Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Guest Blog & Book Promo: The Viking's Witch by Kelli A. Wilkins



A Visit with Rothgar from The Viking’s Witch
By Kelli A. Wilkins
Hi everyone!
Today we’re chatting with Rothgar, the hero from The Viking’s Witch, a Gold IPPY Award winning historical romance from Kelli A. Wilkins. Before Rothgar answers our questions, let’s learn a bit about the book.
The Viking’s Witch
About to be burned at the stake by her fellow villagers, Odaria does what any betrayed witch facing certain death would do. She calls down a curse. Within seconds, rampaging Norsemen raid the village, capturing everyone except her.
But her reprieve is short-lived, and Odaria lands in the clutches of the Norse leader Rothgar. Can she remain true to herself and fight her growing attraction to this domineering man, or will she fall under his influence and be used for his ambitions?
After Rothgar witnesses Odaria’s powers firsthand, he strikes a bargain with her. The raven-haired beauty will use her magical abilities to help him with his quest in exchange for safe passage off the isle. But can this cunning woman be trusted, or is she using him to exact vengeance on her village?
Together they must fight bloodthirsty villagers, battle a mutinous band of Norsemen, find a missing Norse ship, and learn to trust each other…before time is up.

Welcome Rothgar. Can you tell us how you came to the Orkney Islands in Scotland and met Odaria, the heroine in The Viking’s Witch?
Ja. I was sent there to look for my cousin, Orvind. His ship had vanished and my uncle wanted me to find him. After we came ashore, I found Odaria hiding in a gathering hall and I rescued her from a vile attack. To repay my kindness, she hit me! It was a very unusual first-meeting.
You sound very noble. How would you describe yourself?
A strong warrior who does not tolerate disloyalty or fools. I’ll fight for a cause I believe in, but I cannot stomach excess violence or abuse toward women. I’m a disciplined man who stands by my word, and I expect the same from others.
What was your first impression of Odaria?
I had never known a woman like her before—soft and tender one minute, then feisty and fighting the next. I was impressed by her inner strength (she had just been tied to a stake and nearly burned to death), and her ability to cope with tragic situations. Later, when she wept like a frightened girl, I saw how vulnerable she was deep down, and my heart melted.
What is it about Odaria that makes you crazy in a good way?
She’s very strong-willed and opinionated and likes to do things her own way, no matter what. When I first met her, this was very frustrating and drove me crazy, because I knew what was best for her, and yet, she fought me at every turn. Only later did I come to realize that all these traits made me love her even more.
Tell us one thing you had to overcome to win Odaria’s love.
Winning her love wasn’t easy. When we first met, she didn’t trust me at all, and after the way she had been treated in the past, I could see why. But after a little while, we grew to trust (and love) each other, but she always worried that I would betray her. In a way, I did, but I did it for a good cause. Naturally, she didn’t see things my way and I had to earn her trust all over again.
What was the sweetest romantic gesture you ever did for her?
When we were in Scotland, I gave her flowers and a gold brooch that made her happy. (I also did some rather naughty things with her in the bedchamber that I would not dare repeat here!) Now that we’re home, I’ll surprise her with flowers, jewelry, or a very romantic night spent under the stars.
What is your most important goal in life?
Now that Odaria and I have settled into a peaceful home life, my main goal is to provide for her and keep her safe. Odaria likes adventure, so I also strive to keep our lives interesting and make sure we never grow bored.
Who is the one person you respect and trust the most?
A man must trust his wife. Odaria has proven that she’s unlike any other woman, and I trust her with my life. I have the utmost respect for her and know that she will fight with me, and for me, if necessary. I also have great respect for my berserkr friend, Nordskog. His great courage and loyalty saved Odaria and me from certain death.
What is your greatest fear?
Losing Odaria. I lost my first wife and son in a fire, and I would never be able to live through something like that again.
What is your greatest hope?
That Odaria and I have several healthy, strong children who make us proud.
What is the biggest obstacle you’ve overcome?
I had to overcome many obstacles in my life, and a major one was learning how to carry on after my first wife died. For a few years after that terrible tragedy, I gave up raiding and traveling and was considered “soft” by many warriors. (Laughs). I’ve certainly overcome any reluctance to show them my stronger side—and many of them still have the bruises and scars to prove it! Sailing to Scotland and meeting Odaria renewed my strength and self-confidence and gave me a second chance at a happy life.
If Odaria could describe you in one word, what would it be?
Sexy? Strong? Virile? Brave? Bold? (Laughs.) Although all of those are true, knowing Odaria the way I do, if you asked her the question, she’d tell you: “Mine.”
Do you sometimes want to strangle your writer? Thrash her to within an inch of her life for what she put you through in the book?
Yes! Over the course of the book, Kelli put me through several very emotional trials. I had to discipline (and battle) fellow Norsemen, contend with the local villagers, protect Odaria, and still look for my cousin. It was a very exhausting few days, but I know that Kelli did it all for a good reason. She brought Odaria and I together and changed our lives forever. We’re both very happy now and quite indebted to Kelli for all she’s done for us. (Although she could have made things a little easier!) I’m also proud to tell everyone that The Viking’s Witch won a Gold IPPY Award for best romance ebook, so Kelli did an excellent job telling my story.

Thank you for your time, Rothgar. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Yes. On Kelli’s behalf, I’d like to invite everyone to visit her website and social media pages to catch up on her latest romances and other news. She has written several other great books in all genres (historical, paranormal, gay, erotica, and contemporary) that readers will enjoy. Thank you for letting me share my thoughts today.
Now here’s an excerpt from The Viking’s Witch:
Odaria scanned the cookroom and spotted a large table piled high with food. Brennan must have been planning a feast to celebrate her death. There would be plenty of meat and beer in the underground storage area. Men liked to eat. The Norsemen must be hungry from their long journey. Mayhap she could offer Rothgar a meal and strike a bargain with him.
“Are you hungry?” she asked, cocking her head. “I know where to find food and drink, wood for the fire, clean water, and—”
Hvat ist das plass?”
She scowled at him, trying to decipher his words. A few seconds later, she understood. “This is a cookroom. Women in the village prepare meals here. See?” She waved at the iron pots, wooden pitchers, and other cookery items stacked on the shelves around the room. “They make food.”
Rothgar rolled his eyes. “Ja. Vat ist dat?” He pointed to the door behind her.
“The gathering hall. The men conduct business here. There is a room upstairs for sleeping. The larder, the food and drink, is below,” she said slowly, hoping he’d understand.
He nodded and inched closer to her. She tried to move away, but she had nowhere to go. Her back was pressed against the door. Rothgar grinned and cupped her chin in his wide hand. Her heart fluttered. What was he doing? She stared into his eyes as he bowed his head. His rough beard grazed her cheek as his lips lightly brushed against hers.
Her body tingled, and a wave of dizziness washed over her. The room spun and seemed to grow dim. As everything faded, she had a clear vision of wrapping her arms around Rothgar’s neck and eagerly pulling him close for a kiss. Dizzy, she pitched forward. Rothgar caught her and clutched her to his chest.
“Shh,” he soothed, running his hand through her loose hair. “I will not harm you, Odaria.”
She relaxed against his broad chest, letting him support her weight. His touch was calming, and she felt safe here, leaning against Rothgar as she would rest against a thick tree. She inhaled deep. Rothgar didn’t stink of rancid sweat like the other men. He smelled clean and salty, like the sea. The scent comforted her. She could almost fall asleep where she stood.
Rothgar curled his arms around her ribs. She didn’t protest. In spite of everything, he hadn’t harmed her and he had saved her from that horrible Norseman in the red tunic.
After a few moments, her dizzy spell passed, and she gazed at him. “You are not like the others. You are different, Rothgar.”
He smiled. “Ja, in some ways. But fear not, Odaria. I will not share you with the others. I wish to have you all to myself.” Rothgar chuckled and winked at her. “Now, show me this food.”
“Aye.” She had no choice but to obey Rothgar’s wishes—for now.

