Posted in reviews

Disorder by Israfel Sivad Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A truly unique memoir tells the story of a young writer who struggled with addiction and mental health, and found a way to overcome it all through love in author Israfel Sivad’s “Disorder”.

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The Synopsis

Disorder is the story of Michael Adams, the man behind the pen name, Israfel Sivad. At 37-years-old, Michael wasn’t sure any longer if he was hipstered out or truly beat. He was a recovering drug addict and alcoholic. He’d been in psych wards, and he’d spent almost a decade writing his second novel. But then, he found himself inspired in a whole new way. He believed he might be falling in love…

Disorder traces Michael’s experiences from a period of homelessness at the age of 32 through his battles with alcoholism and psychosis back to his birth in Southern California. Simultaneously, it weaves a tale of the relationship Michael is trying to build with his girlfriend, Pam.

In this story, the author develops a groundbreaking, nonlinear style that captures both the disjointed madness of psychosis and the natural rhythms of memory. He reveals the reality behind what many of us believe we would never be able to live through: drug addiction, alcoholism and psychotic breaks… and his ability to overcome those demons to discover love, even when it seemed he was already too damaged to let that emotion take hold.

The Review

The author does a fantastic job of conveying a powerfully painful and harsh period of time in their lives, using a non-linear style storytelling device to convey the author’s life. From memories of childhood having lost a grandfather and best friend to dark times living in and out of psych wards and the streets of Richmond, the author doesn’t hold back on the physical and mental toll his life took when he was addicted to drugs and alcohol, and the psychosis that he endured as well. 

The imagery really conveys the struggle the author had in his life to the reader, while the story between himself and Pam is the beginning of a path to redemption that anyone who is struggling in life can hang onto and see for themselves that the trials and tribulations in their life aren’t forever. While the writing style can change sometimes throughout the narrative of the author’s life, it adds to the allure and interest of the non-linear storytelling, making this a fascinating read.

The Verdict

Powerful, emotional, and a brilliant read, author Israfel Sivad’s “Disorder” is a truly one of a kind memoir both stylistically and intellectually, giving voice to the struggles of those with mental health struggles and addiction in a way that few have ever really captured before. Grab your copy on September 8th, 2020, and see for yourselves how this amazing author came to be.

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About the Author

Israfel Sivad is the founder of Ursprung Collective, which has been referred to as “fantastic brain food” on ReverbNation. His first novel, “Crossroads Blues”, has been compared to the work of Fyodor Dostoevsky (Palmetto Review). His second novel, “The Adversary’s Good News”, was a finalist for the 2016 Chanticleer Paranormal Book Award. His stories and poems have appeared in the Santa Fe Literary Review, The Stray Branch and Badlands Literary Journal. 

https://israfelsivad.com/

Posted in reviews

Blackacre Rising (Ivy Spires #2) by John C. Adams Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Loyalties will be tested and lines will be crossed as the fight for humanity wages on in author John C. Adams’ latest entry in the Ivy Spires dystopian series, “Blackacre Rising”. 

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The Synopsis

From Horror Tree reviewer and double Aeon Award Longlister John C Adams comes a disturbing tale of scientific experimentation and sadistic cruelty. The sequel to ‘Souls For The Master’, ‘Blackacre Rising’ features a stunning cover by Fiona Jayde Media.

Leaving the chaos erupting in the Metropolis behind, Gerald speeds north to his cousin Brett Flint’s farmhouse, Blackacre. He is certain that their vehicle is being followed, but returning to the capital with Don and Ivy is simply too risky now that Janus Fidens has taken over the Resistance and declared the pair to be outlaws who have betrayed the Revolution. Arriving at Blackacre, Gerald begs Brett and his wife Radclyffe to shelter Ivy and Don under their roof without asking too many questions about why his young companions have had to flee to the sparsely populated uplands and need their presence there kept secret.

Distraught at saying goodbye to Gerald, Ivy admits how much she has come to care for him since they have been battling the authorities together. They snatch a few moments alone together to say a private farewell before Gerald drives back to the capital, hoping to persuade Janus to drop his pursuit of Ivy and Don. En route, Gerald is followed by the same car that tailed them northwards. Lured into stopping to assist at the site of a road traffic accident, the trainee surgeon is captured and transported to a shadowy underground scientific research facility, where he is disturbed to discover that Sinister Tungsten, sister to his arch nemesis Hendra, awaits him.

In the Blackacre library, Don is welcomed by the Seven. This mysterious group includes the Master he fought to defeat down in the Metropolis, five other strange figures with bizarre powers and, of course, the malignant farmhouse itself. Brett, Radclyffe and their twin baby sons reside in the oddest place Don has ever encountered. He reluctantly agrees to become involved in the Seven’s project to assassinate Dr Luther Honigbaum, who funds the facility where Gerald is being held prisoner and runs the asylum in Austria which supplies its young female test subjects.

Learning how to transport herself from one location to another shocks Ivy. Unlike Don, who has wielded great power his whole life, her skills as an assassin are more practical in nature, and she worries that having shifted safely to Austria she’ll be unable to return safely. Finally, she is ready to undertake her mission to kill the evil man behind the gruesome experiments that serve no purpose other than to gratify the rampant cruelty of Honigbaum and his acolytes.

Meanwhile, the Seven show Don another facility, this time in Antarctica, where equally cruel experiments take place upon men. When the Seven tell him he is too young to witness exactly what it taking place, he uses his unique powers to advance his age by three years so that he is now eighteen. He gladly sacrifices a part of his natural life to rescue the men kept prisoner there and tormented by sadistic experiments with no scientific value whatsoever.

Arriving in Austria, Ivy is horrified to discover that her cover is already blown and Honigbaum lies in waiting for her. He has a sinister agenda of his own and will stop at nothing to eliminate anyone who resists both his sadistically cruel medical research and his repulsive sexual advances. When Brett Flint’s cousin Henry turns up at Ubersneller, Honigbaum locks him up in one of his asylums high up in the mountains to ensure his silence. He has particularly dark designs on Ivy, and is determined that her close friendship with Don will enable him to reach out to his estranged son. Drugged and forced to comply, Ivy is young enough to provide the ageing Honigbaum with everything he wishes. Gerald’s imprisonment ends when Sinistra’s elder sister Hendra returns and the authorities brutally re-establish law and order, but he is no safer with her than with her sibling.

The Review

A truly gripping, intense, and engaging dystopian sci-fi read. The author does a brilliant job of creating a large mythos in this dystopian world rich with a multitude of main and side characters that readers will be able to both loathe and root for. 

Although I had not read the first book in the series, the author writes in a way that allows readers both new and established to be able to delve into this new narrative, as the central characters find themselves split up and fighting brutal battles all on their own. Each finds their path fraught with horrifying trials and monstrous adversaries, all while their own abilities grow and develop over time. 

The story really benefits from a strong character arc for the central protagonists and antagonists. This lengthy read delves into the hardships and struggles each character undertakes in this world divided by class and exposed to horrors unlike anything seen before. In the midst of powers and action, the author really brings about complex characters that readers can identify and support throughout this narrative.

The Verdict

A must-read dystopian sci-fi thriller, author John C. Adams’ “Blackacre Rising” is a fantastic sequel in the Ivy Spires series. Emotionally driven character arcs and action-packed scenes all come together under strong mythology and ends on a cliffhanger that will leave readers wanting more. Be sure to preorder your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

I’m a non-binary author and critic of fantasy and horror.

I review for Schlock! Webzine, the British Fantasy Society and Horror Tree, as well as placing reviews and articles across a wide range of blogs and magazines.

I have a Postgraduate Certificate in Creative Writing from Newcastle University. I’ve been a Contributing Editor for Albedo One Magazine and the Aeon Award since 2016. Before that, I was a Submissions Reader with them.

My debut horror novel, ‘Souls for the Master’, is 99c on Smashwords retailers and 99p on Kindle. Likewise, my debut fantasy novel, ‘Aspatria’, is 99c on Smashwords retailers and 99p on Kindle. The sequel to ‘Aspatria’, ‘Dagmar of the Northlands’, is out now on Kindle and Smashwords retailers.

Although I write mostly long fiction, since 2015 I have had stories published in anthologies from Horrified Press, Lycan Valley Press, Fantasia Divinity and Jersey Pines Ink. My short stories have also been published in the Horror Zine, Swords & Sorcery, Sirens Call, Blood Moon Rising, Lovecraftiana and various other magazines.

