Book Review & Giveaway: The Adventures of Molly & Ollie: Moving Day by Sally Beale

Book Title:  The Adventures of Mollie & Ollie: Moving Day by Sally Beale
Category:  Children’s Fiction (Ages 3-7),  38 pages
Genre:  Children’s Picture Book
Publisher:  Mascot Books
Release date:   March, 2021
Content Rating:  G for everyone.


Book Description:

Every child experiences change in their life. Moving can be difficult, but in this Mom’s Choice award-winning book, when eight-year-old Molly Day meets a new friend, a magical owl named Oliver Winston Howell III, her move to a new house in a new town becomes easier than she expected. Be on the lookout for Molly and Ollie’s next adventure!

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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.

Poor Molly! Her family is moving and she’s not only leaving her home behind but her best friend as well. When she arrives at her new home, however, Ollie (Oliver Winston Howell III) makes the move much easier with magic and wise words.

I had to laugh when Ollie told his full name to Molly. It reminded me of Thurston Howell III from Gilligan’s Island every time it was said. Although this adventure starts kind of sad for Molly, she finds the move easier than she expected. This is a fun book to read and I can see many children being able to relate since so many families move these days. The illustrations are colorful and done very well.

I recommend Moving Day, the first book in The Adventures of Molly & Ollie, for children of all ages whether they’re moving or not.

About the Author

Photo by Adrienne Reich Photography

The Adventures of Molly & Ollie: Moving Day was inspired by Beale’s own experiences as a young child. Her father’s occupation required that her family move across the country every two years. Beale’s childhood was filled with adventures that captured her imagination in each new home. She continued her passion for adventure while raising her two daughters and working as a costume designer for local theaters. Now she is channeling her sense of fun and her youthful spirit into her children’s stories. Beale is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). The Adventures of Molly & Ollie: Moving Day, a Mom’s Choice Award winner, is the first book in the Molly & Ollie series.

connect with the author: website ~ instagram ~ goodreads

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Enter to win a signed copy of Sally Beale’s THE ADVENTURES OF MOLLY & OLLIE: Moving Day!
(one winner/USA only)

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Audiobook Review & Giveaway: Caroline & Mordecai the Gand by Jeff Gunhus

Book Title: Caroline & Mordecai the Gand by Jeff Gunhus
Category:  Middle-Grade Fiction (Ages 8-12), 186 pages
Genre: Fantasy, Literary
Publisher:  Seven Guns Press
Release date:  March 31, 2021

Content Rating: PG: The language is G. There is one scene with the main character punches a bully resulting in a bloody nose. The emotional treatment of grief and the death of a loved one can be somewhat intense.

Description

This novella was written by USA Today bestselling author Jeff Gunhus after he received a devastating diagnosis of state 3 cancer. The story is a message to his five children on how to deal with grief and a plea for them to grasp onto joy and love even in the darkest of times.

Caroline loses her spark. It takes a great adventure for her to find it again.

Caroline loses her father in a car accident for which she feels responsible. Consumed by grief, she has a difficult time readjusting to a world that has changed so dramatically for her. On the anniversary of her father’s death, a strange window opens in the middle of the small lake behind her house. She climbs up an old oak to peer inside, but falls out of the tree and discovers that the window also serves as a door into a different world.

Enter Mordecai the Gand, a mysterious traveler who befriends Caroline and promises to help her find a way back home since the window she fell through has disappeared. The two set out on a series of adventures that include visiting a tree village populated by a tribe known for eating travelers, running into a witch under a spell of her own making, hiding in a cave with a dragon encased in a wall of ice (prone to melting by campfire), all the while being pursued by a mysterious entity call the Creach which promises to devour Caroline and trap her in an eternity of despair.

As they navigate these adventures and this new world, Caroline slowly discovers that she is meant to help each of the characters she meets. As she battles internally whether to stay or return home to the sadness and grief waiting for her there, she must regain perspective and open her heart to the act of caring and to the joy of love itself. In the end, she must demonstrate great courage, loyalty, and caring as the plot unfolds, becoming the active hero of her own story.

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My Review

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

I have read all of the Jack Templar books by Jeff Gunhus and have always enjoyed his writing so I was looking forward to listening to this book. Just like the Jack Templar books, it is written for middle grade and/or young adult readers, but it’s a story that readers of all ages will like.

