Original Techno Thrillers, Book Clubs and an Awesome Giveaway!

>>  Thursday, November 20, 2014

So I'm touring author, E.J. Simon, one of the most accommodating and fun authors to work with. He is the kind of author who loves to connect with his readers. You know, the kind book bloggers love. Let me tell you about his books, his giveaway and his offer to book clubs.

E.J.'s first book Death Never Sleeps, published on August 15, 2013, achieved a #2 position on Amazon Kindle and entered numerous bestseller lists in the U.S. and abroad. Initially self-published, Simon/Zef began publishing Death Never Sleeps after it moved over 80,000 copies within the first year. Don't you just love success stories like this?

About the book:

Alex Nicholas was the consummate Queens bookie: fast cars, faster women, and friends in all the wrong places. But Alex had a secret, unknown to everyone, even his straight-arrow CEO brother, Michael. The hours Alex spent alone working on his computer had led to an astounding discovery, one that would forever forge a link between the brothers.

E.J. Simon's fast-paced, unexpected thriller, Death Never Sleeps, begins at the end of Alex's life, gunned down in his favorite restaurant in Queens, N.Y. It looks like just another Mob hit--or was it? Alex's death forces Michael to return to his borough roots. Colorful characters and frightening business "partners" reach out to him as Alex's questionable past begins to surface.

Trouble is clawing its way toward him when Michael gets a message from someone he never thought would contact him--Alex himself. Convinced it must be a trick of the Internet or some malicious hacker, Michael ignores it. But as the death toll continues to rise and a disembodied voice invades his bedroom, Michael starts to suspect his brother was more than a former athlete who fell in with a bad crowd.

Could Alex's gamble to live forever have forged a link between artificial intelligence and something--more? As Michael races the clock to solve the mystery of his brother's murder and keep himself and his family from being killed he falls deeper down the rabbit hole. Will his virtually resurrected brother be a force for good as Alex's ability to manipulate our technological world grows? And if he grows too big, will there still be time to hit the escape key?

Although the story tackles many serious issues, the scenes take place not only in New York City but in exotic locations such as Paris, Saint-Tropez, Rome - and in some of the world's finest restaurants. 

About the book:

Some of the most powerful people in the world want to kill Michael Nicholas. Only his brother, Alex can save him - the problem is that Alex is dead. It's been almost a year since Alex Nicholas, a Queens based underworld Boss, was gunned down. After Alex's brutal murder, Michael inherited not only his brother's business - but his enemies. 

Michael is now a key player in a world he once feared. By day, he is the head of a Fortune 500 company by night, the CEO of Tartarus, one of the worlds largest illegal gambling operations. Before his death, Alex invested heavily in breakthrough artificial intelligence software so that he could live forever. It worked. In his virtual form, Alex can communicate with Michael and monitor information - and people - in ways the NSA would envy. It is Alex who discovers Michael's life is in danger. He detects plots that reach from the darkest corners of Queens, to the highest officials in the Vatican - and they all want Michael dead. 

Michael is now in a race to save his life, but he is never alone - Alex is there to help him navigate through this maze of life and death. Also protecting Michael from the forces closing in around him is Sindy Steele, a beautiful - and lethal bodyguard. How far is Michael willing to go to save his own life - and that of his family? Guided only by a familiar face on a computer screen, will the information Alex discovers allow Michael to go from being the hunted to the hunter?

Offer to Book Clubs:

Are you part of a book club? Do its members like to read suspense/thriller novels? Here's an offer from author E.J. Simon for book clubs.

What the Book Club receives:
  • Free call in from E.J.
  • If you are within 50 miles, he'll visit your book club for free.
  • Book club moderator receives free book.
  • Book club moderator gets 10% of sales for book clubs with over 20 members. For book clubs under 20 members, moderator gets a 25$ gift card.
  • Book club members receive 20% discount on all books - even additional gift books. After book club meeting, members can gift 5 free e books each. Moderator gets unlimited free e-books after book club meeting is held.
  • Bookmarks and other promotional materials
  • Tag in E.J.'s tweets (38.6 K followers) and social media.
Doesn't that sound like something fun for your book club? If this offer interests you, please let me know by emailing me at ireadbooktours (at) gmail (dot) com. The publicist Don Allen is super fun to work with and he will be in contact.

Want to meet the author?

E.J. Simon was the CEO of GMAC Global Relocation Services (a division of GM) and the Managing Director of Douglas Elliman, the largest real estate company in NY.

He is a consultant to many leading private equity firms and has held senior level positions at prominent financial services companies.

He is a world traveler, food enthusiast and lives in Connecticut. Death Never Sleeps is his first novel. His second novel, Death Logs In, will be available in October 2014.

Connect with him: Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter

And now for the giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

These books are currently touring. Follow the tour and read the reviews here!


Mailbox Monday and It's Monday, What Are You Reading? Nov 17 Edition

>>  Monday, November 17, 2014

Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia who now blogs at To Be Continued. It is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. Mailbox Monday now has a permanent home on its blog. Link up to share your MM.

