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Elysia

Courtney and her friends have finally re-entered the world of Elysia, only to discover the world that needs their help. Sinister characters are trying to harness the magic to steal the Crystal of Light from the dreamland, and they must be stopped. So Courtney and her friends must travel to another dreamland known as the magic world to stop them. Through their mission to stop the bad guys from taking the crystal, they face unique challenges to protect themselves in the dream world and reality. Will they make it through and save the dream worlds; find out in Elysia: The Magical World by Malcolm Chester!

Elysia: The Magical World is a story full of exciting plot concepts, including the traditional coming-of-age tale. Regarding plot and pacing, Elysia was a great and entertaining read. I was reading an Alice in Wonderland retelling. With the dream elements, special honey, and creative dream characters, Elysia carries the same magic as Lewis Carroll’s classic children’s book. It even further resembles the Disney live-action remakes with the amount of adventure that takes place.

I felt that Courtney’s interactions with Reginald felt forced. When they first meet in Elysia again and kiss, it becomes awkward and uncomfortable for the reader. I felt like I was reading middle school fanfiction. With lines such as “Reginald’s lips tasted like the most delicious food Courtney ever ate.” and “The heat between them grew stronger.” You can attribute some of these matters to the age of our characters, but there may have been a better way to write these scenes and the dialogue within them. But overall, it gave the novel a sweet and quaint ending that many will appreciate.

Elysia: The Magical World is an entertaining children’s fantasy novel that takes readers into a magical dream world. This adventure story is a fun and fast-paced read that was easy to digest in one sitting. I look forward to seeing what Chester publishes in the future!

Pages: 166 | ASIN : B07N7RN2VW

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Elysia

Elysia: The World In Children’s Dreams is a children’s book written by Malcolm Chester. It features 11-year-old Courtney, who has a troubled home life. In addition, she is a young girl just starting puberty and experiencing all the emotions that go along with this stage of life. Elysia is an escape for Courtney. It is a dream-like fantasy world that allows her to forget her problems at home. However, problems soon plague Elysia as the crystal that supplies the world’s magic is stolen by an evil king in this world. Courtney’s primary goal is to find and return the crystal and restore the magic and balance to Elysia.

Chester does a great job at creating a relatable character in Courtney. She is a caring girl while also dealing with issues children might be dealing with. For example, her father was sent to prison. Unfortunately, these issues are rarely brought up in books made for children. Hence, it is essential to shine a light on these types of relationships. Children need to have an outlet and understand that although their situation might not be typical, they are not the only ones going through it.

Chester creates a world that is so imaginative and charming readers will want to exsperance the magic of Elysia themselves. This lets the reader understand why Courtney doesn’t want to leave. The world of Elysia is symbolic and an excellent allegory for growing up. By saving Elysia, Courtney learns it’s important to be proactive when trying to fix a problem bigger than herself. She learns that she is brave and strong enough to resolve any issue in front of her. This is a lesson she can take to her real life and issues that will arise from puberty and growing up.

Elysia: The World in Children’s Dreams is a children’s and middle-grade fantasy novel. This story can be read by anyone looking to find inspiration. It’s a great story that teaches change doesn’t have to be scary, a lesson many of us could use today.

Pages: 320 | ASIN : B0792XS13D

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Rooty the Rutabaga: A Story About Vegetables, Inclusion and Seeing the Sunny Side of Life

Rooty the rutabaga is all alone. He sits in a dark patch of the garden, away from all the other vegetables. Rooty has no friends and has never ventured out of his garden corner to discover what is making all the noise he hears on the other side of the plants. Then, one day two peppers are playing and accidentally throw their nut over into Rooty’s corner of the garden. While looking for their nut, they meet Rooty, who is initially rude and unfriendly. Not to be dissuaded, the peppers lead Rooty out into the sun and introduce him to all the rest of the vegetables. Soon he is making friends and learning how to play for the first time ever.

Children’s author Steven Megson has created an entertaining picture book with illustrator Andy Yura to teach kids about inclusion. Kids usually hear about the more common vegetables, like broccoli, carrots, cucumbers, and tomatoes, which are all friends and grow in the bright sun. However, rutabaga is a vegetable that many kids have never heard of. It has a strange name and looks really different. Megson uses this to teach children that even thorough someone is other, they are still part of the community.

The moment that stood out for me was when Rooty was rude to the peppers; they thought about leaving him alone and returning to their friends. Instead, they saw Rooty was lonely and afraid. So they took his hands and led him to meet the rest of their community. It was more than just being kind; it was seeing someone that needed help and taking a chance on them. This is a motivating story to help children learn to identify others needing help and show them ways that, even as children, they can make a difference in their world.

Rooty the Rutabaga: A Story About Vegetables, Inclusion and Seeing the Sunny Side of Life is a heartwarming picture book that children and adults can appreciate and learn from. This is an excellent children’s book for school classrooms and libraries to teach about multicultural groups and the value of kindness.

Pages: 30 | ASIN : B09RG9YW6X

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The Masque of Count Milado

The Masque of Count Milado by GJ Scherzinger is a fantasy mystery centered around a powerful masque thought to be long lost. Xavier Gaines, a man from Earth who found his way to the magical world of Terranovae, has been asked by a friend to use his magical and physical abilities to retrieve this mask from Count Milado, who has acquired it. So Xavier sets off to infiltrate the count’s court with his wife and daughter in tow. Shortly after arriving, the count is found mysteriously dead, and the race is on to locate the missing masque before it’s lost forever.

This was a fantastic story. This world had excellent story building. There was some nicely done backstory that really brought the characters to life and made them richer. The magic was beautifully described. I love how each transformed state was kind of its own being and not the magic user in just a different form. They each had their own personality and were treated as such, complete with different pronouns. There was a beautiful mystery that I wanted to solve. There were twists I wasn’t expecting that kept me guessing how the story would play out. I got excited when things were revealed to me, making the story more engrossing. This kept me reading on, captivated.

The beginning has a slow burn as things get set up but really picked up as the plot progresses. I felt that it was redundant that every time Xavier became a tiger, the beast was described to us. Seeing as how it was the same tiger each time, I feel the initial description was enough to give us a clear picture of what it would look like from then on.

The Masque of Count Milado is a fascinating new fantasy novel with mythology and folklore elements. A world filled with magic, mystery, and mischief to keep readers engaged. I definitely want to read more of this world.

Pages: 267 | ASIN : B0B1P9YDW3

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Fixing Nick

Nick, the barn is looking run down and old. His doors are broken, his fence is falling down, his stalls are dirty, and his paint is faded and chipped. So the farmer decides that it is time to build a new barn to replace Nick. However, the animals want to save their friend. They work together to fix Nick and make him like new again. It is a big job. Will they be able to save Nick, or will the farmer still replace him with a new barn?

Fixing Nick, written by Howie Groff, tells the story of friendship and working together. This beautifully written picture book shows an unlikely group of animals that band together under the guidance of Goose to make all the repairs to Nick the barn before the next day when the farmer has someone coming to build a new barn. Old Goat doesn’t think they can do it, and that Nick is not able to be saved. However, the rest of the animals refuse to give up and will not let their friend down. This children’s book powerfully portrays the message of sticking together and helping those in need. Even when the tasks seem too big for the animals, they find a way to make them happen.

The colorful and cheerful illustrations done by Olya Bond bring the story to life. They have managed to capture the animals’ emotions on each page, the determination, the concern, and the joy as they make a difference in the life of their friend.

I enjoyed the rhymes in the story, it makes reading it a joy, and you can’t help but smile as you follow along with all the animals. This is a story children will want read aloud to them as they follow along with the playful illustrations.

Fixing Nick is a heartwarming picture book about friendship and working together to save another friend. This children’s book is perfect for teaching kids about the value of working hard and fixing things rather than just throwing something away or replacing it. It teaches the importance of friendships and teamwork.

Pages: 33 | ASIN : B09S7MX4YG

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Strung

Strung is a beautiful literary work by Roske. This book includes enthralling accounts of its characters in a fantasy folklore setting that is full of romance and magic. How Lady Lysbeth’s world changes with the arrival of Faye and how she maneuvers through different events in the gender discriminative Avon society is quite striking. Roske presents the storyline in stark contrasts. The book begins as some kind of musical composition in the making and flows flawlessly with vivid imagery and illustrations, taking readers on a fantastic visual journey. A patient reader would find everything they need to know within the pages of Strung. The words are selected masterfully, the characters evolve deeply as the novel progresses, and the scenes feel authentic and lively. There is never a dull moment in this novel if you get into the rhythm and tune of this book.

Roske manages to keep the dialogues crisp and flowing and does justice to the era the novel revolves around. I am delighted with Roske’s approach to showing the relationship dynamics of each character. Strung is filled with rich dialogue between characters, with some narration inserted to add additional information or set the scene. In addition, the author includes words and language of a different era that give the characters a more dynamic personality. It is easy to get lost in the plot and the setting with such well-written passages.

This captivating book is a slow-burn romance while managing to not be a typical romance novel. Roske has created an enchanting story that is unique. Lysbeth’s life in a male-dominated society, her fascination with Faye, the cultural clashes, and how society plays a role in shaping one’s identity are meticulously portrayed.

Strung is a spellbinding fantasy and romance novel. Beautiful writing, a well-developed cast of characters, and a mystical romance that defies the social norms of that era will appeal to readers across multiple genres.

