Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Review: The Adventures of Popcorn and Jellybean by Robert Gillespie with Giveaway

The Adventures of Popcorn and Jellybean 
by Robert Gillespie
Children's Fantasy/Nature
48 pages
Page Publishing
July 2017
Tour dates: Jan 22 to Feb 2, 2018
Content Rating: G

Popcorn and Jellybean had never ventured down the path beyond the big tree. But since they never really did anything exciting, and even though it made them a little nervous at first, they decided it would be a fun adventure for a couple of days. What could possibly go wrong? Plenty, as it turned out, if the explorers were not prepared! Join them as they take on new challenges each day, learn how to survive by following the behaviors of the animals they encounter, and go where Mother Nature leads them. And who knows, maybe we could learn as well!


Two extraordinary friends head for a camping adventure and learn that Mother Nature is full of surprises.

Popcorn and Jellybean are great friends, and when they have the chance to go on a several day trip together in the woods, they are ready for adventure. Never going that far into the woods, they're not sure what to expect. Nature supplies a new surprise every day, but these two are ready to learn and experience everything as they go.

The main characters—a popcorn, a jellybean and later, a raisin—drew not only my attention but had my kids raising their eyebrows too. It's an odd pairing, but that adds a little bit of quirky fun. Popcorn and Jellybean are good buddies, who stick together no matter what, and this friendship comes across loud and clear. When they face problems or surprises, they find a way to solve the situation and are willing to listen to each other's ideas. It's a lovely example of true friendship.

The dive into the woods is a journey into nature pure. Jellybean and Popcorn are faced with challenges, which require a little bit of thinking and remembering what they'd learned from adults at home. The solutions are true to life and useful, giving readers the chance to learn along with the two and discover things they might not have known before. Readers will come out of this adventure with hints on how to deal with bees stings, tent building, wild animals and other things as well.

The illustrations are bright and simple, giving kids something to look at while the story is being read. And I would recommend this as read-aloud, especially for kids ages five and up. Readers who are more sure of their reading will be able to tackle this one alone, but the large amount of text on each page might make them shy away. The text is easy to understand, written in larger lettering (a bonus when reading aloud) but does, unfortunately, carry a few editing mistakes. As to the story itself, it moves along at a steady pace and  holds more than a couple surprises. It's entertaining and educational. One simply can't think about the characters and their quirks too much, but that's what a child's imagination is all about.

And here he is. . .

Bob has spent more than 13 years as a wildlife conservation educator sharing information and animal encounters with audiences of all ages. He has a passion for teaching about a wide range of topics nature related and loves passing it along to his two sons. His youngest son, Colton, was the inspiration behind The Adventures of Popcorn and Jellybean, where it all started as a simple bedtime story. Bob currently resides in Carlsbad, California, and works as a professional interpreter guide at a world-renowned conservation organization.

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

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Happy Book Birthday, Angel of Hope by L.L. Hunter!

Angel of Hope
by L.L. Hunter 
YA Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Cover Designer: KILA designs

Hosted by: Lady Amber's PR

Gabriel Daylesford thought he had escaped a fate worse than death after the battle with Lucifer and his demons.
He knew one day Samson would seek revenge for killing his father.
But until then, Gabe has to navigate the halls of Michael Academy and learn what it means to be Nephilim.
At least he has Eden and Asher for company.
When he starts receiving frightening visions, and a warning from his human grandmother to stop using his trait, he realises he is in more danger than he thought.
He has to decide who to trust if he wants to save the world from being overrun by demons once more.
And with the sudden appearance of two mysterious girls added to mix,
Gabriel knows this won’t be easy.
He always knew he was fated for something much bigger than himself. He just doesn’t know what that is yet.
Angel of Hope is the exciting first book in an all new spin off series set in the same universe as The Legend of the Archangel series and The Eden Chronicles.