Caroline lost her father when she was 13 years old. They were very close and it was devastating, especially since she blamed herself for his death. When she ends up in another world and meets Mordecai the Gand, she goes on an emotional journey with him and learns some important lessons about loss, grief, and hope.

Caroline meets some quirky characters along the way. Mordecai is quirky enough but then there is the tribe that lives in the trees whose people like to eat travelers, the terrifying Creach, and a dragon that started out being frozen in ice…

The narrator, Sarah L. Colton, has a great voice for telling a story. Her timing and pace are also excellent. I hope to listen to more stories that she narrates.

If you’ve experience a recent loss, or even if you haven’t, Caroline and Mordecai the Gand is a book that is full of sadness and grief but is still an adventure that is fun at times and is full of hope. I am thankful that Jeff Gunhus decided to share this book that was originally meant as a private story for his children when he was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer.

“Readers of all ages who look for ethereal, haunting stories of recovery and courage will find Caroline & Mordecai the Gand may hold the trappings of a fantasy adventure; but inside there is so much more. Make the right decision, to read this!” – D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

“Caroline’s story is profoundly sad, and yet hopeful, magical, and yet rooted in reality. There is magic, mystery, and daring adventure.”– BooksCoffee

About the Author

Jeff Gunhus is the USA TODAY bestselling author of thriller and horror novels for adults and the middle grade fantasy series, The Jack Templar Chronicles. The first book, Jack Templar Monster Hunter, was written in an effort to get his reluctant reader eleven-year-old son excited about reading. It worked and a new series was born. His books for adults have reached the Top 30 on Amazon, have been recognized as Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Finalists and reached the USA TODAY bestseller list.

Jeff wrote Caroline & Mordecai the Gand after receiving a devastating diagnosis of stage 3 cancer. The novella was meant as a private story for his five children on how to face grief by holding onto joy and love. He leads an active life in Maryland with his wife Nicole by trying to constantly keep up with their kids. In rare moments of quiet, he can be found in the back of Old Fox Books in Annapolis working on his next novel or on JeffGunhus.com.

connect with the author:  website  ~  twitter  ~  facebook instagram goodreads bookbub

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Book Review: Beth & Lucy by Katherine Shade

Sixteen-year-old Beth Meyer has three guilty pleasures: nineties sitcoms, crosswords, and—most embarrassing of all—the Lucy Hutchinson book series. They’re silly novels about Lucy’s adventures at a secret school for magic, but they help Beth imagine an exciting life from a safe distance.

That is, until the day Lucy shows up at Beth’s door.

Lucy claims that Beth’s older brother Tim is going to be murdered. She says she wants to help Beth prevent his death. Which should be doable, seeing as she’s a wizard.

Beth is sure all those Netflix binge-sessions have finally gone to her head. She locks the door on Lucy and pretends the whole bizarre visit never happened. Then Lucy starts popping up everywhere—waiting for Beth in the school parking lot. Levitating Beth’s cup at Starbucks.

Beth is terrified of putting herself in danger for the troubled brother she knows doesn’t want her help. But when Tim starts behaving strangely, Beth realizes Lucy might just be right. And if she wants to keep Tim alive, she’ll have to work with Lucy to solve a murder that hasn’t happened yet. 

Amazon

My Review

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

The author’s idea for Beth & Lucy intrigued me. Beth leads a “normal” boring life until Lucy shows up. It’s difficult for Beth to believe, but Lucy is the main character in Beth’s favorite book series…and vice versa! Lucy is there to save Beth’s brother Tim and maybe Beth.

Beth doesn’t have any friends that she spends time with outside of school, and it’s easy to see why. She prefers to be alone, but she also speaks her mind whether she should or not. Lucy is from a secret magical island, she dresses in bright mismatched colors, and is there only because she wants to help.

Beth and Lucy aren’t nice to each other most of the time. They’re both rude, but Lucy seems to just respond to Beth’s hatefulness. Once in a great while, they’re nice to each other, but it’s hard to see how they can consider each other friends, except for what they’ve gone through together.

I liked the way that the book was narrated. Beth often speaks directly to the reader. For example, at the end of Chapter 3: “But just for a few minutes, let me be. Here, alone, in this car. Let me slip away from the page for just a few lines.”

