Tag Archives: pets

Bentley and the Magic Sticks by Claire Eckard (Book Review)


Bentley and the Magic Sticks follows this extra-large canine as he finds out that his favorite sticks have magical powers, thanks to a wonderful Fairy Dogmother called Tia! Because other dogs are afraid of his large size Bentley has no one to play with. However, with his magic sticks he manages to make new friends and he also discovers the special secret of why he is so big.

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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.

 

Bentley and the Magic Sticks filled my heart with so many emotions. 

My heart broke for Bentley when the other dogs wouldn’t play with him. As a pet owner, I wanted to hug him and give him lots of belly rubs. 

Kids are going to adore the Fairy Dogmother. For starters, her outfit was cute. Since my niece loves dressing up her dogs, I know she’ll think the tutu is adorable. Then, there are her wings. Very pretty. 

Even the stick friend, Sticky, was sweet. Anne York did a brilliant job bringing life into an inanimate object. She did a remarkable job on all the drawings. 

And Claire Eckard, this story might make some youngsters sad in some sections, but that’s okay. In the end, Bentley realized it’s okay to look different. Kids will walk away realizing it’s okay to be different and always treat others with kindness. 

Your child might also ask if the sticks in your yard are magical as well. Which, of course, you have to say yes. Like the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus, there’s no reason why they can’t believe in a bit of magic. 🙂

While Bentley and the Magic Sticks starts sad, it has a very happy ending! 

 

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Amazon ~ B&N ~ IndieBound
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Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤

 

Meet the Author:

Author Claire Eckard
Claire Eckard is an animal lover and believes in volunteering to give back to her community, especially to the homeless animals that need to find their forever homes. Her animals often inspire her writing, weaving their way into the stories that she writes, blending reality and fiction to entertain, teach, enlighten, and share the joy that animals bring to our lives! Claire is an author, poet, songwriter, wife, mother and grandmother! She lives in Arizona, splitting her time between her home in Yuma, Arizona and her ranch in the mountains of Prescott. Claire has three dogs, eight horses, and a miniature mule!

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January River by Bernard Jan (Book Showcase)

Five friends. One dog. One river carrying a secret.

When one of their friends goes missing, everything comes crashing down for the small group of childhood friends in the small town of Greenfield. Ethan takes it hard. Then he loses his dog, his only consolation.

Hoping to start anew, Ethan leaves Greenfield and moves to New York City. Far from the ghosts of his childhood and the river that gives and takes life. There he finds his one true love and builds a career as a bestselling author.

But how long will Ethan’s happiness last as doubts creep back into him and shatter his reality? And will his reconciliation with the past come at too great a price?

All rivers carry their secrets, but not every river keeps its secret forever.

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Ethan McCoy lay in the grass, stretched out to his full length. He flung his head back and unbuttoned his shirt, exposing his neck and the pale skin of his chest to the sun. His rolled-up sleeves were already drenched in sweat. Perspiration ran off his forehead, dripping onto the jacket folded under his head in a faux pillow.

Ethan removed the light-sensitive glasses from his nose and wiped the sweat off with a handkerchief. Inhaling deeply, he stared at the sun through unprotected eyes. The scent of Greenfield invaded his nostrils, conquering his throat, lungs, and heart. Inside him the memories were waking up, ignited by familiar feelings from the past.

In the strong light he felt a pain in his eyes, forcing him to close them. So that he might suffer too, he didn’t move to escape into the protective shadows. Determined to stay exposed to heat that reached him from the vast distance with such strength, he willed the sun to cause him pain. Wanted it to numb his senses and make him oblivious to any and all experiences—both pleasant and unpleasant. Most of all, he wanted to let go of the internal pain that refused to leave him alone after all these years.

He wished one pain could soothe another. The physical could annul the emotional. Even as he thought it, he knew it was in vain. He also accepted there was no cure for that pain. At best, it might be blunted some day and become just a painful reminder of his past.

But it would never disappear.

Because if it did, Greenfield would no longer exist. The artificially created grove beside the river in which he now rested, would vanish too. The same for Willy, then Jason, Derrick, and Sarah. Riv and . . . Susan. Could they evaporate, all of them? Did he have the right to ask that?

