Audiobook Review: Sea Breeze Academy by Bryant A. Loney

A group of boarding school teens in season five of a Cali-based sitcom begin to realize they are in a TV show. 

A missing student, or maybe several.
Embedded marketing, sushi, token friends, and cacti.
The sound of the Pacific waves in the background.
Smothering darkness. The threat of Alaska.
Another perfect, perfect day.
Happiness lives here.

Brooklyn, Matthew, and the gang are ready to rock their last few weeks of junior year at their elite boarding school on the California coast. But something is amiss. In the fifth and potentially last season of this award-winning television series, the struggle between truth and network censorship just might destroy their bond once and for all. Can they survive another season of love, mystery, and adolescent angst on the sunny West Coast? Will life ever be normal again?

Experimental and subversive, Sea Breeze Academy is a smart love letter to the Nickelodeon and Disney Channel sitcoms you grew up with. Are you ready?



My Review

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

I like reading books for young adults or middle grade readers most of the time, but Sea Breeze Academy was one that was hard for me to follow. It may be better in print but the audiobook was not easy to listen to. It was more like a script than an actual book and it started with Season 5 so I was totally lost when it jumped back to Season 1.

The characters said “registered trademark” a lot when stating a brand name and it tickled me once I realized why they were saying it, especially when one of the characters asked why they kept saying it.

Although Sea Breeze Academy isn’t for me, I think this is a book that middle grade readers might enjoy reading.


About the Author

Bryant Loney was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1997. Sea Breeze Academy is his third novel; he is also the author of To Hear the Ocean Sigh and Take Me to the Cat. He loves dogs, poems, and haunted mansions. You can follow him on Twitter (@BALoney) and Instagram (@BryantLoney) or visit him online at



Book Review: Spine Chillers by Q.L. Pearce

The town of Saltlick Bluff is famous for an urban legend. Does the spirit of a young girl wait on a misty cliff-hugging highway for her ride to the prom?

In the house on Beech Street, a terrible tragedy occurred. Now neighbors won’t look at the place as they pass. Those who live nearby draw their blinds and shutter their windows after dark. What are they afraid of?

Hale Hallow Woods seems sinister and menacing even in the light of day. Does a thirst for revenge beat near its dark heart?
The answers lie within these pages, just waiting to send a chill up your spine!

Available on Amazon


My Review

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

I enjoyed these short stories and wish it had been around when my boys were young. They would have enjoyed them too. Like the title says, they’re hair-raising tales rather than out and out horror. The stories are well written and easy to follow, definitely kid friendly.

From the little girl who can heal to the boy who is haunting a house, the stories are a little scary, a little ironic, and a lot of fun to read.


About the Author

Best selling author and expert on all things that go bump in the night, Q. L. Pearce began her career as a writer and editor in 1985 with Lowell House / Roxbury Press in Los Angeles. She has since written more than one hundred and twenty books for children, including eight collections of scary stories for middle grade and film tie-in books for the Fox animated film Titan AE and the Universal animated series Land Before Time. Q believes strongly in the value of scary books for young readers. When asked what credentials she has which qualify her as an expert in this area she replies, “I was a child once. That was very scary.”





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Book Review: Guardian of the Talisman by Michael Gess

33630182Guardian of the Talisman (Falconara Book 1)

by Michael Gess

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Publication Date: December 27, 2016

Available on Amazon.



A long time ago, the Dark Lord Skallerim trapped his death in a needle. He sealed the needle inside an emerald called the Izmargahd and hid it in the Shadow world, out of reach of any mortal being, and thus he became immortal.

Millenniums passed. The story of the Izmargahd became a legend, and then a fairy tale. But the emerald continued a life of its own.

The world of fourteen-year-old Nick Falconara is shattered by the news that his father disappeared without a trace during an archaeological expedition. Nick thought life couldn’t get much worse. He was wrong. He is sent to a special school – a place where “to go on a summer vacation” means to be Killed in Action and to be “expelled” means to be canceled.
As he trying to stay alive, an ancient emerald with mystical powers passes into his hands, setting in motion a strange chain of events that goes far beyond anything he could have imagined. Now Falconara should not only find his father but also save the life of his friend Katie Lynx.

As Falconara embarks on a journey beyond the world, he will face the ultimate evil, threatening to destroy everyone he loves.



My Review

I was paid to proofread this book and I chose to post a review after reading it. All opinions in this review are my own and unbiased.

Guardian of the Talisman is the first book in the Falconara series. It is about Nick Falconara, a teen whose mom and sister died in a car accident and now his dad is missing. He ends up being sent away to school but once he gets there, he realizes that is is no ordinary school. This School teaches things like combat training and they have strict rules. It’s rumored that students can’t just leave the School once they’re there; instead, they are never heard from again.

When Nick’s dad was still around, he was trying to prove that fairy tales are real stories. Nick was always embarrassed about what his dad did for a living. Now, things are happening that are making him wonder if maybe, possibly, his dad was right.

There is a lot of action in this book. Even when there’s not action, there’s always something going on. There were a couple times I had to go back and re-read a section because I got too involved in reading and forgot to proofread.

The characters aren’t typical teens but how could they be? Typical teens wouldn’t be in the School. They have all had to grow up fast, most of them before they came to the School, definitely all of them once they are enrolled in the School.

I definitely recommend Guardian of the Talisman for middle school and young adult readers. Adult readers will enjoy it as well. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.



About the Author

71jgautnoyl-_ux250_Michael Gess is the author of the FALCONARA trilogy. Between working as a computer engineer, reading, and watching the old episodes of Star Trek, he wrote the first part, GUARDIAN OF THE TALISMAN. It is the beginning of the fantasy story of a fourteen-year-old Nicholas Falconara who embarks on a journey beyond the world to find his missing father. The second part of the tale, A PINT OF LIFE, will be followed by the conclusion of the story, the third part called THAT ANCIENT SERPENT.




Book Review: Also Known as Lard Butt by Ann Herrick


Laura finds out that, Ricky, the boy who created her horrible nickname, “Lard Butt,” has moved back into town—and immediately schemes to keep him quiet. After all, she can’t let her new swim teammates, especially drool-worthy Noah, hear the horrible name! No way!

She’s determined to put a million years between grade school and junior high—even in the face of a father who drives an éclair, a would-be-movie-star mother who suddenly moves back home, and a past that comes back to haunt her with the dreaded nickname.

Although Laura’s embarrassed about how she looks in a swimsuit, she tries to stay true to her vow to take risks. She even lets Maria talk her into going to the school dance, where she braves negotiating a truce for a quarreling couple.

New friendships form, Laura’s mother starts getting too domesticated for Laura’s comfort, and hints of romance start to develop—or do they?

Available on Amazon.


My Review

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

Also Known as Lard Butt is a story for middle grade readers. It’s about Laura, who has a poor self image because of her large derriere. She feels like no guy could like her because of her butt. She tries to talk to herself positively but often fails. Her mother, a wannabe actress, doesn’t help. She’s always trying to get Laura to wear dark colors to “hide her problem.” Luckily, her mom isn’t around too often.

Laura’s best friend, Maria, seems to have a little more sense when it comes to body image and is supportive of Laura. As the school year progresses, Laura learns that there’s more to life than just having a perfect body. She learns not to worry so much about what other people think and to enjoy the family and friends she has. 

I enjoyed the author’s writing style and especially her sense of humor. An example is when Laura unexpectedly sees a guy she has a crush on in a restaurant: “Startled, I whacked myself in the chin with chicken…” I think we’ve all been there. Also Known as Lard Butt is a coming of age story that I definitely recommend for tweens.


About the Author

507620Ann Herrick grew up in Connecticut, where she graduated from The Morgan School and Quinnipiac University.  She now lives in Oregon with her husband, who was her high-school sweetheart.  Their wonderful daughter is grown, married and gainfully employed, and has given Ann her only grand-dog, Puff, a bloodhound-rottweiller-beagle mix.  While she misses the East Coast, especially houses built before 1900, she enjoys the green valleys, fresh air and low humidity in the Willamette Valley of Oregon.  Ann loves cats, walking and working in her back yard.  In addition to stories and books for children and young adults, Ann also writes copy for humorous and conventional greeting cards.

Ann’s website


Book Review & Giveaway: Cryptogram Chaos by Linda Covella


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About the Book


Title: Cryptogram Chaos

Author: Linda Covella

Publisher: IngramSpark Publication

Date: March 9, 2016

Genre: Middle Grade Adventure

Number of Pages: 197

Available on Amazon


Book Description

What if you were 8, or 11, or 14, and you could race cars at 150 mph, bungee jump, fly, eat all the ice cream and candy you wanted, or become powerful avatars such as Robobug, Kulshedra the dragon, and Altai, the gryphon avatar?

All this and more is possible in the ultimate virtual reality game The Cryptogram Connection created by 14-year-old computer whiz Cody Reynolds and his two classmates, Nicole Nash and Kerry McCorkle. To advance to different levels in the game, players must solve cryptograms, or secret codes. (Readers also get to solve the cryptograms.)

They create their game to be used with the latest VR technology developed by local game manufacturer NuVision Games–a headset with biosensors that transmit signals to the brain, fooling it into tasting, hearing, feeling, seeing, and smelling what was programmed into the game. The games are as close to reality as reality itself.

