Dazzling seascapes, soft fields brimming with flowers, and the homes of mythological beings are just some of the places you’ll be transported to by the words of Derek King in his collection Natyre Boy. The exotic images he evokes tell the story of the land over the course of a year, visiting all the seasons and the changes they may bring, through storms and calm, over a variety of landscapes. While King’s poetry is often kept short, it’s nonetheless effective in telling a vivid tale that blooms in the imagination, much like so many of the flowers he describes.
Natyre Boy is King’s second collection of poems and focuses, and you may surmise, on the natural world around us and the beauty it both possesses and exudes. It brings to mind images of idyllic, lazy days spent gazing out at the ocean, or laying in a field as bees and butterflies flit about. King’s use of language is superb, often proving that less is more in the way he can paint a complete picture over the course of just several lines. Occasionally I felt that the rhythm stumbles a bit and a poem may be a bit awkward in the way it reads, but that is a rare occurrence as more often they flow with an unbothered ease, reflecting the endless march of nature that will continue one way or another. Deeper than the poems themselves, the collection is also a commentary on the cylindrical nature of all life and the fact that nothing lasts forever, despite whatever attempts may be made to that end.
Natyre Boy is not only easy to read but solidly enjoyable. The poems exude joy and warmth in their language and delivery, creating scenes of bucolic enjoyment that seems so rare and hard to obtain in our fast filled days. King’s words perfectly grasp those universal feelings that are often incredibly difficult to name but also instantly recognizable. This collection is a joy.
Pages: 142 | ASIN: B08X77TC9K
Tags: 103 Simple Poems From One Simple Person, author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, Derek R. King, ebook, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, Natyre Boy, nook, novel, poem, poet, poetry, read, reader, reading, story, writer, writing
After being exiled from a village unable to sustain him and his friends during the long and harsh winter, Karik embarks on a treacherous journey to find a place to stay. After multiple discussions, Karik convinces his stubborn friends to head north, where they might find shelter in one of the less populated villages. When they stumble upon a small settlement up north and are invited to stay, they reluctantly accept. However, they notice strange details around the village including its saggy construction and utter lack of population. They soon discover that many important events actually occur underground in an elaborate series of tunnels, including a strange pact with a dangerous dragon and dark secrets involving a mythological character. Karik must find a way to defeat this threat lurking in the shadows and keep his friends, and himself, alive until spring.
Kariks First Battle by Evan Oliver is a thrilling high-fantasy novella and is the first installment in the “Legends of Karik” series. However short, this first following an intriguing hero through an imaginative fantasy world that still feels grounded but deep. This reminds me of The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien in that it feels like an adventure that’s playing out in a world with a very deep backstory.
The characters are all compelling in their own way, barely riding the line of fantasy trope but bring enough unique characterization to make them feel fresh and alive on the page. The story feels like a reinvigoration of the type of fantasy story telling prevalent in the 80’s, but with a contemporary infusion of action and sense of adventure.
Kariks First Battle has a creative plot that is propelled by fascinating characters. I really feel like we’re just scratching the surface of something much grander in the Legends of Karik series. If you’re looking for an epic fantasy story where a host of striking characters set out on a dangerous adventure then you will find plenty to enjoy in this book.
Pages: 91 | ASIN: B08W73Q5D2
Tags: action, adventure, author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, epic fantasy, Evan Oliver, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, Karik's First Battle, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, short story, story, sword and sorcery, writer, writing
Individuals are burning out at alarming rates. People feel constant demand to deliver, so they’re either burning out or they’re leaving their jobs, due to high stress and burnout. With COVID-19, this is becoming more prevalent and amplified, due to all the demands from working from home (WFH).
In Michael Levitt’s Burnout Proof: How To Establish Boundaries To Avoid The Negativity of Stress, you will learn how to:
- Recognize burnout signs in yourself and in others
- Understand how you became burned out in the first place
- Implement burnout prevention techniques that go beyond taking a 2-week vacation
- Launch immediate steps you can take today, to stop the burnout from growing
- Establish boundaries in your life, so that you can fend off potential burnout from external factors
Michael Levitt is the founder & Chief Burnout Officer of The Breakfast Leadership Network, a San Diego and Toronto-based burnout media and consulting firm. He is an in-person and Certified Virtual Speaker, a Certified NLP and CBT Therapist, a Fortune 500 consultant, bestselling author, and hosts the Breakfast Leadership Show, a top 200 podcast on iTunes. Michael’s A Top 20 Global Thought Leader on HR & Culture. and a former Healthcare executive, overseeing $ 2 Billion budgets.
