If Animals Were People

Here is the latest offering in our color book series. I had a lot of fun with this one. I’m trying a new approach here as well. Adult color books tend to have a lot of very small spaces, and not everyone loves that. So this is the first book in the “Wide Open Spaces” series. For those who want to have the fun of an adult coloring book, but don’t want to deal with all the tiny little details.

I proudly present: “If Animals Were People”

Also check out our other color books available on amazon.com and over at J and I Publishing

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Ever wonder what the world would be like if animals were in control? If animals were people, what would they do for work? What would they do for fun? Follow these zany animals on their various adventures to work and beyond and color them in as you choose. This book is intended for an adult coloring audience, but was intentionally designed with wide open spaces to color for those who do not wish to color extremely small and complicated designs. Grab your favorite coloring tools and have a blast with these silly critters!

Get your copy HERE

IfAnimals6IfAnimals5

 

The Things We Keep by Sally Hepworth

The Things We KeepThe Things We Keep by Sally Hepworth

Anna Forster, in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease at only thirty-eight years old, knows that her family is doing what they believe to be best when they take her to Rosalind House, an assisted living facility. She also knows there’s just one another resident her age, Luke. What she does not expect is the love that blossoms between her and Luke even as she resists her new life at Rosalind House. As her disease steals more and more of her memory, Anna fights to hold on to what she knows, including her relationship with Luke.

When Eve Bennett is suddenly thrust into the role of single mother she finds herself putting her culinary training to use at Rosalind house. When she meets Anna and Luke she is moved by the bond the pair has forged. But when a tragic incident leads Anna’s and Luke’s families to separate them, Eve finds herself questioning what she is willing to risk to help them.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is by far one of the best books that I have read this year. It is compelling, very emotional and although at times can make you sad–also has the kind of realistic redemption at the end that makes you believe in the power of love and perseverance.

If you have a family member or friend who has gone through dementia, or is currently suffering from it, then this will be a book that not only will you feel close to, but will be one that you find it difficult to part with when the story is done. Even if you don’t, this is a great book that has wonderful characters that will stay with you long after reading.

I loved the way the stories of the characters revolved in this. It was always clear who was telling their side of the tale and at what point and never got confusing. The multiple things going on in the book all meld together at the end perfectly, leaving no loose ends to be dealt with.

This is an author that I am very excited about and can’t wait to share with everyone I know. Sally Hepworth is brilliant at her craft and I encourage you to read her work.

This review is based on a complimentary copy, provided through Netgalley.

View all my reviews

Warren the 13th and the all-seeing eye

Warren the 13th and The All-Seeing EyeWarren the 13th and The All-Seeing Eye by Tania del Rio

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Warren, the under appreciated and often comical main character in Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye, is sure to warm the hearts of adult and younger readers alike. This book is just so much fun to read.

If you enjoy sharing stories with your kids and are looking for a book that will keep their imaginations captive, may I recommend this one. Warren is the bellhop for the Warren hotel, which has fallen into repair after falling under the control of his clueless uncle and his nasty Aunt Anaconda. The adventures he has trying to solve the mystery of the hidden treasure in the hotel and save the place that he loves are so exciting and enjoyable that you won’t want to stop reading until the very end.

This book is not tremendously long so would be ideal for children who are just beginning with chapter books. The characters are engaging, the story is unique and the ending is full of just the right amount of danger and happy ending.

I recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a good story for their kids, or even just for themselves.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

Science of the Magical by Matt Kaplan

Science of the Magical: From the Holy Grail to Love Potions to SuperpowersScience of the Magical: From the Holy Grail to Love Potions to Superpowers by Matt Kaplan

From the author of The Science of Monsters, this engaging scientific inquiry provides a definitive look into the elements of mystical places and magical objects—from the philosopher’s stone, to love potions to the oracles—from ancient history, mythology, and contemporary culture.

Can migrations of birds foretell our future? Do phases of the moon hold sway over our lives? Are there sacred springs that cure the ill? What is the best way to brew a love potion? How do we create mutant humans who regenerate like Wolverine?

In Science of the Magical, noted science journalist Matt Kaplan plumbs the rich, lively, and surprising history of the magical objects, places, and rituals that infuse ancient and contemporary myth. Like Ken Jennings and Mary Roach, Kaplan serves as a friendly armchair guide to the world of the supernatural. From the strengthening powers of Viking mead, to the super soldiers in movies like Captain America, Kaplan ranges across cultures and time periods to point out that there is often much more to these enduring magical narratives than mere fantasy. Informative and entertaining, Science of the Magical explores our world through the compelling scope of natural and human history and cutting-edge science.–Goodreads

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Need a bit of personality with your nonfiction? Enter Matt Kaplan. If you are on a quest to expand your brain and find magic, mythology, ancient lore and religion all to be interesting topics but can’t handle one more dry, unemotional observation, you should really consider giving this book a go.

I can’t honestly say that I have ever read a nonfiction book where the footnotes were funny, until this one. Matt Kaplan approaches science through a different perspective. Clearly he is intelligent and interested in many facets of the world around us and that comes through in his writing, but he approaches things in a way that makes the reader feel involved and keeps you wondering what he is going to conquer next. Through his recounting of personal experiences interwoven with scientific fact, he gives us a broader view of the topics at hand.

You’ll feel smarter after you read his work, but you won’t feel that usual brain burn that tends to follow reading a serious text. This would be a great book for older students, as it won’t put them to sleep. The author included a variety of different topics and made each one of them interesting and easy to understand.

Honestly, this is the most fun I’ve had with a nonfic in a long time, possibly ever. Highly recommended. Looking forward to checking out the author’s other work now.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

View all my reviews

Hard to Fight by Bella Jewel

Hard to Fight (Alpha's Heart, #1)Hard to Fight by Bella Jewel

Grace is a bounty hunter who wants to be taken seriously, but her boss refuses to believe that a woman can bring down a dangerous criminal. She finally gets a chance to prove herself when she’s given the case of a lifetime: capture Raide Knox and bring him to justice.

Raide is a dangerous fugitive on the run…and the sexiest man Grace has ever met. Catching Raide won’t be easy. He’s not the kind of man to go down without a fight. Raide is more intense and frustrating than any man she’s ever had to deal with, and the instantaneous attraction that sparks between them is undeniable. One thing is for sure…it’s going to be a case they will never forget.
**Hard To Fight is a full-length standalone romance with a HEA**

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5

There were things I loved. There were things I hated. Here we go with the it was the best of times…blah, blah, blah.

Seriously hot characters! Bella Jewel knows how to build herself a bad boy, that much is for certain. Unfortunately, I felt she waited too long to to reveal that the man also had a more sensitive side and by the time she did display that he could be something other than cock-walk and venom, I didn’t care anymore.

Somewhat the same feeling for the main character, but in reverse. She started out strong and tough and I liked her personality. The attraction between her and the male lead was definitely apparent and that worked for the story early on, but I felt she crumbled into a quivering mess of girl-goo way too soon.

What I did like about this book–the sex scenes were quick, and they were hot. No messing around on the part of the author and no apologies. These are relatively young characters and that was reflected in the sexuality displayed. I also liked the tension in this story. There was a decent amount of action and the back story for the characters was clear and didn’t drone on forever pointlessly.

Strong side characters that added a lot to the main plot in the story, some that could go on to have their own book easily.

Overall, I didn’t dislike it, but I did think that the characters were a bit out of order in some places.

If you enjoy books where the characters are majorly conflicted and the story takes unexpected turns, you might really enjoy this one. *Not for those who are disturbed by sex scenes.*

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

I need your brains (that sounded so zombie)

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Want to become part of my next parody?

I had so much fun writing Plundering the Romance Novel. Really, it was great. I made a list of the things that authors do in romances that drive me completely mad, and built the story around those.

Now it is horror’s turn in the hotseat. You can think horror movie or horror novel or a combination of both.

Here’s the deal. I’ve got a list of horror clichés going already, but I want to involve you. Give me your worst horror clichés, and if I use one of them in the book, I will name a character after the person who submitted it. Who doesn’t want to be immortalised in a terrible horror parody? First names only, I promise.

Bring it on, folks.

The book is called “Saturday the 14th.”

Apparently, Friday the 13th is bad luck.

Win a really fun Prize courtesy of Disney!

Note: All samples and prizes provided through Disney Publishing

Please read to the bottom for how to enter to win a prize pack:)

Gabby Duran and the Unsittables

About the Book:

Case File: The First Unsittable

Summary: The Association Linking Intergalatics and Earthlings (hereby known as A.L.I.E.N.) has a new member. After months of investigation, Gabby Duran, Associate 4118-25125A, has proven herself to be a babysitter extraordinaire. Her celebrity clients fly her around the country to care for their rambunctious little humans. Our spy, Associate 4118-23432B, otherwise known as Edwina, believes Gabby can be trusted with the truth: aliens are living among humans on Earth. And here at A.L.I.E.N we believe that even extraterrestrials need a babysitter now and then. No one was up to the task…until now.

After accepting the top-secret position, Edwina has paired our new associate up with her first charge, a little girl from the planet Flarknartia. The timing for associate 4118-25125A is less than ideal. It’s a school day on Planet Earth, Gabby’s audition for the solo part in the band is tonight, and this tiny alien is a bit more than meets the eye.

