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Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Secrets from Myself by Christine Hart - Book Tour - Review - Giveaway - Enter Daily!

Hi lovelies! It gives me great pleasure today to host Christine Hart and her new book, “Secrets from Myself”!  For other stops on her Goddess Fish Promotions Book Tour, please click on the banner above or any of the images in this post.

Be sure to make it to the end of this post to enter to win a paperback bundle of Christine’s backlist titles: Stalked, Best Laid Plans, and Watching July!!  Also, come back daily to interact with Christine and to increase your chances of winning!

Thanks for stopping by!  Wishing you lots of luck in this fabulous giveaway!

Please note that this giveaway is only open to USA and CA residents.  Sorry INTL – please check out other giveaways on this blog!

Secrets from Myself
by Christine Hart


GENRE: Middle Grade



Twelve-year-old Katelyn has always heard voices and had visions. She's long suspected she was hearing from past lives. But when she runs away from home and hides out with an old friend in Vancouver, things become more real. She even finds herself writing the words of someone else in a diary - the words of someone whose fate was deeply impacted by the Komagata Maru incident.

As Katelyn learns more about the Komagata Maru and the person communicating with her, she realizes that she has a task to fulfill that will correct a wrong from the past.



As Radhika opens the front door, the warm brightness of their home is breathtaking. The ceilings are high and I feel instantly out of my league. The faint smell of cinnamon and cardamom wafts towards us. We remove our shoes, and head directly to the kitchen, a magazine ready showcase of granite counters and stainless-steel appliances.

Once we’re sitting on barstools at the kitchen island and Radhika has poured us some tea and set out two fruit plates, I decide it’s time to move things along.

“So, Mrs. Mann, Bryce tells me you found some pictures or papers I can look at for my history project.”

Radhika’s face lights up. “I hadn’t forgotten.” She leaves the kitchen and I hear footfalls on the front stairwell.

“Don’t worry; the whole point of bringing you over was so you could look at this stuff. Mom loves her old pictures. But I don’t think she’s got a lot to go on. My grandfather changed his name at some point after he married my grandmother,” says Bryce.

Radhika reappears with two pieces of fragile old paper to show me. The first is a grainy photograph. The second looks like a postcard. She holds out the photograph first.

“This is my grandfather and his father not long after they came to Canada. My grandfather and his wife owned that shop in the picture. I think it was a wedding present to get them started here. Very generous back then,” says Radhika as she looked thoughtfully at the men.

“I’d say that’s generous for any time. I’d love it if someone bought me a shop.” I accept the photo from Radhika and cradle it in my hand as I look more closely.

The two men are smiling. One is middle-aged, the other barely out of his teens. It’s hard to make out detail in the faces. They’re wearing turbans and long tunic shirts. The black-and-white image makes colors impossible, but they’re light gray in the image. A shop sign is partially obscured by the pair; only the word GOODS shows through. I flip the photo over. The writing on the back is Hindi.

I return the precious photo, which Radhika accepts and exchanges for the postcard. It’s not a postcard, though. It’s a ticket. Under a graphic seal and a couple of serial numbers it reads:

To the Commander S.S.———————
Please provide the bearer with Steerage
Accommodation with food from HONGKONG to
VANCOUVER. Fare ($50 Gold) has been paid to us.

Under the text is a PAID stamp with a date I can’t read. The ticket has been authorized by a name, which is also illegible. And then:

Agents, Canadian Pacific Railway.
Calcutta 23rd December 1907
B. Hasan

And at the bottom, a name! B. Hasan. Sanjay’s last name! Could this be any relation? Akasha has never actually named Sanjay’s father. If he changed his name, was this the new name or the old one?

“This is amazing! This is a real piece of history!” Normally when someone is showing me old family photos, I have to feign polite interest. Pins and needles are shooting up my spine and along my arms. I remember myself and hand the card back to Radhika.

“Did you get what you need for your project?” Radhika seems eager to return her keepsakes to a safe place.

“Would it be all right if I take a photo of each with my phone? Just to keep a copy without putting your originals in danger.” Radhika smiles and places both items on the counter long enough for me to click twice with my camera.

“Do you mind if I borrow some paper to make some notes?” I think better of it. What if I really was just looking at Sanjay and his father, and touching one of their actual tickets? Will I have another episode right here if I start writing?

“Actually, never mind. I’ll just tap some notes into my phone and email myself.” I smile nervously. Bryce looks understandably confused.

After another cup of tea, Radhika and Bryce take me back to Arbutus House.



I have to be honest, I got confused and lost several times throughout reading this book.  Between the different tenses changing throughout the same paragraph, the back and forth between Katelyn’s writing and Akasha’s story, and there just being so much going on, it got a bit hectic at times.

Although this book is listed as Middle Grade, it seems like it would be better suited in Young Adult as I feel some of the topics and scenes may be on the more mature side.

This book is about twelve-year-old, Katelyn who possesses psychic abilities that allow her to connect via diary with another girl, Akasha.  Through this diary Katelyn is writing Akasha’s story in Hindi – a language Katelyn does not know but can suddenly write and speak.  Katelyn is fascinated and curious to find out how and why this is all happening.  Unfortunately, Katelyn’s mom is extremely concerned that Katelyn is suffering from a mental or physical disease and has her admitted to the children’s psychiatric hospital for testing.

I really liked that the author was able to pull real historic facts into this book and make it interesting.  I researched the Komagata Maru since I had never heard of it and was surprised to see so much info on it.  It’s always great when Middle Grade or Young Adult Books that are genre based on paranormal or mystery or such can also have a true historical background tie-in so not only is the reader enjoying their book, they’re also learning something too!

I really wanted to like this book, but I just feel like something was missing or off.  It just felt a bit disconnected or disjointed in the writing or the story.

Unfortunately, I found this book at times to be a bit slow paced and easy to put down.  It actually took me a few weeks to finally finish reading.

All in all, this book has a great storyline, interesting characters, and real historical facts!  I would recommend this book to YA and older readers.  I know this book is marketed as Middle Grade, and perhaps it would be okay for older mature middle graders, but I think some of the scenes, themes, topics, writings, and such are not necessarily appropriate for the younger reader.

**Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book and have voluntarily provided an honest, and unbiased review in accordance with FTC regulations.**

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Located on BC’s beautiful West Coast, I write from my suburban Langley home on the border between peaceful forests and urban streets.  I love writing about places and spaces with rich history and visually fascinating elements as a backdrop for the surreal and spectacular.

In addition to my undergraduate degree in writing and literature, my background also includes corporate communications and design. I am a current member of the Federation of BC Writers and SF Canada.

When not writing, I have a habit of breaking stuff and making stuff – in that order – under the guise of my Etsy alter-ego Sleepless Storyteller.  I share my eclectic home and lifestyle with my husband and our two energetic children.




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Christine will be awarding a paperback bundle of backlist titles: Stalked, Best Laid Plans, and Watching July (US/Canada only) to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

**This post contains affiliate links and if clicked and a purchase made I may receive a small commission to help support this blog.  This does not cost you anything, it just helps pay for all those awesome giveaways on here.**

This contest is sponsored by a third party. Fabulous and Brunette is a registered host of Goddess Fish Promotions.  Prizes are given away by the sponsors and not Fabulous and Brunette. The featured author and Goddess Fish Promotions are solely responsible for the giveaway prize.