Every emerging writer needs plenty of encouragement right at the start, and entering lots of competitions early on made a real difference to my confidence to press on with writing longer fiction and think about submitting short fiction to magazines and anthologies in due course. In 2012, I was longlisted for the International Aeon Award Short Fiction Contest for ‘The Visitors’ and again in 2013 for ‘We Can Finish Your Baby’s Brain For You’. My writing was also recognised by the Enrico Charles Literary Award (runner up in 2012) and by the University of Winchester Writers’ Conference in both 2012 and 2013, including a Commendation in the First Three Pages of a Novel category, and other nominations in poetry and short fiction.

I read PPE at Somerville College, and I am a non-practising solicitor. I live in rural Northumberland, UK, and I combine my career as an author and critic with raising my kids and caring for a severely disabled relative. I’m always busy!

http://johncadams.wix.com/johnadamssf

Twitter: johncadamssf

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Murder of the Obeah Man by Anthony Avina

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A local herbalist and healer finds herself imbedded into a local murder investigation in author Judy Fishel’s “Murder of the Obeah Man”.

The Synopsis

When the owl hooted just outside her window, Jeenya cringed. She knew what it meant. When she was a girl her Granny, up in the Blue Mountains in Jamaica, taught her the omens. This was a sign that someone was dying. It was probably MURDER.

They found his body in the morning. Josiah Overman had been the richest, the most important, the most respected and loved man in Jamaica Lakes. He had built Jamaica Lakes. He was also their Obeah Man. No Jamaican would dare kill the Obeah Man. They all knew that his duppy (a vengeful ghost) would come after them, torture them, and perhaps kill them. It had to be a stranger.

Jeenya Birdsong, herbalist, healer, and spiritual advisor knew her old friend wasn’t perfect but, even with her knowledge of the people in this Jamaican community, even with her ability to look people in the eye and know what they were thinking, she still could not imagine why anyone would do this.

Jeenya knew she would need to help the detectives find the killer. She remembered dreaming of being a detective but now she wasn’t sure. Would she really be able to help? Her husband would worry, thinking it was too dangerous. She worried about getting in the way or even making a total fool of herself.

The Review

A fantastic read! The author has crafter a wonderful story that really delves into the murder mystery genre. The atmosphere and tone of the tale immediately grab the readers attention, setting up that classic sleuth story fans of the genre love.

What really stood out to me was the author’s use of setting to bring more depth to the characters and story. The setting of Jamaica Lakes was a character all its own, breathing life into the cast of characters, including the protagonist Jeenya.

The Verdict

A breath of fresh air in the murder mystery genre, author Judy Fishel’s “Murder of the Obeah Man” is a must read novel of the summer! Engaging, thoughtful and full of rich characters, this novel will not only keep readers on the edge of their seat, but will educate readers on history and lore from the Jamaican culture and people. It’s a fun read that will not disappoint you, so be sure to grab your own copy today!

Rating: 10/10

About the Author

Judy Fishel grew up in Florida, just across the river from Palm City. She and her grandfather often looked for wildflowers along the citrus groves. She also remembers the terrible freezes that killed the citrus trees. It made sense to set her story there. She started work on this book fifteen years ago but it just wasn’t working. She then wrote Straight A’s Are NOT Enough – study skills for college students. Finally, last summer she returned working on Murder of the Obeah Man. When one of her characters, Jeenya Birdsong, began appearing in her dreams, all the pieces began fitting together. Now, Judy likes to say that Jeenya is her spiritual advisor.

http://www.judyfishel.com/

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The Seaborne by A.G. Rivett Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A man shipwrecked and rescued finds himself on not only a different world, but a different time altogether in author A.G. Rivett’s novel “The Seaborne”. 

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The Synopsis

Seaborne. The word echoes in Dermot’s mind. Washed up from who knows where, with no people to belong to, no clan to speak for him: aa man alone in the world. If this man lives, what will he turn out to be? What might he bring among the Islanders?

John had not dreamed that anywhere in the North Atlantic could be this remote. There must be someone, if not here, then not far away, who even if they didn’t speak English would at least recognise it.

John Finlay, engineer, is running away from his failed business, his failed relationship and his debts. He runs away to sea. Dermot, pulling a body, barely alive, from the water, has never seen anyone so strangely dressed. His Celtic island knows nothing of debt or of engineering. And John, waking among a people who cannot understand his language, struggles to accept that he has been carried across time and into another world.

From this starting point, tensions build between cultures and outlooks, and focus on Shinane, the blacksmith’s daughter, who is looking for something beyond. John and Dermot find themselves stretched to their limits. It is a matter of survival, or transformation. Choice is key – and not only for John, Dermot and Shinane: the whole community finds itself caught up in conflict over The Seaborne.

The Review

This was such an engaging read. The author does a great job of creating a breathtaking world that draws the reader in and populates it with characters that keep the reader invested throughout. 

The interesting concept of how society has evolved and the ways in which people choose to live are thoroughly showcased throughout the narrative. The thing that fascinates me as a reader is how John’s mentality and way of life from his own time and the way of life he learns to have while in this new world is interesting to see, both in their similarities and differences. In the end, is it not true that the past and the future both have their ups and downs, and can impact the present? 

The Verdict

A powerful, memorable, and evenly paced read, author A.G. Rivett has masterfully told a brilliant tale of a man outside of his own time, and the community impacted by his appearance, both good and bad. Fueled by culture, romance, questions of morality, and advancements in technology, mentality, and society, the novel does an excellent job of creating a thought-provoking narrative that will keep readers wanting more. Be sure to grab your copy of “The Seaborne” today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Andrew (A.G.) Rivett was born in London. He has lived in England, Nigeria, Scotland (where The Seaborne was drafted) and now in Wales.

The inspiration for The Seaborne, his debut novel, came twenty years ago on holiday in Ireland, at which time he wrote some opening chapters, relics of which remain in the published book. The Seaborne, the first book of the planned Island trilogy, was published in November 2019.

Posted in reviews

1969 by Sea Gudinski Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A young woman searching for a way out of her current life finds herself experiencing a historic moment in time in author Sea Gudinski’s “1969”.

The Synopsis

Take a trip down the rabbit hole without ever leaving the comfort of your living room…This is a novel in which history meets science fiction and psychedelics meet spirituality through a seamless blend of fact and fantasy. 1969: A Brief and Beautiful Trip Back is one girl’s account of her fantastic and unique experience of the hippie counterculture and how it changed her and those around her for the rest of their lives. From a run-of-the-mill existence in the ultra-conservative town of Fresno, California, formerly naïve teenager and rock devotee Rhiannon Karlson takes the trip of a lifetime after a drug dealer sells her a particularly potent and mysterious substance, sparking her unparalleled journey of soul-searching, consciousness-expansion, and unyielding search for the Truth. The rest, you may say, is history.

The Review

This was a beautiful and well written story that really did an amazing take on the historical fiction genre. The story does a great job of capturing the era of the period, both the highs and the lows.

The cast of characters really stole the show with fully fleshed out storylines and histories that made them come alive off the page. The protagonist goes on a fully realized journey of growth and understanding that many readers will recognize as a journey they themselves took. It’s a wonderfully relatable story for a historical fiction novel.

The Verdict

An engaging, lengthy yet powerful story, author Sea Gudinski’s “1969” is a must read book that speaks to the heart and spirit of the era. A brilliant historical fiction, this is the perfect book for fans of rock music, historical moments of the past century and emotional storytelling with relatable and powerful characters. Be sure to grab your copy of this book today.

Rating: 10/10

About the Author

Sea Gudinski is a life-long native of the small town of Holmdel, New Jersey. She has written prolifically since the age of ten, producing six novels and one collection of poetry. 1969: A Brief and Beautiful Trip Back is her first published work. She is an avid reader and a lover of all things historical. With a wide breadth of knowledge and an unquenchable desire to learn she has delved into several eras in recent history with the hope of shedding some light on the issues faced in today’s world. Her works are a delightful marriage of fact and fiction, peopled with vibrant characters, each with a unique and meaningful story to tell. She writes with depth and passion in the hope that her work will inspire others the way other literary works have inspired her.Sea graduated Holmdel High School with high honors; however, she chose not to go to college and manages her family business instead. When she is not writing, she enjoys listening to old radio programs and live music and playing gin rummy.