L.L. Hunter is the author of over 20 published works, including The Legend of the Archangel Series and The Garden of Eden. She has studied everything from veterinary nursing, forensic science, and dramatic arts, but has always known her true calling was to be an author. 

She has been writing since her teens - everything from fan fiction, to song lyrics, to plays and musicals. When not working on her next paranormal romance, she can be found at home in Australia, reading somewhere comfortable with one or both of her “fur babies.” 
Follow her on Facebook, Twitter @llhunterbooks, and her blog -

Buy Links: Amazon US:
Amazon UK:
Amazon AU:
Amazon CA:
iBooks: Kobo: Nook:

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Review: The Dragon Grammar Book by Diane Mae Robinson

Grammar for Kids, Dragons and the Whole Kingdom
by Diane Mae Robinson
Middle Grade Non-Fiction
ages 8 and up
140 pages

Finally! An easy-to-understand grammar book with fun grammar lessons. The Dragon Grammar Book is the ideal grammar book for kids, dragons, and adults alike. From multi-award winning children’s fantasy author, Diane Mae Robinson, The Dragon Grammar Book introduces middle grades through adults to the basic rules of the English language with easy grammar lessons. Featuring the zany fantasy characters in the author’s The Pen Pieyu Adventures series, The Dragon Grammar Book is sure to be enjoyed by the whole kingdom. "With clear examples and fun activities, this book is a must-have for readers and aspiring writers." -Peter Takach, English Teacher and Grammarian 


This is a small treasure chest of grammar information, not only for kids but also for adults and those who love visiting dragons.

Covering everything from punctuation to clauses to tricky word pairs and even more, this is a comprehensive glance at basic grammar. . .with a lovely dose of dragon, that is. After several pages of explanations concerning grammar terminology, the book goes on with ten chapters concerning various themes. Then, there are two fun tests at the end (as well as answers) to help readers see how much their grammar has improved and where they might need some brushing up. Fun illustrations, which depict the exciting characters from The Pen Pieyu Adventure series, help keep the book from growing too dry. 

This is a book, which I'll be keeping on my own shelves. The explanations are concise, easy to understand and hit upon simple things, which tend to cause trouble. While the explanations are clear, I wouldn't recommend this book for kids under ten to use on their own. Older kids, teens and adults will have no trouble diving into the pages, and even those ages eight and up will enjoy the entertaining examples. It's a great reference book to keep on the shelves, a lovely help for those just needing a bit more grammar assistance, and an ideal addition for a homeschooling program. The only thing I missed was a quick index to help find specific terms (especially for the Grammar Terminology and Confusing Words chapters). Still, the topics and rules are easy to find, and the chapters are well organized.

Summed up, this is a great book for grammar basics, not only for kids but for adults. The fun characters give the entire thing the needed humor and spice to keep boredom at bay. 

And here she is . . .

Diane Mae Robinson is the international multi-award-winning author of the children’s fantasy/adventure series, The Pen Pieyu Adventures.  The author is also an artist, art teacher, children’s book editor, and a writing instructor.  Diane lives in central Alberta, Canada.

Happy Book Birthday, Indie and the Brother's Best Friend by R. Linda

Indie and the Brother’s Best Friend
by R. Linda
Upper YA/NA
 Contemporary Romance
Editor: Laura Kemmerer
Limitless Publishing
Hosted by: Lady Amber's PR

Being in love with someone who doesn’t love you back sucks.
Being in love with your brother’s best friend sucks even more, because you know it can never happen. How tragic is that?
I’ve been in love with Lincoln Andrews since we were kids and he stuck up for me against my brother and played tea parties with me in the treehouse. I’ve also avoided him for the past year because he broke my heart…more than once.
Now we’ve been thrown together at a tropical resort to celebrate my parents’ second wedding, and things are intense and getting worse, no thanks to an insane plan my friends cooked up to get me my dream man.
No one else even comes close to what Linc means to me. He’s always there for me, but is it because he cares for me too—or only because I’m his best friend’s little sister?
It’s time I find out once and for all…but what if our crazy plan blows up in my face and ruins everything?

R. Linda drinks wine and writes books.
A coffee addicted, tattoo enthusiastic fangirl with a slight obsession for a particular British boy band and solo artist, she is a writer of Contemporary YA/NA Romance and Suspense, sometimes dabbling in Paranormal as well.
Renee lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband and two sons. When not writing she can often be found reading books to her children and cuddling up with them on the couch to watch their favourite movies.

Author Links:
Buy Links:
Bailey and the Bad Boy:
Indie and the Brother’s Best Friend:

I smiled at her. It wasn’t a friendly smile. It was sinister. Her eyes widened, and she moved back on the rock, knowing I was coming for her.
“You better lose that dress real quick, Princess. I’d hate for it to get wrecked.” I crept closer. Panic marred her features. She knew all too well that I meant what I said.
“You wouldn’t.” She held her hands out to stop me.
“Come on, you know me better than that. You’re getting in this water. It’s just up to you whether your pretty dress is coming in with you.” I turned my back to her. “You have until the count of three. If you’re not in the water by then, I’m turning around regardless of whether you’re still dressed or not.”
“Linc, I’m not skinny-dipping with you.” Her voice quivered a touch with nerves.
I chuckled. “No one said anything about skinny-dipping, but please don’t let me stop you if you feel inclined to swim naked.” I reached for the waistband of my boxers, and intending to mess with her a little more, I removed them completely. “I might just join you.” I threw my underwear over my shoulder and onto the rock.
I was surely going to hell for this.
“Linc! Oh, my god!” I looked over my shoulder at her to find her face buried in her hands.
“To the count of three, Indie,” I warned one last time.
She huffed.
What was I doing? She was Nate’s sister.
And she had Jack-ass for a boyfriend.
She was completely off limits.
It was silent. I turned to find her standing on the rock, twisting her hands nervously in front of her. Her dress…at her feet.
I gulped.
Lace. White lace. Matching.
I was going to hell.
And I didn’t care. I didn’t care that she was Nate’s sister. I didn’t care that she had a boyfriend. I didn’t care that she was entirely off limits. She was mine. Always had been. And one way or another, I wasn’t leaving this island without getting what I wanted.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Review: Dik-Dik by Marilyn Brigham

Even Weirder and Cuter
by Marilyn Brigham
Bearport Publishing
Picture Book Non-Fiction
ages 4 to 8
24 pages

What's that animal with giant eyes and a long, bendy snout? It's a dik-dik! Beginning readers will learn all about these strange yet wonderful creatures in this delightful title. They will also learn basic information about dik-diks, including how these tiny antelopes protect themselves, find mates, and mark their territory. Each 24-page book features controlled text with age-appropriate vocabulary and simple sentence construction. The lively text, colorful design, and eye-catching photos are sure to capture the interest of emergent readers. Dik-Dik is part of Bearport's Even Weirder and Cuter series.

The sweet face on the cover with it's big, curious eyes already draw attention and lure in to learn more about a less known animal, the Dik-dik.

This lesser known type of antelope lives in Africa, and it is quite an interesting creature. With bright, bold photographs, this book takes a quick dive into the Dik-dik's environment, tells about its habitat and leaves the reader a little more knowledgeable than before. . .perhaps, with a new favorite animal.

Short, sweet and to the point—that's how this book runs. Each page offers basic information about the dik-diks: what they eat, how big they are, habits, predators and many other tidbits about their daily lives. While the main details are offered in easy to read and large printed text, little bits of extra information are added in bubbles here and there. This makes the book a little more fun to discover and keeps it from getting dry or boring. The amount of information is not over-powering, but would hold the attention of even young listeners and might be a bit slim for slightly older readers. The text itself is great for those kids who are feeling a little more comfortable with reading on their own.

The main treat in these pages are the photographs. The cute dik-diks are shown in their natural habitat on every page. It's a joy simply to glance through the pictures. At the end, there's a glossary to help out with a few lesser known terms and a quick view of three other less known but interesting types of antelope.

Curious kids and animal lovers will enjoy this one and discover an animal many have never heard about before.

There's no shortage of bizarre and unusual animals on Earth. This series features a new group of remarkable creatures that readers definitely won't find in their backyards! The colorful assortment includes scaly pangolins, slimy matamatas, and eerie aye-ayes. Each 24-page book features controlled text with age-appropriate vocabulary and simple sentence construction. Eye-catching photos closely align with clear, descriptive text. These delightful, informative books will quickly become children's favorites.

There are 8 titles in this series, including Dik-Dik:

Coconut Crab
Highland Cattle
Orchid Mantis
Velvet Ant

Sneak Peek: The Torc by J.E. Hunter with Giveaway

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Review: Precious Moments Little Book of Easter Blessings by Jean Fischer

Precious Moments
by Jean Fischer
Thomas Nelson
Board Book/Children's Religious
ages 3 and up
32 pages

The Easter season is bursting with fun—baskets full of goodies, hunts for colored eggs, and bright spring flowers. Take time to show your little one that the very best part of Easter is Jesus!

Through the classic Precious Moments® artwork, fun poems, and sweet prayers and Bible verses, Precious Moments Little Book of Easter Blessings will help your children understand that Jesus is alive and that He loves them so much! 


Every page overflows with joy, love and warmth, making this a sure favorite for the upcoming Easter season.

This is one of those books, which screams quality the second its picked up. Little hands will enjoy the softer but very solid cover and pages, which sill take some abuse. Parents, on the other hand, will appreciate the easy to clean surfaces and stability of the pages. And it's so cute! As always with Precious Moments, every illustration warms the heart and brings across a feeling of comfort and happiness. It's a treat simply to flip through the pages time and again. Youngest listeners will also have no trouble recognizing the various Easter scenes and will easily relate to the situations.

Each two-page spread holds a two verse, four line poem. These are written with love and are easy for even younger listeners to understand. The poems hit upon well-known Easter moments, while threading the message directly into situation kids will recognize and reminding of God's love. The poems are followed by a short Bible verse, which relates directly to the poems' topics, and there's a very short, easy to understand prayer. Everything is written with children in mind and bringing across the message of God's love for them in a gentle way, which they'll understand.

The poems and illustrations are a lovely way to ring in the Easter season and remind young listeners what Easter is all about, while threading it into traditions and moments they already treasure and understand. It's simply a calming, warming treat.

I received a complimentary copy from Booklook Bloggers.

Cover Reveal: Nocturne by Heather McKenzie

Clean Teen Publishing is pleased to present the official cover reveal for Nocturne, book two in The Nightmusic Trilogy by Heather McKenzie. This highly anticipated sequel will hit digital shelves on March 20, 2018. To celebrate, the first book in this Young Adult contemporary series is currently on sale for $.99. Let us know what you think of this gorgeous new cover in the comments!

Pre-order your copy today! Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo I am hunted. A pawn in a vicious game. The only way I can protect the ones I love... to disappear.


Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo
When the teenage daughter of a corrupt billionaire falls in love with her kidnapper, she fights to stay alive in the Rocky Mountains while her devoted bodyguard vows to stop at nothing to get her back.

by Heather McKenzie
The Nightmusic Trilogy #1
Clean Teen Publishing 
Available Now for only $.99! 
YA Mystery, Romance, Suspense

"The suspense is nail biting..." ~In'Dtale Magazine

When billion-dollar heiress Kaya Lowen is kidnapped, her devoted bodyguard vows to stop at nothing to get her back. But, as Kaya gets her first taste of freedom away from barred windows, armed guards, and a father with questionable motives, a dark family secret begins to unravel and she wonders if staying in the arms of her blue-eyed abductor is safer than being found. At least, that’s what her heart is telling her. Her head is saying run... Now the hunt is on. Deep in the wilderness of the Rocky Mountains, Kaya and her captors endure the worst Mother Nature can throw at them. While they are relentlessly pursued across rugged terrain and through raging storms, the captivating stranger who stole her from her father also steals her heart. Caught in the middle of a deadly game, Kaya desperately tries to do the right thing as her rescuers draw ever closer. Her survival soon comes down to a difficult choice—one she must make—between old loyalties and new love.

