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Kris & The Pirates: The Adventures of Kris by Art Blegen (Book Review)

It was supposed to be a fun day at the beach.

In the middle of the ocean, Kris finds an island with beautiful, sandy beaches. The ideal place to go swimming! Once she can teach the biggest, strongest sailor not to be afraid of the water, that is.
The perfect day is interrupted when a bunch of pirates appear out of the jungle. They capture the crew and chase Kris through the jungle. Now the pirates are trying to steal the ship and leave Kris and the crew stranded on the island.

Can Kris escape the Pirates?
Can she rescue the crew?
Can they steal their own ship back and get home?

Kris & The Pirates is the next installment of The Adventures of Kris, where imagination and friendship can overcome any obstacle.

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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.

 

Have you been so engrossed in a book that you felt like living it? Could you picture the characters and the locations or even hear a foreign accent as dialogue is exchanged? Kris, the heroine, gave new meaning to being immersed in a good book! In the real world, she was a typical kid, complaining about not wanting to do something a parent, her dad, asked her to do. In this case, that would be attending a costume party in March. She understood dressing up for Halloween, but a costume party in March was stupid, according to her. Kris would rather get lost in a good book. Me too! 

When Kris cracked open her current read, she found herself smack dab in the thick of things. She felt the breeze on her face, watched in amazement as dolphins played, and moved around the ship as easily as she did her bedroom in the real world. Kris’s biggest problem was the captain’s annoying son, James. That soon quickly changed when they went ashore, and they were given an unfriendly welcome by several stranded pirates who were ready to leave.

As Kris searched for food, her path crossed with several talking animals. Stevie, the sloth, spoke as slowly as he moved. Sam, the snake, stretched out every “s” and gave kisses. Kris met Michael, king of monkeys, who was always in the mood to play a game. Other animals were present on the island—some who aided Kris and one particular animal that was just plain mean, like those awful pirates. 

Kris and The Pirates was two stories in one. In the pirate world, Kris seeks help from the multiple talking jungle animals she met while searching for food and a hiding spot! The real world was not as exciting as the island, but one encounter did cause her to scream in fright. How and why will only be unveiled if you read the book, and I highly recommend you read the book!

After I finished the story, I wondered if Kris’s time as a sailor was real or if it was just a person’s imagination gone wild. Whatever the answer is, I (again) recommend you read the book. Why? Because it’s that good! It has action, suspense, humor, and (let’s not forget) talking animals! 

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

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Meet the Author

Art Blegen is the author of imaginative chapter books for readers from 6 to 10 years old. He is an advocate for children to ensure they have a balance of positive examples in their lives. Wholesome stories and a healthy imagination can lay the foundation they will use for the rest of their lives.

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Waiting For Christmas: A Hot Holiday Romance by Cynthia Eden (Book Spotlight)


Unwrap a hot holiday romance.

How long has he been waiting?

His whole life. That’s how long Wyatt Roth feels like he has been waiting for Christmas “Christy” Sharpe to realize she’s meant to be with him. But gorgeous and vivacious Christy has always seen him as just her little brother’s best friend. One ridiculous year—he’s only younger than her by one year—and doesn’t she get that he’s grown up? He’s a doctor, part of an elite special operations surgical team—a team that has been trained in medicine and in military battle. There is no fight he can’t win. He won’t give up on her.

She’s home for the holidays…but running scared.

The last thing he expects is to find a terrified Christy on his doorstep just days before Christmas. But a stalker has sent her running to the only place she has a safe haven. Wyatt takes her in and vows to protect her. No one will be hurting Christy on his watch. And with her finally under his roof—finally staying close 24/7—he can show Christy that he’s been there for her all along.

Right. There. Waiting.

When did Wyatt Roth get so big? So dangerous? So…insanely sexy with all of his muscles and that tempting grin? Christy can’t believe it when the tall, hot doc answers the door and immediately vows to protect her. She has an ex who won’t let go, and the guy has been scaring her so badly that she had to rush away in the middle of the night. But now Wyatt is promising to keep her safe, the magic of the holiday season is surrounding her, and when she finds herself sharing a passionate kiss with Wyatt under the mistletoe Christy realizes…

Maybe what she’s wanted her whole life has been right in front of her.

What happens when the boy you knew grows into a rugged, too sexy to be true man? A man who has deadly skills, wicked wit, and an amazing kissing ability? During the magic of the holidays, anything can happen. But you have to be careful, because danger is always close, and the thing you want most in the world…just might be lost in the blink of an eye.

Time for some holly, jolly romance…with a side dose of suspense. WAITING FOR CHRISTMAS is a hot holiday novella (33,000 words) designed to get you in the ho-ho-ho spirit. Fall in love, get your heart racing, and prepare to be both naughty and nice as you sink into the story.