Posted in reviews

Fire on the Island: A Romantic Thriller by Timothy Jay Smith Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A young Greek-American FBI agent finds himself searching for an arsonist, uncovering hidden secrets in a small island community in the Greek Islands and wrestling with a growing and passionate affair with someone who may very well be the prime suspect in the arson case in author Timothy Jay Smith’s “Fire on the Island: A Romantic Thriller”.

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The Synopsis

For lovers of crime fiction and the allure of the Greek islands, Fire on the Island is the perfect summer read. 

FIRE ON THE ISLAND is a playful, romantic thriller set in contemporary Greece, with a gay Greek-American FBI agent, who is undercover on the island to investigate a series of mysterious fires. Set against the very real refugee crisis on the beautiful, sun-drenched Greek islands, this novel paints a loving portrait of a community in crisis. As the island residents grapple with declining tourism, poverty, refugees, family feuds, and a perilously damaged church, an arsonist invades their midst.

Nick Damigos, the FBI agent, arrives on the island just in time to witness the latest fire and save a beloved truffle-sniffing dog. Hailed as a hero and embraced by the community, Nick finds himself drawn to Takis, a young bartender who becomes his primary suspect, which is a problem because they’re having an affair. Theirs is not the only complicated romance in the community and Takis isn’t the only suspicious character on the island. The priest is an art forger, a young Albanian waiter harbors a secret, the captain of the coast guard station seems to have his own agenda, and the village itself hides a violent history. Nick has to unravel the truth in time to prevent catastrophe, as he comes to terms with his own past trauma. In saving the village, he will go a long way toward saving himself.

A long time devotee of the Greek islands, Smith paints the setting with gorgeous color and empathy, ushering in a new romantic thriller with the charm of  Zorba the Greek while shedding bright light on the very real challenges of life in contemporary Greece.

The Review

A brilliant blend of action, dramatic tension, thrills and romantic humor and passion, author Timothy Jay Smith has created an engaging read that will keep readers invested in the cast of characters throughout the narrative. The novel does an excellent job of not only creating the tension of the thriller and the passion of the romance, but infuses into it the tone of the very real distrust, heartbreak and painful situation regarding refugees forced to flee and ending up in the Greek Islands. It demonstrates the division amongst the communities regarding accepting and helping these refugees and those who want to blame them for all of society’s woes. 

Amidst this important storytelling sits a beautiful work of character building that really fleshes out the cast of characters well in this novel. The setting comes alive on the pages of this book and really does a great job of making this community become its own character, giving the book’s plot more heft and importance as the story progresses. 

The Verdict

A must-read novel, “Fire on the Island” by Timothy Jay Smith is a fantastic read with a quick pace and engaging plot that will keep the readers on the edge of their seat both for the book’s thrilling plot and romantic character developments. Be sure to grab your own copy on July 7th, 2020. 

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Raised crisscrossing America pulling a small green trailer behind the family car, Timothy Jay Smith developed a ceaseless wanderlust that has taken him around the world many times. En route, he’s found the characters that people his work. Polish cops and Greek fishermen, mercenaries and arms dealers, child prostitutes and wannabe terrorists, Indian Chiefs and Indian tailors: he’s hung with them all in an unparalleled international career that’s seen him smuggle banned plays from behind the Iron Curtain, maneuver through Occupied Territories, represent the U.S. at the highest levels of foreign governments, and stowaway aboard a ‘devil’s barge’ for a three-day crossing from Cape Verde that landed him in an African jail.

Tim brings the same energy to his writing that he brought to a distinguished career, and as a result, he has won top honors for his novels, screenplays and stage plays in numerous prestigious competitions. Fire on the Island won the Gold Medal in the 2017 Faulkner-Wisdom Competition for the Novel. Another novel, The Fourth Courier, set in Poland, will be published in spring 2019 by Skyhorse Publishing. Previously, he won the Paris Prize for Fiction (now the Paris Literary Prize) for his novel, A Vision of Angels. Kirkus Reviews called Cooper’s Promise “literary dynamite” and selected it as one of the Best Books of 2012.

