She is the wife of a prominent lawyer and the mother of two small girls. She is able to hide her true nature of being a murderer. Nora feels responsible around her older brother's suicide decades earlier. She kept his existence a secret even, what really happened that day he died.

Nora suspects her husband, Dave of having an affair. She believes it's the wife of a US Senate candidate. However, when her friend's body is discovered, Nora is reminded of her own secrets. When her friend's death is ruled a suicide, how far will Nora go protect her life?

Personally, I thought the summary gave away more than it should because we didn't find out about her friend's death more than one-third of the way in. The story was interesting as it switched from the past and the present. Overall, I thought the novel was a "disturbing" read as we get to learn more about Nora.

  **Disclosure - I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion. This post may contain affiliate links which means I earn advertising and/or referral fees if you purchase an item through my link. Please note, there will be no extra charges to you. Thank you for your support.**

Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Filles Vertes Publishing (October 7, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1946802409
ISBN-13: 978-1946802408

Praise for MERRY JONES

"A nurturing and protective elementary school teacher is thrust into a web of unspeakable evil. Riveting, suspenseful and diabolical, Child's Play keeps the reader anxiously and eagerly turning the pages." ―Mary Jane Clark, New York Times best-selling author on Child's Play

"...thrill ride...packs a wallop. By the end, the body count of Child's Play adds up to eight (plus one rape), and delivers the shocking answer." ―Mystery Scene on Child's Play

"Surprising, dark, and even disturbing. A fragile and vulnerable young teacher faces a terrifying first day of school―and that is just the riveting beginning. Timely, provocative and sinister, this twisty story of family and friendship is not for the faint of heart." ―Hank Phillippi Ryan, Agatha, Anthony, and Mary Higgins Clark Award-winning author on Child's Play

"What's behind these horrors culminates in helter-skelter chaos. Elle's home becomes the center of a tragic universe, since she 'attracted tragedy and death.' That combination is magnified many fold as bodies pile up. And readers are left enchanted by another 'Elle-oquent' thriller." ―BookReporter on Child's Play

"The murder of the principal and a teacher on opening day at an elementary school, a terrifying scenario. In Child's Play Merry Jones showcases her unique skill in delivering this dark, very dark, thriller with a modicum of humor. The end, well, you won't see it coming amid the tortuous twists and turns. Merry Jones at her best!" ―Patricia Gussin, New York Times best-selling author of After the Fall on Child's Play

“In Jones's fast-paced third Elle Harrison novel (after 2014's Elective Procedures), the Philadelphia second-grade teacher believes that she failed Ty Evans, a former student who later confessed to killing his abusive father, but she hopes to redeem herself with his younger brother, Seth, now enrolled in her class. With Ty newly released from juvenile detention and clashing with their alcoholic mother, Seth's home life is unstable. When the draconian school principal and a humorless teacher―both of whom treated Ty cruelly―are murdered, Elle is torn between belief in his innocence and her desire to protect Seth. Meanwhile, the realtor charged with selling her house becomes increasingly aggressive, and when someone drugs and rapes Elle, she doesn't know whether to suspect the realtor or the killer. The identities of the rapist and murderer are obvious well before Elle or other characters identify them. Still, Elle's complex feelings toward her late husband―who was murdered while they were separated―add nuance and depth." ―Publishers Weekly on Child's Play

Nora Warren hides her dark side well because she's had years of practice.

The wife of a lawyer and mother of two girls, she slides under everyone’s radar, never revealing what she really is—a murderer.

At least, she feels like one.

Nora’s plagued by the secrets surrounding her older brother’s suicide decades earlier. Yet she lives as though he never existed.

Now, in her thirties, Nora suspects her husband, Dave, is having an affair with her friend, the wife of a leading US Senate candidate. When her friend’s body is discovered—another apparent suicide—Nora is left with haunting secrets and choices that dredge up her grim nature, the side of herself that no one ever sees. Will she act on her impulses? Mustn’t she?

How far will Nora go to protect the life she has built for herself?

You can purchase What You Don't Know at the following Retailers:

Photo Credit: Bill Eckland

Merry Jones is an award winning author who has written humor (eg. I LOVE HIM, BUT...), non-fiction (eg. BIRTHMOTHERS), and dark suspense (eg. the Zoe Hayes mysteries, the Harper Jennings thrillers, and the Elle Harrison suspense novels). Now, with her twentieth book,WHAT YOU DON'T KNOW, she's entering the domain of domestic psychological suspense. Jones taught college writing courses for fifteen years, and leads seminars, appears on panels at writing conferences, and, with fellow members of the Liars Club, cohosts a monthly writers' coffeehouse and the weekly Oddcast, a podcast devoted to writing and other creative endeavors. 