 

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CLICK HERE TO READ A STEAMY SCENE!!

 

 

Meet the Author

Cynthia Eden is a New York Times, USA Today, Digital Book World, and IndieReader best-seller. Cynthia writes sexy tales of contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and paranormal romance. Since she began writing full-time in 2005, Cynthia has written over one hundred novels and novellas.

Cynthia is a “hybrid” author. She has published extensively with New York (her New York publishers include Avon, Kensington, Grand Central, and Harlequin), and she has also enjoyed success in her indie writing career.

Cynthia lives along the Alabama Gulf Coast. She loves romance novels, horror movies, and chocolate.  Her favorite hobbies include hiking in the mountains (searching for waterfalls) and spelunking.

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Happy Holidays!

 

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Zoe Home for the Holidays: A Merry Christmas Tale (Zoe the Pull-Leash Dog) by J. E. Brewer (Book Review)

Dashing Through the Snow in a One-Pup Crazy Way.

This is the second zany outing for Zoe the Pull-Leash Dog. Zoe is a whirlwind of a pup who helps people around town in unexpected ways during her daily walks with Edna. In Zoe Home for the Holidays, the duo turns winter into a wonderland and puts a whole new spin on dog walking. Edna lets Zoe take her for a wild ride to lend a helping paw to snow shovelers, skiers, skaters, ice sculptors, tree decorators, and even Santa himself, as only Zoe can. This is Book 2 of the Zoe the Pull-Leash Dog series.

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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.

 

I first met Zoe in the hilarious and unforgettable story Zoe the Pull-Leash Dog. The adorable canine was zooming across the pages and dragging their owner behind them, most of the time with their human counterpart (Edna) in mid-air. In Zoe Home for the Holidays, we witness another exhilarating walk where Edna’s feet barely touch the ground. 

Zoe’s case of the zoomies led Edna on a wild ride, but she was used to the 0 to 60 outdoor fun. Even the whole town knows what to expect when Zoe takes off. You’d think a fast-moving pooch would spell disaster, but their speed and quick movements prove quite helpful for the townspeople this holiday season. Zoe and Edna helped clear off the snowy sidewalks, assisted the children to the top of the ski hill, coordinated ice skaters, and created a stunning ice sculpture. As they flew past the enormous tree in the village’s center, they did a holiday job many people dread: untangle a mountain of blinking lights. If that wasn’t impressive enough, Zoe also had time and energy to help jolly St. Nick and his reindeer! 

Readers will find themselves giggling over the high-flying owner. The illustrations show her as a human toboggan, resting on the backend of a dog-shaped ice sculpture, passing over treetops, riding on the back of Santa’s sled, and much more. Edna’s final line, “Santa says Hi,” was a perfect ender. It demonstrated how she loved and accepted the craziness the walks bring. Every day was an adventure with her furry friend! 

Zoe Home for the Holidays is a wonderful book to share with your family this and every holiday season. Kids will love it, and so will their parents too! Based on the previous book in the series, the recommended reading age is 3-7 years. 

 

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

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Meet the Author

I grew up in a hardworking lobstering town on the coast of southern Maine. As a Physics major at the University of Maine, I won the state creative fiction competition. Today I live on Boston’s north shore with my wife, a pre-school teacher. We have two sons and a little white dog.

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HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

 

 

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Bob Tales, Land of the Woody Warbles by Susan Sullivan (Book Review)

When a sad and hungry kitty is rescued from a garbaggy place by a loving family, only to lose them again, he sets out to find them. On his journey, he encounters many strange and wonderful creatures including a slithery snake, a frisky frog, a friendly fish, a laughable lemur, a marvelous mantis, a testy turtle, a babbling bee, a wee worm, and a wise old owl. Along the way, he learns that he is a bit different than most cats and the other creatures aren’t so nice about his unique qualities.

While struggling with his identity, and weakened from his journey, the cat becomes more and more lost. He faces perilous danger and nearly gives up all hope. But after digging deep to find trust, and a little help and teamwork from his new friends, he finds more than he was hoping for.

In this beautifully illustrated tale of a cat without a tail, our hero learns how to believe in himself, overcome his fears, and feel comfortable in his own fur – with lots of adventures along the way. An inspiring story of courage, teamwork, and the long journey home.

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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.

 

The World Animal Foundation claims that, shockingly, there are 60-80 million unowned or feral cats in the U.S. Susan Sullivan focuses on one homeless kitty in Bob Tales, Land of the Woody Warbles. Before the black kitty met his owners, he lived on the streets. He feasted on rotten garbage, causing his coat to smell no better than the food he consumed. He was bullied, beaten, and understandably sad. All that changed the day the gentle man with shaggy hair scooped him up and promised to help him. The friendly human gave the lonesome, dirty, hungry cat a name (Bob). He made sure Bob was given medical care, a bath, a warm bed, and plenty of healthy food. Bob loved his new family, a blended home of cats and dogs. He felt safe. He felt loved. He felt like he belonged. 

