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Biño and the Triggerfish: The Adventures of a Yorkie by Kate Wessels (Book Review)

Meet Biño, a Yorkie with a big personality.
He loves to travel the world seeking for new adventures.
Biño easily makes friends – but his bold and boastful ways can often get him in trouble.
One rainy day, his owners announce they are heading to a remote, tropical island, that Biño can’t wait to discover.
As it happens, Biño soon learns that a dark shadow hangs over the island paradise, which has the native animals in unrest. A certain fish seems to haunt the waters.
Will Biño be able to bring back peace to the island?

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

 

What a lovely, colorful map of The Island!

Like BiñoI went from living in frigid temperatures to bright, sunny weather 24-7, and it was a remarkable transition. Like the Yorkie, my body was not made for cold weather. 

The new city brought many opportunities to make new doggie friends, which he did daily. Lucky pooch! His owner explained to a neighbor that Biño’s name meant “little bear.” Curious, I searched the meaning of my pet’s name, and it came back as “a simpleton; a dunce.” Ouch! In truth, my furry friend is intelligent. 

Like most canines, Biño loves to play chase even at the most inopportune time. If you have canine friends, you can relate to a dog’s sudden need to run after something. This adventurous streak is a quality that most owners love, including Biño’s. They adored his eagerness to learn and discover new things. They took Biño (almost) everywhere, including on a plane ride. I loved the photo of him looking out the window. Cute! Oh, and the drawing of the pooch running with the knickers in his mouth made me laugh out loud. No shoe, sock, or pair of undies is safe from a dog’s mouth. 

The island was a wonderland, full of new sights, sounds, smells, animals, and places to explore. The family was invited to swim with reef sharks but chose snorkeling along the reef instead. Even though they were skittish to swim with the reef sharks, I liked that the author incorporated ways sharks are helpful into the storyline. People tend to focus on reports of shark bites and forget their contributions to the underwater world. That’s why I love shark week on the Discovery channel. They speak of the dangers and beauty of the apex predators. 

Joe, a storybook character, discusses coral reefs, palm trees, sea levels, and triggerfish. No image was provided in the initial mention of a triggerfish, so I did a quick internet on it. I learned there are 40 species of triggerfish. The fish looked flat in the various photos, which was quite unexpected. Later in the story, the author did have an illustration for the fish. It looked like one of the images I discovered online. Great job capturing its likeness, Anastasia Naryadko. Oh, and to Kate Wessels, the dog and fish (Pablo) conversation was delightful and informative! The chats with Titan Triggerfish were on the suspenseful side. I found each encounter entertaining in different ways. 

The island holds many gems, but it possesses dangers too. Watch out for falling coconuts and the not-so-friendly triggerfish! 

Amazon’s recommended reading age is 8 – 12 years. Some words will be unfamiliar to young readers. In fact, I had never heard of décolleté or the sport Boules. From a style and editing perspective, I would add a space between all paragraphs and different characters’ talking points to make things easier to read. 

With all that said, Kate Wessels wrote an exciting book demonstrating what we know about our canine companions: they love to eat human food, are very curious, and manage to find themselves in sticky situations. I can’t wait to read about Biño’s next adventure at the North Pole! 

Review submitted to Reedsy on 8/13/22.

#KamsPlace

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

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Meet the Author

As an avid reader and traveller, Kate has always loved a good story. With a focus on environmental topics, her books potray a fun and captivating story, while highlighting the challenges of modern times. She lives in Italy with her adorable Yorkie, Biño.
 

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The Arctic is where Polar Bears live by Nina Cobb (Book Review)

This non fiction book about Polar Bears and the Arctic is both engaging and entertaining and centres on the world of the Arctic . The style is chatty, which is unusual for non-fiction and introduces the reader to many interesting facts which entertain and captivate.

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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.

 

No story is perfect, but I was shocked to see a punctuation error in the opening line of The Arctic is where Polar Bears live by Nina Cobb. The first sentence was a statement, and the author marked it as a question. That aside, the rest of the story was nicely constructed. I liked how the author posed questions to the readers/listeners, such as asking if they could locate the Arctic on a map. This sentence opened the door for a geography lesson which I loved immensely. Geography is neglected in many elementary schools. The author did include a map after the question, which was very helpful. There’s also an image featuring the North and South Pole. 

I thought the Great White Northern Bear picture on page seven was cute and funny. He was belly up in the water and looked like he was having a grand time. The sleeping bear photos were so sweet. They look so timid when they are napping. Not the case when their eyes pop open. 

Nina Cobb asked her viewing audience why they think polar bears live at the North Pole and then gave a breakdown of why. They discussed fur, eyelids, paws, and skin. I had no idea polar bears have three eyelids. Wow, that’s amazing! The comparison between the bear’s paw and a human’s hand was shocking. I knew they had big paws, but, dang, there’s paws are massive. 