Pages: 390 | ASIN: B09T3NLGT6

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A Person Can Choose to be Good or Bad

Cheryl Rush Cowperthwait Author Interview

Stone Dragons Kingdom follows a city of people that are dragon riders as they try and protect their city and world from destruction. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

The inspiration for this story was to create a situation where a villain can have a change of heart. It shows, I think in a dramatic way, how allowing other people to help you can lead down a wrong path, as indicated by the Stone Dragons Kingdom, but also on a human level, we have Belinda who focuses on all she doesn’t have, rather than what she does have. If she could only reach that light inside her, what would change?

Learning she has strong and deep powers changes Belinda. What were some driving ideals behind Belinda’s character’s development?

Belinda is a very interesting character. She stems from a person consumed with being the best, but when she isn’t, she’ll go to the extreme to show that she is the best. In her development, I wanted to show, no matter what, a person has a choice of what they want to be, either for bad or good. With Belinda, I chose to show that she was only one choice away from changing her life.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Yes, but as always, they only come to light after I’ve written a story. I think the main theme of this one is redemption. The story starts out harshly for Belinda, even though others believed her to have changed, it took her a long time before she could shake her demons to find the person she wanted so much to become.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

Thank you for asking! Well, The Stone Dragons Kingdom was supposed to be the last for this series, but… one of my characters had something else in mind! I’m currently writing The Spires of Dasny: 5 ~ The Northern Kingdom. It’s on pre-order now and will be released by Fall 2022.

It may not be the last of the series, either ~ the same character has been given knowledge of how their current kingdom will undergo change, and he’ll be instrumental to this change.

Author Links: GoodReads

Continue the saga of the award winning young adult bestselling series, The Spires of Dasny as Book 4 takes you on a journey to another kingdom. Belinda, an ambassador from the Spires of Dasny is now living amogst the Stone dragons and teaching the ways of the Spires to them, including the bonds made between dragon and rider. She stays with them after they healed her beloved dragon, Sezalor… or so those in the Spires believe.
It’s only after Seyra hears from the Truth Speaker, that she learns the truth behind Belinda. What she learns could not only destroy the Spires, but every other kingdom in their world. Belinda holds a magic so powerful, so destructive, there may be no way of stopping her.
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Belinda

Returning to Sezalor’s lair, I pause to connect to the Rocks. Splaying my hand open, I lay my palm flat against the wall immediately feeling the surge of power enter me.

“Time is short. As promised, you will have your own kingdom as long as you carry the Rock and Water energy for us to expand. We have been locked in one place for too long. Agola grew old and set in his ways, this is why you have this opportunity to expand with us. Use the energy we absorbed by the stone-encased Xi to bring our Stone dragons under control.”
A blinding flash cracks through the wall. I feel like I’m hit by lightning, my head screams in pain with an ache like it’s being crushed by an enormous hand. Behind me, the roar of Sezalor adds to the unbearable pain. Clasping both hands over my head, I beg for it to stop. Anything, please take this pain from me! Briefly, I smell burning. In my horror I look down to find myself being burnt alive before I’m hit by a wall of Water. Darkness.
Rebirth. I suck in First Breath. Expelled from the womb of Rock and Water, I stand on shaky legs and return to my chamber to dry. As my hands move the drying cloth over my body, I discover more scales covering me from my shoulders to the biceps. I grin. Large, stone scales. Who needs armor when I have these?

The Impossible Girl

Ava Marie Jones doesn’t know anything about her past. That is until she falls through a tree. Ava finds herself in a whole new world with creatures from all types of fairytales. She soon realizes that she belongs here. She fits in! Or so she thought. She is soon dubbed The Impossible Girl because she was never registered at birth. Author Ashley White has us follow Ava as she navigates through this new realm and school. Will she learn more about her family? Will she test the limits of her powers?

The Impossible Girl will have readers enchanted! It has a feel to it similar to books by J.K. Rowling and Rick Riordan. The story pulls readers in from the very beginning and keeps them engaged throughout the whole novel.

This magical novel starts with a long prologue, readers will find this information imperative as they start reading chapter one. The story has a great flow to it, combining action and dialogue seamlessly. The author has a way with descriptive language. The details that went into her world building will have readers envisioning the city under the tree as clearly as if they were walking there themselves.

Ava’s character is well thought out. She is taking everything she learns in stride. Ashley White has given her a strong and distinct personality that readers will be able to relate to. Ava is shy, but she is starting to come out of her shell. Her friend Duncan is an interesting character. He seems very nice and caring. However, he is a pleaser. Duncan wants to please and impress his father. He follows the rules. Can he be trusted in the future? We shall see. Ava’s friend Tara seems to be an open book and is filled with all kinds of useful knowledge. She is also a very caring friend. Always aware of her friend’s feelings. Colin is another friend of Ava’s. He is shy in the beginning but is very brave by the end. I look forward to seeing his character progress in future novels.

The Impossible Girl is a children’s and teen fantasy novel that will take readers on an adventure as a young girl discovers her true identity. With magic and mystery readers of all ages will want to follow along as Ava discovers what makes her unique.

Pages: 314 | ASIN : B09SNG2MJB

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