Jones's work has been translated into seven languages and has appeared in magazines, such as American Woman and Glamour. Jones is a member of the Authors Guild, Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and the Philadelphia Liars Club. The mother of two and grandmother of one (so far) lives with her husband in Philadelphia, where she is an avid rower on the Schuylkill River and a member of Vesper Boat Club. Visit her at

OCTOBER 11th FRIDAY A Court of Coffee and Books REVIEW 

OCTOBER 12th SATURDAY Movies, Shows, & Books REVIEW
OCTOBER 12th SATURDAY Sabrina's Paranormal Palace GUEST POST
OCTOBER 13th SUNDAY Two Points of Interest REVIEW

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*

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Thursday, October 10, 2019

Book Review - As the Light Fades by Catherine West + Giveaway

Photo Credit - Amazon

Liz Carlisle finds herself moving back to her childhood home while she is struggling to pick up the pieces of her life. When the family estate goes under renovation, the solitude she desperately needs forces her to look for a new home.  Matthew Stone senses that Liz has a lot of baggage and is willing to offer her place to stay with reduced rent. In return, Liz has to help Matt with caring for his rebellious niece, Mia. Liz barely has time for dealing with children and men. She was hesitant at first but she finds herself drawn the duo.

When Liz's ex-boyfriend is charged with assault, Liz is called to testify against him. However, she is afraid of going against him since he knows her darkest secret. Liz hopes that he will keep those secrets buried forever. Liz is struggling with telling the truth and trying to protect everything she has worked for and loves.

I thought the novel was a nice cozy read about forgiveness, friendship, and trust. The novel was told from a few different viewpoints such as Mia, Drake, Liz, and Matt. I like that it helped us get a well-rounded image of each character. I enjoyed reading the dynamics between Matt and Mia. This is the second book in the series but, it can be read as a standalone.

  **Disclosure - I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion. This post may contain affiliate links which means I earn advertising and/or referral fees if you purchase an item through my link. Please note, there will be no extra charges to you. Thank you for your support.**

As the Light Fades
By Catherine West
Women's Fiction
Paperback & ebook, 362 Pages
September 10th 2019 by KDP

Sometimes we’re placed in the strangest of circumstances for the most important reasons.

After her carefully constructed life crumbles, Liz Carlisle finds herself back on Nantucket, picking up the pieces. With the family estate under renovations, the solitude she craves seems out of reach.

Matthew Stone intends to steer clear of his new tenant. She’s carrying a load of baggage, but as long as she pays the rent, he’ll let her be. He’s got enough to deal with caring for his wayward niece, Mia.

Liz doesn’t have time for teenagers and her track record with men is abysmal, but an unlikely friendship forms between the three.

When her former boyfriend is charged with assault, Liz is called to testify against him. But he knows the darkest secrets of her life—secrets she’d hoped to keep buried forever, and he’s ready to reveal them. Telling the truth is the right thing to do, but it may cost her everything she’s worked so hard for, and all she’s come to love.

(Affiliate links included.)
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About the Author

Catherine West is an award-winning author of contemporary women’s fiction. When she’s not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border Collie for long walks or reading books by her favorite authors. She and her husband reside in Bermuda, and have two adult children and one beautiful granddaughter. Catherine is the winner of the 2015 Grace Award (Bridge of Faith) and the Romance Writers of America’s Faith, Hope & Love Reader’s Choice Award (The Things We Knew). Where Hope Begins released May 2018, and her latest novel, As the Light Fades, releases September 2019.

Tour Schedule

Tour Giveaway

One winner will receive a $75 Amazon Gift Card and a copy of The Things We Knew by Catherine West (print to US/CAN, ebook to INT)
Ends October 23, 2019

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Book Review - The Bootlace Magician by Cassie Beasley + Listicle - Magical Powers

Photo Credit - Amazon

Magician in training, Micah Tuttle is still learning the ropes while he is living and working at the Circus Mirandus. The circus is filled with magical acts like fire and light shows, strong men performing amazing feats, magical animals, and magicians from every corner of the world. Micah feels like he needs to prove he belongs here. 

Everything seems to be going well when a dangerous enemy from the past is threatening the circus. Micah has to work to figure out his own magic while trying to help protect the circus from malevolent forces.  Will Micah be able to help the other magicians to fight off the evil forces?

This book was deliciously fun and an entertaining read. I love how Micah was able to grow into his own and his magic.  While I enjoyed the novel, I was a bit disappointed that Micah wasn't more involved in the final battle.  Overall, the book was an enjoyable read and I can't wait to read more books from the author.

Topic - Fun Circus Names & Abilities -

I thought it would be a fun treat to create a few imaginary circus names and their magical powers! After all, who doesn't love a fun + silly name?! Leave your favorites in the comments!

- Ivy Flowers - the ability to grow flowers from every surface
- Snow Melt - the ability to turn water into snow
- Tsumani - the ability to control water
- Fire Eater - the ability to control fire because they ate too much hot sauce
- Whirlwind - the ability to control wind
- Creepy Curlie Charlie - a man with the ability to control insects
- Reptile Ralph - a man with the ability to control reptiles
- Flaming Aces - the ability to transfer energy to objects
- Hairy Albert - just a really hairy guy
- Gwen the Gnome - a woman with good luck
- Vesper the Sand Maker - a woman who can tell stories with sand
- Fierce Bob - security protection

**Disclosure - I received a free unedited copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion. This post may contain affiliate links which means I earn advertising and/or referral fees if you purchase an item through my link. Please note, there will be no extra charges to you. Thank you for your support.**