Blog Tour: Allure of the Gypsies by Charles E. Yallowitz

A most excellent blog tour poem by Ionia Martin for ‘Allure of the Gypsies’ by Charles Yallowitz.

readful things blog

New Year is here! New Year is here!
So let’s all head to Windemere!
Grab a drite and dance a jig
no matter if you’re small (Charles)
or big…

The final day of this blog tour,
in case you haven’t heard of “Allure”
Check out the links provided below
and while your at it tell those you know

The third book in the series is out
so find out what the buzz is about
take a half-elf by the hand
and dance away to the gypsy band

Make a tweet and spread the news
hit facebook (support our Jew)
I mean…
Hit Facebook and reblog too

If he hasn’t killed me yet,
this next year is a sure bet
But I do the best I can,
for Luke and Nyx and the author man….

Happy New year peeps! Check out Legends of Windemere author Charles E. Yallowitz


And check…

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Come Pour the Wine by Cynthia Freeman

ComepourCome Pour the Wine by Cynthia Freeman


New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Freeman’s powerful tale of a woman in search of her sacred heritage, who must decide how much she is willing to sacrifice for love

Nineteen-year-old Janet Stevens leaves Wichita, Kansas, for New York—and a glamorous career as a model. Manhattan in the 1950s is a heady place for a sheltered Midwesterner. A new friend helps her discover her forefathers’ faith, but from the moment she sees Bill McNeil at a party, Janet senses she’s found her future. When they marry, she believes she’s finally gotten what she always wanted—not fame or fortune, but the love that will fulfill and sustain her as nothing else ever could.

From the passionate throes of youth to the stings and shocks of middle age, Come Pour the Wine draws a brilliant portrait of a marriage and a family in search of its roots, written with Cynthia Freeman’s trademark insight and compassion.

I gave this book three stars out of five

My thoughts:

I enjoyed this book, up to a point. The story, rather than simply being a straightforward romance seemed to develop into a story about second chances. I gave it three stars because of, amongst other things, what I felt was needless wordiness, making it difficult for me to fully engage with it. I wasn’t quite sure where this book was going, since it got to about the mid-point, and in my mind I was already expecting it to end.

I found it difficult to identify with one of the main characters, Bill. I was driven wild by his stupidity, selfishness and innate stubbornness. He could not let go of his personal idea of freedom and ultimately lost, what he later realised, was the best thing he had ever had. I started with the feeling that Bill was going to be able to change, to grow into his position in life and his family responsibilities, but he never quite achieved that.

I liked Janet as a character and enjoyed seeing how she dealt with the problems that she faced. It was also interesting to see how different generations viewed the same, perceived, moral issues. There was a degree of hypocrisy and double standards in how they viewed things that they had done when young, when faced with their children doing it, which was interesting to see.

I enjoyed the ending. It was good to see how Janet rebuilt her life and had that second chance at happiness

All in all I experienced mixed feelings about this book. I enjoyed that Janet and Bill both got what, in my opinion, they deserved, but I felt that the book was too long for what it achieved.

This review is based on a digital review copy provided by Netgalley and the publisher Open Road Media as part of the Retro Reads program.

Allure of the Gypsies Blog Tour

Legends of Windemere: Allure of the Gypsies has Arrived!!!

Allure Final Cover

Buy it Here!

Book Blurb:

The epic adventures of Luke Callindor and Nyx continue after their journey down the L’Dandrin River in Legends of Windemere: Prodigy of Rainbow Tower.

Reeling from his failures in their previous adventure, Luke leads his surviving friends to his hometown.  With his mind frayed and his confidence fractured, Luke must face the family and fiancée he left behind.  It is a brief homecoming when the vampire Kalam attacks the village, forcing Luke and Nyx to break into his lair for the key to resurrecting a fallen warrior.  It is a quest that will force both young heroes to reach new heights of strength and power that they never knew they had.

Can Luke and Nyx escape the lair of Kalam?  And, what role will the orphaned gypsy Sari play in their looming destiny?

