Thursday, June 29, 2017

The Oregon Kids: The Big Catch

Richley, B. (2017). The Oregon Kids: The Big Catch. Self-published.

Children's Book / Illustrated / Life Lessons / K-3


Blurb: Reading with your child builds intimacy with your child and a love for reading. It could be a great time to discuss moral character and values. 
In The Big Catch, the value of being selfless and giving to others is exemplified. Billy and Autumn are brother and sister. At the beginning of the story, Billy is selfish and prideful. He sees his sister as a bother and burden. All that concerns him is fishing and catching the biggest fish. At the end, however, Billy shows compassion for his sister, Autumn, allowing her to catch the biggest fish. The Big Catch is meant to be read with your child. It gives parents an opportunity to discuss Billy's character and presents a good example for teaching values of giving, being selfless, and sacrificing. 
Check out the book trailer!

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HALL WAYS REVIEW: At just twenty-two pages, The Oregon Kids: The Big Catch is the perfect length to keep young readers engaged.  Author Bob Richley gives readers a well-designed and well-written story with plenty of talking points for adults and children to share as they read together.
Readers will likely recognize themselves when they’ve been frustrated, impatient, self-centered, or clumsy like main character Billy in The Oregon Kids. Children with siblings (or cousins or playmates) will relate to either having the tag-along younger sibling or being that tag-along younger sibling who just wants to belong.  The importance of empathy and sympathy comes about in a natural way, showing readers how good it feels to make someone else happy.

The illustrations are crisp and simple, yet when it’s important that a certain emotion is being conveyed, the expressions on the characters’ faces speak volumes. The illustrator, Hilbert Bermejo, uses a colorful but somewhat muted palette that is pleasing but not distracting.  The layout is designed well with plenty of white space to make the pages less intimidating to young readers, but I would have preferred a larger and/or bolder font.

The Oregon Kids: The Big Catch is a promising start to a new series that offers quick, bite sized lessons on values and virtues. I look forward to the next book, The Oregon Kids: Runaway Whiskers (currently being illustrated). Click here for a preview!

Thank you to the author for providing me a print copy in exchange for my honest opinion – the only kind I give. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: BOB RICHLEY grew up in the Chicago area and now lives in beautiful Colorado. Growing up Richley would often go camping in the Rocky Mountains. It was these childhood camping trips and especially his visit to Crater Lake in Oregon that was the inspiration for events in the Oregon Kids series. Richley is a parent, who has volunteered for years in children’s ministry. Teaching children good values and the grace of God are his passions. His stories, originally written for a single mom to help her raise her children, are a way to fulfill this passion. Richley has always loved children, wanting all children to be raised with love and grace. It is his hope that his stories will be one of many tools that parents will use to teach and to raise their children with Godly values.
Connect with Bob on his  AUTHOR PAGE     


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Deadly Shore ~ ~ Audio Book Tour, Review, Audio Excerpt, & Giveaway!

Author: Andrew Cunningham

Narrator: Greg Hernandez

Length: 6h 46m

Publisher: Andrew Cunningham

Genre: Mystery/Thriller


It's July 5th, and the Cape Cod roadways are clogged with tourists heading home from the holiday weekend and trying to outrun an approaching potentially catastrophic hurricane. But in the blink of an eye, their lives are thrown into chaos when terrorists bring down the bridges to the Cape. Instantly, a half million terrified people have no way to escape. And when the terrorists threaten to release anthrax on the captive population if their demands aren't met, fear turns to all-out panic.

With time running out, Marcus Baldwin, a private investigator and former CIA operative, and Sara Cross, a disgraced ex-homicide detective, are brought together by a sole clue to the identity of the terrorists. They quickly realize that they may be the only ones with even a chance at stopping the plot before it's too late.

With Hurricane Chad barreling up the coast on a path for a direct hit on Cape Cod, it becomes frighteningly clear to everyone trapped on what has now become an island - one way or another they are probably all going to die.

Buy on AudibleAmazon

HALL WAYS REVIEW: What a chilling premise: it’s the height of tourist season, a hurricane is barreling its way towards Cape Cod, and there’s been a multi-front terrorist attack. As if that’s not enough to keep the reader’s interest piqued, add the element that the terrorists have a back-up plan for complete and thorough devastation.

