Mice Tales: Persevering Possibilities and Succeeding (Volume 1) by Linda Bunker

MICE TALES is a story of a diverse group of mice who experience life’s ups, downs and all-arounds, just as humans.

They adopt a motto of persevering possibilities, brilliantly achieving an impossible goal, which in turn results in a happy ending for all.

The story, while comical, accentuates deep acceptance of all earth’s species, nationalities, religious or non-religious beliefs, lineage and lifestyles. The Golden Rule works –

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!”

How very simple. If mice can do it, why can’t humans?

Kelly Morgan (Illustrator)

Book Review: An endearing story with life lessons involving a cast a characters made up of a group of mice who persevere through challenges, never sway from their core values and convictions, while achieving a task so grand that most would have gone away in defeat.

Special mention for Kelly Morgan who did a beautiful job on the book cover and the illustrations throughout the book.

Author Linda Bunker is a great story teller who weaves her own life philosophies into her stories and this is a great beginning to this new series. I found the book’s introduction very interesting with forty-four well written chapters that keep the reader engaged in the life of this unique group of mice living in the mall shops. Two live in the Deli, one in the Tuxedo Shop, three in the Bridal Shop and two in the Yarn Shop. Aishe Vadoma is the proprietor of the yarn shop and her life is about to change in more ways than one.

I invite you to read this uplifting story in a day and time when there is more negative thrown at us then most of us can handle in a day. As a grandmother of two I recommend this book for Tweens (ages 10-14), Young Adults (ages 15-21) and all adults of all ages who are young at heart. We are never too old to listen, learn, accept one another and follow ‘The Golden Rule’. I highly recommend for teens and adult book clubs where discussion is encouraged.

I, Theodocia McLean endorse Mice Tales- Persevering Possibilities and Succeeding (Volume 1) by Linda Bunker. This is the first book in her ‘Mice Tails’ series and I hope it won’t be long until the next book is available. Available in both print and Kindle, I purchased this book from a Kindle format and this review was completed on 01/21/2017. I have also have the privileged to have read Linda Bunker’s dual set of books titled ‘Your Story Matters… Tell It’ and ‘Claudia Estelle The Extraordinary Senior Gay Couple’.

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Escape From Ancient Egypt (The Neiko Adventure Saga Book 2) by A. K. Taylor

Winner of the Bronze Medal Award and Best in YA Historical Fantasy in the 2013 Wisebear Book Awards!

Winner of the UP Authors Approved Award for the 2013 Fiction Challenge!

**Top 50 Amazon Bestseller in Teen and Young Adult Science Fiction/Fantasy Time Travel and Teen and Young Adult Action Adventure categories!

When being stuck in the past has a whole new meaning…

What if your worst enemy sent you on a one-way ticket to the past? Worse, later he shows up and tries to play match-maker with a dominant historical figure while all of history and the future are on the line? Survival is just one problem, but then add your friends into the mix…

Following an intense battle between the Indians and the Crackedskulls, Neiko and her comrades enjoy victory while her enemies suffer a crushing defeat. Victory is short lived for Neiko when Francesco pays her a visit at her home and sends her away in order to collect on his threat of revenge. She is banished into the ancient world of ancient Egypt during the reign of Ramesses II the Great on a one way ticket.

Lost and trapped in this ancient world, it doesn’t take very long for trouble to find her. Taken by a rich man, she is reunited with three of her friends that had been missing, and an eleven-year-old mystery is finally solved, but one of Neiko’s friends is still unaccounted for. After escaping from the rich man and journeying to Thebes, Neiko and her comrades have actually jumped from the pan and into the fire.

Things go horribly awry when Pharaoh finds out about Neiko and becomes infatuated with her. Francesco comes to Egypt on orders to bring her back, but he has other plans. Can Neiko and her friends thwart Francesco, return to the 21st century, and escape from the past and one of the greatest kings that ever lived?

Best for teens and tweens 12-17 and the young at heart adult!

If you love the action, adventure, and time travel intrigue of Back to the Future and Time Machine (except without the time machine) and modern 21st century Native Americans in ancient Egypt, but the story of the Ten Commandments and the Prince of Egypt in reverse with a battle of wills and the motives of passion from Pharaoh, and the comic relief of The Big Bang Theory, you’ll love Escape from Ancient Egypt!

For a Behind the Scenes backstory and the events of the story from Ramesses’ point of view go to: backwoodsauthor.com/2016/10/04/behind-scenes-exploring-backstory-escape-ancient-egypt/

Book Review

Escape From Ancient Egypt by A. K. Taylor is book two in the Neiko Adventure series. Although penned as a series, each book stands alone with action adventure all its own.  ‘Escape From Ancient Egypt’ is for those young adult readers who enjoy time travel to ancient Egypt with a Native American Indian twist.

The book starts out with a wonderful map drawing of Egypt Ca 1300 BC drawn by author. The seven photo illustrations were produced by a separate artist. Her book cover design is by Mallory Rock.

In chapter one, Neiko (main character) emerges from a portal and makes a log entry concerning Hawote, a “hidden land that coexisted with the United States, Canada, and Mexico”.

Forty-three chapters reveal realistic characters, imaginative fantasy with action suspense drama, easy to follow dialog that will keep the reader engaged anticipating the next carefully placed photo that brings visual enhancement to the story.

In order to give you the reader a feel for the author’s writing style, I quote a passage from chapter three and share a description of the illustration photo in this chapter.

“Neiko’s vision turned from the green light to the world spinning around her in dizzying speed. Neiko wasn’t moving, but she felt like she was in freefall—like someone had cut the cable from an elevator, and she was plummeting with it. Descending in what—space and time? The evergreen and colorful deciduous vegetation of the Hawote woodlands changed to a desert with a river with some greenery and palms nearby. The cool autumn air of Hawote in October transformed into stifling, searing, dry heat. Pyramids, sphinxes, and strange statues spun around her after her house, porch, and front yard disappeared within the vortex. It was nighttime in Hawote, but the sun rose and set as time flew by— from west to east—backwards. Beneath her bare feet the wood from her front porch turned to nothing then into hot, soft sand.

Neiko’s world stopped spinning, and the sun was high in the sky. Neiko watched the sun to be sure it didn’t move again. Wherever she ended up, she guessed the time must be about high noon there judging by the sun’s position in the sky after a few moments of observation. The heat was intense, and she discovered she must be somewhere far from home. “Where?” was the ultimate question.”

There is a photo of an Indian within this script. “The man chattered in a language she didn’t understand—God knows what he was saying to her. He thrust at her a fine scarab necklace. Neiko looked at him puzzled with her right eyebrow raised. The language didn’t sound like Arabic since she watched a lot of action movies. Neiko put up her hands and shook her head and signed “map” and “phone” and spoke the words in every language that she knew of but got nowhere.”

As you can see Neiko is far from home. You must become a detective yourself and read this book to find out how and why Neiko travels through time? What mystery involves Neiko and some of her friends? How does a Native American girl fit into ancient Egypt culture and what is a girl to do when the Pharaoh takes a romantic interest? What will it take to get Neiko out of the past and back home?

‘Escape From Ancient Egypt’ was the finalist in the ‘Wisebear Digital Book Awards’, winner of the ‘Bronze Medal Award’,  ‘Best in YA Historical Fantasy in the 2013 Wisebear Book Awards’ and Winner of the ‘UP Authors Approved Award for the 2013 Fiction Challenge’.

I invite you to read the first book in this series titled ‘Neiko’s Five Land Adventure’ and ‘Escape From Ancient Egypt’ as both books stand alone with their own adventure.

Theodocia McLean endorses Escape From Ancient Egypt (The Neiko Adventure Saga Book 2) by A. K. Taylor. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. The review was completed on September 8, 2016.

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Bloody Klondike Gold: A Randi Braveheart Mystery Short Story by A. K. Taylor

A summer trip to the Klondike can be deadly…

Randi and her friend go to the Mineral Creek mining claim in the Klondike to visit her father during the mining season. Sabotage, theft, and a death threat turn wilderness summer fun and normal mining operations into a fight for survival…

Bloody Klondike Gold is an introductory short story to the new Randi Braveheart Mystery Series by award winning Teen/YA author A.K. Taylor! Stay tuned for the first installment To Catch a Catfish coming in 2017.

Book Review

Short stories are to an avid reader like chocolate to sweet tooth. Bloody Klondike Gold by A. K. Taylor is a short Story introduction to the Randi Braveheart action suspense mystery thriller series.

Two teenage friends, Randi and Brittany drive the long 2, 700 mile trek from San Francisco to southeast Alaska. Randi’s father, William Wallace Braveheart was already on location as his reputation for finding gold at any location made him a valuable asset.

Mining communities are tight knit as the environment, equipment and the mining processes inherit dangers make mining for Gold a driving force with the claim crews but also a draw for the darker side of human nature.

The summer starts out as an adventurous vacation with Randi dreaming of fishing in cool streams to a mining community’s worst nightmare.

If you enjoyed Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys mysteries then I invite you to read ‘Bloody Klondike Gold’ to prepare for ‘To Catch A Catfish’ scheduled for release in 2017. If this short story is any indication of what is to come with ‘To Catch A Catfish’ then prepare yourself for an action packed, suspense mystery thriller.

Theodocia McLean endorses Bloody Klondike Gold: A Randi Braveheart Mystery Short Story as the introduction to A. K. Taylor’s new action suspense mystery thriller series coming soon. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on September 23, 2016.

