Twelve-year-old Tyler Buckland is moving away from his old home in Oxford to the scenic little town of Lochview in Scotland. Not that he has a choice in the matter. Chafing at the thought of leaving familiar surroundings, Tyler joins his dad, who introduces Tyler to the ghost stories surrounding the tiny town. After arriving, Tyler soon discovers that the supernatural is closer than he ever dared imagine, as a centuries-old danger returns to threaten the children of modern-day Lochview. Caught in a web of mystery where the fantastic clashes with the everyday, Tyler must use his wits to survive if he has any hope of thwarting his otherworldly foe.
The Lady of the Loch by Ryan Vernel is a chilling tale of specters and supernatural horror. Placed in a small town in Scotland, every part of the background lends ambiance to this frightening adventure. The plot moves quickly, each heart-pounding moment leading to the next big revelation as Tyler struggles to learn more about the town and the legends surrounding it. A place where the magical meets the mundane. Anything and everything is possible in the town of Lochview, and this first entry in the series brought a chill to my bones.
The plot is easy to follow and ensures that readers are consistently entertained. The characters are interesting and memorable, and every detail adds to the greater picture of the mystery. This riveting ghost story was full of adventure and is one of the most incredible I have read. The author expertly balances the riveting paranormal details and the dangerous thrills in this story so that young readers are immersed in this fun story, rather than being frightened.
This journey of peril and battling the hidden forces of evil is well worth a read. Ryan Vernel’s middle-grade ghost story creates a uniquely eerie atmosphere that is spooky and consistently entertaining. The Lady of the Loch is the beginning of a promising supernatural mystery series for children, as Tyler Buckland faces deadly supernatural forces to protect the town and people of Lochview.
Pages: 149 | ASIN : B0BKJH88CQ
Tags: author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, Children's fiction, children's scary stories, childrens fantasy and magic, childrens horror, childrens mystery and detective, ebook, goodreads, indie author, kindle, kobo, literature, middle grade, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, Ryan Vernel, story, The Lady of the Loch, writer, writing
DREAM JUMPERS the INHERITANCE follows siblings who are ushered into the hidden world of the Dream Jumpers. What was the inspiration for the setup of your story?
Nine years ago, I dreamt, unparallel to any dream state I remember to date. The vision was clear I had to write a book. The idea, I believe, came from God because I wasn’t thinking about writing a book. More likely, I only would want to illustrate a book, not write it. Two weeks later, I had written fifty-two thousand words. Later, I realized it was more of an outline than a book.
Your characters are interesting and well-developed. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?
I knew who and what I wanted to be at age five. However, my gender, and race, were societally marginalized, which held me back. For many years I fought for the courage to be who I am today. The longer I live, I see a better world if the youth strives to find their true young selves to succeed. No worries, that will include older folks too. My literary focus is to persuade ALL to find their life’s purpose. I developed each character reasonably quickly because I knew and recognized each personality’s voice. I had conversations with them at some point in my life and knew their backstories. Eventually, I embarked on an unlimited research trek to learn how to write, and the learning curve was very high. I persevered.
What were the themes vital for you to explore in this book?
The various themes were presented so teens who read the book might be inspired to find their particular purpose. The book’s message is to encourage children to follow their dreams. Once they graduate, dedicating their youth and begin to understand their journey to fulfilled lives. The freedom to follow your dreams is imperative to build a flourishing world. The dual-gender twin theme was a perfect way to get girls and boys to understand their gender importance. The Academy was vital to socialize and teaching the children how to accept their inheritance. They will learn how to help others and themselves. I included fun and humor throughout the book to lighten some heavy themes.
What is the next book you are working on, and when will it be available?
I’m working on the sequel to DJTI. I have many stories to tell and characters to introduce to my people. I’m not sure how many books will be in this series; I know I have more to write, and neither am I sure when it will be finished.
Posted in Interviews
Tags: Adrienne La Faye, author, author interview, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, DREAM JUMPERS the INHERITANCE, ebook, fiction, goodreads, indie author, kindle, kobo, literature, middle grade, middlegrade, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, story, writer, writing
Three teenagers struggle to fit in at the local middle school. Rad, a boy with a warrior’s heart and an artist’s eye, fights to understand why mundane school subjects like math are important. Mia, an athletic girl, strives to get to the top no matter what, especially if that means proving she’s the best in a fight. Eric, a quiet boy with Tourette Syndrome, struggles to communicate and find understanding. When the school suddenly catches fire, all three children find themselves in the same proverbial boat. With their teachers at their wit’s end and their parents called to speak with the principal, Rad, Mia, and Eric soon begin a journey to the small town of Pic Pock for enrollment in a behavioral course to improve their performance at school. But the course is beyond anything they could have imagined, and a wild adventure soon begins in the mysterious woods surrounding the quiet town.
The Adventures of Pick Pock Tick Tock: Attack of the Monkeys by Michael Clarke is an outside-the-box middle-grade adventure. The struggles of Eric, Mia, and Rad are understandable and easy to identify with. Rad is often bored with school and dreams of becoming a great warrior one day. Mia wants to push herself and win but has difficulty relying on others and resents being told what to do. Eric is the character that touched my heart the most. Shy and often misunderstood, Eric fights to find his inner courage and focus. Together, all three must learn to help each other if they hope to pass the tests ahead.
This book is fast-paced and has a good page length for the age group. However, I felt there were a few problems, mostly in how Eric was portrayed. Although I liked that a character with Tourette Syndrome was included in the story, I thought the character could have been represented with more sensitivity. Although the book’s tone is light and not meant to be taken too seriously, the depiction of Tourette Syndrome in the book could be seen as offensive in a few instances. I also disliked that the teachers in the story had so little patience and respect for a child with special needs.
The story is highly engaging and ends with the promise of many more adventures. Though we have only scratched the surface of the magical mysteries of the town of Pick Pock, the continuing tale of Eric, Mia, and Rad has lots of potential. This journey of three young teens trying to find their place in the world has only just begun. Great for ages 10 and up who like a story where anything is possible, this fast-moving tale is perfect for reading on a relaxing Saturday afternoon.
Pages: 101 | ASIN : B0BM9RC95C
Tags: author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, children's action and adventure, children's inspirational, childrens book, childrens humorous, childrens personal growth, chilldren's fiction, ebook, goodreads, indie author, kindle, kobo, literature, Michael Clarke, middle grade, nook, novel, Pick Pock, read, reader, reading, story, The Adventures Of Tick Tock, writer, writing
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
Tags: action, adventure, author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, Dane Thorburn and Nature's Revenge, dragons and mythical creatures, ebook, fantasy, goodreads, indie author, kindle, kobo, literature, Matt Galanos, middle grade, middle school, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, story, sword and sorcery, teen, teen fantasy, writer, writing, ya fantasy, YA Novel, young adult
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
Tags: author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, childrens books, childrens fantasy, ebook, Elysia, fantasy, fiction, folk tales, goodreads, indie author, kindle, kobo, literature, Malcolm Chester, middle grade, mythology, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, story, writer, writing
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.
Posted in Interviews
Tags: Adam Crozier, adventure, author, author interview, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, Escaping the Future, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, indie author, kindle, kobo, literature, middle grade, middlegrade, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, science fiction, scifi, story, time travel, writer, writing
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
Tags: adventure, author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, childrens books, diversity, ebook, elementary, fantasy, fiction, Gabriel Bietz, goodreads, indie author, kids books, kindle, kobo, literature, middle grade, nook, novel, parents, picture books, read, reader, reading, school, story, The Adventures of Arya and Krishna Betta Fish, writer, writing
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.
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