Book Spotlight and Author Interview : Liberty Landing by Gail Vida Hamburg.

Book Spotlight


Book Details:

Book Title: Liberty Landing by Gail Vida Hamburg

Category: Adut Fiction, 344 pages

Genre: Literary Fiction

Publisher: Mirare Press

Release date: March 2018

Tour dates: July 2 to 20, 2018

Content Rating: PG-13 + M (This book contains love scenes, one explicit love scene, and some profanity)

Book Description:

Liberty Landing — a 2016 Finalist for the PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction — narrates the American Experience of the 21st century through the lives of a polycultural cast of natives, immigrants, and refugees in Azyl Park–a town in the Midwest.

After Angeline Lalande, a journalist and historian, unearths the real meaning of the name, “Azyl,” conferred on the town in the 1800s by immigrant-hating politicians, the town elders begin the act of renaming it. During the course of the renaming, we meet the intriguing denizens of the town–survivors, strugglers, and strivers of every race and nationality, see the intersection of their lives, and the ways they find home, heaven, and haven in each other. We learn about the singular journeys that brought them to Azyl Park–a place that both transforms them and is transformed by them.

The larger story of the American Experiment is told through the personal story of Alexander Hamilton, the essential immigrant among the Founding Fathers, as Angeline writes a book about him. By the end of the novel, after Azyl Park is renamed, each of the characters has lost or found something essential.

Liberty Landing is about the personal and the political, family and loss, memory and migration, finding new love and a new home, and about history and the American Experiment. Seminal moments of the American Experience figure in this literary and historical fiction. Inspired by John Dos Passos’ USA Trilogy about early 20th century Americans, Liberty Landing is a sweeping, lush, layered saga, set in a vibrant community, with a cast of Americans marked by neuroses, flaws, secrets, unspeakable pasts, humor, warmth, vulnerability, and humanity.

Liberty Landing is Gail Vida Hamburg’s love letter to the American Experiment–the first in a trilogy.

To follow the tour, please visit Gail Vida Hamburg’s page on iRead Book Tours.


Buy the Book:
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Meet the Author:

Gail Vida Hamburg is an award-winning American journalist, author, and museum storyist. She is the author of The Edge of the World (Mirare Press, 2007), a novel about the impact of American foreign policy on individual lives. A nominee for the 2008 James Fenimore Cooper Prize, it is a frequent text in undergraduate post- colonial studies, war studies, and creative writing programs. Born in Malaysia, she spent her teens and twenties in England before migrating to the United States. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Literature and Creative Writing from Bennington Writers Seminars at Bennington College, Vermont. Liberty Landing, the first volume in her trilogy about the American Experience, is her love letter to the great American Experiment.She lives in Chicago—the setting for Liberty Landing, a finalist for the 2016 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

Author Interview.

Tell us about your book? 

Liberty Landing is a literary, historical, and imagined historical fiction about the American Experiment and Experience, told through the lives of a diverse group of denizens of a fictional small town in the Midwest.

How did you begin writing? Did you intend to become an author, or do you have a specific reason or reasons for writing each book?

I was a journalist writing longform features and series. I felt drawn to creative writing for film at first, then novels, then theater. I’m an immigrant who’s lived in multiple cities on three continents, many of them polycultural, multicultural cities.
I have an oblique view of America that I thought would be interesting to render in fiction. This view is a socially engaged, political point of view acutely sensitive to the multicultural, polycultural world we live in.

How did you come up with the title of your book?
While mulling over the book, I’d take daily walks on the beach where I live.There’s a point along the walk through the dunes, where one sees the neighborhood, the lake, and beyond it, the iconic Chicago skyline. The title came to me, both as the aspirational name of the place in the book, and as this notion of America as a place of deliverance and salvation for so many.

What authors do you like to read? What book or books have had a strong influence on you or your writing?
I love grace and lyricism in novels, thus I read literary fiction. I admire Michael Ondaatje and Anne Michaels. They’re both poets and their language is delicate and beautiful and lyrical and deeply moving.  I love Elena Ferrante, Helena Cixous, and Anna Gavalda for their intelligence and reimagining of language, in ways that enchant. I love the language in Zia Haider Rahman’s “In The Light of What We Know.”

What’s more important: characters or plot?
Both are equally, equally important, and add to that the language to tell the story. To be transported in fiction, the language has to be more than mechanical, deliberate and strategic, yet efficient and beautiful.

What are some great books you’ve read recently?
I loved Paul Beatty’s “The Sellout” about race in America. An incendiary, biting satire, it was rejected by publishers here but won the 2016 Booker Prize in the UK.
It is splendid.I loved the language in Zia Haider Rahman’s “In The Light of What We Know.”

What types of books do you enjoy in your downtime? 
I read European and Asian and Middle Eastern authors, many in translation, because I love the surprising ways other languages are rendered in English—reinventing the way one normally writes in English. Arabic, for instance, is such a beautiful, ornamental language, and when it is set in English, it’s incredible to read.

What sort of research did you do to write this book?
I did a lot of research about American history and the Founding Fathers, as well as about the geography, politics, and culture of various countries where several of my characters came from.

What are you working on now? Any chance of a sequel? 
When Liberty Landing closes, there are new relationships about to be formed, couples on the cusp of falling in love, couples finding each other, families reuniting, new babies being born, several characters overcoming loss and grief. I knew that I wanted to have these characters grow and mature, thus Liberty Landing is the first in a trilogy. I am now writing the sequel.

What are the upsides and downsides to being an author?
There are no downsides of being an author with an indie publishing house. I am in my element when I write and I have a publisher who sees merit in my books.

What is the main thing you want readers to take away from your book?

I’d like readers to recognize the inevitability of multicultural, polycultural societies in this era of mass migration across the globe, ​and see the humanity and essential sameness of people unlike themselves.

How do you deal with writer’s block?
Writing is a dance between thinking, reading, researching, living, and writing. If there’s writer’s block, I read, or research, or think, or bake, or go play with makeup at Sephora, or go do something else. There is absolutely no reason to sit at your writing desk and suffer when you have nothing to write. Go fill the well. Go see a movie.

What does your writing space look like?
Organized Chaos

What keeps you motivated during creative slumps?
I don’t have creative slumps. If I can’t find the words to tell my story, I’ll do something else until I find the words.

If your novel were being made into a movie, whom would you pick to play the lead roles?

My protagonist, Gabriel Khoury, is a Palestinian Christian.

I’d pick Adam Bakri, the Palestinian-Israeli actor. To me, he is Gabriel Khoury

Angeline LaLande, in my book is a journalist and historian, a Louisiana Creole of African American and French descent.

​I would pick Kylie Bun bury
the Guyanese Canadian actress.

Can you recommend any new or upcoming authors to us? 
I’d like to recommend authors, not new, but who are not well known in the US. I loved the Iranian author Zoya Pirzad’s “Things We Left Unsaid,” Christina Stead’s “The Man Who Loved Children,” the Hawaiian writer, Stephanie Han’s “Swimming in Hong Kong,” (full disclosure, she’s a friend); and Naphtalene by Iraqi novelist, Alia Mamdouch.  I find the Middle Eastern women novelists very interesting. They’re the Victorian writers of the 21st century, restricted to home and hearth, yet so full of hunger for life and ready to liberate themselves from cultural and religious restrictions.
What was your job before you started writing full time?
I was a journalist for Chicago newspapers.

What do you like and dislike about book reviews?
I don’t like book reviews that reveal too much about a book. I’d like a general essence of what a book is about and if the reviewer recommends it or not.  I want to be surprised by fiction, I want the author to talk to me and take me on a journey. After reading a book review that reveals plot, characters, their motives, how they look, what they wear, their speech, the scenes, jokes, etc  I feel like somebody has handed me something already known, or a second hand, used thing to try.