Or, what if it were possible for all of them to remain in their reality where they belonged? While he—Ethan—disappeared? Both could be possible only by some supernatural phenomenon. Something that could never happen.

Eventually moving into the shadows, he took off his shirt, shoes and socks and continued with his fantasy. Recalling. Or gathering up the strength and determination to do what he intended. Well, that’s what he planned on saying if someone asked him why he was there. So far, nobody had. Nobody knew. He arrived less than an hour ago. He hadn’t gone to the town, but had come straight to the river. To the place where everything had begun. Therefore, it only seemed fitting that it be where the beginning of the end transpired. The place where he would insert a period at the end of a life story. If he got lucky, he’d tear out a blank page and start anew. No memories. No past.

Without the bad memories, he could live in peace.

However, if he were honest with himself, that would be equally impossible to achieve.


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A World Without Color: A True Story Of the Last Three Days With My Cat by Bernard Jan (Book Review)

One story. Two endings. Genuine and fictional. Which ending is yours?

What do you say to someone who is dying? And what do you say when that someone can’t understand a word you are saying? How do you comfort each other throughout… and beyond?

My love, if you go away in a few days, the world will lose its colors and darken like the land of Mordor. If you go away and leave me to wander aimlessly, alone in this sea become wild, like a ship with a broken rudder and drowned sailors, and if I don’t find comfort in the warmth of your body, clutched in my embrace at the end of the day, I’m afraid I won’t survive.

“I don’t regret anything. Marcel was not only my cat, he was my everything. My brother, my friend, my world shrank in a soft gray-striped furry ball.”—Bernard Jan

Powerful. Emotional. Honest.

 

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

If you’ve ever loved and lost a pet then A World Without Color: A True Story Of the Last Three Days With My Cat by Bernard Jan will make you cry.

A couple years ago, I lost my best friend. He brought me so much joy and watching his body deteriorate broke me. I watched him slowing stop eating and drinking. I witnessed his hind legs give out. There were so many doctor appointments, so many meds, all to prolong his life.

Pets become a part of our day. They listen while we talk. We might pet them for comfort. They are our constant when everything else seems out of control. When they die, life seems to stop. We mourn them like we would a human. We miss their face, the sound of their voice, moments we could’ve had together if we weren’t so busy, and moments we’ll never have since they are gone.

Like Bernard, I never thought I’d ever get another cat. I too felt like I would be betraying my buddy. It took a while but my children convinced me to get another one. We eventually adopted two rescue cats.

I know one day I will have to make the decision to prolong life or put them down. There’s no reason to let a loved one suffer because we can’t or don’t want to let them go. Don’t let them live in agony.

There are some days I still swear I hear my buddy, see him out of the corner of my eye. I don’t get too sad anymore because I think he would be happy I have learned to love again.

Bernard, your words brought me many tears. The photo of Marcel made me cry even harder. Despite all these tears shed I must say thank you because it warmed my heart to see the love another person had for his own furbaby.

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤❤

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My pen name is Bernard Jan. I am an author – a novelist and a poet – from Croatia and I have released two indie books in English. 

“A World Without Color” is the honest true story of the three last days I spent with my cat while “Look for Me Under the Rainbow” in unique and gentle way sheds light on the plight of harp seal pups in Canada and warms the hearts of young adult and other readers concerned about our planet and its treasures with the idea that change is needed, change is possible, and change will come. 

My first books have been written at the beginning of war in Croatia in 1991, amidst the air alerts and illusory attempts when I wanted to believe and think that life is normal, that everything is alright with the world.

In my lifespan I have written and published five novels, two novellas, one book of poems and an essay in Croatian. Four of my manuscripts, together with my book of poems, are translated into English.

My passion for entertainment resulted in my becoming a partner of Tom’s Music Place, which was established in 2009 by my friend Thomas Carley Jr. with the goal to respect the music.

My need to help others came to the fore during my volunteering years: first in advocating for environmental protection, and then my volunteering, activism, work and advocacy for animal rights to the present day. I did some volunteering for the refugees, too, because suffering does not know about the borders and when it comes within your reach, in your yard, you simply have to do something.

As part of my animal advocacy activities, it has been a great honor and pleasure to translate “Eternal Treblinka: Our Treatment of Animals and the Holocaust” by Charles Patterson into Croatian language. I guess that makes me a translator, too, huh?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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