The Princess, the Knight, and the Lost God
Kassie is a princess of a whimsical world called Chess Mountain. On Chess Mountain, the residents are all chess pieces, and Kassie’s parents rule over them. Princess Kassie is a beloved member of the royal family, and it is her birthday. Kassie is excited to spend the evening with friends and family and celebrate her twelfth birthday. But not everything goes as planned, and Kassie is whisked away to Earth to complete her twelfth-year mission and to protect her from harm.
The Princess, The Knight, and the Lost God by Victoria Winifred is a unique novel about chess. While on Earth, Kassie must hide from evil Originals and make an impact in the lives of others. What better way to do that than to teach and improve her classmates’ chess game? Kassie must navigate Earth’s strange habits and traditions while watching her back for those who might harm her. She makes friends and helps them better their lives by teaching chess, and Kassie learns to stand up for herself against bullies while taking time to understand their challenges.
Winifred has created a unique world centered around chess, which shows her passion for the game. She weaved a story about lovers of chess and how it affects their lives. While the premise might seem a little silly at times, the story is exciting and entertaining all the way until the end. There are many twists and turns that await the reader throughout this story.
The Princess, The Knight, and the Lost God by Victoria Winifred is a captivating children’s chapter book. Young chess lovers will enjoy how Winifred weaves chess terms and strategies throughout the story while sticking to the fantasy genre. With memorable characters and an exciting plot older, elementary and middle school-age children will find this book a wonderful addition to their reading collection.
Pages: 226 | ASIN : B0BLT4PGSZ
Posted in Book Reviews, Four Stars
Tags: and the Lost God, author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, chess, childrens book, childrens fantasy, childrens mystery, Childrens Myths, Childrens sword and sorcery, ebook, goodreads, indie author, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, story, the Knight, The Princess, Victoria Winifred, writer, writing
Dog, Boy Genius, Chess
Max is the story of one genius little boy and the tumultuous turns his life takes beginning at the age of eight. What was your inspiration for this story and how did it change as you wrote?
My inspiration for this book began with an previous book I wrote. Black Overalls. Max was introduced in that book. That book has already been reviewed by Literary Titan, and received four stars and a Silver Award. This book is very much about Max, but as the story evolved it also became very much about Sheldon, Charlie and MaryAnn.
Sheldon is a genius at age eight who experiences multiple losses and trials as he tackles the challenges of adulthood while striving to become a champion chess player. What were some of the trials that you felt were important to highlight the characters development?
Although being a genius is a tremendous asset, it also creates some very real difficulties for a young boy. Since all his classmates are several years older, Sheldon finds it difficult to form friendships. He is more interested in being a normal kid, than being a genius. With the death of his father, he is left with little male influence in his life. His mother, Max and Charlie become his whole world.
Max is an exceptional dog in his own right and plays a vital role in impacting the lives of multiple people. Have you ever had a pet that impacted your life as greatly? What was your inspiration for Max?
The picture on the cover of the book is actually of my dog, Max. He died a few years ago at the age of sixteen. I have always been a dog lover, and have owned several. Max was probably my favorite. I have two dogs now, Ozzie and Cyrus. They are mentioned in another of my books.
What is the next story that you are working on and when will it be available?
I have written three books so far. Two of them you have already reviewed. The other book, The Valley Country Club, will be submitted for review soon. I am not currently writing a new story, but I have a few ideas that I am considering.
Author Links: GoodReads | Amazon
Posted in Interviews
Tags: adult fiction, amazon, amazon books, author, author interview, book, book review, books, Boy Genius, chess, companion, contemporary, dog, ebook, ebooks, fantasy, fantasy book review, fiction, genius, goodreads, interview, kindle, kindle book, kindle ebook, literature, love, max, nook, novel, pet, publishing, read, reader, reading, review, reviews, sheldon, stories, tom donaldson, urban fantasy, write, writer, writing
Max, by Tom Donaldson, is the story of one exceptional little boy and the tumultuous turns his life takes beginning at the tender age of eight. Sheldon, declared a genius and allowed to skip several grades, experiences multiple losses and trials as he tackles high school, college, and the challenges of adulthood all while striving to become a world champion chess player. Sheldon and his parents become acquainted with Max, an exceptional dog in his own right, and are oblivious to the fact that Max will play a vital role in changing the lives of countless people over the coming years.
As I read the first few chapters, I was sure I had Donaldson’s story pegged. I believed the story line involving Max would turn out to be a minor one, as for several chapters, Max seems an aside to Charlie’s backstory and Sheldon’s budding friendship with the older man. Donaldson manages, however, to incorporate some touching and surprising plot twists with the parallel plots involving Max, Charlie’s long-lost savior, and Sheldon himself.
I was fairly certain the author had taken a wrong turn about halfway through the story by eliminating some vital characters. As, I continued to read, however, the pieces fell neatly together. I was more than pleased with the way in which Donaldson has tied Max together with the primary players as well as the late entries into the falling action.
Charlie’s history and the attitude of the neighborhood busybodies make for a wonderful plot line. I was able to immediately visualize Charlie as an almost reclusive sort of man hidden away not by his choice but by the biases and exaggerated fears of his neighbors. Donaldson had me rooting for Charlie from the first mention of the accusations leveled against him. The author has drawn some clearly defined lines between Charlie and the intrusive welcoming committee.
Sheldon’s mother, Maryann, reacts in much the same way any parent would upon learning of Sheldon’s friendship with the very real Charlie. Maryann is a highly relatable character and offers readers the opportunity to both sympathize and empathize with her struggle to overcome the obstacles bombarding her as a newly single mother of a highly intelligent and driven young boy.