The Arctic is where Polar Bears live also went over a bear’s dietary needs. The amount they consume in a single day is astronomical. FYI to parents: There’s an image of a parent and cubs eating a seal with blood covering their fur. If you think your child is too young to view this, you might opt to show them this photo. 

Seals are not just featured in the main course image. The author spotlights them by giving background on them as well.: body make-up, sleeping habits, etc.  

One of the final questions was if we should help the bears survive. I hope your family says yes! 

Update: I’ve been made aware (via a comment on Reedsy post) the punctuation error will be looked into.

My review was submitted to Reedsy on July 7th.

 

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

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The Wrong Side of Murder by Lauren Carr (Book Review)

THE WRONG SIDE OF MURDER (a Nikki Bryant Cozy Mystery) by Lauren Carr

 

One spring morning, Jodi Gibbons got up and went to school as she did every day. Her young life went sideways though when the police found that her mother had been brutally killed during the night.

Twenty years later, many in Pine Grove believe Jodi got away with murder. After all, how could she have possibly slept through her mother’s violent death in the very next room?

After decades of silence, Jodi accepts investigative journalist Nikki Bryant’s invitation to tell her side of the story. However, before the interview can take place, someone silences Jodi permanently.

Now it is up to Nikki Bryant and her friends to uncover the secret that Jodi Gibbons has been protecting—a secret someone believes it is worth killing to keep from being revealed.

 
 
 

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

 

 
The Wrong Side of Murder had multiple murder cases to solve – past and present crimes. I was impressed at how well Lauren Carr connected the crimes. That’s no easy feat and demonstrates her skill as a storyteller.

 

Not all the murders were quick to solve. Not every motive popped off the pages in a clear picture, which was fantastic. Oh, how I love a mystery that isn’t wrapped up in the book’s first half. I will say that I solved 50% of the cases: suspects and motive. The other 50% left me guessing. I’m sure other readers will be baffled about who killed who and why. 

Even though The Wrong Side of Murder revolved around a not-so-funny topic, Lauren did sneak in some comedic scenes. For instance, Kathleen grounding her 36-year-old daughter. Another example is Elmo’s need to tidy up a messy home. Yup, the dog has OCD. Oh, and the flashback image of Harrison and Kathleen at their kids’ dance and doing the infamous lift from Dirty Dancing from the song, “Time of your Life.” If that had been my mom or dad, I would’ve switched schools the following day. 

 

Special Note: Like with Killer Deadline (A Nikki Bryant Cozy Mystery Book 1), The Wrong Side of Murder is rated G for everyone! Nikki and Ryan are still together, but there’s only a smooch here and there. No hanky panky at all. The death scenes are not graphic; however, they do vary in causes. One involves a staged suicide. 

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

Author Lauren Carr and Sterling

​Selling over half a million books worldwide, Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, Thorny Rose, Chris Matheson Cold Case Mysteries, and Nikki Bryant Cozy Mysteries—thirty titles across five fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

 
Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, crime fiction, police procedurals, romance, and humor.
The owner of Acorn Book Services and iRead Book Tours, Lauren is also a publishing manager, consultant, and virtual book tour coordinator for independent authors.  

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. 
She lives with her husband, and two spoiled rotten German shepherds on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV. 

connect with the author: 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Killer Deadline (A Nikki Bryant Cozy Mystery Book 1) by Lauren Carr (Book Review)

KILLER DEADLINE (a Nikki Bryant Cozy Mystery) by Lauren Carr
Folks in Pine Grove, Pennsylvania, claim that where Nikki Bryant goes, trouble is not far behind. Her refusal to back down from a challenge has made Nikki Bryant a top investigative journalist.

When an online friend nudges her to join him in a pact to reconnect with their first loves, Nikki and her boxer dog Elmo leave the bright lights of Las Vegas for the charming town of Pine Grove. There, she must face the biggest challenges in her career and life—the first love she had left behind and her father’s unsolved murder.

But before she has time to unpack her car, Nikki stumbles upon the dead body of local news anchor, Ashleigh Addison, her childhood rival. Could Ashleigh’s death be connected to an explosive news story that she had teased about airing live? Did that explosive story have anything to do with the murder of Nikki’s father?

With the clues in her father’s cold case hot again, Nikki intends to chase down the story of her life until she catches his killer—no matter what it takes. 

Buy the Book:
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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.
 
 
Move over Scooby-Doo, Elmo has now been crowned the coolest canine in town! Elmo, a canine influencer, can complete many chores with great precision: making a bed, running a vacuum, putting laundry in the wash, and loading a dishwasher. If only he could do windows…


Elmo is not here just to do stunts for our amusement; he is a vital character in the book from start to finish. 


Killer Deadline had three deaths being investigated simultaneously. Was their one murderer? Two? Three? Oh, I can’t tell you that. You must read the story to find how who did what and why. I think you’ll love being an amateur detective and trying to solve these mysteries before Nikki and Ryan do. 