Can Gabby Duran, Associate 4118-25125A, First Sitter to the Unsittables, keep her otherworldly charge safe in the unpredictable halls of middle-school and keep A.L.I.E.N hidden?

Elise Allen

About the Authors:

Emmy-nominated writer and New York Times best-selling author Elise Allen made a name for herself with her acclaimed young adult novel Populazzi (Harcourt), and the Jim Henson’s Enchanted Sisters chapter books (Bloomsbury). In television, she has written for talent ranging from Bill Cosby to Kermit the Frog, and is currently writing for the new Disney Junior show The Lion Guard. Her dog may or may not secretly be from another planet.

Daryle Conners

Daryle Conners is an award-winning writer, filmmaker and video game designer. She writes joke and riddle books and has designed many game titles for the PC and iPhone/iPad including Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Scene It? Harry Potter, Hot Wheels Slot Car Racers, and Scene It? Twilight Saga. Her non-fiction books include Lunchtime LOLZ, Nintendo DS Hot Tips, ROFLs,Video Game Secrets and Monster High Jokes, all for Scholastic. Daryle lives in Seattle, where she still babysits from time to time.

READ AN EXCERPT

http://www.bighonchomedia.com/assets/Disney/Gabby/GabbyDuranExcerpt.pdf

LEARN MORE

Learn more at the Official Site

Follow Disney-Hyperion on Twitter

Follow Elise Allen & Daryle Conners on Twitter

#GabbyDuran

Available at these fine retailers

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

BAM

Indiebound

Chapters

iBooks

 My Review
Gabby Duran and the UnsittablesGabby Duran and the Unsittables by Elise Allen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have decided that I am in the wrong business and Gabby Duran has the job that I want!

I loved this book–it made me giggle all the way through. I am a huge fan of middle-grade fiction. I love the fantastic story lines and the fun events that adult books just can’t quite pull off. This book is the epitome of everything a good mid-grade book should be.

Gabby Duran is a wonderful character that kids will have no trouble relating to. She is smart, sly and compassionate. One of my favourite things about this book was Gabby’s obvious affection for all the little kids (both terrestrial and extra-terrestrial,) that she sat for. She is a good role model for patience and acceptance of those who are a bit different.

This is filled with the fun kind of danger that will keep young readers on their toes and wanting to turn pages. I loved the shape-shifting alien and the silly humour. This book doesn’t have any gross-out humour, so parents can feel good about their kids reading it. The authors took enough liberties with reality to make it fun, but not so many that you can’t follow the story. I am really looking forward to seeing where else Gabby goes and what adventures await her.

If you are looking for a book for a special child in your life, this would be a perfect choice. Recommended.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher, Disney Publishing, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

View all my reviews

Now here’s your chance to win something really fun!

Prize Pack!

COOLEST BABYSITTER IN THE GALAXY prize pack

One (1) winner receives:

· a copy of Gabby Duran and the Unsittables

· and branded Tumbler and UFO light-up flyer.

All you have to do is share this post with your favorite social media outlet–and leave a comment to let me know you did. One winner will be chosen at random on Saturday the 16th of May. Open to US residents only.

Summer on Lover’s Island by Donna Alward (Jewell Cove # 3)

Summer on Lovers' Island (Jewell Cove, #3)

Summer on Lovers’ Island (Jewell Cove #3)


Lizzie Howard’s life is close to perfect, until her father’s death brings her world crashing down around her. With her reputation and heart in tatters, she reluctantly agrees to temporarily take over her best friend’s practice in scenic Jewell Cove, Maine—a position that’s a world away from the high pressure career she once loved.

Josh Collins is no stranger to pain. After losing his wife, he moved home looking to start over. One of two doctors at the town clinic, his sleepy coastal practice is just what he needed. Until Lizzie Howard arrives. Lizzie is everything Josh wanted to get away from: brash, ambitious and not interested in a quiet life in a quiet town. But as the sparks fly between these two doctors, they realize that sometimes opposites really do attract.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am always amazed when I start reading a Donna Alward story at just how good she is at capturing the special moments and conflicts in ordinary life–and yet making them feel extraordinary.

Feasibly, I think you could read this book as a standalone and it would still make sense and be enjoyable–but I would recommend you read the rest of the series first. Not because you have to–just because you can. When was the last time you turned down an amazing opportunity to relax and just have a good time?

Character growth and development is important to me as a fan of series books, and you get that here. Characters from the original book are caught up with in this story,and some that we only met in supporting roles now take the floor.

I like romance that has depth–the kind of relationship between two characters that makes you want to see them succeed regardless of the odds against them. This author knows how to create the perfect mix of tension and longing to make her couples stand out from the crowd and feel realistic. They have families and problems just like the rest of us and have to try hard to blend their lives together as real people do. The forethought that goes into these books must be immense, as the results are fantastic.

