Blog Tour Book Review – Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson

Another Brooklyn coverAbout Another Brooklyn

• Hardcover: 192 pages
• Publisher: Amistad (August 9, 2016)

The acclaimed New York Times bestselling and National Book Award–winning author of Brown Girl Dreaming delivers her first adult novel in twenty years.

Running into a long-ago friend sets memory from the 1970s in motion for August, transporting her to a time and a place where friendship was everything—until it wasn’t. For August and her girls, sharing confidences as they ambled through neighborhood streets, Brooklyn was a place where they believed that they were beautiful, talented, brilliant—a part of a future that belonged to them.

But beneath the hopeful veneer, there was another Brooklyn, a dangerous place where grown men reached for innocent girls in dark hallways, where ghosts haunted the night, where mothers disappeared. A world where madness was just a sunset away and fathers found hope in religion.

Like Louise Meriwether’s Daddy Was a Number Runner and Dorothy Allison’s Bastard Out of Carolina, Jacqueline Woodson’s Another Brooklyn heartbreakingly illuminates the formative time when childhood gives way to adulthood—the promise and peril of growing up—and exquisitely renders a powerful, indelible, and fleeting friendship that united four young lives.

Praise for Another Brooklyn

“Another Brooklyn is a sort of fever dream, containing both the hard truths of life and the gentle beauty of memory. The story of a young girl trying to find herself in the midst of so many conflicting influences and desires swallowed me whole. Jacqueline Woodson has such an original vision, such a singular voice. I loved this book.” — Ann Patchett, New York Times Bestselling Author

“The novel’s richness defies its slim page count. In her poet’s prose, Woodson not only shows us backward-glancing August attempting to stave off growing up and the pains that betray youth, she also wonders how we dream of a life parallel to the one we’re living.” — Booklist (Starred Review)

“Woodson crafts a haunting coming-of-age story of four best friends in Brooklyn, New York…Here is an exploration of family—both the ones we are born into and the ones we make for ourselves—and all the many ways we try to care for these people we love so much, sometimes succeeding, sometimes failing. A stunning achievement from one of the quietly great masters of our time.” — Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

“Woodson…combines grit and beauty in a series of stunning vignettes, painting a vivid mural of what it was like to grow up African-American in Brooklyn during the 1970s…Woodson draws on all the senses to trace the milestones in a woman’s life and how her early experiences shaped her identity.” — Publishers Weekly, (Boxed and Starred Review)

“With spare yet poetic writing, this long-awaited adult novel by National Book Award winner Woodson (Brown Girl Dreaming) is a series of vignettes narrated by August, shortly after her dad’s funeral and a chance encounter with an old friend.” — Library Journal (starred review)

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Happy Tuesday! Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson. Thank you to the author, TLC Book Tours and the publisher for giving me the chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review of it.

In Another Brooklyn, we follow the narrative of August as she returns home to Brooklyn for her father’s funeral. Reuniting with her brother, returning to the familiar setting and running into an old childhood friend results in August revisiting old memories and old tragedies of her childhood including her struggle with the death of her mother and her struggle to grow up in a sometimes harsh world.

I found this story to be a little sad in some parts, definitely even tragic although there are some triumphant moments as well. I was really affected by how August was basically traumatized by her mother’s death and how she struggles to cope with it throughout the story. As I get older and time goes by, I definitely have started to think more about time and about the people around me…I find myself exploring memories and this book had me thinking about that while I was reading it and immediately after.

Although I’m not used to the way it was written, I found I enjoyed it and was able to easily connect with our main character because of it. I almost felt like I was in her mind. The story does deal with some dark themes like drugs, death and sexual abuse, though not descriptive. The story just felt very real and it was an interesting look at what life may have been like for this one young black girl growing up on the edge of poverty in Brooklyn during the 70s and enduring struggle to ultimately come into her own. It’s really well written and pretty powerful. It’s a small book that packs a punch.

This is a super light read, I read it in one sitting. It’s interesting and affecting, four stars!