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Neiko’s Five Land Adventure (The Neiko Adventure Saga Book 1) by A. K. Taylor

Winner of the 2012 Indie Reader Approved Award

Nominated as “A Great Book for Kids” by fantasy and science fiction reviewer CC Cole

What if the fate of two worlds were in the hands of one person: you?

The childhood secret of a troubled teen warrior is used against her by her enemies. It turns out what Neiko imagined is real, and she becomes trapped in the same world she imagined by an otherworldly evil that is worse than the devil. Getting home is the least of her problems.

The Indians and the Crackedskulls are locked in the turmoil of a war that has raged for centuries, and it is presently in a stalemate. Her enemies, Raven and Bloodhawk, have come up with a scheme to take her down, but in doing so they inadvertently open the door to another universe and to an otherworldly evil. Neiko later finds out that a land she thought she had only imagined is actually real and the dark being is not a figment of her childhood imagination-he is terrifyingly real and she faces him for the first time. To make matters worse, it is now in her world and he has evil plans especially for her.

After several standoffs with the malevolent Ramses the Dark Pharaoh in Hawote, she is trapped in Qari by his strange and powerful magic. Trapped in another universe in a place that is not exactly the way she imagined it, and she must somehow find a way to teleport home. That is easier said than done; the odds are overwhelmingly against her and her scorpion-cobra companion as they must travel to find the answer and help but at the same time avoid Ramses’ allies, traps, and tricks. Can she come back home and turn the tables on her enemies?

Best for tweens and teens 12-17 and the young at heart adult!

Book Review

I can’t begin to imagine A. K. Taylor as a young girl writing fascinating fantasy tales like Neiko’s Five Land Adventure (Neiko Adventure Saga Book One). Granted as an adult the author has revised this teen writing project and added the wisdom and balance of being a grown, educated and married woman.

Take a moment and think back to your childhood bedroom. Recall your favorite toys, the ones you played with the most and the ones that caused you some discomfort in the dark. Now imagine your bedroom transformed into a fantasy land were you were called upon to battle for the good and defeat evil between reality and imaginary. What if you found out those imaginary worlds and the people/creatures in it were real and you became trapped there? Some things you imagined were incorrect. What would you do?

Neiko’s has one foot in reality and the other where she is Captain Neiko Kidd, commanding officer of the Desert Storm Falcons a hidden world that coexists with the known one. These woodland warriors battle with the Crackedskulls and it has to be done before supper.

I always like to share a quote from each book that I review, not to spoil, but to engage. Now imagine yourself back as a teen trying to communicate with your mom and see if it would go something like this:

“Well, here goes nothing,” said Neiko as she walked down the hall. She was trying to measure up what to say to her mother about what happened. She sat down at the table and waited for her mom to hand her dinner. They prayed, and after they finished, Neiko began eating.

“I wonder where your daddy is,” her mom said, trying to break the silence.

“I don’t know, probably got held up at LP again,” Neiko replied with a mouth full of cabbage.

“Is there something on your mind? You’re awfully quiet.”

“Yeah, um—did you hear anything strange—like in my room… like metal hitting the wall or something?”

“No, why?”

“I was just wondering because a couple of strange things happened a few minutes ago.”

“Like what?”

“Well—like…um—I was playing with Ramses, and when he hit the wall he clanged, and then I tried to bring him in the toy box; I missed, and he hit the side and said ‘Ow’.”

“Who is Ramses?”

“One of my toys—the guy with the shiny armor.”

“Amanda,” she groaned in an aggravated manner, then said gently, “Oh—yeah— well… that’s nice, dear.”

“Mom, I ain’t makin’ this up. It really happened.”

“That’s really using your imagination. Did this happen during a battle?”

“No! This wasn’t pretend—this was real. Like in real life,” Neiko stammered.

“Oh, well, that’s a really nice joke—”

“I’m not joking—and I haven’t even laughed about it. If I was joking, then I would be laughing my head off.”

“Has he ever done this before?” “No.”

“Did he come with any special real-life sounds or anything?”

“No, he was just a plain toy. I’ve had him for a long time, and I’ve played with him a million times, and it’s never happened before—never mind, let’s talk about something else.”

The question begs to be answered, would your Mom believe you? What if your real or imaginary friends reveled in the fact that your Mom just didn’t understand.

I encourage teens and young adults to read ‘Neiko’s Five Land Adventure’ and learn from a peer that you must have courage and the strength to face the odds and fight for what you believe. Teens will enjoy this book and perhaps it will encourage them to write about their toys and action figures that seem to at times, take on a life of their own.

This book was winner of the ‘2012 Indie Reader Approved Award’ and this book was nominated as “A Great Book for Kids” by fantasy and science fiction reviewer CC Cole

Author A. K. Taylor created the Map of Hawote/Georgia and the Map of Qari and has been writing and drawing since the age of sixteen. She worked with another artist to create the 23 black and white photos that help bring the story to life IN THE Sixty-five chapters. There are also letters and an amazing log titled “Neiko’s Log” at the end of this book which details, people, places and events. This log will help young readers as this series continues.

For parents: The author grew up in the backwoods of Georgia where she learned hunting and fishing, beekeeping, gardening, archery, shooting, hiking, and has various collections. She has her degree from University of Georgia with a biology degree. I think she is a good role model for teens and young adults.

Theodocia McLean endorses Neiko’s Five Land Adventure (The Neiko Adventure Saga Book 1) by A. K. Taylor and encourage teens and young adults to read Neiko’s Five Land Adventure (Book One), Escape from Ancient Egypt (Book Two), The Newbie Author’s Survival Guide and her latest book title Bloody Klondike Gold. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on October 20, 2016.

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Charlene The Star and Bentley Bulldog by Deanie Humphrys-Dunne

Charlene the Star makes new friends in this exciting adventure. She hopes to win a special award for jumpers. She must learn important things if she wants to reach her goal.

Does she succeed? How does Hattie react when she sees the headline in “The Gazette?”

Why is Cherish so afraid?

Your child will be fascinated with the amusing adventures of Charlene and her friends. Children will be entertained and learn important life lessons.
Charlene the Star and Bentley Bulldog is Deanie’s fifth book. It’s the third in her series of Charlene the Star books. Her other books include her award winning autobiography, Tails of Sweetbrier, as well as, Charlie the Horse, Charlene the Star, and Charlene the Star and Hattie’s Heroes. All of Deanie’s books encourage children to persevere and strive to do their best.
Deanie is a graduate of The Institute of Children’s Literature. She enjoys music, singing, spending time with her family and their dog, Elliott. Deanie is also an avid fan of baseball and equestrian events.
Holly’s passion for Art began at an early age under the guidance of renowned artist, Ray Quigley. She earned a Fine Arts degree from Southern Methodist University. She devotes her talents to equestrian and family portraits, as well as children’s book illustrations. Holly has beautifully illustrated all of Deanie’s books.

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Grandma’s Tales by Cheryl Carpinello

Two delightful stories you will enjoy reading out loud with your toddler, your preschooler, your beginning reader.

Wild Creatures in My Neighborhood and What If I Went to the Circus are crafted with repeating phrases that will allow children to feel as if they are actually reading the story!

Wild Creatures in My Neighborhood explores the wildlife all around us, even in our own backyards.

What If I Went to the Circus shares the decision-making process with the youngest listener as a small boy decides who or what will be a good playmate.

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Thieves in Sabimn (TMB inc. Book 1) by Jax E. Garson

TMB Inc. is a corporate power that protects the human race from Abuths and other dangers in the galaxy. With adults incapacitated by a disease, the company uses teenagers and even younger to serve as soldiers to fight for them.

After the loss of his son and then his wife, Tawrett finds himself returning to the planet where he declared his nuptials. He has been given an important mission to retrieve an object that could steer the war in favor of the human race. But after a battle with Abuths and unforeseen events, their starship is whisked across space and crashes on Sabimn.

The human population of Sabimn are terrorized by a race called Coerallins. The Coerallins use organic technology for weapons and machinery, as well as to enslave the humans. Their leaders attempt to coax Tawrett and his soldiers to help defeat their foe by destroying the Eye Ruby. Tawrett is reluctant, not willing to get involved with their dispute. But the mysteries of Sabimn keep growing as he discovers the secret to his brother’s death and much more.

Not sure if his colleagues survived and his ability to complete the mission, Tawrett must make a decision to help the human race or discard their hopes. Surrounded by friends and enemies, he is unsure who to trust, and Sabimn’s magical properties force the past memories to surface and haunt him.

Will he return to their old ways, or continue acting on the company’s desires.

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LITTLUNS and the book of darkness (Mom’s Choice Awards Recipient) by Mark Glamack

Imagine innocence of Light, the meek and good among us being unexpectedly consumed into a void of darkness. Imagine a world gone wrong as darkness overwhelms the Light – offering little hope in a world gone wrong.

Imagine circumstances beyond your control from which your life will inexplicably never ever be the same. Imagine anyone being stripped of their identity with no past, present, or future while wandering misplaced with a tortured disability and terrifying existence, within an empty space of nothingness.

What could you do – where would you go – how might you survive?

Can there be any hope in hopelessness?

Imagine being in such a dark place and how you might find ANY truth, peace, love, hope, joy, enlightenment, and your heart’s desire in the face of such adversity?

First and foremost, Never, Ever Give Up… Beyond that can only be found in Littluns. Secret to the rest of the world is the protected, self contained, pure and peaceful valley of Hollow Hills.

