Thursday, May 31, 2018

Review: Birds of a Feather by Tom Crice and Ellen Rakatansky

A Children's Story of Love, Loss, and What Came Next
by Tom Crice
Illustrated by Ellen Rakatansky
Dove Tale Press
Picture Book / Fiction


With a gentle touch, this book explores the tough topic of the death of a loved one while offering one way to find hope and comfort.

A young boy loves spending time with his grandfather. One day, his mother tells him his Grandfather has left, but the goodbye is nothing like the boy expected. Not sure where to put his feelings and not wanting to hurt his mother, the boy suddenly finds help in an unexpected moment on the subway.

This is a sweet book which presents much warmth, love and care. It reads like a normal story, allowing the young listener/reader to get to know the boy and fall into his world and situation. The boy comes across as an average kid and the descriptions of his grandfather fit this role perfectly as he talks about moments kids would really enjoy. When the death occurs, it's done with love—never overly detailed but remains in the boy's view and glides nicely with his thoughts and concerns. It's easy for listeners/readers to connect to.

The illustrations are bright and hopeful. They dabble between the text, offering a nice break and adding just the right amount here and there. They have a very personal touch and are slight enough to never overpower the text, but still, add color and something to look forward to on every page.

This works well as a read-aloud for ages 5 and up but also as a book for readers who are fairly sure of words. While the vocabulary is simple enough for even the younger age group to understand, the length is more fitting to a chapter reading level. As a read aloud, the chapters offer a wonderful opportunity to take a pause for discussion. It's a lovely read.

And here they are. . .

The author. . .
Tom Crice is a lawyer, actuary, and writer living in Cambridge, MA. He wrote Birds of a Feather based on his warm childhood experiences with his grandfather. Tom has published multiple articles on legal topics and has received honorable mention in both the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest and the Christopher Columbus Screenplay Discovery Awards Competition. His short story, Epiphany, appeared in the Purple Thistle Collection. When not working or writing, Tom can often be found at the boxing gym or taking a math class.

The Illustrator. . .
Ellen Rakatansky lives in Cambridge, MA, where she works as a business analyst, a flutist, and an artist. Her artistic focus is on painting and home design, and Birds of a Feather is her debut book.

Cover Reveal: The Ghost in the Gardens by HL Carpenter

Mirror World Publishing presents the cover reveal for The Ghost in the Gardens (A Flower Girl Mystery) by HL Carpenter.

About The Ghost in the Gardens:

Until the first spooky visit, ten year old Chrysantha Howe doesn't think about ghosts. She thinks about plants.




She has her future planned out, and that future includes plants. Chrys is going to be a plant scientist like her uncle and her favorite teacher, and she's determined to find the very rare Coralroot orchid.

The ghost is not in the plan.

But when her teacher disappears and the police suspect her uncle was involved, Chrys has to figure out what the ghost is trying to tell her—before it's too late.

Book Details

Genre: Middle Grade Paranormal Mystery
Page Count: 152 pages
Publisher: Mirror World Publishing (

Pre-Order Links:

Mirror World Publishing

And here they are. . .

Florida-based mother/daughter author duo HL Carpenter writes family-friendly fiction. The Carpenters write from their studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, is unreal but not untrue. When they’re not writing, the Carpenters enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity. Visit to enjoy gift reads and excerpts and to find out what’s happening in Carpenter Country.

Connect with HL Carpenter:

Happy Book Birthday, Angel of Night by L.L. Hunter

Angel of Night
 Angels of London: Book 3
by L.L. Hunter
YA Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Cover Designer: KILA designs

Hosted by: Lady Amber's PR

Life can't get any worse for Gabe, and with Melody gone, it's the perfect chance for evil to step in.
Max's visions predict a future where darkness and old foes rise, bringing fire and pain. In its wake, Gabe and his friends must face certain death.
In the final instalment of the Angels of London series, can the Nephilim defeat this rising threat, or will darkness consume them all?

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: Angel of Hope:
Amazon US:
Amazon UK:
Amazon AU:
Amazon CA:
iBooks: Kobo: Nook:

Angel of Song:
Amazon US:
Amazon UK:
Amazon AU:
Amazon CA: iBooks: Kobo: Nook:

Angel of Night: 
Amazon US:
Amazon UK:
Amazon AU:
Amazon CA:
iBooks: Kobo: Nook:

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Sneak Peek: Red: A Modern Fairytale Retelling by Jessi McPherson with Giveaway!

A Modern Fairytale Retelling
by Jessi McPherson
YA Fantasy

Everyone has read the tale of Little Red Riding Hood... Such a carefree, naïve girl who fell victim to the wolf and had to be saved by the Huntsman. I’d like to set that story straight. It all began with a girl, a curse, and wolf. We all have a hero inside. All it takes is to believe. Cara knew the legends of her village but she never thought she'd become one.


