Book Review & Giveaway: Catalina and the King’s Wall by Patty Costello

20 May

 

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Catalina front page

Title: Catalina and the King’s Wall

Author: Patricia Costello

Illustrated by: Diane Cojocaru

Genre: Children’s Picture Book

Number of Pages: 32

Publisher: Eifrig Publishing

Publication Date: May 5, 2018

 

Summary:

One day Catalina overhears the king planning to build a wall and fears her family will never be able to visit. Catalina tricks the king into building walls that droop, drip, swirl, and swoosh away. But now the king demands a wall that will outlast even a Twinkie. Luckily, Catalina has the perfect ingredients to bake up a family reunion!

Available on Amazon & Eifrig Publishing

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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Catalina and the King’s Wall is a silly story about a girl who bakes cookies for the king. Her family lives in the next kingdom and when she finds out the king wants to build a wall to separate them from his kingdom, she knows she has to do something. She wants to be able to see her family!

The story is silly but children will enjoy the silliness. Who ever heard of making wall of sprinkles? Catalina and the King’s Wall teaches that gluttony is not a good thing and how to be creative and think out of the box. The illustrations by Diane Cojocaru are colorful and will keep the attention of children. 

 

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Take a peek inside the book…

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About the Author

Patty_headsho_USEPatty Costello lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, a crazy awesome toddler, a dog named Pippa, and a dog named Spencer. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of St Thomas and a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Minnesota. She currently works in higher education. Catalina and the King’s Wall is her first book. At all hours of the day (and night) she can be found standing at her desk, helping her university run smoothly and working on her next story.

Website ~ Twitter ~ Instagram

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Giveaway

Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card or $25 PayPal cash prize, winner’s choice

Giveaway ends: May 31, 11:59 pm, 2018

Open to: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Patty Costello and is hosted and managed by Stacie from BeachBoundBooks. If you have any additional questions feel free to send an email to stacie@BeachBoundBooks.com.

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Book Review: Wind Walker by Neil John Buchanan

19 May

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 188 KB
  • Print Length: 42 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Stormblade Productions (19 Oct 2014)

 

Something stirs beneath the ice-locked tundra of Snowdonia National Park. An ancient force of unspeakable evil scrabbles at the boundaries between worlds. Its servants creep from sunless caverns and crave the taste of warm human flesh. Ithaqua summons his children home. A new age approaches. Gibbering monsters and nameless horrors await and a blend of man and beast is needed to show the Great Old Ones the way. Dwellers in the deep. Fields of quivering flesh. All await the children of the Wind Walker . . . 

Includes the BONUS STORY Everett Smiles

Sheila is coming . . . 
The sky is brushed through with copper. The land is a frozen ruin. Aliens have slipped through the space between spaces to consume humanity with their endless obscene desires. Rifts in the fabric of the world bleed suggestion. My son waits out there beneath a curious orange sun. 
I . . . I have to find him. 
Sheila is coming . . . 

Available on Amazon

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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

It’s been a while since I read straight horror but this one fits the bill. Wind Walker is about a small group of people who are going through Snowdonia National Park when they have an accident. What happens next is unthinkable, at least to most of them. There were times that the story was a bit “out there” and I would have preferred that it was more straightforward but it had a good ending.

Everett Smiles is the bonus story but I liked it more than Wind Walker. I was tickled by the title because Everett always smiles. Everett Smiles is about the end of the world but what a horrible end it is! It also had a good ending.

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How I Felt

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I Love the Solitude of Reading

15 May

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Book Review & Giveaway: London Hat Hunting Mission by Winnie Mak Tselikas

15 May

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Four little Londoners, Hope, Jun, Lea and Parth, come from a different cultural background, are good friends living in London. They are travelling to the iconic places around the city in search of magic hats to cure Mr Globe’s headache.

The book is illustrated with a mix of real life photographs of iconic places in London and digital illustration so children can have a vivid visual experience of London and at the same time open up their world of imagination.

 

Purchase from Amazon UK or Amazon US

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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

What a great children’s book! When Hope, Jun, Lea and Parth go on an adventure to find magic hats for Mr. Globe’s headache, they go to many historic places in London. At each stop there’s a picture of the place they’re at and the name of the place is in bold letters. And every time they find a hat, there’s a picture of the hat on one of their heads and the name of the hat is in bold.

The children look like cute dolls and the pictures of the places they go are real photographs. Not only is this an interesting and fun book for children, but there’s so much for them to learn! They learn about the diverse cultures in London as well as acceptance of other cultures. There’s also, of course, the lesson about the iconic places found in London and the different kinds of hats. As an adult, I learned some things about London that I didn’t know (I’ve never been). One of my favorite things is the map at the beginning and end of the book.

I definitely recommend London Hat Hunting Mission for children of all ages.

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About the Author

 

Winnie Mak Tselikas is a believer in diversity. Born and raised in Hong Kong, she studied engineering, worked in commercial sales and in 2011 switched to education upon moving to London. There, she met her half-French, half-Greek husband and they had a son, who now has family in China, France, Greece, HK, the UK and the US. Winnie considers her son to be a world citizen rather than of a particular nationality or culture. Inspired by her family and London’s diversity, she founded One Dear World and created the lovely adventures of Mr. Globe and the little Londoner dolls.

Social Media Links –

www.facebook.com/onedearworld

www.twitter.com/onedearworld

www.instagram.com/onedearworld

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Giveaway

*Terms and Conditions – Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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Happy Mother’s Day

13 May

Book Review: Awarded to the Alien (The Euthenian Battle #1) by Ashley L. Hunt

12 May

Awarded to the Alien (The Euthenian Battle, #1)

My dad decided about my future without me. I have to marry an Alien Prince I have never seen before, and I will have to sacrifice my happiness for the rest of humanity. But how can I do that?

Kataline is a curvy, sensitive, lovely woman who has to marry the Alien Prince, Kerr. Her father arranged this marriage to bring peace on Earth without asking her about her feelings! She is the first genetically engineered woman, and she has never had sex before in her life!

Kerr is the Alien Prince of the Planet Euthenia. His mother died while he was very young and he has never met true love. He is the most handsome Alpha male on his planet, and even though he could have any woman he wanted, he arranged this marriage for political reasons. His father is against his decision, but Kerr has to follow his own path as he is to become the future King!

Those two never-loved souls have to make this work. However, one of them has a dark secret. A secret unknown to everyone except for Kataline’s father who will not say anything about it until it is too late. While they are heading back to Planet Euthenia, an Uprising starts there by Earth Colonists.

When Kerr’s father is informed about it, he imprisons Kataline!

Was this Kataline’s father plan all along? Was she a part of the scheme? Will Kerr save her or not? What will happen between those two?

Expect steamy scenes, mysterious aliens, deadly planets and the love story between a curvy woman from Earth and a sensationally hot alpha male!

Kerr is a previously published story under the name Alien Battle.

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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

It’s been a long time since I read a book that was difficult to find something positive to review. It’s been awhile since I received this book from the author and I couldn’t find it on Amazon. I did find several other books that she’s written since I received this one and they have decent ratings, so I’m guessing/hoping she took the reviews on this book to heart. 

The way Awarded to the Alien is written makes me think that the author may have been trying too hard. It needs a good edit. But that’s just the beginning. There are several things that don’t make sense, such as Kataline being an advanced human being made from the DNA of scientists, geniuses, and beautiful people, and she has read many romances, but she is clueless. Beyond clueless when dealing with Kerr. It is frustrating for the reader and makes no sense. 

This book was short, thank goodness, so I finished it but I can’t recommend it as it is at this time.

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About the Author

Ashley Hunt gained her Philosophy degree in Denver, Colorado at The University of Colorado. 

She made Denver her permanent home when she married her college sweetheart. Married six years the couple has a five-year-old daughter and a yellow Labrador named Oodles. 

Living in the shadow of Gray’s Peak proves to be inspirational to Ashley as she sits at her desk in her home office where she writes her Romance stories and can merely look out the window to renew her creativity. 

She strives to make stories with beautiful scenery and intriguing plots. Heroes with great strengths, physical and mental, she pairs with strong heroines who test their limits. In the end, finding deep, passionate love. The way she thinks every relationship should be.

Twitter: ashley_lhunt
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Audiobook Review & Giveaway: Deep Shadow by Nick Sullivan

11 May

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Author: Nick Sullivan

Narrator: Nick Sullivan

Length: 8 hours 10 minutes

Publisher: Wild Yonder Press

Released: May 1, 2018

Genre: Action-Adventure

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In the turquoise waters of the Caribbean, something lethal is on the move.

Scuba divers travel from all over the world to visit the little island of Bonaire, with its crystal-clear waters and a host of beautiful marine life. After three years in the “Diver’s Paradise”, divemaster Boone Fischer thought he’d seen it all; but on a routine afternoon dive, he spots something that will turn his tranquil life upside down.

From the arid shores of the ABC Islands to the tropical jungles of Venezuela—from the ocean depths of the Southern Caribbean, to the lush islands of the Northern Leewards, Deep Shadow takes Boone and the reader on an action-packed adventure filled with danger and suspense.

“The age-old adage of ‘write what you know’ becomes very important when you write about a technical subject like scuba diving. When you get all the details right, and throw in just the right amounts of action, humor, romance, and suspense, you have a novel like this.” – Wayne Stinnett, bestselling author of “Fallen Out”.

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Born in East Tennessee, NICK SULLIVAN has spent most of his adult life as an actor in New York City, working in theater, television, film, and audiobooks. After narrating hundreds of books over the last twenty years, he decided to write his own. Nick has been an avid scuba diver for many years and his travels to numerous Caribbean islands have inspired this series. His first novel, “Zombie Bigfoot”, hit #1 in Horror Comedy on Amazon.

NICK SULLIVAN has been narrating audiobooks for over twenty years, recording over four hundred titles and receiving numerous AudioFile Earphones and Audie nominations and awards. He has worked extensively on Broadway and at many U.S. theaters. His TV credits include The Good Wife, The Affair, Divorce, Younger, Bull, Madam Secretary, Boardwalk Empire, 30 Rock, Elementary, and all three Law and Order series. Film credits include Our Idiot Brother and Private Life. Proud member of SAG-AFTRA.

WebsiteTwitterFacebookGoodreads

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I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Nick Sullivan. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Boone and Emily work for the same company as divemasters on the island of Bonaire. Deep Shadow begins with their underwater adventures and the excitement of taking visiting divers out to explore. But when an odd looking submarine is sighted, their world is turned upside down.

Some of the chapters are about the terrorists and the sub and what they plan on doing with it. Knowing their plans and wondering if someone was going to figure it out was suspenseful.

I like the author’s writing style. I could visualize the islands and the underwater scenes. The characters are well defined and interesting. He also narrated his own book which doesn’t work out well sometimes but he did a fantastic job and added even more to the story by telling it himself. 

Deep Shadow has it all…action, suspense, humor, and even a little romance. I’m glad I listened to it. I’m sure I would have liked it if I’d read it, but this is one of those books that makes good listening. I also enjoyed listening to the author explain at the end how he came up with the idea of the book, that he’s visited the islands, and the effects of the hurricanes in that area of the world over the past few years.

 

 

Q&A with Author/Narrator Nick Sullivan
  • Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook.
    • The interesting thing about my process, having narrated over 400 titles over more than twenty years, is I’ve learned how effective a narrator is at catching typos, clunky sentences, and even plot inconsistencies. My final polishing on the writing occurs in the booth as I record. I have a separate document open where I make notes about what I have decided to change as I narrate; then I go back to the manuscript and apply what I learned in front of the microphone before finalizing it.
  • How did you wind up narrating audiobooks? Was it always your goal or was it something you stumbled into by chance?
    • I was at an audition and saw a notice on a cork board, asking from actors to narrate books for the blind for charity, for the Jewish Braille Institute. I put the number in my pocket. The next week I was shooting an NYU film, and the actress who was playing my wife said she recorded for Talking Books. I took their number. On lunch break I went to this device that used to exist, a “pay phone” and made two calls. First, to Jewish Braille, offering to narrate that week. Then to Talking Books… letting them know I “had experience narrating audiobooks… although I wasn’t available until the following week. I taught voice and speech at Rutgers and was good at accents, so I was able to convince them to see me. By the end of that next week, I’d made my first money as a narrator, with “A Day No Pigs Would Die”.
  • How did you decide how each character should sound in this title?
    • I create a “VoiceScape” for everyone in the book, noting every single thing the author gives me about where a character is from, their physical appearance, personality, speech quirks. Then I just let the information form the voice… though I always go through and make sure I don’t have characters that are going to be too similar side by side.
  • Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
    • Yes. I’ve been diving for twenty years, visiting numerous Caribbean islands. Many things in this book were loosely based on things I experienced (or heard about). I reached out to some folks I’ve dived with, and some authors I’ve narrated for who know the ocean well, for additional inspiration.
  • Do you read reviews for your audiobooks?
    • Sometimes. It’s interesting, I know so many narrators who have declared “I stopped reading reviews”; and then I narrated a book by a mindfulness guru who sited a psychological study that a “negative occurrence” has about four times the weight as a positive one. And I think that’s true! We all want to be liked… so when you see a negative review, you want to say “Why don’t they like me?” One of the biggest names in the biz (I won’t say who) got all wound up by this incredibly tiny amount of bad reviews. It’s really like everywhere else in life, you can’t please everyone. I just do my best to please the author! I always appreciate “author approval” auditions for title assignment. It’s a good start to know that they chose your voice and performance.
  • What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
    • I feel like I hear that less and less every year. It IS a different experience, I’ll give you that. The narrator IS going to influence how you experience the book… and that’s not always going to be a good thing.
  • What’s next for you?
    • Nick the Writer is 30,000 words into “Zombie Bigfoot” sequel… but first I have to narrate a space opera sci-fi, three short romance double headers, and Wayne Stinnett’s upcoming thriller, “Enduring Charity”!
  • Bonus question: Any funny anecdotes from inside the recording studio?
    • The engineers at Talking Books made a “mix tape”: they collected years of actors laughing uncontrollably, narrating extremely steamy sentences, belching impressively, going on a rant about run on sentences. We had no idea they were saving these snippets and it was HYSTERICAL.

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Deep Shadow Giveaway: Signed Book + AudioFile Subscription
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May 6th:

Happily Ever BookWorm

Dab of Darkness Audiobook Reviews

Bookworms Corner Blog Spot

May 7th:

Hall Ways Blog

Jazzy Book Reviews

AudioSpy

May 8th:

2 Girls and A Book

The Dragon Slayer

May 9th:

T’s Stuff

Lilly’s Book World

Carolyn M. Walker, Author

May 10th:

The Book Addict’s Reviews

The Bookworm Lodge

May 11th:

Haddie’s Haven

Bound 4 Escape

May 12th:

The Voluptuous Book Diva

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