Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Book Review of Sam The Speedy Sloth: An Inspirational Rhyming Bedtime Story about Being Unique, Acceptance and Confident Kids [Illustrated Early Reader for Toddlers, Pre K, Elementary School Children] by Matthew Ralph


Book Title: Sam the Speedy Sloth
Genre: Children's book
Pages: 40
Author: Matthew Ralph
Date Published: 14 September 2019

Synopsis:

Sam’s Mom hugged him and looked at her son. “There’s no one like you. You’re the only one. Comparing yourself to others, won’t get you far. Learn to love how unique you are.”

Packed with colorful rain forest and animal illustrations, this rhyming picture book follows Sam the speedy sloth as he goes on a jungle adventure. Challenging the other rain forest animals to a race, Sam learns some important life lessons along the way about being unique, self-confident and not comparing yourself to others. Children will also find a bunch of fun learning activities, including spot the difference, a word search and even fact files for the jungle animals in this book.

Perfect for ages 3-8, children will love listening to Sam’s adventure, which makes Sam the Speedy Sloth ideal for bedtime stories, group reading, or one-on-one with loving parents or grandparents.

Review:


Sam The Speedy Sloth: A children’s book about acceptance and self-confidenceSam The Speedy Sloth: A children’s book about acceptance and self-confidence by Matthew Ralph
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sam, the Speedy Sloth, is a super illustrated children's book. I loved it.

Sam is a sloth, but not a typical one. He likes to race around and is the fastest sloth in the forest. In this story, he challenges several different animals to race with him. I love this sloth. He is super cute and determined.

This storybook is an ideal stocking filler for Christmas if you are still looking for presents. The author has cleverly rhymed the words, so the story flows off the tongue as one reads it. It is also beautifully illustrated by Khansadk. The pictures are bright and vibrant and show the story for those who cannot read yet and need a little help from the parents, and it compliments the author's words entirely. Sam is a superb character who learns a valuable lesson as the story progresses. The child/children reading this book also learn that it is not always essential to be the fastest or the best at everything they do. However, I feel they will enjoy Sam's journey as it also encourages children to be self-confident but not arrogant, kind and humble.

At the end of the book, there are a few puzzles and activities for the children to complete. It may work better with the paper versions rather than the ebook, but they can still be lots of fun to do. Not sure I'd recommend doing this section at bedtime, but it depends on the parents, so I'll leave that decision up to you.

I highly recommend this book to children aged 3 to 8, and to adults who are looking for a fun, educational book for their little ones. - Lynn Worton

View all my reviews


About The Author:


Picture from Amazon

Matthew Ralph is a children's book author who lives in London, England.

When he is not busy writing his next book, he enjoys drinking tea, eating fish & chips and waving at The Queen.

If you would like to learn more about him, please visit his Author Profile on Amazon, or contact him on mattralphthewriter@gmail.com.

Matthew always enjoys hearing from his lovely readers as well as reading your comments. If you liked this book, please leave a review :)

Author Links:


Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Book Review of Bodgit and Fixit's Space Adventure by Chris Goodyear



Book Title: Bodgit and Fixit's Space Adventure
Genre: Children's book
Pages: 14
Author: Chris Goodyear
Date Published: 13 March 2019

Synopsis:

A brightly illustrated book featuring best friends Bodgit bear and Fixit rabbit.
Created and written by Chris Goodyear, these best friends share their amazing
imaginary adventure to the moon and back in a rocket they build together.
Also featured in this book are Bodgit and Fixit's furry facts and 5 interactive
missions for the reader to complete.

Review:


Bodgit and Fixit's Space AdventureBodgit and Fixit's Space Adventure by Chris Goodyear
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Bodgit and Fixit's Space Adventure is a fantastic illustrated children's book. I loved it!

Bodgit and Fixit are the best of friends. Bodgit (5) is a teddy bear, and Fixit (6) is a rabbit. They both have a vivid imagination, and one day during the holidays they decided to ride a rocket to the moon. But first, they need to build it. Their space adventure is exciting, and they have a lot of fun. However, they have to be home in time for tea (dinner), so they return to Earth.

This book is only fourteen pages long, but there is a lot packed between those pages. I don't know if the author is also the illustrator, but if so, the author did a fantastic job. (Edited to say: the illustrator is Sam Jones). The pictures are beautifully drawn and coloured and complement the story perfectly. At the end of the book, there are five fun activities for children to do: a counting puzzle, a Word Search, a Maze puzzle, a Spot the Difference, and Trace the Line puzzle. Plus there are facts interspersed throughout about various subjects. One thing I can see is the potential for Bodgit and Fixit to become real as plush toys. They are so cute! I'd buy them, so children would love them too.

The story is engaging. I feel that children would love to read this book. It is difficult to say what age range this book would attract. The artwork would appeal to children aged 4 upwards, but the font used and the way the writing is presented would confound a new young reader. In my opinion, I feel that depending on reading ability, this book would be suitable for children aged 4 to look at with parents, but for children to read it on their own, I'd say they would have to be at least 6, 7 or 8 and above.

Chris Goodyear is a debut author and judging by this book, is well on the way to be a fantastic children's book writer. Although I am not the intended audience, I love the intricate details (though simple language) the author uses to tell a story. I will be interested to see what the author comes up with in the future.

I highly recommend this book to children and adults alike. - Lynn Worton

View all my reviews

Purchase Links:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

About the Author:

Unfortunately, as this is a debut author, there doesn't seem to be any information available.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

It's been too long part two

So.  We were talking about me.  OK, OK, I was, am talking about me.  And right now the next pic is perfect to tell you guys where I am at in my life

Not because I am stressed.
Not because I am running against the clock
but because I feel as if I am missing out on a lot of joy I used to have and which is not lost or misplaced but kinda hipbutted to the side to make space for other joyful things. 
It is not as if I want to go back to my roots.  I want to make space for all the joy everything gives me.  So.  While every body else is Marie Kondo'ing their homes.  I am doing the same but inside my head.  I am making place for some extra spark of joy. 

Anything you need to hit pause on/

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

It has been too long.

Yes the pic above says all their is too say about this.

But...

I might have a few things I need to get off of my chest as well.  So for now, I will be telling you what has happened in my life to make me ..... well get a life I guess is the best way to describe it.

When Facebook really hit everything, I joined.  And had NO friends, for months.  I played a game, and at that stage was still rather active on the James Patterson Blog site where, as it happens I met some amazing people.  Denise Jones, Christine Bonner and so many others that still to this day brighten my day and add that little va va voom to my step.  So as the Patterson site started to give problems I convinced more and more of my friends to join Facebook, only to hear that they were (some at least) were on Facebook already. 

Why now, I figured I would have some friends....
And I did. 
Soon I saw these post fly by.  Free....today only..... the first book in XYZ trilogy on Amazon and I recall still replying on those posts asking if it would be alright if I shared those free books... yeah I know.  It luckily did not take me long to figure out that me sharing it etc etc etc was doing the authors a world of good.  But the why behind it all I did not get. 

So there I was.  All these free books, all these reading friends and my game on Facebook.  Could life get any better? Maybe, maybe not.  But for a long time I was as happy as a clam working, signing onto Facebook, going home, watching television, back then the idea of BINGING was not even born since even the DVD rental shops held at most the first two DVD's in a series.... if that.  Then I would go onto Facebook and basically serve for hours with no intent and no discontent.  At that stage of my life that was what I needed.  And thank goodness I had it. 

Then... well, you will have to wait a bit cause this is a rather long story and I will bore you to tears if I dropped it all on you in one go.  And no my friend.  You do not deserve to be bored.  Ever.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Book Review of The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen


Book Title: The Girl Who Chased the Moon
Genre: Literary Fiction
Pages: 272
Author: Sarah Addison Allen
Date Published: 17 February 2011

Synopsis:

Emily Benedict came to Mullaby, North Carolina, hoping to solve at least some of the riddles surrounding her mother's life. But the moment Emily enters the house where her mother grew up and meets the grandfather she never knew, she realises that mysteries aren't solved in Mullaby, they're a way of life. Here are rooms where the wallpaper changes to suit your mood. Unexplained lights skip across the yard at midnight. And a neighbour, Julia Winterson, bakes hope in the form of cakes, offering them to satisfy the town's sweet tooth - but also in the hope of rekindling a love she fears might be lost forever. Can a hummingbird cake really bring back a lost love? Is there really a ghost dancing in Emily's backyard? The answers are never what you expect. But in this town of lovable misfits, the unexpected fits right in.

Review:


The Girl Who Chased the MoonThe Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Girl Who Chased the Moon is a lovely tale. I enjoyed it a lot.

Emily Benedict is an interesting character. I liked her as soon as she was introduced. After her mom passes away, she arrives in Mullaby, North Carolina, to stay with her grandfather as he's now her legal guardian. Her mother never discussed her childhood, so Emily is eager to learn about it. Unfortunately, many of the residents of Mullaby blame Emily's mother for the death of one of them. As Emily delves into the mystery surrounding her mother's past, she meets the mysterious Win Coffey, whose relative died all those years ago.

This story is told through the eyes of several characters, though Emily is one of the main ones. The other characters involved are her grandfather, Vance Shelby, Julia, a young woman who owns and runs a barbecue house and bakery, Sawyer Alexander, a school mate and old fling of Julia's, and Win Coffey, a teenager with a family secret.

When I first read the synopsis in my local library, I thought that this book would be a young adult paranormal fairy tale, so I borrowed it. However, I was completely wrong - in a good way. It is a story about loss - lost love and opportunities - and love and redemption. There is magic in the pages, not just the wallpaper that changes in Emily's bedroom.

The story takes the reader on an emotional roller coaster ride, and once I began reading it, I didn't put it down until I'd finished it; I am finding it difficult to articulate my feelings about this book. Emily's journey to uncover her mother's possible role in the suicide of Wyn's uncle because of a family secret, and the sweet romance between the two teens, touched me deeply. I also loved the subplot of Julia and Sawyer's past, present and future. The author artfully pulled me into the story, and when it ended, I was left with mixed feelings - happy at the way it ended but sad that it had finished. *Spoiler* Though I would have liked to have seen what happened when Maddie met with Julia and Sawyer. Nevertheless, I was left with a bittersweet feeling.

Sarah Addison Allen has written a heart-rending, as well as a heart-warming tale that held me captive from beginning to end. I love her writing style but found the shift in viewpoints a little unsettling at first, though I enjoyed the pacing. The story flowed well too. I would definitely consider reading more of this author's books in the future.

Although there are no explicit scenes of a sexual nature, there is mention of it. However, I would highly recommend this book to young teens (13 up) and adults who love literary fiction, family sagas or romance novels. - Lynn Worton

View all my reviews

About the Author:

Author photograph credit: Melissa Markis

Sarah Addison Allen is the New York Times bestselling author of Garden Spells, The Sugar Queen, The Girl Who Chased the Moon and The Peach Keeper. She lives in North Carolina, where her novels are set.

Author Links:

You can discover more at:


Find Sarah on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sarahaddisonallen

Or follow her on Twitter @SarahAddisonAll.

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Book Review of No Freedom: An A.I. Thriller by Inge-Lise Goss @IngeGoss



Book Title: No Freedom: An A.I. Thriller
Genre: Crime Thriller/Horror/Suspense
Pages: 321
Author: Inge-Lise Goss
Date Published: 18 January 2019

Synopsis:

Will humans survive the android uprising?

Paislee Hobson is born into a world struggling after a war that killed most of the world’s population. Rebuilding has been accomplished through androids developed by and under the control of The Institute. The human population has been divided into strata.

Paislee, a legal clerk, is a member of the upper stratum. Her recent boyfriend dumped her. To avoid another heartache, she purchases a human-looking android companion, Pellegrin. No one suspects Pellegrin is not human. He arouses and satisfies all her desires and is a polished companion and conversationalist in public.

When strange things begin to happen around the courthouse, people start acting mysteriously. Some disappear and others are murdered. Pellegrin’s true identity surfaces as he slowly and methodically takes over all aspects of Paislee’s life. She is in turmoil trying to find a way out. The love of her youth appears and she longs for a life that is denied to her.