Wondering what you’re in for? Check out the praise earned by the first two installments of this high fantasy series.

wattpad beginning

Review Excerpts for Legends of Windemere: Beginning of a Hero:

“I greatly enjoyed the vivid characters, the gripping plot, and the refreshingly unique writing style (present tense). ” – kdillmanjones

“This is a sophisticated and delightful read. I recommend this book to lovers of Fantasy or to General Fiction readers. The story is compelling enough to entertain a wide audience.” – John Howell


Review Excerpts for Legends of Windemere: Prodigy of Rainbow Tower:

“Something I find unique about this fantasy novel that I don’t often find in others, is that the hero, Luke Callindor is rather of the unlucky variety. He does not get everything he asks for, he stumbles, falls, gets knocked down (literally)and taught lessons as he goes. This is helping him to grow into the hero that was promised in the first book.” – Ionia Martin

“Nyx is such a strong personality. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her and more of the other characters, new and already known, with the rich tapestry of Windemere unfolding in between intense actions scenes and moments of kindness and budding friendships.” – Danielle Taylor

“Almost like the Harry Potter series. The books start out so young and innocent, but by the last book – watch out!” —  Momto4Booklover

Now you know about the books in this wonderful series, meet the author behind them, Charles Yallowitz.

Charles author photo B&W

Author Biography:

Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.



Twitter-  @cyallowitz


Another big event to celebrate the debut of Legends of Windemere: Allure of the Gypsies is that I’m holding a Goodreads Giveaway!  The prize is a paperback copy of ALL THREE LEGENDS OF WINDEMERE NOVELS.  Winners will be picked at the end of December, so go HERE to enter the contest.

Pirates: The Reason Why the Rum Is Gone

You can never have too many pirates, or indeed, too much rum.

Legends of Windemere

A few weeks ago I wrote a list of various thieves types and said that I didn’t have to explain pirates.  Well, it has been pointed out that there are different types of pirates.  Forgive me if I’m wrong on the real types, but I’m trying here.  So, here’s a list of types with a few real, but most fiction:

  1. Pirate–  This is a general character type where you make them nothing more than a rum-drinking, foul-tempered roamer of the open sea.  There’s no real specialty and they use your standard pirate package.  A lot of personality helps to make this a popular character.
  2. Privateer– This type of pirate is government sanctioned.  In fiction, they work for a kingdom and rob the enemies of the throne.  A real world example would be Sir Francis Drake.  They typically have the usual skills of a pirate, but with less grittiness…

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Chip Crockett’s Christmas Carol by Elizabeth Hand

ChipChip Crockett’s Christmas Carol by Elizabeth Hand

Description from Goodreads

The father of an autistic child dreams of a Christmas miracle in this moving short novel nominated for the World Fantasy Award—proceeds to be donated to Autism Speaks

When Brendan touches his four-year-old son, Peter screams and pulls away. He suffers from a form of autism known as Pervasive Developmental Disorder and has no idea how much his father wants to make him smile. Their relationship is tortured, but Christmas is coming, and a miracle might come with it.

An unlikely harbinger of the holidays arrives in the form of Tony Kemper, Brendan’s childhood friend who’s never quite gotten over his glory days as a 1970s punk sensation. Broke, unemployed, and homeless, Tony has recently become obsessed with the long-canceled Chip Crockett television show, a beloved memory from when they were kids. Not a minute of footage remains of Chip, but these three boys are about to discover that when an entertainer is truly great, his magic will last forever.

Previously serialized online, this is the first time Chip Crockett’s Christmas Carol has been published in ebook form. Elizabeth Hand will donate all proceeds from this book to Autism Speaks in honor of special education teacher Anne Marie Murphy, who was killed in the Sandy Hook shooting. The two attended the same high school, where Murphy was a friend of Hand’s younger sister

I gave this book four stars out of five

My thoughts:

I really enjoyed this book. It was a relatively short story and a great read.

I loved reading about the relationship between the three friends Brendan, Tony and Kevin, and about the different paths that life had led them along. The story was mainly about how Brendan dealt with being a single parent with an autistic son.

I felt that the main thrust of the story was how Brendan struggled to come to terms with, and deal with, the changes that he had seen in his son at an early age. How it had affected his view of Christmas, and how childhood memories of a tv show, and the influence of one of his oldest friends, helped him to rediscover the joy of Christmas and reconnect with his son.

It was interesting to gain a view of the life of a single parent with an autistic child. How important things like routine and familiarity can be to them. I was also fascinated by the way that Tony, the ex punk rock musician, bonded with Peter, in particular, over Tony’s obsession with a childhood tv show and its presenter.