Order The Viking’s Witch here:

 ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 100 short stories, 19 romance novels, and 5 non-fiction books. Her romances span many genres and heat levels.
Her trilogy of erotic romance novellas, Midsummer Night’s Delights, Midwinter Night’s Delights, and Ultimate Night’s Delights was released in spring 2017.
Loving a Wild Stranger was published in January 2017. This historical/pioneer romance is set in the wilds of the Michigan Territory and blends tender romance with adventure.
Kelli's third Medallion Press romance, Lies, Love & Redemption was released in September 2016. This spicy historical western is set on the Nebraska prairie in 1877.
Her writing book, You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction is a fun and informative guide filled with writing exercises and helpful tips all authors can use.
Kelli posts on her Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins and Twitter: www.Twitter.com/KWilkinsauthor.
She also writes a weekly blog: http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/.
Visit her website, www.KelliWilkins.com to learn more about all of her writings, read book excerpts, reviews, and more. Readers can sign up for her newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb.

 

CATCH UP WITH KELLI




Here are a few links to find Kelli & her writings on the web
Website: http://www.KelliWilkins.com
Newsletter sign-up: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb


Book Review of Chase Tinker and the House of Secrets (The Chase Tinker Series, Book 2) by Malia Ann Haberman



Book Title: Chase Tinker and the House of Secrets (Chase Tinker Series #2)
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Pages: 257
Author: Malia Ann Haberman
Date Published: 30 September 2016

Synopsis:

After spending the summer at his grandfather's gigantic, incredibly magical house, thirteen-year-old Chase Tinker thought things couldn't get any more bizarre, or that the secrets and lies couldn't get any worse, but he was wrong.

As summer turns into Autumn, join Chase and his family for even more magical craziness. Craziness that will include: the sneezing of strange powers, the reappearance of the wicked Marlowe family, another frightening kidnapping, the discovery of a mysterious, magical Japanese-American girl, a dangerous rescue mission, and a secret so mind-boggling, it will lead to a shocking climatic finish that will turn Chase's world completely upside down.

Review:


Chase Tinker and the House of Secrets (The Chase Tinker Series, Book 2)Chase Tinker and the House of Secrets by Malia Ann Haberman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the second book in The Chase Tinker series. I absolutely loved it!

Chase Tinker is a wonderful character and I really liked him from the first time I met him in the first book. I have enjoyed watching his development from a frustrated teen into someone who I would be proud to know.

In this second book, which is told mostly from Chase's point of view though other characters also have their say, Chase finds himself having to deal with new magical powers that he struggles to control. Not only that, the Marlowe's are still intent on finding the Relic hidden in the attic of the Tinker house. Shocking secrets are revealed and a new face is introduced. Nori is the same age as Chase and is a cousin to Chase, Andy and Janie.

This is a wonderful story full of adventure, danger and mystery, and I found myself sitting on the edge of my seat as Chase, Andy, Nori and Persephone face danger once more. There are several twists and turns that keep a reader guessing. I found myself on a roller coaster of emotion from beginning to end. There's a huge fight scene full of action and danger, which was described in such detail that I could picture it in my mind with ease. This fight leads to a shocking accident that brought tears to my eyes. I reached the end of the book with a little bit of sadness, as I didn't want the story to end. This book doesn't end with a cliffhanger, but it still left me looking forward to reading the next book in the series, Chase Tinker and the House of Destiny, as soon as possible.

Malia Ann Haberman has written a entertaining and exciting story for middle grade children. This is the sequel to her debut book. I love her writing style, which is fast paced and imaginative. The flow is wonderful too. I would definitely read more of her books in the future.