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Photo by Marty Umans

Photo by Marty Umans

About Jacqueline Woodson

Jacqueline Woodson is the bestselling author of more than two dozen award-winning books for young adults, middle graders, and children, including the New York Times bestselling memoir Brown Girl Dreaming, which won the 2014 National Book Award, the Coretta Scott King Award, a Newbery Honor Award, an NAACP Image Award, and the Sibert Honor Award. Woodson was recently named the Young People’s Poet Laureate by the Poetry Foundation. She lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York.

Find out more about Woodson at her website, and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.

Blog Tour Book Review: Lowcountry Stranger by Ashley Farley

Lowcountry Stranger coverAbout Lowcountry Stranger

• Publisher: Leisure Time Publishing; 1 edition (July 1, 2016)

There’s a stranger in town. And it’s no coincidence when she shows up uninvited at a Sweeney family wedding. All eyes are drawn to this urchin who seems to have washed in with the tide. Before the night is over, the doe-eyed waif charms young and old with her street smarts and spunky personality. For better or worse, Annie Dawn is here to stay.

The memorable Sweeney sisters from Her Sister’s Shoes have returned with more suspense and family drama to hold you spellbound until the dramatic conclusion. As she approaches the next stage of her life as an empty nester, Jackie is torn between expanding her fledgling design business and spending these last precious months with her boys before they fly the coop. Her own worst enemy, Sam is terrified of making a commitment to Eli Marshall, handsome police officer, true love of her life. Her resolve is tested when a ghost from her past shows up after nearly two decades. Faith nurtures her seven-year- old daughter who is recovering from the trauma of her abusive father. Is the threat in the past, or is there more danger on the horizon? The sisters seek guidance from their mother, Lovie, a true Southern matriarch who shows them how to respond to adversity with grace and dignity.

Things are heating up in the Lowcountry. The Sweeney sisters remind us, once again, that being a part of a family is about more than sharing the same DNA.

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Happy Saturday! Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Lowcountry Stranger by Ashely Farley. Thank you to the Author, TLC Book Tours and the publisher Leisure Time Publishing for giving me the chance to read this in exchange for an honest review of it.

Lowcountry Stranger is a contemporary fiction novel about the Sweeney sisters. They are part of a Southern family that comes with it’s fair share of drama, drama, drama.

I was super excited to read this book. In the past two  years, I have learned this about myself: I love Southern literature. I find it to be vibrant and fun. Such was my reading of Lowcountry Stranger. I loved the writing and I really loved these characters and their specific individual situations, but aside from that I also loved how all of their own problems, etc. affected the whole family. I really loved that familial aspect of this book and the fierce family bond and loyalty they have with each other even when put through the wringer.

I found this book to be super entertaining, I actually finished it in one night and just thought it was a really fun, involving read. Perfect for people that love family sagas but aren’t looking for a SUPER long book. This one is a pretty good length. One thing I was really surprised at is that I was able to jump right into the story and connect with most of the characters, even though I hadn’t read the first book in the series. Albeit, I am rather sad that I haven’t and will be going back to read the first one. I have to have more of this family.

Since I enjoyed this book so much I am giving it a four star review and recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading books about family drama, southern literature, suspense and contemporary fiction!

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The author is giving away a $50 Amazon gift card, visit the rafflecopter link below!

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Ashley FarleyAbout Ashley Farley

Ashley Farley writes books about women for women. Her characters are mothers, daughters, sisters, and wives facing real-life issues. Her goal is to keep you turning the pages until the wee hours of the morning. If her story stays with you long after you’ve read the last word, then she’s done her job.

After her brother died in 1999 of an accidental overdose, she turned to writing as a way of releasing her pent-up emotions. She wrote SAVING BEN in honor of Neal, the boy she worshipped, the man she could not save.

Ashley is a wife and mother of two college-aged children. She grew up in the salty marshes of South Carolina, but now lives in Richmond, Virginia, a city she loves for its history and traditions.

Ashley loves to hear from her readers. Feel free to visit her on Facebook or Twitter.

Visit her website at http://www.ashleyfarley.net.

