Monday, August 28, 2017

The Oregon Kids: Runaway Whiskers

Richley, B. (2017). The Oregon Kids, Volume 2: Runaway Whiskers. Self-published.

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

4 out of 5 Stars
Blurb: In Runaway Whiskers, the values of honesty and responsibility are exemplified. Autumn finds a pet rabbit and is reluctant to return it. Will she be honest and return in? Johanna is the owner of the rabbit, Whiskers. It was her responsibility to care for the rabbit and close the cage door. When Whiskers runs away because the cage was left open, she is heartbroken.

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HALL WAYS REVIEW: With The Oregon Kids: Runaway Whiskers, Bob Richley has given kids, parents, and caregivers another great story that delivers excellent lessons including the Golden Rule of treating others as you'd like to be treated. Just as in The Big Catch, volume one of the Oregon Kids series, in this second volume, siblings Billy and Autumn return to show readers sympathy and empathy illustrated through theirs and the new characters' behaviors. Even better, readers are shown responsible solutions to the problems at hand. 

In addition to the great writing and editing, one of the things I love about Runaway Whiskers is that the glass is shown half full -- it's optimistic! Yes, there are some sad parts, but it's overwhelmingly positive and shows unexpected perks of acting responsibly. It does cross into a parenting nightmare zone by implying that by doing the right thing, Autumn is rewarded with her dream coming true and her getting a pet rabbit -- YIKES. This underscores the importance of why parents and caregivers should read books together, so these kinds of situations can be talked about and addressed on the spot, and kids can be reminded that sometimes doing the right thing is a reward unto itself.

Illustrator Hilbert Bermejo is back and provides crisp and clean lined illustrations to carry the book along. The strongest point of the illustrations is the expressions he puts on the characters' faces - readers will get all the feels. The cover really draws-in readers and the pages will keep them engaged. And I LOVE the new larger, 8"x 10" format that will be easy to locate when kids want to re-read the story. (And they WILL want to re-read the story!)
New larger 8x10 format on the left!
I shared both books with a younger reader, and he observed that it appeared that Billy's eyes had changed from the first volume to the second. (My young friend is half-Korean, and he thought that in The Big Catch, Billy looked like he may have been Asian, too.) I don't know if this was an intended change in the art or not, but kids like to be able to see themselves in the stories they read, and my friend felt disappointed by the change in book two. Adding in (or keeping) diverse characters would be a great way to have these stories make a connection with more readers. 

The Oregon Kids books are great, bite-sized stories that are both educational and enjoyable for all. I look forward to more books and life lessons coming in the series. 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, where you'll find Oregon Kids coloring pages and all of Bob's social media links!  


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Nomad Series ~ ~ Blog Tour, Author Interview, & Giveaway!

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Book Title: Nomad on the Run (Book #1) by Georges Benay
Category: Adult Fiction, 290 pages
Genre: Thriller, mystery/suspense
Publisher: Bookstand Publishing
Release date: April 15, 2011
Content Rating: PG (No swear words, some violence and minimal/ clean sex scene)

Book Description:
Beneath the golden desert and azure seas of Morocco lurks a hidden world of greed, deceit and financial terrorism. But the players are not who you might think. Lured away from his seemingly idyllic life as a managing director for a major international bank in Toronto, Eric Martin returns to his ancestral roots in Morocco.

Tempted by a mysterious offer from a boutique financial firm, Eric soon discovers he has walked into the middle of a whirlwind where everyone has their own secret agenda, and he unwittingly has become the key to unlocking them all. From the broad avenues of Toronto to the mean streets of Casablanca, Eric rushes to discover the truth before time runs out. But who can he trust?

The power and attraction of money is strong. In the midst of a dangerous cast of characters, Jeff Offenbach, bank president, knows more than he lets on. But how much does he know? Is he a key player in a scheme to terrorize the global economy, or is he just trying to save his firm from becoming another victim of the global economic collapse? Valerie is the unknown factor. Is she involved in the partners' machinations, or is she as guileless as Eric? Can he trust her? And more importantly, will he survive long enough to find out?

