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Dane Thorburn and Nature’s Revenge

After saving Princess Vanessa from the City of Lost Souls, Dane Thorburn has to deal with another problem, because, of course, there’s no opportunity for heroes to rest—dragons. A significant threat follows our character throughout their journey, and it’s enough to keep your eyes glued to the page.

Dane Thorburn and Nature’s Revenge by Matt Galanos is a fantastical and adventurous story that deals with mystery and mythical beings and is a story that challenges the norms of certain archetypes, such as the hero and the Princess. Accompanied by Lord Frederick, Will, and other memorable characters, Dane needs to figure out precisely what these mythical beasts are doing, how they came to be, and what they want with the Princess.

Within this exciting story, there. It isn’t a moment where adventure isn’t happening. Every chapter is full of questions and excitement, and by the end of every chapter, events are happening in ways that will make you want to read the next chapter and then the next—it’s a book I didn’t want to put down. Though there are grammatical errors here and there, it’s nothing too bad to the point where you can’t understand what is trying to be said.

A large cast was introduced, all by name, in the first few chapters. Each was diverse in personality and appearance, and the author did a great job of keeping everyone distinctive. Every character mentioned, whether they stay throughout the entire book or are only there for a moment, has a striking personality that sets them apart from one another. It’s extremely impressive, and it takes a great author to distinguish so many distinct personalities.

Dane Thorburn and Nature’s Revenge is a captivating young adult and teen fantasy novel. Though some moments can be confusing, the exploration, adventure, and memorable characters do an even greater job of making such a fantastic book come to life. If you’re looking for a fantasy adventure, I definitely recommend this book.

Pages: 314 | ASIN : B0B8K22HS4

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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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If The Goonies Were Time Travelers

Adam Crozier Author Interview

Escaping the Future follows a group of friends on an adventure that leads to a time machine in a wrecked spaceship that sends them to the future. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

I grew up on stories like The Goonies and Back to the Future. When I was thinking about ideas to pursue in my own writing, it wasn’t a big leap for me to ask myself, “What if the Goonies were time travelers?” Instead of hunting for a treasure, they could be searching through time for a way home. Instead of the Goonies, the friends from the story were loosely based on the friends from my own childhood. I imagined how my friends would have reacted if they were thrown into the future, and the shenanigans that would result from our choices in trying to get home.

Your characters were interesting and well developed. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

I wanted to portray characters with the challenges that everyone feels as they are growing up. Whether struggling to make their own voice heard like Sophia, not living up to expectations of others or yourself like Tate, not fitting in like Zoe, or just how to gain the confidence you need to succeed like Nic. Everyone deals with these challenges in some degree at some point in their lives, and how they overcome these challenges is the heart of the person they become.

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

I wanted the reader to understand the idea of seeing things from others perspectives as well as your own, whether it is from strangers or someone as close as your family.  While Nic has to move away, he doesn’t see things from his parent’s point of view. Despite his disagreements with his family, he has to learn to not take for granted the time he has with them. We never know what changes might come in the future, family drama, moving away, or even your own alien situation. Understanding others point of view can help you work together and live in the moment.

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

I am working on a middle grade story where the main character will travel from Earth into another world filled with magic. It is a fairytale about exploration and discovering your own true potential. I don’t have a working date for its release yet.

Author Links: GoodReads | Website

The seconds are ticking away. If he can’t turn back the clock, the human race is doomed.

Nic Walker is devastated. Forced to leave behind his best friends because his parents are moving, the bright twelve-year-old is determined that they all have one final adventure. So when they come across a time machine in a wrecked spaceship, a trip to the future seems like the perfect plan… until they discover they can’t get back.

Alarmed to learn they can only move forward, Nic finds them all trapped centuries ahead in a world of jetpacks and flying cars. And with each failed attempt to locate a wormhole and return them to when they belong, the twenty-first-century tween hurtles towards a war that will end humanity.

