Blog Archives

Jodie’s Adventure on Driftwood Island

Young Jodie and her best friend Sarah look forward to adventures in nature on magical Driftwood Island. With beautiful rainforests, intriguing shipwrecks, and historic sacred places, the possibilities are truly endless on this protected island close to Australia. But as the holiday progresses, Jodie finds more twists and turns than she ever could have imagined. And when disaster strikes, Jodie must act quickly to save the wildlife of Driftwood Island from a sinister plot.

The best books are stories that not only have incredible characters and wonderful plot developments but also something new for the reader to learn. Jodie’s Adventure on Driftwood Island by Diane Fagan ticks all the boxes. I immensely enjoyed spending an afternoon learning all about national parks in Australia alongside Jodie and her friends. Courageous Jodie, who struggles with grief and bullying, is a girl I immediately connected with. I loved seeing the story unfold as Jodie’s path intersects with many others on mysterious Driftwood Island. Reminding me of many happy childhood hours spent reading Nancy Drew mysteries, this third entry in the series is an instant favorite.

The overall story of acceptance, healing, and protecting the environment is a well-written tale of hope. Though there are themes of grief and mortality, these themes are presented gently with the goal of finding peace in a world that can be difficult to understand while making a positive difference in the lives of others in need.

Suitable for ages ten and up and all who love a middle-grade mystery on a wintry afternoon. This engaging children’s book has excellent plot development and a meaningful story. I simply can’t wait to see more from this promising author as Jodie’s adventures continue to unfold. Jodie’s Adventure on Driftwood Island is a perfect addition to any home library, a story of hope and healing, of harmony and love.

Pages: 160 | ASIN : B099MQHZ1D

Buy Now From Amazon

The Visitors

The Visitors by Andrew Cahill-Lloyd is the charming story of two aliens from the planet Aeon, Bjorn, and Zorn, who are tasked to observe Earth. The pair watches as the religious wars on the planet lead it to destroy itself. They are soon charged with the task of going back in time to try to save Earth from itself by revealing proof of alien existence to humans to prove there are bigger things out there. Teaming up with animals from around the world, they set their plan in motion to save man. Will their endeavors be fruitful in enlightening mankind, or have they caused bigger problems?

This was a sweet read that was out of this world. It was fun seeing the misadventures these aliens and animals get themselves into, and I feel kids would enjoy its wacky cast of characters. I love a good romp through time and space, and this filled that niche perfectly. This piece had good heartwarming messages I think a lot of people need to hear in this day and age. The humor in this book balanced out the heavier topics and made this an enjoyable rescue mission that didn’t take itself too seriously. I mean, who doesn’t love a well-placed fart joke when you’re trying to save the world.

I did feel the flow of the book needed some work. I felt it was too fast-paced, and you really didn’t have time to marinate on each revelation before you raced off to the next one. I wished the descriptions had been fleshed out a little bit more in some areas; I couldn’t get a good image in my head at times. The character’s personalities, however, shone through and kept me smiling and laughing.

The Visitors is a gripping children’s science fiction novel filled with aliens and animals. I highly recommend this book if you love a good adventure through time and space. Its fun characters, heartwarming messages, and humor make this an entertaining story.

Pages: 206 | ISBN : 1398490334

Buy Now From Amazon

The Red Eyes & The Curse

The Red Eyes by Lee Ching Kai follows Will and his siblings as they encounter paranormal experiences that begin to threaten the lives of their family. Will receives a new dog named Chester and he starts to notice odd occurrences around his home that lead him to explore an abandoned house he believes to be the cause of the paranormal activity. After meeting the ghost of a woman in the haunted house, Will and his sibling’s lives are forever changed, not by the hauntings, but by the secrets that are revealed. Will must find a way to save his family before the consequences of those secrets cost them all their lives.

At the very core of this paranormal mystery is an enjoyable horror story. The story is straightforward, so it will be easy to follow. Readers looking for a clear-cut supernatural story will enjoy the clear narration. The characters were all likable. Will was a character that felt very realistic in both his actions and his thoughts. This is a short but entertaining read that will leave you with some questions in the end that readers will surely be thinking about for a while.

In The Curse, Amelia and her family move to a new home in hopes of finding a better environment for her, but Amelia and her brothers notice that something is off about some of the townspeople. While exploring what she believes to be a haunted house, Amelia meets a group of individuals who are not as they seem and is forever changed as she becomes involved in their story. Amelia must decide whom to trust as the fate of her family and the world depends on her decision.

This is an intriguing story that follows a teenager, Amelia, and her family as they relocate to a new home. This was meant to be a positive change, but Amelia finds violence and death. After becoming involved with a group of individuals she meets at a haunted house, Amelia must make impossible decisions to keep her family and the world safe.

The Curse is an easy and quick read. There are some similarities between this story and The Red Eyes, but there is an element to this story that is creative and unique, and some of the plot points are pretty wild. The author does a great job creating decent characters as Amelia the protagonist is likable. The author breaks the fourth wall several times, which readers may find interesting.

This is a fascinating collection of short stories that middle-grade readers looking for intriguing supernatural mysteries will surely enjoy.

Pages: 236 | ISBN: 9670730511

Buy Now From Amazon

The Lady of the Loch

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

Buy Now From B&

The Freedom To Follow Your Dreams

Adrienne La Faye Author Interview

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.

Author Links: Twitter | Facebook | Website

Twelve-year-old African American twins, MALIA, and MICAH, OLIVER, aren’t what you would call the top dogs of the middle school social food chain. With her brute strength and no-can-do attitude, Malia has the likes of Serena Williams on her radar, and nothing will stop her from athletic greatness. Well, except for one thing: her clumsy twin, Micah.

The Adventures Of Pick Pock Tick Tock: The Attack Of The Monkeys

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

Buy Now From Amazon

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

Buy Now From Amazon


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

Buy Now From B&
%d bloggers like this: