Tag Archives: adventure

Wilderness Spa: Where Physical Survival Meets Psychological Survival by Jim Halverson (Book Review)

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The Wilderness Spa brings people from three quite different sources together to survive catastrophe in the Alaskan wilderness. They amaze themselves in their ability to coalesce and work cohesively in the face of hunger, injury, insecurity, and possible death. With that on their minds, they explore statistics, logic, social justice, and challenges to philosophies and social norms.

After rocky starts when new members enter the group, they learn to find the best in their fellow travelers, how to help, follow, and lead when necessary. Nothing is ever easy. Without attacking each other, they dig deep to reconcile their differences.

Join the group as they make the best of what they have. Struggle along with them and reconcile your own philosophical belief systems with logic and science.

 
 
 
 
 
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
Alone, I think every character featured in Wilderness Spa would’ve had a dreadful time surviving alone in Alaska’s wilderness. Together, the trek to safety was not easy. There were juries and casualties. 

Wilderness Spa stressed the importance of teamwork. The stranded campers had to use their life skills and adapt to survive the trek to Fort Yukon. Everyone was assigned a task/role. Tom, still recovering from his injuries, did his best to lead the group. This was a difficult feat for the loner. A man with no family and no friends now had his fate resting in the hands of strangers. And these strangers were relying on Tom to help them get back to civilization. 


Surprisingly, things went pretty smoothly until I was about 3/4 of the way through it. Then, things took a turn for the worse. While I wouldn’t wish their troubles on real-life people, I welcomed the action scenes for literary purposes. The break-time discussions on racism, evolution, Medicare, Christmas, and so forth reduced my interest in the overall story and the outcome of the characters. When you travel (on foot) through dangerous territory and in less than desirable weather, you expect and want bad things to happen. It makes the story and its plot more realistic. 


When you live or visit an area with questionable weather and wild animals, you have to expect that bad stuff can and probably will happen. Therefore, every incident that occurred in the last portion of Wilderness Spa was plausible!


Final note: I love the book’s cover. And, I would love to see the Northern Lights of Alaska one day. #BucketList 

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

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J​im Halverson is the author of Trials & Trails (2019) and Ponce, What Actually Happened at the Fountain of Youth (upcoming, 2021). Jim grew up in the rural, gold-mining town of Mokelumne Hill, CA and received his MBA from Golden Gate University. He spent part of his life on a ranch and is an avid student of psychology. He recognizes the struggles of all men and women seeking equality and respect. Jim and his wife, Gail, spend their time traveling from their small farm in Forestville, CA.

Connect with the Author:  Website ~  Goodreads

 

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The Shade Under the Mango Tree by Evy Journey (Book Spotlight)

Gold Medal, Contemporary Fiction
2021 Global Book Awards (formerly New York City Book Awards)

Finalist, Multicultural Fiction
2021 International Book Awards

 

Content Rating:  PG13 & M: There’s a suicide, reference to a past genocide, and reference to sex about to happen but no description of the sexual act.

 
After two heartbreaking losses, Luna wants adventure. Something and somewhere very different from the affluent, sheltered home in California and Hawaii where she grew up. An adventure in which she can also make some difference.

Lucien, a worldly, well-traveled young architect, finds a stranger’s journal at a café. Though he has qualms and pangs of guilt about reading it, they don’t stop him. His decision changes his life forever.

Months later, they meet at a bookstore. Fascinated by his stories and adventurous spirit, Luna goes on a Peace Corps stint to a rural rice-growing village in Cambodia. There, she finds a world steeped in ancient culture and the lasting ravages of a deadly history. Will she leave this world unscathed?

An epistolary tale of courage, resilience, and the bonds that bring diverse people together.

 
Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ B&N 
Kobo ~ Apple 

 
 
Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ B&N 
Kobo ~ Apple 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:
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Evy Journey writes. Stories and blog posts. Novels that tend to cross genres. She’s also a wannabe artist and a flâneuse. Evy studied psychology (Ph.D. University of Illinois) so she spins tales about nuanced characters dealing with the problems and issues of contemporary life. She believes in love and its many faces. Though she has traveled to many places, she has one ungranted wish: To live in Paris where art is everywhere and people have honed aimless roaming to an art form. She visits and stays a few months.

Connect with the Author: website ~ facebook ~ pinterest ~ twitter

 

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The Accidental World by K.A. Griffin (Book Review and Author Interview)


 
Ethan Scott thinks he is having a normal Monday evening, waiting for his grandfather, Pops, to return. Pops had left on a mysterious errand the day before, and warned Ethan that if his return is delayed, then Ethan will be in danger. Suddenly, Ethan hears creaking on the footsteps and barricades himself in his room That’s the last thing he remembers as THE ACCIDENTAL WORLD by K. A. Griffin begins before Ethan finds himself transported to a new world that was like nothing he had ever seen.
 
 
NHHMM is a futuristic town, blighted by air pollution that is so strong everyone wears masks in order to breathe. Everything is alien to Scott: his surroundings, the buggies that people travel in, his classmates, and the headmistress who seems to know him, but who he has never seen before in his life. But there is one thing that is familiar to Scott, and that is the popular game, Conquest, that he used to play with his grandfather. Scott excels at Conquest, beating all of his classmates. He is chosen to play in the tournament that is attended by many in the town, including the Chancellor. But he soon learns his Pop has been captured and jailed by the Chancellor. Pop is part of an underground resistance that holds the secrets to a powerful technology that the corrupt Chancellor wants to obtain. Nobody is who they appear to be, and Ethan learns the truth about his parents and Pop’s true identity. The tournament is Ethan’s chance to save Pop’s life and those in the resistance who are trying to free him. Pop’s and Ethan’s fate hangs in the balance. What becomes of Pop and the resistance fighters? Will Ethan disappear forever if he wins the tournament, a fate that has befallen previous winners? Readers will have to wait until the publication of Book 2 in this riveting trilogy to find out what Ethan’s destiny is in the accidental world he has traveled to, and that pits good against evil is a world not too dissimilar from our own.
 
 
​BUY THE BOOK:
Kindle Purchase Link
 
 
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
First, I must state that The Accidental World’s cover was sublime! It captured Ethan and his precarious predicament perfectly! Eugene Ivanov, the cover artist, created a beautiful work of art. 

As for Ethan, he’s on quite the adventure. Thrust into another time and place, with only a handful of clues to guide his way, Ethan’s flourished when most time travelers would’ve struggled. His quick thinking and bright, inquisitive mind have been his saving grace. Well, that and he had people watching his back for their reasons. 

As a fan of games, I loved how detailed K.A. Griffin was in the gaming scenes. When the competitors gathered to play Conquest, I felt I had a spot at their table and played alongside them. Truth, I haven’t played this particular board game yet, but it sounds fascinating. Maybe, I’ll need to purchase it for family game night. 

As a whole, The Accidental World was a riveting read. K.A. Griffin kept me on my toes on who was a true ally and who faking a friendship/kindness with Ethan for their own agenda. And, I could practically see Ethan’s mouth drop open when he got a history lesson about Pops and the other main characters. 

After Ethan absorbed the surprise revelations, the pace of the story increased exponentially. Operation Pops was in full force, and the scenes were action-packed!!! 
 
For those who love techy gadgets, you’re going to love all the futuristic inventions. Pops’s cane was wicked cool too. 

This story would be perfect for in-class group reading, homeschooling parents, or for private use.
 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤
 
 
 
 
 
​​Meet the Author:
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Bio: A graduate of Baylor University with a degree in Business Administration, Keith spent his first career managing businesses and distressed corporations. His second career began at Amazon, where he started at the bottom, ensuring we all get the packages we need. He now manages 100 Amazon associates, and every day he still keeps an eye out for the latest novels coming through the building.

At eighteen, he wrote his first short story. It was a murder mystery only thirteen pages long. On Christmas morning, before anyone had the first cup of coffee, his family noticed that the presents under the tree were gone, and in their place were three manila envelopes. Merry Christmas! You must solve the mystery to find the gifts! It was this short story that led to a lifelong love of writing.

Keith currently lives in Texas with his wife, a dog who thinks she is a princess, a horse who knows she is a princess, and a rescue cat who is little more than a source of allergies. There is talk of chickens in his future, but every time he starts to build the coop, a critical tool goes missing. He always blames the cat.

 
 
Do you snack while writing? Favorite snack? Noooo. It makes my keyboard all kinds of sticky.


Where do you write? Anytime or anywhere. I just can’t watch movies or television when I’m writing. I’m not that good at multi-tasking.


Do you write every day? If I don’t write something every day, I get grumpy. Cute animals don’t want to be around me. My wife doesn’t want to be around me. I need to be moving a story forward every day.


What is you writing schedule? I normally try to write a chapter a day. That’s about 4,000 words for me. The most I’ve ever written was 11,000 words. My body ached for a week.


Is there a specific ritualistic thing you do during your writing time? I listen to music. Whatever evokes the mood that I need. I usually put a song on repeat and I may listen to that one song for hours at a time.


In today’s tech savvy world, most writers use a computer or laptop. Have you ever written parts of your book on paper? No. I’ve used an old school typewriter with carbon, but I type everything on my Mac. My handwriting is so bad I would never be able to decipher why I    wrote if I used paper and pen.


If you could go back in time, where would you go? Probably 1988. I would love to have been in Berlin when the wall fell.


Favorite travel spot? Wengen, Switzerland. You have to take a train up small town and when you get off of the train the Alps are right there so close you feel as if you could reach out and touch them.


Favorite dessert? Anything with chocolate. However, adding coconut or nuts to a chocolate dessert should be considered a criminal act.


If you were stuck on a deserted island, which 3 books would you want with you? How to Survive on a Deserted Island, 101 Ways to Prepare Coconuts, and Moleskin notebook to write my next novel.
 
connect with the author:  facebook ~ website

 
 

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Bobos Babes Adventures: The Missing Egg by Karen M. Bobos (Book Review)

BOBOS BABES ADVENTURES: THE MISSING EGG by Karen Bobos

Children’s Fiction (Ages 3-7),  28 pages

 
 
In the magical land of Harmony, the Bobos Babes love adventure and helping friends in need. When they find out that the swan family has lost a soon-to-hatch swan egg, they are quick to help … before it’s too late! Young readers and their families will enjoy the return of the Bobos Babes and their animal friends in this second title in the fanciful read-aloud picture book series. The Bobos Babes Adventures collection brings families stories of exciting exploits, magical missions, and caring friendships, showcasing that kindness, generosity, and thoughtfulness always win.
Buy the Book:
Amazon

Bobos Babes
 
 
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from 
iRead Book Tours.
I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
Bobos Babes Adventures: The Missing Egg by Karen M. Bobos was an adventurous tale highlighting the goodness in people. Three sisters, all living in a land called Harmony, were known for their good deeds. Angel Scarlett, Princess Daphne, and Cora (the fairy) used their magical powers to spread joy and help those residing in their charmingly named land. 


In this tale, the Bobos Babes banded together to help a swan find his missing unhatched baby. During their search for the bundle of joy, we meet three of swan’s buddies. 


Young readers will love all the animals and the sweet sisters. For the animal friends, Emily Hercock (illustrator) gave all of them a distinct personality. For me, I loved sunglass-wearing Armando, the armadillo. 


As for the three sisters, their dresses were not all pink, and this will please young kids who don’t fancy the color pink—like my daughter. 


On a side note, I loved the “Did you know” bubble in the story. I did not know the fun fact. (no spoilers) 🙂

 
 
 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤
 
 
 
 
Karen M. Bobos
Author Karen Bobos

 
Bobos began writing poetry and stories at the early age of ten. She is a life-long Chicagoan who now raises her family in the downtown area. During the 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic, Chicago also became a city of unrest. Trying to keep her three young daughters in a world of magic during such scary times, the Bobos Babes Adventures were born. Her goal was to create a world of Harmony for her family and hopefully for others to escape, even if only for a moment. The first book of the series, The Case of the Giggles, was published in December 2020. The Missing Egg launched in March 2021. Thus far, she has written ten Bobos Babes Adventures and two chapter books. Two additional books, The Lion’s Secret and The Bobcat Birthday Party, are coming in 2021.
connect with the author: website facebook instagram
 
 

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A Curse of Mayhem: Alyssa McCarthy’s Magical Missions Book 2 by Sunayna Prasad (Book Review)

A CURSE OF MAYHEM by Sunayna Prasad

Middle-Grade Fiction (Ages 8-12),  173 pages

History, like magic, has a habit of repeating itself.
It’s been six months since thirteen-year-old Alyssa McCarthy left magic behind for good. Or so she thought…
Then the enchanted objects that protected her disappear. Now a skeleton named Errol has cursed her with magical powers that keep getting her in trouble. Suddenly strange things are happening with disastrous effects, and if Alyssa can’t remove the magic, she will lose everything she holds dear. In order to get rid of her unwanted wizardry, Alyssa will have to boost her bravery and confidence and determine who Errol really is. But every time Alyssa uses an enchantment, Errol is one step closer to getting his flesh back and becoming alive, and he will do anything to achieve his goals…even if it means destroying Alyssa’s happiness.
Originally published in 2016 as “Wizardry Goes Wild” and “The Unruly Curse” in 2019, “A Curse of Mayhem” is book two in the exciting and suspenseful “Magical Missions” series.
 
BUY THE BOOK:
Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble ~ Kobo
Add to Goodreads
 
 
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from 
iRead Book Tours.
I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 

Since my (pre-teen) daughter gave me such valuable feedback regarding The Frights of Fiji, I enlisted her again in the review for A Curse of Mayhem (Alyssa McCarthy’s Magical Missions, Book 2). 

 

Cover:  She thought the winged person was creepy and didn’t understand who it was supposed to be since she didn’t recall a flying kid in the story. The birdman didn’t bother her; in fact, she thought he looked comical. 

Plot:  We both agreed there were plot holes again. We didn’t understand how Alex, the godfather, forgot about magic and Alyssa’s kidnapping. 
We weren’t sure how mortals could be so confused magic exists when there is a magical zoo in Nebraska. 


Characters:  
She liked the winged unicorn-zebra, and so did I.  

 

Extras:  We both agreed the community service hours for students are a good idea. It teaches young people to take care of our world, and it’s important to take care of your community/people. However, realistically, I don’t think many schools will make it a requirement for school. Maybe for a class, though. 

While there were some hits and misses in this story, it was more enjoyable than The Frights of Fiji. It did represent how I believe a person would react to unwanted powers and the lack of control over them. 

On a final note: My daughter said the ending was “Ahhh, so sweet.”  She’s right; it was adorable. 

 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤1/2
 
BUY THE BOOK:
Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble ~ Kobo
Add to Goodreads
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:
Author Sunayna Prasad
 
Sunayna Prasad enjoys writing fantasy books for children, as well as cooking, creating artwork, watching online videos, and blogging. She has also written The Frights of Fiji, and A Curse of Mayhem. She constantly in creating and brainstorming new ideas.
 
Connect with the Author:   website ~ twitter goodreads
 
 

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