The outside world below holds little interest to Littluns. It’s not that they don’t know about such things and what goes on out there; they know very well about the chaos and discord and the importance of remaining removed from such things. However, once every year or two, the Town Council selects five of its citizens to journey down Powder Mountain into the outside world. It’s a scavenger hunt. The only rules are that anything they bring back must not belong to anyone.

No one ever worries about the rules because every Littlun is taught, from a very young age, that stealing is wrong and no Littlun would ever consider such an act – it just wouldn t be Littlun.

Now, it should be noted that this is not just any outing. It is very dangerous and requires much skill and knowledge. The journey down the mountain is treacherous. No one looks forward to being selected, but each accepts the responsibility in the knowledge that they are fulfilling a community obligation. This is one of those days for a scavenger hunt. …and nothing will ever be the same.

LITTLUNS: and the book of darkness is an epic animated, fantasy, mythological adventure, and journey into a volatile unknown that will stir the reader’s every emotion while presenting real-life examples that everyone can relate to.

It is a story of extreme good and innocence in a world of chaos from the resulting seductive effects of evil. It clearly defines the differences and becomes the family friendly alternative.

If readers are looking for a different reading experience that will keep them on the edge of their seat, and then touch their heart, they’ll find it in LITTLUNS: and the book of darkness.

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Charlie The Horse by Deanie Humphrys-Dunne

Charlie dreamed of becoming a famous racehorse like his Dad, Charles the Great.

Will he have the talent to succeed when he leaves for training at Sweetbrier Racing Stable?

What will he do if he’s tired and doesn’t feeling like running?

How will Charlie react when he faces challenges on the race track?

Charlie tells this story just for you. Your child will delight in reading about Charlie as a baby horse with a big dream.

All of Deanie’s books convey positive messages for children. Charlie the Horse emphasizes working hard and setting goals.

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Dark Tidings: Ancient Magic Meets the Internet Book 1 by Ken Magee

What happens when ancient magic meets the internet? One thing is certain, modern life will never be the same again.

A thousand years ago, a young thief, Tung, and a disgraced wizard, Madrick, are thrust together in an executioner’s dungeon. In the darkness, Madrick reveals an incredible secret about a legendary spell.

The great spell helps them escape their prison cell… and eventually their century.

Catapulted into the present day, their lives collide with Michael, a computer hacker who plans to destroy the world’s largest bank. But sinister people are tracking their every move and they will stop at nothing to steal their spell.

Funny and frightening, Dark Tidings is book one of the spellbinding ‘ancient magic meets the Internet’ trilogy.

Rabiah: The Gift (Volume 1) by Lisa Lagaly

Rabiah is a simple Clan girl.

Gift-less, friendless, but talented with weapons. She fights and dresses like a boy. Defeated in battle, she prepares herself for death. It doesn’t come. Instead, she finds herself in a position she never imagined tied heart and soul to the enemy.

It is not easy being a Princess in a country where Clans-people are slaves, you’ve suddenly developed strange powers, and someone will do anything to put his own daughter on the throne, even make deals with demons.

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Tutankhamen Speaks by Cheryl Carpinello

2014 EVVY Merit Award for Historical Fiction from CIPA (Colorado Independent Publishers Assoc.)

Long ago the old texts of ancient Egypt alluded to scrolls in which King Tut spoke to the people from beyond the tomb.

Many archeologists put this down to an incorrect translation of the ancient Egyptian texts. Others swore to the accuracy of the translation. None of that mattered because the scrolls in question could not be found. Scholars labeled it a hoax, something that never existed. It was ludicrous to imagine someone speaking from the grave. They were wrong on both accounts.

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Sons Of The Sphinx by Cheryl Carpinello

Travel to ancient Egypt through the eyes of a tenth grader named Rosa as she uses her special gifts in an attempt to bring honor to King Tutankhamen’s family. Rosa is an ordinary teen who struggles to fit in with her peers, however she must also come to term with the gift that her grandmother bestowed on her.

As it turns out, Rosa’s gift allows her to not only to hear and speak to dead people, but actually travel back to ancient Egypt. Without warning King Tut appears to Rosa in her bedroom asking for help finding the spirit of his long, lost, love Hesena.

Rosa has to fight unimaginable fears in order to travel back 3,000 years, deal with a hostile environment, and an evil Pharaoh, not to mention tomb robbers in order to connect with the spirit of Hesena all with the hopes of righting the wrongs of this ancient past.

Young Rosa has a heart of gold and the courage of a champion along with a sweet innocent inner self that inspires a touch of romantic feeling for her spirit guide. I quote a passage from the book to show the author’s unique writing style and ability to connect with young people:

“Tut, you were rich beyond anything I can imagine. It’s so unreal.” I walk around behind the shrine. “You were one of the richest pharaohs in Egypt.”

He looks at me and frowns. I see something in his eyes, briefly, that mirrors the disappointment in my dad’s eyes the day the cops brought me home. I ditched school after one of those talking ghost episodes. They picked me up at the shopping mall an hour before school was out. An hour! I have all the luck. I cough as my throat tickles in an irritating way.

“Roosa.” He sweeps his arm through the air. All this is here, with me, now, dead.”

‘Sons Of The Sphinx’ is a fast paced, historically accurate time travel adventure that will enlighten and engage the hearts and minds of readers from pre-teen to adult. Author Cheryl Carpinello has not only researched ancient Egypt, but travelled there herself. This book details the Eighteenth Dynasty (1550-1295 BC) and includes a map of Ancient Egypt. There is a glossary of Egyptian Gods, People, Places and Terms which is most beneficial.

Theodocia McLean endorses ‘Sons Of The Sphinx’ by Cheryl Carpinello for the historical accuracies, adventurous journey to ancient Egypt with teen tenacity and paranormal contributions. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle. The review was completed on April 28, 2015.

Genre: Teen & Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Ancient Civilizations, Children’s, Literature & Fiction

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Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend by Cheryl Carpinello

At the dawn of Camelot, one young girl is about to take her place beside the greatest king in England’s history…. She is a mere child of twelve. But in these medieval days, this is the age when childish things must be put away and greater responsibilities accepted—all in preparation for a betrothal of marriage.

For young Lady Guinevere, on the advent of her thirteenth Birth Day, the whole idea is quite unbearable. After all, what could be better than spending her youth playing with her best friend Cedwyn, roaming the grounds around the castle looking for mythical creatures or hunting rabbits?

However, the wizard Merlyn—her teacher and friend—knows that destiny has a way of catching up with a person. His arrival sets in motion a series of events that will lead Guinevere to her destiny whether she is ready for it or not.

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The Mystery Of The Lost Avenger by Linda Maria Frank

Good news for all Annie Tillery Mystery Followers. The Mystery Of The Lost Avenger (book 4) is finally here. This book educates young minds using this fictional mystery that involves NCIS investigating the crash site of a World War II plane.

Turns out the pilot was Annie Tillery’s great-grandmother Charlotte who was a test pilot for Grumman and actually flew in battle. Annie, her mother Carol are intrigued by Charlotte’s note and decide to dig through the old family attic to see what they can find out about this mysterious family member. What they discover in the attic only adds to the mystery and soon Annie suspects that Charlotte’s ghost is reaching out to them from beyond the grave with an important message.

Annie’s decides to get her boyfriend Ty Egan who happens to be a pilot involved. Here is their conversation.

“Ty, you won’t believe what Mom has been telling me about a mystery concerning my great-grandmother. Mom, this is your story, and maybe Ty can see something we don’t. Can you fill him in on the details, so far? I’m just hearing this story for the first time, too.”

“Well, let me start with . . .” She shuffled the papers in her lap. “Here’s the letter we received from the Department of the Navy. And here’s a copy of a note we found in the plane. The note is written on some sort of a company form with and identification number on it. The number belonged to Charlotte, my grandmother.”

“I also have a letter from the Naval Crime Investigation Service about the condition of the plane where they found the note, and the pilot they found in the wreckage. There are skeletonized remains of a person whose identity they are trying to confirm. They know who flew the plane when it went missing, but they must confirm that it is that person. It is a woman.”

Mom added a new thought, “You know, it’s ironic. Charlotte did die in a plane crash many years later. She continued to fly recreationally after the war. When I went to Maryland to see if there was any record of her time at Grumman, I found these letters in the house where Charlotte spent her last years.”

Students and young adults of all ages will enjoy The Mystery Of The Lost Avenger. Although a series each book is unique and stands alone with no need to read in a particular sequence.

Theodocia McLean endorses The Mystery Of The Lost Avenger and all the books in the Annie Tillery Mysteries by Linda Maria Frank. This review was completed on June 24, 2016.

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Secrets In The Fairy Chimneys by Linda Maria Frank

Annie Tillery Mysterys book three ‘Secrets In The Fairy Chimneys’ can be summed up as Indiana Jones meets Nancy Drew with the skills and precision of CSI. A mystery unfolds amidst a mix of ancient history and modern innovation, in an ageless Eastern country where time moves at a camel’s pace.

Dedicated research by author Linda Maria Frank leaves no stone unturned while great description text transports the reader to the streets of Turkey with it mosques and minarets, towers and modern buildings. One of my favorite quotes from the book is “Water droplets plunked into the pool from the vaulted ceiling. After the heat of the bazaar and the street chase, it was deliciously cool. Ornate columns with carved capitals supported the ceiling. The bases were decorated with animal and human figures. There were a few visitors, but the enormity of the space muffled their conversations.”