Serenade sings a timeless tale of courage, self-discovery, and the power of finding your own voice on an epic journey of life-or-death love. This series is perfect for fans of Paper Princess by Erin Watt, The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall and Too Late by Colleen Hoover.


And here she is. . .

Heather McKenzie is a Canadian author and Serenade is her first novel. A professional singer/songwriter with five albums to date, she has been telling stories through music for years and pulls from her extraordinary experiences as a musician to fuel her passion for creating Young Adult fiction. A rocker at heart, a mom of three, an aspiring painter, and a lover of animals, she is kept grounded by her husband at their home in Edmonton.

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Saturday, January 27, 2018

Review: The Children in the Garden by R.A. Douthitt

by R. A. Douthitt
Middle Grade Mystery/Thriller
414 pages

Now that Mikey and his friends have solved the mystery of the children under the ice, they are off to solve another murder mystery with the help of a little girl ghost and her dark secret of the children in the garden. Can Mikey catch the killer before he hurts what he loves most...his family? Or will the killer catch him first? Find out in this thrilling sequel to The Children Under the Ice!

This series is the
Winner of the Moonbeam Children's Books Award 
Bronze Medal


This is a wonderful mystery, which holds all of the thrills, chills and intrigue while still keeping it perfect for the middle grade audience.

Mikey has solved the first mystery, The Children Under the Ice, and is waiting to play his part in the up-coming trial—something he's pretty nervous about. But when a ghost appears, it's clear he won't have time to dwell on his fears. The girl needs Mikey's help to solve not only her own death, but that of several boys as well. The case isn't nearly as clear cut as the first one, and soon Mikey finds himself wrapped up in more murders and clues than he bargained for. If he isn't careful, not only could the killer escape, but he and his entire family might become the next victims.

I love this series! The author masterfully weaves a murder mystery which holds all the excitement of an adult mystery, but sizes it down just right for kids. Mikey and his friends come across as an average group of kids not only in the relationships, but the way the handle things, joke around or even get on each other's nerves. Mikey might be able to communicate with ghosts (at times) but he still comes across as normal as the kid next door. He makes decision as best he can, values his family and friends more than anything else, stumbles through things like everyone else.

There's never a dull moment in this book. Every scene locks the reader in and offers more to the mystery. Levels upon levels of secrets, twists and turns make it hard to guess where the entire thing will end. Some aspects are predictable letting readers have the satisfaction of knowing they were right, while other twists lead to completely unexpected results. In this book, there is a little more paranormal fantasy built in, which gives the mystery an interesting twist.

In many ways, this borders on a thriller and maybe even the horror end of things, keeping a creepy and tense air the entire way through. But it never goes too dark. The murderer is dangerous and the threat real, but it doesn't tip into violence or gore. Even the ghosts, despite the danger they pose, have borders which keep the scary moments from going overboard. The tension remains high, and not once does the author talk down to the readers but meets them on their level.

In other words, this is perfect for mystery and ghost loving middle graders who are ready to dive into a serious murder mystery and sink into an exciting adventure.

 And here she is. . .

R. A. Douthitt is the Moonbeam Award-winning author of the Children series and The Dragon Forest trilogy. She resides in Arizona with her husband and their little fat dog. 

Sneak Peek: Keeper by Kim Chance with Giveaway!

Sneak Peek: At Water's Edge by S. McPherson with Giveaway

At Water's Edge
The Water Rushes Book 1
by S. McPherson
YA Fantasy
393 pages

Magic. Romance. Portals. And war. Perfect for fans of The Mortal Instruments, Red Queen and Twilight.

What if there was another you, living in another world?

Seventeen year old, Dezaray Storm is blamed for the death of her parents, hated by her brother and secluded from her friends, but that doesn't stop her from believing in magic.
Visions of the future, mysterious cloaked figures and a handsome stranger with the ability to teleport, lead to Dezaray tumbling through a portal and into another world where she is mistaken for its most powerful sorceress and saviour.
But in a twisted turn of events, the true sorceress ends up lost in our world, wandering the streets of England with a broken device and the whisper of forgotten magic to guide her. The realm of Coldivor is on the brink of war, its enemies grow restless and its shadows have eyes. Only the true sorceress can help tip the scales in their favour and the two girls must trade back before their 18th birthday when the war that could shatter both realities, will rage.
For a tale of misguided and powerful heroines, finding yourself in the midst of chaos and discovering secrets laid to rest, read AT WATER'S EDGE, a young adult epic fantasy that readers are comparing to Cassandra Clare, Sarah J Maas and Victoria Aveyard.

**Only .99 cents!**


As I walk, I allow the woods to claim my mind. I appreciate the low hanging
branches of the tall robust trees, the flutter of the wind rippling the surface
of the stream and the scuttles and flurry of the wildlife.
Something shiny in the shadows strikes my eyes. Peering through the
lampposts’ haze, I recognise the man I’ve dubbed Tinfoil leaning against a tree
just off the path. I call him Tinfoil because that’s what he always wears:
tinfoil hat, coat, and fingerless gloves. I often see him on the weekends
in town, yelling out predictions and profanities at passers-by. Most people
give him a wide birth – especially since he once told a man he was heading
for a fall, and the next thing I knew, that same man was in a wheelchair
– however, I’ve never really bothered. Tinfoil never offends me in any
way and usually fails to notice my existence, keeping his head down and his
crinkling hands inside his torn pockets.
I move closer, preparing to give my usual nod on the off chance he looks my
way, but stop when his head twists in my direction. His eyes widen with that
crazed look I’ve seen him give others, and he jumps into my path.
‘I see the light,’ he gasps, ‘shining bright. Walk through it.’
I furrow my brow.
‘I see the light!’ he cries, ‘shining bright. Walk through it.’
My heart pounds as I stumble to get around him but he keeps leaping in my way.
‘I see the light. Shining bright. Walk through it.’
Oh dear. A crazy person is telling me to walk into the light, this can’t be
good. I pretend to step one way, and when he follows, quickly step another,
finally getting around him. His gloved hand grips my wrist, the folded foil
poking at my skin.
‘Get off!’ I exclaim.
‘Tonight free.’ Tinfoil leans close, so close I can see a spit bubble bobbing
from one lip to the other as they meet. ‘Tomorrow a cage.’
I gulp, twisting my wrist, but he’s surprisingly strong for such a withered character.

‘Tonight free. Tomorrow a cage.’ His eyes leave mine and lower to the ground.
‘Tonight free. Tomorrow a cage.’

USA Today Bestselling Author & a citizen of the world; S. McPherson was born in England, moved to Saudi Arabia when she was five then on to Dubai at the age of seven. S. McPherson briefly lived in Scotland, she is originally from Jamaica and her mind is often far, far away in lands people have never heard of.

S. McPherson has always loved writing in all its forms and at the tender age of eight, she dreamt of being a member of the next big pop group where she could sing and write songs all day. When that inexplicably fell through (how could she not be the next Beyonce??), she moved on to poems, scripts and eventually novels.

Having met many different people - imaginary and real - along her travels, S. McPherson has a vast array of characters buzzing in her head bursting to be let loose on a page or two of fantasy.

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!