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The Elegant Emu (Adventures in Harmony) by Karen Bobos (Book Review)

The magical sisters are enrolled in an etiquette class when their manners are not fit for the king and queen of the enchanted land of Harmony. Can Elizabeth the Emu help the royal sisters?

In the beautiful and peaceful land of Harmony, three magical sisters and royal daughters of the land, uproot the kingdom’s tranquility with some not-so-polite actions —nose-picking, belching, and other noisy…expulsions. Their parents, the King and Queen, enroll the sisters in the elegant Elizabeth the Emu’s etiquette class where they learn manners and other ways to self-improve like being on time, politeness, and proper personal hygiene.

Elizabeth the Emu explains to Angel Scarlet, Princess Daphne, and Fairy Cora that having proper etiquette is more than good manners, it’s about being kind and courteous. And for the sisters? Well, let’s just say that they will be needing more than one lesson from Elizabeth the Emu’s etiquette class.

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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.

 


Amazon has The Elegant Emu (Adventures in Harmony) by Karen Bobos for children 3 – 11 years. Children on the younger side will enjoy humorous moments such as burping and farting princesses. Oh, and let’s not forget Scarlett, digging for gold. Kids will crack up because those three things are always funny to a kid – big or small. 

Etiquette classes are not so common here in the states, but I imagine they are over in the UK, where royalty is a prominent fixture. When you read The Elegant Emu (Adventures in Harmony, it’s wise to ask your child(ren) or student(s) if they understand what etiquette means. Depending on the age of your reader/listener, several other words might need explaining: epitome, tranquility, drear, doting, and insight. 

I do believe some table manners are essential in any home. For instance, chew with your mouth closed and don’t talk with food in your mouth. I also think it’s unsafe to stab a piece of food with a knife and eat off of it. That’s an easy way to cut yourself! Hand washing should be encouraged, not just at meal times and not just for two seconds! My family already knew the happy birthday trick (singing it twice) regarding hand washing, but others may not, so this was a nice addition to the story. 

The final moments in the story made me smile. The poor Emu had a tough day at work, and it was sweet to see her hubby was waiting for her and drew her a bath. What a sweetheart! 

Special shout-out to Emily Hercock for your lovely illustrations. We loved them all, but Patrick the Peacock was our favorite drawing. 

 

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

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

 

Meet the Author:

AUTHOR KAREN BOBOS

 
Bobos began writing poetry and stories at the early age of ten. She is a life-long Chicagoan who now raises her family in the downtown area. During the 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic, Chicago also became a city of unrest. Trying to keep her three young daughters in a world of magic during such scary times, the Bobos Babes Adventures were born. Her goal was to create a world of Harmony for her family and hopefully for others to escape, even if only for a moment. The first book of the series, The Case of the Giggles, was published in December 2020. The Missing Egg launched in March 2021. The The Lion’s Secret was published in June 2021, a tribute to her mother and late father’s incredible love story.  The Lovey that Came to Life and The Bobcat Birthday party will be releasing in the upcoming months.​
 
connect with the author: 
website ~ facebook ~ instagram ~ goodreads
 
 

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The Christmas Wedding Guest by Susan Mallery (Book Showcase)

 

The Somerville sisters believe in love, but they’ve lost faith it will happen for them. Reggie hasn’t been home since the end of the world’s shortest engagement. When her parents decide to renew their vows, she buffs up her twinkle to help with the Christmas wedding. Unexpectedly, Toby, her first love, is back too, and the spark between them shines as brightly as ever. In the spirit of the season, will they let go of past hurts and greet the New Year together?

Done waiting for the one, Dena is pregnant and on her own—on purpose. But then a gorgeous, sad-eyed songwriter checks in to a room at her inn. Micah, unable to write since he lost his wife, finds inspiration in Dena’s determination to be a mom. One snowflake-speckled kiss and he’s a goner. But Dena is afraid to believe that a rock star could fall for a cookie-cutter small-town girl like her.

As the Christmas wedding draws closer, these two sisters just might unwrap the most treasured gift of all—love.

 

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“It’s a vacuum,” Reggie Somerville said, trying to sound less doubtful than she felt. “You reinvented the vacuum?”

Gizmo stared at her, his hurt obvious, even behind his thick glasses. “It’s a smart vacuum.”

“Don’t we already have those round ones that zip across a room?”

“They’re not smart. They’re average. Mine is smart.”

Reggie was less sure about the vacuum’s intelligence than her client’s. Gizmo had a brain that existed on a different plane than those of average humans. His ideas were extraordinary. His execution, however, wasn’t always successful. A basic knowledge of coding shouldn’t be required to work any household appliance—a fact she’d tried to explain to him about fifty-seven thousand times.

She eyed the triangular-shaped head of the vacuum. The bright purple casing was appealing, and she liked that it could roam on its own or be a regular stick vacuum if that was what she wanted. The printed instructions—about eighteen pages long—were a little daunting, but she would get through them.

If the trial went well, she and Gizmo would discuss the next steps, including her design suggestions. Once those were incorporated, they would start beta testing his latest invention. In the meantime, she would be doing a lot of vacuuming.

“I’ll get you my report in a couple of weeks,” she said.

Gizmo, a slight, pale twenty-year-old who lived with his extended family just north of Seattle, offered her a small smile. “You can have until the first of the year. I’m going to be busy with Christmas decorations for the house. We started putting them up just after Halloween, and it’s about to get really intense. I’ve worked out some of the kinks from last year, so the animatronics look more real. It’s taking a lot of time. My grandma’s really into it.”

“Sounds like fun.”

“We’re launching the Friday after Thanksgiving, but we’ll be upgrading everything through December. Come by close to Christmas. You’ll be blown away.”

“I can’t wait,” she said with a laugh.

She and Gizmo talked for a few more minutes before she walked him out of her home office. When the door closed behind her client, Belle, her one-hundred-twenty-pound Great Dane, poked her large head out from behind the desk.

“You didn’t come say goodbye to Gizmo,” Reggie said. “I thought you liked him.”

Belle shifted her gaze to the purple vacuum sitting in the middle of the area rug, obviously pointing out that potential death still lurked.

“It’s not going to hurt you,” Reggie told her. “It’s not even turned on.”

Belle’s brows drew together, as if she wasn’t willing to accept the validity of that claim. Reggie tried to keep from smiling. Belle made a low sound in her throat, as though reminding Reggie of Gizmo’s last invention.

“Yes, I do remember what happened with the dog walker robot,” Reggie admitted.

The sturdy, odd-looking robot had started out well enough—walking a very concerned Belle around their small yard. Unfortunately, about ten minutes in, something had gone wrong with the programming, and the robot had started chasing her instead. Belle, not the bravest of creatures, had broken through the screen door in her effort to escape the attack, hiding behind Reggie’s desk for the rest of the day.

Gizmo had been crushed by the failure and had needed nearly as much reassurance as the dog. Sometimes, Reggie thought with a sigh, her job was the weirdest one ever.

“I’m going to leave this right here,” Reggie told Belle. “It’s turned off, so you can poke at it with your nose and get used to it.”

Belle took two steps back toward the desk, her body language clearly saying she would never get used to it, and why couldn’t Reggie have a regular job that didn’t threaten the life of her only pet?

“Or you could sit on it,” Reggie pointed out. “The robot weighs about ten pounds. You’re more than ten times that size. You could probably crush it like a bug.”

The dog’s brown eyes widened slightly, filled with affront.

Reggie held in another smile. “I’m not commenting on your weight. You’re very beautiful and way skinnier than me.”

She settled on the sofa and patted the space next to her. Belle loped all of three strides before jumping up and leaning heavily against Reggie. The soft rose-colored sweater Belle wore to protect herself from the damp cold of mid-November looked good on her dark gray fur. Reggie put an arm around her dog and pulled her phone out of her pocket. A quick glance at the screen told her she’d missed a call. From her mother.

She tried to ignore her sudden sense of dread. Not that she didn’t love her parents—she did. Very much. They were good people who cared about her. But they were going to insist she come home for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and she couldn’t think of a single reason to refuse.

Last year had been different. Last year, she’d stayed in Seattle, with only Belle for company, enduring the holidays rather than enjoying them. She’d given herself through New Year’s to mourn the breakup and subsequent humiliation that went with the man of her dreams proposing at the Lighting of the Trees on the Friday after Thanksgiving, arranging an impromptu celebration party on Saturday, and then dumping her on Sunday.

After sharing her happiness with nearly everyone she knew, having her friends coo over her gorgeous ring and ask about wedding plans, she’d had to explain Jake had changed his mind. She assumed. His actual words, “I can’t do this. It’s over. I’m sorry,” hadn’t given her much to work with.

Hurt and ashamed, she’d buried herself in work and her life in Seattle. She hadn’t returned home to Wishing Tree even once since it had happened, preferring to lick her wounds in private. She’d told herself she was healing, but Reggie knew the truth was less flattering. She was hiding, and it was time to suck it up and get over herself. She’d worked hard to put Jake behind her and move on with her life. Thanksgiving was next week, and she was going home, like she did every year. Besides, it wasn’t as if she was still mourning her ex-fiancé. She’d gotten over him, and now it was time to demonstrate that to her hometown…and possibly herself.

