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Saturday, August 27, 2016

REVIEWS REVISITED - When Dreams Touch by Rosemary Hanrahan




Book Description
Caught between the 1980’s HIV/AIDS global pandemic and the devastating January 2010 earthquake in Haiti, three women strive to realize their dreams.

Pregnant and uneducated, 16-year-old Adelaide trades her dream of escaping the grinding poverty of her rural village for hopes of a better life for her unborn child. Kate, a young American physician, often finds her roles as mother and wife to be in conflict with her childhood dream to practice medicine in a third-world country. Giselle, a university-educated artist, lives in Port-au-Prince. While she sympathizes with the plight of her fellow Haitians, she envisions her and her family’s future as a comfortable life in the United States.

When the violent 1991 coup d’├ętat erupts in Haiti, these three women’s lives intersect and are forever changed. Despite different cultures and life circumstances, the women share a vision of a better future for their children and the troubled country of Haiti. Their personal stories of adversity, tragedy and triumph are embedded in the complex social, political and cultural climate that evolves when international assistance programs influence individuals and communities in the developing world. Often in startling contrast, the women portrayed in When Dreams Touch are united through mutual understanding and respect. With courage and perseverance, they confront the broader injustices of the world they live in and create a legacy of enduring hope.

"When Dreams Touch" was awarded: the 2015 Eric Hoffer First Horizon Award for superior work by a debut author, the 2015 Eric Hoffer Award for e-book fiction, the 2015 National Indie Excellence Award for regional fiction and the 2015 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Silver Award for historical fiction. The book was also selected as a Historical Finalist, as a First Novel Finalist, and as a General Fiction Finalist in the 2015 IAN Book of the Year Awards and featured in The US Review.

All proceeds from sales of When Dreams Touch go to health and education programs in Haiti. 

Available to buy from....

"Hanrahan, a physician who has a decade of firsthand experience living and working in Haiti and other developing countries, brings a realism to her novel that only one who has seen it for themselves can hope to portray." RECOMMENDED by the US Review

 "The author's voice is smooth and professional and she has a way with words that will pull you in and entertain you. In fact, I found it really hard to part with. I'm very impressed with the skill here.... All in all a wonderful read that I highly recommend." - 22nd Annual Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards

 
Sister Carmelle, the director of Fondwa Clinic in Haiti practicing drawing blood as part of training for the community’s HIV/AIDS program funded by the College of American Pathologists Foundation and Partners in Progress..Sister Carmelle passed awy in March 2012. "When Dreams Touch" is dedicated to this incredible woman. An inspiration and dear friend to me and so many others.

Our Book Review
This is a story that will grab and entice any reader, it is extremely hard to put down not knowing what will happen next. The author's very personal connection to Haiti, it's people and the tragedies it has endured brought this extremely humbling fictional story to life.  I felt sadness and was emotional even before starting the story as I read the author's moving notes on the earthquake in Haiti and the suffering it caused. This continued and the abundance of emotions felt whilst reading this story was very real.

Three women, from different classes and cultures, are drawn together in an amazing story striving for hope and a better future for Haiti.  Each with their own poignant story and selfless sacrifices, Kate, a doctor, Giselle, an artist and teenager Adelaide.  Although all the realistic characters gripped me, it was Kate who drew me in the most for her courage and strength to persevere in the effort to educate the people of Haiti on the prevention of HIV/Aids & unplanned pregnancies.  As the country finds itself in political chaos, earthquakes, slavery and abuse, most people would do anything to avoid the unpredictable clutches of Haiti yet the overwhelming need of the aid workers and local people to continue their mission came across very clear to the reader.

The author shows the Haiti people as having such strength, loyalty and kindness towards each other regardless of their own situations.  It is hard to imagine why medical procedures, we all take for granted in our own countries, even the simplest of things, are barren in third world countries such as Haiti.

This has to be one of the most realistic, heartfelt books I have read.


Our Rating
'5/5 doubled, tripled & quadrupled'

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About the Author

Dr. Rosemary Hanrahan Edwards knows how powerfully dreams can touch lives and bring people together, as they do in her first novel, When Dreams Touch. Her experience as a physician, involvement with international and public health non-profit organizations, and leadership in health, education and community development in Haiti are the inspiration of "When Dreams Touch." 

Rosemary started volunteering and working in developing countries, including Nepal, Botswana and Haiti, in 2001. Since then, she has touched the lives of many people through her tireless work and her life has been deeply touched by her many colleagues, friends and partners in the developing world. 

Rosemary was the 2003 and 2006 recipient of the College of American Pathologists Foundation Humanitarian Grant Award for her medical laboratory work in Haiti. In 2007, she received the Delta Omega National Honor Society Award for Best Master's Thesis in Public Health and the Outstanding Student Award for Academic Excellence from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. 

The mother of two adult sons, Rosemary currently lives in Western Pennsylvania, where she practices medicine as an independent consultant for anatomic and clinical pathology practices. In addition to volunteering as a consultant in international healthcare and writing grants for non-profit organizations, she has been a board member of Vincentian Collaborative System (VCS) since 2010. VCS provides a continuum of senior services in the Western Pennsylvania region. 

When she is not practicing her medical profession, Rosemary enjoys outdoor activities, travel, competing in triathlons and writing. When Dreams Touch is her first novel, which will be published under her pen name, Rosemary Hanrahan.

Find the author on the following sites...

In October, Rosemary will travel to Haiti, as a volunteer, with PA PS Team International, H3 Missions and Rotary international District 5330 to conduct cervical cancer screening and treatment for over 2000 Haitian women. Fifteen local Haitian doctors and nurses will also be trained so they can continue this critical screening effort. 

