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Animal Acres

Sammy Skunk lives on a farm, Animal Acres. One night he wakes up from his nap to a strange sound. Finding his dinner, he looks up and sees a strange animal, a raccoon. Sammy has never met a raccoon before and notices how they are different, but this does not deter him from making a new friend. After inviting the strange animal over to share his dinner, they end up spending the night together playing and exploring.

What do a skunk and a raccoon have in common? Both love to explore and play at night, and both have stripes. While their stripes go in different directions, they still manage to become friends and go on an adventure together on the farm. Animal Acres by Colby Becknell Hardison is a cute picture book that doubles as a children’s coloring book.

Sammy Skunk and Rocky Racoon quickly become friends over a shared meal. They share stories about their lives, Sammy from the farm and Rocky from life outside the farm. They realize that being different is not harmful and can lead to great adventures exploring their friend’s world.

This creative story is more than just a picture book; children can color the pages as they read along with the story, which makes it more memorable. Learning that just because they are different doesn’t mean they can not be friends is valuable lesson for young kids. This imaginative story will allow children to explore the idea of friendship and adventure. The drawings are not overly detailed, making them great for younger children to color that may not color fine details yet.

Animal Acres is an amazing coloring picture book and is perfect for children and adults that are young at heart. The fun drawings add to the story, and readers will have to add their own flair to their adventures as they color the pages.

Pages: 24 | ASIN : B08NT884F3

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Letting Loose

Jolly Walker Bittick
Jolly Walker Bittick Author Interview

Cape Henry House tells the story of a group of sailors that come together to party and relax but find a deeper camaraderie through all the mayhem. Why was this an important book for you to write?

Firstly, the book is important because it is my first publication. Second, the book is based on a true story, and over the years a handful of the people that were a part of the real-life house and myself have gathered annually to catch up. After many discussions about the wild nature of the actual house, it seemed fitting to write a book.

This book is based on a true story. What were some aspects that you felt had to be told accurately and what were some things you took creative liberties with?

The dynamic of “B-man” and “Dolvar” vs. the married couple “Penley and Anne” was told accurately as it was the main source of tension that made the wild events at the house even more memorable. Almost all of the events at the house are told accurately as well, however some characters are fictional or multiple characters were written in to represent who was actually one person at the real-life house.

What were some ideas that were important for you to share in this book?

The wild nature of the parties, but also the extreme dynamic between the sailors working hard on duty and letting loose just as hard when off.

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

My next book is “Bag ‘O Goodies” and it was originally intended for release in January 2022. After careful consideration, I will be publishing it later next year to spend more time promoting “Cape Henry House.”

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Based on a true story, Cape Henry House is a coming of age epoch about a ragtag group of sailors and their partying adventures from a bygone era, as told by former Petty Officer Third Class Bosner. When two of his best friends move into a house off base, they believe it will be a place to relax and have a few beers. For three weeks in early 2008, it’s a place to roar and have a few kegs! From bars and diners, to dance floors and strip clubs, Cape Henry House proves to be the focal point where everyone convenes. Through laughter, mayhem, drinking, and drama, the group discovers a deeper camaraderie that sees them off as some are sent overseas, others find love, and all are left with lasting memories to cherish for a lifetime!

She Is Enigmatic And Quirky

Suzanne Simonetti
Suzanne Simonetti Author Interview

The Sound of Wings brings three women together that all have secrets they are hiding, the unlikely trio form friendships that could change the course of their lives. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

The seed for the story began with a beach walk I took along the shoreline. I had a vision of Krystal, a beautiful 40-something collecting sea glass and seashells, feeling like there was something missing deep inside of her. All of the women are at different stages in their lives with their own unique challenges which was important to show how we can bridge divides and make friends where and when we least expect to.

What was your favorite character to write for and why?

As much as I love all three of the women, Goldie was the most fun to write. She is enigmatic and quirky and I loved getting inside of her head to see how she views and responds to the world. She also has many pets—Brutus the boxer, Laverne & Shirley the Himalayans, and Malcolm the African grey parrot—which were so fun to research and add their own personalities into the story. Stepping back in time to the 1960s to paint Goldie in her go-go boot days was also enjoyable.

What was one scene in the novel that you felt captured the morals and message you were trying to deliver to readers?

The scene when Krystal and Goldie are in her butterfly garden to discuss their new business venture and Jocelyn makes an unexpected appearance. While the three women are standing there in the yard, the automatic sprinklers kick on and they all get soaking wet. They scramble from the grass, laughing. It was a funny and somewhat embarrassing circumstance but they all made the best of the situation. I take this as a reminder to expect the unexpected and you never know where or when new friends will arrive in your life.