“At least, that’s the plan,” Reggie told her dog and pushed the button to phone her mother.

“Hey, Mom,” she said when the call was answered.

“Reggie! It’s you. You’ll never guess. It’s so wonderful. Your dad and I are getting married.”

Reggie blinked a couple of times. “You’re already married. Your thirty-fifth wedding anniversary is coming up next month. I thought we’d have a party or something.” She and her sister had talked about the possibility a couple of weeks ago.

Her mother laughed. “You’re right. Technically, we’re married. We eloped and I have to tell you, I’ve always regretted not having a big wedding. Your father pointed out I’ve been upset about that for the last thirty-five years, so maybe it was time to do something about it. We’ve decided we’re renewing our vows with a big wedding and a reception afterwards. It’ll be the Wednesday before Christmas.”

“You’re having a wedding?”

“Yes. Up at the resort. We’re inviting everyone. It’s been so much fun, but the planning is getting out of hand. I was hoping you could help me.”

 

Click HERE to read Chapter One in its entirety!

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Meet the Author:

SUSAN MALLERY is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of novels about the relationships that define women’s lives—family, friendship, romance. Library Journal says, “Mallery is the master of blending emotionally believable characters in realistic situations,” and readers seem to agree—40 million copies of her books have sold worldwide. Her warm, humorous stories make the world a happier place to live.

Susan grew up in California and now lives in Seattle with her husband. She’s passionate about animal welfare, especially that of the two ragdoll cats and adorable poodle who think of her as mom.

 

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Twin Tales: Alike and Different by Brielle and Nadia Dupervil (Book Review)

Picture

 
Imagine having someone that is just like you in the world. Or what if there were not just like you, but everyone thought they were? Twin sisters Alexia and Denise might look alike on the outside, but they are very different on the inside. Join the sisters as they reveal what makes them unique. An enduring story of siblings who share a strong bond that parents will appreciate, and children will love.
 
 
 
 
 
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
First and foremost, I would like to commend Brielle and Nadia Dupervil on writing a book. They are the youngest author(s) I’ve read. Most authors wait years to get a book published, and they have achieved it at a mere four years of age. Their family and friends must be so proud of them! 


While most twins look alike, these two adorable youngsters showed us exactly how different they are. For example: “Alexia loves to watch movies, but Denise likes shorter shows.” The differences continued to vary from clothing to food choices and much more, which I won’t spoil for the readers. 


While they differed on many day-to-day things, they did agree on two crucial facts — they love ice cream and their family. 🙂

No matter if you’re a twin or not, Twin Tales: Alike and Different will provide many discussion points such as “How do you like your sandwich?”


Using the cute illustrations by Folksnfables, you could always play “Spot the differences.” Allow kids to list everything from colors, clothing types, facial expressions, and so on.


Twin Tales: Alike and Different would make an excellent addition to any home, school, or public library. 

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

 
​Brielle has a bold and bubbly personality and never meets a stranger. You can call her the life of the party because there is never a dull moment when she is around. Brielle is a curious conversationalist who will talk to anyone who will listen.

Nadia is a soft spoken, articulate, gentle spirit. Initially she is reserved, but once comfortable she will win you over with her contagious laughter and the silly jokes she keeps in her back pocket for the right time. Nadia is caring and always does what she can to help others feel better. She is very in tune with her emotions and very direct when expressing them.


Connect with the Author:  Website ~ facebook ~ instagram
 

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Bobos Babes Adventures: A Magical Halloween by Karen Bobos (Book Review / Guest Post)

BOBOS BABES ADVENTURES: A MAGICAL HALLOWEED by Karen Bobos

 
It’s Halloween time in the land of Harmony, and the Bobos Babes are ready for some fun!

When Angel Scarlett, Fairy Cora, and Princess Daphne visit Lily the Ladybug’s Boutique to look for Halloween costumes, they find Lily has left aside three special masks for them. The ladybug informs the sisters that they must wait until noon on Halloween to try on the mysterious masks but assures them they will have the best costumes in all of the land of Harmony.
The sisters can hardly wait, counting down the minutes on Halloween until they can don their curious masks. When the time comes, they learn their secret masks are enchanted, and the girls are magically transformed into the costumes of their dreams.

 
​After a fun outing Trick-or-Treating, the little monster, witch, and ghost — or sisters — agree that this was the best Halloween of all.
 
 
Buy the Book
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Bobos Babes
 
 
 
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
Children love Halloween. They adore selecting a costume, the excitement of getting candy, the decorations, and watching their loot grow with each knock on a door. 


While most kids can’t wait to dig into their stash, first, they must select what to wear on the spookiest night of the year. If your child is like mine, they start planning months in advance and change their mind about a thousand times. 


However, when the big night comes, they wake up and immediately dress up. Halloween allows their imagination to flourish, and it’s a magical day and night. 


Bobos Babes Adventures: A Magical Halloween by Karen Bobos made Halloween an even more magical event by allowing the sisters to transform into whatever mask they chose for the evening. 


Imagine if a kid put on a Hulk mask and then became the Hulk. I can already see my daughter transforming into a little Loki. 😀


If you’re like me and love reading holiday stories with your child, then I highly recommend picking up Bobos Babes Adventures: A Magical Halloween. The story is cute, and so are the illustrations. We especially liked the blue monster covered in pink dimples. 
 

Great job, Karen M. Bobos (author) and Jazinel Libranda (illustrator)!

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

 
 
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:
AUTHOR KAREN BOBOS

 
Bobos began writing poetry and stories at the early age of ten. She is a life-long Chicagoan who now raises her family in the downtown area. During the 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic, Chicago also became a city of unrest. Trying to keep her three young daughters in a world of magic during such scary times, the Bobos Babes Adventures were born. Her goal was to create a world of Harmony for her family and hopefully for others to escape, even if only for a moment. The first book of the series, The Case of the Giggles, was published in December 2020. The Missing Egg launched in March 2021. The The Lion’s Secret was published in June 2021, a tribute to her mother and late father’s incredible love story.  The Lovey that Came to Life and The Bobcat Birthday party will be releasing in the upcoming months.​
 
 
 
 
Creating a Harmonious World During a Life of Chaos
 
 
My family lives downtown Chicago. You can literally see the John Hancock out of our dining room window. During the beginning of the pandemic, we spent months in our condo without a balcony. I was definitely feeling cabin fever once we hit week three of not leaving the house.
 
 fIn May 2020, Chicago became a city of unrest. With the protests and riots directly out our front door, my husband and I packed up the family and escaped to my mother’s home in Northwest Indiana. We had one goal in mind: keep our daughters in a magical, beautiful world when the real world was in a state of chaos.
 
Once we arrived at my mother’s home, I worked night and day to clean her unfinished basement. Then I covered her walls with white rolling paper and put pink plush throw rugs on the floor. Living in a condo, we don’t have a basement or separate play area, so I wanted this to be incredibly special for them. I bought my daughters a pretend store, a little play coffee shop, and a cute kid’s pop-up ice cream shop. I designed signs that said Daphne’s Dynamite Deals, Scarlett’s Sweets, and Cora’s Coffee Shop. I put a Disney Barbie house in the corner and bought princess wall applications to stick to my white paper walls. I made a little lounge area and put tons of books for them relax and read. In the center, there was a little pink and white table. In the back of the basement, I created a little art studio for the girls to be as creative as they liked. At the entrance of it all, I put a sign that said “Bobos Babes’ World,” and we surprised the girls with this fun world to play in when the rest of the word was at a standstill.
 
My wellness company was barely operating. While I probably secretly cried most nights living in fear of the unknown, this was my outlet. Not only was this a project of making “Bobos Babes World” for the girls, but it a huge distraction for me as I wondered what was to come of our life and my career.
 
About a month later, I wrote “The Case of the Giggles” as a night time story to entertain my girls. They were the main characters with magical powers. My dad, who passed in 2016 was a main character and so was my mother. I made our Bernese Mountain dog, Luke, who is abnormally large for the breed, even bigger in my story. The girls rode him all over their magical land. The magical land was called Harmony because I desperately needed to have this land be somewhere where everyone co-existed and got along. We craved a land filled with love especially with what was going on in the world. Scarlett suggested that I write a new story every Friday. Her deadline was just the motivation that I needed to get my Bobos Babes Adventures on their way.
 
So that’s how the Bobos Babes Adventures started. But the best part is, if you ask my daughters about the pandemic and all the chaos that happened in 2020, they just remember our entire family at Gigi’s house, playing in her backyard, running through sprinklers, playing in this magical world their mom created for them in the basement and getting a new story every night starring them. Mission accomplished.
 
 
connect with the author: website ~ facebook ~ instagram ~ goodreads
 

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