(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)
While the writing was a bit choppy, overall, it was a nice start to a series. There was suspense, action, deception, revenge, and a prison break. Oh, and I mustn’t forget there was a wicked cool weapon — Skyfall Swordbow. As you probably surmised, it’s a weapon used as a sword or a crossbow. That weapon wasn’t the only tool at Mara’s disposal. She also could fire bolts from her hands.
She’s a lethal weapon, one that used to be on the side of justice before wrongfully incarcerated. I look forward to reading what trouble awaits her while she’s on the run. And, I hope to see more backstory on Mara and other key characters.
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest)
Leo Flynn writes poetry & gripping, action-packed SciFi, like The Mara Files, his debut, an exciting science fiction short story series. Other galaxies, reading, talking too much about writing and music consume his waking hours.
Today’s post is dedicated to children’s book authors, children, and their caregivers.
Below, you’ll discover several books on a variety of topics: cancer, cooking, baking, pirates, imagination, etc. I encourage you pick up one or more than one book and get lost in the wonderment of the written word.
Author: Carola Schmidt
* Writer in the BookAuthority list of “81 Best Leukemia Books of All Time” with “Chubby’s Tale: The true story of a teddy bear who beat cancer”
* Author of several scientific books on pediatric oncology by Springer Nature
* Children’s book author
“Bald is Beautiful: A letter for a fabulous girl” is an inspiring and lovely illustrated letter for girls of any age who will go or already are bald. It’s a perfect gift to send love to a powerful girl who needs to be reminded of how beautiful and loved she is. It’s not a book that explains scientific conditions, disease, and treatment. It’s about love, beauty, happiness, and friendship when going through various changes in our lives.
Bald is Beautiful comes like a hug, and it’s the perfect gift for girls aged 4-100 years and up.
‘Oh man! Go find someone to help you get better. Christmas is around the corner. You know… nobody buys toys after Christmas!’ said Superhero when Chubby — a teddy bear with a wool pullover and no pants — felt unwell. Chubby embarks on an adventure through a La La Land toy store, discovering cancer, leukemia, chemotherapy and stem cell transplantation. He surprises us with a fun trip in a yellow toy Beetle, with friends, and his own Happy Ending. Carola Schmidt, the author, is a Pediatric Oncology Pharmacist, and author of pediatric oncology books by Springer Nature. Chubby is proud to be in the BookAuthority list of “81 Best Leukemia Books of All Time.”
I’m a wife, mother of two kids, a lover of comic books, and a home cook. I believe in making mealtime an enjoyable experience through joint cooking and kid-friendly meals. I also believe kids that help with the cooking process are more likely to eat their meals, which leads to a happy, peaceful dining experience.
Be a Superhero in the Kitchen contains a detailed list of Superhero Cooking Tips and twenty, kid-friendly recipes: Super Chicken Tacos, Powerful Potato Cakes, Mega Mac and Cheese Pizza, Crime Fighter’s Cookie Fluff, Legendary Lemon Tarts, and many more!
Let your child try their hand with the recipes in this book. Every kid who becomes the superhero of suppertime is one who eats super well!
WILL THEY FIND THE HIDDEN TREASURE OR BE CAPTURED BY PIRATES?
When King Manuel of Oro announces his ten-year-old son’s crowning ceremony, Leo’s world crumbles. He doesn’t want to be a stuffy old prince! He wants to be free to roam the kingdom and spar with the crew of the royal navy.
Dreading his upcoming ceremony, Leo longs to have one final adventure before taking on his royal duties. His gets his wish when his ship is overtaken by pirates! And when he discovers his pesky younger sister, Nina has followed him and is also trapped on board, he is furious. But when a young pirate, Duke, who is just a boy Leo’s age, warns them to abandon ship before they are discovered, Leo persuades Duke to join them.
The kids escape to a nearby island, discover a treasure map, and set out to find their riches. They brave the dangers of the jungle and angry pirates on this wild and risky adventure seeking the island’s hidden treasure.
If you are looking for exciting action and adventure books for children ages 6 to 10, look no further! This action-packed adventure is also an inspiring family book, a treat for parents and little ones alike.
Twelve-year-old friends, Sam and Rex live in a boring town. But then mysterious strangers arrive, and the boys’ humdrum summer vacation turns into the exciting adventure they’ve dreamed about.
When Sam and Rex accuse the strangers of being criminals, no one in the town believes them. The boys draft a plan to prove their suspicions are correct by uncovering the dangerous plot, which involves risking lives.
But will their plan work? Will the boys be able to stop the criminals in time? And whose lives will they be risking to expose the criminals?