Can Nic overcome aliens and bring everyone home?

Escaping the Future is a thrilling middle-grade time travel adventure. If you like puzzling mysteries, strong friendships, and eye-popping science fiction settings, then you’ll love Adam Crozier’s captivating quest.

The Adventures of Arya and Krishna Betta Fish

Arya betta fish and her brother, Krishna, journey from the pet store where they were born to their new home at a lovely koi pond. While exploring their new home, Arya and Krishna meet new friends Blake and Sharktooth and explain their greatest mission: to reunite their family. However, when the world of the koi pond is turned upside-down, all the betta friends find themselves on an exciting adventure. Meeting new friends, discovering amazing new places, and helping each other survive, Arya and Krishna must use their wits and find a little luck on their quest to find their missing parents.

Bettas have a special place in my heart. My first pet was a betta, and I love this charming adventure tale of fish friends working hard to help each other. I also love the multi-cultural approach to this lively narrative, where both the fish and humans in the world are from many different ethnicities. Spunky Arya, courageous Krishna, wise Ash, and all the other friends the bettas encounter add their own personal magic to this thrilling journey. Numerous endearing illustrations add to the enchantment of the adventure. Whether fish, human, or animal, everyone works together to aid each other in this entertaining tale of friendship, family, and fun.

Author Gabriel Bietz uses lighthearted storytelling and adorable illustrations by Ananta Mohanta in this book that is perfect for children ages seven and up. The illustrations brought the story to life, making this a middle grade book that young readers will find engaging. The adventure wraps up nicely while leaving plenty of room for many more exciting stories to follow. The Adventures of Arya and Krishna Betta Fish is a cheerful romp through a world of never-ending challenges and fun, where friendship and determination may be the key to everything.

Pages: 129 | ASIN : B09QH8YW9W

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The Best Things In Life Are Shared

Joan Enockson Author Interview

Lemonade Lilli follows a little girl as she pursues her entrepreneurial dreams of starting a lemonade stand and becomes business savvy in the process. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

Lemonade Lilli was an idea I had put in the back of my mind until my father passed away (September, 2021). It then became a labor of love to remember and memorialize memories I had while growing up on his dairy farm. The setting of Lemonade Lilli takes place on that farm in Mount Vernon, WA.

My grandfather was also a big part of what I loved most about the farm. Following him or my father was decidedly what I looked forward to most days. The illustrations of the front porch, shop, and barn were inspired from family photos taken back in the 1970’s.

Lilli is a wonderful character that I loved following. What were some driving ideals behind her character’s development?

The only advice I have taken about writing, since I started this journey, has been ‘write what you know’. I knew this farm, the tractor dealership down the road, having neighborhood friends, and hours of watching my father and grandfather work.

Even though I grew up in a middle-class family, we were taught to work for what we wanted. My siblings and I worked many jobs as well as chores to earn the money for what we wanted. The first major purchase I made as a kid was a brand new, lime-green, 10-speed bicycle.

The character of Lilli was indeed developed from my memories of my childhood. Even though I never ran my own lemonade stand, I always participated in fundraisers and loved sales. I also remember, acutely, the feeling of wanting the rewards for my efforts much sooner than was realized.

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

Financial Literacy was the main theme. As an educator, mom, and a member of society, I have seen a large deficit in our younger population’s ability to make wise decisions about money. Simple skills such as counting change or saving money for the future are not skills many middle school children have.

I also wanted to highlight how important healthy family relationships are to the success of children. Children also need support from friends and members of the community to give them the best opportunity to succeed in life. Overall, I wanted to show what that kind of support looks like, since many children have never experienced it on all levels.

What is one piece of advice you would give to a child who wants to start their own business?