There are several storylines going at once, which gives readers a wider view of the impact of both the natural and unnatural elements happening on the island.  Readers not only follow the primary story of private investigator (and more) Marcus Baldwin and ex-detective Sara Cross hunting down the terrorists, but readers also see the side stories: people stranded on a ferry boat, cars plunging into the water when a bridge explodes, a book club meeting that goes into survival mode, and a thief who can’t escape the crime scene.

My favorite secondary story was that of Anna, a tough-as-nails elderly woman who doesn’t take crap from anyone. She’s a survivor and so clever.  Cunningham’s skilled characterization shows best in the Anna scenes and makes-up for a few others that fell a little flat or into the cliché zone. The side-stories are where readers get just a touch of comic relief -- especially with the ladies trapped at their book club. The only side-story that didn’t seem to fit was the awkward relationship between Marcus and Sara; I think this is supposed to be a romance? Or maybe it was convenience sex? Whatever it was, it lacked any spark and really added very little if anything to the story.

Author Andrew Cunningham does an excellent job of showing across-the-board chaos and panic. He realistically depicts the best and worst of the human condition and how people either rise and work together or turn on each other to survive. You gotta love a story where local law bands together for a greater purpose. They are all in because they signed-up to protect and serve.  

Deadly Shore has more than a few surprises, and the story is unsettling from the respect of it being so realistic in this awful world of both domestic and international terrorism.

ABOUT THE AUDIO NARRATION: I listened at 1.25x speed, which seemed perfect for the pace of the book. I enjoyed narrator Greg Hernandez’s reading and thought that he excelled with several of the characters. (especially the bad guys!) I never had any trouble keeping the parts straight, and the story was told from a lot of different perspectives, which Hernandez handled without a glitch. I would listen to another book narrated by Hernandez (and even look for them) – and hope for another in this series.

Thank you to Audiobookworm Promotions and the author for providing me a free audio download of this book in exchange for my honest opinion – the only kind I give.

ANDREW CUNNINGHAM:  I was born in England, but have spent most of my life living in the U.S.—including 25 years on Cape Cod before moving to Florida. A former interpreter for the deaf and long-time independent bookseller, I've been a full-time freelance writer and copy editor for many years. A 4th-degree Master Blackbelt in Tang Soo Do, I finally retired from active training when my body said, "Enough already! Why are you doing this to yourself?" I'm married, with two grown children and two awesome grandsons. My wife and I spend as much time traveling as we can, and are especially fond of cruising the Caribbean.
​I have been gratified by the response to my books. When I published Eden Rising back in the spring of 2013, I had no idea what to expect. When I sold my first few copies, I was excited beyond belief that someone was willing to take a chance on it. Numerous books and thousands of copies later, I am still humbled by the emails I get from readers telling me that my books kept them up late into the night.

In October of 2014, Wisdom Spring made me an official Amazon Bestselling author, a thrill I never thought would happen. But it still comes down to being able to bring a few hours of escape to a reader. That's what it's all about for me.

GREG HERNANDEZ. For more than 20 years I worked as a radio news reporter and news writer. I spent half of my broadcasting career at ABC News Radio in the Washington, D.C., bureau. I covered all the federal agencies as well as Congress and the White House. I reported on a wide range of stories during my career, including financial and entertainment industry news.

I have worked as a federal government spokesman at three separate agencies for more than 20 years. At the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA, U.S. Commerce Department), I introduced podcasting in 2005 just a few weeks before Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast of the United States. The 19 podcasts I narrated and produced from August 2005 to June 2007 were downloaded more than 600,000 times during that period. They're still online at the following link.

I enjoy narrating audio books because it gives me great satisfaction bringing to life books of all genres, especially mysteries and thrillers.

Giveaway: $50 Amazon Gift Card

1 Winner⎮Runs June 21st-28th⎮Open internationally

Jun. 21st: Kristina Stanley

Jun. 22nd: Dab of Darkness

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Monday, June 26, 2017

Hitchin' Post ~ ~ ~ Blog Tour, Review & Giveaway!

Julie Barker

  Genre: Children's Picture Book / Rhyming / K-3
Publisher: LifeRich Publishing
Date of Publication: July 14, 2016
Number of Pages: 46

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Hard work and the cowboy life on the 6Bs Ranch is nothing new to old jackrabbit Hitchin’ Post.  Hitchin’ Post is a picture book written in rhyme describing old Hitch’s life on the 6Bs Ranch and his journey in finding what it truly means to be thankful.  His beloved ranch goes through a terrible drought, but Hitch decides that despite challenges, there is always something to be thankful for. He discovers that it is relationships with his friends and his beloved ranch that makes him feel rich. 