Strong characters with great dialog brings us to dusty archeological site in one of the oldest towns in human history called Catalhoyuk. Nothing can explain it better than this quote: “We were in a valley of shapes I couldn’t believe were not made by humans, humans with a fabulous imagination. Conical formations called fairy chimneys in various sizes spread away from us in every direction. The color of bleached bones, they sat majestically among the gray-green brush and white claylike soil. The air shimmered from the heat. I could smell the odor of clay mixed with a faint herbal scent that must have come from the brush.”

Cosponsors from Vermont University are looking for a DNA connection between residents of Catalhoyuk and our original nomadic ancestors in Africa. Annie Tillery and her team go to work excavating this archeological site with all its inherit dangers and a mystery brings out the detective in Annie.

From the spell of an Ouija board to a magical balloon ride in the sky nothing is lost as this time and space makes all their senses come alive with amazing black and white graphics that bring the main characters to life.

Students and young adults of all ages will enjoy Annie Tillery Mysteries. Although a series each book is unique and stands alone with no need to read in a particular sequence.

Theodocia McLean endorses ‘Secrets In The Fairy Chimneys’ and the Annie Tillery Mysteries by Linda Maria Frank. This review completion date February 5, 2015.

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Girl With Pencil, Drawing by Linda Maria Frank

Annie Tillery Mysterys book two Girl with Pencil, Drawing is a spectacular read for students and young adults of all ages. Each book in the Annie Tiller Mystery Series is unique and stands alone with no need to read in a particular sequence.

The story line in ‘Girl with Pencil, Drawing’ by Author Linda Maria Frank draws the young reader into an adventure where young Annie Tillery goes for her first art lesson at a prestigious Art Gallery. With youthful exuberance and an eagerness to advance her drawing skills Annie arrives early. When she enters the studio she overhears a heated argument between two people who turn out to be her Art Instructor Francesca Gabrielli and the Art Gallery Director John DiCristiani.

Annie’s empathy for others and her sleuth personally draws her into a murder mystery when John DiCristiani turns up dead and Francesca Gabrielli is the prime suspect, Annie enlists the help of her Aunt Jill who is a NYPD Detective to help clear her new found friend and art mentor’s name.

With strong characters, flowing dialog and layers of mystery, soon everyone is caught up in a real who-dun-it that involves a long lists of suspects and hidden clues. Twists and turns with all the dangers that come into play when an International Art Fraud has been perpetrated.

I invite you to go beyond this headline: “Manhattan Business-Man Found Slain in Chelsea. John DiCristiani, a wealthy business man, whose financial interests reached as far as Hong Kong and Istanbul, was found shot to death in his posh apartment overlooking the Hudson River. Mr. DiCristiani’s body was found by an employee from his Soho gallery. The police questioned the employee, Ms. Francesca Gabrielli, at headquarters, but subsequently released her. Police would only confide that the murder weapon was found at the scene and that all other leads were being investigated. Mr. DiCristiani is survived by a son, Mark, twenty-five, a law student at New York University.”

Learn the ins and out of the art world that include how scientists tests for authenticity in original paintings by world renown artist like Renoir and the lucrative forgeries that make this underworld as treacherous as any international mob association.

Follow the clues, wait for the DNA evidence and sift through the ashes left by an arsonist. Inspire a young reader to discover the innate detective skills of Annie Tillery who is fast becoming the next Nancy Drew. This series should be placed on our schools’ summer reading list.

Theodocia McLean endorses ‘Girl with Pencil, Drawing’ and the Annie Tillery Mysteries by Linda Maria Frank. This review was completed on March 24, 2015.

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The Madonna Ghost by Linda Maria Frank

Come on vacation with Annie Tillery and her Aunt Jill to Long Island’s Fire Island. Stand with Annie on the Ferry and recall what she sees; “Looking out across the Great South Bay, I could see Fire Island in the distance, a long stretch of dunes and scrub pines across the horizon. At the western end of the island, was the black and white striped tower of Fire Island lighthouse, blinking away. Sailboats maneuvered across the dark blue waters of the bay in ballerina fashion, their sails puffed out by the wind like dancers’ gauzy skirts.”

Walk along the boardwalk which “opens onto a broad cement lane where homey little cottages, each with a tiny garden” stretch as far as the eyes can see. Relax with Annie and Aunt Jill in the charm of “Windalee” one of the oldest houses on the island where secret a secret passage was used to smuggle liquor onto Long Island in the twenties. The Long Island coastland has always been the perfect environment for shipwrecks, lost treasure, pirates, bootleggers, drug runners, kidnapping and terrorists.

Learn the history of settlers coming to Long Island as far back as the early 1800s and how Fire Island got its name. Become aware that men, women and children enduring treacherous seas in wooden ships came to Fire Island and some were forced to wade cold ocean water to make it to Bay Shore. Join Annie and TY on their quest to see ‘The Madonna Ghost’ as past accounts and island legend recalls seeing her walking on the Bay Shores in the mist of the salt water air to protect the grave of her infant child who perished while she was trying to make it to shore.

Mystery and suspense develops when Annie discovers that her Aunt Jill, who is a NYPD detective is not really on vacation, but working an active case. Watch Annie’s sleuth abilities interrupt her own vacation when her beloved Aunt Jill is missing and some unscrupulous neighbors beside “Windalle” are on the top of her short list.

Enjoy a youthful budding romance and see for yourself that “Fire Island must indeed be a paradise where dreams come true.”

Annie Tillery Mysterys book two ‘The Madonna Ghost’ is an enjoyable read for students and young adults of all ages. Each book in the Annie Tiller Mystery Series is unique and stands alone with no need to read in a particular sequence. Author Linda Maria Frank uses her own background in forensic science, great research, delightful writing skills, intensive character development and interesting dialog to keep her readers engaged in each one of her mysteries. The Annie Tillery Mystery series should be placed on our schools’ summer reading list.

Theodocia McLean endorses ‘The Madonna Ghost’ and the Annie Tillery Mysteries by Linda Maria Frank. This review completion date March 27, 2015.

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Just Say Mikey by Clint Adams

Just Say Mikey…an incredible journey from the insidious grips of fear…to the elation of ultimate freedom.

In today’s world, a climate dominated by technological advancements, it may be time to play spiritual “catch up.” Upgrades provide infinite options, but now more than ever people are finding one, single enhancement to be the most important they will ever implement, the elimination of fear from their lives.

Miguel, the central character in this mainstream novel for adults and young adults is unique, yet he shares a trait common to many children; a lifetime measured by days instead of years. Miguel happens to live with the skin-blistering disease Epidermolysis Bullosa, but he spends little time thinking about it. For Miguel, living with fear is far more deadly than this potentially fatal disease that encompasses his life.

Miguel happens to command an extraordinary ability to view life as few others do, with razor-sharp insights and an unwavering spiritual conviction that all things are possible to those who believe. The action in this novel revolves around Miguel’s many changes and transformations as he comes to realize that he was put on earth for a purpose, to teach others about the enormous power of belief and faith (in themselves)…just as ( Miguel believes) God intended.

Just Say Mikey is told solely through Miguel’s point of view, yet it is not a children’s (juvenile or middle-grade) book.

Opposing perspectives dominate the three main characters in this book. The protagonist, of course, is Miguel, a boy who is open to change, open to any new ways of keeping himself alive. Throughout the course of this story Miguel learns and applies these new ways taught to him by his Aunt Shirley (Kirkland), a woman who may be thought of as eccentric, revolutionary, and wise all at once. The antagonist is fear itself, personified in this story by Miguel’s mother, Shirley’s sister, Sharon Kirkland-Estes, a woman who loves her son dearly, but happens to be paralyzing him with her imposing fears and (dis)beliefs.

The geographical setting is comprised of three radically different environments within the San Francisco Bay Area, all in present-day. First is the luxurious, opulent, thirtieth-floor Nob Hill (San Francisco) apartment in which Miguel and his mother live. Second is Aunt Shirley’s serenely beautiful and sanctuary-like house in the Berkeley hills. Third is the hygienic and medicinal world of the Lucille Salter Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford University (Palo Alto/Menlo Park). Many other Bay Area locales are significantly featured: Big Sur, Bodega Bay, Golden Gate Park, Marin County, and more.

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My Watch Doesn’t Tell Time by Clint Adams

“What if time runs out?” is the question that makes 14-year old Miguel Estes sweat every night. Miguel’s certain of three things though: he’s here to learn lessons, he lives with a fatal form of the skin-blistering disease E.B., and the clock never stops ticking. In his quest to learn everything from the challenging life he’s been given, Miguel discovers who’s responsible for time being over.

My Watch Doesn’t Tell Time is the third in a series of muti-cultural, fear-eliminating teen novels, which includes Fear Ain’t All That and Don’t Be Afraid of Heaven.

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Fear Ain’t All That by Clint Adams

How in the world did fear ever become so popular, especially when it never should have existed in the first place?

Why were we put here to do what we want, if we end up being too afraid to do it?

For some who read FEAR AIN’T ALL THAT, learning to exist without fear is an option. For twelve-year old Miguel Estes, it’s a necessity. Miguel happens to live with a fatal form of the skin-blistering disease E.B., yet believing he’ll have a future is what sustains him. “The longer you keep your To Do list, the longer you’ll have to hang around to get everything done,” says Miguel’s Aunt Shirley.