Blog Tour Book Review: Family Tree by Susan Wiggs

Family Tree coverAbout Family Tree

• Hardcover: 368 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow (August 9, 2016)

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author comes a powerful, emotionally complex story of love, loss, the pain of the past—and the promise of the future.

Sometimes the greatest dream starts with the smallest element. A single cell, joining with another. And then dividing. And just like that, the world changes. Annie Rush knows how lucky she is. The producer of a popular television cooking show, she loves her handsome husband and the beautiful Los Angeles home they share. And now, she’s pregnant with their first child. But in an instant, her life is shattered. And when Annie awakes from a yearlong coma, she discovers that time isn’t the only thing she’s lost.

Grieving and wounded, Annie retreats to her old family home in Switchback, Vermont, a maple farm generations old. There, surrounded by her free-spirited brother, their divorced mother, and four young nieces and nephews, Annie slowly emerges into a world she left behind years ago: the town where she grew up, the people she knew before, the high-school boyfriend turned judge. And with the discovery of a cookbook her grandmother wrote in the distant past, Annie unearths an age-old mystery that might prove the salvation of the family farm.

Family Tree is the story of one woman’s triumph over betrayal, and how she eventually comes to terms with her past. It is the story of joys unrealized and opportunities regained. Complex, clear-eyed and big-hearted, funny, sad, and wise, it is a novel to cherish and to remember.

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Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Family Tree by Susan Wiggs. Thank you to the author, TLC Book Tours and the publisher William Morrow for giving the chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review of it.

Family Tree is a contemporary fiction novel about a woman who seemingly had it all and loses it in an instant by way of an accident that leaves her in a coma. When she awakes, not only is she different, but her life is completely different as well. She finds herself back in the hometown she left long ago in order to pursue her big dreams and although the circumstances that bring her back are far less than ideal, it becomes a pretty extraordinary second chance for her.

Right off the bat I knew that Family Tree wasn’t my typical read but as always, I am open to reading anythings so I decided to give this book a try. I was hooked almost right away and ended up loving it. I loved the plot itself but there was so much more to this story that really drove it home for me. One of these things was the setting. I have never been to Vermont but after reading this book and the way the author writes about it, I feel as if I’ve been there and it’s a much beloved place. The picture I have in my mind of the setting is stunning. I loved how the setting impacted the characters, it was a really integral part to their lives and how they worked. I thought that was done extremely well. I liked the characters, especially Fletcher. I thought he was really warm and likeable. I thought Annie was also warm and likeable, albeit kind of selfish but I get that she’s just been very driven throughout her entire life so I won’t fault her for that too much.

I am super happy that I gave this book a chance! Let’s get real though, I probably would have read it anyway because there’s a dog on the cover and you know me!

There was really just something special about this book and the way it was written. It just feels cozy and warm when you’re reading it, it is literally the perfect Fall read. If the idea of “comfort food” was a book, it would be this one. It was warm, tragic, beautiful and definitely gave me some feels. This book gets five stars from me! I definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a comfy read with a cute romance. Looking forward to reading more from Susan Wiggs.

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Photo by Susan Doupe

Photo by Susan Doupe

About Susan Wiggs

Susan Wiggs is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than fifty novels, including the beloved Lakeshore Chronicles series. Her books have been translated into two dozen languages. A Harvard graduate, Susan lives with her husband on an island in Puget Sound.

Find out more about Susan at her website, and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Blog Tour Book Review – A Piece of Sky, A Grain of Rice (a memoir in four meditations) by Christine Hale

29402018About A Piece of Sky, A Grain of Rice

• Paperback: 254 pages
• Publisher: Apprentice House Press (July 1, 2016)

In this layered collage of memory within memory, Hale recreates for readers her kaleidoscopic experience of a decades-long journey to acceptance and insight. Writer, prodigal daughter, single parent, Buddhist disciple, and, late in midlife, a newlywed, she is transformed through an unconventional relationship with a female spiritual teacher and an odd ritual of repeated tattooing with her two young adult children.

“Christine Hale’s A Piece of Sky, A Grain of Rice is an exquisite engagement with those tough human questions that must be asked even if they can never be answered. Hale writes toward acceptance, every page brimming with honesty, insight, and deep understanding. A truly beautiful meditation in lovely, lively prose.”~ Dinty W. Moore, author of The Mindful Writer: Noble Truths of the Writing Life

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Happy Friday!! Today I am pleased to blog my review of A Piece of Sky, A Grain of Rice: A memoir in four meditations by Christine Hale. I’d like to thank the author, TLC Book Tours and the publisher Apprentice House Press for giving me the chance to review this book in exchange for my honest review of it.

For the past couple of years, I have been trying to make a conscious effort to read more memoirs (especially after discovering that I harbor a secret love for them) and also to read more short story collections. I love memoirs, but this one in particular was pretty different in format from the memoirs that I usually read. The author tells us stories of her life in four meditations, or sections. Within these sections are stories from her life which are also broken up into their own sections that alternate between time frames, people and events.

I wasn’t too much a fan of the writing because I typically like to read memoirs that read pretty much like fiction in tone however, I enjoyed reading this book. It was hard to swallow in some places because some of the topics are pretty heavy like child abuse, spousal abuse, divorce and such but it was a very personal look into the life of a person who has gone through some things and come out on the other side. I found it very honest and affecting; to me it sent the message that we are all human, we can go through trials and we also make mistakes of our own and our journey to be okay with ourselves is affected not only by those trials and mistakes but by the other humans we encounter through them as well. I really loved that the author addressed specific people alot at the end of the sections in which she has written about a certain event in the past or just about that person in general. I found it interesting to be able to glimpse a bit how a person worked through events and people in her past. I loved the symbolism of the tattoo shared between mother and children.

I did somehow think that this book would have a little more about her journey in Buddhism. It definitely included some things like the retreats she would go on to get away from the world and live pretty much in seclusion trying to get in touch with herself and de-stress but there was alot less than I thought there would be. Nevertheless, I really liked this book and appreciated it’s message. When I was reading it, I even thought to myself that I need to start taking time out of my day and meditating to clear my mind and de-stress. I think readers who are interested in memoirs may find something to enjoy here! I am giving this book a 3.5 (I liked it!) star rating.

Happy Weekend Reading everyone!

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Chris_Hale_Finals_Web-Res-9-680-200x300About Christine Hale

Christine Hale’s prose has appeared inHippocampus, Arts & Letters, Prime Number, Shadowgraph, and The Sun, among other literary journals. Her debut novel Basil’s Dream(Livingston Press 2009) received honorable mention in the 2010 Library of Virginia Literary Awards. Hale has been a finalist for the Glimmer Train Short Story Award for New Writers and the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award. Presently, she teaches in the Antioch University-Los Angeles Low-Residency MFA Program as well as the Great Smokies Writing Program. She lives in Asheville, North Carolina.

Connect with Christine at her Website.

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Blog Tour Book Review: The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

The Hating Game coverAbout The Hating Game

• Paperback: 384 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (August 9, 2016)

Debut author Sally Thorne bursts on the scene with a hilarious and sexy workplace comedy all about that thin, fine line between hate and love.

Nemesis (n.) 1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome.

                       2) A person’s undoing

                       3) Joshua Templeman

Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. Hate. And they have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of ritualistic passive aggressive maneuvers as they sit across from each other, executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Lucy can’t understand Joshua’s joyless, uptight, meticulous approach to his job. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy’s overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and Pollyanna attitude.

Now up for the same promotion, their battle of wills has come to a head and Lucy refuses to back down when their latest game could cost her her dream job…But the tension between Lucy and Joshua has also reached its boiling point, and Lucy is discovering that maybe she doesn’t hate Joshua. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.

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It’s Monday!! Today I’m fortunate to share my review of a really good book! I’d like to start off by sending a big thank you to the author, TLC Book Tours and the publisher Harper Collins for giving the chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review of it.

