Tag Archives: YA

The Tales of Little Lady M by Diego Di Mauro (Book Review)

A far kingdom hidden beyond the boundaries of imagination. A place where fantasy never sleeps, and dreams are much more than just a mind game. In that land inhabited by magic creatures and strewn with lost secrets, a little girl will begin a journey full of adventures and learnings. Always on a quest for knowing more, she will discover friendship, courage and the wonders behind an act of kindness. And that not everything is what it seems to be… In a far kingdom that only true dreamers can reach, a little lady will rise.

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

 

Since The Tales of Little Lady M is a children’s book, and I have a child, I decided to do things a little differently. I’ve asked my 11-year-old daughter to weigh in on her thoughts of the story.

 

But first, here’s the critique of a 40+ woman.

The artwork and poetry, in The Tales of Little Lady M, can be best described as whimsical. It reminded me of Mother Goose nursery rhymes I read to my youngsters. 

In this story, everyone spoke in rhyme. Some poems like in “The Witch’s Home,” reminded me of Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham. You can tell Diego was inspired by Seuss and Mother Goose. Another possible inspiration was in regards to Little Lady M. She was an adventurous, kind girl who carried a purple backpack, which was magical. She also lived in a land where animals spoke to her. Hmm, does she sound like Dora the Explorer to you?!

Whether or not any or all of the above mentions were inspirations for Diego’s creation, I will say it was a cute story that taught children many lessons. Examples: It’s important to be kind to others. Don’t talk to strangers. Don’t enter a stranger’s home. Helping a friend in trouble can bring much happiness to yourself. My score: 4 

 

And now for my 11-year-olds thoughts.

The story, The Tales of Little Lady M is a great book, but there is just one problem. Some of the words in the book are hard to read and pronounce. For example, on page 71, when the good witch said the beginning of the spell, it just doesn’t make sense. I don’t usually like fairy tales, but some of them I love. The book The Tales of Little Lady M  is definitely one of the fairy tales I love. The rating I give it is 4 1/2 stars. 

 

KB: After much discussion, my daughter and I agreed it scored closer to 4 than 5. Therefore, when I share this review on Amazon and Goodreads, I will mark it as a 4. Here though, it will stand at 4.5!

 

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

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Hi, my name is Diego Di Mauro, and I was born in Catania, Italy.

As a child, I enjoyed playing outdoor games, watching cartoons, drawing and reading comics. I soon became a huge lover of video games – and pizza – too.

At the age of 11, I entered and won a local writing contest, with an essay celebrating the bravery of the Italian armed force “Carabinieri”.
I also co-wrote the story, dialogues and lyrics for a school play.

Computer programming quickly became my main interest, and eventually my future profession. Nonetheless, I never lost my taste for writing: over the years, I’ve written a few poems and a couple of drafts for fiction stories. The last one inspired by my first trip to Poland, back in 2013.

I’ve also painted a few portraits for relatives and friends.

I lived in Italy, US and Czech Republic, before moving to England. I visited Canada, Mexico, Germany, Poland, Portugal and Luxembourg. At the age of 16, I spent a few weeks in Australia.

“The Tales of Little Lady M” is my first published author and illustrator work.

 

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The ‘Fate of Wizardoms’ Series by Jeffrey L. Kohanek (Author Showcase)

~~ Book One ~~


In a realm where wizards rule, the ambitious contend for thrones that grant the power of a god. How can one defeat a god?

Jerrell Landish is a thief, clever, creative, and conniving to the extreme. His legendary exploits force him to use the name Jace just to remain inconspicuous. When he accepts a contract to acquire a secret, enchanted amulet, he discovers the item has already been stolen. To satisfy the leader of the Thieves’ Guild, he must track down the amulet and complete the ultimate objective:

Assassinate Wizard Lord Taladain, a man with the power of a god.

Rhoa is an acrobat, diminutive, agile, and daring. Armed with the Eye of Obscurance, she sets out to accomplish the unthinkable. Haunted by a troubled past, she cannot escape a single, all-consuming desire.

She would risk anything to see Lord Taladain dead. 

Taladain’s daughter, Narine, is a princess who recently graduated as a master wizardess. However, her father and brother seek nothing but power – one would use her to strengthen his position, the other views her as a threat to his future. 

Can she navigate troubled waters with danger lurking at every turn?

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~~ Book Two ~~

Ruthless wizards vie for a vacant throne, unaware that their actions could alter the balance of magic and the fate of the Eight Wizardoms. 

Lord Taladain is dead, the result of an exotic scheme made possible by the Eye of Obscurance, an amulet so dangerous, simply knowing it exists can bring grave danger. What if the amulet fall into the wrong hands?

With a neighboring wizardom in chaos, Wizard Lord Malvorian seeks to expand his power, capturing prayers meant for another wizard lord and strengthening his magic beyond anything ever recorded. The world will tremble should Malvorian’s power rise to that of two gods. 

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~~ Book Three ~~

Thrones lie vacant while a power-thirsty wizard lord seeks world domination.

Monsters from legend stalk the land, terrorizing the Eight Wizardoms.

The future becomes obscured from the Seers of Kelmar, the secluded sect of mystics chartered to prevent the end of the world.

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FREE AUDIOBOOK!
Legend of Shadowmar is a companion tale to the Fate of Wizardoms series, featuring Jerrell Landish before the theif
became a legend. Stream or download this 1.75-hour adventure to get a sense of the world of Wizardoms and the brilliance of narrator Travis Baldree. 

 

 

Discover a legend in the making. Jerrell Landish, the greatest thief in the eight wizardoms.When presented with the opporunity of a lifetime, young and arrogant Jerrell Landish cannot refuse. Teamed with a renowned warrior, he embarks on a quest hundreds have attempted. None returned.

His quest: Locate a legendary castle, defeat the guardian protecting it, and obtain the treasure hidden there.
If only he understood what lurked in the castle ruins.If only he understood the dangerous nature of the treasure he sought to claim.

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Breaking Eselda & Redeeming Jordyn by Tabatha Shipley (Two Book Reviews)

~ Book One: A Kingdom of Fraun series ~

Strength, humility, speed, mirth, and wisdom are perfectly balanced in the kingdom of Fraun where council leaders make decisions in the best interest of all Fraunians. Meanwhile, young Princess Eselda is being groomed to eventually take the throne of Enchenda. But as her reign draws closer and long-held secrets are revealed, she realizes that her title comes with challenges she never imagined.

In Fraun, there are rulers who will kill to keep their secrets hidden; and rulers who will kill to change the council.

What kind of ruler will Eselda be?

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

 

Murder, mystery, deception, secrets, scandals, and a love triangle await you amongst the pages of Breaking Eselda.

Eselda’s life is not dull. As she prepares to take the throne, her life is bombarded with questions. Is she ready to rule Enchenda? Should she get married? Whom should she marry? Is she prepared to birth an heir to the throne?

Being in charge of a realm is a taxing job. There are so many decisions to be made. There’s also the worry of becoming dark and malicious around your 20th birthday.

In Breaking Eselda, a lifespan isn’t nearly as long as what we have in real life. At age marker ten, a royal individual reaches full height. When he or she reaches forty annuals, their hair turns gray, and their bodies begin to fail them. Death soon follows. 

I wouldn’t want life to end this soon.

I also wouldn’t want to ride on a talking cockroach or eat earthworm stew. For sure, the only bug I would ever consider using for transportation is a Volkswagen Beetle. 😀

No, I like my bugs small, and my meals bug-free.

 

This book is labeled young adult, but even people with many years under his or her belt will find enjoyment with it as well.

 

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

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~ Book Two: A Kingdom of Fraun series ~

King Jordyn is realizing things in Fraun were not what they appeared to be. With Queen Eselda of Enchenda making the choice to side with King Tin of Sarcheda, it seems like war is coming to Fraun.

Does Jordyn have what it takes to save Fraun?

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

 

Design-wise, Breaking Eselda and Redeeming Jordyn couldn’t be any different. Breaking Eselda’s cover is bold, eye-catching; whereas, Redeeming Jordyn’s cover is dull and lifeless. When you open up the books, you’ll notice the story setups are also vastly different. Breaking Eselda has zero double spacing between lines and paragraphs while Redeeming Jordyn was littered with them. If you placed these two books side by side, you’d swear they had two different designers and editors. I also found more editing errors in Redeeming Jordyn than its predecessor. 

As for plot and execution, Redeeming Jordyn had its share of shocking developments. As with any war, people rose up to fight their oppressors. Blood was spilled, lives were lost, but it wasn’t all for naught. 

Leaders emerged, hearts mended, and the land of Fraun has hope once again. 

All in all, Redeeming Jordyn was an okay read. Was it as good as Breaking Eselda? No, but I would still recommend it to others. 😉 

 

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

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Tabatha is the author of the Kingdom of Fraun series,Projection, and 30 Days Without Wings. She believes strongly in the power of helping others and is always willing to help out a fellow writer or reader. Find and connect with her on whichever social media platform you love best.

 

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30 Days Without Wings by Tabatha Shipley (Book Showcase)

Faeries are real.

Elise is a faerie who has experienced terrible heartache and just needs a change before she is forced to choose the path she will walk forever. She will risk everything for one chance at happiness. But is the cost of the risk more than Elise bargained for?

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Here goes nothing.  My shoes make a light tapping noise on the polished floor as I make my way across it.  Normally you probably wouldn’t hear it, but the echo off the domed roof is deafening.  As my heart thuds away in my chest I have to wonder if they can hear that too.  Are they used to the children sounding nervous?  
 
The elder who walked me in takes to the air instead, crossing the chamber in half my time.  I watch her drop delicately into her seat, smiling at a few fae on either side of her.  Flying was a good idea, I wish I’d thought of it.
 
I reach the middle of the room and stop. The man before me has so much gold on his wings you can no longer see any clear.  It sends beams of light flying out in every direction around him, giving the impression that he is glowing.  He has years of impressive service to this community.  He wears a long white beard, but it doesn’t hide the youthful expression in his eyes.  I wonder what this man does for our society.
 
I tip my head downward in greeting.  “Thank you all for seeing me.”  
 
“We are here today to allow Elise an opportunity to choose the path of her future.  Today she will choose the direction of her training.  Elise, today you will tell us what future will earn color in your wings.  What say you?” the elder asks.  His voice echoes through the chamber.
 
I swallow the lump that has formed in my throat.  Here goes nothing.  “Can I request a manifest period?”  
 
There’s an audible gasp from a few of the elders assembled.  They range in age, I know.  Some are no older than me, really, but have shown themselves to be adept at their field.  Each sector of our society, each job held, has an elder who presides over it.  They are all here today to hear my choice.  Evidently, this is not what they wanted to hear.  My wings begin to flutter nervously.  They are well within their rights to tell me no, although it’s not normally done that way.  
 
“Well, yes child.  This would allow you a one-month period to travel to other colonies and decide where you would like your future to play out.”  He commands the attention of a few elders who have reverted to whispering in the back by clearing his throat.  “I believe we are surprised, Elise, because this practice is typically reserved for fae who have family in other circles.  To be blunt, my dear, we are all you have.”
 
“But I could be allowed to try?” I ask.
 
The man looks to his right.  A beautiful faerie sits along the lowest row of chairs beside him, her wings sending off silver rays instead of gold.  She is our leader.  Once she chose her path, the change was instant.  Her silver wings are rumored to have fully colored right then, in the prediction of service she would do.  It is strange that she has been our leader for as long as anyone can remember, and yet she looks so young.  Her face is thin, her eyes forgiving.  Her long white hair reaches her waist.  The hair tugs a little as she nods once to the speaker.  My eyes immediately lock back on him.  
 
“Yes, of course.  We would need to see you again in one month’s time to hear your decision.  You would be required to return for that second meeting and the decision you express at that time would be final.”
 
My heart flutters with the permission.  I’m so close now.  “That is what I wish, then.  Thank you.”
 
It has gone dangerously quiet in the chamber again.  All eyes are on me; I can feel them melting into my face.  I gulp.  They have to have the final word.  It is not official until they speak.  
 
The face of the speaking elder reveals nothing.  He remains stoic.  Finally, he nods once.  “So be it.”  

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Tabatha is the author of the Kingdom of Fraun series,Projection, and 30 Days Without Wings. She believes strongly in the power of helping others and is always willing to help out a fellow writer or reader. Find and connect with her on whichever social media platform you love best.

 

Amazon Author Page Link / Website Link

Twitter Link  / Instagram Link / Goodreads Link

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Projection by Tabatha Shipley (Book Review)

No one types anything anymore. You simply think it, and it appears on the page. Sharing a memory with friends is as easy as recalling and sending it to a screen. The ubiquitous chip implanted in everyone’s wrist has made interaction with technology seamless and natural, almost making our tech an extension of ourselves. What happens when it goes wrong?

Emma Johnson has enough problems. School, boys, and her firm-yet-aloof dad are enough to keep her on her toes. But everything falls apart when her most embarrassing thoughts and memories start to appear on any device she’s near.

Why is this happening? How can she function in a world of technology when technology seems to be out to get her? Who can she trust? Will she ever be able to find a new sense of normality?

Find out in Tabatha Shipley’s new YA Science Fiction novel, Projection!

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

Present-day, there is an RFID chip that people can get placed somewhere in their hand, under the skin, that allows a person to unlock doors. It’s an ID badge of sorts. No one has created a chip that attaches to the nervous system yet, but Elon Musk’s company NEURALINK is working on a prototype that will allow a scientist to manipulate brain synapses. It’s a highly complicated and comprehensive invention, but Elon doesn’t know the word simple.

I can understand the reasoning behind such a device mentioned above. It will help with motor function difficulties. However, I am not 100% behind a chip that allows a person to control apps with a simple mental command. I’m afraid it will malfunction or have adverse health risks if it needs to be removed. These exact two scenarios were discussed at length in Projection.

I’ll admit, there were some pros and cons to the NFC chip in this book, Projection. Projecting memories from vacations and revisiting class discussions was quite nifty. However, displaying private fantasies or misleading memories has to go on the negative pile.

Every day, there are advances in science and technology. Before long, we could all be chipped at birth. What then? When will this madness stop?

As much as I love the advances of science and technology, sometimes I worry about how far people will push the boundaries to make life ‘easier’ for humankind.

Tabatha Shipley (the author) gave us many reasons why some things should not be invented. I know Emma (character) wishes she never received the implant.

Some things are better in the land of fantasy, and this was a great fantasy read.

With that said, I must point out there were several editing errors. If you can overlook them, and I’m sure you can, you’ll discovery a book with a solid plot, likable characters, and top-notch resolution.

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤❤

 

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Tabatha is the author of the Kingdom of Fraun series,Projection, and 30 Days Without Wings. She believes strongly in the power of helping others and is always willing to help out a fellow writer or reader. Find and connect with her on whichever social media platform you love best.

Amazon Author Page LinkWebsite Link

Twitter Link Instagram LinkGoodreads Link

Facebook LinkYouTube Channel Link

 

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