Through his insightful aunt, through his dreams about his brother Jorge in heaven, and through the challenging lessons he’s chosen to learn, Miguel is able to eliminate nearly every fear within him-all that’s left is his mighty power of belief. In the end, Miguel is the ultimate victor; he realizes he’s living life the way it was meant to be lived without fear.

FEAR AIN’T ALL THAT (review): In Fear Ain’t All That, Clint Adams has crafted a beautiful, very touching book, full of wisdom about life: Becoming comfortable at being different; Dealing with anger; Staying with hope; and most important, creating one’s own destiny. I couldn’t put it down, and strongly recommend it to both young people and adults. – Carla Perez, M.D., 13-year talk show host, ABC-Radio practicing psychiatrist for over thirty years FEAR AIN’T ALL THAT is the prequel to DON’T BE AFRAID OF HEAVEN, two multicultural fear-eliminating novels for teens.

AUTHOR INFO: Born in Oakland, California, Clint Adams, now lives in Viareggio, Italy. Having authored numerous academic publications while at the Washington Post and McGraw-Hill, Clint now actively markets his two fear-eliminating novels for teens, FEAR AIN’T ALL THAT and its sequel, DON’T BE AFRAID OF HEAVEN. Before writing, Clint was a professional actor with over 100 credits in TV, film, and theatre. Clint earned a bachelor’s degree in drama from the University of California at Berkeley, and his master’s in marketing from San Francisco’s Golden Gate University.

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Don’t Be Afraid of Heaven by Clint Adams

How in the world did fear ever become so popular, especially when it never should have existed in the first place?

Why were we put here to do what we want, if we end up being too afraid to do it? In DON’T BE AFRAID OF HEAVEN, 13-year old Miguel Estes feels that being “scared to death,” and having “the life scared out of me,” are no longer just tired, old expressions, they’ve become part of a world-wide epidemic. Now rid of the fears that once paralyzed him, Miguel decides to help others eliminate theirs; he founds F.A.A.T. (Fear Ain’t All That), an after-school group with his eccentric but wise Aunt Shirley.

In its first meeting Miguel befriends Samantha, a girl diagnosed as having an exotic variety of phobias, fears, and anxieties. With a fierce determination, Miguel helps Samantha rid her life of one debilitating fear after another. Together, Miguel and Samantha learn much about life, fear, and death. Revelations from Aunt Shirley, and recurrent dreams of his brother Jorge (who already lives in heaven), also remind Miguel that “heaven is a far better place than here. It’s nothing to be afraid of; it’s the perfect place to be. Everything about it is perfect.”

After undergoing a radical transformation, a stronger-than-ever-before Samantha, grows to be ill. As her condition worsens, Aunt Shirley informs Miguel that the greatest lesson he can possibly share with his dear friend is to help her be unafraid of going to heaven. Of course he’s uncertain about accepting this task. But, paradoxically, it ends up being Samantha who teaches Miguel. Prior to leaving, Samantha feels only joy, excitement, and relief about her upcoming journey; Miguel, due to Samantha’s experience, becomes unafraid of his own mortality. Samantha, now completely fearless, moves on; although left behind, Miguel celebrates Samantha’s life as well as her death.

DON’T BE AFRAID OF HEAVEN is the sequel to FEAR AIN’T ALL THAT, two multicultural fear-eliminating novels for teens.

AUTHOR INFO: Born in Oakland, California, Clint Adams, now lives in Viareggio, Italy. Having authored numerous academic publications while at the Washington Post and McGraw-Hill, Clint now actively markets his two fear-eliminating novels for teens, FEAR AIN’T ALL THAT and its sequel, DON’T BE AFRAID OF HEAVEN. Before writing, Clint was a professional actor with over 100 credits in TV, film, and theatre. Clint earned a bachelor’s degree in drama from the University of California at Berkeley, and his master’s in marketing from San Francisco’s Golden Gate University.

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Welcome To Harmony: A Tale From The Town Of Harmony by Dan Trumpis

Being twelve years old is already hard enough. Being a werewolf makes it even harder. Dillon Howell and his parents have just moved to Harmony, a small town in Northern California. Like all kids, he just wants to fit in and make friends, while keeping his “condition” a secret, of course. But Dillon quickly finds out he’s not the only person in town who isn’t what he appears to be. Welcome to Harmony, Dillon Howell. Your life is about to change forever.

Book Review For Welcome To Harmony by Dan Trumpis

The township of Harmony in Northern California could be like any small town in America, but it isn’t. Like in most small towns secrets are desperately tried to be kept and the Harmony forest is the keeper of many secrets. For Dillon Howell moving to Harmony with his parents gives him a new chance to fit in and make new friends. If just being a teenager isn’t enough of a challenge for Dillion, being a Werewolf presents its own set of challenges. As Dillion and his family settle into the normal day-to-day life at home and at school the supernatural forces in the dark forest beckon to him and he finds that he is not the only one in this town with a secret. Come with Dillon to Harmony and see what life has in store.

Theodocia McLean endorses ‘Welcome To Harmony’ by Dan Trumpis. The author skillfully writes this epic middle grade fantasy (PG) in a way that encourages teens to read. Life in Harmony might mirror their life in some routine ways and then again it might just be a little darker, more intense, and hairier than normal. This review was completed on November 6, 2014.

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Talon, Come Fly With Me by Gigi Sedlmayer

Talon, come fly with me is a delightful middle grade story set in Peru with a family of condors and missionary Australians.

Is it possible for condors to understand humans?

Suspend your beliefs and watch how an under-size girl, Matica, finds friends with a family of condors, after being rejected by the Indians because of her size.

There are beautiful descriptions of the flight of the condors, and more so when Talon is cared for by Matica. The language suits this age group and does not talk down to the reader.

This is a great inspirational story for everyone. It will lift you up and make you believe in adventures, friendships, acceptance in a whole new light.

Come and take the journey that is called Matica’s life. It is filled with rejections, heartbreaks, growth and loneliness, but through it all, it will make you feel stronger.

Talon, Come Fly With Me is the first book in this series and you will be blown away!!!

In a world full of pain this story gives ones hope.

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HYM and HUR by Phillip Frey

Hym and Hur are a young couple who never age and have been in love for more than a century. They also possess an array of magical abilities, two of which are either to play pranks on humankind or to perform good deeds. Enacting both at the same time is now what gets them into trouble, especially since it’s the unruly character of Death they must deal with to bring their plans to fruition.

The prank Hym and Hur have come up with must first be agreed upon by Death, who happens to be a rambunctious, difficult character. Once agreed upon, the prank is set in motion. Hym and Hur soon discover Death had tricked them into a contract with dire consequences for all of us.

During their attempt to break the contract, Hym and Hur try to save the relationship of an earthbound couple, knowing they are truly meant for each other. A good deed that will bring Hym and Hur even more trouble.

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Free To Be Me: A Book For Teens & Tweens by Tara L. Kay PharmD MBA

Free To Be Me: A Book For Teens & Tweens by Tara L. Kay PharmD MBA

Being a teenager has its ups and downs. Being stuck between childhood and adulthood, it’s hard to know where to fit in. It’s an awkward and insecure time of life. There is the desire for independence coupled with a fear of standing out. Free to Be Me: A Book for Teens and Tweens uses relatable cartoon characters to discuss real issues such as stress, peer pressure, bullying, and teen fears. It also offers constructive ways adults can better support teens.

Free to Be Me validates the thoughts and experiences teens face on a day-to-day basis. While individual experiences may differ, the overall issues faced do not. Hopefully, the discussions within the book’s pages prove helpful not just to teens but also to the adults in their worlds.

Book Review: This small book is packed with information for teens and tweens.

The ‘Free To Be Me’ book cover along with the illustrations inside the book are hand drawn.

Great Advice For Teens Quote: “Embrace Your Individually”.

Subjects Covered:

  • What Issues Are Important To You As A Teen?
  • Stress
  • Bullying
  • Peer Pressure
  • Are These Issues Gender, Race, Socio-Economic Or Demographically Specific?
  • What Is Your Biggest Fear Or Concern As A Teen?
  • What Can Adults Do To Support Teens Better?
  • What Programs or Systems Could Be Implemented To Support Teens Better?

My thoughts: This book is as much for parents as for teens. The best scenario would be for a teens and parents to read this book together and have open and safe dialog. In addition, I think adults who work with tweens and teens such as school teachers, school counselors, church leaders, scout leaders, civic organization youth leaders, librarians and all care givers should make this book available to youth and provide a safe place for discussion.

I (Theodocia McLean) endorse Free To Be Me: A Book For Teens and Tweens by Tara L. Kay PharmD MBA. When you purchase this book for your teen please download the author’s first book titled ‘Let The Sun Shine In: A Book Of Positive Affirmations For Kids’. As a grandmother I have purchased both these books and highly recommend them. I purchased this book from Kindle on May 11, 2017 and the review completed on May 24, 2017.

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Let The Sun Shine In: A Book Of Positive Affirmations For Kids
by Tara L. Kay PharmD MBA

Inspired by Louise Hay’s message, “Your thoughts create your life”, Let the Sun Shine In was created as a tool for children to learn and understand that they have control over their thoughts and words and, ultimately, what happens in their life.

Within the pages of Let the Sun Shine In, kids will learn the difference between negative thoughts and positive affirmations. Child-inspired illustrations and simple text demonstrate how to make the change from negative thoughts and words to positive ones. The happiness, freedom, and confidence that come from this ability are beneficial for children for their entire lives!

Genre: Children’s Non-Fiction

Book Review:  From a Grandmother’s point of view the book cover and title got my attention right away.

