Tag Archives: magic

The Tickling Tale of Smoo by Louiza Kallona (Book Review)

Some strange things arrive suddenly, like frogs that rain down instead of cats and dogs. Other strange things creep up slowly until one day no one can ignore them any longer. This is the story of the McClaffertys, and the mysterious disappearance of laughter.

Lucy McClafferty and her brother Ben are fed up. The weather has been dreich for months, and no one is laughing anymore.

It’s up to Lucy and Ben to uncover the mystery of why the world has stopped laughing so laughter can return to the world again.

Join them on their weird and wonderful adventure as they travel to the top of Scotland, meet fantastical characters, face unexpected challenges, and discover that there is more to some people and places than meets the eye!

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 


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

 

The Tickling Tale of Smoo by Louiza Kallona was a wonderfully weird story filled with excitement and humor. It all began when people seemed to lose their will to smile. Grandma said it must have to do with Smoo, a tickler of the world. 

As Grandma, Lucy, Ben, and Patrick arrived at Gabel Lylhu’s cottage in Durness, the weirdest factor increased tenfold. First, Grandma whistled, and fireflies answered her call. Then, there’s the cottage itself. Its unique decor was definitely on the strange side: bronze fox nailed to the front door, crocodile-tooth light switches, blowfish skeletons, and a clock that bleats. The most unusual discovery was a gargantuan nose on the turquoise, conch-shaped couch. The nose sent snot soaring out of its nostrils. Gross! 

After the visitors woke Gabel Lylhu (aka Belly Laugh), we learned about his connection to Grandma. The revelation surprised me as much as it surprised Lucy and Ben. With a quick rundown on the world’s happenings, Gabel and the kids set to find the Smoo and tickle her. The adventure has readers meeting extraordinary people, witnessing unusual events, and hopping on a spectacularly odd bus (Grand Express) that children will be utterly fascinated by and probably say they’d like to ride. 

The Tickling Tale of Smoo had humor, suspense, unforgettable characters, and a unique plot that required an out-of-the-box-thinking resolution. Oh, it also had puzzles that would delight and thrill those who like solving riddles and anagrams. I want to note that the anagrams are not very easy and might prove difficult for young readers. However, the answers are provided as the author tells the story, and thank goodness for that because they stumped even me. 

Kids will love The Tickling Tale of Smoo. Adults will love it too. It’s a story that the entire family can read and enjoy together! 

 

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

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

 

Meet the Author

Louiza Kallona grew up in London but moved to Scotland aged eighteen, attracted by the history, the whopping volcanic rock, and the hope of meeting people as funny as Billy Connolly. She wrote The Tickling Tale of Smoo while living with five other bikers in a farmhouse in the Scottish Borders.

Reedsy Author Link

 

 

 

 

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Once Upon a December by Amy E. Reichert (Book Spotlight)

A one-of-a-kind Christmas market offers holiday magic in the new romance from the author of The Kindred Spirits Supper Club.

With a name like Astra Noel Snow, holiday spirit isn’t just a seasonal specialty—it’s a way of life. But after a stinging divorce, Astra’s yearly trip to the Milwaukee Christmas market takes on a whole new meaning. She’s ready to eat, drink, and be merry, especially with the handsome stranger who saves the best kringle for her at his family bakery.

For Jack Clausen, the Julemarked with its snowy lights and charming shops stays the same, while the world outside the joyful street changes, magically leaping from one December to the next every four weeks. He’s never minded living this charmed existence until Astra shows him the life he’s been missing outside of the festive red brick alley.

After a swoon-worthy series of dates, some Yuletide magic, and the unexpected glow of new love, Astra and Jack must decide whether this relationship can weather all seasons, or if what they’re feeling is as ephemeral as marshmallows in a mug of hot cocoa.

Amazon Purchase Link

 

Meet the Author

Amy Reichert earned her MA in Literature from Marquette University, and honed her writing and editing skills as a technical writer (which is exactly as exciting as it sounds). As a newly minted member of the local library board, she loves helping readers find new books to love. She’s a life-long Wisconsin resident with (allegedly) a very noticeable accent, a patient husband, and two too-smart-for-their-own-good kids. When time allows, she loves to read, collect more cookbooks than she could possibly use, and test the limits of her DVR.

Amazon Author Page Link

 

 

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Of Demon Kind: A Forbidden Romance Fantasy (Kingdom of Jior Fantasy Series Book 1) by Wendy L. Anderson (Book Review)

He’s heir to a dark throne. She’s a gentle healer. Will their forbidden attraction be the key to mending his broken soul?