The Hating Game is a contemporary romance about two people who can’t stand each other, Lucinda and Joshua. They both work at a publishing company that is headed by two co-CEOs and they are basically rivals; each other’s polar opposite. This game of rivalry has been going on since day one. They exchange banter all day that is witty, biting and often borders on flirtation. But the two are convinced of their long time hate for the other and it seems to spin into overdrive when they are pitted against the other for a promotion. With this new development and also their not so subtle flirtation, the game just gets a little more intense every day.

I haven’t read a contemporary romance in quite awhile although I have been itching to read one (evidence of this exists on my bookshelf right this moment). When I first read about The Hating Game it sounded like it would be a fun read for the summer and  I loved that it was described as a rom com. I don’t read many rom coms but I am definitely a rom com movie fan!

I was hooked from the beginning of this book. I loved pretty much everything about it…I loved the writing, the characters, the pacing of the plot. It is straightforward, hilarious, witty and most importantly, biting. I love these characters. I loved the dynamic between our two main characters right away. Their banter is super entertaining and super hot! They were like the modern Darcy and Elizabeth if they had met in the workplace and had rival careers. Their banter just reminded me of that sort of dynamic – which is one that I love.

I definitely was not expecting to love this book to the degree that I did. It was a super fun read that kept me ripping through the pages, totally a “read in one sitting” kind of book. It was really fast paced. It’s 363 pages but it didn’t feel that way because how fast the plot moved which kept me up reading all night because the sauciness of these character was just off the charts.This may actually be my most favorite read of this year. I think this book has some of the best sexual tension between characters that I have read thus far. I also didn’t expect it to be as funny as it was. I found myself giggling out loud and I HAD to put it down a few times and gush to my husband about how good it was.

I want this book to be a movie. Hollywood please make this a movie and cast either Emma Roberts or Anna Kendrick as Lucinda. I’m not sure who I would pick to play Joshua…maybe Liam Hemsworth?

If you are a contemporary romance fan, do yourself a favor and pick up this book now! You will not be sorry, it is awesome! I HIGHLY recommend giving this a read if you are looking for a great contemporary romance read. The author’s next book is coming out in 2017 and I will be highly anticipating it! Sally Thorne is definitely an author to watch. Five stars!

P.S. This book is beautiful. I love the cover design and the colors that were used.It’s super attractive and cute and it’s one of those floppy, soft matte covers that is so comfortable to read. Love it!

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Photo credit Katie Saarikko

Photo credit Katie Saarikko

About Sally Thorne

Sally Thorne lives in Canberra, Australia and spends her days writing funding submissions and drafting contracts (yawn!) so it’s not surprising that after hours she climbs into colorful fictional worlds of her own creation. Sally believes that romance readers are always searching for intensity in their next favorite book—and it isn’t always so easy to find. The Hating Game is her first novel.

Follow Sally on Facebook and Twitter.

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Picture Book Review: Oliver and Jumpy, stories 46-48 by Werner Stejskal

51eDMHwMjdLTitle: Oliver and Jumpy, Stories 46-48  by Werner Stejskal
Genre: Children’s Picture Books
Length: 39 pages
Format: Ebook
Publication date:   May 1, 2016
Publisher: Self Published
Rating: 5/5 – we loved it

Oliver is an elegant tuxedo cat, who is full of himself. As a matter of fact he says: “I love myself!”, quite often. Naughty, isn’t he? But his best friend Jumpy, a kangaroo lady, is aware that he has a soft heart and will always want to help others. The great thing is Jumpy’s pouch, which Oliver loves to ride in! He calls her his kangaroo taxi! These little bedtime stories with their lovely illustrations are great for small kids. A parent can read the text and tell the child in his own words. These animal stories have sufficient text to keep early readers happy and provide some educational value. Love you all! Meow!
Story 46: Saving Fairyland – The queen of fairyland asks Oliver to help them against the magician.
Story 47: Cat King – Oliver becomes a king for a short while, and even gets married.
Story 48: Gnomes – Oliver’s oak tree receives surprise visitors.