My advice would be to recruit at least one trusted adult and a few loyal siblings and/or friends to help you plan, fund, and execute your project for its optimal success. The best things in life are shared.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Lilli wants to earn money! With the help of her grandparents, neighborhood friends, and her older brother, Lilli learns the value of hard work, support, and sound business practices to create a successful lemonade stand business.
May you be as successful as Lilli!

Escaping the Future

Escaping the Future is an exciting science fiction adventure that focuses on the triumphs and challenges of a group of heroes, with unexpected plot twists throughout the story. The book drew me in from the beginning, with a fast-paced narrative that engages the reader with a deeply complex world of fate and a chilling but striking future entrenched in battles and advanced technology. The characters must face their inner demons while taking on the challenges of an ever-changing society. It’s a story where richly-developed characters keep the reader interested, whether it’s Tate’s brash attitude to Sophia’s reluctance to take sides, Nic’s self-blame, or Zoe’s fear of being an outsider.

It’s not often that I read a book that is so perfectly balanced between the immensity of its setting and the dynamic relationship between a close group of friends. As the four unexpected heroes take center stage and grow as their adventure continues, they face many obstacles, including devasting setbacks, deadly adversity, and a dire final battle that elevates this science fiction tale.

I found the author has an exceptional storytelling ability. The story initially centers around Nic Walker, a boy of twelve, who faces his worst fear, which is moving away from his best friends. As he rushes to spend the precious time he has left with his friend Tate, a major aviation fan, savvy Sophia, and Zoe, they become unexpectedly involved in a lively adventure where they risk everything to save the future of earth from a truly nightmarish fate.

This book is an excellent coming-of-age story that combines the everyday challenges of kids aged twelve and up with the excitement of science fiction and futuristic elements. I recommend Escaping the Future for its fantastic narration, engaging storyline, and strong characters.

Pages: 299 | ASIN: B0B52DWYNG

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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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Heart of the Forest: Book 1 of the Cousin Friendship Series

Twelve-year-old Ilyria wants nothing more than to write an incredible fantasy novel…and outdo her perfect cousin Jerry. However, when Thanksgiving Day arrives, Ilyria finds herself sandwiched between her disapproving parents, her doting aunt, uncle, and the insufferable Jerry. Things are only made worse when both sets of parents insist the cousins should spend time together. So, heading out into the dark forest, the two teenagers soon find themselves at the beginning of a wondrous adventure, with only each other to rely on. Facing deadly obstacles and dangerous pathways in search of the mysterious force that called them forward, Jerry and Ilyria must learn more about each other and about themselves if they have any hope of survival.

Taking place partly in our world and partly in a magical realm, Heart of the Forest: Book 1 of the Cousin Friendship Series by Hermione Lee is a thrilling journey of discovery. While facing numerous threats and encountering endless wonders, Ilyria and Jerry must learn to overcome their prejudices in order to genuinely understand one another. I liked that this story is about cousins, which is relatively rare in the field. I loved that I never knew what was going to be around the next corner, and the nonstop action kept the pages turning. I was as angry as Ilyria at the parents in the story, finding them to be the most irritating family members I have encountered in literature outside of a Charles Dickens novel. However, I loved the interwoven nature of the story, where I felt that I was not only experiencing the adventures of Ilyria and Jerry but something of the author’s personal journey.

One way that the author helps readers to develop empathy and an emotional connection to their main characters is through their struggles. The teenagers encounter numerous enemies, perform multiple physically demanding escapes, and practically hike across half a continent, only stopping to eat and sleep once in the entire adventure. By the end of their journey, they have been so exhausted, hungry, and dehydrated. Recognizing this plight gives the characters an additional level of respect for their endurance.

Heart of the Forest: Book 1 of the Cousin Friendship Series is an excellent middle-grade fantasy novel, perfect for ages 10 and up. This story is about magic and wonder, overcoming prejudice, and finding the courage to let friendship enter a broken heart. It is a beautiful beginning to an up-and-coming fantasy novel series.

Pages: 210 | ASIN : B0B6L2ZX3N

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