Posted in book trailer
Tags: author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, book trailer, bookblogger, books, books to read, booktube, booktuber, Burnout Proof, business, ebook, goodreads, health, kindle, kobo, literature, mental health, Michael Levitt, nonfiction, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, story, stress, stress management, stress relief, trailer, writer, writing
All was rosy for the Burnhams till they went on a year-long holiday. Three family members returned with a nightmare that would plague them for the rest of their lives, while little Eleanor never made it back at all. She simply vanished on a nice sunny day on the beach, only to appear in a cave far away from her family. That marked the start of a life-changing experience that saw her raised by unusual animals. Her training in the wild molded her into a ruthless young predator, not unlike her tutors. She soon found out that she was now an assassin created to carry out the will of her vengeful animal captors. Ellie embraced her new life, but her mind kept pulling up images of her old life that featured a happy family. Would she chase the freedom she once had, or would she stay a killing machine?
J.E Lynch’s Animals brings a startling folktale to life. The book’s intriguing plot piques curiosity early on and sustains it all through the story. It features animals running a covert recruitment program and feels like a metaphor reflecting our nature and actions as humans, like George Orwell’s allegorical novella Animal Farm. Even though Lynch tries to present truths in an unusual way, he doesn’t leave you scratching your head. His themes are clear, thought-provoking, and fascinating.
Lynch is great at stimulating the senses with very descriptive sentences, relying more on simple words than flowery language. I love how the author approaches the main character’s evolution. He leaves just enough clues to show there was a chance she could change course without making you feel it was inevitable. The animals also had distinctive personalities that resonated with me. I found myself rooting for some and scoffing at others, a sign that I was heavily invested in the characters.
I breezed through all 300 pages of this book. I’m not sure I’ve finished a book of that size in such a short time. I definitely have the story’s pace and intrigue to thank for that. And to top it off, the story ends with a smashing cliff-hanger. Good thing the sequel is out already. So, I don’t have to wait to get my paws on it.
Animals is a thought-provoking young adult novel that is daring, creative, and immensely entertaining.
Pages: 303 | ASIN: B07NQK2HXN
Tags: adventure, animals, author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, horror, je lynch, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, story, supernatural, suspense, teen fiction, thriller, writer, writing, young adult
The Roar of a Dragon by Robert Blanchard is an adventurous fantasy narrated by Aidan, who begins the story from his childhood and humble beginnings in the countryside. The story develops from Aidan’s growing up on a farm and learning about the necessities of life. He details his family life and precisely how his upbringing prepares him for an initially traditional life, then unexpectedly changes. Aidan quickly discovers that the life he was raised for, and his destiny, is far more than he could imagine.
A simple twist in events, and realization by Aidan, propels him into a different life. He constantly struggles with dreams of his mother and a past and future that he learns to accept. The challenges of Aidan’s coming of age and developing into a solid and noble role are well-written with deep compassion and ambition.
As Aidan struggles with his fate and many obstacles ahead, he also grapples with his emotions and struggles to fulfill his soldier training. The book is more than a fantasy as it’s a deeply personal account of a young man’s transition from a naïve farmer’s son to someone who can make a difference in battle and beyond.
The characters are well woven into the story, shaping Aidan’s life and development into a bigger world that’s dangerous and exciting. It quickly becomes increasingly clear that Aidan’s life will play a significant role in a conquest that will require him to prove himself. The story beautifully explores Aidan’s life and his inner thoughts during his growth. He narrates every stage of his journey with exceptional clarity, with just enough detail and flavor to continuously engage the reader.
The Roar of the Dragon is a fantastic story of adventure and fighting battles, both literal and personal, with a rich character layer and development. Each scene is well described to paint authentic, rustic landscapes in a surreal fantasy world that comes to life. Aidan’s life is full of vibrant action that keeps the pages turning once you begin reading. He faces both external forces, from dragons and war, and his internal conflict.
The book is an incredible read, and you’ll easily move through the story quickly with anticipation for the subsequent development. The Roar of the Dragon is entertaining and well structured, detailing Aidan’s ability to face and conquer various levels of conflict in a unique fantasy world.
