Tag Archives: action and adventure

The Tickling Tale of Smoo by Louiza Kallona (Book Review)

Some strange things arrive suddenly, like frogs that rain down instead of cats and dogs. Other strange things creep up slowly until one day no one can ignore them any longer. This is the story of the McClaffertys, and the mysterious disappearance of laughter.

Lucy McClafferty and her brother Ben are fed up. The weather has been dreich for months, and no one is laughing anymore.

It’s up to Lucy and Ben to uncover the mystery of why the world has stopped laughing so laughter can return to the world again.

Join them on their weird and wonderful adventure as they travel to the top of Scotland, meet fantastical characters, face unexpected challenges, and discover that there is more to some people and places than meets the eye!

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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 Tickling Tale of Smoo by Louiza Kallona was a wonderfully weird story filled with excitement and humor. It all began when people seemed to lose their will to smile. Grandma said it must have to do with Smoo, a tickler of the world. 

As Grandma, Lucy, Ben, and Patrick arrived at Gabel Lylhu’s cottage in Durness, the weirdest factor increased tenfold. First, Grandma whistled, and fireflies answered her call. Then, there’s the cottage itself. Its unique decor was definitely on the strange side: bronze fox nailed to the front door, crocodile-tooth light switches, blowfish skeletons, and a clock that bleats. The most unusual discovery was a gargantuan nose on the turquoise, conch-shaped couch. The nose sent snot soaring out of its nostrils. Gross! 

After the visitors woke Gabel Lylhu (aka Belly Laugh), we learned about his connection to Grandma. The revelation surprised me as much as it surprised Lucy and Ben. With a quick rundown on the world’s happenings, Gabel and the kids set to find the Smoo and tickle her. The adventure has readers meeting extraordinary people, witnessing unusual events, and hopping on a spectacularly odd bus (Grand Express) that children will be utterly fascinated by and probably say they’d like to ride. 

The Tickling Tale of Smoo had humor, suspense, unforgettable characters, and a unique plot that required an out-of-the-box-thinking resolution. Oh, it also had puzzles that would delight and thrill those who like solving riddles and anagrams. I want to note that the anagrams are not very easy and might prove difficult for young readers. However, the answers are provided as the author tells the story, and thank goodness for that because they stumped even me. 

Kids will love The Tickling Tale of Smoo. Adults will love it too. It’s a story that the entire family can read and enjoy together! 

 

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

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Meet the Author

Louiza Kallona grew up in London but moved to Scotland aged eighteen, attracted by the history, the whopping volcanic rock, and the hope of meeting people as funny as Billy Connolly. She wrote The Tickling Tale of Smoo while living with five other bikers in a farmhouse in the Scottish Borders.

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Of Demon Kind: A Forbidden Romance Fantasy (Kingdom of Jior Fantasy Series Book 1) by Wendy L. Anderson (Book Review)

He’s heir to a dark throne. She’s a gentle healer. Will their forbidden attraction be the key to mending his broken soul?

Prince Lorn just wants to be left alone. Drinking heavily to numb the despair of failing to prevent his evil father’s horrific defeat and his own inability to conquer the humans, the devastated half-demon has spent the last five years exiled in a drunken stupor. But when he’s falsely accused of kidnapping a beautiful noble and other atrocities, he emerges vowing to fight to clear his name…by becoming her white knight.

Princess Lililaira longs to be free. Imprisoned in a sorcerer’s tower, the courageous woman is startled when a gorgeous winged man flies in through the window and offers rescue. Seizing the opportunity to escape, she places her trust in the fierce warrior’s arms in a daring flight to freedom.

Desperate to avert another brutal war, Lorn draws nearer to his lovely companion while wrestling with the sins of his past. And though Lililaira is happy to help her intriguing savior prove his innocence in return for his aid in evading her cruel father’s rule, her growing love demands she stand beside him as they set off into an unknown future.

Can they break away from eternal torment and claim their destiny together?