Are there any nuggets of wisdom you can impart to aspiring writers? 

Learn the craft of fiction by enrolling in classes led by writers one admires. Read great authors in the genre you’re writing in, and join a writing community.

Sit down to write when you have something to say. It all happens in revision. Just keep revising until your writing community anoints it.
​ ​

If you think you have a good book and you get rejected by agents and publishers for more than than a year, give up the torture, and go small press or indie.

Any last thoughts for our readers?

Readers are royalty to me. I would love them to enter risky territory with me into Liberty Landing.

​The book is also a wonderful experience as an audiobook, narrated by British actress, Colleen MacMahon, available on Audible, I Tunes, and Amazon.
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Ends July 28, 2018

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Book Spotlight : What Does God Sound Like? by Bernie DiPasquale.

Book Details:

Book Title: What Does God Sound Like? by Bernie DiPasquale

Category: Children’s Fiction, 34 pages

Genre: Children’s Books, Values & Virtues, Christian Books

Publisher: Mindstir Media

Release date: September 14, 2016

Tour dates: June 25 to July 20, 2018

Content Rating: G

Book Description:

We tell our kids that God is everywhere. Pray and maybe He will answer. But if God is everywhere and has created all things, then He must be talking to us all the time. This is my short story to help my Grandchildren understand they can talk with God all day, every day, everywhere.

To follow the tour, please visit Bernie DiPasquale’s page on iRead Book Tours.

Buy the Book:
Watch the trailer:


Meet the Author:




Bernie was born and raised in Baltimore, MD and now resides in Joppa, a small community just a bit north up the I-95 corridor. He has spent his entire professional career in Education and Financial Services. More importantly he is a Husband, Father, and Grandfather to a beautiful family.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest ~ Instagram

Enter the Giveaway!
Ends July 28, 2018


Book Review: The Secret of Sculptures by Monika Thakur.


Publisher : Notion Press.

Published : 2 August 2017.

Book Length: 246.

Price : Rs 275.

Review Format : Paperback.

“I got the book as a part of the review program in Outset

The Secret of sculptures is about a theft of a precious historical sculpture from a college in delhi where one of the main lead Aditi is studying. Maitreyi and Aditi being childhood friends, aditi takes Maitreyi to the college on the day the sculpture is stolen. Police starts investigating, maitreyi and aditi see themselves getting embroiled in the controversy without having anything to do with it. An accidental tryst with the majestic powers of a similar miniature sculpture in a museum makes them realise that the stolen sculpture must have greater secrets and power other than just being immensely valuable.

What I liked?

More than the first half, the second half was comparatively more interesting. The interest bug that caught me there kept me hooked till the end.

The Narration was bang on from the second half. The first half is more about maitreyi and aditi, aditi being an intern in a museum she convinces maitreyi to join her for an exhibition and from there the plot starts heating up.

The story had college goers Maitreyi, Aditi, Rakesh and siddarth as the main protogonist and their adventures gave me a déjà vu feeling of reading famous five by enid blyton which had been my favourite since childhood.

I very much loved the parts where the four were involved, trying to escape and bravely facing and fighting everything that came their way.

I liked the main leads, Maitreyi was a strong character so was siddarth, aditi and rakesh were much shyer and straight.

Towards the end there are more magical titbits happening, it made sense to me and hence i enjoyed reading it. It has a different and unique storyline. The idea of writing fiction fantasy novel on sculptures, the myths and beliefs around them which is quite an indian thing was a very smart move and it did live upto the expectation to an extent. An Entertaining interesting adventurous story of four students, A la famous five.

I judge a book by how hard it is to put down, this was indeed hard to put down after the first part.

What I didn’t like?
There were certain characters whose purpose and role was not clear. There were some questions left unanswered. At the end I expected more clarity over the course of events but I was left confused.

Who may like it..

Anybody who likes adventurous stories…
Famous five, secret seven fans?.. want to taste an Indian version of it?
Just dive straight into it.