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

My new book is a stand alone but Krystal and Jocelyn will make appearances in this new story. It takes place 12 years down the line, which is neat because we get to see Jocelyn’s little boy Billy as a teenager and how Krystal has expanded her business operations. Abe is retired from his law practice and causing all sorts of silly trouble with idle time on his hands. I will provide updates on a publication date on my web site.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | GoodReads | LinkedIn

Seventy-year-old Goldie Sparrows faces declining finances, questionable health, and a late husband who torments her from the beyond. She seeks refuge in her butterfly garden, which is filled with voices and memories from long ago.

Jocelyn Anderson is a struggling writer who finds escape from her custody battle in the journal of her late mother-in-law. As she gets pulled through the pages of time, Jocelyn discovers her own husband has a hidden history she knows nothing about. Is this secret now Jocelyn’s to keep?

Krystal Axelrod is living a life she never dreamed she could have. And yet the demons of a dysfunctional childhood and mean girl culture from her cheerleading days cast their shadow over her ability to feel whole, capable, and worthy. Does Goldie hold the key to Krystal’s path to freedom?

A masterfully crafted tale of love, friendship, betrayal, and the risks we take in the pursuit of justice.

Rising Together 

Rising Together, by K.M Sparks and Christopher Cole, is the complex story of two young teens who are going through hardship and rely on one another. The main character, Tim, struggles with his home life and his best friend, Haze, helps him navigate his troubles.  

Tim is a young boy living in an abusive situation. His father is an alcoholic who verbally and physically abuses his family. Tim’s mother tells him and his brother to keep their situation a secret so that they are not separated. Keeping his home life a secret causes Tim to act out at school and get into trouble. His best friend, Haze, has a supportive family and excels in school. When Tim’s life turns upside down, Haze stands by his side and supports him through his transition.

Authors Sparks and Cole have a writing style that any reader would enjoy. The characters show substantial development throughout the book. Readers will enjoy watching the relationship between Tim and Haze grow into something more than best friends. Their relationship is one that teenage readers will be able to relate to.

The language in this contemporary novel is mature for the main characters only being twelve, but given their situations, growing up fast will have that impact. Developing independence at an early age is needed for Tim to survive the life he was dealt.

Rising Together is a compelling coming of age novel, with drama that will appeal to fans of young adult novels. This heartwarming book is a blend of hardships, friendship, and growing into oneself. If you like reading about a budding romance, taking a chance, and a light story then this heartfelt book is for you.

Pages: 172 | ASIN : B09L57CBQ2

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Unbecoming

Unbecoming by Joanne Fedler is a provocative book that needs to be read by women young and old everywhere! Jo is a soon-to-be empty nester, new to menopause, and coming to terms with the fact she may have wanted more out of life. It’s a classic tale of a woman’s midlife crisis. During her unraveling, Jo hesitantly sets out on a spiritual silent walk in the Australian Bush with friends she hasn’t spoken to in years. On this journey, Jo learns that she isn’t on this midlife ride alone – every woman has their fair share of unraveling too.

Joanne Fedler’s Unbecoming is an emotionally charged book that is not afraid to speak the truth and follow it wherever it leads. The book explores questions every woman has had or is going to have at some point in their life. Some may even say they are questions women should ask before they settle into married life. It feels as though this book is an open dialogue between you and the main character, Jo, for this reason.

I also appreciate the spiritual and sisterhood aspects of this novel. Fedler displays the immense importance of these gifts and how they can help us understand life and Mother Nature herself.

I’ve already stated why this book is a must-read for inspirational and philosophical reasons. Now let me discuss Fedler’s writing abilities. Spoiler alert – they’re fantastic!

Fedler knows how to craft perfectly imperfect characters – this skill is extremely rare to find. Jo, unlike many other middle-aged characters in modern novels, does not present herself as fictional. She feels like your mom, aunt, sister, or simply your close family friend. We can all understand what Jo is going through and all know a woman like her. Her life wasn’t bad, but it certainly wasn’t a fairytale. Her body is not perfect from hours of yoga – it shows signs of age and motherhood. The list goes on.

I also appreciated the representation of different lifestyles amongst the female characters. Despite living these different lives, being a woman is a universally shared experienced.

There are so many amazing things I can say about this book! It was a story I am glad to have read. If you’re looking for a heartwarming and inspirational read, then you have to pick up Unbecoming by Joanne Fedler.

Pages: 356 | ISBN: 0648937658

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Who Okayed This?! The Riveting Life of Grant Davis

Who Okayed This?! The Riveting Life of Grant Davis by [E. Barrington, Philip]

In Who Okayed This?! The Riveting Life of Grant Davis, Philip E. Barrington tells us the story of Grant, a man that experienced various interesting and intriguing things during his life. The book serves as Grant’s diary, through which he tells the reader his thoughts and the many life changing events that he experienced since he was a young boy.