Donna Alward has brought her readers another reason to love Jewell Cove and its residents. If you are a fan of Debbie Macomber or RaeAnne Thayne, you will certainly want to check out the work of Donna Alward. Small town setting, big writing talent.

Recommended.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

The Far End of Happy by Kathryn Craft–and a chance to win a great book

Please scroll to the bottom of the post for a link to the Rafflecopter giveaway of a Landmark fiction prize pack, for your chance to win

ABOUT THE FAR END OF HAPPY:

The Far End of Happy is a powerful new novel based on author Kathryn Craft’s personal experience with a stand-off involving her husband.  Here Craft delivers “real, raw emotion” (Library Journal) exploring a marriage unraveled by mental illness; and one man’s spiral towards a violent conclusion that tests the courage, love, and hope of the three women he leaves behind.

When the emotionally troubled Jeff engages police in a deadly stand-off, his wife, mother-in-law, and mother struggle to understand why the man they love has turned his back on the life they have given him, the one they all believe is still worth living.

“Framing the novel within a 12-hour period keeps the pages turning (Library Journal).” Narrating from the alternating perspectives of three women, whose lives will be forever altered by Jeff Farnham, gives an intimate look at the steps a woman will take to get the help her husband so urgently needs while desperately trying to keep her children safe.

The Far End of HappyThe Far End of Happy by Kathryn Craft

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m going to write this review beginning with a confession. When I began reading this book I had not read that it was based on a true life event. Would it have changed the way I felt about it? Perhaps.

Since I did not know until after I read this that it was based on experiences from the author, I am going to write the review as I would have if I had not learned that information, with one minor exception–I now know how the author managed to make the feelings of pain and uncertainty so real in this story, and I applaud her for putting into words what only time and reflection will allow us to examine.

Now on to the review.

This is a powerful, painful, shocking, realistic and at times difficult to keep reading piece of literature. The author really knows how to express the pain that suicide and mental health issues, especially depression, inflict on the family members around the victim.

The thoughtful prose and highly quotable phrases in this novel are not few and far between. This is a book that will make you wonder how lucky you are to be you in this moment, make you think about the people you know ho have not been so lucky and make you realise that your problems may be small in comparison.

This isn’t a book that I would recommend to everyone. Although I do not see this as a selfish attempt from the author, but more part of a healing process for herself and her family, I also think that it is a highly personal sort of story. It is intense and as stated above, emotionally difficult.

It was a hell of a book, for the better or worse.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY:

please click below to go to Rafflecopter and enter for your chance to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Faerie Tree by Jane Cable

The Faerie TreeThe Faerie Tree by Jane Cable

How can a memory so vivid be wrong?

I tried to remember the first time I’d been here and to see the tree through Izzie’s eyes. The oak stood on a rise just above the path; not too tall or wide but graceful and straight, its trunk covered in what I can only describe as offerings – pieces of ribbon, daisy chains, a shell necklace, a tiny doll or two and even an old cuckoo clock.
“Why do people do this?” Izzie asked.
I winked at her. “To say thank you to the fairies.”

In the summer of 1986 Robin and Izzie hold hands under The Faerie Tree and wish for a future together. Within hours tragedy rips their dreams apart.

In the winter of 2006, each carrying their own burden of grief, they stumble back into each other’s lives and try to create a second chance. But why are their memories of 1986 so different? And which one of them is right?

With strong themes of paganism, love and grief, The Faerie Tree is a novel as gripping and unputdownable as Jane Cable’s first book, The Cheesemaker’s House, which won the Suspense & Crime category of The Alan Titchmarsh Show’s People’s Novelist competition. It is a story that will resonate with fans of romance, suspense, and folklore.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love books that can manage a bit of magic and still seem so real. This is definitely one of those stories that makes you believe in the power of love.

I think what made me like this novel more than anything else, was the way the characters mirrored real people. The conversations didn’t feel forced and I saw multiple sides of each character so by the end it was like I had known them forever. There were times during this story when I was surprised by the level of emotion the male lead character showed, and that was a nice change. Some authors seem to be afraid to show any weakness in their main character and that makes me feel like I can’t get close to them, but in this story, that was not the case.

When I began reading this I sort of expected it to be an overdose of magic realism as that seems to be a trend, but by the end of the first couple chapters I was pleasantly surprised that this is a very realistic story. The magic comes from people and their relationships with one another, rather than a wand or an incantation.

This author makes you believe what you are reading and wonder what happened to the characters after her stories are complete.

I really Enjoy Jane Cable’s writing. She takes the time to let her story develop, has memorable characters, and knows how to build suspense and curiosity in her readers.

Overall, this was a great book that I happily recommend to other readers.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.