The title “Let The Sun Shine In” is above a child’s drawing of two children standing on a green landscape with flowers and blue clouds with the sun’s yellow rays permeating their world brought a smile to my face.

No greater time has our children, grandchildren and adults needed “Positive Affirmations”. The very fact that LifeRich Publishing (trademark of the Reader’s Digest Association Inc.) picked up this book tells me that they have put their stamp of approval on this book.

Author Tara L. Kay PharmD MBA, dedicates this book, “For the children-may you always cherish the gift of your uniqueness, and know that only you define you.”

Simple, positive life affirmations fill 24 white pages of this book with beautiful, colorful childrens’ drawings (with actual words from the children) will uplift children and adults. The drawing on each page has a border that makes me think they should be sewn into a patch work quilt. My grand-kids will love this book. Every child needs to read and hear these positive affirmations every day.

Tara L. Kay is a licensed clinical pharmacist who has been practicing for over fifteen years in various settings. Additionally, Tara is a certified Reiki master of Dr. Usui’s System of Natural Healing, and she has certification in craniosacral therapy with the Upledger Institute. Tara also practices EFT/tapping, a hands-on healing technique that balances and realigns energy. Tara incorporates alternative therapies into the scope of her practice as a pharmacist to improve the health and well-being of her clients. Tara strives to educate her clients and to facilitate their physical, spiritual, and emotional health and growth as they move along their own path toward enlightenment.

I (Theodocia McLean) endorse ‘Let The Sun Shine In: A Book Of Positive Affirmations For Kids’ by Tara L. Kay PharmD MBA. I purchased this book from Kindle and the review was completed on July 31, 2016.

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Cold Coffee Press Spotlight Interview With Author Tara L. Kay PharmD MBA

Tara Kay grew up in Southern Connecticut and currently resides in North of Boston, Massachusetts. She has been a practicing pharmacist for over 15 years in various settings. Tara received her Bachelors in Pharmacy from the University of Connecticut at Storrs, her PharmD from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy/Allied Health, her MBA from Fairfield University and her Ayurvedic Health Practitioner certification from the Natural Healing College. Additionally, Tara is a certified Reiki Master of Dr. Usui’s System of Natural Healing and she has certification in Cranio-sacral Therapy with the Upledger Institute. Tara also practices EFT/Tapping, a hands on healing technique that balances and realigns energy.

Tara incorporates Alternative Therapies into the scope of her practice as a Pharmacist to improve the health and well-being of her clients. Tara strives to educate her clients and to facilitate their physical, spiritual and emotional health and growth as they move along their own path towards enlightenment.

Tara’s practice is inspired by her life-long commitment to health and wellness. She is a dedicated, compassionate and devoted healthcare professional and healer. She takes a unique approach to healing with each client based on their need by using both her knowledge of medications, herbs and supplements and Alternative Therapies.

Tara believes that each individual holds the power to heal themselves and that by honoring the body, mind and spirit many miraculous awakenings can occur.

Tara published her first book entitled, “Let the Sun Shine in, a book of positive affirmations for kids” in June 2016. It was inspired by Louise Hay’s message, “your thoughts create your life, as well as Tara’s own experience with positive affirmations.

Interview:

What makes you proud to be a writer from Massachusetts? The North Shore is an incredibly beautiful and inspiring place to live. I feel very fortunate to have moved here 6 years ago. It is a summer destination for many avid beach goers and outdoor enthusiasts, of which I am one and it also offers many cultural, educational and social activities.

What or who inspired you to become a writer? I believe my writing endeavor was divinely inspired. I have been a pharmacist for over 15 years and I have incorporated a number of alternative methods into my practice along the way. My focus has always been on health and wellness. While I have benefited from the messages and teachings of authors such as Louise Hays, I never thought about writing. After my divorce, I began using positive affirmations on a daily basis to help me through my healing process. Earlier this year, I took an amazing trip to South Africa where I was deeply moved by Nelson Mandela’s story. I returned home, sat down one evening and wrote the first draft of my book.

Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? I’ve always had an awareness level beyond my years. I knew this even as a child but didn’t fully understand it. I grew up in a home with a very controlling father and a mother whose voice was rarely heard. I can’t say my upbringing played a conscious role in my writing but it obviously sparked something within me.

When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? I returned home from an amazing trip to South Africa at the end of January 2016. In February, I left a job of 8.5years, started a new job and moved. During this time of transition, I came home from work one night and wrote the first draft manuscript. By the beginning of March the illustrations were complete. I secured a publisher at the end of March.

What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? The outpouring of support, encouragement, enthusiasm and excitement. This is my first book. I realize it will be for some and not for others. I’m ok with that. I know in my heart that it will get into the hands of those that need and desire it.

What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? Navigating the world of self-publishing. At first it seemed overwhelming but I had the pleasure of working with a great team at Life Rich Publishing. They guided me step by step and made the process seamless.

How many published books do you have? Two.

Which book title would you like featured in this interview? Free To Be Me: A Book For Teens & Tweens by Tara L. Kay PharmD MBA

What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Believe you can and you will.

Who is your favorite author and why? Harper Lee because she never gave up on her dream of being a writer. She persevered at a time when women’s rights are not what they are today. She achieved great honor and success and yet never got caught up in it.

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A Regency Yuletide by Becky Lower

After a disappointing season in London, Sophie Davenport returns home without a marriage proposal. No sooner does she settle back into her country life than she learns her uncle has arranged for her to marry the local vicar’s son, a respectable and utterly forgettable man. He’s returning home immediately after the Christmas holiday and they will wed. She sets about making this last Christmas with just she and her mother memorable.

Jeremy Wyatt hatches a plan to help his friend Thomas and his love, Emma, escape to Gretna Green and marry before her father comes after them. What he’s really doing is avoiding heading to his parents’ home, where he is the son who is always making the wrong choices. But their carriage becomes hopelessly mired in the mud from the incessant rains so Jeremy sets off to find shelter for them at the first house he comes to.

Sophie welcomes the wet and weary travelers, and her mother agrees to house them temporarily until they can free the carriage. Sophie forms a bond not only with Emma, but with Jeremy. However despite the sparks they ignite in each other, they have to maintain their separate paths.

But love and mistletoe have a way of upsetting even the best-laid plans.

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The Amazing Wolf Boy by Roxanne Smolen

A nerd-turned-werewolf must call upon his untried superpowers to save his almost-girlfriend from a pack of crazed, bloodthirsty lycanthropes.

Cody Forester plans to become a doctor. Instead, he becomes a werewolf.

The first time Cody shows fang and fur, his parents ship him off to podunkville to live with his black sheep uncle. His revised career choice is a social hermit. As the new kid, he makes more enemies than friends. His high school teachers label him a troublemaker. The whole town hates him.

Except Brittany. She’s beautiful, with her eyes painted black and her lips dark purple. When Brittany discovers his secret, she tries to cure him using crystals, candles, and magic potions. Cody falls head-over-tails in love but he can never tell her. Girls like her aren’t for him. He’s the amazing wolf boy. Astound your family and mystify your friends.

While Cody moons over Brittany, a murderous pack of lycanthropes howls into town. They want Cody to join them.

When he refuses, they kidnap Brittany and threaten to kill her at moonrise. Cody must master his untried superpowers or the girl he loves dies. Can he defeat the pack and save both their lives?

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Gang Warfare (Gang Books Book 2) by Peter St John

Gang Warfare is a novel for all readers from nine to ninety-nine.

An orphan, evacuated from the World War II bombing of London, comes to live with his pious aunt in an English village, A bag of liquorice allsorts is knocked out of his hand in the school playground. This trivial incident ignites a series of events leading to a breakdown of relations in the local community.

The newcomer is accused of assault; threatened with an appearance before the School Board, and is arrested for theft. He acquires a black eye, is blackmailed, and cheated of money.

The villagers take sides and become increasingly quarrelsome.

The only person untouched by this conflict is Dummy, the village idiot. The evacuee is secretly trying to gather sufficient money to help Dummy with a medical problem, but is continually frustrated by the predicaments in which he finds himself.

There are disputes over firewood; problems in class; uproar in the air-raid shelter; bickering in church; resignations and revolts; cart races between rival gangs; the theft of some pallets; a hearing before the magistrate; and much else besides that is excitingly human or humorous.

The tension in the village reaches a climax at a fund-raising fete to buy a Spitfire aircraft. This ends in a riotous fight.

An air-raid destroys part of the village. The villagers then discover that by facing up to a grave external menace, they can overcome their internal differences.

The funds raised for the Spitfire are, alas, last seen floating down the river in the twilight and a barrel. What eventually happens to them is another story.

Although this book can be read as a “follow-on” to the previous “Gang Territory”, it is intended to to stand as a complete story in its own right.

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Gang Petition (Gang Books Book 5) by Peter St John

There’s big trouble brewing in Widdlington village during the summer holidays of 1941.

Dummy is turned off the allotments by the Women’s Land Army. He is accused of sabotaging the war effort.

The vicar is implicated. Jenno believes she can save the situation.

The kids of the Lions Avenue gang get working on her plan.

To succeed, Peter must visit London secretly. The air-raids in the capital are bad.

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Gang Rivalry (Gang Books Book 3) by Peter St John

Would you like to go on a treasure hunt? Here’s one with a difference…

A barrel of money, collected at a village fête to raise money to help buy a Spitfire aircraft, has been lost in the river. Rival gangs compete with each other, and the authorities, to recover it. Three of the gangs are composed of children, but a fourth is made up of adult gangsters.