Bob understood that sometimes his owners would leave for the day, but he also understood they eventually returned. However, one day, they didn’t, and Bob was consumed with worry. As pet owners, we see the joy in our furry friends when we return home. Kisses. Head butts. They show love in their own way. Bob loved his humans and was willing to brave the harsh outside world again for them. 

In every chapter, Bob meets new faces. He met some friendly animals and some rude animals. Art imitates life in this instance. No matter the reader’s age, you will encounter people who will lift you up and those who enjoy tearing you down. It’s important to remember the wise words of Oakley, the owl: “What others think doesn’t matter half as much as what you think.”

Bob did not have a tail, and many animals remarked about it, causing him to be ashamed of who he was and what he looked like. Bob didn’t know life with a tail, but these wild animals made him feel terrible about it. We see this type of behavior in humans. We focus on someone’s outward appearance and should be judging someone by their actions. Bob was a sweet, smart cat who loved his family with all his heart. He braved the turbulent waters, faced his fears, and never gave up looking for his “lost” humans. 

In the end, Bob was reunited with his family, and what a story he had to share with his furry brothers and sisters. He swam. He flew. He had an adventure that would widen any furry friend’s eyes with shock and disbelief. 

Bob Tales, Land of the Woody Warbles thirteen chapters are full of action, adventure, love, and gorgeous illustrations of animals and insects (artist: Lauren Reeves). I recommend sharing it with your child six years and older. Make it a part of your bedtime routine. 

Remember: adopt, don’t shop!

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

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Meet the Author

Susan Sullivan worked in Nuclear Medicine before teaching high school biology and anatomy for ten years. Bob, Susan’s tailless rescue cat, had wanderlust and his true adventures became the source of great stories. Susan enjoys being in nature and among animals, particularly when she is beekeeping.

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The Scalp Collector by Suzanne Smith (Book Review)

Detective Sammy Stone stared at the blood soaked corpse tied to the La-Z-Boy recliner. The body was that of twenty one year old Marci Levelle. Like Barbara Tony in Lake County last month and Abigail May in DuPage County the month before, Marci has been scalped and gutted. Sammy’s sixth sense tells him that this sadistic killer, aptly named the Scalp Collector by the press, hasn’t finished his murderous rampage yet. It’s just a matter of time before he takes the life of another innocent girl. Determined to put an end to the senseless slaughter as quickly as possible, Sammy relentlessly follows the bizarre pattern of clues that begin to emerge in the aftermath of the crime. It isn’t long before he realizes that the prime suspect in his murder investigation is an intimate acquaintance of his. Will Sammy act on his suspicions in time to save the next victim, and 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.

 

Do you love watching crime shows? Do you scrutinize every piece of evidence, attempting to solve the case before the fictional cops do? Have you ever doubted your sleuthing instincts? Have you ever flip-flopped whether a character is guilty because the evidence was so overwhelming, which made them the obvious choice? If you answered yes to even one of these questions, you must read The Scalp Collector by Suzanne Smith.

The short story begins with a crime scene that would turn anyone’s stomach. Marci Levelle, twenty-one, was discovered tied to her La-Z-Boy: gagged, gutted, and scalped. I can’t imagine being a police officer or coroner working on this case; worse, she’s not the first victim. Three women dead. Three different jurisdictions. Will Detective Sammy Stone stop the serial killer before he or she targets victim number 4?

The evidence was overwhelming, pointing at one character. Sammy didn’t want to believe someone close to him was a murderer; however, he had an obligation to follow the evidence. Sammy didn’t follow police procedures, which came back to haunt him. He should’ve contacted his partner (Will) and the other precinct detectives about his suspicions or the frantic help me phone call.

His investigation did reveal painful memories and brought to light scars that someone would’ve preferred to stay hidden. (I’m staying vague to avoid spoilers.)

When the investigation leads to one suspect, you must ask yourself, Is it too obvious? Are they the killer, or are they being setup quite beautifully? That was the case with this case. (No pun intended) I had the nagging feeling it was all too easy, but then again, I wondered if the author played it that way. 

When Sammy and the serial killer come face-to-face, he realizes they do not fit the profile. Their reasoning for these horrific acts proved the villain required psychiatric care for many years. 

Did Sammy catch the killer before their blade took scalp number 4?

Did the scalp collector escape? 

Read the book and find out! 

 

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

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Meet the Author

I grew up in Bucktown, a bustling community on the northwest side of Chicago. From an early age, I was attracted to the dark side of human nature, truly fascinated by what motivated good people to behave in bad ways. My books touch on both the grace and brutality of life.

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