Monthly Archives: November 2022

Beyond the Father: Gods on Trial by Opëshum (Book Spotlight)

“Beyond the Father” sets the scene for the 8-book Epic “gods on Trial: The Series,” delving into life’s determination to transcend all limitation. Set on the planet Xżyber, citizens of the Sub-median Region, imperfectly reborn into metal oppress those who are organic. Elsewhere, in the Central Kingdom, religion supports royalty’s brutal domination of the lowest class. War over scarce resources is coming, while revolution within each region is brewing, while none know of the eccentric god who created them. This being watches, has fascinating conversations with his often-wiser companion, occasionally learns and rarely intervenes. The many levels and threads of struggle distract nearly all from a far greater threat. Meanwhile, the young Prince Anglid’s vision quest into the unexplored Area X may ultimately change everything. However, just when you think you know the direction of the story, the author has yet another surprise.

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Episode 7 – PREVIEW
Bitter-Sweet Choice


“Fleet number, rank, and make?” asked the assignment officer at GATE 11, on the central floor of Team Command.

“44772PX, cadet, 40% Non-Mollard,” the next in line replied, quickly.

“Cleared. Report to HAS 4 in Field 8,” the assignment officer abruptly responded. “Next? I need Fleet number, rank, and make!”

“23619RX, cadet, 30% Non-Mollard,” replied the next in line.

“You’re cleared. Report to HAS 1, in Field 10,” said the assignment officer. “Next!”

“Thank you, yes! I’m next,” responded another cadet, rushing up to the window. Her rucksack slid off of her shoulder, where the stub of a missing arm stuck out just beyond the sleeve of her shirt. “Here are all of my papers,” the cadet said, spreading out a pile of disheveled notes.

“Hold it! I just need a fleet number, a rank and your make. I don’t need your life story,” snapped the officer.

“Of course. I’m 24005RX . . . sub-cadet, 100% Non-Mollard.”

The assignment officer studied the cadet disapprovingly. “100%—non-Mollard,” he repeated, carefully scanning the cadet’s face. “Didn’t know they still let your kind in. And who is your commanding officer?” he demanded.

“Umm . . . Officer Liara, sir. And my name is Purvi,” continued the sub-cadet.

The assignment officer pushed the papers back at Purvi and frowned. “I don’t need all these papers,” the officer scowled. “And I don’t need your name!”

“I see. Thank you, sir,” Purvi responded, retrieving her papers. But then she paused. “But, you’re a Non-Mollard too, aren’t you?” she pressed. “In which case . . . well, it’s just so hard connecting with anyone here. My whole fleet is mostly Mollard, and . . .”

“Why are you still talking?” the assignment officer interrupted, while entering something into his database. “You’re cleared for HAS 12 over in Field 3.”

Realizing her gestures were unwelcome, Purvi quickly repositioned her rucksack and turned to walk away. But then she turned back around and reapproached the window, consumed by what had become a theme in her life—the burning desire to challenge what she felt was wrong. “Why are you so full of hate when you are still part flesh yourself?” she challenged.

Shocked, the assignment officer slowly looked up to meet Purvi’s bold stare and revealed the circuitry behind his colorless, prosthetic eyes. “How dare you talk to me that way, you little ‘scunt!” he seemed to growl through clench teeth. “How dare you even open your mouth to speak to me without being asked a question? You remind me of everything that shouldn’t be. You’re an unfortunate arrangement of flesh and mineral—with a mouth!” Growing even more impatient, the assignment officer stood up quickly from his chair. “You are just a waste and a burden to us all. Your kind shouldn’t even be here,” he sneered, leaning forward to make his point. “Make no error in. I am part of the new Xżyber and you’re . . . you’re completely expendable.” His voice became deeper, as did his frown. “Now get out of my line!”

Purvi’s face turned red as her anger mounted inside of her. The unfriendly exchange reminded her of the last time she spoke with Timmons, her grandfather. It was the day he had declined his chance to be uploaded to the Vangora Rima and achieve eternal presence.