A school boy, recently evacuated from a bombed-out London orphanage, becomes involved because of his love for one of the village girls and a promise he has made to her. He lives with a pious spinster aunt, a strict church-goer, who disapproves of his chapel-going girlfriend.

Who can get to the barrel first? Is the hero’s promise to his girlfriend fulfilled?

Join in this wartime treasure hunt where air-raids, rationing, and a shot-down German bomber, add excitement to a fast-moving plot.

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King Arthur’s Story from Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend by Cheryl Carpinello

Many times, small stories are found in the material that an author must cut from a novel.

This is the story behind King Arthur’s visit to King Leodegrance and his daughter Guinevere found in the medieval Arthurian Legend children’s book “Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend.”

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Gang Spies (Gang Books Book 6) by Peter St John

During World War II, posters were put up everywhere warning against spies. They carried slogans such as: ‘Walls have ears’, or ‘Careless talk costs lives’, or ‘Be like Dad, keep Mum’.

The danger of careless talk was even reflected in Tommy Handley’s popular radio show ITMA. (It’s That Man Again) where a menacing German spy would frequently appear with his heavily-accented catch-phrase, ‘Dis ist Funf speakink’.

Because of all this, newcomers to a community were often treated with reserve, not to say suspicion.

We, the children of the epoch, were certainly impressed, and we sometimes indulged in excited bouts of patriotic spy-hunting.

This book describes one such comically cockeyed episode.

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Davey & Derek Junior Detectives Series Book 3: The Case of the Magical Ivory Elephant (Davey & Derek Junior Detectives Book 3) by Janice Spina

Davey & Derek Donato are twins who love adventures and enjoy being junior detectives.

In Book 3 of this series their help is enlisted to find an ivory figurine that has been taken from the local museum.

There are many suspects and danger is not far from the boys as they learn more magic and use their skills to find those responsible for the theft.

Their Aunt Gigi is close by to lend a hand and at the same time help the twins hone their magical gifts.

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Davey & Derek Junior Detectives Series Book 2: The Case of the Mysterious Black Cat by Janice Spina

Davey and Derek Donato are twins but not identical.

They gleaned the idea to be detectives from a book their parents bought them on their tenth birthday.

The twins discover a black cat and some magic when they visit with their Great Aunt Gigi.

The cat tries to communicate with the boys. But what does the cat want to tell them?

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Davey & Derek Junior Detectives:The Case of the Missing Cell Phone (Volume 1) by Janice Spina

Davey & Derek Junior Detectives is Book One of a series of mysteries and adventures.

Davey and Derek Donato are twins who love to play detective.

In their first case they must solve the perplexing case of the missing cell phone.

There are twists and turns and surprises for all.

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The Case Of The Brown Scraggly Dog (Davey & Derek Junior Detectives Series Book 4) by Janice Spina

Davey and Derek Donato are at it again in this new book. In this case they come across a brown scraggly dog with blood on its paw but when the boys try to stop the dog, it runs away.

Aunt Gigi is here once again to assist the boys with their magic and provide some new spells.

Clues surface that suggest that someone may be injured and in need of help. The boys will have to use their skills and a little magic to solve this case.

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Secrets In The Fairy Chimneys by Linda Maria Frank

Amateur sleuth Annie Tillery has been warned to stay away from Nevshehir, Turkey, where she is heading to meet her boyfriend, Ty Egan, and Cedric Zeeks, Ty’s best friend. Intent on helping the two excavate an archeological site where they hope to link human remains to the first African ancestors, Annie does her best to shakes her foreboding feelings as her plane lands in Istanbul and she prepares to embark on her next adventure.

But when a stranger claims he is there to pick her up and then disappears once he sees Ty, Annie is immediately thrown back into worry mode—especially after Ty tells her there is unexplained tension surrounding the dig and she receives a threatening note at the hotel. Still, as the three head to Nevshehir, Annie is buoyed by the excitement surrounding ancient Turkey and the possibility of uncovering secrets. The dig is plagued by accidents and theft, however, and the three friends, assisted by the head archeologist’s twins, must search the ancient city of Istanbul and the caves of fantastic Cappadocia to find who is sabotaging their work.

In this young adult thriller, detective Annie Tillery must once again walk on a dangerous path in an attempt to unravel a complicated mystery and solve the secrets in the fairy chimneys.

Book Review: Annie Tillery Mysterys book three ‘Secrets In The Fairy Chimneys’ can be summed up as Indiana Jones meets Nancy Drew with the skills and precision of CSI. A mystery unfolds amidst a mix of ancient history and modern innovation, in an ageless Eastern country where time moves at a camel’s pace.

Dedicated research by author Linda Maria Frank leaves no stone unturned while great description text transports the reader to the streets of Turkey with it mosques and minarets, towers and modern buildings. One of my favorite quotes from the book is “Water droplets plunked into the pool from the vaulted ceiling. After the heat of the bazaar and the street chase, it was deliciously cool. Ornate columns with carved capitals supported the ceiling. The bases were decorated with animal and human figures. There were a few visitors, but the enormity of the space muffled their conversations.”

Strong characters with great dialog brings us to dusty archeological site in one of the oldest towns in human history called Catalhoyuk. Nothing can explain it better than this quote: “We were in a valley of shapes I couldn’t believe were not made by humans, humans with a fabulous imagination. Conical formations called fairy chimneys in various sizes spread away from us in every direction. The color of bleached bones, they sat majestically among the gray-green brush and white claylike soil. The air shimmered from the heat. I could smell the odor of clay mixed with a faint herbal scent that must have come from the brush.”

Cosponsors from Vermont University are looking for a DNA connection between residents of Catalhoyuk and our original nomadic ancestors in Africa. Annie Tillery and her team go to work excavating this archeological site with all its inherit dangers and a mystery brings out the detective in Annie.

From the spell of an Ouija board to a magical balloon ride in the sky nothing is lost as this time and space makes all their senses come alive with amazing black and white graphics that bring the main characters to life.

Students and young adults of all ages will enjoy Annie Tillery Mysteries. Although a series each book is unique and stands alone with no need to read in a particular sequence.

Theodocia McLean endorses ‘Secrets In The Fairy Chimneys’ and the Annie Tillery Mysteries by Linda Maria Frank. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. Review date February 5, 2015.

Read forensics articles and lots of little blogs
about “Secrets in T F C”.

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Parallel Adventures: Into The Caves by P.S. Winn

Jenny and Jayden Carter are twins.

Turning thirteen and out of school for the summer the twins are worried their vacation time will be boring.

Heading down to the caves near their home, the twins find a lost puppy.

Chasing him into the caves the twins find the surprise of their life and some adventures they will never forget.

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The King’s Ransom by Cheryl Carpinell

Three Friends…Three Quests…

Three Mysterious Predictions.

In this action-packed MG/Tween Arthurian adventure, 11-year-old Prince Gavin, 13-year-old orphan Philip, and 15-year-old blacksmith apprentice Bryan face a ghost, a witch, and an evil villain in their struggle to clear the Wild Man of murder and theft.

Do they have what it takes to be Knights of the Round Table, or will they falter in their quests?

Answer the hero’s call to adventure with Gavin, Philip, and Bryan. See if you have what it takes to be a Knight of the Round Table.

A Recommended Read and recipient of the Children’s Literary Classics Seal of Approval.

2014 Gold Award eBook Winner for Juvenile Fiction from Global eBook Awards; 2013 EVVY Merit Award for Juvenile/YA from Colorado Independent Publishers Assoc.; 2012 CLC Silver Award Recipient for YA Fiction.

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The Secret Of The Sacred Scarab (The Chronicles Of The Stone Series Book One) by Fiona Ingram

A 5000-year-old mystery comes to life in this exciting Middle Grade adventure set in Egypt!

A scruffy peddler gives Adam and Justin Sinclair an old Egyptian scarab on their very first day in Egypt.

Only when the evil Dr. Faisal Khalid shows a particular interest in the cousins and their scarab, do the boys realise they are in terrible danger. Dr. Khalid wants the relic at all costs.

Justin and Adam embark upon the adventure of a lifetime, taking them down the Nile and across the harsh desert in their search for the legendary tomb of the Scarab King, an ancient Egyptian ruler. They are plunged into a whirlpool of hazardous and mysterious events when Dr. Khalid kidnaps them.

They learn more about the ancient Seven Stones of Power and the mysterious Shemsu-Hor. They must translate the hieroglyphic clues on the underside of the scarab, as well as rescue the missing archaeologist James Kinnaird, and their friend, the Egyptologist Ebrahim Faza, before time runs out!

The Secret of the Sacred Scarab is the kind of adventure book boys and girls love!

The fast-paced action, the evil villain readers delight in hating, the secrets of the past, and the mysterious ancient setting make this novel a sure-hit favorite for all the young and adventurous at heart.

Ingram’s impeccable and fascinating research into Egyptian history illuminates the adventure and makes the secrets of Egypt’s past as thrilling to the reader as the boys’ dangerous encounters.

Book Review: A family holiday with Aunt Isabel and Gran to Egypt ignites cousins Adam and Justin’s quest for teenage adventure when a peddler who was showing the boys his wares, gives Adam several scarabs when he notices police. Unbeknownst to the boys, one of the scarabs has mystical importance in Egyptian mythology. With the scarabs stored away in Adam’s rucksack, their imagination tells them that there is treasure to be found.

