Tag Archives: pets

Bentley’s Best Birthday Ever! by Claire Eckard (Book Review)

BENTLEY'S BEST BIRTHDAY EVER! by Claire Eckard
 
 
Bentley’s Best Birthday Ever!

Bentley is back, and it’s his birthday! Bentley is excited to share his special day with his new friends, but they are nowhere to be found. Meanwhile, Bentley meets Bella, a lost dog whose family has recently moved to Bentley’s neighborhood. Tia, Bentley’s Fairy Dogmother, and the Dog Pack have a BIG secret! They are planning a surprise birthday party for Bentley, and when Tia is around there is always some magic. Wait till you see Bentley’s reaction to his surprise party, and especially to the special guest that Tia brings!

This book once again highlights Bentley’s kind nature, and also shows that moving to a new neighborhood can be fun! Beautifully illustrated by Anne York, Bentley fans will not be disappointed as they follow Bentley’s latest adventure. 

 
 
Buy the Book:
Claire Eckard
Amazon B&N ~ 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.
 
 
You can tell by the cover that Bentley’s Best Birthday Ever! by Claire Eckard will be a fun read. I loved the expression on Bentley’s face, and the cake looked cute, too, with its dog bone candles and color scheme


Well done, Anne York (the illustrator)!!


The cuteness did not stop with the cover. The entire story and illustrations were adorable. If you’ve read Bentley and the Magic Sticks!, you’ll recognize familiar faces from that story. If you haven’t read it, no worries. You’ll still adore watching Tia, Fairy Dogmother, and many of Bentley’s friends work together to give him the best dog party ever! If you love the color pink, you’ll flip for Anne York’s drawing of Rachel. She’s hard to miss. 😉


Everything about Bentley’s Best Birthday Ever! screams fun. 


There was a couple of sad moments, but, in the end, every dog had a massive smile on their face. 


After the story, there’s a “Bentley’s Fun Page.” It contains “special Bentley words” and “how many” questions. Perfect bonus features for at-home or in-class school setting. 


Great job, Claire Eckard, on creating an incredible story with lovable characters and a sweet plot. 

 
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!
 
connect with the author: 
website ~ facebook ~instagram ~ goodreads ~ bookbub
 
 
 

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Cindi’s Chocolate Valentine by Beverley Reichman (Book Review)

CINDI'S CHOCOLATE VALENTINE by Beverley Reichman
Cindi isn’t sure about this holiday called Valentine’s Day, but after her people pair dress her up like a flamingo and take her for a walk in front of her friends, and her handsome new neighbor dog, Chip, she doesn’t like it at all! She and her BFF, Pitty Pat, have been watching Chip ever since he moved next door. She wants to meet him, but not like this! Have you ever changed your mind about something? In this outrageously funny story, meet some of Cindi’s fur-friends and find out if she changes her mind about Valentine’s Day.

Cindi’s Chocolate Valentine is an especially SPECIAL book because it features 17 pets that were chosen as winners in the Cindi Features a New Friend contest last summer.  As you can imagine, their ‘people families’ are beyond excited about their pets being part of the story.  They had over 750 pets, including dogs, cats, rabbits, horses, hedgehogs, and even a chicken, goat, donkey and monkey enter the contest!   

 
Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ B&N
BookBaby

18% of the Cindi series book sale proceeds is
donated to animal rescue and shelter organizations.

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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.
 
 
Special note:
As with most children’s books I review, I share them with my daughter. This review and rating is a joint effort by the two of us. 🙂

We thought it was cute how Cindi and Pitty Pat experienced embarrassment over what their owners wanted them to wear. As humans, many of us can relate to outfits our parents made us wear that were not cool, hip, or whatever words kids are using now. 🙂

We also liked the diversity in animals. My daughter’s favorite canine was the dog with two different colored eyes. She told me that was very rare. She thought it was nice to see a dog with one eye and two dogs using walkers. I agree; it was nice to see the variety of animals.

While some illustrations were a hit, others struck out with us. My daughter pointed out Pitty Pat’s arm, pointing at the calendar, and remarked it looked odd. She also asked me why the older woman had a mustache and goatee like her dad. Okay, truth be told, I laughed at her question. I can see what she means. I have to explain those are wrinkle lines.

The colorful note from Chocolate ‘Chip’ was lovely, and so was the heart-shaped dog-bone.
 

Final Note: 
Cindi’s Chocolate Valentine by Beverley Reichman is listed for children ages 3-7. While young children will enjoy the pictures and storyline, I think the text will be too complex for them to read unassisted. 