The ending had quite a twist that was totally unexpected. It didn’t seem to fit with the light-hearted fantasy up until that point. If it had been a darker fantasy, it would have been great!

About the Author

Katherine Shade lives in Southern California. When she’s not engaged in imaginary conversations with fictional characters or reading nineteenth-century literature, you can find her wandering the world, playing piano, or baking cookies.

Website: Katherine Shade

Book Review: The Me in Memory by Aspen Bassett

Book Title: The Me in Memory by Aspen Bassett
Category: YA Fiction
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Content Rating: PG

Book Description

t’s been one month since Penny Grace traveled through time with Stranger, the hottie from next door. One month since she changed the course of the future, developed mysterious control over a dark force, and somehow got erased from time… Now, not even her own sister remembers her. 

Penny feels the daily sting of not belonging in her own home, so when Stranger asks for help in preventing his brother Jack’s death, she jumps at the opportunity. 

But their simple rescue mission soon turns impossible when a darkness named The Shadow offers Penny an impossible choice: win her family back by taking down The Void and restoring the natural timeline, or save Jack and ensure the world’s collapse. 

Not one to trust a threat, Penny decides to find The Void herself and demand help. Only now The Void is masquerading as a human with no intentions of risking his freedom to save a dead man. Secrets pile up between Penny and her Stranger as she struggles against an inevitable sacrifice. 

If Jack lives, Penny dies. If Jack dies, Penny loses everything.

My Review

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

I read A Penny Lost, the first book in this series, almost three years ago, and I was looking forward to reading The Me in Memory, which was released in late 2019. Unfortunately, life got in the way (I mean, 2020), but I finally read it. It did not disappoint, but now there’s a third book out that I need to read that was just released in February. I have to find out what happens!

Penny (Penelope Grace) is a twin but no one remembers her since her last time travel adventure with Stranger (her neighbor). They embark on another adventure to try to save Stranger’s brother before he dies in an accident and to fix things so that Penny is remembered by her family. Penny’s twin joins them even though she doesn’t believe Penny is real. She wants to figure things out, and she wants to help.

This book is full of time travel adventure, a touch of romance, old friends and enemies, and soul searching. Poor Penny doesn’t even know what she is anymore, so she doesn’t quite know what to do, but Stranger helps to keep her grounded. I read the first half of the book a few pages in the evening for several nights but once I got to the second half, I couldn’t put it down. The end was not what I expected, and now I want to know what happens!

I definitely recommend The Me in Memory for anyone who likes young adult and/or time travel novels. I do suggest reading A Penny Lost first, though.

Meet the Author

Aspen Bassett works at a library, telling stories and suggesting books. When she’s not working, she’s usually sipping hot cocoa and wondering what would happen if she had superpowers. She’s been published in multiple anthologies including Oomph: A Little Super Goes a Long Way and Inaccurate Realities.

Aspen grew up learning about chakras and auras and the true power of imagination which slips into her writing whether she intends it to or not. In college, when she wasn’t busy working on her degree in Creative Writing, Aspen also got her certificate in Women’s Meditation (basically general energy work). Now, she’s working toward a diploma in Integrated Healing Arts with a certificate in Hypnotherapy.

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

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Audiobook Review: Bernie and the Putty by Steve LeBel

Title: The Universe Builders: Bernie and the Putty
Author: Steve LeBel
Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction
Publication Date: 12/4/20

Not all gods are created equal….

Even on a world where everyone lives forever and abilities are god-like, there’s always one who struggles to keep up. His name is Bernie.  

More than anything, young Bernie wants to be a great universe builder like his father. In school he learned to build suns and planets and to create life. When he gets the chance to build his own universe, Bernie finds it full of problems: mysterious asteroids, unexplained volcanoes, and shifting continents, all threatening to destroy his beautiful planet.

Bernie discovers the problems were caused by an evil god who will do anything to destroy Bernie and his planet. Can Bernie save his world? Maybe, but it would have helped if he’d studied harder back in school. You’ll laugh out loud as the plot takes twists and turns that even omniscient gods could not have foreseen.

If you enjoy imaginative and unpredictable worlds, like Harry Potter, Peter Jackson, or the tales of Terry Pratchett (Diskworld), then The Universe Builders is for you. It’s epic fantasy and science fiction at its best – for both adults and young adults. 

Winner of 16 Awards for Excellence:

  • Grand Prize, Writer’s Digest
  • Best Book of the Year, IAN
  • Gold, Readers’ Favorite
  • Gold, San Francisco Book Festival
  • Gold, eLit Awards
  • Gold, Independent Author Network
  • And 10 more awards…

My Review:

I chose to listen to this book after receiving a free audio copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I had read this book when it first came out, and I thought it was great, so I jumped at the chance to listen to the audio version. Bernie and the Putty is fantasy/science fiction full of drama and suspense. There are more books about Bernie, and I’ve read them all. It’s been several years since I read the first book, and as I listened, I was surprised at how much I had forgotten.

Steve LeBel has created a world full of gods who are more like humans than we would imagine. Unfortunately, most of the gods believe that their creations have no feelings so they have no qualms about destroying a universe if it didn’t turn out the way they wanted. Bernie is not like other gods and refuses to blink out a universe because of a mistake or two or ten.

The characters are well developed and have mostly human characteristics. Bernie, the main character, is a young god, just out of school and a good guy. He doesn’t have many friends because of Billy, a typical bully, who threatens anyone who tries to be Bernie’s friend. He does have two good friends though who stick by him through thick and thin. When it looks like Bernie will probably lose his job as a builder, they do what they can to help.

The narrator did an excellent job with timing and with the different voices. I hope he continues to narrate the Universe Builder series.

Bernie and the Putty is mostly about the conflict between Bernie and Billy but there are side stories that are just as important. The book is well written and it even makes it easy to understand how to build a universe! This would be a great addition to any library. This is the book that made Steve LeBel one of my favorite writers.

About the Author

How best to describe an author who writes humorous fantasy?

Do we tell about bookshelves full of fantasy, science fiction, and paranormal books, his love of mythology, or the years he spent as dungeon master? Or is it more important to know his favorite player-character was a chaotic-good elven fighter / mage? And what about that stack of old comic books he never seems to get rid of?

There’s a serious side too. The other half of his bookshelf bulges with titles on management, marketing, computer programming, and financial analysis. What about his years as a hospital president, the many businesses he created, or all the time he spent in board rooms? What about his early years counseling drug addicts, or his years as a stock trader?

Is there a pattern to his travels around the world? Why choose places like King Arthur’s Camelot, the Temple of Delphi, Buddha’s Tree of Enlightenment, China’s Forbidden City, or the Great Pyramids of Egypt? What is he seeking?

And what does this have to do with writing good fantasy?

Perhaps it’s that dichotomy within Steve that makes The Universe Builders such a compelling read.

Book Site:  www.TheUniverseBuilders.com
Email:  Steve@TheUniverseBuilders.com
Facebook:  SteveLeBel.Author
Twitter:  SteveLeBel

Book Review: Sol Invictus by Ben Gartner

Siblings John and Sarah barely made it home last time, but in their next time traveling adventure the challenge really heats up. Surrounded by clashing cultures on the ancient Roman frontier, they must fulfill their quest to unite the emperor with his enemy, an Alemanni barbarian, or risk being stuck in time forever.

An action-packed fantasy full of sword fights, chariot chases, fearsome wild animals, and high mountain survival. For graduates of the Magic Tree House looking for a thrilling middle grade page-turner, read Sol Invictus, book two of The Eye of Ra series!

Amazon

My Review

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

John and Sarah recently moved to Maryland, and they’re handling it okay. Sarah seems a lot moodier though, and she doesn’t want to spend much time with the family. It sounds like typical growing pains at first, but is there more to it?

When their parents decide to take John and Sarah to a museum, they end up in the ancient Roman frontier! This time, it is no accident. The gods are sending them on a mission, but they don’t want to time travel again. When they get there, they try using the Eye of Ra to return, but it doesn’t work! They decide that they probably have to complete the mission, but that seems impossible. They’re smart but I couldn’t see how they could complete this mission to get home.

John and Sarah make several friends while they’re in the ancient Roman frontier. I was hoping for more action in this second book, and I got it! I’m impressed with how the author incorporated a lot of history in Sol Invictus without it feeling like a history lesson. It didn’t slow down the story at all.

Sarah is having more and more trouble figuring out how to deal with the conflicting emotions she’s feeling and tends to walk off to be alone, forgetting how dangerous that could be. She made me so nervous running off like that! I enjoyed watching them grow throughout the book.

Sol Invictus is full of adventure that middle grade readers (and adults) will enjoy. It contains a lot of action and is a page turner. This time that John and Sarah are in is more dangerous than where they were in ancient Egypt, and they have to be on guard at all times. I’m looking forward to reading more books in The Eye of Ra series.

About the Author

Ben Gartner is the award-winning author of The Eye of Ra adventure series for middle graders (ages 8-12). His books take readers for a thrilling ride, maybe even teaching them something in the meantime. Ben can be found living and writing near the mountains with his wife and two boys.

Email: ben@bengartner.com

Website: https://bengartner.com

Book Review: The Eye of Ra by Ben Gartner

Exploring a mysterious cave in the mountains behind their house, John and his sister Sarah are shocked to discover they’ve time traveled to ancient Egypt!

Now they must work together to find a way back home from an ancient civilization of golden desert sand and a towering new pyramid, without parents to save them. The adventures abound—cobras, scorpions, a tomb robber, and more! The two kids have to trust each other, make friends who can help, and survive the challenges thrown at them . . . or be stuck in ancient Egypt forever.

For readers graduating from the Magic Treehouse series and ready for intense action, dive into this middle grade novel rich with meticulous historical detail.

Amazon

My Review

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

John and Sarah live in Colorado and are moving to Maryland soon, and of course, they’re not happy about it. When on a hike with their parents, they find a cave and magically end up in ancient Egypt. Although they want to go right back home, it’s not possible. They’re going to have to stay in this time and place until they can figure out how to get home.

Luckily, they meet a boy whose family takes them in. During the weeks that John and Sarah are in ancient Egypt, they (and the reader) learn a lot about it. I found the information interesting, but there may be a little too much detail for middle grade readers.

Sarah has a bit of an attitude which I thought was funny because that’s typical for her age. John not only learns a lot about ancient Egypt, but he now knows the he will be okay when they move. If he can make friends in another time, surely making friends in Maryland will be a piece of cake!

The Eye of Ra is an adventure that middle grade readers will enjoy. It doesn’t have as much action as I thought it would, but it gets pretty intense near the end of the book. I’m looking forward to reading Sol Invictus, the next book in the series.

About the Author

Ben Gartner is the award-winning author of The Eye of Ra adventure series for middle graders (ages 8-12). His books take readers for a thrilling ride, maybe even teaching them something in the meantime. Ben can be found living and writing near the mountains with his wife and two boys.

Email: ben@bengartner.com

Website: https://bengartner.com

Audiobook Review: The Lost Sentinel by Suzanne Rogerson

The magical island of Kalaya is dying, along with its Sentinel.

The Assembly controls Kalaya. Originally set up to govern, they now persecute those with magic and exile them to the Turrak Mountains.

Tei, a tailor’s daughter, has always hidden her magic, but when her father’s old friend visits and warns them to flee to the mountains, she must leave her old life behind. On the journey, an attack leaves her father mortally wounded. He entrusts her into the care of the exiles and on his deathbed makes a shocking confession.

Struggling with self-doubt, Tei joins the exiles search for their new Sentinel who is the only person capable of restoring the fading magic. But mysterious Masked Riders are hunting the Sentinel too, and time, as well as hope, is running out.

Against mounting odds it will take friendship, heartache, and sacrifice for the exiles to succeed, but is Tei willing to risk everything to save the island magic? 

If you like character-based fantasy, then you’ll love The Lost Sentinel – book one in the Silent Sea Chronicles trilogy.

Purchase Links

Audible  

Amazon Audiobook

My Review

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

Kalaya is an island nation whose people no longer embrace magic; in fact, they persecute mystics and their protectors. Mystics now hide in the mountains. Tei is a young mystic whose father has taught her to hide her magic. After a visit from a stranger, he decides that it is time for Tei and him to leave for her safety. Tei hides with the other exiles, but she has an important mission: to find the lost sentinel before the current sentinel dies.

The author has done a great job at world building. It was interesting learning about Kalaya and its people. The characters, however, could have used more development. I wasn’t able to connect with the characters, even Tei. Hers is one of three stories that I’m sure will eventually all merge. The second story is about Brogan whom Tei has a connection with although they’ve never met. Farrell is probably my favorite character of the three. He is the captain of a ship but he wants more for his family and his people, and he’s wanting to make some difficult changes.

The narrator has a voice I really enjoy listening to. He also did well with pace and timing.

The Lost Sentinel is a fantasy that many readers will enjoy. I think it should be read with the realization that it would be preferable to read the trilogy, because although the ending was good, it’s not really a stand alone.

About the Author

Suzanne lives in Middlesex, England with her husband, two children and a crazy puppy.

Her writing journey began at the age of twelve when she completed her first novel. She discovered the fantasy genre in her late teens and has never looked back. Giving up work to raise a family gave Suzanne the impetus to take her attempts at novel writing beyond the first draft, and she is lucky enough to have a husband who supports her dream – even if he does occasionally hint that she might think about getting a proper job one day.

Now an author of four novels including the completed Silent Sea Chronicles trilogy Suzanne hopes the dreaded ‘W’ word will never rear its ugly head again!

She loves gardening and has a Hebe (shrub) fetish. She enjoys cooking with ingredients from the garden and regularly feeds unsuspecting guests vegetable-based cakes.

Suzanne collects books, is interested in history and enjoys wandering around castles and old ruins whilst being immersed in the past. She likes to combine her love of nature and photography on family walks, but most of all she loves to escape with a great film, binge watch TV shows, or soak in a hot bubble bath with an ice cream and a book.

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About the Narrator

My name is George. Seoras, if you speak Gaelic. Born in the United States, German on my father’s side, a native of Bamberg, and a Stewart on my mother’s side from a wee parish outside Stirling. I am a keen learner, eager to travel the world around me, and an instructor of English with years of experience teaching in the US, Turkey, and Japan. In audiobook narration, I have discovered a perfect opportunity to perform and play with languages, dialects, characters, cultures. Essentially, my voice is my livelihood, and my spirit longs to explore.

Social Media Links –

blog: https://gaelicdreams.wordpress.com/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/geellington

ACX:  Audiobooks narrated by George Ellington | Audible.com

Book Review: Under the Roman Sky by G.W. Hixon

Recent Release

God and the Devil have decided to meet again at last, but to do so they must each take human form again. Rome will form the perfect backdrop to their summit.

So an Englishman who has lost his mind; an American couple with death on their minds; a young Argentinian man with living on his mind; a megastar songstress with trouble on her mind; a grouchy priest with too much on his mind … and a dog called Walter, are fated to meet, under the Roman sky.

This is not a who done it. This is a who the hell are they?

My Review

Under the Roman Sky is different than the books I normally read. It is about God and the Devil deciding to meet on Earth after many years of being dissociated. Theirs is a love/hate relationship, and they are both portrayed with human characteristics. God is not pure goodness, and the Devil is not pure evil. It tickled me that they used phones for communication.

The ideas in this book and the mystery of whose form God and the Devil take over makes it interesting. I spent a lot of my reading time trying to figure out who God and the Devil were in Rome. There were obvious choices, but there were several other characters to choose from.

A lot of the story flows well, especially where there’s dialogue. The interactions between God and the Devil were the best because they were easy to read and humorous. The story goes back and forth between the present and memories, but it was surprisingly easy to follow. There are times, though, that there is a lot of rambling.

God and the Devil aren’t anything like I would picture them, especially having been brought up Catholic. Their characteristics are more human. The Devil is too nice, and God isn’t nice enough. I found it funny, but there may be readers who are offended.

About the Author

G W Hixon lives in Ripon, North Yorkshire, England. He has recently returned to his home town after having spent 20 years living mainly in the South East of England and latterly on the Yorkshire coast. He has a strong interest in theology, particularly why people chose to believe in the things they do. He is also passionate about ancient Roman history, being a regular visitor to the city of Rome. That city, along with the hills and vales of his native Yorkshire, heavily influence his writing.

Excerpt

“The Devil makes work for idle hands,” God said, quietly, mischievously, whilst starting to chuckle.

It caused the Devil to laugh out loud. “That is what they say, isn’t it? But the sentiment has always been quite wrong, old man. We have, you and I, all of the time in the world.”

“We have, indeed,” God replied.

“If only they knew it,” said the Devil.

For the first time, they laughed together and not at one another. For the first time, they shared the irony that formed the joke at which they were forced to laugh. But spite and envy tainted the sound of the Devil’s laughter.