With Eleven Book Award Nominations & Wins, enjoy outstanding story telling with realistic dialog that will draw middle grade and young adult readers into this action, adventure packed, suspenseful, historical fiction that rivals Indiana Jones. Boys will be boys and soon trouble will find them. Careful not to spoil the story, I quote a passage to whet your appetite.

“Quick as a flash, they dashed behind a marble pillar, trying to smother their giggles. “Now what?” Adam said.

Justin grabbed his arm. “I noticed a room leading away from the main hall. It was full of boxes and crates. The lights were off so no one was in there. Let’s go back and see if we can find something interesting.”

They retraced their steps to the small display hall Justin had seen. It contained several cabinets holding statues, and a few stone sarcophagi. Stacks of boxes and wooden crates lined the far wall. They wandered around, looking at the Arabic-inscribed labels and trying to guess what was inside the boxes. It wasn’t long before the sound of echoing footsteps sent them scuttling behind a large sarcophagus.

Two men walked in, speaking Arabic in low voices. Over the next few minutes, the voices floated around the room and then right past Adam and Justin’s hiding place, before finally disappearing near the back. After a moment of silence, they looked at each other, puzzled, and then listened a bit longer to make sure the men had gone. Then they peeked above the sarcophagus to check that the coast was clear before creeping out. They both looked toward the back of the room, where the voices had disappeared.

Adam pointed to a door standing ajar. The door was labeled with an Arabic inscription. “What do you think it says?” he asked, as they walked quietly to the door, giving occasional sideways glances to check they were still alone.

“Um … I have no idea,” Justin said. “It’s probably a notice for the museum staff. That door looks like a fire escape. I think those men we heard went down there.”

Justin pushed the door all the way open. A set of stone steps disappeared into inky darkness. If the men had gone through the door, then there was only one way to go—down.

Frightened and excited, they hesitated on the top step, unsure of whether to investigate.

Justin turned to Adam. “We should follow and see what they’re up to, but you know we’ll get into the worst kind of trouble if we’re caught.”

Adam gave a nervous nod.

Justin grinned. “Then let’s go. We just have to risk it.”

The Secret Of The Sacred Scarab (The Chronicles Of The Stone Series Book One) by Fiona Ingram is well researched. The book cover art and nine exquisite hand drawn graphics within the book are by South African Artist Lori Bentley.

Thirty-four riveting chapters packed with adventure will keep you turning the pages. Author Fiona Ingram continues the history lessons at the end of the book with a Readers’ Guide to Ancient Egypt that includes “Endnotes that will help book-lovers enjoy the story even more while reading. This additional material will increase your knowledge of the world of ancient Egypt, and help you uncover the meaning of the Stone of Fire and the secret of the sacred scarab. In this glossary, you’ll be able to look up information on words or ideas that you read about in The Secret of the Sacred Scarab. It will add to your enjoyment of Adam and Justin’s incredible adventure because there are clues everywhere!”

Theodocia McLean endorses The Secret Of The Sacred Scarab (The Chronicles Of The Stone Series Book One) by Fiona Ingram as a fictional story illuminated with history that brings Egypt to life for young readers. This first book in The Chronicles Of The Stone Series should be included on summer reading program book lists. The Search for the Stone of Excalibur (The Chronicles Of The Stone Series Book Two) is also available at Amazon. I purchased and reviewed this book from Kindle format. The review was completed on January 24, 2016.

A Young Explorer’s Companion Guide For Book One is available

Book Award Nominations & Wins for The Secret of the Sacred Scarab

Finalist Children’s Fiction 2009 Next Generation Indie Book Awards

Finalist Juvenile Fiction 2009 National Best Books Awards

Winner Pre-Teen 2009 Readers’ Favorite Awards

No: 2 in the USA Children’s & Teens Book Connection Top Ten Favorite Books of 2009 for Kids, Tweens & Teens

Winner Silver Medal Teen Fiction 2010 Nautilus Book Awards

Finalist Children’s Fiction 2010 International Book Awards

Winner Bronze Medal Pre-Teen Fiction 2010 Moonbeam Book Awards

Finalist Children’s Fiction 2011 Rubery Book Awards

Winner Gold Award Mystery Pre-Teen 2011 Children’s Literary Classics Awards

2nd Place in the 2011 YA Sharpwrit Book Awards

Gold Medal 2013 Wise Bear Book Awards Winner

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Beggar Charlie by Madeleine McLaughlin

After his mother dies, Beggar Charlie finds himself alone, begging for bread. Life doesn’t get any better when he is press-ganged.

His only hope is the captain of the merchant ship who takes a liking to him.

When the ship docks in China, Charlie is sent ashore with Hickory Dick, a boy he mistrusts. A rebellion foments, and in horror, Charlie watches as the merchant ship sinks when some Chinese men set it on fire.

Whatever will Beggar Charlie and Hickory Dick do?

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Angus MacBain and The Island of Sleeping Kings (Angus MacBain Series Volume 1) by Angela J. Townsend

Angus MacBain is unaware that his ancestral roots hail from an ancient sect of Scottish kings.

When his dying grandfather gives him a dragon pendant, thirteen-year-old Angus learns of a legacy that will take him across an ocean to the island of Iona and thrust him into a heritage he did not know he had.

He soon discovers that his mother, whom he had believed dead, is really a seal fairy, in hiding from a dangerous enemy.

To save her, Angus must undergo a perilous journey of destiny and power to battle an evil Dacian knight and those who serve him.

With only his family shield and the advice of a wizened vampire hunter to protect him, Angus must navigate dangerous terrain and dark enemies, in a land where the past and the present mingle, and sleeping kings wake.

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The Black River Chronicles: Level One (Black River Academy Book 1) by David Tallerman

“…superb pacing, competent writing, well-described action, fun situations, and appealing characters… Well-crafted fantasy fiction about a team of young trainees tackling dangerous missions.” — Kirkus Reviews (22 Nov 2016)

You know these characters: The ranger, the fighter, the wizard, the rogue. But haven’t you ever wondered how they learned to be those things?

Three months into his studies at the Black River Academy of Swordcraft and Spellcraft, Durren Flintrand is shocked by the news that from now on he’ll be assigned to a party, and that his only hope of progressing beyond the lowly rank of level one is to succeed with his new companions. However, Durren has a secret that may make that impossible, and his three partners have problems of their own. Wizard Areinelimus is terrified of her own magic. Rogue Tia has no patience at all with others. And warrior Hule is just an idiot. In fact, when a disembodied, floating eyeball is your most competent party member, you know you have serious problems.

To stand a chance of succeeding, they need to work together, and that means learning to tolerate each other, while surviving a world of angry rat people, murderous sorcerers and homicidal unicorns. But even if they can somehow find a way to get along, dark and ancient forces are stirring, ones no level one students should ever have to confront…

The Black River Chronicles is a new fantasy series from David Tallerman and Michael Wills. Set in an academy for young adventurers in training, the Black River Academy, our new dungeon crawlers set out to learn the ropes. Follow them in their adventures and misadventures and see if they save the day, or flunk out of school before earning their next level.

KIRKUS REVIEWS – “Well crafted fantasy fiction…”

RECOMMENDED – by the US Review of Books

5/5 STARS – Readers Favorite Book Reviews

Scroll up and grab a copy today.

Thank you for your interest.
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The Search For The Stone Of Excalibur (The Chronicles Of The Stone Series Book Two) by Fiona Ingram

A modern day adventure as our protagonists search for Excalibur and the treasures it holds!

This is a must-read for Middle Graders keen on action, adventure, and Arthurian stories!

Continuing the adventure that began in Egypt a few months prior in The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, cousins Adam and Justin Sinclair are hot on the trail of the second Stone of Power, one of seven ancient stones lost centuries ago. This stone might be embedded in the hilt of a newly discovered sword that archeologists believe belonged to King Arthur: Excalibur.

However, their long-standing enemy, Dr. Khalid, is following them as they travel to Scotland to investigate an old castle. Little do they know there is another deadly force, the Eaters of Poison, who have their own mission to complete.

Time is running out as the confluence of the planets draws closer. Can Justin and Adam find the second Stone of Power and survive? And why did Aunt Isabel send a girl with them?

Join Justin and Adam as they search not only for the second Stone of Power, but also for the Scroll of the Ancients, a mysterious document that holds important clues to the Seven Stones of Power.

As their adventure unfolds, they learn many things and face dangers that make even their perils in Egypt look tame. And how annoying for them that their tag-along companion, Kim, seems to have such good ideas when they are stumped.

A Young Explorer’s Companion Guide For Book Two is available as a free download.

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Gang Territory (Gang Books Book 1) by Peter St John

A wartime evacuee’s tale of village gangs and first love: When a boy from London finds himself homeless after the orphanage where he lived is bombed during World War II, he is bundled off to the countryside to live with his only relative, a pious spinster aunt he barely knows. Her village of Widdlington would be a peaceful place to live; or so he imagined.

The evacuee desperately seeks to understand his place in a bewildering, strife-filled world. He falls helplessly in love, but it’s a passion that seems doomed, because the boy’s aunt and the girl’s parents are in bitterly opposing religious camps.

He does, however, possess one treasure he’s prepared to guard with his life; his go-cart.Lightning. He’d rather burn it than let it fall into the hands of the Nazis, should they invade, and he dares to wrest it back from a rival gang which has stolen it. Humorous yet thought-provoking, the Gang series explores the difficulties and rewards of forging relationships in violent times.

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