Tag Archives: inventions

The Great Inventor of the Stars by Avery Davis (Book Spotlight)

The Master is the Great Inventor and Sam is his apprentice. Sam is given the task of making sure the Master can see the people on earth at night because at night there is only darkness. In sending the newest invention, the Moon into orbit Sam breaks the sky but finds the solution with the ultimate invention of the Stars.

-Gold-Living Now Book Awards
-Finalist-The Wishing Shelf Book Awards
-Finalist-International Book Awards
-Honorable Mention-Purple Dragonfly Winner
-Honorable Mention-Hollywood Book Festival
-Honorable Mention-Royal Dragonfly Winner
-Honorable Mention-Story Monsters Approved
Joanie (Amazon) 5 stars: “This is a unique book with gorgeous illustrations that fit so well with the words and ideas the author has chosen. Her book will be finding its home in our Waldorf library on Maui and I know will be enjoyed thoroughly by the students as well as the teachers. Hoping Avery has another book in the works as she is very talented and knows how to pique one’s interest as I couldn’t wait to turn the page.”
Readers’ Favorite:With brilliantly colorful illustrations, this tale leads the reader through an alternate creation analogy. In presenting the story, the author encourages young readers to think creatively, to follow through with their creative thoughts, and not to be discouraged when they think their creation is a disaster because sometimes great things come out of disasters, as Sam found out.”

Meet the Author

Avery Davis graduated in Environmental Law. She lives half of the year in Cordova, Alaska as a fisherman’s wife and the other half drying off in the deserts of Utah. She is the mother of three, who love a good bedtime story.

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The Fall Gauntlet: BEAR by J. A. Merkel (Book Review)

Benji and Soren will do anything to save their family, but the Crown isn’t going to make it easy . . .

Ten years after his mother was thrown into her off-world prison, Benji finally has a chance to save her. All he has to do is win the Fall Gauntlet, a fight-to-the-death tournament on the planet of Calypso, designed to please the gods and goddesses and keep them at bay. Benji’s success will usher in a new era of science and innovation, and he’s come too far to lose now.

But the Crown is three steps ahead. They’ve orchestrated every move, pushing Benji to the victory that will serve their own agenda. Winning the deathmatch will grant his wish to save his mother, but the Crown has other plans and won’t let go of Benji so easily.

As Benji learns the truth about the Crown’s desires, he is forced to make impossible choices, especially when he learns that his final opponent—the hulking young man behind the bear mask—is his brother, Soren.

J.A. Merkel’s Bear is part of The Fall Gauntlet, a collection of short stories about Benji and Soren’s adventures on the planet of Calypso.

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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.


Ten years ago, the Crown imprisoned Soren and Benji’s mother for treason. Seven years ago, the Crown jailed their father and separated the two brothers. Now, the Crown is forcing Soren and Benji to fight in the Fall Gauntlet tournament, where only one will win, or so that was the Crown’s plan. 

Thanks to D, a guard, Benji was notified his opponent was none other than his brother, Soren the Bear. Benji could never take his brother’s life and had to devise a way to unveil his identity to Soren. Representing the lynx, Benji was a genius when it came to technology. Through his apprenticeship with Master Gherus, he furthered his understanding of the principles of physics and helped develop weaponry and tech for the Crown. He used his knowledge to find a way to break the technologically advanced mask he wore in battle and turn the tables on the Crown. 

For sci-fi or tech fans, you’ll love the author’s attention to detail when they describe what the arena sees when looking at the opponents: “two masked humans representing both a bear and a lynx, human-shaped with the ability to walk upright, but phospho-imaged to imitate those beasts, our masks morphing and sprouting hair, and our gauntlets growing retractable claws and fur.” The platform is impressive, as intimidating as the opponent standing before you: one hundred feet off the ground with spikes jutting into the air like giant shark teeth as deadly as a Megalodon’s. Fans of this genre will also love the fighter’s two prime weapons. Lynx carried a 6-foot-long gem staff while the Bear wielded a massive spiked club that could slaughter a whale. 

The Fall Gauntlet: BEAR is a non-stop thrill ride featuring exhilarating fight scenes and futuristic tech. It’s a novella I know gamers will want to see made into a game so they can play it for hours and hours. Brother versus brother. It’s a story that would captivate teens and adults on the big screen!

With the humorous final line of dialogue and cliffhanger ending, you’ll be ready to tackle the next book in the series (The Fall Gauntlet: Rat). 

J. A. Merkel is a master of imagery and a terrific storyteller. I recommend giving this new series a chance! 


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

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Meet the Author

J. A. Merkel writes speculative and science fiction filled with anti-heroes and tragic reversals. For Merkel, writing isn’t a chore. It’s a fantastical kingdom with thousands of doors where readers can stumble into their own special adventures, laughing, shouting, and journeying to find home.

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A Tale from Hare Wood: Turnip by Nicky Edwards (Book Review)

One memorable Halloween Turnip, a rabbit, finds a hat and decides with the help of her animal friends, to keep it.

But the hat’s owner is a witch, and she needs it back to protect her cat friend, Pudding.

The witch and Pudding hunt for the hat and find Turnip and demand it back but the animals invoke the woodland lore of ‘Finders Keepers’ and call a woodland court to determine who should have the hat.

At the court we discover that the hat speaks, and it tells of being stuffed with magic and used as a cushion and poked with pins. Outraged the court decides Turnip should keep the hat.

That night, after a long talk, Turnip and the hat decide the hat should return to the witch on condition that it is treated well. The witch is so grateful she invites Turnip to become her apprentice.

The story celebrates friendship, compassion, and discovering one’s inner magic.

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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.