I highly recommend this book to middle grade readers aged 9 to 14. However, I also recommend this book (and series) to adults who love reading middle grade fantasy, or to those who are fans of books like Harry Potter. - Lynn Worton

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About The Author:



From the moment I learned to read, I loved it. I spent all my spare time reading one book after the other. One day, when I was about eight years old, my dad decided I was spending way too much time with my nose in a book. He wanted me to go out and play, like the rest of my siblings. I didn't want to do that. I wanted to see what other thrilling adventures those book characters could get into. So I sat outside on the porch and cried my heart out. Finally my dad decided he'd had enough of that noise and he sent me back into the house. I was happy again.

Years later, I'm still staying inside with books, but now I'm happily writing my own. :)

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Friday, 21 April 2017

Book Review of Giselda The Witch by J S Rumble



Book Title: Giselda The Witch
Genre: Children's Chapter Book
Pages: 61
Author: J.S. Rumble
Date Published: 30 March 2017

Synopsis:

Giselda discovers that she will not be attending the same school as her friends; instead she will be going to Wigmore’s school for witches. Due to an unfortunate mistake she arrives a bit earlier than even she expected but soon settles in and makes a new friend through the fence.

Things are going well until some girls find out how she arrived at school and start to tease her about it. To prove that she is just as good at magic as everybody else Giselda agrees to travel up the mountain and steal from the dragon that lives there.

Review:


Giselda The WitchGiselda The Witch by J.S. Rumble
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a sweet children's book aimed at children aged 4-10 years old. I loved it!

Giselda is a wonderful character and I really liked her. She is an eight year-old girl who finds out that she will not be attending the local school with her friends as she is a witch. Not realising water and witches don't mix, Giselda finds herself travelling to the school in a most unconventional way. When her classmates find out how she arrived at the school, she is teased badly. In order to prove she is good at magic, she accepts a dare.

As I said above, this book is a sweet children's book with an adventure included. It is ideal for children with short attention spans. It tackles topics such as friendship, bullying/teasing and teamwork. The school is not your typical witch/wizard school, nor is it like Hogwarts. Wigmore teaches their students to be bad (not evil) and play tricks on others. I liked meeting the other characters too. Tom is a young wizard who befriends Giselda through the fence that separates the two sections (girls and boys are taught separately). Beatrice and Emma are Giselda's nemeses and tease her unmercifully until danger in the form of a dragon makes them band together to solve a dangerous situation.

J.S. Rumble has written an entertaining chapter book that I thoroughly enjoyed. I love her writing style, which is not particularly fast paced though easy enough for children to follow whether reading on their own, or being read to by their parents. The flow is wonderful too. I would definitely consider reading more of her books in the future.

I highly recommend this chapter book to young children aged 4-10, and to adults looking for a chapter book to keep their little ones entertained. - Lynn Worton

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About The Author:

Sorry, there is no information available on this author as this is her debut story and, as such, I cannot find anything about her.


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Goodreads

Monday, 17 April 2017

Book Review of Bad War (A Military Paranormal Romance) by Summer Cooper & Stephen Kingston



Book Title: Bad War
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 397
Author: Summer Cooper & Stephen Kingston
Date Published: 10 July 2016

Synopsis:

Zebadiah

Vietnam has taken my friends and almost my life.

Some days, I wish that I had died on that battlefield with them, at least they won’t have to deal with the humiliation I’m about to face when I get sent home.

What’s Mary going to say about her wounded husband?

How am I going to give her the life I promised her now?

She deserves better...


Mary

All I wanted was a chance to see him again, to spend another night of passion with him.

That day is finally here!

The day that I’ve most looked forward to, but also the day that I’ve most dreaded.

Now he’s coming home, I’ll do everything in my power to make him the happiest man on the planet… for as long as I can… whatever it takes.


