Tag Archives: technology

Sand and Shadow by Laurisa White Reyes (Book Review)

Winner of the 2015 Houston Writers House Competition!

SandandShadowEbook2

Seven Survivors.

One Monster.

Nowhere to hide.

Mission Specialist Adán Fuentes awakes from cryo-hibernation to discover that most of his fellow crewmates are dead and the shuttle Carpathia is not where it’s supposed to be. Surrounded by a vast barren landscape, he and the other survivors wonder how they can accomplish their mission, to establish a home for future colonists.

When an unseen creature attacks them, the Carpathia’s crew must turn their attention to surviving and solving the true purpose behind their mission.

Inspired by the 50’s sci-fi flick FORBIDDEN PLANET, SAND AND SHADOW plumbs the depths of the human psyche and the power of its influence. As the Carpathia’s crew’s secrets and flaws are revealed, readers may find themselves compelled to examine their own dark places.

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Europa, Jupiter’s moon

Zarmina, Gliese 581g

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

 

What makes Sand and Shadow by Laurisa White Reyes so spectacular is it capitalizes on the possibility and probability certain events in the story can happen. 

Earth is dying. Leading experts are trying to buy us more time, but is it working? And if their efforts aren’t working, would they tell us the truth? Would they disclose how close we are to the end of life on Earth?

See, I do believe it’s probable NASA would be secretive in this knowledge. Humans would go bat-shit crazy if they knew we had so many years…weeks…days…or even hours left. The world would erupt in chaos. 

In the story, life in space wasn’t without major pitfalls. When the astronauts woke up from their cryogenic state, things did not go according to script. When you are exploring or starting over on a new planet, you have to expect the unexpected. The crew members had no way to predict or prepare for what attacked them or what would continually attack them. 

Earth has perished.

Numerous astronauts have died as well. 

But, hope is not lost. 

Recommend: Yes! 

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤❤1/2

Kindle Purchase Link
Print Purchase Link

 

Bonus material

 

 

About the Author:

AuthorPic

Laurisa White Reyes is the author of the SCBWI Spark Award winning novel The Storytellers and the Spark Honor recipient Petals. She is also the Senior Editor at Skyrocket Press and an English instructor at College of the Canyons in Southern California.
Laurisa White Reyes | Skyrocket Press | Facebook | BookBub


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The Accidental World by K.A. Griffin (Book Review and Author Interview)


 
Ethan Scott thinks he is having a normal Monday evening, waiting for his grandfather, Pops, to return. Pops had left on a mysterious errand the day before, and warned Ethan that if his return is delayed, then Ethan will be in danger. Suddenly, Ethan hears creaking on the footsteps and barricades himself in his room That’s the last thing he remembers as THE ACCIDENTAL WORLD by K. A. Griffin begins before Ethan finds himself transported to a new world that was like nothing he had ever seen.
 
 
NHHMM is a futuristic town, blighted by air pollution that is so strong everyone wears masks in order to breathe. Everything is alien to Scott: his surroundings, the buggies that people travel in, his classmates, and the headmistress who seems to know him, but who he has never seen before in his life. But there is one thing that is familiar to Scott, and that is the popular game, Conquest, that he used to play with his grandfather. Scott excels at Conquest, beating all of his classmates. He is chosen to play in the tournament that is attended by many in the town, including the Chancellor. But he soon learns his Pop has been captured and jailed by the Chancellor. Pop is part of an underground resistance that holds the secrets to a powerful technology that the corrupt Chancellor wants to obtain. Nobody is who they appear to be, and Ethan learns the truth about his parents and Pop’s true identity. The tournament is Ethan’s chance to save Pop’s life and those in the resistance who are trying to free him. Pop’s and Ethan’s fate hangs in the balance. What becomes of Pop and the resistance fighters? Will Ethan disappear forever if he wins the tournament, a fate that has befallen previous winners? Readers will have to wait until the publication of Book 2 in this riveting trilogy to find out what Ethan’s destiny is in the accidental world he has traveled to, and that pits good against evil is a world not too dissimilar from our own.
 
 
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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.
 
 
First, I must state that The Accidental World’s cover was sublime! It captured Ethan and his precarious predicament perfectly! Eugene Ivanov, the cover artist, created a beautiful work of art. 

As for Ethan, he’s on quite the adventure. Thrust into another time and place, with only a handful of clues to guide his way, Ethan’s flourished when most time travelers would’ve struggled. His quick thinking and bright, inquisitive mind have been his saving grace. Well, that and he had people watching his back for their reasons. 

As a fan of games, I loved how detailed K.A. Griffin was in the gaming scenes. When the competitors gathered to play Conquest, I felt I had a spot at their table and played alongside them. Truth, I haven’t played this particular board game yet, but it sounds fascinating. Maybe, I’ll need to purchase it for family game night. 

As a whole, The Accidental World was a riveting read. K.A. Griffin kept me on my toes on who was a true ally and who faking a friendship/kindness with Ethan for their own agenda. And, I could practically see Ethan’s mouth drop open when he got a history lesson about Pops and the other main characters. 

After Ethan absorbed the surprise revelations, the pace of the story increased exponentially. Operation Pops was in full force, and the scenes were action-packed!!! 
 
For those who love techy gadgets, you’re going to love all the futuristic inventions. Pops’s cane was wicked cool too. 

This story would be perfect for in-class group reading, homeschooling parents, or for private use.
 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤
 
 
 
 
 
​​Meet the Author:
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Bio: A graduate of Baylor University with a degree in Business Administration, Keith spent his first career managing businesses and distressed corporations. His second career began at Amazon, where he started at the bottom, ensuring we all get the packages we need. He now manages 100 Amazon associates, and every day he still keeps an eye out for the latest novels coming through the building.

At eighteen, he wrote his first short story. It was a murder mystery only thirteen pages long. On Christmas morning, before anyone had the first cup of coffee, his family noticed that the presents under the tree were gone, and in their place were three manila envelopes. Merry Christmas! You must solve the mystery to find the gifts! It was this short story that led to a lifelong love of writing.

Keith currently lives in Texas with his wife, a dog who thinks she is a princess, a horse who knows she is a princess, and a rescue cat who is little more than a source of allergies. There is talk of chickens in his future, but every time he starts to build the coop, a critical tool goes missing. He always blames the cat.

 
 
Do you snack while writing? Favorite snack? Noooo. It makes my keyboard all kinds of sticky.


Where do you write? Anytime or anywhere. I just can’t watch movies or television when I’m writing. I’m not that good at multi-tasking.


Do you write every day? If I don’t write something every day, I get grumpy. Cute animals don’t want to be around me. My wife doesn’t want to be around me. I need to be moving a story forward every day.


What is you writing schedule? I normally try to write a chapter a day. That’s about 4,000 words for me. The most I’ve ever written was 11,000 words. My body ached for a week.


Is there a specific ritualistic thing you do during your writing time? I listen to music. Whatever evokes the mood that I need. I usually put a song on repeat and I may listen to that one song for hours at a time.


In today’s tech savvy world, most writers use a computer or laptop. Have you ever written parts of your book on paper? No. I’ve used an old school typewriter with carbon, but I type everything on my Mac. My handwriting is so bad I would never be able to decipher why I    wrote if I used paper and pen.


If you could go back in time, where would you go? Probably 1988. I would love to have been in Berlin when the wall fell.


Favorite travel spot? Wengen, Switzerland. You have to take a train up small town and when you get off of the train the Alps are right there so close you feel as if you could reach out and touch them.


Favorite dessert? Anything with chocolate. However, adding coconut or nuts to a chocolate dessert should be considered a criminal act.


If you were stuck on a deserted island, which 3 books would you want with you? How to Survive on a Deserted Island, 101 Ways to Prepare Coconuts, and Moleskin notebook to write my next novel.
 
connect with the author:  facebook ~ website

 
 

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Alicia Connected: The Big Gift by Derek Fisher (Book Review)

Alicia has finally entered a new world of technology when her parents give her a tablet for her birthday. She has watched and listened to her friends who have already been enjoying the games and apps in a connected world that Alicia has yet to experience. Until now. But using technology can bring a set of challenges that are new to both Alicia and her parents. Understanding the different apps and games and how to use them properly can be tricky. Will Alicia know how to use it in a way that is fun and allows her to connect with her friends while being safe and secure? Both her and her parents will face the excitement and challenges together as she jumps headfirst into using her new tablet.
 
 
 
 
 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
Apps, games, and social networking sites can be overwhelming for first-time users. Kids rely on each other a lot to navigate this world. IMHO, online apps/games are a money pit. The dad in Alicia Connected: The Big Gift by Derek Fisher was correct when he stated that the price tags attached in online gaming stores were high. It’s true, you can work to earn merchandise, but Alicia learned pretty fast that it’d take forever to acquire an item on your own. These game developers bank on you, the player, spending real money on fake things. Kids, like adults, shell out a lot to purchase levels and bling. 


Other truths in Alicia Connected: The Big Gift, there are some crazy people on the internet, and you definitely don’t know everyone you are talking to online. I appreciate Derek Fisher discussing safety precautions and stating the parent (his the story) would be monitoring their daughter’s activity on the apps. Derek Fisher also pointed out how kids are becoming more consumed with the number of followers and likes. Heck, adults are the same way. So many people want to be the next internet star/influencer. 


I miss the good old days of atari and rotary phones. 😀


While Alicia Connected: The Big Gift has a lot of beneficial information told in an entertaining way, the best part was the final moments. I won’t say what happened, but it was sweet…and a wee bit funny. 


On a side note: The similarities between my daughter and Alicia were uncanny. She’s addicted to animal videos, making slime, has glow-in-the-dark stickers on her ceiling, and loves to turn trash into treasures. My daughter uses online videos to inspire her next craft project. 🙂


I highly recommend this book to all middle-school students! 


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

Kindle Purchase LinkPrint Purchase Link 
B&N ~ IndieBound
Author Website

 
 
Meet the Author
Author Derek Fisher
Derek Fisher has spent decades in the computer engineering field with the last decade in cybersecurity as a leader, speaker, and instructor. His passion has been to take complex security topics and make them simple and easy to understand. He holds several security certifications and teaches cybersecurity at Temple University where he is also an external advisory board member to the cybersecurity program.

connect with the author: website facebook goodreads

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A Curse of Mayhem: Alyssa McCarthy’s Magical Missions Book 2 by Sunayna Prasad (Book Review)

A CURSE OF MAYHEM by Sunayna Prasad

Middle-Grade Fiction (Ages 8-12),  173 pages

History, like magic, has a habit of repeating itself.
It’s been six months since thirteen-year-old Alyssa McCarthy left magic behind for good. Or so she thought…
Then the enchanted objects that protected her disappear. Now a skeleton named Errol has cursed her with magical powers that keep getting her in trouble. Suddenly strange things are happening with disastrous effects, and if Alyssa can’t remove the magic, she will lose everything she holds dear. In order to get rid of her unwanted wizardry, Alyssa will have to boost her bravery and confidence and determine who Errol really is. But every time Alyssa uses an enchantment, Errol is one step closer to getting his flesh back and becoming alive, and he will do anything to achieve his goals…even if it means destroying Alyssa’s happiness.
Originally published in 2016 as “Wizardry Goes Wild” and “The Unruly Curse” in 2019, “A Curse of Mayhem” is book two in the exciting and suspenseful “Magical Missions” series.
 
BUY THE BOOK:
Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble ~ Kobo
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.
 

Since my (pre-teen) daughter gave me such valuable feedback regarding The Frights of Fiji, I enlisted her again in the review for A Curse of Mayhem (Alyssa McCarthy’s Magical Missions, Book 2). 

 

Cover:  She thought the winged person was creepy and didn’t understand who it was supposed to be since she didn’t recall a flying kid in the story. The birdman didn’t bother her; in fact, she thought he looked comical. 

Plot:  We both agreed there were plot holes again. We didn’t understand how Alex, the godfather, forgot about magic and Alyssa’s kidnapping. 
We weren’t sure how mortals could be so confused magic exists when there is a magical zoo in Nebraska. 


Characters:  
She liked the winged unicorn-zebra, and so did I.  

 

Extras:  We both agreed the community service hours for students are a good idea. It teaches young people to take care of our world, and it’s important to take care of your community/people. However, realistically, I don’t think many schools will make it a requirement for school. Maybe for a class, though. 

While there were some hits and misses in this story, it was more enjoyable than The Frights of Fiji. It did represent how I believe a person would react to unwanted powers and the lack of control over them. 

On a final note: My daughter said the ending was “Ahhh, so sweet.”  She’s right; it was adorable. 

 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤1/2
 
BUY THE BOOK:
Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble ~ Kobo
Add to Goodreads
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:
Author Sunayna Prasad
 
Sunayna Prasad enjoys writing fantasy books for children, as well as cooking, creating artwork, watching online videos, and blogging. She has also written The Frights of Fiji, and A Curse of Mayhem. She constantly in creating and brainstorming new ideas.
 
Connect with the Author:   website ~ twitter goodreads
 
 

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The Frights of Fiji: Alyssa McCarthy’s Magical Missions by Sunayna Prasad (Book Review)

The frights of Fiji (Alyssa McCarthy Magical Missions #1) by Sunayna Prasad

(Ages 8-12)

 
A world of magic and adventure awaits…


Sent to live with her strict, aloof, and uncaring uncle after her parents are killed in a car accident, twelve-year-old orphan Alyssa McCarthy longs for the life she used to have—one filled with fun and love. Then one stormy night, a message appears in the raindrops on the window that will change everything.

“Your life will never be the same again, as magic will interfere.”

Before long, Alyssa is kidnapped by Master Beau, a banished sorcerer with a mysterious connection to her who can only regain his power by weakening hers. Suddenly hurled into a world of wizardry filled with fantastical beasts and marvelous technology beyond her wildest imagination, Alyssa must defeat Master Beau if she ever wants to get home again. But Master Beau will stop at nothing, including using Alyssa’s friends, to ensure he is triumphant.

Originally titled “From Frights to Flaws”, this story is the exciting and enchanting first book in the “Magical Missions” series.

 
BUY THE BOOK:
Amazon  ~ Barnes and Noble ~ Kobo
Add to Goodreads
 
 
 

Alyssa McCarthy

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

 
My pre-teen and I had mixed feelings about The Frights of Fiji by Sunayna Prasad. There were parts we enjoyed a lot and sections we weren’t particularly fond of at all. 


Our Likes: We both agreed colored sleet was cool. 🙂 
When we read about the wizards using magic to conjure a meal, we talked about what full meal we would create. She shocked me when she said a pepperoni calzone, oreo ice cream cake, and Dr. Pepper float. I really thought she’d say mac and cheese. 


Since dolphins are her favorite animals, she was captivated by the dermaidens. They are half-human, half-dolphin beings. She adored their unique talent, but I won’t disclose it. You’ll have to purchase the book to find out what it is. 


She thought the names given to magical versions of non-magical tech such as iPhone, iPod, iPad, and much more were funny. Example: WiPhone, WiPod, and WiPad. I asked her what she thought they’d call a magical version of a Wii. Her response, in a French accent, was “Wii Wii.” 😀


Our Dislikes: While this book DOES NOT have mature language or adult content, it does have scenes that might make your child uncomfortable. There’s a moment where Uncle Bruce physically assaults a child. Since this book is for 8-12-year-olds, this altercation might upset younger readers. My daughter and I spoke about her feelings regarding it. She said, “He shouldn’t have smacked her. It’s rude and unnecessary.” I agree. I also told her no adult should ever hit a child. She said, “Well, yeah, duh.” 😀


We also thought there were some plot holes. She didn’t understand why the godfather didn’t seem very worried Alyssa was taken or expressed anger for what the wizard did to her or the other girls. Again, I agree with her. 


Since the book was intended for her age group, I asked her to score it. She said the book was just alright, so she gave it a 3. 

 
 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: 
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:
Author Sunayna Prasad
 
Sunayna Prasad enjoys writing fantasy books for children, as well as cooking, creating artwork, watching online videos, and blogging. She has also written The Frights of Fiji, and A Curse of Mayhem. She constantly in creating and brainstorming new ideas.
 
Connect with the Author:   website ~ twitter goodreads
 
 
 

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