It was nice to see how much these memories of a childhood tv show can mean to some people. How they can evoke memories of times gone by, happier, simpler times. Just the simple act of hearing the opening theme song is often sufficient to prompt a barrage of mental images. I am sure that many of us can identify with that.

This story is obviously influenced by Dicken’s Christmas Carol, but also by the authors own memories of childhood television shows and of discovering punk rock.

I would certainly recommend this book to anyone wanting a holiday story that is considerably more real than a lot of the mushy, over the top happy offerings that one usually comes across at this time of year. Also, don’t forget that the author, Elizabeth Hand, is donating all proceeds from this book to Autism Speaks, which is pretty cool.

This review was based on a review copy provided by Netgalley and the publisher Open Road Media.

Yesterday Road by Kevin Brennan

Yesterday RoadYesterday Road by Kevin Brennan

Description from Goodreads

In this “coming-of-old-age” tale, Jack Peckham finds himself on a journey into his distant past, helped along the way by Joe Easterday, a young man with Down syndrome, and Ida Pevely, a middle-aged waitress with her own mountain of regrets. Jack has a hundred grand in cash that he can’t explain, since he can’t remember yesterday much less forty years ago. Setting out from Northern California for “points east,” he gets lost, carjacked, abandoned, and arrested, but he’s always homing in on the one object of his inner drive — home. With humor and plenty of unexpected turns, Kevin Brennan’s second novel is a lyrical and poignant story of memory and identity, of how it is the whole of experience — pain and regret along with love and pleasure — that gives life its fullness. We all tow our histories behind us as we make our way down Yesterday Road.

I gave this book five stars out of five

My thoughts:

Having heard such a lot about this book, I was very excited to be asked by the author to review it. I have to say, I was not disappointed. I enjoyed this book immensely. I thought that it was exceptionally well written, with a thought provoking, intelligent, and original plot. It was well paced and a real page turner.

I felt that this was the classic journey of discovery, but with one important difference. The character on the journey, to regain his memory of the past, was the one character that ultimately would not actually discover his history. He would simply be unable to retain that information. The supporting characters would be the ones that made the discoveries in this instance.

The main characters, Jack, Joe and Ida, were interesting and diverse in background, and the relationships built during the course of the story were fascinating. It was interesting how these relationships developed differently for each of them, being one sided since Jack could not remember anyone from longer than a day or so ago. So for him, the relationships were purely temporary. I found it very easy to connect with and relate with the main characters in the story.

Despite no backstory for the protagonist, Jack, he still seemed a very full and round character. His innate character and actions were what gave us information about him rather than descriptions of what he was like and his past. I also liked the humour that the author injected into what was a rather sad, but nevertheless uplifting story.

I found myself imagining what it would be like to not be able to remember anything past yesterday and how that would affect me, ultimately getting into a rather convoluted philosophical debate with myself about whether I would actually notice it, or is it just as an outside observer that I can feel such empathy for this character. I was considering how alone one would be without ones memories to hold onto, to keep them grounded. No fixed points in your life. Not really knowing who you are.

I found it very sad when Jack began to forget things that had happened to him and the people that he had forged friendships with. I found the use of repeated phrases to reiterate points, highlighting that each time he did something it was like experiencing it for the first time again, to be a very cleverly used feature.

The conclusion revealed much about Jack’s past and also gave hope for his future. As I said, I loved this book and I would recommend it to anyone, without exception.

This review is based on a digital copy provided by the author.

Cover Reveal – Retail Memories: When Customers Attack by Papi Z



The publishing debut by Papi Z from The Literary Syndicate! Retail Memories: When Customers Attack is a highly fictionalized memoir of Papi Z’s retail years. Filled with humor, horror, and gift wrap murder, this is a must have book for your holiday!

It will be available for Amazon Kindle for $.99. The perfect stocking stuffer gift idea for that hard to buy for retail working family member! Anticipated sale date the week of 12-23-13.

Book Blurb:

Basking in the glow of memories both good and bad, Papi Z takes you on a highly fictionalized whirlwind tour of retail life from the perspective of store management. Hostile customers, vermin, and misadventures await you as Papi Z escorts you through the dark times of Christmas and various other situations.

Author Bio:

Papi Z was born many moons ago on a planet far, far away. Sent to Earth at an early age to assist humanity in retail related manners, he thankfully has left the retail life and founded The Literary Syndicate. He currently lives on Earth with a wife and daughter.

How to reach Papi Z:

The Literary Syndicate