As depicted with Adelaide’s story in When Dreams Touch, Haiti has one of the highest cervical cancer rates in the world and treatment is extremely limited. The average Haitian woman who dies of cervical cancer leaves behind five and eight orphaned children. 

Your donation of $20 U.S. will cover the cost of a PAP smear and, if necessary, life-saving treatment for cervical cancer for one woman in Haiti. 

To make this life-saving U.S tax- deductible donation, please go to: http://bit.ly/H3MissionsGFM1


Hope you enjoyed revisiting my review! x


Sharon x


Are you a book reviewer or book blogger? Join our book tours reviewers team - Apply Here x


photo 
Sharon Martin
Blogger & Promoter at Beck Valley Books
          


Friday, August 26, 2016

Giveaway and Sweeps Linkup Time!! Loads of great giveaways!

and Life as Leels! This is a great place to list and find giveaways hosted all around the blogosphere by some great bloggers.
  • List your giveaways below, remember to add your end dates.
  • Hop over and enter 1 or 2 (or all) of the giveaways! If you're the lucky winner, we'd love to hear!
For more giveaways, sweeps and contests, check out our Giveaway Group on Facebook.


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Sharon x


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Sharon Martin
Blogger & Promoter at Beck Valley Books
          


Thursday, August 25, 2016

REVIEWS REVISITED - Have No Shame by Melissa Foster



About the Author
Melissa Foster is the award-winning author of four International bestselling novels. Her books have been recommended by USA Today's book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the Women's Nest, a social and support community for women, the World Literary Cafe. When she's not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on Fostering Success.
Melissa hosts an annual Aspiring Authors contest for children, she's written for Calgary's Child Magazine and Women Business Owners Magazine, and has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Melissa's interests include her family, reading, writing, painting, friends, helping others see the positive side of life, and visiting Cape Cod.

Melissa is available to chat with book clubs and welcomes comments and emails from her readers. Visit Melissa on The Women's Nest or her personal website.

Follow the author 
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Book Description
The racially-charged prejudice of the deep South forces eighteen-year-old Alison Tillman to confront societal norms—and her own beliefs—when she discovers the body of a hate crime victim, and the specter of forbidden love turns her safe, comfortable world upside down.

Alison has called Forrest Town, Arkansas home for the past eighteen years. Her mother’s Blue Bonnet meetings, her father toiling night and day on the family farm, and the division of life between the whites and the blacks are all Alison knows. The winter of 1967, just a few months before marrying her high school sweetheart, Alison finds the body of a black man floating in the river, and she begins to view her existence with new perspective. The oppression and hate of the south, the ugliness she once was able to avert her eyes from, now demands her attention.

When a secretive friendship with a young black man takes an unexpected romantic turn, Alison is forced to choose between her predetermined future, and the dangerous path that her heart yearns for.

HAVE NO SHAME is an emotionally compelling coming of age novel featuring a young woman who cannot reconcile the life she wants with the one she’s been brought up to live.Have No Shame will resonate with anyone who has ever fallen in love, and those who have been forced to choose between what they know in their hearts to be true, and what others would like them to believe.

Buy the book from......



Our Book Review
I was really surprised at the beginning of the book by the author giving the reader the option of reading the book with or without the southern dialect in the narrative, this is the first time I have come across this and truly appreciated the thoughtfulness.  I chose to read the book without the southern dialect.  The main story almost started immediately and the author's style of writing really brought the story and the characters alive.   I was so drawn to the storyline that I found the book very hard to put down.  I am quite a slow reader normally but actually read this book in three days which is quite a record for me, I just could not stop turning those pages!

Alison is only 18 and has been sheltered and protected all her life by her domineering father who she absolutely adores.  For years she has had deep rooted beliefs drilled into her and more importantly that she has learnt 'her place' in life.  She has lived all her life in a segregated world of whites and coloureds, the coloured people worked on her father's farm or lived in the town, they did not deserve to be spoken to or even be acknowledged, that was the norm.  She has never had to question these beliefs and considered them the natural way to live until one day she finds a coloured man's body, Byron Bingham, laying dead and well beaten in the river.  Unbeknownst to Alison at the time, this event will turn her life upside down and inside out.

Alison cannot help but question why this has happened and just how this tragedy must have affected the dead man's family.  She begins to feel shame and disgust for the way she, as well as others, have behaved towards the coloured people in her town and even starts to hate her fiance Jimmy Lee, who finds the chasing and beating of coloured's entertainment, he even let's her younger brother join in on the so called fun.  What is more, Maggie her older sister who schools away in New York, knows of a different world where whites and coloureds integrate well and starts to open her eyes to a whole new world.

Still engaged and planning her wedding, she meets kind and gentle Jackson, her soul partner whose soft love she falls deeply for but cannot allow her true love of a coloured man to continue for fear of what would happen to Jackson and the possibility of losing her father's love completely.

The book will have you hooked as you follow the tense rollercoaster story and the shocking and chaotic civil right era along with the sympathisers who help to try and make it a fairer and safer place to live for everyone.  I could have read so much more about Alison and Jackson's relationship, it was so beautiful.

This is quite a powerful and emotional story that at times made me feel pain, sadness and even anger at the way life was so different then and how people were treated so horrendously.  Yet the story is written in such a wonderful way that there is also so much beauty, love and respect that it will really pull on your heart. I felt myself wanting to shout out to Alison but had to remind myself that her world was completely different to the world we now take for granted and decisions could not be taken at will.

Truly a highly recommended emotive read that won't just leave you after you have turned the last page.  It will certainly leave you wanting more and I cannot wait to read much more from this author.

Our ratingPhotobucket 

Hope you enjoyed revisiting my review! x


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Sharon x

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photo 
Sharon Martin
Blogger & Promoter at Beck Valley Books
          




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