Author's Note: This beautiful paranormal romance is not your usual military romance! The story contains mature language and themes, intended for adults only.

Review:


Bad WarBad War by Summer Cooper & Stephen Kingston
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is an intriguing romance story. I did enjoy the story but with some reservations.

Zebadiah Rasnake is a really intriguing character. I really liked him a lot. He is a soldier fighting in the Vietnam war, but after being injured he is sent home to rest and recuperate. Waiting to take care of him is his wife Mary and baby Joshua.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author with no expectation of a favourable review.

I started to read this story and was quickly pulled in. It is told mostly from Zebadiah's POV, although there are some scenes from Mary's POV, as well as another character called Cherokee Joe, who also has a part to play in this tale.

I felt deeply for Zebadiah as he dealt with his injuries. However, as I began to delve deeper into this story, I found myself thinking that this story is not your typical paranormal romance. It's more of a supernatural one. There are no shifters, but there are two people who love each other so much that even death can't keep them apart (think ghosts). I don't want to give too much away because there are several twists to keep things interesting. However, I did find some of the dialogue a little stilted and forced at times; it didn't seem to flow naturally. Having said that, I found myself turning the pages in eagerness to see what would happen next. The story took me on an emotional roller coaster ride. The ending was not totally unexpected, but I was a little dissatisfied with it even though it concluded neatly. My first thought after reading the book was: Is that it? In some ways this book, although entertaining, just didn't float my boat. I am sure other readers may not have the same reaction and will enjoy this book more than I did.

Summer Cooper and Stephen Kingston have co-written an intriguing romance. Their writing style is relatively fast paced, and the flow of the story is okay. However, I feel they need to work on their dialogue a little more to make it flow more naturally.

Due to scenes of an explicit sexual nature, I do not recommend this book to young readers. However, I recommend this book if you love reading contemporary or supernatural/paranormal romances. - Lynn Worton

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About The Author:



Summer Cooper. Discover the wild girl in you.

Besides her love of chocolate, dogs and music… reading and writing is Summer’s number one route to escape from crazy friends, family and the in-laws!

She found her own happily ever after with a martial arts fighter who also happens to be an adorable IT geek! Now, she loves to write about hot alpha males that come with a pretty face and covered in tough-as-nails muscle... who are secretly looking for their true soul mate (shhh…)!

Receive 10 free books and 1 free audio book today by signing up to her exclusive reader club (to get the latest news about ARCs, new releases, and discounted and free books!).

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Thursday, 13 April 2017

Book Review of Chase: The Hunt for a King (Chase (EE) Book 2) by Thomas Dellenbusch & translated by Richard Urmston



Book Title: Chase: The Hunt for a King
Genre: Crime Thriller
Pages: 116
Author: Thomas Dellenbusch
Date Published: 27 February 2017

Synopsis:

Translated Version from the popular German book series of Movie-Length-Theatre-Of-The-Mind-Stories.


Scotland on the brink of independence: the government is planning its own Scottish monarchy. But when a member of the close-knit planning group reveals the identity of the candidate for the throne, suddenly people appear who want to prevent this royal ascension at all costs - including murder. When CHASE is called in to assist, Jérome and Chen Lu travel to Glasgow. Together with the Scotsman James Campbell, they hunt for his father’s murderer. A secretive wax seal leads them into a maze of ancient legends and lost manuscripts. Can they solve the mystery and save the king - or will old ruins become their grave?

Review:


Chase: The Hunt for a King (Chase (EE) Book 2)Chase: The Hunt for a King (Chase by Thomas Dellenbusch
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the second book in an exciting new crime thriller series which has been translated from German into English. I really enjoyed it!

Enrique "Rique" Allmers is a wonderful character. I liked him a lot when I first met him in Hunt for a Mute Poetess. He runs a security firm called CHASE, which investigates mostly business related espionage and crimes. When his team is called in to investigate a potential murder in Scotland, he sends Jérome and Chen Lu. However, danger is not far behind and as the two delve deeper into the suspicious death, secrets are revealed that could shake the foundations of the United Kingdom.