Pages: 280 | ASIN: B074BCDYTH
Tags: action, adventure, author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, coming of age, ebook, epic fantasy, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, Robert Blanchard, story, suspense, sword and sorcery, The Roar of a Dragon, thriller, writer, writing, young adult
Strong Will by Patricia Crumpler follows Emma Whitstone, who is a reserved and quiet teacher that works with children. Charles Strong Manning is an outgoing, self-assured attorney. The two are completely opposite of each other but end up falling in love, getting married, and starting a family. What Emma doesn’t know is that Strong is the leader of an undercover rescue operation. One of his assignments go wrong and Emma learns several truths and lies about the man she thought she knew. Feeling frightened and hurt, Emma takes her kids and goes into hiding. Will Charles be able to save his family and the love of his life?
Author Patricia Crumpler has written a thrilling romantic action novel. This is an emotionally charged story, something I didn’t expect in an action novel but was pleasantly surprised by. Crumpler’s character development is strong and I enjoyed watching Emma evolve as the story weaved through several unexpected twists and intriguing turns. The author’s writing style is clever as she seamlessly intertwined the double life that Charles lived in a way that was compelling, if not believable. The reader is definitely taken on an emotional rollercoaster wondering if Emma will find out who Charles really is. But the question I was asking myself was, will she stay by his side? You are rooting for the two but the book consistently has readers wondering, who is Charles Strong?
I would have liked to have seen Strong’s character develop a little more because what we’re given is so compelling and I desperately wanted to know more, and to feel as connected to him as I did with Emma. Because he was living two lives it was a little difficult to get to know him. Emma was an open book and the reader knew everything about her. Juxtapose this great character development with intense action scenes and you get a completely riveting read.
Strong Will is a thrilling romantic action novel that surprised me many times and was consistently entertaining.
Pages: 255 | ASIN: B08TSWW5ZQ
Tags: action, adventure, author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, love story, military fiction, nook, novel, Patricia Crumpler, read, reader, reading, romance, story, Strong Will, suspense, thriller, writer, writing
Unlikely follows two friends who investigate mysterious activities in an abandoned house and uncover something unexpected. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
The inspiration was to write a story about people who live in a smaller community. Where life goes at a slower pace. Where if everyone does not know each other, they know of the person. Where everything happens the same. So, when the two friends discover something unusual it gives one friend the opportunity to branch out and discover something new.
Nate and Zachary are intriguing characters. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?
I wanted personalities that were opposite but able to get along; to show how a sense of adventure versus a sense of logic complement each other. As the story progresses the roles of adventure and logic are sometimes swapped.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
You should be able to guess one if you have already read the book. Friendship, the other one is the pressure of pleasing your father.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
My next book is a YA called Watchers Eye and comes out the summer of 2021.
Posted in Interviews
Tags: adventure, author, author interview, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, mystery, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, story, Unlikely, urban fantasy, urban fiction, writer, writing, Wynsome Peters, young adult
Zero just wants to get his paws on that apple. The apple, who has no name, knows not what awaits him. Zero is in no way tall enough to reach the apple with no name and needs a little help from his friends. Counting their way from 0 to 10, the ever-growing group of friends cooperate to help Zero in his efforts. His friends vary in size and shape, but they all have one thing in common, they want nothing more than to give their friend a hand. Will they make it? Will Zero ever get his apple?
A Dog Named Zero and the Apple With No Name, by T.C. Bartlett, is the beautifully illustrated children’s book focused on counting. There are many counting books out there, but Bartlett has a whole new take on the concept. With a more advanced vocabulary that challenges readers, A Dog Named Zero and the Apple With No Name contains bits of humor that parents and teachers will also appreciate–those are the best kinds of children’s books!
I have used my share of counting books over the years as a parent and elementary teacher, and Bartlett’s work is one of the best I have seen. There is much more to this little gem than meets the eye. Each of the different animals in the series of numbers offers readers the opportunity for discussion. Parents and teachers will easily find ways to have conversations about why and how each type of animal might want to help Zero. There are plenty of teaching opportunities to be had within the pages of Bartlett’s work.
I highly recommend this adorable counting story to anyone looking for an alternative to the traditional counting books. A Dog Named Zero and the Apple With No Name makes a great addition to anyone building a library for infants and toddlers.
Pages: 48 | ISBN: 1733908617
Tags: A Dog Named Zero and the Apple With No Name, author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, children, childrens book, ebook, education, elementary, goodreads, kids, kids book, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, parent, picture book, read, reader, reading, story, T. C. Bartlett, teacher, writer, writing