Book Title: The Nomad's Premonition (Book #2) by Georges Benay
Category: Adult Fiction, 240 pages
Genre: Thriller, mystery/suspense
Publisher: Story Merchant Books
Release date: April 28, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 (some violence, a couple of swear words - minimal)

Book Description:
Eric Martin is desperate to forget his past, one that almost cost him his future.

Working in Paris as deputy head of a bank's internal security department, Eric notices a high-speed trader's uncanny ability to predict extremely profitable trades. Even though there's nothing illegal about the activity, he knows the trader's success is more than just luck.

But, no one believes him. Armed only with a handful of data and a powerful instinct, Eric searches for the mysterious trader on his own. He suspects that a predictive algorithm has fallen into the wrong hands.

Eric sets off for Istanbul to find answers promised to him by an informant. He finds an unlikely ally in Interpol agent Stephanie Brule. With Interpol wanting him back in Paris and out of the way, Eric's quest is also hampered by the sudden appearance of his ex-lover, a boss he's not sure he can trust, and a terrorist who always seems one step ahead.

Will Eric put an end, once and for all, to the nightmare that began when he accepted a job that was too good to be true? Or will his need for revenge and justice lead him deeper into a treacherous world he has no way of escaping?

MEET THE AUTHOR: Georges Benay is a former international banker who is now working as a Toronto-based writer and award-winning photographer. He is the author of two novels, including The Nomad's Premonition and a collection of short stories. His award winning pictures have been featured in several magazines and book covers.
Connect with the author: 


How did you do research for your book?
When I start writing a new novel, I need to settle two key elements at the outset: 1) the main plot, not necessarily in great detail but with enough ideas to get me started, and 2) a destination or two, where the action is going to take place. And then I do my research. The setting or location for the novel is the easy and fun part. I just pack my bag and my camera and I take off to explore the country that I've chosen as backdrop for the novel. Sometimes a day or two is sufficient, other times if I sense a certain magic or an air of mystery about the place I'm touring, I can roam around for well over a month until I get the connection I'm looking for. The main plot, on the other hand, always remains nebulous in my mind and so my research may take me in different directions as the novel progresses. Like most writers, Google is my main and first research tool and then if something grabs my attention, I dig deeper with news articles, magazines, other novels, interviews etc.    
What advice would you give budding writers?

Write and write some more and don't stop writing. But do not fall in love with your words until you are absolutely sure that you are finished with your piece (and I mean really finished). Don't be afraid to edit, delete, remove, and rewrite entire passages or chapters if they don't fit the story line or slow down the natural progression of the novel -- no matter how strongly you feel about what you've written. Save your text for another story if you must.

Your book is set in Turkey. Have you ever been there?

My last novel takes place in Turkey, a wonderful country I visited several times. When I explored the underground cities of Cappadocia, I knew right away that this will be the place where the high drama scenes of the novel must take place. Morocco served as backdrop for my first novel, Nomad on the Run. It was a natural location for my first attempt as a novelist given that I was born in that enchanting country.

Do you have another profession besides writing?

Yes, I'm also a freelance photographer. And to me, it is more than just a profession. I'm passionate about photography. I'm fortunate that I possess certain talents as a photographer to help me out with my writing, especially when it comes to descriptive passages.

Do you ever get writer’s block? What helps you overcome it?

Not really. When fresh ideas stop coming to me I just take a break, and then reread the passage or chapter where I got stuck. Most of the time, I find that when I hit the wall it's because I'm going in the wrong direction with my story. It's only a matter of righting the course, and there I go again!

What genre do you write and why?

First of all, I write strictly fiction. Fiction is boundless. It enables me to explore and extend reality beyond its natural limitations. My short stories tend to deal with relationship issues, husband and wife, mentor and child, lovers predicaments.... those sort of things.

Mystery, action/adventure thriller are my favorite genres when it comes to writing novels. They're just plain fun to write with all the action and chase scenes, and yet they still leave me enough room to explore other important issues like life and death for instance, or trust and loyalty, and yes, also relationship issues-- we can't escape them, I guess!

In today’s tech savvy world, most writers use a computer or laptop. Have you ever written parts of your book on paper?

I always carry a little notebook with me. You never know when inspiration will hit you. I once wrote an entire chapter while sitting in my car parked on the side of the road.