So I just got back from the Toronto International Book Fair. What an exciting event! It was a smaller version of BEA. I came home with piles of books, most of which I shipped back by courier, so I will be highlighting them throughout this week and showing you my stash on next Monday's mailbox.

I shared a booth with World's Best Story, a fantastic agency of which iRead Book Tours, my virtual book tour company, is a sponsor.

World's Best Story and iRead Book Tours
Me with creators of WBS Vincent Salera and Thomas Lefebvre

World's Best Story and iRead Book Tours

The Kick-off Party of this event was on Thursday evening, which I attended. There was dancing, food, drinks and lots of music with live drumming!

World's Best Story announced the winners of their contest on Saturday. Here is a short clip of the announcement.

If any of you bloggers are aspiring writers, have a manuscript hidden in a drawer somewhere or have self-published and own all rights to your work, you HAVE to enter this content. The prizes are a writer's dream come true! Submission entries start again in January 2015. More info at World's Best Story.

This meme is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. This is where we keep track of what we are currently reading and plan to read.  The kidlit version is hosted by Jen at Teach Mentor Texts.

As you can see, not much happening in the reading department as I got ready for the Book Fair.

Read and Reviewed:

Loving Lucianna by Joyce DiPastena (Book Spotlight and Giveaway)

Currently reading: Too many snippets of several books...

Do you like to listen to audiobooks? Here's an offer to review The Publicist by Christina George.

Have a great reading week!



Loving Lucianna by Joyce DiPastena (Book Spotlight and Giveaway)

>>  Monday, November 10, 2014

Loving Lucianna: A Hearts in Autumn Romance by Joyce DiPastena
Sable Tyger Books
Published: October 11, 2014

Available in paperback and ebook

This book is touring with Italy Book Tours from Nov 10 to 21. Follow the tour here.
About the Book:

Sir Balduin de Soler gave up long ago on love. He never had the means to support a wife until an unexpected advancement in his fifties allows him to reassess his future just as the lovely Lucianna enters his life.

Lucianna Fabio harbors a secret, painful memory from her past that has kept her unwed, as well. Now in her forties, she thought herself too old to marry until she meets Sir Balduin. Now suddenly their lonely autumn lives feel very much like spring again . . . until Lucianna’s brother appears without warning and threatens to revive the secret that will destroy Lucianna’s second chance at love.

Praise for Joyce DiPastena's Books:

“Illuminations of the Heart was truly superb. I was hooked by the first line, and in love with the hero by the third page.”
  — Donna Hatch, Author of The Stranger She Married 

"Loyalty's Web took me on a journey into the twelfth century that I will not soon forget. A tale of intrigue, manipulation, lust and conflict, this book was exquisitely written and showed how love can defy any evil that comes against it."   
  --You Gotta Read Reviews 

“Every story I read, written by Joyce DiPastena, makes me fall in love with this time period more and more. Medieval France is brought to life again, in this story about the fair maiden, Mathilde, and her handsome knight, Etienne.”
  — Sheila Staley, LDS Women’s Book Reviews

Buy the book:

Meet the author: 

Joyce DiPastena dreamed of green medieval forests while growing up in the dusty copper mining town of Kearny, Arizona. She filled her medieval hunger by reading the books of Thomas B. Costain (where she fell in love with King Henry II of England), and later by attending the University of Arizona where she graduated with a degree in history, specializing in the Middle Ages. The university was also where she completed her first full-length novel…set, of course, in medieval England. Later, her fascination with Henry II led her to expand her research horizons to the far reaches of his “Angevin Empire” in France, which became the setting of her first published novel, Loyalty’s Web (a 2007 Whitney Award Finalist).

Joyce is a multi-published, multi-award winning author who specializes in sweet medieval romances heavily spiced with mystery and adventure. She lives with her two cats, Clio and Glinka Rimsky-Korsokov, in Mesa, Arizona.

Connect with Joyce:  Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter

And now for the giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Mailbox Monday and It's Monday, What Are You Reading? Nov 10 Edition

>>  Sunday, November 9, 2014

Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia who now blogs at To Be Continued. It is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. Mailbox Monday now has a permanent home on its blog. Link up to share your MM.

What a hectic weekend! My cousin got married and well, Italian weddings can wear you out. Lots of food and lots of dancing. My favorite are the songs from the eighties and those Italian oldies I hear at every family wedding, bringing back memories of my father teaching me as a child to dance with my small feet on his shoes so I could follow in his footsteps, literally!

BTW, I will be at the Toronto International Book Fair this upcoming weekend (Nov 13-16) Anyone going? Come visit me at booth 627 with World's Best Story.

I have some great giveaways happening so stop by and enter. See my left sidebar. Do you like to listen to audiobooks? Here's an offer to review The Publicist by Christina George.

In my mailbox this past week:

This children's book will be on tour with iRead Book Tours from Dec 1 to 12. Watch for my review with my son and for a giveaway.