Tim was nominated for the 2017 Pushcart Prize. His stage play, How High the Moon, won the prestigious Stanley Drama Award, and his screenplays have won competitions sponsored by the American Screenwriters Association, WriteMovies, Houston WorldFest, Rhode Island International Film Festival, Fresh Voices, StoryPros, and the Hollywood Screenwriting Institute. He is the founder of the Smith Prize for Political Theater.

https://www.instagram.com/timothyjays…

www.facebook.com/TimothyJaySmith/

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Take A Hike! A Donkey-Donk Story (Book 3) by Ellen F. Feld Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A feel good children’s picture book series enters a third novel into the story in author Ellen F. Feld’s Take A Hike! A Donkey-Donk Story (Book 3)”. 

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The Synopsis

Donkey-Donk wants to hike Mount Washington, the highest peak in the Northeastern United States. Before she can hike the mountain, however, she must get in shape by lifting weights and working out on her treadmill. Then it’s off to New Hampshire and the White Mountains, where Mount Washington awaits. Follow along with Donk as she hikes this amazing mountain and enjoy the incredible scenery that she discovers.

Over 20 beautiful, professional photographs of Donk as she prepares for, and then hikes, Mt. Washington.

The Review

In such a short read, the author does a great job of establishing a connection between the reader and the protagonist through not only great photography but artful storytelling. The book brings the story of this miniature donkey to life brilliantly, making the story flow at a reasonable pace for younger readers. 

The use of photography over artwork was an inspired choice, as it allowed for more personal touches to the story than artwork may have. The story itself showcases the narrative that with hard work, training, and perseverance anyone can achieve their goals, including hiking and climbing Mount Washington for Donkey-Donk in this tale. 

The Verdict

A well written, short yet impactful read, this is the perfect read for anyone who enjoys picture books and children’s narratives. Full of heart, joy and creativity, author Ellen F. Feld’s “Take A Hike! A Donkey-Donk Story (Book 3)” is a must-read children’s story that stands out on its own while fitting into the overall series of stories expertly. Grab your own copy of this book on May 07th, 2020. 

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Award-winning author Ellen Feld began writing about horses more than 20 years ago. At first she wrote for small, regional magazines, but within a few short years, her work began to appear regularly in large, national publications. In 2001, while waiting for her next assignment, Ms. Feld wrote a short story about a Morgan. That tale became the first chapter of Blackjack: Dreaming of a Morgan Horse. The book went on to win a coveted Children’s Choices award (as did the second book in the series, Frosty), an honor bestowed jointly by the International Reading Association and the Children’s Book Council. The book was also picked up by Breyer Animal Creations to be sold with a model of the star of the story, Blackjack. To date, Ms. Feld has authored fourteen horse books, including seven in the Morgan Horse series. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband, two children, twelve horses, and assorted other pets.

http://www.willowbendpublishing.com/shop/take-a-hike-a-donkey-donk-story

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Kingdom of the Silver Cat (The Sapphire Fruit Chronicles Book 1) by Thomas M. Carroll Review

 I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A day that begins with a bus ride ends with mystery, wonder and danger for a group of students after a crash sends them into another world in author Thomas M. Carroll’s “Kingdom of the Silver Cat (The Sapphire Fruit Chronicles Book 1)”. 

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The Synopsis 

Kingdom of the Silver Cat is a fantasy adventure novel about friendship, adversity, risk-taking, and self-discovery. When a school bus full of children drives through a mysterious blue light in the road, the bus is transported to an empty field in a strange land. The bus driver leaves to find help but doesn’t come back, and the children realize they must fend for themselves. They soon discover they each have a magical power, but with each power comes a weakness.

Alone in a mysterious land, Sarah, Wesley, and their schoolmates set out to find their way home. As they journey through the land, the children encounter strange and wondrous creatures, including playful clouds, thundering fireballs, warrior fairies, giant wolves, and bouncing bears. But when terrifying winged beasts begin hunting them, the children must flee for their lives. They find help in unexpected places and learn the only safe place for them is the Kingdom of the Silver Cat.

They set out to find this kingdom. Along the way, they encounter dangers and hardships. They must work together and support one another if they hope to survive and someday return home.

Kingdom of the Silver Cat is a fantasy adventure for ages eight and up, which Kirkus Reviews calls a “fast-paced, sparkling fantasy for tweens in which great wish fulfillment entails great responsibility,” and IndieReader says is a “clever and engaging fantasy with a lively cast of characters and an imaginatively-drawn world” containing “a variety of peoples and places, enough novelty and beauty to delight, and enough danger (both apparent and promised) to keep the suspense going until the end.”