It was a sullen afternoon, with the family and Timmons’ doctor. As they huddled around the bed where Timmons lay weak, his doctor implored him to reconsider his decision, given he was in the last few days of his life. However, Timmons refused to agree to the upload.

This was an opportunity his family could not fathom he would turn down, and an option only typically available to those who were at least 80% Mollard, or to those who had the means to invest in the technology.

However, Timmons, a brilliant Xżyberian—whose only misfortune was the constraints of poverty—had managed to write numerous social advisories intended to promote harmony between Mollards and Non-Mollards. He’d had hopes that his musings would provide him a source of regular income, but his published works were only well received by some. Highly criticized by most, he quickly won the label of an iconoclast and found himself forced into obscurity.

Yet still, his message captivated the Luminaries—the presiders over news and commentary—who deemed that Timmons’ writings could be useful in the management and wellbeing of the Non-Mollard community, and should be archived as a collection of noble artifacts.

With this came the rarest honor—the right to upload his consciousness to the Vangora Rima until a fully prosthetic body was constructed for him.

Purvi’s mother, who was the only surviving daughter of Timmons, sat by his bedside pleading with him to accept the offer. And Purvi, almost nineteen-years-old at the time, sat on the floor weeping.

“Dearest father, the Vangora Rima has never been within our family’s grasp before,” cried Purvi’s mother, Ariel. “We may never get there—any of us. So, why would you walk away from this now?”

Timmons struggled to speak. “Take my hand, Ariel,” he said through strained breathing. “Please remember what I taught you . . . what I taught all of you about desperation.” Timmons opened his eyes slightly. “It can and will cloud your view and disrupt your clearest thoughts.”

“But, Grandfather!” interjected Purvi. “We love you, and we want you to live forever!” Purvi placed her head down onto the bed, wiping her tears against Timmons’ frail arm.

“Ah, Purvi. My little Purvi,” he said, stroking her hair. “The Vangora Rima would not give you back the grandfather you know. The system would scrub me clean of what it deemed were my imperfections: my concern, and my empathy…my ability to love you.”

“I don’t care about how much it would change you, Grandfather,” Purvi cried. “I have enough love for the both of us.” Purvi looked up, her eyes filled with so much water she could barely see. “I am stronger than you think I am! I will love you even if you can’t love me back!”

“Shh . . . my darling, Purvi.” Timmons whispered. “Please gather yourself and listen to what I have to say.” Timmons removed a ring from his smallest finger and placed it in the palm of one of her hands. “One day, Purvi . . .” he whispered. “One day, when you are fully grown,

you will look into the face of pure evil, and I am eternally grateful that that face will not be mine.”

That was the last time Purvi heard her grandfather speak.

“Are you gonna move, or do I need to have you discharged?” The assignment officer’s voice seemed to pierce through the tender silence. “Get this ‘scunt out of my line!” he yelled, talking to one of the other officers.

Before Purvi could gather herself, she felt an abrupt yank on her shirt as she was pulled out of the line and pushed onto the ground. And before she could determine what was happening, her head was pinned to the ground by the boot of her assailant.

Purvi looked up to see two officers over her, both pointing their weapons, ready to remove her for good.

“I’m sorry! Please—” Purvi said. But then, realizing they were Mollards, and that her pleading would get her nowhere, she quickly used what she knew would save her life. “Thank you for teaching me to respect your power. I detest this flesh of mine. I honor all that is Mollard. I honor you! I honor you! Please…I honor you!”


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Meet the Author

Opëshum has been writing since she was a child, and believes that authors are selected by their characters to bring their stories to the world. Incredibly shy and introverted, Opëshum does not make public appearances. She prefers to remain behind the scenes as the characters in her books take center stage. Her current work, the 8-Book SciFi Epic Gods on Trial: The Series™ kicks off with Book 1, BEYOND THE FATHER.  

Opëshum calls Sheridan, Wyoming her home, where she is currently writing Book 2 of this series. She enjoys nature walks, full moons, and open spaces where she can stare up at the stars. 