I didn’t want to fall in love with Sheldon, Charlie, or Max, but I most certainly did. Donaldson has a knack for hitting sentimental nerves and playing upon the emotions. Sheldon, Charlie, and Max are unforgettable characters.
Max was a quick read that begged to be finished in one sitting and offers plenty of thoughtful scenarios that spark the desire to reread. Overall, it is a thoughtful, emotional journey I would recommend to any reader.
Pages: 182 | ASIN: B06XWFGZMQ
Posted in Book Reviews, Four Stars
Tags: amazon, amazon books, amazon ebook, author, book, book review, books, Boy Genius, chess, companion, contemporary, dog, ebook, ebooks, fantasy, fantasy book review, fiction, genius, goodreads, kindle, kindle book, kindle ebook, life, literature, love, max, mystery, novel, pet, publishing, read, reading, reviews, stories, tom donaldson, urban fantasy, writing, YA, young adult
Could the Legends be True
The Mystery of St. Arondight’s tells the story of six teenagers on a mysterious supernatural quest across Europe. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling novel?
Like my characters I was a teenager when I had my first taste of field archaeology. It was exciting, that feeling that you never quite knew what was waiting under the ground for you. It didn’t seem to matter how many of the experienced archaeologists on the site told me that treasure is unlikely, I firmly believed that every shovel full of dirt could hold some priceless artefact of great importance. Now, having been a professional archaeologist for ten years I have learned that not every excavated site uncovers great historical mysteries. In fact the closest I have ever come to treasure is five scattered Roman Denarii, probably from a lost purse. But I still have that belief that something important could be hiding just under my feet.
History itself consists of so many unanswered questions, so many what ifs, so many intangible stories. Folk law suggests the presence of ghosts at sites of violence, or in places they knew when alive. Legends tell of strange women living in trees, lakes or isolated ruins, of heroes who transcend time. There are so many mysteries out there to solve, who is to say that the conclusions must always be rational. Some stories tell of tangible artefacts, a philosopher’s stone, a sacred cup or a powerful sword. Legends give us all the chance to daydream … What might happen if one day I excavate a sword of Arthurian date from a waterlogged deposit. Could the legends be true?
The story has a host of young characters all with their own unique personalities. What themes did you want to capture while creating your characters?
With my characters I aimed to create firstly a group with a shared interest, archaeology, but to give them their own skills, knowledge and personality. The intention was to balance them so that no one character held all the aces and there was essentially no go-to hero of the piece.
I wanted to make sure that the girls were just as capable as the boys. When I was growing up I spent most of my time wanting to be one of the lads. So called ‘girly’ activities did not interest me and I felt that as a teenager there were no characters in my world, with perhaps the exception of ‘George’ from Enid Blyton’s ‘Famous Five’, that represented me as a perpetually bruised, knee skinned tomboy, hanging out with the boys, fencing with sticks and pretending that my bicycle was a motorbike. What I wanted to do here was to create characters that represented my sixteen year old self. The girly side, the tomboy side and the downright laddish part of me. Alongside my own traits I have borrowed elements of personality from the many wild, passionate, and possibly crazy archaeologists of all ages and genders, that I have met whilst digging holes all over the country. I had to try and capture some of that combination of crude humour, intelligence and boundless enthusiasm, encountered on all archaeological sites.
The action scenes and references to historical sites was well developed. Was there anything you pulled from you own life and used in this novel?
I first started fencing at university and was lucky enough to fence for my university, even becoming captain of the team and later the club. Fencing is a lot like chess, but played at the speed of light and with significantly bigger bruises, but you get a real appreciation that timing and intelligence are every bit as important as strength and skill. In writing the sword fights in St. Arondight’s, I wanted to put across some of my own experience as a fencer – the noises, the exertion required and the clear presence of mind required to make a successful attack.
Having lived in the UK all my life, I have visited many of the locations from the book, although I do admit that for a few of them I may have used a little creative licence – getting to the “beach” below the White Cliffs of Dover is much more difficult than Sarah and Jerry found it and I certainly wouldn’t advise trying it!
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I am currently working on the sequel to The Mystery of St. Arondight’s, following the same characters on their next archaeological adventure. I’m hoping it will be available March/ April 2018 although the first draft is playing hardball right now, and it’s fair to say that working full time as an archaeologist, active fencer and motorcycle enthusiast does take up some writing time. So I’m afraid the date is tentative and it may be a little later.
Author Links: Website | Twitter | GoodReads | Facebook
Camping at ruined abbey at the end of the summer holidays, six teenage archaeologists find themselves witness to a violent haunting and discover a secret crypt below the abbey.
The discoveries they make set them on an epic quest across the country. In a race against an unhinged academic and armed with only their honour, knowledge and swordsmanship the group will have to trust one another and work together, as reality and mythology merge and the quest for an artefact of legend becomes a fight for survival.
Told in a unique blend of first and third person narration, The Mystery of St. Arondight’s follows Suzannah Jones, Melody Knight, Sarah Heddon, Claire Scott, Jerry Llewellen and Símon James Matherson in their first archaeological adventure.
Posted in Interviews
Tags: action, adventure, amazon, amazon books, amazon ebook, archaeologists, archaeology, arthurian, author, author interview, book, book review, books, bookworm, chess, daydream, Denarii, ebook, ebooks, Enid Blyton, fantasy, fantasy book review, fencing, fiction, fighting, goodreads, hilosophers stone, historical fiction, interview, kindle, kindle book, kindle ebook, legends, literature, mystery, novel, publishing, reading, review, reviews, roman, romance, sm porter, stories, teen, the mystery of st arondight, thriller, university, White Cliffs of Dover, women, writing, YA, young adult