The game becomes every kids’ virtual dream, and Cody, Nicole, and Kerry, besides becoming national celebrities, make more money than they ever imagined. But The Cryptogram Connection turns into “cryptogram chaos” when an evil presence inhabits Zazar, the laser avatar and the most powerful, and takes control of the game. It’s up to the three partners to enter the game and fight Zazar to save the gamers from virtual—and real—disaster.


My Review

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

What a great read for middle school age readers! And just for added fun, the cryptograms from the game are at the end of the book so that the reader can solve them.

Cody is considered a nerd at school because he’d rather play with computers than be active in sports, etc. He is so good at writing code already that he helps improve games for NuVision, a major company in the gaming industry where his brother works.

When Nicole, one of the cool kids, asks him to help her and a friend develop a game that they have an idea for, he’s skeptical. She’s barely acknowledged his existence before now, so I was skeptical as well. It took me longer to trust these girls than it took Cody.

Once the game is up and running, it’s an instant success until there’s a major, and possibly fatal, glitch that Cody can’t figure out how to fix. Can he figure it out before it’s too late?

Talk about suspense! On top of a good story and cryptograms, there’s also a lesson: one bad decision can change a person’s life and affect the lives of many others.

I definitely recommend Cryptogram Chaos for middle grade readers as well as young adults and adults, especially if you like suspense.


Take a look inside the book…

Cryptogram Connection: Level 1
Cryptogram Connection: Level 2
Cryptogram Connection: Level 3


About the Author

Linda Covella AUTHOR PHOTO

Linda Covella’s varied background and education (an AA degree in art, an AS degree in mechanical drafting & design, and a BS degree in Manufacturing Management) have led her down many paths and enriched her life experiences. But one thing she never strayed from is her love of writing.

Her first official publication was a restaurant review column for a local newspaper. But when she published articles for various children’s magazines, she realized she’d found her niche: writing for children. She hopes to bring to children the feelings books gave her when she was a child: the worlds they opened, the things they taught, the feelings they expressed.

She has published one young adult historical romance Yakimali’s Gift, and, besides Cryptogram Chaos, two other middle grade novels in The Ghost Whisperer Series: The Castle Blues Quake and The Ghosts of Pebble Brook Lodge.

She is a member of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). She lives in Santa Cruz with her husband, Charlie, and dog, Ginger.

No matter what new paths Linda may travel down, she sees her writing as a lifelong joy and commitment.

Learn more about Linda and her writing at

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Google+ | Goodreads |



Blog Tour Giveaway

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

Giveaway ends: June 13, 11:59 pm, 2016

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, Linda Covella and is hosted and managed by Stacie from BeachBoundBooks. If you have any additional questions feel free to send an email to

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Book Review: WhipEye by Geoffrey Saign

Final-eBook-Brent-682x1024 (1)Title: WhipEye (WhipEye Chronicles Book #1)

Author: Geoffrey Saign

Year published: June 20, 2014

Publisher: KiraKu Press

Number of pages: 301

Recommended age: 9+



Can a girl grieving her mother, a boy missing his father, and a thousand-year-old wise-cracking parrot save two worlds?

Samantha and her neighbor, Jake, have no idea that Samantha’s best friend, a parrot named Charlie, is a thousand years old. Charlie is also at the center of a secret battle between magical creatures and an ancient, evil man. When Charlie asks Samantha and Jake to protect him, they are chased by monsters from both sides. To save Charlie, and two worlds, Samantha and Jake have twenty-four hours to figure out how to use the supernatural staff, WhipEye, and find the courage to confront what they fear most.

AmazonBarnes & NobleiTunes  |  Goodreads


My Review:

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

Whipeye is a fantasy adventure for middle grade readers. It is well written and the descriptions are great. It’s easy to visualize exactly what’s going on.

The main character, Sam, has been through a lot and has a special ability to understand animals but she is standoffish around people. Jake, her neighbor, tries to get Sam to open up and ends up involved in Sam’s adventure. My favorite character, though, would have to be Charlie, the thousand year old parrot.

Whipeye has suspense, action, and several twists. I definitely think middle grade readers, as well as older readers, would enjoy it. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.



About the Author:

G-2-crop-300x254Geoffrey Saign can often be found looking for interesting critters, and magic, while swimming, snorkeling, sailing, or hiking in the woods. His passion for nature and wildlife led to his nationally endorsed book, Green Essentials: What You Need to Know About the Environment, as well as his books African Cats and Great Apes. He has a background in biology, assisted in field research with hummingbirds and humpback whales, and sailed as far away as Australia. With more than twenty years of experience working in special education, he has taught adults and children everything from sailing to novel writing. He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.

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