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Happy Sunday! This weekend I had a slumber party with my nephew and niece. My nephew has gotten really into reading lately and my niece not so much so we decided to read Oliver and Jumpy, stories 46-48 before going to sleep last night. Like every other Oliver and Jumpy book we have read together, this book contains three separate Oliver and Jumpy adventure stories Saving Fairyland, Cat King, and The Bee Gnomes. This is one of my most favorite things about these books because I feel like you get a really good three stories in one deal. It’s hard to beat that. My nephew and niece are also really familiar with Oliver and Jumpy now because we have read a few of the books in the series and they really enjoy them so they were happy to read another one this weekend, so happy that they didn’t fall asleep until we read through all three of the stories in this book.

In Saving Fairyland, Oliver and Jumpy are approached by the Fairy Queen who implores them for help saving her kingdom from a troublesome giant and a fearsome wizard who are wreaking havoc on their fairy lands.

In the cautionary tale, Cat King, Oliver and Jumpy explore Ghost Castle and happen upon a statue of Oliver. When his stone court comes alive and begins to shower him with attention and feasts, he goes along with it until they realize that he is not really their king and he learns a valuable lesson.

In The Bee Gnomes, Oliver encounters Bee Gnomes that have been helping to clean his home. Their tree homes were cut down by big machines rendering them homeless so Oliver agrees to share his tree with them and they all live in harmony thereafter.

We loved these little stories and they went by really fast. I loved the level of detail that was included in Saving Fairyland. I thought all of the stories were charming and I appreciate the lessons included in the second and third stories. I REALLY appreciated the storyline of The Bee Gnomes. My niece and nephew weren’t very familiar with the cutting down of trees so it was a good way for them to be introduced to it and its implications and prompted a few questions. Also, the illustrations are positively enchanting and colorful!

I definitely recommend this series of books if you are looking for cute stories for your kids to get into or to read to them at night before bed time, although like my nephew and niece they may not actually get to sleep right away. Five stars to another Oliver and Jumpy book! Looking forward to more Oliver and Jumpy adventures! You purchase a kindle copy on Amazon at this link: Oliver and Jumpy, Stories 46-48

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About the Author71fAbGMgUWL._SX150_

Born in Vienna, Austria, Werner is now living in the paradise of Perth, Australia with his wife, two married children and three grandchildren. He worked many years in the printing industry and later for the United Nations in Vienna. His wife had been a pen-friend, whom Werner visited in Hong Kong and finally got married to. After an eventful life, now retired, he began to write children’s stories, had them illustrated through Odesk, narrated them himself for YouTube and finally published the ebooks on most platforms. Werner’s dream is to see “Oliver and Jumpy” animated as a TV series.

There are lots of fairy tales and bedtime stories around and many of them quite violent. This made Werner decide to write something different. On a flight from Europe to Australia he watched the movie Magic on Belle Island with Morgan Freeman, where Freeman teaches a little girl to have imagination and write her first story. This inspired Werner as well and the first stories with his two characters Oliver, the elegant tomcat, and Jumpy, his kangaroo lady friend, made their appearance. Some very capable illustrators have helped to create this picture book series.

Author Peter Frederick sums it all up!

Here are books created by Werner Stejskal, an author who has a wonderful sense of adaptability into the world of a child. Movements, sentiments, expressions and ideas are being visualised, that enthral and win over the little reader. Plus, his terminology is perfectly matched to the mood of each self-contained story. The author also displays amazing sensitivity and is able to transport even adults back into long-past childhood. All good virtues are being emphasized, like friendship, loyalty, determination and civility, giving the fascinated reader the right signals for spiritual development. The main characters, Oliver and Jumpy, are the masters of a variety of situations that draw the reader into the stories. But one of the main reasons for the success of these children’s books is the artwork! The graphics, outstandingly created by the artist, have their hues and shapes completely adapted to the respective situation and so contribute to the emotional absorption of each picture. Text and message. sombre feelings and cheery situations are being created and masterly entertain the little readers. One can only recommend this series of children’s books to all adults who wish to keep their little ones occupied in a positive, entertaining and learning environment!