**2017 North Texas Book Festival Honorable Mention award*
Wonderfully told with beautiful, rustic illustrations. -- Emily-Jane Hills Orford, Readers' Favorite 

I can't wait to share this book with my granddaughters! –- Amy, Goodreads Review

Hitchin' Post is the most adorable story with the best illustrations! We love, love, love it!!! Cory, Amazon Verified Customer

Check out this preview of the book!

"God must be a cowboy too!"

Through the eyes of a jackrabbit named Hitchin’ Post, author Julie Barker shares the full year cycle of the ranching and cowboy life. From showing the effects of a drought to the pump jacks that dot the 6Bs ranch’s landscape, the story covers a lot of territory with good ol’ Hitch narrating it all.

The common thread in every aspect of Hitchin’ Post is that the real riches in life are not monetary. Barker uses a loose rhyming format that has a nice cadence to it when read aloud, but I did have to re-read some of the lines to get the right rhythm, as it varied from page to page. Hitch’s gratitude for the life he lives shows not only in the words spoken, but in the perspectives of the delightful illustrations by Carolyn Altman (who is the author’s mother). Rich colors and textures are found on every page, which will keep children engaged and studying the pictures as much as they will hang on the words.

The writing is lovely and the book is cleanly edited (though the covers have an error or two that could use fixin’). And speaking of fixin’ -- the words Barker uses really help readers to hear Hitch’s voice and are perfect for a cowboy and the cowboy life.  I like that everything in this cowboy story turns out well and that bigger, scarier things that can happen on ranches aren’t addressed.

Kids will love this peek into the cowboy and ranching life, and they will love the thoughtful jackrabbit cowboy, Hitchin’ Post. Happily, the next book is already in the works so readers won’t have to wait long for more of old Hitch.

Thank you to Lone Star Book Blog Tours and the author for providing me a beautiful print copy in exchange for my honest opinion – the only kind I give.

Julie Barker was born and raised in west Texas, and currently resides in Quanah, Texas, with her husband and three children.  She maintained her west Texas roots into college when she attended Texas Tech University in Lubbock, receiving a degree in social work.  Julie has grown up surrounded by the ranching heritage, and felt drawn to share this way of life through the adventures of the little cowboy jackrabbit, Hitchin’ Post.  Hitchin’ Post marks Julie’s debut into the world of children’s literature.  She was fortunate to have her mother, artist Carolyn Altman, provide the cute, whimsical illustrations of old Hitch and the 6Bs, making this project extra special.

Grand Prize:
1st Place Winner receives an eBook AND a Signed Print Copy
4 Runners-Up each have a choice of eBook OR Signed Print Copy
June 26-July 6, 2017
(U.S. Only)

Sneak Peek
Character Interview
Scrapbook Page
Cover Reveal

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Saturday, June 24, 2017

Heart on the Line ~ ~ Blog Tour Promo & Giveaway!

Ladies of Harper's Station #2
Karen Witemeyer

  Genre: Christian / Historical / Frontier Romance
Publisher: Bethany House
Date of Publication: June 6, 2017
Number of Pages: 336

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Grace Mallory is tired of hiding. She hungers for a normal life, perhaps even a suitor like two of her friends in Harper's Station have found. But when the man she believes responsible for her father's death discovers her whereabouts, survival takes priority.

Amos Bledsoe prefers bicycles to horses and private conversations over the telegraph wire to social gatherings with young ladies who see him as nothing more than an oddity. His fellow telegrapher, the mysterious Miss G, has been the ideal companion. For months, their friendship—dare he believe, courtship?—over the wire has fed his hope that he has finally found the woman God intends for him. However, when he intercepts an ominous message and discovers her life is in peril, Amos must shed the cocoon of his quiet nature to become the hero Grace requires.

“Witemeyer blends history, suspense, and romance with touches of humor. Women will enjoy this story that proves heroes come in unexpected shapes and sizes and not always on a white charger.”Christian Market

“Online dating meets 1890s Texas in this charming, spiritually deep, laugh-out-loud funny romance!”—reader review on Goodreads



Winner of the HOLT Medallion and the Carol Award and a finalist for the RITA and Christy Award, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer writes historical romance to give the world more happily-ever-afters. Karen makes her home in Texas, with her husband and three children. 

Grand Prize:
June 23-July 2, 2017
(U.S. Only)

Excerpt 1
Guest Post 1
Excerpt 2
Guest Post 2

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