“Please help me,” a weak voice said in the distance. Cara ran toward the faint
sound, and on the ground found a young man, no older than she, lying covered in
blood and wounds.
“Oh, god. Are you okay?” He was silent. She knelt beside him to check his
pulse. It was there, but it was weak. “Well, hang on. Hopefully Gran has
something to help.” Carefully she lifted him, but it took everything she had to
bring him to the trail. She knew there was no way that she would be able to carry
him all the way there. “Please stay alive until I get back,” she whispered to him
and took off running. It only took a few minutes to make it the rest of the way to
the cottage. “Gran, Gran, please come quick!” she yelled as she headed for the
“Dear child, what has you all worked up?”
“I need your cart. There was a young man in the woods, and he’s injured.”
Her Gran looked up at the moon. “Come, child. Show me where.” They
hitched her horse to the cart and Cara led her Gran to where she had left him.
“Was he alone?” Gran asked.
“Yes, and gravely injured.” As they rounded the bend, they could see that he
was still lying on the side of the road.
“Oh dear. He’s been attacked. Come, let’s get him to the cottage and tend to
his wounds. We don’t have much time,” her Grandmother urged.
“He’s coming,” he groaned. Her Gran knelt beside him and whispered
something. He seemed to relax.
“What did you say to him?”
“Only that he was safe and being treated,” she replied. They walked quietly
back to her cottage. “Place him on the cot, dear. Do you have the elixirs your
mother sent?”
“Yes, here in my bag.”
“Good. I need those− also, some wolfbane and jasmine from my shelf.” Cara
grabbed the plants that she had been asked to get and sat beside her
Grandmother, watching her work.
“I don’t recognize him from the village,” Cara said, placing the plants in the
mortar for her Gran.
“No, I don’t suppose he is a villager.”
“Where do you think he came from?”
“I think we will find out, either when he wakes or when the sun rises,” her
Grandmother said.
“What do you mean?”
“You’ll see, child, and it’s about time.”
Cara didn’t understand what she meant. She watched as her Grandmother
pulverized the herbs and noticed she spoke quietly as she did. “What are you
“Just a little spell to help with the healing. He is in a lot of pain and won’t heal
until he calms.”
“So it’s true. You are a witch.”
“That’s a strong word, but yes. You are, as well. You come from a long line of
them. We are here to help protect the Hylands. That is why your mother sent you
“What do you mean?” Cara asked, wonderment evident on her face.
“She noticed you’ve been changing and slowly coming into your gifts over
the last few months. There’s a lot you are going to learn about, but now we must
attend to this man.”
Cara was in shock. Her Grandmother was, in fact, a witch, and apparently, so
was she. She started to shake.
“It’s okay, sweet child.”
“Why didn’t you or Mother tell me sooner?”
“We weren’t sure if you would inherit any gifts. Not every child that is born
into our line has the power. We had to wait.”
She couldn’t believe it. Their attention was drawn to the young man as he
started groaning and speaking frantically. “Lily, Lily run!” he yelled, thrashing
“Come, hold him down while I work, dear.” Grandmother mixed herbs and
covered his wounds. Cara still hadn’t moved. “Cara, snap out of it. Yes, I know
it’s a lot to process− and not how we intended to tell you− but right now I need
you to focus, or he will die.”
Cara blinked a few times and moved to do what she had been asked. His face
calmed slightly as she laid her hands on him, but the anguish was still evident.
She finally took a moment to look him over. She didn’t know why, but she felt
compelled to gaze at his perfect figure. Even covered in wounds, dirt, and blood,
his beauty was evident− from the sculpt of his chest to the contours of his face.
She slid the blood-matted hair from his face, and he slightly opened the most
beautiful green eyes she had ever seen. As he gazed into hers, he said, “Please
find Lily.” Then he closed his eyes again.
“Who is Lily?” she asked. He didn’t answer. Instead, he started thrashing

Hi all, I'm Jessi Mcpherson. I live in a small town in Iowa right on the banks of The Mighty Mississippi. I started writing when I was about 10 years old. Almost every girl has a journal but I not only had fun stories of the day but poems and short stories that popped in my head. I love fantasy and romance novels and read almost daily. I like to find my inspiration in everyday life. That's one of my goals is to find one thing every day that inspires me. I grew up an army brats so I have traveled to a few places over the years. I have two amazing children and a very amazing husband. They thankfully put up with crazy work schedules because being a mom and a writer isn't enough but I am also the general manager of Sidelines Sports bar in my home town. No matter how busy I find time for it all. I do hope you enjoy my books and I look forward to writing more.

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts and a giveaway!

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Some Very Messy Medieval Magic by C. Lee McKenzie


By C. Lee McKenzie
Dancing Lemur Press
Middle Grade Fantasy/Adventure
ages 8 to 12

Pete’s stuck in medieval England!