Win a set of the Nomad series or a $15 Amazon gift card
(5 winners total, print books open to USA & CAN, ebooks for international)
Ends Sept 23, 2017


Aug 14 - Library of Clean Reads - review of Nomad on the Run / giveaway

Aug 15 - Olio by Marilyn - review of Nomad on the Run / interview / giveaway

Aug 16 - Essentially Italian - review of Nomad on the Run / giveaway

Aug 17 - Gabriel's Wharf - review of Nomad on the Run

Aug 18 - Northernmsw - review of Nomad on the Run

Aug 21 - The All Night Library - review of Nomad on the Run / guest post

Aug 22 - Hall Ways - book spotlight / interview / giveaway

Aug 23 - T's Stuff - book spotlight / interview / giveaway

Aug 24 - Gabriel's Wharf - review of The Nomad's Premonition

Aug 25 - The Book Drealms - book spotlight / giveaway

Aug 28 - The All Night Library - review of The Nomad's Premonition

Aug 29 - Essentially Italian - review of The Nomad's Premonition / giveaway

Aug 30 - - review of The Nomad's Premonition / giveaway

Aug 31 - Olio by Marilyn - review of The Nomad's Premonition / giveaway

Sept 1 - Northernmsw - review of The Nomad's Premonition

Sept 4 - Bound 4 Escape - review of Nomad on the Run / giveaway

Sept 5 - Literary Flits - review of The Nomad's Premonition / giveaway

Sept 6 - Working Mommy Journal - review of The Nomad's Premonition / giveaway

Sept 7 - Mystery Suspense Reviews - review of The Nomad's Premonition

Sept 8 - Bound 4 Escape - review of The Nomad's Premonition / giveaway

Sept 11 - Mystery Suspense Reviews - guest post

Sept 12 - Rockin' Book Reviews - review of Nomad on the Run / giveaway

Sept 14 - Library of Clean Reads - review of The Nomad's Premonition / giveaway

Sept 15 - Rockin' Book Reviews - review of The Nomad's Premonition / giveaway

Friday, August 18, 2017

Anne of the Island ~ ~ Audio Book Blog Tour, Audio Clip, & Giveaway!

Author: L.M. Montgomery

Narrator: Colleen Winton

Length: 8 hours 20 minutes

Publisher: Post Hypnotic Press

Series: Anne of Green Gables, Book Three

Genre: Classics

Anne of the Island was published in 1915, seven years after the best-selling Anne of Green Gables, partly because of the continuing clamor for more Anne from her fans - a fan base that continues to grow today!

In this continuation of the story of Anne Shirley, Anne leaves Green Gables and her work as a teacher in Avonlea to pursue her original dream (which she gave up in Anne of Green Gables) of taking further education at Redmond College in Nova Scotia. Gilbert Blythe and Charlie Sloane enroll as well, as does Anne's friend from Queen's Academy, Priscilla Grant. During her first week of school, Anne befriends Philippa Gordon, a beautiful girl whose frivolous ways charm her. Philippa (Phil for short) also happens to be from Anne's birthplace of Bolingbroke, Nova Scotia. Anne, always the good scholar, studies hard, but she also has many life lessons. This book sees Anne leave behind girlhood to blossom into a mature young woman.

AudiblePost Hypnotic Press

➜Use the code Anne_VT17 to get 
35% off downloads and CDs from Post Hypnotic Press.
Lucy Maud Montgomery OBE (November 30, 1874 – April 24, 1942) was a Canadian author best known Anne of Green Gables and the series of novels that book begins. The "Anne" of the books is Anne Shirley, an orphaned girl who comes to live with Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert on their farm, Green Gables. Published in 1908, the book was an immediate success in Canada, the United States and beyond. It has been adapted multiple times to screen, stage, radio, and TV.

Anne Shirley made Montgomery famous in her lifetime and gave her an international following. Anne of Green Gables was ranked number 41 in "The Big Read," a survey of the British public by BBC to determine the "nation's best-loved novel" (not children's novel!). And a survey conducted by School Library Journal (USA) in 2012 ranked Anne of Green Gables number nine among all-time children's novels.
Anne of Green Gables was followed by a series of sequels with Anne as the central character. Montgomery published 20 novels as well as 530 short stories, 500 poems, and 30 essays in her lifetime. Her work, diaries and letters have been read and studied by scholars and readers worldwide. Mostly set in Prince Edward Island and locations within Canada's smallest province, the books made PEI a literary landmark and popular tourist site. Montgomery was made an officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1935.
Narrator Bio
Colleen is a Vancouver actor, singer, dancer, director and choreographer...and now a narrator. Her career has taken her all over the country and includes the Stratford, Shaw and Charlottetown Festivals, the original Canadian companies of CATS and Show Boat, extensive film/TV credits, and numerous directing/choreographing credits. Her stage work has been honoured with numerous nominations and a Jessie and Ovation award and she received a cultural award given by her local Chamber of Commerce. She was especially pleased to have recorded the works of L.M. Montgomery for Post Hypnotic Press just before she embarked on a production of the musical Anne of Green Gables at Theatre Calgary in which she plays Marilla Cuthbert.

$120 (Grand Prize), $90 (Runner-up) & $60 (2nd Runner-up)
Open Internationally through August 20, 2017

Aug. 13th:
History From A Woman's Perspective
Spunky 'N Sassy

Aug. 14th:
A Lovelorn Virgo
2 Girls and A Book
Tara's Book Addiction

Aug. 15th:
Dab of Darkness
Joy of Bookworms
Canadian Book Addict

Aug. 16th:
CGB Blog Tours
A Book and A Latte
Macarons and Paperbacks
Lilly's Book World

Aug. 17th:
To Read Or Not To Read
Jorie Loves A Story
Reading for the Stars and Moon
Notes From 'Round the Bend
Haddie's Haven

Aug. 18th:
The Maiden's Court
The Book Slayer
Jorie Loves A Story
Hall Ways

Aug. 19th:
Christian Chick's Thoughts
Life As Freya
Bound 4 Escape
WTF Are You Reading?

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Wheels of Justice ~ ~ Showcase Blog Tour, Book Trailer, & Giveaway!

The Redwood Series, Volume 2

Vickie Phelps

Genre: Christian Romantic Suspense
Date of Publication: July 18, 2017
Number of Pages: 324
Scroll down for Giveaway!

When Connie Knight applies for a job at McKinney’s Fine Cars in her hometown of Redwood, Texas, she has no idea what she’s getting into. Buford McKinney is a mean, evil bully who thinks women are the ground God made for men to walk on. The only reason she stays at McKinney’s is the fear of being without a paycheck and ending up homeless. And then there’s Rick McKinney, Buford’s son. In spite of his daddy’s contempt for Connie, Rick is attracted to her and Connie to him. But will their feelings for each other be enough to keep Connie safe? Just how far will Buford go to get rid of her?

"Great book, read it through in one sitting since I couldn’t put it down.  Very real, strong characters, and satisfying ending. An easy book to recommend." – Terry Burns, author of The Badge and the Bible series and The Sheriff.


VOLUME ONE IN THE REDWOOD SERIES: Postmark from the Past  
In November 1989, Emily Patterson is enjoying a quiet life in West Texas. She lives in the same house she grew up in, has a great job, and good friends. But emptiness nips at her heart. Then a red envelope appears in her mailbox. It’s a letter from Mark who declares his love for her, and promises to come to her if he makes it home alive. But who is Mark? She flips the envelope over, but there is no return address and it is postmarked 1968. Over the next few days more letters mysteriously appear in her mailbox and odd things start happening. Is someone playing a cruel joke? Her friends say it is the season for miracles. As Emily seeks to solve the mystery, can she risk her heart to find a miracle in the Postmark from the Past?


Vickie Phelps writes to encourage, inspire, and influence. She has published 200 articles, devotionals, and essays in more than fifty magazines and contributed to several anthologies. Vickie is the author of the novels, Postmark From the Past, Moved, Left No Address, Waiting for Joy, and a devotional book, Psalms for the Common Man. Vickie is coauthor with Jo Huddleston of the gift book, Simply Christmas, and Writing 101: A Handbook of Tips & Encouragement for Writers. 


THREE WINNERS: 1st: Signed copy of Wheels of Justice; 2nd: eBook of Postcard from the Past; 3rd: eBook of Wheels of Justice
AUGUST 16-23, 2017

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