A Tale from Hare Wood: Turnip is home to many spectacular characters. Pudding is a witch’s cat, her familiar, and a remarkable inventor. They developed a stroking machine to have pets as they lay in their cat’s bed and drift off to sleep. They created a cat-cloak of invisibility and a dog-repellent whistle. Since Pudding was a witch’s cat, every invention possessed some magic; thus, his creations got a mind of their own, like the self-winding ball of wool. Pudding is a very cool cat! 

Esme, the witch, has several problems she’s dealing with as the story progresses. First, she has overstuffed her hat with magic, and now it won’t fit over her thick hair. Not surprisingly, Esme fixed the hairy situation with magic. Next, she had a dreadful time keeping her broom in flight against the fierce easterly winds. Then came the misfortune of losing her hat, thanks to a gust of wind. Esme’s loss did become Turnip’s (the rabbit) gain. Turnip looked oddly adorable in human clothing. Clothing was fair game since humans either left it or lost the articles of clothing in Hare Wood, and the woodland animals live by the rule, “Finders Keepers.”

It didn’t take Turnip long to discover he found a witch’s hat, and with his friends’ encouragement, he invoked the sacred lore of the woodland: “Finders’ keepers, losers’ weepers.” While the three woodsy animals were off to a party, Esme had a major freak-out. This leads to another, more significant problem. 

Esme’s problems seem to compound while at the All Witches Eve celebration. Now, she must retrieve her hat or suffer the consequences. Kids will find the story captivating. The plot was wildly inventive. The sketches add the right amount of visual stimuli to keep all readers’ eyes glued to the pages, curious about who the Court will grant ownership of the magic hat. 

A Tale from Hare Wood: Turnip teaches children that while having magic at your ready might be fun, there’s also a sense of joy, pride, and accomplishment when you construct something with your own hands. In a roundabout way, it also nudges readers regarding the importance of cleaning up and keeping track of your possessions because you don’t want the Finders Keepers rule to happen to you. 

I recommend A Tale from Hare Wood: Turnip to children six years and older. 


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

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Goodreads Link


Meet the Author

Hello, I’m Nic, and I’m delighted to introduce you to the first of my Hare Wood stories. Journey with Turnip as she embarks on an enchanting adventure after stumbling upon a witch’s hat. I’m excited to share the wonders of Hare Wood and eagerly await your thoughts and comments x.

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Second Strike (The Secret Life of Anna Goode Book 2) by Nicole Nadeau (Book Review)

A genius sixteen-year-old. A terrorist’s twisted revenge. Can she stop a catastrophic cyberattack from bringing America to its knees?

Anna Goode can’t wait to put her brilliant mind to work. Officially part of the CIA’s undercover unit of talented teenagers, the gifted inventor splits her time between tinkering and espionage instruction. And now she’s been tasked to protect a US congressional delegation from a cunning enemy’s destabilizing hack.

Slipping into London under the guise of innocent spring-breakers to expose the hacker, Anna’s laser-focused hunt gets derailed when she’s ambushed and tased. Suspecting a traitorous mole could destroy their mission, the whip-smart teen rallies her fellow young operatives for a counter-attack… only to discover another danger threatening to be far worse.

Can Anna and her team foil a devastating plot before they’re stopped in their tracks?

Second Strike is the pulse-pounding sequel in the Secret Life of Anna Goode YA spy thriller series. If you like heroines who think outside the box, non-stop action, and tight-knit friendship groups, then you’ll love Nicole Nadeau’s overseas adventure.

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


Many components of Second Strike (Book 2 in The Secret Life of Anna Goode series) are plausible. Cyberattacks are occurring, and the magnitude of their destructive powers will only increase. The Russian cyberattack plot in the story is our country’s worst financial nightmare. Let’s hope it stays in the world of fiction! 

While the CIA may not have high schoolers actively in the field, they still have their eye on potential agents. But for the sake of fiction, let’s say they do. Anna and Jake are again front and center to stop Alexei Komarov and his son Ivan from carrying out their dastardly plan. This time, they are not the only teen on the scene. Who joins them on their mission will only be unveiled as you read the story. However, I can disclose is their hacking skills are much needed to take down Russia’s hired hacker. 

Anna, her teen comrades, and the CIA face many heated battles. Lives are in jeopardy. Lives are lost. I wouldn’t say either side came off as the ultimate winner or loser. 

Gunfire, explosion, kidnapping, hand-to-hand combat, foot chases, and much more make this an action-packed read that will leave you thirsty for more. Good news, with the ending chapters, you can expect the Russians to return with a vengeance. Hopefully, we will find out who the mole is in the next book. I have my suspicions, as will every other reader. 

Another thing I’m looking forward to in book three is seeing what Anna cooks up next. Her mascara/tranq spy gadget was ingenious. 

Second Strike has no explicit language or scenes. It does have male-on-female fight scenes, where both sexes get in some shots. 

This book is a perfect read for teens and adults. 


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

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Meet the Author 

Nicole Nadeau grew up in Springboro, Ohio, with her older sister, Paige and younger brother Mark. She also has a dog, Lola and a rescue cat named Penny. 

An avid reader since grade school, she read every action and adventure book she could get her hands on. Eventually, her love of reading developed into a love of writing. She started working on her own book while she was in high school. 

Nicole has a neuromuscular disease called Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) which creates challenges in her daily life. She refuses to let SMA stop her from doing what she loves. Like the lead character in her book, she is determined and overcomes any obstacles that stand in her way. 

She is already busy planning the next book in the Secret Life of Anna Goode series and has plans for many more books in the future.


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The Accidental World by K.A. Griffin (Book Review / 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.
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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:

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

Disclaimer: All questions were constructed by the author and/or their representative. 

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