Tag Archives: family

Marty and Lenny by Tania Woznicki (Book Review)


Marty and Lenny is an encouraging story about the power of kindness.

Marty is a sweet, helpful monkey with lovely manners. Lenny is the complete opposite! He is a mean and selfish lion with bad manners and disgusting habits. After a memorable encounter with Lenny, Marty decides that things need to change. Join Marty as he makes a brave choice that changes EVERYTHING!

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

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

 

Marty, the monkey, was sweet and well-mannered. They always remembered to say “thank you,” “you’re welcome,” “excuse me,” and “pardon me.” Marty also did his chores and held doors open for others. What a gentleman! 

Lenny, the lion, was the polar opposite. He’s rude. Greedy. Selfish. Mean. He yelled and pushed people around (literally and figuratively). Oh, and he chews with his mouth open. GROSS! 

Marty made it his mission to change Lenny; become Lenny’s friend. During playtime, Lenny let one fart rip, and it stunk to high heaven! Instead of yelling, “Dude, your farts are toxic,” Marty spoke in a friendly, calm voice. “Gas is natural but it really does stink. So next time, Lenny, can you please stop and think?” Marty gave him sound advice. “Being polite and kind is what you should do. Please treat others how you would like them to treat you.”

By the expression on Lenny’s face, you could see he felt embarrassed and/or ashamed at this thoughtless behavior. He vowed from that moment on to be a better animal. Lenny did keep his promise. His parents were surprised at the turnabout. Teachers, too. 

Lenny looked and felt happier, and his joy was contagious. The image of Lenny and Marty looking joyful in their birthday hats made me smile.

Amazon’s recommended reading age is baby – 11 years. Of course, babies won’t be able to comprehend the moral of the story. But, it’s always lovely to read to your wee ones; your voice can soothe them. 

Kindness and manners should be taught at an early age. Children who grow up with a kind heart become adults with a kind heart. Those who use their manners teach their kids to have manners. Kindness always makes the day brighter!  

I will be recommending Marty and Lenny by Tania Woznicki to others. 

 

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

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

Meet the Author

Tania Woznicki has a passion for bringing stories to life. As a loving mum and experienced primary-school teacher who has also studied psychology, she has insights into child development, what children experience, how they interact and the powerful impact that small gestures of kindness can have.

Reedsy Link

 

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The Beached Ones by Colleen M. Story (Book Review)

 
Warning: The book does explore suicide, and there is one scene indicating potential sexual abuse (that is stopped before it starts). There is the occasional swear word, but they are not frequent.
 
 
 
HE CAME BACK, DETERMINED TO KEEP HIS PROMISE.

Daniel and his younger brother grew up in an abusive home. Daniel escaped. Now an established stunt rider, he intends to go back to rescue his brother. But then one jump goes horribly wrong . . .

He recovers to find himself in Iowa, unscathed, yet his life has drastically changed. His best friend won’t answer his calls. Even his girlfriend is hiding something. Increasingly terrified, he clings to the one thing he knows: He must pick up his brother in San Francisco. In five days.

​From the isolating fields of Iowa to the crowded streets of San Francisco, Daniel must fight his way through a fog of disjointed memories and supernatural encounters to face the truth and pay a debt he didn’t know he owed.

 
 
Buy the Book:
CAMCAT BOOKS
AMAZON ~ B&N ~ Nook
IndieBound ~ Kobo ~ Book Depository
 
 
 
 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
Warning: The book does explore suicide, and there is one scene indicating potential sexual abuse (that is stopped before it starts). There is also a scene dealing with “cutting,” and it’s established this is not the first time the person has engaged in self-harm.


The Beaches Ones made my head hurt. Was Daniel really dead? Was he alive? Why could some people see him while others couldn’t? How was Daniel solid to Jolene and Brent but not to other people? Why does Daniel shower, eat, and bleed if he is dead? Talk about a mind-bender! I had no earthly idea what the heck was going on. 


Things began to make sense when we met the guru, Richard Wells. Thankfully, now the answers start flowing. 


There were some inconsistencies in the story. Jolene says a couple of times that she started seeing dead people when she was five. She also remembers when she was four and saw her deceased neighbor looking for their alive cat. While the story itself was indeed a mystery, leaving me puzzled for most of it, I had to dock half a point for giving two different ages. Sorry.  