Grant’s life is far from boring. In the book we follow him as he travels around different cities and countries, trying to make something of his life. He meets intriguing new people all the time, some of them become friends and helped him grow, some of them become terrible enemies that almost succeeded in ruining his life. Grant endures many betrayals, yet never gives up, always looking to find something better for himself to enjoy life to the fullest. Family, friendship, love, travel and the search of a career, are aspects that are deeply involved in most people’s lives and that are explored and shown in this book through Grant’s riveting life.

It was interesting following the different events that Grant had to go through in his life, there are so many things that are talked about in the book. Relationships, health issues, problems with the police and the law, corruption and family life. The author shares the many adventures that Grant had that would change him forever, from meeting new people to traveling to new places to discovering secrets of the universe, a set of fascinating events that allowed Grant Davis to find his life purpose.

I enjoyed reading about Grant’s story and finding out gradually the varying life changing events that he went through where he met interesting, odd and even threatening people that made him explore new things all the time: his life was truly riveting. However, I wanted these things to be explored more, and explained further, in the book. The book reads like a diary, which means that we don’t get too many details about the events and the people that were described in the book. Nevertheless, the book was still enjoyable and it was stimulating reading. In particular, I was intrigued by the themes that were explored near the end of the book, a series of mystical, soul-searching events that Grant came in contact with to possibly change his future, and other people’s futures, for the better.

Is it fully fiction or are there real life events mixed in the story? Who knows, it is up to the reader to figure out how much is fictional and how much is the author’s real story, so if you want to try to find out, you must read the book first. Who Okayed This?! The Riveting Life of Grant Davis is an interesting and easy read that illustrates the good and the bad that can be found all the time in every person’s life path.

Pages: 241 | ASIN: B08VKSQT36

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To the Top of Greenfield Street

Ryan Standley’s To the Top of Greenfield Street follows Eric Daniels as he spends a brief yet formative summer in Freeport, a small northern Illinois town hundreds of miles away from his childhood home in Iowa. The text is written in an autobiographical fashion, with many musical and cultural references that indicate that the events take place in the 1980s or 1990s.

Standley does a superb job at recounting the nostalgia of youth. Eric’s adventures with his (mostly) newfound neighborhood friends – from their nighttime rendezvous to the drive-in theater to the Fourth of July festivities, all the way down to Eric’s surprise going-away party hosted by his mates – feel absolutely real and capture the freedom of any summer in the life of a Midwestern teenager. Nate, Matt, Billy, Melissa, Jen, Rachel, and Declan each make their own contribution with their easy-to-distinguish personalities.

To the Top of Greenfield Street is ultimately an engaging coming of age story. Eric has two major experiences that take place in a short amount of time, but leave an indelible mark. It is also through these turning points that Eric learns that resolutions aren’t always happy events – nor do they need to be. One, he comes to grips with the reality of his ties with Donna, his estranged and drug-addicted mother. Two, he experiences through Jen what it is like for a young man to share feelings of affection and chemistry, however fleeting, with another young woman.

Above all, the author showcases the finite nature of young relationships in a way that resonates with readers as young as their twenties. By the end of the text, Eric walks away cherishing the friendships and good times that he has had, but also accepts that just as summer inevitably turns to fall, he must accept what is and begin his next chapter of life alongside his dad. Endings do not need to be finite in nature – and very often in life they are anything but.

This is a solid read for readers of any age who want a well-written, teen-centered coming of age story. To the Top of Greenfield Street is a young adult novel that I heartily recommend.

Pages: 286 | ASIN: B08GFQCVH8

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With Kisses From Cécile

With Kisses From Cécile follows two young women, Ruth and her French pen pal, Cécile. Through their letters we get a glimpse of their lives and the beautiful bond that is shared between two friends. Authors Anne Armistead and Jan Agnello have written a historical novel of friendship, loss, and forgiveness.

This book is a delightfully sweet historical fiction novel. The story between Ruth and Cecile is wonderful to follow. The book follows two timelines, one in the present and one in the past. The authors did a fantastic job distinguishing the two timelines. The characters are skillfully crafted and well developed. You admire both women and their strength and admire their friendship. The history in the book does not take away from the story, if anything it adds to it. Reading the historical events that each character witnessed you begin to understand and appreciate them. I would’ve liked to have read more about Clinton and Ruth. Ruth had so much more going on in her life that I would have liked to see loose ends tied up. I came to care for Ruth and the trials she faced, her emotions, and the way she lived life.

While I enjoyed the emotional depth of the book, I felt that the pacing of the story was slow when it came to Gran and Maggie but I pushed on because I wanted to read more about Ruth. The authors included pictures at the end of the book which was an added bonus. With Kisses From Cécile is a heart warming read that explores a beautiful friendship of two women who live worlds apart.

Pages: 269 | ASIN: B07WNY78W6

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