Tuesday, April 20, 2021

The Mad Ramblings of a Joker ~ Lone Star Book Blog Tours Notable Quotable & Giveaway!

By Brandon Dillon

Publisher: Paper Airplane Publishing
Pub Date: January 24, 2021
Pages: 156 pages
Categories: Poetry / Psychology / PTSD / Veteran Stories

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Poet Brandon Dillon makes his debut with The Mad Ramblings of a Joker, a brutally honest collection full of metaphor and vibrant imagery. His work covers topics such as PTSD, depression, and heartbreak, and softer moments of hope and reflective peace.

His poetry is deep and unforgettable, a beacon for a dark world that needs a friend to say, “I’ve been there. I understand.”


Brandon Dillon is an award-winning poet who writes from the soul about his life as a child born into poverty, his travels around the world as a U.S. Marine, love won and love lost, and the trauma that life brings. If you ask him his biggest accomplishments thus far, he will tell you they are the laughter and tears of the audience as he reads his words on the stage for them. He is amazed when people feel his emotion and in turn show him their emotion. 

He has twice performed by invitation, reading his poetry at the FASOLT Fine Arts Expo, and has participated twice in “Color: Story,” a collaboration between poets and visual artists, winning first place in 2019. When he is not working or taking care of his two sons, Brandon frequents open mic readings for poetry and all genres of writing with the group Writespace and performs at open mic and slam poetry events with the group Write About Now, at times reading something he just wrote that day. 

He is never far from his notebook, fitting his writing in between shifts at work, kids and homework, and sleeping. Brandon lives in Houston, Texas.

Connect with Paper Airplane Publishing:


Autographed copy of The Mad Ramblings of a Joker
+ leather journal (5.7'' x 8.5'')
(US only. Ends midnight, CDT, April 26, 2021)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

or visit the blogs directly:


Notable Quotable

Hall Ways Blog



Missus Gonzo






StoreyBook Reviews



Forgotten Winds



It's Not All Gravy


Top Five List

The Clueless Gent


Author Interview

Texas Book Lover



Reading by Moonlight

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Friday, April 16, 2021

The Takeaway Men ~ Lone Star Book Blog Tours Book Blitz!

By Meryl Ain

Publisher: SparkPress
Pub Date: August 4th, 2020
Pages: 265 pages
Categories: Historical / Jewish Literature / Sibling Fiction / Holocaust

With the cloud of the Holocaust still looming over them, twin sisters Bronka and Johanna Lubinski and their parents arrive in the US from a Displaced Persons Camp. In the years after World War II, they experience the difficulties of adjusting to American culture as well as the burgeoning fear of the Cold War. 

Years later, the discovery of a former Nazi hiding in their community brings the Holocaust out of the shadows. As the girls get older, they start to wonder about their parents’ pasts, and they begin to demand answers. But it soon becomes clear that those memories will be more difficult and painful to uncover than they could have anticipated.

 Poignant and haunting, The Takeaway Men explores the impact of immigration, identity, prejudice, secrets, and lies on parents and children in mid-twentieth-century America.


“At a time when the darkness of the Holocaust is being whitewashed, Meryl Ain’s remarkable debut novel illuminates the postwar Jewish American landscape like a truth-seeking torch. An emotionally rich and lovingly told saga of survivors, with great sensitivity to what was lost, buried, and resurrected.” Thane Rosenbaum, author of The Golems of Gotham, Second Hand Smoke, and Elijah Visible.

“The author’s tale is sensitively composed, a thoughtful exploration into the perennially thorny issues of religious identity, assimilation, and the legacy of suffering.” Kirkus Reviews

Purchase Links: 

Amazon | Bookshop | Barnes and Noble 

AppleBooks | GooglePlay | Indiebound

Meryl Ain’s articles and essays have appeared in Huffington Post, The New York Jewish Week, The New York Times, Newsday and other publications. In 2014, she co-authored the award-winning book, The Living Memories Project: Legacies That Last, and in 2016, wrote a companion workbook, My Living Memories Project Journal.  She is a sought-after speaker and has been interviewed on television, radio, and podcasts. She is a career educator and is proud to be both a teacher and student of history. She has also worked as a school administrator.

The Takeaway Men is the result of her life-long quest to learn more about the Holocaust, a thirst that was first triggered by reading The Diary of Anne Frank in the sixth grade. While teaching high school history, she introduced her students to the study of the Holocaust. At the same time, she also developed an enduring fascination with teaching about and researching the Julius and Ethel Rosenberg case. An interview with Robert Meeropol, the younger son of the Rosenbergs, is featured in her book, The Living Memories Project. The book also includes an interview with Holocaust survivor, Boris Chartan, the founder of the Holocaust Museum and Tolerance Center of Nassau County, New York.

Meryl holds a BA from Queens College, an MA from Teachers College, Columbia University, and an Ed.D. from Hofstra University. She is a lifetime member of Hadassah and an active supporter of UJA-Federation of New York.  She lives in New York with her husband, Stewart. They have three married sons and six grandchildren. This is her first novel.

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Friday, April 9, 2021

Cleo Can Tie A Bow ~ Book Blog Tour Review & Giveaway

By Sybrina Durant

Book Details:
Genre: Children's Fiction (Ages 3-7)
Category: Children's Picture Book
Pages: 38 pages
Publisher: Sybrina Publishing
Release date: Sept 27th, 2020
Content Rating: G for everyone.



Book Description:

Cleo can tie a bow. She learned from a rabbit and a fox. They can help you learn to tie one, too. Great parent-child activity for learning to tie a bow with any ribbon or string - including shoe laces.

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add to Goodreads


Book Review:

HALL WAYS BLOG: BOOK REVIEW: First, beware the book trailer for Cleo Can Tie A Bow because you will not be able to get the little jingle out of your head. But, the book trailer does give you a delightful peek into the equally delightful book that author Sybrina Durant has written to help kids learn to tie bows.

The illustrations in Cleo Can Tie A Bow are top-notch, and I will look for other media illustrated by Pumudi Gardiyawasam. From the pink-o-rama of Cleo’s bedroom and world to the lush greens of the outdoors, the artwork is eye-catching and will completely immerse readers in the story. The wide, expressive eyes of all the characters will also draw-in readers and help establish a connection. The color palettes (there are really two sets since there is a story within the story) and the skillful artistry are sure to make the book a hit with readers young and old. Make sure those grubby hands are washed before reading because kids will want to touch the richly-drawn pages.

Author Sybrina Durant begins the book with a direct message to the parents, and she ends the book with a direct message to the readers. These bookends underscore that the book shines best when an adult and child read it together. I can imagine the giggles and hilarity of going through the steps to tie your own bows, either by following Cleo’s model or that of the rabbit and the fox, but that lesson is just one aspect of the book. The format lends itself to all kinds of learning opportunities across several subjects beyond tactile skills. Kids could count the bows or butterflies, or they could compare the shapes, but also there are discussions that could take place about kindness, helpfulness, and even obsession. (But truly, can you ever have too many bows?)

The school librarian in me gives high marks to a book that would be fabulous to have on the shelves to share with young readers, and the Mimi in me can’t wait to snuggle with my granddaughter and read Cleo Can Tie A Bow together. (I will have to stay on my toes since she currently likes to lick all her books!)

Thank you to the author and iRead Book Tours for giving me a gorgeous print copy in exchange for my honest opinion – the only kind I give.



Meet the Author:

I've been writing creative and technical works for years. Many of my songs are on YouTube and iTunes. Two of my books are available as eBooks online. They are Learn To Tie A Tie with the Rabbit and the Fox" and Sybrina's Phrase Thesaurus.

connect with the author: website ~ twitter ~ facebook ~ pinterest ~ instagram ~ goodreads

Enter the Giveaway:   

ONE WINNER: softcover copy of CLEO CAN TIE A BOW + t-shirt
+$25 Amazon Gift Card
(USA only; ends April 26, 2021)

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Tour Schedule:

Apr 6 -
 Laura's Interests – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Apr 6 – Gina Rae Mitchell – book review / giveaway
Apr 6 - A Mama's Corner of the World – book review / giveaway
Apr 7 - Rockin' Book Tours – book spotlight / giveaway
Apr 7 – Lisa's Reading – book review / giveaway
Apr 8 - Locks, Hooks and Books – book review / giveaway
Apr 8 - Cover Lover Book Review - book review / author interview / giveaway
Apr 9 – Hall Ways Blog – book review / giveaway
Apr 9 - Books, Tea, Healthy Me – book review / guest post / giveaway
Apr 12 – Splashes of Joy – book review / author interview / giveaway
Apr 12 - Sefina Hawke's Books – book spotlight
Apr 12 – Kam's Place – book review
Apr 13 – Chit Chat with Charity – book review / author interview
Apr 13 - The Bespectacled Mother – book review
Apr 14 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book review / author interview / giveaway
Apr 14 - The Momma Spot – book review / giveaway
Apr 15 – Reading is My Passion – book review
Apr 15 - The Book Review Crew – book review / guest post / giveaway
Apr 16 – She Just Loves Books – book review / giveaway
Apr 16 - icefairy's Treasure Chest - book review / giveaway
Apr 19 – I'm All About Books – book spotlight / giveaway
Apr 19 - Leels Loves Books – book review / giveaway