“And now I turn the question on you, dear friend,” God said, as his spirit calmed. “Why him? Why then? Why, inside that house, when all else was good? Why him?

“Because you loved him,” the Devil replied. “And I knew that you loved him.”

“I did,” God said, subdued and sad. It is a funny thing, how sadness can befall someone so soon after they had been committed to laughter. “He had been my friend. He had been my friend for years. Someone who had been kind to me.”

“Then that is why him.”

“The woman had anointed my feet with her oil, that’s all she did.”

“You were in love with her!”

“It was not possible for me to fall in love. I am love.” Angry, now. The sound of laughter a memory.

“Lust, then. You were in lust with her. You wanted to experience … that … above everything else.” Anger, indeed, from both participants.

“No, you are – were — wrong.”

 

“Under the Roman Sky” by G W Hixon is available in paperback from Amazon at:

This fantasy fiction novel can also be downloaded in e-book format from:

Press/Media Contact Details:

Darin Jewell (G W Hixon’s literary agent)
Tel. 0208 292 5163
E-mail: darin@theinspiragroup.com

Audiobook Review: Believe by Nanette O’Neal

Best friends share everything, right? Unless it’s a secret that could cost them their lives. Robyn and Kit are born with forbidden magic-sense, the power to see and hear beyond Earthly sight and sound. It’s a curse that haunts them, but the girls are strangely drawn to it—could there be more to this power than they’ve been told?

When they spill their secret, it opens a doorway back to Forever—a beautiful realm where magic-sense began. They learn the truth: they have been given a noble gift. It connects them to the Skyborn royalty of this new world. They’ve been summoned back by the forces for good to preserve the kingdom and revive the power where it once flourished—on Earth. It can thrive again, if Robyn and Kit are brave enough to follow.

However, the doorway awakens more than magical fairy-tales. A dark force is unleashed—one that has battled the Skyborn since time began, and it wants the girls dead, the Earth destroyed.

Beyond the doorway is where the adventure begins—trickery, kidnapping, a prison break, rescue teams, sword fights, magical gold-dust, holographic medallions, and singing orbs—but only for those who have the courage to believe.

Buy Now

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My Review

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

Kit and Robyn are new friends, but they both believe in magic which is now a crime. In fact, they both have magic-sense, the power to see and hear more than most people on Earth can. They end up in another world where magic, both good and bad, is everywhere. Nanette O’Neal has built an interesting new world, and I look forward to reading more about it.

Kit, Robyn, and Cam (Robyn’s brother) are just starting their adventures in Believe. They each face their own challenge as they face the dark force that wants them dead. Will they all survive the threats that they face?

The narrator, Joe Christensen, has a voice that is pleasant to listen to. He has good pace and timing, and he brought the story to life.

Believe is a great book for middle-grade readers. It has magic, adventure, fantasy, suspense, battles…it has everything most kids love to read about!

About the Author

Nanette O’Neal is a five-time published author, certified transformational story coach, and professional speaker. Ever since childhood, Nanette was fascinated with the nature of storytelling and how it has the ability to connect us to our higher self and change lives for the good. She uses the power of story to help people find clarity, gain courage, and walk with confidence to become the hero of the most important story of all—the story of you.

A Doorway Back to Forever is a seven-novel series for teens and families designed to entertain, awaken courage, and magnify the divine power within the human soul. The books of the series are Believe, Trust, Defend, Honor, Remember, Restore, and Become. Remember is the most recently released (October 2020) while Restore and Become are scheduled for publication in 2021. Nanette O’Neal is a 2020 top-ten finalist in Fantasy for the global Author Elite Award for Honor, book four in the series. Nanette currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband. She loves her family, hiking, Star Trek, and dogs. 

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Snippet

Robyn and Kit are best friends who share everything—unless it could get them killed. They both have magic-sense, a dangerous curse where they see and hear things beyond earthly sight and sound. Robyn sees things that aren’t there, and Kit hears voices when no one is in the room. They dare not tell each other because it could get them arrested, but they can’t stop thinking about it. Finally, when the local bully, Logan, goes too far and teases Robyn about her secret in front of Kit, they spill their guts to each other and a magical doorway appears. It has a special message carved on it: Welcome Skyborn Warrior. Your Awakening is Now. It’s an invitation to step through, but there’s a problem: Robyn sees it, but Kit doesn’t.

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