Of Demon Kind is the thrilling first book in the Kingdom of Jior romantic fantasy series. If you like brooding anti-heroes, chivalrous passions, and epic medieval battles, then you’ll adore Wendy L. Anderson’s magical tale.

Buy Of Demon Kind to witness the redemption of a twisted birthright today!

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


Of Demon Kind 
housed many scenes that must be brought to life in a full-color, live-action film. For instance:

  • Thousand black spears pointed skyward.
  • One thousand demons’ eyes glowed green.
  • Giant fireballs streaked the night sky.
  • Long awaited showdown (final battle scene)

Prince Lorn and Princess Lililaira’s union happened over winter and was expected. No offense, but falling for your rescuer and vice versa has been done repeatedly in many TV, print, and movie. But it wasn’t how they ended up in the cave that interested me. No, it was how her “kiss” could keep death from taking Loren after poison-tipped arrows struck him. The mystery of the princess and her magic powers drew my attention. 

Love found Lorn, but his mission was never far from his mind. He needed to find the Dark Sorcerer and ask why this person was using his family’s name, crest, and uniforms/colors to wreak havoc across the lands. He also needed to return Lily to her home. As you can imagine, neither task proved uneventful, and hooray for that. 

The Dark Sorcerer’s identity, intentions, and shocking truths were delivered in dramatic format. I knew the first (identity), but what the evil one disclosed (shocking truth) was a nice plot twist. (Figured out some of the revelations, but not all)

While I longed to see battle scenes embellished more, the final paragraphs show promise that the next book in the series would deliver us an epic battle scene, maybe more than one. 

 

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

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Meet the Author

Wendy L. Anderson is a writer of passionately charged fantasy. Breaking the barriers of typical fantasy themes, she created the Kingdom of Jior epic fantasy series, a lusty and poetic five-book series that will have you wanting more in her Legends of Everclearing spinoff series. Inspired by authors such as Robert E. Howard and Morgan Llywelyn, Wendy went on to write three other stand-alone works; A Cut Twice as Deep, Ulrik, and Rapunzel’s Tower. These fantasy works break free from the usual boundaries of fantasy genres.

A Colorado native and mother of two; she has decided it is time to write down the fantasies from her mind. Writing about everything from fantastical worlds to the stuff of her dreams she takes her stories along interesting paths while portraying characters and worlds she sees in her mind’s eye. Her goal is to deviate from common themes, write in original directions and transport her reader to the worlds of her creation.

Wendy L. Anderson’s fantasy has action, adventure, and suspense with just the right amount of romance!

Find out more at: www.wendylanderson.com

 

Finalist in the 2022 Colorado Author’s League Awards for Rapunzel’s Tower

3rd Place Winner! Romance Writers of America Write Touch Readers; award 2020-Of Demon Kind

Finalist in the 2020 Write Touch Readers’ Award Contest

Honorable mention Great Northwest Book Contest

 

 

 

 

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

Fasten your seatbelts for a tornado, funfair and adventure!

An emu whines about his mundane life and wishes for a grand adventure.

One day, a tornado whisks him away to a funfair! Life is as thrilling as it gets, but can the flightless emu find his way back home?

 

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

 

My family lives in an area with a threat of tornadoes every fall and spring. Heck, we’ve also been under warning for one during the wintertime. Crazy, but true! Therefore, my kiddos are well aware of the dangers—the destruction they cause. Even though my family has gone over our “tornado preparedness” plan several times, we went over it again. I encourage you to go over yours if you live in an area with twisters. If you don’t, maybe go over fire or earthquake instead; whatever disaster might strike your location.

One kiddo’s first remark about Adventure Emu was, “They wish our tornadoes took people to a carnival cause carnivals are fun.” My other child made an ick face regarding the kale and romaine lettuce. They said, “Who would pick salad over popcorn and nachos?” Their question led to a great discussion about the dietary needs of animals and humans. 