Pete and his friend Weasel thought they’d closed the Time Lock. But a young page from medieval times, Peter of Bramwell, goes missing. His absence during a critical moment will forever alter history unless he’s found.

There’s only one solution - fledgling wizard Pete must take the page’s place. Accompanied by Weasel and Fanon, Pete’s alligator familiar, they travel to 1173 England.

But what if the page remains lost - will Pete know what to do when the critical moment arrives? Toss in a grumpy Fanon, the duke’s curious niece, a talking horse, and the Circle of Stones and Pete realizes he’s in over his young wizard head yet again...

Also available at:

Kobo -
iTunes -
Kindle -
Foyles -,c-lee-mckenzie-9781939844460

And here she is. . .

C. Lee McKenzie has a background in Linguistics and Inter-Cultural Communication, but these days her greatest passion is writing for young readers. When she’s not writing she’s hiking or traveling or practicing yoga or asking a lot questions about things she still doesn’t understand.

Cover Reveal: Magic Harvest by Mary Karlik

Magic Harvest 
by Mary Karlik 
Ink Monster LLC
YA Fantasy

SEPTEMBER 18th, 2018!!!

Young fae girls are disappearing.
Layla has never belonged to the fairy realm – at least, half of her hasn’t. She’s never known anyone with human blood, not even her father. When she was three, the dragon Fauth attacked the fairy festival, murdering her fae mum & stepfather. Frankly, some fairies think she should’ve been eaten too.
As she grew, despite being called names like “fuman” for being a half-blood, she’s discovered that being half-human isn’t terrible. She may lack magic, but she is immune to iron sickness, and she can wield a sword with elven skill.
Magic in the human world is disastrous.
Sixteen years later, when Layla’s half-sister is kidnapped and taken through a portal to the forbidden human realm, Layla rushes to the rescue. She’s older and stronger, and she’s not about to let her last living family member be taken from her without a fight.
Only someone who belongs to both worlds can find the truth.
The portal spits her out in the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, but neither her sister or the kidnapper are anywhere to be found. Stuck in a world she only knows from school books, Layla forges unlikely alliances to find her sister. As she becomes tangled in the dark world of fairy trafficking, magic harvesting, and murder, Layla will have to find the strength within if she is to survive and save her sister.

And here she is. . .
Mary Karlik has always been a dreamer. When she was a teen, she read The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, and then sat in every wardrobe in her Nanna's home, trying to open the door to Narnia. She didn't find it, but she did discover her voice as an author: one filled with her young adult self, and grounded in her roots as a Texan and her Scottish heritage, nourished by obscure Scottish folklore.
You can find her Texas roots in her YA contemporary romance Hickville series , which has been described as "100% solid storytelling," and begins with Welcome to Hickville High, a "lovely story about growing up."
She digs deep into her Scottish roots - there is magic there, she just knows it - for the forthcoming YA epic fantasy Fairy Trafficking series, beginning with Magic Harvest.
She makes her home in the beautiful Sangre de Cristo mountains of Northern New Mexico where she is a certified professional ski instructor, but she also loves visiting Scotland where she is currently studying Scottish Gaelic at the University of Highlands and Islands in Skye. Mary also earned her MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, has a B.S. degree from Texas A&M University, and is a Registered Nurse.
Mary currently serves as the President of the Young Adult Chapter of Romance Writers of America and looks forward to raising a glass or two of gin and tonic with her fellow writers every year at RWA’s national convention. 


Monday, May 28, 2018

Sneak Peek: Selah's Painted Dream by Susan Count with Giveaway

Selah's Painted Dream
 Dream Horse Adventures, Book 3 | 
  by Susan Count 
Hastings Creation Group  
May 7, 2018  
Children's Fiction
174 pages

Thirteen-year-old Selah’s life is about as perfect as it gets. She has horsy friends at school, and on weekends, she rides her black mare on Grandpa’s farm. Training the horse to do upper-level liberty work is what makes her heart beat.

But one word can ruin a perfect life—moving.

A move would separate her from her horse, so she plots to get her name on the farm mailbox instead. She’s sure she could persuade Grandpa—except he’s overly distracted by a sheep-loving neighbor.

Determined not to let Grandpa's new sweetheart take her place in his heart, Selah puts her hope in a painted dream horse from Grandpa’s past. When she snugs up the girth and buckles on her spurs, Selah rides to win.



The morning sun was barely awake when Selah rode Dream into The Canaan Grasslands. There had to be something she could do to make Grandpa see her moving to the farm was a
terrific idea. If he warmed up to her idea, then her parents would, too. “If it weren’t for Katie, he would have suggested it himself. But Katie’s not going to stop me.”
Sweet Dream’s head flew up, and she spun sharply. Ears pricked forward, the mare snorted in alarm, shaking Selah in the saddle. Selah gripped both reins and made tight contact with the bit trying to steady the horse. She stared down the service road. It dawned on her something was brushing along the crowns of the trees and coming fast in their direction. A red-and-white plane lurched and wobbled toward them as it snapped the tops off the
small pines.Dream made the decision to save them both when she bolted
and plunged into the forest. She lunged through the thick brush,
making a beeline toward the farm. Selah crouched low and hung on as if her life depended on it. She yowled as her knee impacted a tree.
Behind them, trees cracked and splintered. Then came a thud and the screeching crunch of metal. Quiet returned to the forest. Dream skidded to a stop at the top of a deep ravine and trembled. Selah braced in the stirrups, so she didn’t fly over the
mare’s head. Even through the western saddle, she could feel Dream’s heart pounding. The mare’s sides heaved with exertion. Selah kicked her feet free of the stirrups and vaulted to the ground. She winced as she landed and her knee buckled. Rubbing her painful knee, she clutched one rein. Dream pranced around her, flipping her nose and blowing hard.
“Easy, girl. Easy.” Selah turned with the horse, speaking soothing words, but staying clear of her clomping hooves. She needed to calm the horse, and talking sweetly wasn’t working. Her feet tangled in the brush. She fell beside Dream, jerking on the bit, for which she would apologize later. She narrowly missed getting her hand stomped on. Leaping to her feet, she had to take control before Dream became completely unmanageable. She asked Dream to execute her groundwork exercises. She yielded the mare’s hindquarters, asked her to go forward then backward. Now sidestep away and circle around. As soon as the mare’s head lowered, Selah positioned the horse by a log and climbed into the saddle.
They retraced their steps toward the service road. “How did you not break a leg galloping through here?” She grimaced at the number of deep holes they had passed in their mad crash through the woods. Dream picked her way through the fallen branches of a dead tree in the last fifteen feet to the road.

Other books in the series...

A story of love and determination in the face of adversity that will steal your heart.

Twelve-year-old Mary longs to have a horse of her own, but she's limited to reading horse books. A talented artist, she spends her days on a blanket in the grass sketching the horses at the farm next door. She falls in love with one of the foals and is outraged to learn the filly is considered worthless as it was born lame.

Mary befriends and enlists the help of twelve-year-old Laura, whose family owns the horse farm. Against the better judgment of the farm manager, a brief reprieve is negotiated for the foal's life. The girls conspire to raise money to save her, but time is running out. Sadly, it appears the expensive surgery the foal needs has little chance to correct the problem anyway. Mary isn't about to let her own disability hold her back. She sacrifices what she holds dear - the trust of her papa, to gain her heart's desire. But she could lose everything in her struggle to save the foal.

TxAuthors Best Book Award Winner for 2017 - Juvenile - Coming of Age
Feathered Quill - 2017 GOLD Award - Children's Fiction - Animals
Purple Dragonfly - 2017 First Place - Disability Awarenes

A delightful read. Plenty of twists and turns which makes the book a great little adventure. Selah embodies perseverance, hope, determination, compassion, and spunk.

Twelve-Year-Old SELAH'S quest to be equestrian superstar is impossible without a horse. Then she spots buzzards circling in the grasslands behind Grandpa's farm. They're stalking a horse trapped in wire and Selah is its only hope. But the mare she rescues might be a bigger challenge to her dream than not having a horse at all. When an old friend of Grandpa's and a world renowned horse trainer offers to work with the wild and defiant mare, Selah jumps at the opportunity. She trains with a fierce determination to equal the equestrian talent of the deceased grandmother who instilled the love of horses in her. But when the horse causes mayhem at the trainer's facility, he sends them home. Selah must gather her courage and face up to the trainer or watch her dreams gallop away.

American Horse Publications - FIRST PLACE - Equine Fiction..... Feathered Quill - GOLD Award.....Readers Favorites - GOLD Award.....

And here she is. . .

As a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, American Christian Fiction Writers, and Texas Association of Authors, I take studying the craft of writing seriously. Revision is my super-power.

Instilled with the need to create, I love building projects and writing adventure stories. I’m a life-long equestrian and owned by a Rocky Mountain Horse. I adore grandchildren, horses, bunnies, mochas, and forest trails.

I’ve published three books in an equestrian series. I write at an antique secretary desk that occupies a glass room with a forest view. Fittingly, it once belonged to the same wise grandmother who introduced me to the love of reading via Walter Farley's horse books. That desk has secret compartments which hold memories, mysteries, and story ideas.

Blog Tour Giveaway

Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card or $25 PayPal cash prize, winner's choice
Giveaway ends: May 29, 11:59 pm, 2018
Open to: Internationally
How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
​Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Susan Count and is hosted and managed by Stacie from BeachBoundBooks. If you have any additional questions feel free to send an email to

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