Yearly Archives: 2022

James Dreadful and the Tomb of Forgotten Secrets (The Dreadful Series Book 2) by Alan Creed (Book Spotlight)

JAMES DREADFUL AND THE TOMB OF FORGOTTEN SECRETS by Alan Creed

Content Rating:  PG-13. Uses of the word “sh*t” occasionally, “pr*ck,” “*sshole”. Also some references to drinking.
 

James Dreadful’s Epic Adventure Continues in Book Two of the Dreadful Series

After narrowly escaping a contract with his father’s evil servant Rekenhowler, James reluctantly decides to return home to the Cades Isles to live out the rest of his youth training to become a sorcerer. The only problem: James and his companions are adrift on the boat Persephone in the Realm of Shadows without a crew.

When a stowaway aboard Persephone informs James that his father—the Dark Lord—might have been mind-slaved by the mysterious, evil Cowl, James is shocked. The only proof that he will accept is the soul of his father, which he learns is lodged deep in the Tomb of Forgotten Secrets. In confronting his father’s soul, James can learn the truth about the Dark Lord—and if he is destined to become one himself.

​But before he can reach the Tomb, James must travel to Sarvelok, an island protected by raiders, to retrieve the key his uncle Oskar stole from him. Attacking the island would be suicide—but possible with the help of Rekenhowler. The price James will have to pay, however, is too high, but without it, will he ever learn the truth of his father—and his own fate? 

 
 
Buy the Book:
Amazon
 
 
 
Meet the Author:
Author Alan Creed
Alan Creed fell in love with storytelling after seeing Star Wars for the first time as a child. When he was ten years old, his tutor asked him to write sentences containing three words: Ocean, Desert and Jungle. Instead of sentences, Alan wrote a 103-page story entitled Journey through the Desert. That’s when he knew he wanted to be a writer. His 103-page story served as the source material for the Dreadful Series. Alan is currently working on the next installment in the James Dreadful series.
 
 
connect with the author: website ~ goodreads
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Dead Cereus by Kira Kanani Seamon ​(Book Review)

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Holy holly berries! “Hurricane Holly” creates shenanigans on the Olympic level. This mischievous charmer has found herself in many strange messes, but this one takes the carrot cake!

With her college scholarship already on frost alert, when Holly accidentally douses the college’s most distinguished donors, she sees her degree and her relationship with the hot Master Gardener quickly wilting.

Her only chance of remaining in Shellesby is to win a vaunted internship with a famous chocolatier. The only problem? The other candidate is Holly’s biggest rival, a stuck-up queen bee-and she just might have her sights set on Holly’s swoon-worthy boyfriend as well!

With a a chance to win over the prestigious chocolatier when the rare night-blooming cereus plant is scheduled to open its petals at the Night Lights Gala, Holly is there-and so is a killer. Events unfold that not only place her scholarship on the line, but also her life…and that of her rival.

Holly finds herself racing the clock to save her arch nemesis, secure her scholarship, and catch a murderer, if she can!

Enjoy this lighthearted romp with its plethora of plants and wonderful characters by picking up a copy of Dead Cereus today! Can Holly stand the heat in the hothouse or is she headed for a spectacular meltdown?

This is an epic romance and a fantastic, unique mystery rolled into one hilarious story. With all the feels, this novel can’t help but implant itself in your heart and grow into one of your favorite reads. Put your petal to the metal and see what all the buzz is about. Dead Cereus is to die for!

Come for the mystery, stay for the food. Chocolate plays a big role in this book; you will ‘chocolate’ as you’ve never ‘chocolated’ before! Hot new debut author Kira Seamon makes botany cool again, one plant at a time.

Buy the Book:
Amazon
 
 
 
 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
For some students, drama and college life go hand-in-hand. There was oodles of drama unfolding in Dead Cereus by Kira Kanani Seamon. 


Holly and Ivy have a rivalry. They are both after the same internship. Plus, Ivy won’t stop flirting with Holly’s boyfriend, William. William has an exceptional green thumb, is nice to look at, is sweet, and can whip up a yummy veggie lasagna with ease. 


Holly has a knack for causing mischief and being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Her mischievous actions caused quite a show at the Night Lights Ball. (being vague on purpose, read the story to find out what happened *smiley face*) Her timing issues led her to be a witness to a crime. Things quickly spiraled out of control. 


Shellesby College had more than a crazed criminal on the loose; it was home to several gardens. What I wouldn’t give to spend a day walking around the Butterfly Garden, Tropical Forest Room, and the Papyrus Room. I can’t grow anything, but I do appreciate those who can. I was especially amazed by Keifer Jamison’s gardening skills. He had a pumpkin that weighed in at 2500lbs! Just wow!!!!! 