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

Amazon ~ B&N
BookBaby

18% of the Cindi series book sale proceeds is
donated to animal rescue and shelter organizations.

Picture
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:

Author Beverly Reichman

Beverley Reichman is a devoted mom, retired elementary school teacher and author. She co-authored her first book, Justice and Honor for My Sister: The Story of Margie Grey in 2018 and published her first children’s book, Kevin Can, in 2019. The second book in her Kevin series, Kevin is a Smart Cookie, and the first book in her popular Cindi the Teenie Chiweenie series were published in 2020. Her delightful and beautifully illustrated Cindi book series include: Cindi’s Chocolate Valentine, Cindi and Sparkles Howl-oween Ghoulfriends and Cindi’s Christmas Kitten Surprise, which earned a 5-Star Readers’ Favorite review.

Beverley teaches, tutors, and mentors children and shares with them her passion for learning, literature, living in faith, and experiencing life to its fullest. Beverley currently resides outside of Atlanta, Georgia.

 

connect with the author: 
website facebook ~ instagram goodreads

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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Mambo and Murder:  A Fiona Quinn Mystery #6 by C.S. McDonald (Book Review)

 

Three ballroom dancers had been murdered over forty-years ago. Wow, that’s one old cold case. What’s more, the murderer thought to have been killed during a police chase has resurfaced in Pittsburgh. Yikes! How can that be?Worse, ballroom dancing simply isn’t Detective Nathan Landry’s forte. After weeks of practice, Nathan still has two left-feet. Can Fiona step in to guide Nathan through this dancing debacle or will it take forty-years for the detective to find his footing? Double yikes!Join Fiona and Detective Landry in this high-stepping whodunit!

 

Buy Links:
 
 
 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
Right out of the gate (Prologue), we had a crime on our hands! While Nathan was investigating the burglary, secrets buried long ago came forth. Did Vincent Di Volante really die 40+ years ago in a fiery car wreck? If not, who did?
 
If these two questions were enough to wet your whistle, Fiona and the people in the neighborhood have been getting mail postmarked back in the 70s. I know mail runs slow, but that gives a new definition to “snail mail.”

I think it’s worth noting, Mambo and Murder: A Fiona Quinn Mystery (book #6 in the series) by C.S. McDonald is NOT just adults. Since there are no curse words or suggestive scenes, it’s perfectly acceptable for teens and young adults to read it. As a family who loves playing clue, this book is right up our alley, and I’m thrilled to share it with my teen. 

Oh, and BTW, I love the cover! 
 

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

 
 
 
 
Meet the Author: 
For twenty-six years C.S. McDonald’s life whirled around a song and a dance. Classically trained at Pittsburgh Ballet Theater School, The Pittsburgh Dance Alloy, and many others, she became a professional dancer and choreographer. During that time, she choreographed many musicals and an opera for the Pittsburgh Savoyards. In 2011 she retired from her dance career to write. Under her real name, Cindy McDonald, she writes murder-suspense and romantic suspense novels. In 2014 she added the pen name, C.S. McDonald, to write children’s books for her grandchildren. In 2016 she added the Fiona Quinn Mysteries to that expansion. She decided to write the cozy mystery series that everyone, including teens and tweens, can read and enjoy. Presently, the Fiona Quinn Mysteries nine books with a tenth slated for 2021. The books are also available on audio, narrated by Maren Swenson Waxenberg. Cindy’s newest venture is The Owl’s Nest Mysteries. Once again, she has set her cozy mystery in Pittsburgh. The female protagonist, Alexa Owl, is much different from Fiona Quinn. The Owl’s Next Mysteries has a little grit, a little time travel, a little romance, and a whole lot of cozy! Ms. McDonald resides on her Thoroughbred farm known as Fly by Night Stables near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with her husband, Bill, and her poorly behaved Cocker Spaniel, Allister.
 
 
Connect with the author:  
Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook
 
 
 
 

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My Cat Is Blue by Sarah Sommer (Book Review)

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Content Rating:  G – Children’s picture book featuring feelings of sadness and grief (loss of a pet), but no explicit content or language.

 
When someone you love is feeling down in the dumps, you try everything to help. But sometimes, you don’t have the cure, and those blues can even become contagious. It just might be the unexpected that allows you both to shed your blues and move toward a bright and colorful future.
 
 
 

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

 

In my house, we are big softies when it comes to cats. Therefore, My Cat Is Blue by Sarah Sommer moved my daughter and me quite a bit. After reading page one, we said simultaneously, “Awe.” 