For fans of the Hardy Boys, readers will enjoy this modern-day action and adventure, mystery detective book for children ages 9 to 12.
In ‘The Big Cheese Festival’, we meet Stubby Mouse and his family and friends. We learn that Stubby Mouse has a secret, that he is being bullied by another mouse, simply because his tail is short.Read how Stubby Mouse stood up for himself, and how he ended the bullying, in this delightful story for children.
Targeted at ages 4-8, the book is easy to read and perfect for home or classroom. Children learn how bad bullying is, and what they can do to help stop bullies! Stubby Stubby Mouse encourages children to take a stand against bullies, and always be kind to each other.
This story illustrates how everyone is different and unique, and it is a delightful read with adorable and eye catching cute illustrations for both children and adults. Take a stand against bullying today!
I didn’t know where the others were, but Tristian, Rauel and I were taken to a pen. It wasn’t large or particularly comfortable but a small cave with bars that appeared to have been salvaged from some-long forgotten ship. I imagined lots of things from long-forgotten ships were hoarded in these caves.
Tristian and Rauel belonged to my vanguard. Deadly fighters and trustworthy men. That was, if you considered men who plunder to be trustworthy. I knew enough about them to anticipate what was coming. Tristian was claustrophobic. He hesitated at the cave’s entrance and turned on the siren.
I drew my sword and turned on him. “We all must die sooner or later. Your choice.”
Rauel went into the cave without a backward glance. He had called me unpredictable on more than one occasion.
“Baldassare, I can’t go in there,” Tristian said.
“You can, and you will.” I nudged him with my sword tip.
It was low, almost inaudible. I felt it before I heard it, snaking its way around my heart. My sword arm went limp. Tristian didn’t notice. He, too, was captured by the siren’s magic. Rauel came forward, enchanted, called by this temptress. The bitch. I didn’t understand what she was doing, but I didn’t want her to stop.
All too soon, she did stop. I was sure we looked as stupid as we felt.
“Get in the pen.” Her words were cold, but her eyes were black magic. My member stiffened, not for the first time since I’d seen her.
“There are seven deadly sins,” she said. “I can sing and make you guilty of all of them.” She locked the cage behind us.
“Wait,” Rauel called before she moved away. He didn’t have anything to say. He just didn’t want her to leave.
“Who built this?” He touched the bars.
While he talked, I committed her to memory. I wanted a detailed image when I pampered my erection.
“You are not the first men to make landfall.” She spoke as if he was impertinent for asking.
Tristian knelt, pressing his face against the bars, taking deep breaths. “There are other men here?”
“Not any longer.” She thought a minute, then said to me, “Perhaps, you’ll be next.”
“Then I best get busy.” I nodded my head once in the direction of my crotch.
Her exquisite bottom lip dropped open. It quivered like she had something naughty to say. She came very close to me, reached out to touch me…only she didn’t. Damn. I wanted her to touch me. Her fingers were a wisp away from cupping my groin. Oh, please…
“I can sing all seven sins.” This time, she did not look back.
(review request of “Death’s Desire” submitted by the author, Tracy A. Ball, for an honest critique)
Death’s Desire conveyed beautifully the enticing power of a siren’s call, the magnitude of their power, and the lure of their body.
As we know from mythology, sirens are irresistible and bloodthirsty beings. Tracy capitalized nicely on illustrating their seductiveness and their insatiable hunger to feed on victims that cross their path. She also allowed readers to witness their capacity for the emotion – love.
Twist and turns, love and death, Death’s Desire could’ve went on to a full-length novel. As Death’s Desire came to a close, I came to realize I didn’t want Baldassare and the sirens’ story to end.
Novelist, Reviewer, Content Editor, Blogger, T-shirt Wearer, and Professional Snacker; Tracy A. Ball is a native Baltimorean and a veteran West Virginian whose family is blended from three cultures. She has opened her home to foster children, drug addicts, AIDS victims and anyone who needed an assist. She knows people who have committed murder and people who have dined with the Pope.
Which is why she writes sweet stories about tough love…and takes naps.
Zoraida Grey needs help. With the witchy Logan clan holding her best friend hostage in a haunted Scottish castle, she can’t trust anyone—certainly not beguiling but dangerous Shea Logan. And Al, her overprotective boyfriend, doesn’t believe in magic.
Only one creature strikes fear in the blackened hearts of the Logan witches. Trouble is Jock disappeared five centuries ago leaving a trail of destruction across the Gulf of Mexico. Now he’s stepped into a steaming pile of Voodoo.
Can Zoraida drag wayward Jock back to Scotland? And what’s she supposed to do with two men who promise completely different futures?
