Tag Archives: fiction

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

Picture

 
​​
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: 

Picture

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

 

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Our Moon Festival by Yobe Qiu (Book Review)

Picture

“Our Moon Festival” is a beautifully illustrated children’s book celebrating the unique ways the Japanese, Vietnamese, and Chinese communities celebrate the Moon Festival.

The story highlights different families and their traditions as they observe Zhong Qiu Jie, Tết Trung Thu, and Tsukimi!

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

 
Earth is a big, majestic world-encompassing so many beautiful people and traditions. It’s crucial teachers and parents educate children on different cultures inhabiting it. Our Moon Festival by Yobe Qiu would be an excellent book to choose for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, May. 


In September, you could also read the book to celebrate the different festivals portrayed in the informative but entertaining children’s book: Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival (Zhong Qui Jie), Vietnamese Moon Festival (Tết Trung Thu), and Japenese Moon Festival (Tsukimi).


If a child isn’t familiar with the foods listed, this would be an excellent opportunity to introduce new dishes to their diet. After reading Our Moon Festival by Yobe Qiu, I began looking up recipes for mooncakes (dessert). If my daughter and I can make them successfully, we might hand them out to our neighbors. Who couldn’t use “best wishes for peace, health, and happiness!” 😀


The illustrations by Christina Nel Lopez gave me ideas for art projects. We could make starry night paintings, paper lanterns, or a rabbit (like in Tsukimi). For public and homeschoolers, teachers might have the students write a haiku about the moon. What can I say? The teacher in me always finds ways to expand on a story to fit various subjects. Our Moon Festival by Yobe Qiu checks off many boxes. If you don’t want to expand on the story, then don’t. Your child will still find it very enjoyable. 


My only slight change to the story would be the color choice for some of the text. A couple of lines/words were difficult for my daughter to see and read because the black text blended too much with the background images. Other than that, we found no issues. 

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

 
 
 
Meet the Author:
Picture

 
Yobe is an educator, entrepreneur and mom who lives in NYC. As an educator, she focused on teaching families to embrace love, diversity and different cultures. Through the years working in the classrooms and closely with other educators, she noticed the lack of multi-cultural resources that represented children of color. That is when Yobe decided to create multicultural children stories that feature Asian children, families and cultures! Yobe loves spending time with her daughter, reading to children and taking long walks during the day!
 
Connect with the Author:  
Website Facebook ~ Instagram
 
 

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Smoke Before Fire by A.M. McKnight (Book Review)

Assaults, petty thefts, robberies—it’s all in a day’s work for Detective Tessa Leonard, a veteran with Reid County, Virginia PD. The detective is committed to her busy work life but not so much to a love life. Once disappointed after rushing into love, Tessa is in no hurry to pursue romance again.

Prosecutor Renee Hamilton is just as busy trying bad guys just as fast as Tessa and her fellow officers can arrest them. Long hours in the courthouse are more appealing to the dedicated attorney than anything offered by the County’s social scene. She, too, was once let down by love and is now reluctant to open her heart again.

But when simple vandalism escalates to arson and attempted murder involving ex-cons, drug dealers, and a bookie, things quickly heat up in Reid County. And to their surprise, the detective and the attorney find themselves in a slow-burn romance as Tessa and Renee discover there’s more to life when it comes to love.
Follow Tessa and Renee as they take down tough guys while taking on each other.

A.M. McKnight is also the self-published author of County Vices (2017) and Goslyn County (2015), both available at Amazon.com.

 

Kindle Purchase Link
Print Purchase Link

 

 

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

 

Television shows give us the impression that cases are solved rather swiftly. Smoke Before Fire by A.M. McKnight depicted what I would consider a real-life scenario of the highs and lows in a case. Smoke Before Fire is a work of fiction, but events that occurred could be taken straight out of the headlines — much like Law and Order does weekly. 😀

Smoke Before Fire didn’t have a happy ending for the criminals, but Tessa (detective) and Renee (lawyer) did get theirs. Their relationship was a slow-burn romance. Most lasting relationships fall into this category. 

I enjoyed Smoke Before Fire; however, I think I gained 5 pounds reading it. All the delicious mentions of food made me crave one snack after another. I even ate a couple of donuts in honor of Tug. 😀

 

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

Kindle Purchase Link
Print Purchase Link

 

 

RnBcZ--c_400x400

A.M. McKnight is a writer of fast, crime-action black lesbian fiction and lots of other cool stuff. 

Twitter: @wordmc46

Website: ammcknight.wordpress.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ammcknightbooks

 

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The Art of Time by Martine Therese & Martina Franca (Book Spotlight)

Picture


​In The Art of Time: A Mother-Daughter Sprezzatura on the Spirit of Time, Martine Therese and her daughter, Martina Franca, invite you into a lush world where time has no limits. Consisting of paintings, meditations and poetry, The Art of Time merges maternal & youthful wisdom into a one-of-a-kind artistic showcase with a powerful message: humanity’s experience can be enhanced by developing our minds into sensual thought.