Since our town has a carnival every Fourth of July, we discussed the differences between Emu’s festival and ours. My children wish ours had a roller coaster and bumper cars. Me too; those are a lot of fun. 

Adventure Emu by R.C. Chizhov is a fun story that I’m sure your kids will love to read. Anastasia Yezhela once again knocks it out of the park with their illustrations. Congrats to both of you for creating a book my family loved, and I’m sure many others will too.

 

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

Amazon Purchase Link

 

About R.C. Chizhov

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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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The Dirty Martini Club (A Tess Kincaid Novel) by Jude Randazzo (Book Review / Author Interview)

THE DIRTY MARTINI CLUB (a Tess Kinkaid Novel) by Jude Randazzo

 
Tess Kincaid, celebrity golf professional, decides to visit and meet, for the first time, her presumptive fiancé Eddie Spinozza’s family in Albany, New York for Thanksgiving, in anticipation of the next step in their relationship. The Spinozza and Cuchinelli families have been entrenched in Albany for two generations, but Eddie has assured Tess that he is not involved in his family’s “business”. However, on the first night of her visit, sitting in The Dirty Martini Club watching Eddie perform with his band, she witnesses the brazen shooting of one of the band members. Almost simultaneously, and without much warning, an epic, once-in-a-lifetime snowstorm suffocates Albany, preventing Tess from leaving town. 

She subsequently becomes a material witness to a series of events, which the police are only reluctantly investigating. What happens next is a daring, and life-altering event that brings Eddie and Tess to a do or die scenario amid mob warfare. The results are quite unpredictable.

 
 
Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble
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I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book ToursI voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
Tess Kincaid, a professional golfer, went to meet her fiancé’s family, but everything didn’t go as planned. Dealing with a less than welcoming embrace from her future mother-in-law was the least of her worries. On the same night she met Connie (MIL), a rival mob family struck The Dirty Martini Club.

Tess soon discovered what type of family she was marrying into, and she wasn’t a fan. I can’t blame her. As things went from bad to worse, we met Ari, who runs an Army surplus store. Once I met him, I was Team Ari all the way. I wish he had more screen time because I liked him, not Eddie (Tess’s fiancé).

We also met a fireman named Stone. He wasn’t present for long but left a lasting impression on me.

Okay back to Tess…

Tess has big cajones! She took it upon herself to save a damsel in distress. Her feat even impressed Ari (ex-military). She showed readers her strength of body and mind.

Tess also took on Grandpa Spinozza in a checkers match that shouldn’t require an opponent to have a big set of (you guessed it) cajones, but it did. Tess proved time, and again she was no pushover. She’s too good for that family. Too good for Eddie (IMHO).

The finale was not the end for Eddie and Tess. Hopefully, we will see Ari and Stone in future installments. A girl can only hope!

Side note: I’ve never tasted a martini before. Also, I love the club’s music choices. 🙂

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

Do you have another profession besides writing?

Jude: Yes, I’m a financial advisor and have been since I retired the first time in 1997 to Maui.

 

How long have you been writing? Do you ever get writer’s block?

Jude: I wrote my first story when I was seven years old. I had been flitting around the house annoying my siblings until my mother told me to sit down and write a story instead of being obnoxious. I wrote The Door Knob which is about a boy who becomes a door knob and sees and hears all on both sides of the opened and closed doors. It didn’t help with being obnoxious which six decades later I have perfected to an art, but it did get me started. I’ve been writing novels since I first got inspired on a beach in Maui twenty-five years ago. I wrote The Golden Cocoon on a dozen yellow legal tablets. I do not suffer writer’s block and never have been afflicted with same, but I do have arthritis in my thumbs and cure that temporarily with copious amounts of Scotch.

 

What is your next project?

Jude: The continuance of Tess’s adventures. Oh, and maybe a little more of Eddie.

 

What genre do you write and why?