The sad eyes, the overall low expression on the furball, nearly broke our hearts. My youngster didn’t tear up, but I felt my eyes filling with water. 

The once full-of-life kitty didn’t seem to sparkle with joy and excitement anymore. The little girl in the story was understandably worried about her furry friend when he wasn’t himself anymore. As a good owner, she took him to the vet for help. I won’t disclose what happened at the vet’s office, but it had us saying, “Awe,” in a happy tone this time around. 

The words made the story moving, but Bulankina Ka’s illustrations sealed the deal and made it a sentimental read. Bulankina Ka captured every emotion (cat and human) and made us feel what they were feeling.

 We (my daughter and I) loved the transition from dark/lack of color to full-on color scenes. I had the same feeling when I watched Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium regain its magic — JOY. 

Your child might feel sad at the start of My Cat Is Blue, but trust me, they’ll be smiling before you close the book. 

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

 
​Sarah Sommer is an award-winning children’s picture book author who blends her love for music, animals, and positivity in her books. Having trained in classical music and performed internationally as a professional clarinetist, rhymes and lyrics are an important part of her writing style. She is an advocate for animals, as seen in her work fostering German shepherds, and as a result, animals are always a central part of her stories. Sarah aims to include encouraging themes, such as helping others, in all of her narratives because we all need a little help sometimes.
connect with the author: 
 
 

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Spirituality, Healing and Me by Ilana Estelle (Book Review)

Spirituality, healing, and me by Ilana Stankler

 
Everyday life has never been more challenging and it’s easy to lose sight of who we are and who we want to be. In Spirituality, Healing and Me, Ilana Estelle draws on her experiences of emotional, mental and physical disability to show how tuning into our spiritual side can improve well-being, heal our minds and set us firmly back on track.

Ilana shows how focusing on values such as understanding, empathy, compassion, tolerance, kindness, creativity and acceptance can help us find our inner calm.

Packed with inspiring messages and real-life vignettes, Ilana’s book shows how spirituality can help us navigate even the roughest waters.
•Improve emotional balance and wellness
•Boost confidence and self-esteem
•Stay self-aware, grounded and patient
•Appreciate life and each other
•Accept changing circumstances
•Enhance positive emotions and personal healing

 

Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ Amazon.uk

B&N Indiebound ~ Waterstones
Book Depository
add to goodreads

 

 
 
 
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book ToursI voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
Ilana Estelle wrote a very straightforward book that dealt with many topics such as mental health, global warming, covid, achieving inner peace, and much more. Even though Ilana gave her opinion on various these subjects, in no way did Spirituality, Healing and Me come off as preachy. In fact, she made it abundantly clear spirituality and religion are not the same. You’ll have to read Spirituality, Healing and Me to read her explanation on each and how to become more spiritual. 


Many points were made in Spirituality, Healing and Me that I 100% agree with, and I’d like to share a few of those with you so you, the potential reader, can get a feel for the book and its content. 

  1. You don’t have to be religious to be spiritual. 
  2. Fearing death can cause a person to stop living life to the fullest. 
  3. Perform random acts of kindness without expecting anything in return. 
  4. Listen more. Be respectful. 
  5. We must value nature and help it to survive. Our existence depends on it. 
  6. Covid and the pandemic are real, and so is global warming. 

I also agree with Ilana Estelle’s “Natural Stress Remedies.” (read the book to view them)


I appreciate every passage that dealt with mental health. Our society needs to talk openly and embrace the mental struggles people face. As a person battling inner demons, I love how the world is no longer shying away from mental health issues. 


I encourage everyone to read Spirituality, Healing and Me by Ilana Estelle and start their journey to a more spiritual life. 

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


Amazon ~ Amazon.uk

B&N Indiebound ~ Waterstones
Book Depository
add to goodreads

 

 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:
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Ilana was born with a disability she didn’t know she had until the age of 46, when through her medical notes she discovered she had been diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of 2.

That discovery turned out to be a unique and life-changing experience that has forced Ilana to stand back and look at her life experiences differently. On her late diagnosis, Ilana set up her website The CP Diary and uses her experiences to explore her emotional and physical health, with an inspiring message advocating resilience and change.
Ilana likes to spend her days writing and blogging about anything that contributes to her health and well being. She is an animal advocate and is passionate about environmental issues. When she is not writing to tending to her blog, Ilana enjoys days out exploring the Yorkshire countryside. Ilana lives with her husband and their much-loved cat, in Yorkshire. Her grown up son and daughter both live in London.

Connect with the author: 

website ~ twitter ~ facebook ~ pinterest ~ goodreads

 
 

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