Blog Tour Book Review: Unnatural Souls by Linda Foster

UnnaturalSoul_LindaFoster_FrontSMALL_finalTitle: Unnatural Souls  by Linda Foster
Genre: Paranormal
Length: 125 pages
Format: Ebook
Publication date:  August 2, 2016
Publisher: Glass House Press
Rating: 4/5 – I liked it alot!

It’s been almost a year since the night of the accident that should have killed Grace. Nearly a year since her brother, Ash, sold his soul to save her. She survived, but that wasn’t the end of their story.

Not even close.

In the months since, Grace’s life has turned upside down. She can move objects with her mind, teleport in a blink of an eye, see dead people … and that’s just the tip of the crazy train.

And that would be fine, really … if she had any idea how to control it.

Instead, she’s stuck in a body that does things she doesn’t understand. And now, the contract her brother made for her life is drawing to a close. Which means he’s running out of time before the demon comes to collect his soul.

Unless Grace can find a way to save him.

When an angel named Michael shows up with answers and an offer to help her, she jumps at the chance—and agrees to help him with his own mission as the price.

Then she finds out that Michael is working with another demon. That the deal she’s made … is no better than the one from which she’s trying to save Ash. And she’s faced with a choice: turn and walk away, or try to save her brother—by working with the very monsters who have nearly destroyed them both.

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It’s Friday!! Friday’s are always great and today I have the pleasure of sharing with you my review of Unnatural Souls by Linda Foster. I received a copy of Unnatural Souls from the publisher Glass House Press in exchange for an honest review of it so I’d like to send a thank you to the publisher and the author for including me in the blog tour.

Unnatural Souls is a paranormal novella about a high school aged girl named Grace who is in an unfortunate accident in which she dies for eight minutes. Within those eight minutes her younger brother makes a deal with a demon to exchange his soul for his sisters, the due date being a year after the date of the accident. When Grace wakes up she soon realizes that after her death she is not quite the same person and finds herself right in the middle of the battle between heaven and hell.

I am always up for reading some paranormal so I was really interested in reading this novella from the start. The premise caught my attention, as did the beginning of the story. Being a novella it is a very light read and since it was pretty fast paced, it kept me engaged in the story. It never fell flat for me although I definitely wish that there was more. I don’t read too many novellas so I’m not really used to their brevity but I do find that when I do read them I tend to want more, which is a good thing because that means I did enjoy the story.

I would have loved a little more detail about some of the character’s backgrounds but I am guessing that some of that will come into play in the series which makes sense to me. I liked our main character but I didn’t really connect with her too much at the beginning of the story however I did like to see her evolve a bit and find things out about herself towards the end, I think the part of the story that has to do with who/what she is becoming is going to get super interesting and I would happily read more of this world. I want to know what happens in the battle for souls in general, what happens to Ash and what the deal is with Michael. I get good guy vibes from him but I also get some bad guy vibes as well so that will be interesting to see developed. At this point I feel like the story could go in a few different directions and it left me wondering, which I think is the sign of a good story. So far there isn’t any romance in it so I thought that was great. I was left wondering though about a few characters she encounters like the ghost boy she notices at the school and Adrian, but again, I am sure my questions with those characters will be addressed in the books. I read on Goodreads that this is a prequel so I definitely think that this was a good introduction to the world and the characters that we are going to spending some time with in the series.

I recommend to YA paranomal fans, or fans of YA fiction involving angels and demons. It was a very light read in terms of size. Unnatural Souls was entertaining and fast paced, definitely something to read at night while in bed with the lights out! Looking forward to reading more!

Also can I just say that the cover is absolutely gorgeous?!

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About the Author

Linda Foster was born and raised in Colorado, where she still lives with her (very patient) husband, two (very spoiled) ferrets and (equally spoiled) dog. Linda became an avid reading enthusiast the moment she picked up her first book, and has grown steadily worse. By the time she was fifteen years old, her library had become too big for her shelves, and she was forced to donate all her books to the local school, just to make room for new ones. She started writing short novellas for her friends in middle school, and expanded into full-length novels several years later.

The Realm of the Claimed novellas are her first published work.