Tag Archives: YA

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:
Picture

 
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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Bake Believe by Cori Cooper (Book Review)

Can it be real? Or is it bake believe?

All Cat Anderson wants out of life is a circle of friends to giggle with and a few cute boys to flirt with. Her first day of eighth grade is looking perfect—until a scheduling mishap places her in a culinary arts class.

Food, it turns out, is a very big deal. In her family there is a secret, too big to stay hidden any longer. A secret too fantastic to be real. Something happens when Cat bakes. Something impossible.

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

 

I adored Bake Believe by Cori Cooper. The cute foodie titles weren’t just for show. Nope. Almost every chapter contained a recipe: “Homemade Bread” – “Brownies” – Sugar Cookies” and a dozen more mouth-watering delights. While the recipes were incentive enough to read the book, it also contained drama, humor, and a heaping spoonful of magic.

According to Amazon, Bake Believe is marketed towards teens and young; however, this forty plus woman found it highly entertaining. It reminded me of the teeny-bopper movies I would watch in my younger years. 

I encourage anyone from pre-teen and up to read this book. Then, start baking! Just make sure and cook while happy; you don’t want to chance pulling a Cat. (That will make sense after you read Bake Believe, so read it!) 

 

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

 

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About the Author

Cori (2)

Cori Cooper lives in the magical Arizona Mountains, which she’s pretty convinced is the setting for all the fairy tales.

Besides writing stories, she adores hanging out with her family, playing board games, hiking and baking, baking, baking. Like Cat’s family, she’s positive Cinnamon Rolls fix everything.

Cori’s Stories | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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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.

 
connect with the author:  
website  ~  twitter  ~  facebook 
instagram goodreads bookbub
 
 

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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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