A gorgeous book to be treasured by everyone from art connoisseurs to children, The Art of Time offers concepts and images that introduce readers to a new—and wonderful—realm of being.

 
 
 
 
Meet the Authors: 

Martine Therese was a practicing Certified Public Accountant when she became pregnant with her daughter, Martina Franca. She decided to leave her accounting job and focus on her daughter instead. The transition, while “brutal,” completely transformed Martine’s life, and opened up a whole new world of possibility.

For Martine, who has been writing poetry all her life, motherhood expanded her creativity, and she finally felt the courage to bring her work to the world. Martine and her daughter discovered a love for painting, and their artwork, combined with Martine’s poetry, form the basis of The Art of Time; A Mother-Daughter Sprezzatura on the Spirit of Time. The book is a token of their shared loves and talents.

Martine and Martina Franca are putting together a follow-up collection on the topic of what it means to be human, exploring the theme of building the potential of humanity. Martina Franca embraces her maternal side on a daily basis, be it with caring for her baby dolls or her puppy, Marcello. She gets a kick out of tailgating with Mom and watching people’s reactions, and playing practical jokes like hiding Daddy’s shampoo bottle, and she loves having conversations. She regularly chills out with Mom during yoga in their special “rainbow room,” a room just for the two of them to recharge. On sunny days, gorgeous rainbows fill the wall of the Rainbow Room, and Martina and Mom bask in those colors—which is why Martina loves infusing her art with rainbows.


Connect with the Authors: Facebook ~Instagram
 

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Realms of Glory, Realms of Death (The Epthelion Series) by Sandra Kopp (Book Review)

 

Valhalea lies in ruins, the victim of sorcerer Lucius Mordarius’ wrath.

In the black forests of Barren-Fel Ryadok, a rival sorcerer possessing a weapon capable of leveling the continent, snakes his destructive tentacles across Epthelion. Amid the chaos Destiny unites five unlikely allies: an ostracized mystic and his younger brother; a tradesman and a battle-hardened mercenary; and the daughter of a murdered nobleman–each a thorn in a sorcerer’s side and marked for death.

Battling nature’s wrath, the sorcerers’ relentless pursuit, and a land notorious for devouring its inhabitants, they find temporary sanctuary only to be thrust to opposite ends of Epthelion–the girl to the west where she falls into the hands of the blood-thirsty Horse Lords; and the men into the dark reaches of the shadowy east.

Victory is essential; defeat spells certain death for their world.  The girl must survive the Horse Lord’s brutality and rally them to her aid in defeating Mordarius while the mystic races to destroy Ryadok before his sweeping holocaust.

Kindle Purchase Link

Print Purchase Link

 

 

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

 

There are not many fantasy books that I think would 100% translate beautifully onto the big screen. However,  I believe Sandra’s beasts, the lesser ones and the Destroyer, need to be brought to life in 2D or (better yet) 3D. Once you read Realms Of Glory, Realms of Death, I’m sure you’ll agree Sandra’s magical bringers of death need to be shown on a big screen. 

Besides the beasts, what I adored about Realms Of Glory, Realms of Death is its plot/subject matter is not limited to one age group. As a parent, I look for books that my daughter and I can read and discuss. I don’t recall seeing any unfavorable words except whore. While I am not a fan of this word, it didn’t hurt the book or affect my rating. I would still recommend my daughter to read it. I would encourage you to read it also. 

I can’t end this review without pointing out how much I appreciated Sandra giving props to women and their abilities. We are fierce. We are strong. We can fight. We are leaders! 

 

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤1/2

Kindle Purchase Link

Print Purchase Link

 

 

About Sandra Kopp

I’m an Idaho native, a lover of chocolate, builder of kingdoms, and ever a dreamer. From childhood I loved a good story and spent hours lost in the wonderful and fantastic worlds I found in books. Even while pursuing a career in Information Technology I remained a voracious reader, and in 2003 began penning my own stories. My first three, a fantasy trilogy which I am currently reworking, were influenced by The Lord of the Rings. My current book, The Windwilder Haunting, arose from the arson fire of one of Pasco, Washington’s last landmarks, the James A. Moore House. The house’s rich and colorful history intrigued me, and I am proud to say I played a small part in its restoration. The Windwilder Haunting, however, details a fictional family and set of events. After relaunching the trilogy (in about two months) I will be working on a prequel to the Windwilder tale.

Fantasy and paranormal romance remain my favorite genres, but I am also working on a familial saga and a series of children’s books based on Timothy Wonder, an adventurous lad with a huge imagination.

When not writing, I enjoy photography, hiking, cycling, and playing the accordion.

Website Link
Pinterest Link

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized