Monday, November 29, 2021

Review of My Beautiful Curly Hair

 My Beautiful Curly Hair

by Kiana Holder and Arya Holder

 

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GENRE:   Children's

 

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BLURB:

 

This is a story about a little girl who struggles with keeping her hair neat all the time, but grows to love and accept her wild and messy hair.

Kiana and Arya think having messy hair is more fun. Keeping your hair neat all the time is a lot of work.

 

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Excerpt:

When I am home... I like to play in my toy room. I build forts and princess castles and pretend I’m a firefighter or a princess.

But even when I’m just playing, my hair still gets messy!

Messy hair comes in all different styles, colours, shapes and sizes.

I know I’m not the only one whose hair gets messy. I see it happen to my mommy, my dad, my sister, my cousins and my friends.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Review: 

This is an amazing little story about a girl who is self-conscious about her hair. What child hasn’t gone through this? This little girl tries many things to tame her hair, but despite her efforts, her hair does its natural thing.

 

People tell the girl that she is beautiful the way she is, but she insists on continuing to try to get her hair under control with ponytails, barrettes, bonnets and more. Readers follow her through her daily life as she relates her activities to her hair efforts. The story is cute, as is the character.

 

The illustrations are eye-catching, and an important lesson is here for children: they should know that they are beautiful no matter what. This is a great tale for children, but adults can enjoy it too.


 

AUTHOR Bio and Links:


 

Kiana and Arya are a mother-daughter duo who enjoy reading. The storyline for this book came from Arya's and Kiana's childhood experiences.

 

CONNECT WITH KIANA & ARYA

 

WEBSITE: https://worldofkicreations.ca/

 

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/mybeautifulcurlyhairbook/

 

 

PURCHASE LINKS     

 

AMAZON.COM

https://amazon.com/dp/0228848423

         

BARNES & NOBLE

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/my-beautiful-curly-hair-kiana-holder/1139568832

         

BOOK DEPOSITORY

https://www.bookdepository.com/My-Beautiful-Curly-Hair-Kiana-Holder-Arya-Holder/9780228848424

 

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION:

 

Kiana Holder and Arya Holder will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here:


http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/28e4345f3925


Please follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 

 

https://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2021/09/review-tour-my-beautiful-curly-hair-by.html



Friday, November 26, 2021

Welcome to author Martin Dukes

 A Moment In Time


by Martin Dukes

 

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GENRE: YA Fantasy

 

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BLURB:

 

Alex Trueman has just turned fifteen. He's a typical teenager, a bit spotty, a bit nerdy and he's not exactly popular at school, not being one of the 'cool' kids. His tendency to day-dream doesn't exactly help him to be cool. either! But being cool isn't as good as the talent Alex discovers he has - stopping time.

 

Yes that's right. Stopping time!

 

Well, for everyone except Alex, that is, who finds that whilst everyone else is caught in a moment in time, he is able to carry on as normal. Maybe not quite 'normal', after all, he's able to stop time, and whilst that's not exactly as good as a certain 'boy wizard', it's pretty close!

The only trouble is that reality for Alex isn't always what is seems, and being plunged into an alternative can be a bit tricky, not to mention the fact that he makes an enemy almost as soon as he arrives, which tends to cause a problem.

 

Will Alex Trueman, nerdy daydreamer, be able to return to reality or will he be stuck forever in his alternative? Is a moment in time enough for Alex to discover the superhero he needs is probably himself?

 

A Moment in Time is the debut novel of author Martin Dukes, and is the first in a series of Alex Trueman Chronicles, which take the reader, along with Alex, into a bedazzling world of time travel, alternative reality and flying sea creatures. His further adventures include the past, possibly the future and definitely a fight to save reality itself.

 

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Excerpt:

 

“What on earth are you doing?” rang Alex’s mum’s voice from behind him, and then “Oh!” as she took in the scene of the accident. The two girls were led past Alex. He gaped. There was something so familiar about that girl, and as she passed their eyes met. There were tears in hers – anguish, shock – and then as she passed by a glimmer of recognition. Alex almost called out, but what was there to say? Then she was gone, her head turned away once more as the crowd swallowed her up. His mum was scolding him, grabbing at his arm, but Alex hardly heard. He remained frozen, watching until the two girls vanished inside the police station. Then he allowed himself to be drawn away back towards the High Street, letting his mum’s complaints wash over him.

 

“… out of your pocket money,” she was saying. “Great clumsy clot. And running off like that. What on earth did you think you were doing?”

 

A stranger appeared at Alex’s side, a young man with a struggling goatee beard and a kindly face. He wore an ill-fitting suit. Before Alex could react, the stranger had taken his hand and pressed something into it. Alex glanced down. It was a page torn from a jotter with a name and a telephone number scrawled upon it. Alex looked up.

 

“Come on,” called his mum impatiently from up ahead.

 

But the young man had gone. Alex glanced wildly up and down the street. He looked at the paper again. ‘Kelly’ was the name.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

I’ve always been a writer. It’s not a choice. It’s a compulsion, and I’ve been writing as long as I can remember. Lots of childish scribbles in notebooks, lots of rejection slips from publishers and agents testify to a craft long in the making. In addition, it has proved necessary to earn a living by other means whilst those vital skills mature. For thirty-eight years I taught Art and Graphic Design, thirty-seven of them in a wonderful independent girls’ school in Birmingham, UK. For much of the latter part of this career I was Head of Department, which gave me the opportunity to place my own stamp on Art education there, sharing with the pupils there my own love of Art and the History of Art. Over a decade I was able to lead annual visits to Florence, Venice and Rome (some of my favourite places on the planet) as destinations on my Renaissance Tour. These visits created memories that I shall cherish for the rest of my life.

 

I love history in general, reading history as much as I read fiction. I have a particular interest in the ancient world but I am also fascinated with medieval times and with European history in general. This interest informs my own writing to the extent that human relationships and motivations are a constant throughout the millennia, and there is scarcely a story that could be conceived of that has not already played itself out in some historical context. There is much to learn from observing and understanding such things, much that can be usefully applied to my own work.

 

Teaching tends to be a rather time-consuming activity. Since retiring, I have been able to devote much more of my time to writing, and being taken on by the brilliant Jane Murray of Provoco Publishing has meant that I am finally able to bring my work to the reading public’s attention. I like to think that my ideas are original and that they do not readily fall into existing tropes and categories.

 

I am not a particularly physical being. I was always terrible at sport and have rather poor physical coordination (as though my body were organised by a committee rather than a single guiding intelligence!). I tend to treat my body as a conveyance for my head, which is where I really dwell. My writing typically derives from dreams. There is a sweet spot between sleeping and waking which is where my ideas originate. I always develop my stories there. When I am writing it feels as though the content of my dreams becomes real through the agency of my fingers on the keyboard. I love the English language, the rich majesty of its vocabulary and its rhythmic possibilities. My arrival at this stage could hardly be describes as precocious. However, at the age of sixty-two, I feel that I have arrived at a place where I can create work of value that others may appreciate and enjoy. 

 

https://provoco-publishing.com/martin-dukes

 

Twitter - @MartinDukes5

 

www.mdukes-wildestdreams.com

 

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Where do characters come from?

 

One way of looking at books is to recognise that they essentially consist of two main structural elements: the world that is its context, and the characters that inhabit it. That world might be considered to be the stage on which the characters enact the drama that the writer creates for them. Naturally, the writer must create a stage that is appropriate to the needs of the story to be told and present this in a way that enhances and supports it. If the writer spends too much energy on the embellishment of this stage, it may be that the story lags and they lose the interest of the reader. Conversely, if the stage is too sparsely furnished, it may be that the story loses the quality of ‘immersion’ that readers appreciate when reading a good book. Balance is everything.

 

The same is true of character development; the actors who walk this stage and bring the drama to life. Characters should be believable, consistent and detailed, in a manner that reflects their contribution to the story. Stories that are heavily character driven may furnish us with such detail at the expense of action. This is clearly a valid choice, as many readers find ‘immersion’ in identifying with highly detailed and richly illustrated characters, even if the story offers little in terms of action or development. Consistency, on the other hand, is a vital quality in maintaining the illusion of reality that the writer strives to promote. Believability is crucial. A reader may quickly disengage with a drama in which a character acts in a manner that apparently contradicts what the writer has earlier led them understand about them. Accordingly, the creation of believable characters is one of the key functions of the writer.

 

In order to address this task successfully, I think it is necessary for the writer to be an acute observer of the people around them. This may emerge from a conscious process of observation and recording (I know of people who keep notebooks for this purpose), but I imagine this is largely subconscious for most writers, and their observations only emerge from that subconscious when fingers are placed to the keyboard. It is very common to find disclaimers stating that resemblances to real people are purely coincidental, but I think it quite likely that authors have people that they know in mind when creating and deploying their characters. Such a process gives us the opportunity to take ingredients from several people of our acquaintance, mixing them together to make an amalgam that combines various of their characteristics. We can succeed in this, so long as the ingredients of our mix survive the test of consistency, and create a character that is ultimately believable.

 

I’m sure that writers look at themselves when creating some of their characters, even if their MC does not represent themselves in any immediately recognisable way. Speaking for myself, I should admit that Alex Trueman represents a version of myself. This is not in the sense that he thinks and behaves in a way that those who know me might recognise. Rather, it is that Alex functions as a form of avatar. This avatar can be placed in notional situations, in order that I may imagine how I might respond to them. There is an element of self-indulgence in this, an element of wondering how I could have responded differently to events in my life, if I was able to re-wind and re-live them. I think part of the writer’s art is setting up situations that the reader can identify with and enjoy the character’s response accordingly. Naturally, the creation of a thoroughly credible character is essential to the creation of this relationship.

 

‘Goodies’ and ‘Baddies’, in the traditional sense, are likely to feature amongst the writer’s cast of characters. Each need to be credible/believable entities, and the writer needs to guard against generating cardboard cut-out, two dimensional characters, such as those that might inhabit a pantomime. The richest and most detailed characters are those that are flawed in some way, as writers and dramatists have known since the days of Aeschylus and Aristophanes. ‘Good’ characters with frailties and weaknesses are all the more interesting and credible for it. Likewise, our understanding of the term ‘evil’ usually requires us to supply such motivations as jealousy, greed or vindictiveness to explain a character’s behaviour. Sheer undifferentiated malice is generally not enough on its own. In addition, an interesting back story can often set a character’s wicked behaviour in context and offer some mitigation for it. My character, Ganymede, is selfish and vindictive, taking real pleasure from the arbitrary exercise of power, a bully, in fact. However, he genuinely has the broader interests of his people at heart and his actions are governed by an acute understanding of human nature.

In my view, really interesting characters emerge from the relationship between their innate characteristics and the challenges that the writer presents them with. Essentially, the story acts as a ‘sand-box’ in which we can test the capabilities of each character. This is the philosophy that informs my own writing but I would very interested to hear other writers’ and readers’ views on this.


 

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION:

 

Martin Dukes will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


Enter here:


http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/28e4345f3951

 

Please follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: https://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2021/10/vbt-moment-in-time-by-martin-dukes.html








Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Review of Epic Life

 Epic Life

by Jon Daugherty

 

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GENRE: Children's

 

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BLURB:

 

Teaching our next generation about financial freedom so that they can have an epic life is so important. Tatum and his mom are going to show you how to get there in a fun and creative way. Follow them on this journey by planting your own money trees so that we can grow wealth. Let us break old financial habits and create new ones. By doing this we must act differently than everyone else in order to have an epic life.

 

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Review: Tatum is a clever little fellow with grand ideas. When he and his mother go into a bank, he misunderstands what is happening. Why is his mom giving them money? Tatum can think of a much better thing to do with it: buy a fast car! 

 

In a cute story, we follow as Tatum’s mother shows him something. She brings him to a delightful place and asks him questions to help him discover things. As children read them, they are sure to be inspired to answer those questions for themselves.

 

The illustrations are bright and cheerful, as are the characters. Tatum’s mom giggles often, and there is some repetition. 

 

The message learned is fun and relatable. It is an entertaining way for children to learn an important lesson.


Excerpt:

 

After anxiously waiting for his mom to be done, Tatum finally got to ask her. . . . 

 

“Instead of giving that lady OUR money, why don’t we get rid of that rusty old car and buy the new Turbo Sport 3000, like Mr. D over there?”

 

“He-he-he,” his mom giggled. She calmly replied, “Let me show you.”

 

After driving for what felt like infinity hours to Tatum, they arrived at . . . an apple orchard?! 

 

The rusty old car stopped. Tatum asked, “What does a Turbo Sport 3000 have to do with apples?” 

 

“He-he-he,” his mom giggled and said, “come with me, and I’ll explain everything.”

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 


Author Jon Daugherty was born and raised in Kelowna, British Columbia, starting as an educational assistant. He now works and resides in Fort McMurray, Alberta, and is hoping to share his passion for financial growth to other families. As a father, Jon believes it is important to teach today's youth about financial freedom.

 

CONNECT WITH JON

 

WEBSITE: https://authorjondaugherty.com/ 

 

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/author.jondaugherty/ 

 

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/author.jondaugherty/?fbclid=IwAR25KaAefXRYMr3kRgON7BSj5grCeZ6zHT6bIkv2pJdvj4FRdVFerKeUumQ

 

 

PURCHASE LINKS    

 

AMAZON.COM

https://amazon.com/dp/1777182301

KINDLE

https://amazon.com/dp/B0892CR99D

BOOKSHOP

https://bookshop.org/books/epic-life/9781777182304

BARNES & NOBLE

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/epic-life-jon-daugherty/1137023212

BOOK DEPOSITORY

https://www.bookdepository.com/Epic-Life-Jon-Daugherty-Bonnie-Lemaire/9781777182304

 

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

 

Barry Finlay will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

 


Enter here:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/28e4345f3894


Please follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: https://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2021/08/review-tour-epic-life-by-jon-daugherty.html 






Monday, November 22, 2021

Review of What it Means to Be Me

 What It Means to Be Me 


by Danielle Dawn Falk

 

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GENRE:   Children's

 

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BLURB:

 

"I am me as can be . . ."

Encouraging and heartfelt, "What It Means to Be Me" takes readers on an inspiring journey of self-discovery and self-worth. Written in rhyme, this engaging read about learning, dreaming and growing is meant for absolutely anyone to connect with the message of this sweet story.

Read along and celebrate everything it means to be your own true self.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Excerpt:

 

I am like the wind, the clouds, the grass, and the sun.

I walk where I want; I dance and run.

I have a heart full of love and a head full of dreams,

And the dreams that I dream are as big as the sea.

This is what it means to be me.

 

 

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Review:

This is a great story highlighting the importance of inclusiveness and celebrating differences. There is also a message for everyone to find happiness in their own uniqueness.

 

The illustrations are bright and cheery. The background colors behind the words pop and sparkle with optimism. The children in the pictures dream big, inspiring others to do so. Night and day, kids from different backgrounds are featured. 

 

Sometimes they will shine, and at other times they will have choices to make. If they only believe in themselves, everything will come out okay. Faith in oneself is an important theme within the pages of this story. Being unique is a good thing! Children who read this could see how this is so while they also see that accepting others is also positive.

 

AUTHOR Bio and Links:


 

Danielle Dawn Falk has a lifelong passion for writing. Growing up, she often struggled with feelings of being unaccepted, as well as not fitting in with her peers. When she became a mother, some of her goals were to help her son and daughter realize how unique and special they are, while at the same time, teaching them to show acceptance and compassion toward everyone else. She hopes that through her writing, she will inspire her children, as well as many others, to do just that.


Danielle lives with her family on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada.



CONNECT WITH DANIELLE DAWN FALK


WEBSITE - https://danielledawnfalk.com/

FACEBOOK - https://www.facebook.com/Danielle-Falk-Author-101871652226480

INSTAGRAM - https://www.instagram.com/daniellefalkauthor/

 

 

PURCHASE LINKS WHAT IT MEANS TO BE ME             

 

AMAZON.COM - https://www.amazon.com/dp/0228851211

 

AMAZON.CA - https://www.amazon.ca/dp/0228851211

 

AMAZON KINDLE - https://www.amazon.com/What-Means-Danielle-Dawn-Falk-ebook/dp/B09DBNZS7F/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=what+it+means+to+be+me+danielle+falk&qid=1630360341&sr=8-1

 

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION:

 

Danielle Dawn Falk will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


Enter here:


http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/28e4345f3950


Please follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:  

 

https://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2021/10/review-tour-what-it-means-to-be-me-by.html




Thursday, November 18, 2021

Welcome to author Lee Edward Födi

 Spell Sweeper


by Lee Edward Födi

 

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GENRE: Children’s Middle Grade Fantasy

 

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BLURB:

 

There's nothing magical about wizard school

. . . at least, not for Cara Moone.

 

Most wizard kids spend their days practicing spells and wielding wands, but Cara? She’s on the fast track to becoming a MOP (a.k.a. Magical Occurrence Purger). You see, when a real wizard casts a spell, it leaves behind a residue called spell dust—which, if not disposed of properly, can cause absolute chaos in the nonmagical world. It’s a MOP’s job to clean up the mess.

 

And no one makes more of a mess than Harlee Wu. Believed to be the Chosen One, destined to save the magical world, Harlee makes magic look easy. Which makes her Cara’s sworn nemesis. Or she would be, if she even knew Cara existed.

 

Then one of Harlee’s spells leaves something downright dangerous behind it: a rift in the fabric of magic itself. And when more rifts start to appear around the school, all in places Harlee has recently used magic, Cara is pretty sure the so-called “Chosen One” isn’t going to save the world. She’s going to destroy it.

 

It will take more than magic to clean up a mess this big. Fortunately, messes are kind of Cara’s thing.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 


Excerpt:

 

* * *

Brooms aren’t for flying, 

 

not even when it comes to wizards

* * *

 

These are the essential items in a spell sweeper’s kit:

 

Broom

Most people think broom + wizard = flying. But take it from someone who actually attends wizard school—no one straddles a broom and jumps from the top of a Dragonsong tower unless they’ve drunk too much of Madame Kree’s secret-recipe Halloween punch.

 

Goggles

Good for protecting your eyes from residue splatter or from the venom that an attacking creature might spray in your direction. I only use them when absolutely necessary because even wizards don’t seem to have conjured up a solution for preventing fog-up.

 

Sweeper scarf

These are woven from the fiber of elf’s breath (a very purple and very pretty plant), which has excellent properties for filtering out toxic fumes. We wear our scarves around our necks and pull them up around our faces when required. 

 

Steel-toed boots

Because when dragons stomp, they apparently don’t mess around.

 

Gloves

Made with special residue-repellant material. A pretty good idea, because you definitely don’t want magical gunk under your fingernails.

 

Utility belt

Next to my broom, this is my most important piece of equipment because it’s where I store my broom snippers and vials of stain removers and neutralizers. 

 

 

 

Barricade tape

When we do a purge in Bliss territory, it’s procedure to rope off the entire area to ensure no one stumbles upon any magical activity. Our tape reads: Chemical Spill Containment Site: Do Not Cross—because no Bliss would take Danger: Feral Magic at Work seriously.

 

Miniature dustpan

Useful in both the wizarding and the Bliss worlds.

 

Flashlight

Same.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

AUTHOR Bio and Links:


 

Lee Edward Födi is an author, illustrator, and specialized arts educator—or, as he likes to think of himself, a daydreaming expert. He is the author of several books for children, including The Secret of Zoone and the Kendra Kandlestar series. He is a co-founder of the Creative Writing for Children Society (CWC), a not-for-profit program that helps kids write their own books. He has the joy of leading workshops for kids in Canada, the US, Korea, China, Thailand, and other places here and there. Lee lives in Vancouver, where he shares a creative life with his wife Marcie and son Hiro. 

 

Website: www.leefodi.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/leefodi

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorleeedwardfodi/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/leefodi/

 

Purchase links: https://www.harpercollins.com/products/spell-sweeper-lee-edward-fodi?variant=39265461633058

 

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION

 

Lee Edward Födi will be awarding a Spell Sweeper prize pack: Hand-made miniature broom, hand-made magical creature egg, spell bottle, and bookmarks to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.



Enter here:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/28e4345f3857


Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:  

 

https://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2021/07/book-blast-spell-sweeper-by-lee-edward.html






Review of My Beautiful Curly Hair

  My Beautiful Curly Hair by Kiana Holder and Arya Holder   ~~~~~~~~~~~~~   GENRE :   Children's   ~~~~~~~~~~~~~   BLURB:   This is a st...