Jude: I like the idea of a suspenseful thriller to keep readers entertained and engaged but I like a little romance thrown in for spice maybe because I’m Italian. The Omen of the Crow is in the same genre as Rear Window which I found incredible.

 

 What is the last great book you’ve read?

Jude: Stuart Little! Who doesn’t like a story about a mouse against the world who is debonair, adventurous, and romantic? It’s the greatest story ever told.

 

connect with the author: 
website twitter facebook instagram ~ goodreads

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Biño and the Triggerfish: The Adventures of a Yorkie by Kate Wessels (Book Review)

Meet Biño, a Yorkie with a big personality.
He loves to travel the world seeking for new adventures.
Biño easily makes friends – but his bold and boastful ways can often get him in trouble.
One rainy day, his owners announce they are heading to a remote, tropical island, that Biño can’t wait to discover.
As it happens, Biño soon learns that a dark shadow hangs over the island paradise, which has the native animals in unrest. A certain fish seems to haunt the waters.
Will Biño be able to bring back peace to the island?

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

 

What a lovely, colorful map of The Island!

Like BiñoI went from living in frigid temperatures to bright, sunny weather 24-7, and it was a remarkable transition. Like the Yorkie, my body was not made for cold weather. 

The new city brought many opportunities to make new doggie friends, which he did daily. Lucky pooch! His owner explained to a neighbor that Biño’s name meant “little bear.” Curious, I searched the meaning of my pet’s name, and it came back as “a simpleton; a dunce.” Ouch! In truth, my furry friend is intelligent. 

Like most canines, Biño loves to play chase even at the most inopportune time. If you have canine friends, you can relate to a dog’s sudden need to run after something. This adventurous streak is a quality that most owners love, including Biño’s. They adored his eagerness to learn and discover new things. They took Biño (almost) everywhere, including on a plane ride. I loved the photo of him looking out the window. Cute! Oh, and the drawing of the pooch running with the knickers in his mouth made me laugh out loud. No shoe, sock, or pair of undies is safe from a dog’s mouth. 

The island was a wonderland, full of new sights, sounds, smells, animals, and places to explore. The family was invited to swim with reef sharks but chose snorkeling along the reef instead. Even though they were skittish to swim with the reef sharks, I liked that the author incorporated ways sharks are helpful into the storyline. People tend to focus on reports of shark bites and forget their contributions to the underwater world. That’s why I love shark week on the Discovery channel. They speak of the dangers and beauty of the apex predators. 

Joe, a storybook character, discusses coral reefs, palm trees, sea levels, and triggerfish. No image was provided in the initial mention of a triggerfish, so I did a quick internet on it. I learned there are 40 species of triggerfish. The fish looked flat in the various photos, which was quite unexpected. Later in the story, the author did have an illustration for the fish. It looked like one of the images I discovered online. Great job capturing its likeness, Anastasia Naryadko. Oh, and to Kate Wessels, the dog and fish (Pablo) conversation was delightful and informative! The chats with Titan Triggerfish were on the suspenseful side. I found each encounter entertaining in different ways. 

The island holds many gems, but it possesses dangers too. Watch out for falling coconuts and the not-so-friendly triggerfish! 

Amazon’s recommended reading age is 8 – 12 years. Some words will be unfamiliar to young readers. In fact, I had never heard of décolleté or the sport Boules. From a style and editing perspective, I would add a space between all paragraphs and different characters’ talking points to make things easier to read. 

With all that said, Kate Wessels wrote an exciting book demonstrating what we know about our canine companions: they love to eat human food, are very curious, and manage to find themselves in sticky situations. I can’t wait to read about Biño’s next adventure at the North Pole! 

Review submitted to Reedsy on 8/13/22.

#KamsPlace

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

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

Meet the Author

As an avid reader and traveller, Kate has always loved a good story. With a focus on environmental topics, her books potray a fun and captivating story, while highlighting the challenges of modern times. She lives in Italy with her adorable Yorkie, Biño.
 

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