1iR3 Publishers, LLC


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Let’s Celebrate Being Different by Lainey Dee (Book Review)

Todd is different from all the other animals -with the head of a bird, the tummy of a bear and the legs of a tiger and he feels he doesn’t quite fit in anywhere! His family love him dearly but it’s hard for him to make friends.

During a visit to his grandmother’s, Todd express’s his concern and she tells him: ‘It’s okay to be different’.

Instilled with new confidence he sets out for the Friday Club, a place where all the animals gather and socialise with their friends. Will he find the courage to face his fears and embrace his differences?

He might be surprised to find some friends along the way! More importantly can he learn to accept himself?

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I received a complimentary copy of this book from Reedsy Discovery. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.


“Todd is different from all the other animals -with the head of a bird, the tummy of a bear, and the legs of a tiger and he feels he doesn’t quite fit in anywhere! His family loves him dearly but it’s hard for him to make friends.” Since children probably have no idea how babies are created, they might not even question how a bird and a bear could make a baby together. But, if your child asks about the logistics, I’d say it’s a make-believe story, and it’s not possible in real life. 

Like so many others, Todd has traits that make them appear different from others. Todd’s grandma told him being different is okay, and she was correct. Many children can relate to Todd’s feelings regarding his uniqueness and what happens when others make a public spectacle of them. We should not point, stare, or cause others to feel sad, ashamed, or embarrassed about themselves. Kids are inquisitive, so if they make someone uncomfortable by asking questions about the other person’s body or condition, teach them always to apologize as Charlie did in the story. 

Animals come in different shapes, sizes, and coloring, and no two look identical. Humans also vary in size, shape, and color. Let’s Celebrate Being Different by Lainey Dee teaches children to accept those different from them and accept themselves for who they are! Two great messages! 

Let’s Celebrate Being Different mentions that Todd has no friends, and grandma claims it might be because he is homeschooled. I’ve known several homeschooling parents whom all say the lack of social interaction is a significant obstacle. Todd went to the local community center to meet his peers. Most libraries have events for children to interact with individuals their age. I would suggest speaking to your local library if they provide such events for the community.

The recommended reading age is 4-8. The overall story fits well in this age bracket. Depending on geographical location and the reader’s mental dictionary, children might not be familiar with some words. My child had no clue what a dungaree was until they saw the photo. 

Review submitted on 10/6/22


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

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Meet the Author

Lainey Dee was born in Birmingham and raised in Kidderminster. Lainey is a accredited nanny and holds the NNEB certificate. She presently takes care of a pair of twins. Lainey is a big art deco fan and her home is decorated in that period style.

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165 Ridiculously Absurd Questions and Statements: Creating Laughter and Fun Moments with Yourself and Others by J.T. Newcomb (Book Review)

This book may literally be the only comedy book of its kind in terms of the comedic topic and approach! It can work like a social game where friends and family take turns reading one of the 165 comedic bits to each other. The sheer randomness of what might be read makes it all the more fun!

What’s included in this work of comedy:

  • 165 brief comedic items that may be statements, questions, or a mixture of both.
  • A unique voice in humor that may not have existed until this book.
  • A fun dose of unpredictability due to how utterly random each item is.
  • A book that can be used as a game where friends and family take turns reading the comedic items from the list to each other.
  • Comedy that completely avoids any raunchiness and vulgarity that comedy often has.

Enjoy clean, comedic absurdity just for yourself or to enhance a social gathering of any number (but get a microphone for very large groups)! Discover a fresh experience of humor that is likely to get a variety of reactions to keep things interesting!

If you want to lay hold of this unique work of comedy to create laughter for yourself and others, click the “Buy” button and enjoy!

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I received a complimentary copy of this book from Reedsy Discovery. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.


165 Ridiculously Absurd Questions and Statements Creating Laughter and Fun Moments with Yourself and Others offers brief comedic items that may be statements, questions, or a mixture of both. 