Kirkus Reviews: https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-re…

IndieReader: https://indiereader.com/book_review/k… 

The Review

A story that immediately begins with a shock takes readers on an incredible journey throughout this first book of a wonderful new fantasy driven series. Readers are immediately immersed into the narrative of this magical land the children find themselves in, and have a unique character study of these characters when they find they have fantastic new powers, but powers that come with a cost. 

One unique thing that really stood out immediately was the amazing artwork picturing the cast of characters in the book, which added to the imagery used by the author throughout the story as the characters encountered new environments and new threats along the way. A story that was very reminiscent in style and approach to the Chronicles of Narnia, The Kingdom of the Silver Cat does a marvelous job of showcasing an already established world to the audience that feels natural and magical all at once, creating that sense of awe that keeps children, teens and adults invested in the narrative. 

The Verdict

A whirlwind adventure, author Thomas M. Carroll’s “The Kingdom of the Silver Cat” is a phenomenal first novel in a brand new fantasy series. Filled with action, mythical and magical creatures alike, and a much needed new narrative of young people discovering themselves and their relationships with each other and the world around them as they navigate a mysterious land, this is a novel not to be missed. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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https://www.facebook.com/SapphireFruit/?view_public_for=107805530726017

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The Goodbye Family and The Great Mountain by Lorin Morgan-Richards Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A family of undertakers from the Weird West must traverse the underworld after long and recently passed neighbors begin rising from the grave, upsetting the balance and their business, in author Lorin Morgan-Richards’ “The Goodbye Family and The Great Mountain”. 

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The Synopsis

The Goodbye Family and the Great Mountain follows the lives of Weird West undertakers Otis, Pyridine, and their daughter Orphie. Pyridine is a witch and matriarch mortician, Otis is a brainless but bold hearse driver, and Orphie is appointed grave digger for her strength of twenty men. Through bumbling, Otis discovers his neighbors are turning into zombies, a mystery that is directly affecting their burial business. In their backyard cemetery, they travel to the underworld for answers and uncover a plot to surface the evil entities that would otherwise burn in the Lake of Fire, have risen again through oil pumps that are bottled up as a tonic medicine for the ground above. The tonic goes fast, and the host takes over the body when the body perishes. Can the Goodbyes hilarious gaffes and revelations plug up the works? Find out in this fast-paced carriage ride through the underworld. The story includes an exclusive foreword by entertainer and medium Richard-Lael Lillard.

The Review

This is a fun and unique read for YA audiences everywhere. An entertaining blend of the Wild West meets sci-fi and Victorian Goth horror, The Goodbye Family and the Great Mountain is a fast-paced read that creates an imaginative and magical world filled with zombies, the underworld and literal magic. 

The author’s ability to fuse this wild and creative mythology within the novel’s world with the humor of the cast of characters, particularly the odd yet fun protagonists the Goodbye Family, make for a unique literary journey. Otis, in particular, will delight audiences as his strange comments will showcase the surrounding character’s bemused and dumbfounded looks in the reader’s minds. 

The Verdict

An entertaining, evenly paced and magical read, author Lorin Morgan-Richards’ novel “The Goodbye Family and The Great Mountain” is a must-read for 2020. Action-packed, whimsical yet haunting in its an approach, readers can easily picture the novel adapted into a Tim Burton-like claymation animated film. It’s a delightful read that I highly recommend, so be sure to grab your copies today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Lorin Morgan-Richards is an author and illustrator, known mostly for his YA fiction. A fan favorite is his daily comic series The Goodbye Family about a family of eccentric undertakers living in the Old Weird West with their daughter Orphie who oversees the town of Nicklesworth as their sheriff. Richards writing career started in 2009, with his latest novel The Goodbye Family and the Great Mountain (2020) being his thirteenth release. In addition to writing and illustrating, Richards colorizes Old West and Victorian-era photography.

Official site: https://www.lorinrichards.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lorin_morgan_richards/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lorinmorganrichards/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Lorin-Morgan-Richards/e/B002LTN6KO

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2943244.Lorin_Morgan_Richards