Prince Lorn just wants to be left alone. Drinking heavily to numb the despair of failing to prevent his evil father’s horrific defeat and his own inability to conquer the humans, the devastated half-demon has spent the last five years exiled in a drunken stupor. But when he’s falsely accused of kidnapping a beautiful noble and other atrocities, he emerges vowing to fight to clear his name…by becoming her white knight.

Princess Lililaira longs to be free. Imprisoned in a sorcerer’s tower, the courageous woman is startled when a gorgeous winged man flies in through the window and offers rescue. Seizing the opportunity to escape, she places her trust in the fierce warrior’s arms in a daring flight to freedom.

Desperate to avert another brutal war, Lorn draws nearer to his lovely companion while wrestling with the sins of his past. And though Lililaira is happy to help her intriguing savior prove his innocence in return for his aid in evading her cruel father’s rule, her growing love demands she stand beside him as they set off into an unknown future.

Can they break away from eternal torment and claim their destiny together?

Of Demon Kind is the thrilling first book in the Kingdom of Jior romantic fantasy series. If you like brooding anti-heroes, chivalrous passions, and epic medieval battles, then you’ll adore Wendy L. Anderson’s magical tale.

Buy Of Demon Kind to witness the redemption of a twisted birthright today!

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

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


Of Demon Kind 
housed many scenes that must be brought to life in a full-color, live-action film. For instance:

  • Thousand black spears pointed skyward.
  • One thousand demons’ eyes glowed green.
  • Giant fireballs streaked the night sky.
  • Long awaited showdown (final battle scene)

Prince Lorn and Princess Lililaira’s union happened over winter and was expected. No offense, but falling for your rescuer and vice versa has been done repeatedly in many TV, print, and movie. But it wasn’t how they ended up in the cave that interested me. No, it was how her “kiss” could keep death from taking Loren after poison-tipped arrows struck him. The mystery of the princess and her magic powers drew my attention. 

Love found Lorn, but his mission was never far from his mind. He needed to find the Dark Sorcerer and ask why this person was using his family’s name, crest, and uniforms/colors to wreak havoc across the lands. He also needed to return Lily to her home. As you can imagine, neither task proved uneventful, and hooray for that. 

The Dark Sorcerer’s identity, intentions, and shocking truths were delivered in dramatic format. I knew the first (identity), but what the evil one disclosed (shocking truth) was a nice plot twist. (Figured out some of the revelations, but not all)

While I longed to see battle scenes embellished more, the final paragraphs show promise that the next book in the series would deliver us an epic battle scene, maybe more than one. 

 

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

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

Meet the Author

Wendy L. Anderson is a writer of passionately charged fantasy. Breaking the barriers of typical fantasy themes, she created the Kingdom of Jior epic fantasy series, a lusty and poetic five-book series that will have you wanting more in her Legends of Everclearing spinoff series. Inspired by authors such as Robert E. Howard and Morgan Llywelyn, Wendy went on to write three other stand-alone works; A Cut Twice as Deep, Ulrik, and Rapunzel’s Tower. These fantasy works break free from the usual boundaries of fantasy genres.

A Colorado native and mother of two; she has decided it is time to write down the fantasies from her mind. Writing about everything from fantastical worlds to the stuff of her dreams she takes her stories along interesting paths while portraying characters and worlds she sees in her mind’s eye. Her goal is to deviate from common themes, write in original directions and transport her reader to the worlds of her creation.

Wendy L. Anderson’s fantasy has action, adventure, and suspense with just the right amount of romance!

Find out more at: www.wendylanderson.com

 

Finalist in the 2022 Colorado Author’s League Awards for Rapunzel’s Tower

3rd Place Winner! Romance Writers of America Write Touch Readers; award 2020-Of Demon Kind

Finalist in the 2020 Write Touch Readers’ Award Contest

Honorable mention Great Northwest Book Contest

 

 

 

 

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Magician Emu by R.C. Chizhov (Book Review)

Celebrate the magic of being YOU!

In old and charming Emu Town…an emu aspires to be like the great magician, Spikey Spike. But her magic goes all wrong and nothing like Spikey’s! Will the emu find her magic and dare to be different?

With award-winning author, R.C. Chizhov’s playful rhymes and Anastasia Yezhela’s colorful illustrations, Magician Emu is a funny and heartwarming tale of embracing who you are!

Perfect for holiday gifting, read aloud, classroom discussion and bedtime!

GRAB YOUR COPY NOW!