Some of J.T. Newcomb’s statements were quite amusing. For instance, number twelve, “If I woke up one day with actual octopus tentacles instead of arms, I would wonder why I only had two and not the usual eight.” I’m unsure if I wonder or ponder the number so much as I would freak out that I now have tentacles. On number 13, the author wrote, “If your name is Jim and you promote going to the gym, wouldn’t people think you’re a bit bias?” The author was not suggesting naming a gym “Jim,” but I thought it was a funny coincidence I recently had a discussion about homophones and these particular words.

Number twenty-seven states, “Sharks are mean.” Maybe they are just hangry. I would suggest offering them a Snickers, but I doubt that’ll fix their issue. Plus, do you want to get your hand that close to a shark’s mouth? 

Do you love dad jokes or puns? Check out number thirty-three! “If you’re a food reviewer writing about a dish comprised of ground beef and okra called Meaty Okra, be careful when describing it as mediocre.” By the way, I shared it with my husband, who laughed; therefore, this has earned the “dad” stamp of approval. 

So many statements and questions had me rolling my eyes because they were so ridiculous. Which was great; I loved their silliness! The whale and pizza incident, catfishing and cat fishing, shampooing a pigeon, and many more. And to answer the sloth question (#109), yes, it would! (Read the book for the question.)

From a design point of view, I would suggest adding a space or two after each number. Some have the space and so don’t. Also, some readers might like a few images because the inside contents do look a bit plain. 

165 Ridiculously Absurd Questions and Statements Creating Laughter and Fun Moments with Yourself and Others is slightly over twenty pages and contains a whole lot of comedy, making this a book I highly recommend! Perfect for the entire family! 

Review edited on 10/5/22 (Reedsy) 


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

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About the Author

J.T. Newcomb has had a long history of comedic focus such as in writing songs like the “Good Ol’ Days in the Amniotic Sac” and a song about how cheap rent would be if the roaches paid their share. He’s done stand up comedy and now translates his absurdist style to a book for the first time.

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The Train Rolls On To The North Pole by Jodi Adams (Book Review)

The Animal Express train is back, and it’s more determined than ever!

The Animal Express
has got a new goal-
to transport eight reindeer
back to the North Pole!

It’s Christmas Eve, and Santa’s reindeer have spent the day getting pampered at an Arctic spa in preparation for their annual journey around the world. Now, the Animal Express races the clock to return the reindeer to the North Pole before Santa’s departure. Will they arrive in time to guide Santa’s sleigh? The train encounters several wintery obstacles along the way, but…THE TRAIN ROLLS ON!

This book is a timeless tale of perseverance and working together as a team to overcome obstacles.With its rhyming text, memorable refrain, and stunning illustrations, this exciting holiday train adventure is sure to resonate with children and adults alike!

This Book Is Perfect For…

  • Fans of The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg and
    Santa and the Goodnight Train by June Sobel
  • Gifting to young train-lovers
  • Reading any time of the day
  • Reading aloud in the classroom, library, or at home
  • Engaging toddlers and students in preschool, kindergarten, and lower-elementary grades (ages 3-6)
  • Teaching perseverance and teamwork concepts
  • Promoting vocabulary and language development
  • Christmas book events and collections

Book Features:

Catchy, Rhyming Text – Rhymes help children predict language patterns and develop other critical language and reading skills. They also promote memory and rhythm development in a fun and exciting way.

Memorable Refrain – “The train rolls on!” is a powerful catchphrase that is ripe to become a go-to saying for kids and their caregivers when they need to persevere through difficult situations.

Eye-Catching Illustrations – The train and its passengers are expertly-rendered, and each has a unique personality that shines through on the page.

Glossary – This resource provides simple definitions for 17 words used throughout the book and is intended to help children enhance their vocabulary with each and every read.

Look and Find – Children will enjoy searching for the cardinal that accompanies the train in every illustration!

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I received a complimentary copy of this book from Reedsy Discovery. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.


Christmas is a favorite holiday for lots of children around the world. Reading Christmas books at bedtime is a common pastime in many homes. The general idea of them is Santa delivering presents, but The Train Rolls On To The North Pole by Jodi Adams is not like the stories you’ve read before. 

“It’s Christmas Eve, and Santa’s reindeer have spent the day getting pampered at an Arctic spa in preparation for their annual journey around the world. Now, the Animal Express races the clock to return the reindeer to the North Pole before Santa’s departure. Will they arrive in time to guide Santa’s sleigh? The train encounters several wintery obstacles along the way, but…THE TRAIN ROLLS ON!”

The opening images of the famous reindeer enjoying a spa day were hilarious. Kids will giggle at the animals getting massages and pedicures. The train with the big eyes reminded me of Thomas the Train. They didn’t have the same coloring, but it’s the first thing that popped into my head when I saw it. 

The Animal Express battles the elements to see Santa’s helpers home safely. Blizzard-like conditions are not ideal traveling conditions, no matter what transportation you use. These conditions lead to a pivotal scene that might make your youngster yell, “Oh no!” The troublesome situation calls for teamwork, and the joint effort saves the day! 

The Train Rolls On To The North Pole by Jodi Adams is a perfect story for those who celebrate Christmas. Many age groups can and will find enjoyment in the story. Since many toddlers recognize Santa and his flying reindeer, they can easily enjoy the photos. By the way, the illustrations were spectacular. The cover instantly caught my eye, and I know it will also capture little kids’ eyes. 

If you want your child to understand the text, I would suggest reading this to three-year-olds and older. I want to note the author was thoughtful in creating a glossary. I would utilize it because some of the words in this book may be new to your child. 


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

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About the Author

Jodi Adams is a former Crime Scene Investigator turned stay-at-home mom and children’s book author. When she is not reading or writing, Jodi loves to cook and bake, run, golf, and spend time with her family. She grew up in Iowa but now lives in Omaha, NE, with her husband and two kids.

Reedsy Author Link




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Magician Emu by R.C. Chizhov (Book Review)

Celebrate the magic of being YOU!

In old and charming Emu Town…an emu aspires to be like the great magician, Spikey Spike. But her magic goes all wrong and nothing like Spikey’s! Will the emu find her magic and dare to be different?

With award-winning author, R.C. Chizhov’s playful rhymes and Anastasia Yezhela’s colorful illustrations, Magician Emu is a funny and heartwarming tale of embracing who you are!

Perfect for holiday gifting, read aloud, classroom discussion and bedtime!


Other books in EMU TOWN STORIES:

  • Nope-Nope Emu
  • Adventure Emu
  • Yogic Emu (coming soon)

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 


Anastasia Yezhela did an outstanding job with ALL the illustrations in Magician Emu. Children will adore EMU, who wears a magician’s cape and hat and has a lovely set of curly locks. Spikey Spike, another magical emu, looked quite adorable with their bowtie and Harry Potter-style glasses. 

As all great magicians will tell you, you can read how to do the trick a thousand times, but implementing the steps perfectly is not easy. It takes lots and lots of practice to master a magical feat. Some magicians make a trick seem easy; they make it look effortless. EMU realizes that magic is not easy at all. The unthinkable, the unplanned happens. But, you shouldn’t be discouraged. Keep practicing like EMU; one day, you’ll become a great magician too. 

As EMU practiced and his magic went awry, comedic moments did shine. I won’t disclose all of them, but I will note one. It’s slime time!! 

While EMU’s magic wasn’t precisely perfect, it did delight and entertain his friends. Their happiness made EMU happy. 

I recommend you check out Magician Emu by R.C. Chizhov. Make sure and catch all the books in the Emu Town series! 


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

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About R.C. Chizhov


R.C. Chizhov grew up in India, moved to New York in 2005 and spent fourteen years as an investment banker before pursuing her childhood dream of becoming an author. She now lives in Florida with her ever-supportive husband and ever- energetic son. She is a member of SCBWI.

Website Link

Instagram: @rcchizhov


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