Heads up: There are no explicit love scenes. However, there is an occasional curse word (b****) by the villain. Holly, the heroine, does not curse. Instead, she uses phrases like blistering bluebells, raging roses, and sizzling sunflowers. There is a murder, but it’s not overly graphic. I would be comfortable allowing my teen to read it. 
 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: 
 
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:
Kira Kanani Seamon was born and raised in Hawaii. She attended the prestigious Punahou School as an award-winning honor student.

A polymath, Kira is a gold medal/state winner in piano performance and a national and two-time regional dance champion. In ten years of competing in dance competitions, she won 18 awards, including special awards from the judges and platinum awards. Additionally, she’s an award-winning photographer and has had her art accepted and sold in national and regional juried shows. She’s had over fifty newspaper cover stories about her art and is a fourteen-time grant recipient from cultural councils. She celebrated her first solo museum exhibit of her work in 2020.

Now living in Massachusetts, she was recently the inaugural artist-in-residence in Natick, Massachusetts. She received a personal letter from the Massachusetts Senate President and a Certificate of Recognition from the Massachusetts State Legislation in recognition of her grant from Framingham, Massachusetts. All of this culminated in her receiving the prestigious Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award, for which she appeared in the Wall Street Journal in 2020.

She took a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Machu Picchu, Peru with the Punahou Alumni Association and her travel tale about that expedition is published in the 2021 September/October edition of the Writers and Readers Magazine. Additionally, her Peru photography is the editorial feature in the 2021 fall edition of DRIFT Travel magazine.

DRIFT Travel is an upscale travel and lifestyle magazine with each issue being emailed to 4+ million digital magazine readers worldwide. Additionally, DRIFT is also part of the PressReader magazine/newspaper digital platform that puts DRIFT in thousands of hotels, cruise ships, resorts and airlines around the world, opening the door to an additional 300 million users annually.

Kira has never met a story from Greek mythology that she didn’t love and has kept a daily journal since her teens. Dead Cereus is her first novel.

 
connect with the author: 
website facebook ~ instagram
 
 
 
 
 

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Happenstance Farms: A New Home by S. McMichael (Book Review)

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​Change can be difficult, especially for Savanna. When she gets a new trainer at a new barn, she can’t help thinking about how much she’ll miss Colts & Company. More than that…she’s a little scared. What will happen when Savanna swallows her fear and takes a chance on Happenstance Farms?
A fun, relatable story about a girl and her pony, your child will love keeping up with the adventures at Happenstance Farms. With charming characters, lots of laughs, and social-emotional learning, this book is the perfect addition to any home or classroom library.
 
 
Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble
 
 
 
 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 

No matter the age, people experience first-day jitters. We fear, as being the newbie, if people will like us. We wonder if we’ll fit in. When we start a new school, class, job, etc., insecurities surface. In Happenstance Farms: A New Home by S. McMichael, Savanna faced fears upon her first day at the new farm. 


No matter where your “first day” happens to be, no matter your age, you might encounter emotions like Savanna. This book will create a perfect opportunity to ask your child(ren) if and when they’ve experienced first-day jitters and how they handled them. 


For teachers, maybe read Happenstance Farms: A New Home on the first day of school when many students feel uneasy. Ask students if they’ve ridden a horse before or live(d) on a farm. Happenstance Farms: A New Home can also be read before taking a field trip to a farm. 


As for my house, we plan on taking riding lessons this coming summer, so this is the perfect book for my home. Even if we weren’t planning the equestrian event, this book would be a welcomed addition to our library. We enjoyed the story and the lovely illustrations by Justo Borrero. Coffee, the horse, was pretty and Eli, the German Shepherd, was adorable. We loved how expressive Eli was in all the images. You could almost see him bouncing off the pages, excited to play with Savanna. 


I highly recommend this book. 
 
Amazon info:
Reading age: 3-8 years
Grade level: preschool – 3

 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: 
❤❤
 
 
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:
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McMichael serves as the Senior Manager and Information Technology Business Partner for Training Solutions and Global Training Systems & Services in Boeing Global Services. She is a disabled veteran with more than 16 years of domestic and international experience in air traffic management and operations.  

McMichael holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, a master’s certificate in project management, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Southern Illinois University.  She is a recipient of The Boeing Company CTO Technical Excellence Award, Women of Color in Technology

“Rising Star” award, U.S. Air Force Air Traffic Training Achievement Award, and the International William A. Parenteau Memorial Award from the Air Traffic Control Association.  McMichael serves on the Advisory Board of SSM St. Charles Health Center, and the Missouri Hunter Jumper Organization board.

 

 
 

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Our Lunar New Year by Yobe Qiu (Book Review)

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It’s almost Lunar New Year! Xiao Mi, Hang, Kwan, Malai and Charu all celebrate the New Year in their own special way. Read this book to learn how each one of the Chinese, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese and Indian children and their families honor Lunar New Year, from dragon dances in China to firecrackers in India!
 