Other books in EMU TOWN STORIES:

  • Nope-Nope Emu
  • Adventure Emu
  • Yogic Emu (coming soon)

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

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

 

Anastasia Yezhela did an outstanding job with ALL the illustrations in Magician Emu. Children will adore EMU, who wears a magician’s cape and hat and has a lovely set of curly locks. Spikey Spike, another magical emu, looked quite adorable with their bowtie and Harry Potter-style glasses. 

As all great magicians will tell you, you can read how to do the trick a thousand times, but implementing the steps perfectly is not easy. It takes lots and lots of practice to master a magical feat. Some magicians make a trick seem easy; they make it look effortless. EMU realizes that magic is not easy at all. The unthinkable, the unplanned happens. But, you shouldn’t be discouraged. Keep practicing like EMU; one day, you’ll become a great magician too. 

As EMU practiced and his magic went awry, comedic moments did shine. I won’t disclose all of them, but I will note one. It’s slime time!! 

While EMU’s magic wasn’t precisely perfect, it did delight and entertain his friends. Their happiness made EMU happy. 

I recommend you check out Magician Emu by R.C. Chizhov. Make sure and catch all the books in the Emu Town series! 

 

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

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

About R.C. Chizhov

ALX00719_315.png

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

 

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Undercover Elf by Cydnee Brady (Book Review)

The son of an Undercover Elf discovers his mom’s secret job and finds out who her boss is. He learns about all the work Elves do to make sure Santa is ready for his ride on Christmas Eve and is happy to show the world how to identify and Undercover Elf out in the everyday world.

The magic of Christmas through a child’s eyes is one of the greatest joys to watch, and through this tale you and your children will be able to learn more about Santa. Kids can ask some really tough questions about Santa, and as a parent, have you ever been at a loss as to how to answer? Undercover Elf is here to assist with those tricky questions and enhance the excitement of the holiday for you and your child!

Keep the magic going throughout the year by trying to find Undercover Elves out and about in the real world!

 

Amazon Purchase Link

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

 

Moms wear a lot of job hats when managing a household. Depending on what needs handling, they put on their imaginary work hat and get to business. They prepare meals (chef), mend holes or sew costumes (seamstress), tend to boo-boo (doctor/nurse), and help with schoolwork (teacher). They also fix broken gadgets, wash clothes, clean the home, save kids from creepy crawlies, etc. I want to note that fathers also wear a lot of hats in the house, but since this is a book about moms, I want to focus on them. 

Around the holidays, moms put on a special hat. They put on their elf hat and assist Santa in making the holiday goes off without a hitch. Yup, Santa has helpers all around the world, not just in his workshop at the North Pole. 

Cydnee Brady does give clues to help a child discover if the parent is an elf or not. Be ready to have your ears looked at very closely. I think before I share this story with my youngest, I will purchase elf or Vulcan ears. I can’t wait to see their reaction!

Mom, the undercover elf, is Santa’s helper in many ways. They help with family pets, track weather patterns, and much more. With all the work this mom does, I bet she’s always on the NICE list. 

I know children, who still believe in Santa, will love this story. It was so cute. The pictures were quite lovely. 

The illustrations were not cartoony or picture-perfect computer graphics. They reminded me of colored-in coloring sheets. Well done, Chuck Sirko, Noah Spencer, and Mason Spencer (illustration team). 

If the author has any blank coloring sheets available, I would suggest offering those as a promotional piece. 

I agree with Amazon’s recommended reading age, 3 – 5 years.

 

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

Amazon Purchase Link

 

Meet the Author

Children’s book author Cydnee Brady has always had a flair for words. Over the course of her kids’ childhoods, she added layers to an imaginative and festive story about being one of Santa’s elves, adding excited anticipation to his impending arrival—and instantly believed! Once her grandchildren were born, the story spread to a new generation, and now through her newly published picture book, Undercover Elf, to be shared with children everywhere.

Cydnee believes a great children’s book is one that you can get lost in, where you are in another world that you escape to for a time. She hopes that her story gives families together time and brings happiness and joy that reminds them all year around of the magic of Christmas and Santa, long after the book is closed.

When she isn’t writing humorous holiday stories, Cydnee works as a financial analyst for the Volvo Group, enjoys spending time with her three grandchildren, two kids, and husband of thirty-five years, Dean. She likes to sew, cook, and travel. Cydnee and Dean live with their four dogs in the country in Gibsonville, North Carolina. Undercover Elf is her debut picture book.

Reedsy Author Link

 

 

 

 

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized