Tag Archives: teen

Caroline And Mordecai The Gand: A Fantasy Novella by Jeff Gunhus (Book Review)

Reading age: 8 – 18 years Grade level: 4 – 12 Print length: 126 pages

Content Rating: PG: The language is G. There is one scene with the main character punches a bully resulting in a bloody nose. The emotional treatment of grief and the death of a loved one can be somewhat intense.

 

This novella was written by USA Today bestselling author Jeff Gunhus after he received a devastating diagnosis of state 3 cancer. The story is a message to his five children on how to deal with grief and a plea for them to grasp onto joy and love even in the darkest of times.

Caroline loses her spark. It takes a great adventure for her to find it again.

Caroline loses her father in a car accident for which she feels responsible. Consumed by grief, she has a difficult time readjusting to a world that has changed so dramatically for her. On the anniversary of her father’s death, a strange window opens in the middle of the small lake behind her house. She climbs up an old oak to peer inside, but falls out of the tree and discovers that the window also serves as a door into a different world.

Enter Mordecai the Gand, a mysterious traveler who befriends Caroline and promises to help her find a way back home since the window she fell through has disappeared. The two set out on a series of adventures that include visiting a tree village populated by a tribe known for eating travelers, running into a witch under a spell of her own making, hiding in a cave with a dragon encased in a wall of ice (prone to melting by campfire), all the while being pursued by a mysterious entity call the Creach which promises to devour Caroline and trap her in an eternity of despair.

As they navigate these adventures and this new world, Caroline slowly discovers that she is meant to help each of the characters she meets. As she battles internally whether to stay or return home to the sadness and grief waiting for her there, she must regain perspective and open her heart to the act of caring and to the joy of love itself. In the end, she must demonstrate great courage, loyalty, and caring as the plot unfolds, becoming the active hero of her own story.

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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.

 
Caroline & Mordecai the Gand by Jeff Gunhus’s target audience was intended for middle-grade students, but I became immersed in Caroline’s emotional journey, and I’m in my 40s. Like Caroline, my father died when I was young. And like her, I carried a lot of guilt surrounding his death. 


Grief is complicated at any age, but I feel kids have a more challenging time handling a personal loss because, sometimes, they aren’t able to articulate their feelings. Heck, even adults have trouble with the task. 


Jeff Gunhus did an outstanding job depicting the internal struggles people of all ages face when dealing with loss. 


I adored everything about Caroline & Mordecai the Gand. It made me smile, and it made me cry. Jeff Gunhus made me reflect on my father, a voice I can’t hear anymore but a face I’ll never forget. 


Would I recommend this book? Yes. This book’s audience extends past middle-school. It will touch many hearts. 

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

 


Meet the Author

Author Jeff Gunhus

 
Jeff Gunhus is the USA TODAY bestselling author of thriller and horror novels for adults and the middle grade fantasy series, The Jack Templar Chronicles. The first book, Jack Templar Monster Hunter, was written in an effort to get his reluctant reader eleven-year-old son excited about reading. It worked and a new series was born. His books for adults have reached the Top 30 on Amazon, have been recognized as Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Finalists and reached the USA TODAY bestseller list.

Jeff wrote Caroline & Mordecai the Gand after receiving a devastating diagnosis of stage 3 cancer. The novella was meant as a private story for his five children on how to face grief by holding onto joy and love. He leads an active life in Maryland with his wife Nicole by trying to constantly keep up with their kids. In rare moments of quiet, he can be found in the back of Old Fox Books in Annapolis working on his next novel or on JeffGunhus.com.

 
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Cobra Kai: The Karate Kid Saga Continues – IDW (Comic Book Showcase)

“JOHNNY’S STORY,” Part 1. See The Karate Kid in a whole new light in this retelling through the eyes of Johnny Lawrence, two-time All Valley Tournament Champion. When the new kid makes moves on the girl that broke Johnny’s heart, he vows to settle the score and win back her love. Or so goes the story Sensei Lawrence tells his students nearly 35 years later. Written by Denton J. Tipton (X-Files) and illustrated by Kagan McLeod (Infinite Kung Fu). Based on the hit YouTube Original series Cobra Kai!

 

CREATORS:
Denton J. Tipton (Author) Kagan McLeod (Artist, Cover Artist) Luis Antonio Delgado (Colorist)

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“JOHNNY’S STORY,” Part 2! See The Karate Kid in a whole new light in this retelling through the eyes of Johnny Lawrence, two-time All Valley Tournament champion. The new kid continues to make moves on Johnny’s girl, and takes the rivalry to a new level with a lowdown prank at the Halloween dance. Will Johnny get his revenge?

 

CREATORS:
Denton J. Tipton (Author) Kagan McLeod (Artist, Cover Artist) Luis Antonio Delgado (Colorist)

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“Johnny’s Story,” Part Three. See The Karate Kid in a whole new light in this retelling through the eyes of Johnny Lawrence, two-time All Valley Tournament champion. The gauntlet has been thrown, and Johnny trains to win the tournament—and his ex-girlfriend’s heart.

 

CREATORS:
Denton Tipton (Author) Kagan McLeod (Artist, Cover Artist) Luis Antonio Delgado (Colorist)

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See The Karate Kid in a whole new light in this retelling through the eyes of Johnny Lawrence, two-time All Valley Tournament champion. It’s the final showdown! The tournament has arrived, and Johnny aims to defend his honor against the upstart from Jersey as victory and love hang in the balance! Based on the hit YouTube Original series Cobra Kai!

 

CREATORS:
Denton Tipton (Author) Kagan McLeon (Artist, Cover Artist) Luis Antonio Delgado (Colorist)

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Denton J. Tipton is a New York Times best-selling writer and award-winning editor of comics. His writing credits include Chasing the Dragon, Cobra Kai, G.I. Joe, Goosebumps, Orphan Black, Transformers, and The X-Files. Denton currently publishes under the Magma Comix imprint at Heavy Metal Magazine. A former newspaper journalist, Denton’s literary influences include Philip K. Dick, Ernest Hemingway, Elmore Leonard, Alan Moore, and Hunter S. Thompson. He lives in San Diego with his wife, Merrily, and their son, Theodore.

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A Maiden in the Foxcombe: The Spiregarden Saga Book 1 by Tanya SM Kennedy (Book Review)

Be polite. Be graceful. Be beautiful. Remain safe.

Being a maiden in Spiregarden requires specific traits and Kardin has none of them. Fastly approaching being labeled unmatchable, she faces being sent to the Cell, a prison-like structure where unmatched maidens are left beyond the safety of the walls to protect the rest of society. It is a death sentence for those maidens society has deemed not good enough, and there is nothing she can do about it.

But when she meets Commander Lef of the illustrious Foxcombe, she is offered a glimpse of the freedom she has always wanted. A chance to escape the Cell and to make a difference and all she has to do is face the greatest danger in Spiregarden. Will she be able to aid in learning vital information to protect all of Spiregarden or will she be the lamb to the slaughter?

A Maiden in the Foxcombe is the opening installment in the fantasy adventure series of the Spiregarden Saga. If you like strong women going against tradition, dangerous monsters, and underdog stories, you will love Tanya SM Kennedy’s story of one woman looking for her place in the world.

Buy A Maiden in the Foxcombe and join up today!

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

A Maiden in the Foxcombe: The Spiregarden Saga stressed the capabilities of women. We can do more than cook, clean, and birth babies. We can defend our homes, protect our friends. We can be vital in battle, an ally. 

Even though many characters and society, as a whole, believed a woman’s place was in the home, I was overjoyed not everyone conformed to the ridiculous train of thought. Yes, many played the role out of fear of the neylons. However, Kardin chose freedom over fear, and her monumental decision resulted in a game-changing discovery. 

With A Maiden in the Foxcombe: The Spiregarden Saga being this good, I have incredibly high-hopes the sequel will knock my socks off.


On a side note: During Kardin’s training in the Foxcombe ranks, I kept humming this song…


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

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Tanya SM Kennedy was born in the wilds of West Virginia where she was raised to be strong, independent, and bull-headed. She spends her free time (any she can find) reading, writing, and taking care of her menagerie. She still lives in the wilds of West Virginia with her family enjoying the solitude.

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Henrietta and the Battle of the Horse Mesa (Henrietta The Dragon Slayer Book 3) by Beth Barany (Book Review)

Finally, the sweeping conclusion to the Henrietta The Dragon Slayer trilogy! 

Parted by destiny, the four friends struggle to rejoin forces and face for a final time, the ruthless sorcerer intent on destroying them all.

In the biggest challenge of her life, Henrietta the legendary Dragon Slayer of Bleuve must lead her people into a battle that may end life as they know it. For they face no ordinary army, but the dark forces of a powerful sorcerer bent on overtaking all five kingdoms. And unless she can rescue her dauntless knight Franc, she must do it without his support.

Franc will follow Henrietta anywhere. But on a mission to find allies among the Horse People, he is kidnapped and taken by minions of the evil sorcerer Eyvindir. Will he find the strength and courage to survive, and fight again at Henrietta’s side?

Paulette, the young fire witch, must stand trial for a murder committed out of desperation. In despair at her imprisonment by forces acting against her dearest friend, Jaxter, she escapes and flees to the frigid, forbidden land of Varangia to find a witch powerful enough to help her finally master fire. But what must she give up to gain the power to aid her friends?

Jaxter, now a king, must come to terms with the heavy responsibilities of ruling the Oro Islands, newly emerged from over 75 years of evil rule. This means doing right, even when it means going against ancient customs and protocols. Worse, the marauding Varangians press at his borders. He must find a way to defend his home, or none of them will survive.

Will Henrietta and her friends be able to stop the ruthless sorcerer from obliterating her, claiming the Dragon Stone, and ruling over the Five Kingdoms?

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

 

The gang is all here for the third and final novel in the Henrietta The Dragon Slayer series. While all the familiar faces are present, they each have a quest that keeps them separate but eventually reunites them for the final battle. 

Paulette: searches for a way to control her firepower.

Henrietta: She has too many missions to list. 🙂

Jaxter: He’s searching for Paulette. He’s also working on another item but revealing it would spoil his big reveal, so MUMS THE WORD. 

Franc: He’s mission hasn’t wavered since the last book — protect Henrietta and find the magical villain. 

Antoine: Return home and show he’s no longer a scared child. 

Eyvindir (villain): His evil intentions have stayed constant – get the stone by any means possible! 

 

So many storylines happening = never a dull moment.

With numerous battles, I can understand why Henrietta is always bone-tired and hungry. She’s riding high on adrenaline! 

Beth (the author) did a marvelous job depicting the characters’ individual quests and then merging them at the end for the final showdown. I only wish this wasn’t the end of the series.

Paulette’s story was just heating up, and I believe Jaxter has many tales to tell. 

Beth, great job at leaving this reader wanting more. MUCH MORE! 

 

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

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Award winning author, Beth Barany writes in several genres including young adult adventure fantasy, paranormal romance, and science fiction mysteries. Inspired by living abroad in France and Quebec, she loves creating magical tales of romance, mystery, and adventure that empower women and girls to be the heroes of their own lives.

For fun, Beth enjoys walking her neighborhood, gardening on her patio, and watching movies and traveling with her husband, author Ezra Barany. They live in Oakland, California with a piano and over 1,000 books.

Sign up here to be notified about once a month of book news and special events: http://bethb.net/itbnews.

 

 

Henrietta YA Fantasy Box Set 
Books 1-3
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres/Themes: YA, adventure, fantasy

Buy all three at once!

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Henrietta and the Dragon Stone (Henrietta The Dragon Slayer Book 2) by Beth Barany (Book Review)

What if all those you loved were threatened by a force you couldn’t see or fight?

Henrietta the legendary ass kicking dragon slayer wants to return to her village for a heroes’ welcome. But an unknown sorcerer rides after her and her Dragon Stone, and aims to destroy everyone she cares about.

Can she claim her newfound powers sparked by the Dragon Stone and keep her loved ones safe, especially her more-than-friend, and her stalwart bodyguard, before the sorcerer destroys her and everything in his path?


Perfect for fans of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, Collins’ The Hunger Games, McKinley’s Hero & the Crown, and Paolini’s Eragon.

Get your copy of Henrietta the Dragon Slayer trilogy today!

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

 

Henrietta and the Dragon Stone WAS NOT a slow-paced book. As a whole, this story had more battles, bloodshed, suspense, danger, magic, sorrow, and love than its predecessor, Henrietta The Dragon Slayer

Henrietta was lucky she had Franc guarding her back. He was also fortunate she was watching his. Apart, they are strong. Together though, they are unstoppable. 

I am rooting for them in their upcoming battle. I’m sure they will reign supreme, but the journey is sure to be challenging and exhilarating. I am looking forward to reading Henrietta and the Battle of the Horse Mesa (book three). 

 

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

Kindle Purchase Link

Print Purchase Link

 

 

 

Award winning author, Beth Barany writes in several genres including young adult adventure fantasy, paranormal romance, and science fiction mysteries. Inspired by living abroad in France and Quebec, she loves creating magical tales of romance, mystery, and adventure that empower women and girls to be the heroes of their own lives.

For fun, Beth enjoys walking her neighborhood, gardening on her patio, and watching movies and traveling with her husband, author Ezra Barany. They live in Oakland, California with a piano and over 1,000 books.

Sign up here to be notified about once a month of book news and special events: http://bethb.net/itbnews.

 

 

Henrietta YA Fantasy Box Set 
Books 1-3
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres/Themes: YA, adventure, fantasy

Buy all three at once!

Leave a Comment

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