Speaking of the dynamic duo, they are into each other—big time. Yes, they are step-siblings, but they are not blood-related, so it’s not that creepy. I mean, I wouldn’t date my step-sibling, but many would. There’s a genre surrounding this sort of coupling, and it makes bank for many authors.
 

Ryan and Nikki were a fun duo, past and present. I loved their childhood reminiscing stories. Some of their exchanges reminded me of one of my favorite comedic movies, You’ve Got Mail. Both Nikki and  Kathleen Kelly (from the movie) were a bit slow on the uptake, but everything worked out for them in the end. 


Special note: Killer Deadline (A Nikki Bryant Cozy Mystery Book 1) is rated G for everyone! So, share this book with your teen and see who can solve the mysteries first. You or your teen!

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

Author Lauren Carr and Sterling

​Selling over half a million books worldwide, Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, Thorny Rose, Chris Matheson Cold Case Mysteries, and Nikki Bryant Cozy Mysteries—thirty titles across five fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, crime fiction, police procedurals, romance, and humor. 

The owner of Acorn Book Services and iRead Book Tours, Lauren is also a publishing manager, consultant, and virtual book tour coordinator for independent authors.  
 
Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. 
She lives with her husband, and two spoiled rotten German shepherds on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV. 
 
connect with the author: 

 
 
 
 
 
 

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Two Roads to Paradise (Book 2: Be Careful What You Wish for Series) by Gordon Jensen with Cara Highsmith (Book Review)

TWO ROADS TO PARADISE (Be Careful What You Wish For Series) by

 
​Although the reappearance of the Alpha Centauri I crew was miraculous, it was not the celebratory homecoming they expected. Their return to a world reeling from a pandemic that wiped out more than half the population thrust them right into the center of controversy and conflict.
 
Now, three years later, though the tide has turned and the survival of the human race seems to be secure, the survival of human relations is far less certain. The cure should have been the injection of hope the world needed to restore balance and end the chaos of the last four decades. Instead, the complex implications for personal rights and freedom have fractured the North American territory in such a way that the division may never be repaired.
 
As the crew dispersed to find their place in this new landscape, Hunter Young found himself embedded in the Marshall administration as an agent for the mysterious K Group. What had been a relatively uneventful assignment suddenly becomes a whirlwind of adventure as he is called to a rendezvous that requires a long and circuitous journey.
 
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I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book ToursI voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
Two Roads to Paradise carried on three years after the finale of The Way Out. Readers will see precisely how divided the world has become: land and viewpoints. Yeah, we are pretty divided now in our views. 


The book discusses free health care in the blue zones and how red zones have better taxes. It talks about gun control and abortion rights, which we all know are hot topics right now. I imagine they’ll be major talking points for many more decades to come. 


Gordon Bensen and Cara Highsmith (co-authors) created unique maps located in the front and back flap. These maps show 13 zones and their colors: red and blue. Yup, those are the same colors that represent Democrats and Republicans. Don’t worry about memorizing the zones because they will be introduced again through colorful welcome signs. I love those, btw! 


Two Roads to Paradise was slower going and didn’t hold my interest compared to its predecessor, The Way Out. However, I did enjoy reading about people’s viewpoints regarding the “governing” of the various zones. 


Oh, a shocking and disturbing bombshell unveiled by two teen girls to Hunter on their trek to NOLA. It shows how inhumane a person or group can be. I’d love to tell you what, but I want to discover it for yourself. 


With any government or country, there will be individuals who deflect and fight the system. The Resistance was comprised of a couple of shocking members. Again, no spoilers. 


While this book didn’t knock my socks off, it ended with me wanting more. So, with that said, I will be tuning in for book three because I have to see how the final moments play out in the next installment. 

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

 
 
 
Meet the Authors:
Author Gordon Jensen

Gordon Jensen holds an MBA from University of Rochester, New York, Simon School of Business and a bachelor’s degree from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. After working in finance In New York for several years, Jensen went back to Minnesota to run the family business. He retired after selling the the business and is now fulfilling a number of life-long dreams, including writing a novel series.
 
 

Author Cara Highsmith

Cara Highsmith has always been drawn to the world of books and has found herself working in this industry in one capacity or another for the majority of her adult life. She holds a Master of Arts in English from Belmont University and did work toward a PhD at Middle Tennessee State University. Cara was on the editorial team at Hachette Book Group USA, working with several New York Times bestselling authors, for nearly four years. After leaving Hachette in 2008, she began freelancing, developing proposals and manuscripts for agents, editing and ghostwriting for authors, and assisting clients in preparing projects for self-publishing. Cara is a master of being a jack of all trades, but currently spends her free time working on several personal writing projects and enjoying life on a beautiful northern California mountain.
 
 
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