 
Buy the Book
 Amazon
ByYQ ~ ​Barnes & Noble
 
 
 
 
 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book ToursI voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
Our Lunar New Year by Yobe Qiu educates readers on how five countries (China, Korea, India, Vietnam, and Thailand) celebrate their new year. Under each header, it lists the proper name for their holiday. Example: Chinese Spring Festival is Chun Jie, and Thailand is Songkran. 

I absolutely love learning new facts. For instance, in Our Lunar New Year, I discovered “Firecrackers scare away naughty spirits.” The clothes worn during Seollal (Korean New Year) are called hanbok. Every country mentioned, except Thailand, spoke of something people eat, wear, possess, or even a color that is supposed to bring good luck to them in the new year. Fascinating, right?! There’s so much nifty information — facts that any child or adult should learn because it’s essential to be informed about other cultures. 


Maria Christina Lopez, Jennifer Prevatt, and Pui Yu Chan worked very well together to create illustrations that captured the reader’s eye and elevated the story. I loved the dragon, the scrumptious-looking food, the diverse characters, and all the beautiful colors. 


I highly recommend everyone read this book!
 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest)
Score: 

 
 
 
Meet the Author: 
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​Yobe is an educator, entrepreneur and mom who lives in NYC. As an educator, she focused on teaching families to embrace love, diversity and different cultures. Through the years working in the classrooms and closely with other educators, she noticed the lack of multi-cultural resources that represented children of color. That is when Yobe decided to create multicultural children stories that feature Asian children, families and cultures! Yobe loves spending time with her daughter, reading to children and taking long walks during the day!
 
Connect with the Author:
 Website Facebook ~ Instagram
 
 

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The Christmas Cameo:  A Fiona Quinn Quick Mystery by C.S. McDonald (Book Review)

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​A lovely cameo brooch is discovered in Fiona’s late Uncle Wilbur’s house two days before Christmas. The pin bears a romantic Christmas message from Wilbur for his new wife with the initials, D.A.S.

How very strange! To the family’s knowledge, Uncle Wilbur had never been married. So, who is this mysterious woman? Now, Fiona is on a holiday mission to locate D.A.S. and deliver the belated gift. 

Question is, what happened to the marriage? Is D.A.S. still alive after all these years? And if so, can Fiona find her before Christmas?

 
 
Buy the Book:
Amazon ~  
Audible
 
 
 
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
Fiona is not the only person in town who loves a good mystery. Ted Welton, his wife, and Detective Tavia are also eager to solve who’s the mysterious person behind the initials of D.A.S. on a cameo brooch discovered in Fiona’s dead uncle’s house.
 
The investigation leads to a sweet moment between Fiona and D.A.S. They are tears of joy for a man, long gone but never forgotten.


While Fiona is on the hunt for D.A.S., Nathan is on his quest as well. He’s looking for a pickpocket whose slick fingers nabbed the cameo. This perp does not wear all black when he’s looking to unburden a person of their belongings. Nope, he wears a Santa suit.


Since it’s the time of the year for peace on Earth, I don’t think I’m overstepping by saying everyone will receive a Christmas miracle. Yes, even fake Santa. I would encourage fake Santa to get a real job. He doesn’t seem to have any luck with pickpocketing.

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤1/2

Amazon ~  Audible

 

 

About the Author:
For twenty-six years C.S. McDonald’s life whirled around a song and a dance. Classically trained at Pittsburgh Ballet Theater School, The Pittsburgh Dance Alloy, and many others, she became a professional dancer and choreographer. During that time, she choreographed many musicals and an opera for the Pittsburgh Savoyards. In 2011 she retired from her dance career to write. Under her real name, Cindy McDonald, she writes murder-suspense and romantic suspense novels. In 2014 she added the pen name, C.S. McDonald, to write children’s books for her grandchildren. In 2016 she added the Fiona Quinn Mysteries to that expansion. She decided to write the cozy mystery series that everyone, including teens and tweens, can read and enjoy. Presently, the Fiona Quinn Mysteries nine books with a tenth slated for 2021. The books are also available on audio, narrated by Maren Swenson Waxenberg. Cindy’s newest venture is The Owl’s Nest Mysteries. Once again, she has set her cozy mystery in Pittsburgh. The female protagonist, Alexa Owl, is much different from Fiona Quinn. The Owl’s Next Mysteries has a little grit, a little time travel, a little romance, and a whole lot of cozy! Ms. McDonald resides on her Thoroughbred farm known as Fly by Night Stables near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with her husband, Bill, and her poorly behaved Cocker Spaniel, Allister.
 
 
Connect with the author:  
Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook
 
 
 
 
 
 

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