Can Paislee regain her freedom or is she doomed to a life under Pellegrin’s control?

Review:


No Freedom: An A.I. ThrillerNo Freedom: An A.I. Thriller by Inge-Lise Goss
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review 4.5 rounded up to 5*

This book is a fantastic dystopian thriller. I loved it!

Paislee Hobson is a character I struggled to connect with at first, but as I read more of the story, I liked her a little more, though her paranoia began to annoy me, even though it was justified. Paislee is a paralegal living in a future world that has gone through a cataclysmic war that left the humans struggling to cope with the aftermath. Androids were developed by The Institute to help the remaining citizens rebuild the world. When Paislee's boyfriend dumps her, she purchases an android as a companion. But as Pellegrin's hold on her life tightens, an old flame reappears, and strange and deadly events threaten her life.

When I heard that this book had been released, I purchased it without reading the synopsis. The reason for this is that I've read other books by this author and knew I was in for a thrilling adventure. I wasn't wrong!

I started reading this book, told through Paislee's POV, and was immediately hooked. As the story unfolded, I found myself convulsively reading, but dreading it at the same time. Have you ever sat watching a movie with your hands over your face because the suspense is killing you and you can't watch it, but you don't want to miss anything either? This is what I felt while reading this book. The author skillfully builds the suspense so you don't know whether you should be cheering for Paislee or not, or liking Pellegrin or not. This story has the futuristic feel of Minority Report and iRobot but also reminded me slightly of one of the author's other thriller series, Tegans. There are several twists that kept me guessing, and I found myself waiting for the other shoe to drop. Pellegrin is a scary villain. He's a control freak, and his attitude is one of a dangerous psychopath and master manipulator, but this could also be Paislee's paranoia talking. His identity and role at The Institute is a mystery, but I had a feeling when reading this book that it's not what I think it may be. Then again, he could exactly be who I think he may be. I love books like this. I've always been interested in robots/androids as a concept but would be completely scared if AI ever got this powerful. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad, but it's my fear of the unknown talking, and until I learn otherwise, I'm keeping my worries alive. I guess I'll have to read the next book to find out what happens next, as the book ends on a small cliffhanger, and I can't wait.

Inge-Lise Goss has written an intriguing dystopian thriller full of mystery and suspense. I love her writing style, which is fast-paced, and the flow's fantastic. I am curious to see what this author comes up with in the future.

Although there is mention of sex, there are no explicit scenes and tends to fade out. I do not recommend this book to younger readers due to some violence. However, I highly recommend this book if you love science fiction, dystopian, horror, suspense, and thriller genres. - Lynn Worton

View all my reviews

About The Author:



Inge-Lise Goss loves the journeys where her characters take her, and she hopes her readers do too. She was born in Denmark, raised in Utah and graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Utah. She is a Certified Public Accountant and worked in that field for over twenty years. She now lives in the foothills of Red Rock Canyon with her husband and their dog, Bran, where she spends most of her time in her den writing stories. There, with her muse by her side, imagination has no boundaries and dreams come alive. When she’s not pounding away on the keyboard she can be found reading, rowing, or trying to perfect her golf game, which she fears is a lost cause.

Author Links:

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Book Review of Blanket of Snow (After the Storm Book 1) by Dianna Hardy



Book Title: Blanket of Snow
(After the Storm Book 1)
Genre: Dark Fantasy/Urban Fantasy
Pages: 60
Author: Dianna Hardy 
Date Published: 7 January 2019

Synopsis:

An Eye of the Storm Novelette

Four months have passed since the night of the fatal storm, and "peace on earth" has never felt so good despite the pack's sorrow at the loss of family and dear friends; sorrow that cut deeply over Christmas, and during last week’s wedding.

Mated to three, and now married into the Gunvald lineage, Lydia has taken comfort and security in her she-wolf, the animal's strength and wisdom taking her deep into the still-uncharted territory of Lawrence's wooded home – now her wooded home.

But storms come in many guises, and as the January snow clouds gather overhead, Lydia's finally forced to confront the secret she's been keeping from everyone, including herself.

Publisher's Notes: After the Storm is a series of novelettes that take place at relevant points in the immediate months and years after Eye of the Storm. They concentrate on the healing our characters need to go through after everything that happened. They all stand on their own and do not need to be read in any order, nor do they need to be read to understand any of the other series set in this world - they are additional reads for fans. And for anyone who doesn't wish to read them, the healing simply takes place off-stage.

Review:


Blanket of Snow (After the Storm Book 1)Blanket of Snow by Dianna Hardy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Blanket of Snow is a novelette in a new series called After the Storm and is an off-shoot of the Eye of the Storm series.

Lydia and her three mates, Lawrence, Ryan, and Taylor, have weathered the storm that threatened to tear them apart. In this novelette, Lydia is hiding a secret and worried about it being exposed, and what her mates would think about it. She flees into the woods and stumbles onto a mystery - a deserted house with a terrible history. As snow begins to fall, Lydia must find the courage to face the future while dealing with the tragic past.

I've been wanting to read more about the mated four, so when I heard that this novelette was in the works, I was excited. It is hard to write a review to this book without giving out spoilers, so all I will say is that I loved this story. Told through Lydia's POV, it was a pleasure meeting the four wolves once more. I was a little disappointed that this story is only a novelette but glad that the author decided to write it to show a little more closure for the characters, as the two spin-off series continues without them (much). I am looking forward to reading the next novelette in the series - I think it's from Taylor's POV and I can't wait!

Dianna Hardy is one of my favourite romance authors (she writes both paranormal/urban fantasy and contemporary romance), she has a way of expressing so much emotion through her written words - they're incredibly moving. I love her writing style, which is fast paced and exciting. The flow is fantastic too. Reading her books are a joy, and I will continue to read them for as long as she keeps writing them.

Unlike other books by this author, this book doesn't have any romantic scenes of explicit content, though what scenes there are, aren't as detailed as other series written by her. I highly recommend this book (and series) if you love contemporary or paranormal romances, dark fantasy and urban fantasy genres. - Lynn Worton

View all my reviews

Purchase Links:

                 

About The Author:



"Whether paranormal or contemporary, the one thing all my stories have in common is the fight for what you really want from life." (Dianna Hardy)

Dianna Hardy is a UK-based, international bestselling author of The Witching Pen series, and the Eye Of The Storm series. She combines a titillating mix of contemporary and paranormal romance, as well as urban and dark fantasy, into her writing, to bring you stories that are action-packed, fast-paced and not short of heat, with the focus on both character development and the plot. She writes full-length novels and short fiction. She has also written poetry (first published in 1997) and esoteric books and articles. Nowadays, she chooses to concentrate on writing fiction.

In December 2012, Releasing The Wolf hit the Kindle Paranormal Fantasy charts in both the US and the UK, where it stayed for three months, enjoying a highest ranking of #20. The first two books in the Eye of The Storm series have enjoyed success in the top 100 of Fantasy charts on Kindle US and Kindle UK, and all books in the series to date have reached the top 100 of the Fantasy iTunes charts in the Netherlands, Norway, Australia and the UK, with Heart Of The Wolf (book 3) reaching #1 in Denmark.

The Witching Pen series, 'Til Death Do Us Part and A Silver Kiss, have also hit the top 100 of Kindle and iBooks charts (Fantasy, Romance and Horror) in a number of different countries worldwide.

Although quite active online, Dianna prefers the quiet company of nature and animals to the hustle and bustle of people. She loves anything paranormal (she doesn't really consider it "para"), organic food, walking barefoot, the smell of the woods after rain, and summer days.

However, she is also sustained by coffee, chocolate and the occasional vodka.

Having graduated from Richmond Drama School (London) in '98, she spent the next few years in a multitude of jobs (both acting and non-acting), studying anything that fascinated her, searching her soul, and finally found her passion where it had always been: at the end of a pen.

She currently lives in South Hampshire, UK with her partner and their daughter, where she writes full-time.

Official site: diannahardy.com