When I heard that this book was available, I quickly downloaded a copy and began reading it as soon as I could. Set in Scotland this time, this book takes the reader on a thrilling adventure of danger, suspense and mystery. It is mostly told through Chen Lu's and Jérome's point of view (although some scenes are through other characters' eyes as well), it is a pulse pounding ride, with chases, gun fights and several twists that keep a reader hooked. There are several interesting characters in this story too. James Campbell is the oldest son of Ronald Campbell and brother to Peter, and is Jérome's friend from his Legionnaire days. However, he finds himself embroiled in a secret that has been kept by his family for centuries, and which could affect the monarchy of Scotland at a time when there is huge political upheaval from a referendum that could split the UK apart.

As the story unfolded, I found myself on an emotional rollercoaster ride. I really enjoyed it, but also found myself thinking that this story was not as strong as it could have been. The author has incorporated a medieval legend in with his story and has woven it in such a way that it sounds entirely plausible, which I liked. However, I was a little confused at the actions of one of the characters. This character was in a position of authority but acted like a greedy thug and bully. What he hoped to achieve with his tactics didn't make sense to me. Maybe I'm being too critical of this character, as he was no evil villain but a man controlled by fear and greed. Personally, I think I would have liked a stronger villain than Peacock to love to hate. Nevertheless, having said that, he certainly made me dislike him a lot.

I reached the end of the book with mixed feelings, sad that it had ended but happy at the way it concluded. I am not sure if I would call this a movie-length story though, as it felt too short. Having said that though, the amount of descriptive writing made me picture this book in my mind's eye with ease and it played out like a movie in my head.

Thomas Dellenbusch has written an intriguing crime thriller. I love his fast paced writing style, which had me turning the pages, and the flow was a lot smoother than the first book. I would definitely consider reading more books by this author in the future.

Although there are no explicit scenes of a sexual nature, I do not recommend this book for younger readers due to some violence and some mention of torture. However, I highly recommend this book if you love crime thrillers/mystery/suspense genres. - Lynn Worton

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About The Author:



Thomas Dellenbusch was born in Düsseldorf, Germany in 1964, and still lives there. The former police detective and advertising copywriter has been actively writing for more than twenty years on a wide variety of topics. Although the lion’s share of his assignments originate from the advertising industry, he has also put his talents to use producing speeches for government officials, poetry for individuals, screenplays, rulebooks, newspaper articles, sketches and much more. In short, any subject that can be communicated in a stimulating manner. Since 2013, he has specialized in the production of movie-length-stories—written both by himself and seven other authors via the publishing company he founded expressly for that purpose.

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Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Cover Reveal: Box of Hearts by Nikki Ashton @NikkerAsh @BarnardLaura



*  *  * COVER REVEAL *  *  * 



Check out this beautiful cover from Nikki Ashton.  Box of Hearts is being released 28th April.







Synopsis

Millie is unlucky in love and when her long term relationship ends like a soap opera story line, she takes drastic action. She applies for an overseas job as home school teacher on an American family Ranch and finds herself instantly attracted to Jesse-her boss. As for Jesse, well he doesn’t need her getting in his business and constantly reminding him that he neglects his daughter.

In Jesse Connor’s eyes his life would be simple if it consisted of three things. His ranch, his cattle and his horses. But it doesn’t- for one, there’s his young daughter, Adeline, who is fighting for his love and attention because he’s the only parent she has. Then there is Millie Braithwaite-that damn beautiful English woman.

Millie & Jesse are two broken souls who are both fighting against the inevitable, because they both know that this time their hearts could be shattered beyond repair.

Box of Hearts is the first book in the Connor Ranch series and tells the story of second chance love and the joy and sorrow it can bring.


Add it to your Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34735732-box-of-hearts?from_search=true




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Book Review of Arabelle: And The Star Crystal (Arabelle's Adventures Book 1) by Julia Stilchen



Book Title: Arabelle & The Star Crystal (Arabelle's Adventures Book 1)
Genre: Children's Chapter Book
Pages: 58
Author: Julia Stilchen
Date Published: 27 March 2017

Synopsis:

Arabelle’s Adventures Chapter Book Series

Venture off into the magical land of Wistaria where there are mages, elves, fairies, mermaids, magical creatures, and more!

Arabelle is looking forward to obtaining her first magical star at the Starfall Ceremony. When the day finally arrives, her best friend Yunika goes missing. Will Arabelle be able to find her bff and still make it to the Starfall Ceremony in time to catch her first falling star?

Arabelle is the youngest of all mages. She doesn’t let that stop her from trying her best. Even if it means confronting dragons, traveling throughout the twists and turns in the land of Wistaria, and taking on any challenge she encounters. Seeking to improve her skills, she teams up with her besties on a fun filled magical adventure.

Set in a fantasy setting filled with magical adventures, each story encourages imagination while lightly addressing topics of universal themes: self-esteem, self-acceptance, teamwork, friendship, and problem solving skills.

Review:


Arabelle: And The Star Crystal (Arabelle's Adventures Book 1)Arabelle: And The Star Crystal by Julia Stilchen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the first book in Arabelle’s Adventures Chapter Book Series. I absolutely loved it!

Arabelle is a wonderful character, I really liked her. She is a young mage who is determined to catch her first magical star at the Starfall Ceremony. Unfortunately, her best friend, Yunika (who happens to be a human shape-shifting unicorn), has gone missing shortly before the event is due to begin, so with the help of her other friends, Kitsy (a furry - a human but with animal ears and tail) and Pip (a talking parakeet), Arabelle finds herself on a rescue mission. Can she find her friend in time, or will she lose the chance to catch her first star?

This is a fantastic children's chapter book, full of action, adventure and danger. It is told through the eyes of Arabelle. The story is the perfect length for young readers who have a short attention span. It is entertaining, but also educational. The story teaches the reader about friendship, teamwork, building confidence, solving problems by thinking things through and achieving dreams through hard work and perseverance.

Each character in the book has different strengths and weaknesses, and they complement each other as they face difficult challenges. I must admit that I'm not sure I would like to meet up with the Lullaweeds from this tale, they look like pretty flowers but are plant-like creatures. Once they get their leaf like arms around you, it's hard to escape. *Shudder*

Julia Stilchen has written a fantastic chapter book that is full of imaginative description which allows the reader to picture the scenes with ease. Her characters are lifelike and likable, and her writing style is easy for children to follow and understand. I would definitely consider reading more of her books in the future.

This series of books are aimed at children aged 6-10. Depending on a child's reading ability, this book would be easy for a child to read either with the help of a parent or on their own. It would also make a wonderful bedtime story for younger children if read by a parent. However, I think that adults would also enjoy this story just as much as I did. - Lynn Worton

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About The Author:




Prior to the winter solstice, in the year of the fire dragon, (minutes before the stroke of midnight), Julia was born within the human realm, in a far away kingdom surrounded by the cactus-laden desert of Arizona.

She learned to harness her daydreaming skills, practicing the craft of writing to transmute imaginary worlds into prose. She is a member of magical guilds like SCBWI, CBI Clubhouse, and YARWA.

She passionately embarks storytelling quests with an enchanted wand pen at hand. Along her journey she enjoys befriending like-minded beings. (Some of which are mermaids, pirates, and aliens! Hee-hee) She loves spending time with her family, exploring nature, and traveling.

Her favorite genres are: fantasy, sci-fi, and paranormal. She loves writing and illustrating children’s books: picture books, chapter books, middle grade, and YA fiction categories.

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