Liesl's Ocean Rescue by Barbara Krasner

Lisel’s Ocean Rescue by noted children’s author Barbara Krasner, recounts the story of Liesl Joseph, a 10-year-old girl aboard the ill-fated MS St. Louis. On May 13, 1939, together with her parents and 900 other Jewish refugees they left Germany on the MS. St Louis attempting to seek temporary asylum in Cuba.

This cookbook and celebration of life will be on tour with Italy Book Tours in January.

Eating Heart by Betti Chiesi

There’s a lot of talk, and probably too many books, about food. Bookshops overflow with cookbooks ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous - a vast, intimidating edifice of knowledge that can strike fear, or at least circumspection, in those who wish to explore it. A simple and vital function like eating thus assumes disproportionate significance. Instead of making someone happy by preparing them a tasty meal, we complicate this loving act by piling on lashings of subtexts and agendas. 

I’d like in this book to go against that trend and restore to food its affectionate and domestic character, by describing food as I got to know it. We grow up in the kitchen. We lick our fingers, steal, relax in the warmth of the stove, draw on misty windows in the winter, learn poems by heart – sheltered by the aroma of some surprise that’s cooking. So the idea is to take you, if you will let me, to places where I’ve been, where I grew up and where adults introduced kids to the world of flavors by using the most effective of tools – affection. 

I’d like this book to be a little life raft in the stormy ocean of global cooking, a tiny haven sheltered from the imposition of originality at all costs. I’d like it to help readers re-discover all the consolatory force of simple spaghetti with tomato sauce. Through recipes and portraits, I’ve tried to present the people who left a mark in what I call my “gastronomic sentimental” education, a process that’s grown beyond the family of my youth and out into the patch of world that I, in turn, have woven around myself.

This meme is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. This is where we keep track of what we are currently reading and plan to read.  The kidlit version is hosted by Jen at Teach Mentor Texts.

Read and Reviewed:

Maggie in White by Sharon Burch Toner (reviewed by Sandra) Sandra says, "This is the author’s most ambitious work and in my opinion, her best, as she successfully weaves in mystery, murder, art forgery, Nazi intrigue, romance, adventure on the high seas and the ever-present close relationship between mother and daughter."

Venice in the Moonlight by Elizabeth McKenna (reviewed by Sandra) win one of 8 copies!

Currently reading: Too many snippets of several books...

Have a great reading week!



Venice in the Moonlight by Elizabeth McKenna (Review and Giveaway)

>>  Friday, November 7, 2014

Venice in the Moonlight by Elizabeth McKenna
ISBN: 9781492720195
Published: October 2013
Trade paperback, 194 pages

Twenty-year-old Marietta Gatti is banished from her in-laws’ Verona villa upon the death of her faithless husband. With nowhere else to go, she decides to return to Venice, hoping to reconcile with her estranged father. Upon arriving  there,  Marietta discovers that her father has died in mysterious circumstances.  Determined to find out what happened to him, she begins her investigations, aided by Nico Foscari, a rich, handsome Italian playboy, who is also blind. This is the first blind hero I've encountered, but it somehow works.  Marietta  is strong, independent, resilient and very likable And the hero isn't too bad, either. He develops into an honourable man by the end.

I liked the fact that the story is set in 18th century Venice during carnival time, with its masked balls, beautiful gowns, luxurious villas, and historical people like Casanova, the Foscari family and the artist Tiepolo.  I enjoyed learning something about the early days of Venice as a great trading center for silks, spices, and exotic goods. I would have enjoyed reading more about the history.

Most everything in the novel is believable. The only thing that isn't too realistic is Marietta’s nighttime excursions, dressed up as a man, into the homes of rich Venetians in her attempts to resolve the mystery of her father’s death. I don’t think it’s something a young woman of the day would do.

This is a quick, easily read historical fiction that also contains elements of mystery, revenge, friendship and romance (a couple of non-explicit sexual scenes.)

I hope the author favors us with more worthy tales.

Note: This book is rated S (mild)
To follow the tour and read more reviews, please visit Italy Book Tours page for Venice in the Moonlight.

About the Author:
Elizabeth McKenna works as a full-time technical writer/editor for a large software company. Though her love of books reaches back to her childhood, she had never read romance novels until one Christmas when her sister gave her the latest bestseller by Nora Roberts. She was hooked from page one (actually, she admits it was the first love scene). She had always wanted to write fiction, so she combined her love of history, romance and a happy ending to write her debut novel Cera's Place. Her short story, The Gypsy Casts a Spell, is available for free on her website. She hopes you will enjoy her latest novel, Venice in the Moonlight, as much as others have enjoyed her previous works.

Elizabeth lives in Wisconsin with her understanding husband, two beautiful daughters, and a sassy Labrador. When she isn't writing, working, or being a mom, she's sleeping.

Connect with her: Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter

And now for the giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Reviewed by Sandra

Disclosure: Thanks to Laura Fabiani  from Italy Book Tours for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.

"The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them."
— Mark Twain

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