As the warning states, some scenes deal with suicide. One, in particular, is very intense. It made my anxiety soar. 


After all the mystery, heartache, pain, and suffering, the final moments were unexpected but beautiful. HEA. 


After The Beaches Ones, Colleen M. Story stresses that if you have thoughts of suicide or self-harm, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline. They also list two “help” sites. 

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

 

CAMCAT BOOKS
AMAZON ~ B&N ~ Nook
IndieBound ~ Kobo ~ Book Depository

 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:
Author Colleen M. Story

 

Colleen M. Story is a novelist, freelance writer, writing coach, and speaker who loves animals, music, and the great Pacific Northwest.

Her novel, Loreena’s Gift, was a Foreword Reviews’ INDIES Book of the Year Awards winner, among others. Her next novel, The Beached Ones is forthcoming from CamCat Books on June 14, 2022.

Colleen has written three books to help writers succeed. “Your Writing Matters” helps writers overcome self-doubt and determine once and for all where writing fits in their lives.

Her previous release, Writer Get Noticed!, was a gold-medal winner in the Reader’s Favorite Book Awards and a first-place winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards. Overwhelmed Writer Rescue was named Book by Book Publicity’s Best Writing/Publishing Book in 2018 and was an Amazon best seller.

With over 20 years as a professional in the creative industry, Colleen has authored thousands of articles for publications like “Healthline” and “Women’s Health;” worked with high-profile clients like Gerber Baby Products and Kellogg’s; and ghostwritten books on back pain, nutrition, and cancer recovery. She continues to work as a full-time freelance writer, helping clients create informative and inspiring communications in a variety of media formats.

Colleen frequently serves as a workshop leader, writing coach, and motivational speaker, where she helps attendees remove mental and emotional blocks and tap into their unique creative powers.

Go to Colleen’s website for free chapters of her books.

connect with the author: website ~ twitter goodreads ~ bookbub

 
 
 

 

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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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What Makes Me…Me by Anne Baldwin and Levi Baldwin (Book Review)

Picture

 
What Makes Me…Me is a story about harnessing your super powered brain. We are all special and unique and our differences are what make us all special. What Makes Me…Me was written especially for those kids with neurological differences, their families, and their friends.
 
 
BUY THE BOOK:
Amazon ~ indiebound
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.
 
Children, like adults, vary in their outside appearances, their genetic make-up, and how their body functions. Some people are shy, while others are talkative. Some like sports while others prefer video games. Some have soft voices, and others people have loud voices. These differences make us unique. 

People’s brains also behave differently. Some people have little or no control over thoughts and impulses. Their body moves at will. They might appear bouncy. Anne Baldwin and Levi Baldwin (co-authors) were correct when they said teachers sometimes get mad at students for their lack of attention or the inability to remain seated. The reality is that their brains make it difficult for them to sit quietly. That doesn’t mean they are less intelligent! More educators need to remember this fact. 


What Makes Me…Me by Anne Baldwin and Levi Baldwin reminds and educates people that a child whose brain might be different can still be brave, kind, intelligent, and capable of loving their family and friends. I also love the part where the child said he would not let the “labels” define him. He also didn’t care what others thought of him and his tics. Brilliant message! Pass that one along! 


QBN Studios did a fantastic job bringing the story to life. Every image was remarkably drawn, even the image with the brain and heart. It was gross or overly medical-looking. It was simple and complimented the text just right. 


What Makes Me…Me recommended reading: 3-7-year-olds 
Content Rating: G -Suitable for everyone. 
Page length: 34 pages

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

 
Anne Baldwin is a wife, mom, and fierce advocate for neurodiverse kids. Anne wrote her first book What Makes Me…Me after her son Levi was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome. Passionate about stopping the stigma around Tourette-Syndrome, Anne hopes that her books about embracing your differences as what makes you unique will help kids with Tourette Syndrome, ADHD, and other neurological disorders to feel included and accepted by everyone. Anne lives in metro-Detroit with her husband Nick, their sons Levi and Gus, 3 cats, a dog, and a leopard gecko. 

connect with the author:  website instagram

 
 
 

 

 

 

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