Book and Audio Story Review: Billy Joins the Circus by Anna Christina

Title: Billy Joins the Circus
Author: Music Audio Stories
Genre: Children’s Stories

Publication Date: June 6, 2022

Story Synopsis

Billy Joins the Circus is a wonderfully uplifting story about a monkey who wants to join the circus. Through Billy, little ones are inspired to believe in themselves and follow their dreams! One day, Billy the monkey meets the Ringmaster and Polly, the circus flying dolly. They are not sure if Billy has the talent for their circus and they ask him what he can do! Billy cheerfully sings a song that impresses them.

Encourage your child to read, write, listen, sing and dance by combining this fun colourful picture book with the unique music audiobook and interactive activity booklet that go with this picture book.

Available:

  • The Billy Joins the Circus Music Audiobook CD – 5:16 with original music, catchy sing-along song and sound effects throughout the narrative
  • The MP3 download – so you can play the story on any device
  • The Illustrated Activity Booklet – with an interactive question tree page, circus game and a fun colouring in picture to enjoy

Get items here: musicaudiostories.com/billy-joins-the-circus-audio-book

Together, you and your child will love to:

Read and learn about Billy the monkey in the picture book
Write the answers on the interactive question tree page in the activity booklet
Colour in Billy’s picture and join our creative world (see how inside the activity booklet)
Listen to the music audiobook as you follow the words in the picture book
Sing and Dance along with Billy the monkey.

BILLY JOINS THE CIRCUS
➡️ https://www.musicaudiostories.com/billy-joins-the-circus

GET PICTURE BOOK
➡️ https://etsy.me/34wgYRL

EBOOK & PAPERBACK
➡️ https://amzn.to/3y8eUvr

Get items here: https://www.musicaudiostories.com/billy-joins-the-circus

My Review

I listened and reviewed this story several years ago as an audio story only. The author has since added an actual book to go along with the audio story. I enjoyed it back then, but now it’s even better!

This is a story about Billy the monkey who wants to join the circus. Before he joins, they ask him (with a catchy song) if he can do different things such as touching his toes and clapping his hands. I have a 3-year-old grandson who was visiting today. We listened to this a couple of times. The first couple of times he just read along as usual. We took a break, and a little while later he clapped his hands, and I knew he wanted to read the book again. This time we had fun doing all of the movements!

I’m sure we’ll be reading it again tomorrow. It’s nice to be able to listen as Anna Christina reads the book. Her voice is great, and we can put the book down so that we both can do the movements.

About the Author

Anna Christina is the award-winning author, narrator, musician, storyteller and owner of Music Audio Stories. She has entertained and taught thousands of children at nurseries, schools, libraries and workshops with her Music Audio Stories during her musical Storytime, Storytime with Anna Christina. She regularly volunteers at libraries and is a brilliant advocate for the power of stories and music.

The success of her Storytime led her to launch a new product line called ‘Storytime with Anna Christina’. This product line is a delightful new innovative collection of music audiobooks, picture books and interactive activity booklets, that teach, uplift and inspire little ones.

Anna Christina is qualified in Sound Engineering, Music and Sound Technology and Music Production and has been a professional touring and recording artist, musician, songwriter, composer and singer for many years. Her natural flair for strong-themed storytelling, both in writing and in music, is prominent in her unique brand of music audiobooks.

Music Audio Stories are entertaining music audiobooks with brilliant soundtracks, catchy sing-along songs and fun stories in an animal kingdom. The 5-star-rated music audiobooks not only encourage children to be part of the story through drawing, song and dance, but they also inspire them to act out the scenes and be part of the magical journey.

Find out more at: musicaudiostories.com.

Book Review: The Source by Zaph Stone

It’s happening again. The greed. The evil, but this time it’s worse.

People’s nightmares are following them into their days. The Source, part human frailty, part Artificial Intelligence, part sass, isn’t the only one haunted by her past and trapped by her future.

Suicides, death matches, horrific, dark visions – the incomprehensible malevolence she uncovers will not only risk her very existence but threaten to tear their fledgling new society apart.

With quirky characters and killer twists, Planet 54: The Source takes you on a weird, gory, erotic, action packed thrill ride that will shock, amuse and terrify you in equal measure.

My Review

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

I read The Ticket by Zaph Stone about a year ago and liked it, so I was happy read this book. It’s the second book in a trilogy, and although I didn’t read the first book, there was enough backstory that I wasn’t lost. I do wish I’d read the first book, though, because I’m pretty sure it’s a good one.

After the end of the world, a new civilization rose up from the ashes, but it became clear to Claire and Andrew that something was wrong. Eventually, there was a revolution and a new government. They hoped that the Sanctum, the ones who ran the evil government, were gone. Unfortunately, some of them
escaped and they’re back.

The main characters are Claire, Andrew, and John. Claire is the Source, and she is able to plug into a machine and find data, etc., to help find out what is going on and try to find members of the Sanctum. It’s not easy to be the Source, but she’ll do it as long as she can. I admired her strength but wanted to scream at her to open up to John and Andrew.

There is a lot going on in this book! There are a lot of characters, and the story goes back and forth between them. I was able to keep up with most of them, but a list of the characters at the beginning of the book would be helpful.

The group realizes that things are getting bad again. They uncover a high number of suicides. Somehow, there are people making a lot more money than anyone else, which is not supposed to be happening. People are also having horrible visions. I like that the author can use humor even when someone is having a horrible vision. A character thought he was going crazy, and here I was giggling! There’s so much more happening, but I don’t want to give anything away.

A couple of things mentioned in The Source confused me a little, and they were probably explained more in the first book. An example of that is the glitch. I think it’s VR but there’s more to it than that.

Even though The Source needs to be proofread, it’s a good read. I hope to find the time to read the first book in the trilogy, and I absolutely have to read the third book.

About the Author

Zaph started writing in 2019, and in 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, he had a near 150,000 word dystopian sci-fi thriller in manuscript form. It wasn’t long after that that he started a second and third project, and he has no intention of slowing down any time soon – or speeding up for that matter. Zaph hopes you will be one of those that join him on the journey. It promises to be a wild ride.

Book Review & Giveaway: All the Rivers Flow into the Sea & Other Stories by Khanh Ha

All the Rivers Flow into the Sea by Khanh Ha
All the Rivers Flow into the Sea by Khanh Ha

All the Rivers Flow into the Sea and Other Stories by Khanh Ha

Publisher:  Eastover Press LLC (June 7, 2022)
Category: Short Stories, Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction, Vietnam
Tour dates: July 25-August 31, 2022
ISBN:  978-1958094020
Available in Print and ebook, 208 pages

 All the Rivers Flow into the Sea

Description

From Vietnam to America, this story collection, jewel-like, evocative, and layered, brings to readers a unique sense of love and passion alongside tragedy and darker themes of peril. The titular story features a love affair between an unlikely duo pushing against barely surmountable cultural barriers. In “The Yin-Yang Market,” magical realism and the beauty of innocence abounds in deep dark places, teeming with life and danger. “A Mute Girl’s Yarn” tells a magical coming-of-age story like sketches in a child’s fairy book.

Bringing together the damned, the unfit, the brave who succumb to the call of fate, All the Rivers Flow Into the Sea is a great journey where redemption and human goodness arise out of violence and beauty to become part of an essential mercy.

All the Rivers Flow into the Sea was selected as a winner of the 2021 EastOver Prize for Fiction and has received much advanced praise.

Amazon
Barnes&Noble
IndieBound

Guest Review by Sal

‘All the Rivers Flow Into the Sea,’ is not just a collection of short stories, but a look into the lives of average Vietnamese people during a very turbulent time.

Vietnam is a beautiful country, filled with hardworking and generous people, and no one is better at representing that in story form than author Khanh Ha. Between the beautiful, lush landscape of the country and the wonderful people, this book show Vietnam in a different light than many Americans are used to.

In the story, ‘All the Pretty Horses,’ the narrator talks about the relationship between their father and young Vietnamese language teacher, both of them living in Washington D.C. Although the father is married to the narrator’s mother, it seems like things maybe developing romantically between the teacher and the father, that is until a devastating turn of events changes things forever.

In the title story, ‘All the Rivers Flow into the Sea,’ two young people, a Vietnamese woman and an American solider, fall in love during the war. Although circumstances persist in trying to keep them apart, the young couple faces these trials together, always certain that their love can conquer all. Though a long journey on foot back to the woman’s home and a tense boat ride where they are in danger of being found by the Viet Cong, the couple stays together. But will they be able to find happiness? You’ll have to read the story yourself to find out.

Ha’s writing is absolutely remarkable. The atmosphere of this book is pure magic and I felt myself being wrapped up in it as I read along. As a reader, I felt as though I was there with the young couple on the dark river, or in the car with the father and the teacher in Washington.

This is a five-star read that must be experienced for yourself!

About Khanh HaAll the Rivers Flow into the Sea by Khanh Ha

Multi award winning author, Khanh Ha is the author of Flesh, The Demon Who Peddled Longing, and Mrs. Rossi’s Dream. He is a seven-time Pushcart nominee, finalist for the Mary McCarthy Prize, Many Voices Project, Prairie Schooner Book Prize, and The University of New Orleans Press Lab Prize. He is the recipient of the Sand Hills Prize for Best Fiction, the Robert Watson Literary Prize in Fiction, The Orison Anthology Award for Fiction, The James Knudsen Prize for Fiction, The C&R Press Fiction Prize, and The EastOver Fiction Prize.

Mrs. Rossi’s Dream was named Best New Book by Booklist and a 2019 Foreword Reviews INDIES Silver Winner and Bronze Winner. All the Rivers Flow into the Sea & Other Stories has already won the EastOver Fiction Prize.

Website: http://www.authorkhanhha.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KhanhHa69784776
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorkhanhha

Giveaway

This giveaway is for 3 print copies and is open to the U.S. only. This giveaway ends on Aug 27, 2022 midnight, pacific time.  Entries accepted via Rafflecopter only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Praise

“These stories draw close connections between disparate cultures, Vietnam’s changing environments, and the American and Vietnamese people who engage on a different playing field than the war which brought them together in the past.”– Midwest Book Review

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Book Review & Giveaway: The Wrong Side of Murder by Lauren Carr

Book Title:  The Wrong Side of Murder (A Nikki Bryant Cozy Mystery) by Lauren Carr
Category:  Adult Fiction (18 +), 274 pages
Genre:  Mystery/Cozy Mystery
Publisher:  Acorn Book Services
Release date:   July 21, 2022
Tour dates: Aug 1 to Aug 26, 2022
Content Rating: This cozy mystery is rated G for everyone!

Book Description

Nikki Bryant’s Next Case Takes Her to the Wrong Side of Murder

One spring morning, Jodi Gibbons got up and went to school as she did every day. Her young life went sideways though when the police found that her mother had been brutally killed during the night.

Twenty years later, many in Pine Grove believe Jodi got away with murder. After all, how could she have possibly slept through her mother’s violent death in the very next room?
After decades of silence, Jodi accepts investigative journalist Nikki Bryant’s invitation to tell her side of the story. However, before the interview can take place, someone silences Jodi permanently.

Now it is up to Nikki Bryant and her friends to uncover the secret that Jodi Gibbons has been protecting—a secret someone believes it is worth killing to keep from being revealed.

Buy the Book:
Amazon
BookBub 
add to goodreads

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.

I have read quite a few of Lauren Carr’s books, and I’m never disappointed. She writes several different series, but this is the first cozy mystery series of hers that I’ve read. I read the first book, Killer Deadline, a couple of years ago, and I liked it, so I was happy to read the next book in the series.

In The Wrong Side of Murder, Nikki Bryant and her true love (and stepbrother), Ryan, are together, and their relationship is great. The characters are realistic, and like most of the author’s books, there are a lot of them. She always includes a Cast of Characters at the beginning, which helps a lot.

Jodi was a classmate of Nikki’s in high school, and Nikki was convinced that she’d murdered her mom 20 years ago. Now, she’s convinced that she didn’t murder her and wants to help prove her innocence. This cold case that the police decide to reopen as well has a lot of twists and turns. There are more murders, many suspects who were overlooked, and more crimes to solve!

I definitely recommend The Wrong Side of Murder. I look forward to the next Nikki Bryant book.

About the Author

Selling over half a million books worldwide, Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, Thorny Rose, Chris Matheson Cold Case Mysteries, and Nikki Bryant Cozy Mysteries—thirty titles across five fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, crime fiction, police procedurals, romance, and humor. 

The owner of Acorn Book Services and iRead Book Tours, Lauren is also a publishing manager, consultant, and virtual book tour coordinator for independent authors.  

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. 

She lives with her husband, and two spoiled rotten German shepherds on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV. 

connect with the author: website ~ blog ~ facebook instagram ~ twitter pinterest

Giveaway

Enter to win a $50 PayPal gift card
courtesy of the author of
THE WRONG SIDE OF MURDER (a Nikki Bryant Cozy Mystery)
(one winner)

Gleam

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Book Review: The Waitress by Nina Manning

The Waitress

Nameless. Faceless. Deadly?

Waitress Kit Lowman knows that people look down on her and the job she does. But being anonymous offers Kit safety and security and allows her own terrible secrets to remain hidden.

And then Kit’s luck changes, and she suddenly faces a terrible dilemma: reveal her true identity and accept that life will never be the same. Or stay in the shadows…where she hopes she’ll be safe?

But secrets can’t stay hidden forever. And the more Kit tries to hide away, the more someone makes it clear that they are going to make her pay for what she did.

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3OVpWKW

My Review

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

Kit is a waitress and the narrator of this book. It has a decent beginning and a good ending, but there are a lot of words to wade through to get to the real story in between. I feel like there’s potential, but I just didn’t feel the suspense or Kit’s angst. Part of the reason for that could be that throughout the entire book, she talks about something terrible that she did, but it isn’t revealed until very late.

When authors go back and forth between times, it often works. Other times, like in this case, it went back and forth between Now and Then, and it didn’t work for me.

I am sure there are many readers who will enjoy this book. Personally, long, drawn out descriptions are not for me, and there are a lot of them here.

There were surprises at the end but only one that I hadn’t figured out. It was a good one though!

About the Author

Nina Manning studied psychology and was a restaurant-owner and private chef (including to members of the royal family). She is the founder and co-host of Sniffing The Pages, a book review podcast. Her debut psychological thriller, The Daughter in Law, was a bestseller in the UK, US, Australia and Canada. She lives in Dorset.

Social Media Links –  

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Bookbub profile: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/nina-manning

Spotlight: The Waitress by Nina Manning

The Waitress

Nameless. Faceless. Deadly?

Waitress Kit Lowman knows that people look down on her and the job she does. But being anonymous offers Kit safety and security and allows her own terrible secrets to remain hidden.

And then Kit’s luck changes, and she suddenly faces a terrible dilemma: reveal her true identity and accept that life will never be the same. Or stay in the shadows…where she hopes she’ll be safe?

But secrets can’t stay hidden forever. And the more Kit tries to hide away, the more someone makes it clear that they are going to make her pay for what she did.

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3OVpWKW

About the Author

Nina Manning studied psychology and was a restaurant-owner and private chef (including to members of the royal family). She is the founder and co-host of Sniffing The Pages, a book review podcast. Her debut psychological thriller, The Daughter in Law, was a bestseller in the UK, US, Australia and Canada. She lives in Dorset.

Social Media Links –  

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ninamanningauthor1

Twitter https://twitter.com/ninamanninguk

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/ninamanning_author/

Newsletter Sign Up: https://bit.ly/NinaManningNews

Bookbub profile: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/nina-manning