Tag Archives: action and adventure

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.
 

Reedsy Author Link

 

 

 

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Shadows in the Aftermath by Marianne Scott (Book Spotlight)

SHADOWS IN THE AFTERMATH by Marianne Scott

 
Ruby Draker has found new strength and is ready to move on after Felix Szabo devastated the Draker estate in Nice, France. Three Drakers are dead leaving Ruby in grief and with thoughts of revenge. The Drakers are a family built of survivors; each rescued from Felix Szabo, a psychopath, who sought to murder his former agents at the CIA whom he believed betrayed him. The Drakers’ sole mission is to stop Szabo from adding more victims to his list, and although he also perished during the invasion, his legacy continues to haunt them. When the Drakers learn that Robert Draker, presumed dead since the shoot-out at Robert’s farmhouse, may be alive and at a rehab clinic in Portland, Maine, the Drakers know it could be a setup, but they have no choice but to try to nd him and bring Robert home.

​Shocked that Robert may be alive, the family head from France to America to find him. It’s only when they arrive in the west that they realize finding Robert won’t be as easy as they thought. Szabo has found a way to terrorize the Draker family, even after death. His outstanding debt with a Corsican crime family means the Drakers must now find and deliver a shipment of plutonium, which will likely be used by terrorists to create a nuclear bomb, to get Robert back. As Ruby struggles with the decision to save her brother or North America, she must also evade the CIA, who are trying to stop the Drakers from delivering the plutonium. 

 

BUY THE BOOK:
Friesen Press Bookstore
Amazon.ca

Amazon.com

 

 
 
 
Meet the Author:

Author Marianne Scott

Marianne Scott is the Canadian author of four mystery thrillers and is currently finishing an edit on her fourth novel, a murder mystery. She has a BA and a Diploma in Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, CA. She studied creative writing through Conestoga College and Humber College. She enjoys writing workshops such as those offered by Brian Henry, publisher of the blog, Quick Brown Fox, and One Lit Place, a writers’ hub by creator/editor Jenna Kalinsky. She has an author’s website and blog is the president of The Cambridge Writers’ Collective and is a member of the Guelph Genre Writers. In September of 2018, she completed a fourth-year course in Writing Fiction at the University of Guelph under the expert teaching of Lawrence Hill. Her novels, Finding Ruby Draker and Shadows in the Aftermath are self-published. She is actively seeking representation to break into the traditional publishing world with her third and fourth novels.  
 
 
connect with the author: 
website twitter twitter facebook ~ instagram 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Finding Ruby Draker by Marianne Scott (Book Review)

Kathleen Jones has lived a protected and typical suburban life, nothing unexpected in her carefully controlled and planned existence. She’s about to complete her college degree and is ready to start a successful career but after completing her last exam she comes home to find her world has been turned upside down. Her home has been torched and her parents and little brother killed.

If that’s not bad enough, she is kidnapped and drugged unconscious by strangers posing as a police officers. When she awakes she discovers that everything has changed – her face, her name, and everything she believed to be true.

But things get worse. Hardly recovered from surgery, she is whisked away under the cover of darkness as more men storm the clinic with guns. It seems that the men who abducted her are not her greatest threat. Now on a private charter on its way to Nice, France, her abductors are calling her Ruby – Ruby Draker!

Finding Ruby Draker is a novel about knowing yourself, accepting change, embracing danger, and taking risks. You never know what life is going to throw at you.

 
 
 
 
 
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
Kathleen Jones lived a typical twenty-two-year-old’s life. Her major stressor was passing her college exams, which she did. She was on her way home from her final college exam before graduation when her life exploded. A house fire took everything from her – parents and sibling. Things went from bad to worse when she was kidnapped and woke up with a new face. 

You’d think the kidnappers would be the villains in this tale. They were not. People she was conspiring to run away from were, in time, the same people she found herself running towards. 


Finding Ruby Draker by Marianne Scott had had numerous people dying—on both sides of the battle. I was saddened to see some of the heroes fall. I wish I could name names, but I don’t want to ruin it for other readers. 


Finding Ruby Draker took a weird love triangle towards the end, which I still can’t wrap my head around. I don’t want to say who was involved, but I didn’t see the point in the weird shift in the two characters’ dynamic. It read strange, and even the other characters in the story were shaking their heads at the behavior of that certain female. Yes, I am being vague on purpose to avoid spoilers. 


I know no book is perfect, and editing mistakes will slip by, but I wanted to mention two that stood out regarding names. Cold Force was spelled one time with uppercase “C” and lowercase “f” but with uppercase every other time. Also, “Ruby” was referred to as “Rudy” on page 82 (print copy). I’m not sure if this will be corrected by the time my review goes up, but I wanted to note it in case it isn’t.


Those two mistakes DO NOT minimize the level of skill it took to construct the plot, characters, and surprise revelations. It kept me on the edge of my seat. 
 

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

Friesen Press Bookstore
Amazon.ca 
 Amazon.com

 

 
 
 
 
Meet the Author
Author Marianne Scott
 
 
Marianne Scott is the Canadian author of four mystery thrillers and is currently finishing an edit on her fourth novel, a murder mystery. She has a BA and a Diploma in Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, CA. She studied creative writing through Conestoga College and Humber College. She enjoys writing workshops such as those offered by Brian Henry, publisher of the blog, Quick Brown Fox, and One Lit Place, a writers’ hub by creator/editor Jenna Kalinsky. She has an author’s website and blog is the president of The Cambridge Writers’ Collective and is a member of the Guelph Genre Writers. In September of 2018, she completed a fourth-year course in Writing Fiction at the University of Guelph under the expert teaching of Lawrence Hill. Her novels, Finding Ruby Draker and Shadows in the Aftermath are self-published. She is actively seeking representation to break into the traditional publishing world with her third and fourth novels.  
 
 
connect with the author: 
website twitter twitter facebook ~ instagram 
 
 
 

 

 

 

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