The Moment That Friendship Begins

27 Jul


Every Reader Finds Himself

27 Jul


Book Review: The Kingdom of Oceana by Mitchell Charles

27 Jul

KOO Cover Final w type large

The Kingdom of Oceana is the first book in a new Young Adult fantasy adventure series by Mitchell Charles.


Five centuries ago, on the island now called Hawaii, there was a kingdom filled with adventure, beauty, and magic.  When 16-year-old Prince Ailani and his brother Nahoa trespass on a forbidden burial ground and uncover an ancient tiki mask, they unleash a thousand-year-old curse that threatens to destroy their tropical paradise.

As warring factions collide for control of Oceana, it sparks an age-old conflict between rival sorcerers that threatens to erupt–just like Mauna Kea, the towering volcano. With the help of his ancestral spirit animals, his shape shifting sidekick, and a beautiful princess, Prince Ailani must overcome his own insecurities, a lifetime of sibling rivalry, and a plague of cursed sea creatures brought forth by the tiki’s spell. Can peace be restored to the kingdom? Can Prince Ailani claim his rightful place as the future king of Oceana? Two brothers, but only one can rule.

“While the book is fiction, it is heavily influenced by the rich and beautiful Hawaiian myths, legends, locales, and culture.  Many locations in the story are inspired by real places in Hawaii,” says Mitchell.

The Kingdom of Oceana takes readers on a fun and exciting adventure, with big wave surfing, fire walking, and shark taming, while also being educational and bringing to light many environmental and social issues, like ocean conservation.


The Kingdom of Oceana is currently available for sale on Amazon.



My Review

I received a free copy of the audiobook for an honest review.

The Kingdom of Oceana is based on the Hawaiian Islands five centuries ago. Prince Ailani is the second born to the king of the Big Island and Ailani has always assumed that his older brother, Nohoa, will become the next king. The brothers are typical brothers with the older one picking on the younger one.

It is easy to envision the beautiful Hawaiian setting as this story unfolds. The author does a great job of describing it. There are also Hawaiian myths and legends included which makes it more interesting.

The Kingdom of Oceana begins with Ailani and Nohoa unleashing a centuries old curse but there are also tensions building between the island kingdoms, as well as odd occurrences in the ocean. With so much happening, and the kingdom needing all the warriors they can get, the princes are sent on a vision quest to find their spirit animals. The brothers help each other but there is even more tension between them now that there is a princess whom they both like. There’s adventure, adversity, legend, love, and suspense and it all builds up to a surprising ending.

The narrator choice was a good one. The story is told from Ailani’s POV and the narrator has the perfect accent for it (whether it’s real or not, it’s perfect).

I definitely recommend this book for middle school readers and older. I think adults will like it as much as the younger readers.

Just a couple of days ago, I was sent study guides that go along with this book. They are great! One is titled Earth Science and the other Humanities. Both contain a lot of information about the Hawaiian Islands, discussion questions for classes, and even some multiple choice questions. These would make great resources for a class studying Hawaii and the book could be tied into the studies as well. Below is a satellite photo of Hawaii from one of the study guides.




About the Author

Mitch Hookipa fixed croppedMitchell Charles’ love of the ocean and its miraculous creatures began at the age of 12 when his father taught him to SCUBA dive. From his first adventure 50 feet (15 meters) beneath the Caribbean Sea he was hooked.  He has been involved in the Oceanic Society, America’s first non-profit organization dedicated to ocean conservation, established in 1969.

Mitchell’s inspiration for The Kingdom of Oceana was born of exploring the spectacular coastline, lush valleys, and vibrant coral reefs of the Hawaiian Islands. On these excursions, he imagined what Hawaii was like hundreds of years ago. Before Captain Cook arrived from England. Before the golf courses and hotels. Before the ukulele and the Mai Tai became icons of Hawaiian culture. He dreamed of a time when the islands were an undiscovered magical paradise.

These days, Mitchell divides his time between Southern California and Hawaii. He has two teenage children and a dog named Magic.

Mitchell is currently working on the second book in the Kingdom of Oceana series, The Legend of the Nine Sacred Pearls. For more information, visit

Readers can connect with Mitchell on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.



No What-iffing

26 Jul



The Value of a Moment

26 Jul


i want to feel alive

26 Jul


Book Review & Giveaway: The Gift by Rebecca Hubbard

26 Jul



Paperback:62 pages

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Publication Date: July 23, 2015





All eleven-year-old Pip wanted was a best friend. When Pip gets a horse for her birthday, she’s delighted. She thinks that the horse she names Buck will be her best friend from the moment that they meet. But she finds out that friendship does not come that easily.

Pip’s father gently guides her so that Pip can discover for herself how to make Buck a true friend. Pip’s new friend, Buck, has a story of his own. After leaving his own herd, to move to Pip’s house, he is looking for a relationship that will help him feel safe. He, too, learns that making a friend takes patience and understanding.

Told from the perspectives of both Pip and Buck, The Gift is a heartwarming and valuable lesson about friendship, trust and love that will appeal to a wide variety of readers.





My Review

I received a free ecopy of this book for an honest review.

The Gift is a children’s book about a young girl who gets a horse for her birthday. She wants to be friends with the horse and she doesn’t understand why he’s scared of her. Her father explains that it will take time before the horse will trust her and he gives her guidance along the way.

The second half of the book is from the horse’s point of view which will be even more helpful for children to understand exactly what a new horse, or any new pet, is feeling.

This is a cute story with colorful illustrations. The text is simple enough for children to understand. What I like best about it, though, is that it teaches children that it is work to take care of a horse but with patience and understanding, he can be your best friend.

The Gift by Rebecca Hubbard Book Tour Content - Signed Illustration Print for Giveaway



The Gift People's Book Prize



Rebecca Hubbard Author PhotoRebecca J. Hubbard is a master’s level Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with over twenty years of experience working with children and their families. She began writing short stories as a child for her own amusement and enjoyment. Rebecca discovered that she could facilitate the healing of her young clients by writing stories for them.

Currently, Rebecca works at Spirit Reins as a clinician and as the clinical supervisor where she practices Natural Lifemanship, ™ a Trauma-Focused Equine Assisted Psychotherapy™ model.

Rebecca is a native Texan, who enjoys spending time with friends and family, including her two dogs, Idgie and Sully, and her two horses, Cash and Cloud. She also loves to read, paint and garden. Rebecca encourages readers to connect with her via her website and Amazon Author Page.







Reading is Your Friend

25 Jul


Any Fool Can Know

25 Jul


Book Review: Suppose by D.J. Adamson

25 Jul

SUPPOSE banner


Author: D.J. Adamson
Publisher: Horatio Press
Pages: 334
Genre: Mystery/Suspense


What did he want to know about me?”

 “If you were still alive.”

Connivers, murder, and the international shipment of drugs unites the local PDs and the Federal Government, and drags Lillian into a hailstorm of manipulation and danger, whereby she is given two choices: Join? Or die trying?

For More Information

  • SUPPOSE is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.


My Review

I received a free copy of this book for an honest review.

I was happy to review Suppose because I’d read the first Lillian Dove mystery, Admit to Mayhem, and really liked it. D.J. Adamson’s writing flows well and her books are a quick read. I also enjoy her sense of humor.

Lillian lives in a small town and has inherited a house and liquor store from a man she’d worked for. It’s ironic that she owns a liquor store since she’s an alcoholic but she’s handling it well. When an old acquaintance calls and threatens her, she knows that it’s just a con but she still feels the need to check it out. With the single decision to confront Kenny, Lillian ends up in the middle of a mess.

Suppose has some twists, some suspense, and some humor on top of a murder mystery. Lillian also has some interesting relationships. Her mother is verbally abusive but Lillian still feels the need to check on her daily. Lillian and the detective she ends up working with don’t seem to like each other but I wonder what the future will bring with those two.

If you like a mystery with some twists and a bit of humor, I definitely recommend Suppose. Even though it’s the second book in a series, it does stand on its own.




Real things started happening. No more ducking my head. No more playing the blame-game. That’s the problem being sober and taking life on without a drink in my hand. Don’t get me wrong. My drinking is not an excuse for who I’m not. But my NOT drinking is the only way I’ll find out who I was before taking that first drink.

It was time for me to start doing sober what I always said I’d do drunk.

All eyes were on me; mine are wide open.


About the Author

D.J. AdamsonAward Winner at the Midwest Book Festival and Nominated for a Clue Award in Suspense, DJ Adamson is the author of the Lillian Dove Mystery series and the mystery/science fiction trilogy Deviation. Author, instructor, she is also Vice President for the Central Coast Sisters in Crime and Membership Director for Sisters in Crime, Los Angeles. She is an active member of Mystery Writers of America.


For More Information


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