A Scottish wizard, stripped naked and painted blue—a Voodoo priestess bent on immortality—a yacht-load of Caribbean pirates. What can possibly go wrong?
Excerpt: From Chapter 7: Azili’s Little Shop of Hypnotism
Her dry, cool hand on my arm guides me through the store, steadies me when I trip on uneven boards, pulls me through the blue-curtained doorway. Red lips blow sparkling powder from long, elegant fingers. The particles hang in the air, spinning and swirling. I inhale instinctively.
My knees give way and down I sink. Down onto the red velvet chair. Past the weathered floorboards, down into the silt and mud of the Delta. Down to the center of the earth. Satin folds of mesmerizing ensorcellment coil around my shoulders, pulling me deeper still into the space between time. Reality wastes to silence.
“Don’ fight, my girl. You can’t do it. Let it take you,” she whispers. We face each other, sitting in matching red velvet chairs. Our knees touch. She holds my hands, massaging my palms with her broad thumbs.
Fresh sweat pops out on my forehead. The powdered drug slows my heart, my breathing, my mind. Each second stretches into infinity. Colors spiral around a green face. My eyelids weigh fifty pounds each. I yield to the irresistible need to let them slam shut. Cigarette smoke on her breath. A cold hand on my forehead. I’m helpless, bound, and sedated.
This won’t do.
My toes dig deep into the rich Mississippi silt and curl around the bones of the earth. Ancient, patient life grounds me, reminds me who I am. A molecule at a time, I transmute the drug to saline, a trick I did not learn in high school chemistry. A trick I didn’t know I could do. The effort leaves me gasping but my mind is once again my own. I open my eyes.
“You got de juju in you, bébé.” Azili laughs, red lips wide, teeth white. Her coils tighten. “But I got de juju in me, too.”
This time, I can’t keep her out. Like rising floodwaters, she seeps into every corner. A scream gurgles in my throat and dies.
Granny’s dying, but Zoraida can save her with a magic crystal of smoky quartz. Too bad the crystal is in Scotland—in a haunted castle—guarded by mind-reading, psychopathic sorcerers.
Getting inside Castle Logan is easy. Getting out––not so much. Before she can snatch the stone, Zoraida stumbles into a family feud, uncovers a wicked ancient curse, and finds herself ensorcelled by not one but two handsome Scottish witches.
Up to their necks in family intrigue and smack-dab in the middle of a simmering clan war, Zoraida and her best friend Zhu discover Granny hasn’t told them everything. Not by a long shot.
Award-winning author Sorchia Dubois lives in the piney forest of the Missouri Ozarks with seven cats, two fish, one dog, and one husband.
A proud member of the Scottish Ross clan, Sorchia incorporates all things Celtic (especially Scottish) into her works. She can often be found at Scottish festivals watching kilted men toss large objects for no apparent reason.
For those who might not be familiar with you, would you be a dear and tell the readers a little about yourself? How did you get your start in the writing business?
(Nabila)Ahoy, mateys! I am a Bangladeshi Canadian living in Calgary, AB at present. I published my first novel, The Chronicles of Captain Shelly Manhar, this year in October. I love Anime, video games, and reading. A lot of reading. Not all of it necessarily needs to be books. I hate not knowing what happens at the end of movies. And I am a big fan of lame puns. The lamer, the better. Here’s one: A man walked into a bar, and said, “Ow!”
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, please share how you handle it.
(Nabila)First of all, I’ll have you known, I don’t handle it well. When writer’s block hit me, I tend to become very lazy. I end up doing everything else except writing. So if you want advice, here’s what I would tell you: don’t be like me. Try some other way. If I had to take a guess, I’d say that even if you are facing writer’s block, still try to write something. It may not be your best work, but it will keep the habit going.
Contrary to what some people envision about a romance writer’s life, it’s not all glitz and glam. Well not for the majority of us. With that bubble sadly busted, when you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
(Nabila)I like to play video games. Or read books. Currently I’m playing Dragon Age: Inquisition, and reading “Siege and Storm” by Leigh Bardugo.
I also like to check up on events happening nearby. Street festivals, Harry Potter themed outdoor markets, new movies, etc.
I know many writers, such as myself, keep their pastime/career a secret. Do those close to you know you write? If so, what are their thoughts?
(Nabila)Thankfully, I have a very tight-knit group of family and friends who always wish me well and are very appreciative and proud of my work. I published my first book quite recently, and the love and support I have received from them has been astounding!
Will you share with us your all-time favorite authors? If you’re like me, it’s a long list so give us your top ten.
(Nabila)Um… I am not good at coming up with top tens, but here’s a couple: J. K. Rowling, Rick Riordan, Stieg Larsson, Neil Gaiman, Dan Brown.
Among Bengali writers (i.e. writers from Bangladesh and Calcutta) I love Tagore, Humayun Ahmed, Zafar Iqbal, and Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay.
If you could choose one book to go to the big screen, yours or otherwise, which book would you choose and whom would you love to see cast in the parts?
(Nabila)Well, I’ll be a little narcissistic and say that I would choose mine. I think ‘The Chronicles of Captain Shelly Manhar’ would make an excellent movie. It’s about a female pirate captain, and I think movie industries could use more of that.
Would you care to tell us what you’re working on now? That is if it’s not top-secret information. If so, just whisper it in my ear. I swear it’ll go no further.
(Nabila)It is still in the outlining/planning stage, but I am planning to write another YA fiction with a sixteen year old girl called Celeste as the protagonist. There will be nursery rhymes. That’s all I’m saying.
Where can we find your stories, and is there a particular reading order?
(Nabila)So far, there’s only one book published by me, so no need to worry about reading order. My book is available on Amazon, and in e-book format from Kindle and Kobo.
It is also available in Barnes and Nobles, and the e-book version is available through Chapters and Indigo bookstores in Canada.
I am not 100% sure but I am pretty certain it is also available in UK and Australia.
Would you please share how your present and future fans can contact you?
(Nabila)Yes! I am available on Facebook and Goodreads under the name Nabila Fairuz. Check out my page on Facebook and send me a message!
I am also available on Twitter and Instagram.
My Twitter handle is @N_FairuzR and Instagram ID is n_fairuzr.
Finally, and most importantly, you can contact me on my blog, My Own Little Corner, at the following address:
Before we conclude this enlightening interview, do you have anything else you’d like to share? The stage is all yours.
(Nabila)Goodbye, my dear friends,
‘Tis the mighty end of the road.
Again, we shall meet.
~~ Closing remarks ~~
I’ve said this once and I’ll say it probably a 1000 more times but I love interviewing authors. It’s so interesting finding out more about the person behind a story, what or whom inspires him/her and what he/she are working on next. When I read an interview, I find myself adding new books to my reading list based off question 5.
And, like many of you, my TBR is constantly growing and that warms this bookworm’s heart. With that said, I have ONE MORE BOOK I hope you add to your reading list because it’s a voyage I think you’ll rather enjoy taking.
The youngest of three siblings, Shelly’s childhood tragically ended when her family disappeared under cryptic circumstances. Shelly and her sister embark on an epic journey to find them, only to face more hardship.
Witnessing the death of her only sister’s hardened Shelly more, and she was left with facing the bleak reality of continuing the mission alone. It affected her deeper than she imagined, and fueled her every move. It made her become the pirate captain whose name would eventually be feared everywhere. She gathered a crew and despite all odds always managed to come unscathed from any of her crazy exploits.
Along the way, she bumps into her brother who is now charged with arresting her, reconciles with her father who is hiding his own secrets, and frees her mother from the clutches of a power hungry Admiral of the English Navy. Will the fearless Captain Shelly Manhar manage to evade the hangman’s noose, or be forever lost in Davy Jones’ Locker?
(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)
You can’t have a pirate’s tale without a hunt for lost treasure and what would a hunt be without a map. Shelly and her merry crew go searching for Neptune’s treasure and a magical goblet that grant a user’s request. Of course, the journey to the great booty isn’t easy as a finding an X on a sandy beach. No, they have to face creatures, scoundrels, and traps — some of the magical nature.
This all sounds like a making of a Disney movie — aka Pirates of the Caribbean. Well mateys, Jack Sparrow didn’t suddenly appear from stage left but he was mentioned in passing. No, the pirates in this tale weren’t lead by a mascara wearing bloke. Instead the crew was led by a woman who wore an eyepatch and was quite the swordsman ….err swords-woman. 🙂
For that alone, I had to give this story high marks. The only reason why I knocked off a full point was due to the interaction between her and her brother. In First Contact, Conrad (Shelly’s brother) flats out states he wrote to her and Anna but they never responded. They argued about it. Then down the road in the chapter titled Family Reunion, they once again argue over it and Shelly appeared perplexed by him stating the same thing again. Why? Did she suffer from short term memory loss and forget he made this claim already.
Despite that, I had only one other eh moment. I like how the story ended. The epilogue was quite comical but what about the buildup of Roy and Shelly throughout the adventurous tale? They had a moment, he loves her, and then nada. Maybe it’ll be played out in part 2. One can only hope!
Oh and one last thing, nice jaw-dropping, bombshell in Her Father’s Daughter. I do love surprises. It keeps me coming back for more! Others too.