Love-O-Meter : 4🌟

Click on the image to buy.

Author Interview: Santhosh Sivaraj of The Blue Moon Day.


Book Spotlight click here

Book Review click here

Author Bio

Santhosh Sivaraj is a banker based out of Chennai who has worn many hats in life – from sailor and teacher, to trainer and entrepreneur – in no particular order. He believes life’s journey to be a destination in itself and that pushes him to seek newer avenues in life. Absurd Economics interests him and he loves doing standup comedy. He laughs at his own mistakes and loves life unconditionally.

How is The Blue Moon Day different from other Books?

This book essentially belongs to the genre of inspirational fiction and doesn’t restrict its target to any particular category. This book tries to bridge the gap between a monotonous self help book and an interesting page turner fiction. It caters to the elements needed for an interesting book read and yet teaches life with its characters in this process.

How got interested in self help?

I prefer the term Inspirational fiction rather than a Self Help which sounds pretty preachy.

How you got the idea of clubbing self help and fiction?

I always believe life teaches you a lot in your every step which most of the times we fail to notice. I decided to be a catalyst in making this visible through my stories and hence my stories speak life. This book essentially belongs to the genre of inspirational fiction and doesn’t restrict its target to any particular category. This book tries to bridge the gap between a monotonous self help book and an interesting page turner fiction. It caters to the elements needed for an interesting book read and yet teaches life with its characters in this process.

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

I very much seek the ideas from the people and things around me in addition to visiting places like old age homes , cancer centres etc for some specific research for the book. I love meeting new people and listening to them and this too had contributed a lot for my book.

What is your writing process like?

I am somebody who hates clear rules and definitions. When someone tells me there are actually seven ways of writing a book then that puts me off immediately. I want to surprise myself with the way I write as well and in this process I try to surprise the readers too. I have also told in my book that never try to attain a predefined benchmark but try creating a unique benchmark as you are unique and you don’t have any extra copies of yourself in the world.

Any specific time for writing?

I used to be a night owl but nowadays I don’t have any specific timing.

Are you planning another book?

Yes, I am presently working on my second book which will be a single story unlike The Blue Moon Day.

How can the readers reach you?

Readers can find me @santhoshsivaraj in facebook, instagram and twitter.

Book Review : The Blue Moon Day by Santhosh Sivaraj.


“I got the book as a part of the review program in Outset

For Book Spotlight Click here.

Publisher : Invincible Publisher.

Published : 9 June 2018.

Book Length : 222


Things were never the same for five ordinary individuals who got struck at cross roads and there was no way they can run back. They had no other choice but to take a plunge into their deepest fear and leave the rest to destiny. Their characters was tested out of their comfort zone and it witnessed abstruse results.

a PhD scholar fights to win a pizza making contest and a tennis prodigy running for his life in a war torn, bloodied Island.

Extreme circumstances and their consequences made these ordinary individuals extraordinary .

Was the test imposed on them by someone? Or did they invite it on themselves.

The Blue Moon Day is that Once in a Blue Moon day story which questions an individual’s priorities, ridicules the worldly routines and finally redefines happiness.

Review :

5 people with problems struggling to tackle with it and one man common to each of them helping them to get out of it, in other words helping them to find peace ,purpose and meaning.

The last story was too intense and gut wrenching, as I am an intense reader and gets too involved , its still haunting me.

The stories had so much depth and soul.

This book speaks volume of the authors wisdom. Crucial issues was dealt with in each of the stories. For a debut author this was commendable.

What i didn’t like…
It was too dragging at times hence couldn’t keep me hooked.

What i liked…

The stories were different and unique.

Quotes, thoughts, moral of the stories.

The perspectives it offers. Look through the eyes of the author and there is a solution to every problem.

Characters: 4/5

Plot: 4.5/5

Language : 4/5

Love-O-Meter : 4🌟

To buy click on the image below.