Posts from the ‘mystery’ Category

MULTICULTURAL CHILDREN’S BOOK DAY 2023 Arletis, Abuelo and the Message in a Bottle #READYOURWORLD

I am honored to participate in the 10th anniversay of an event that I have been involved in since its inception. Here’s to all the readers of the world, big and small, young and old, from all corners of the globe.

DREAMS SHARED IN A BOTTLE

Arletis, Abuelo, and the Message in a Bottle

Written by Lea Aschkenas

Illustrated by Cornelius Van Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu

A beautifully written and illustrated children’s book with an inspiring message. Arletis lives on a tiny street in a Cuban village. When she gazes at her location on a map in school, she dreams of the world that stretches beyond her small world. While Arletis is content living with her parents, sister, and grandmother, a tiny voice inside wants to know what lies beyond it.

One day, her parents take her to the seashore. Arletis finds a bottle washed ashore that contains a message in a foreign language. She writes back in her native language and hopes for a response. Thousands of miles away, an elderly tugboat captain answers her message. The rest of the tale is magical. Maybe dreams in a bottle come true.

The author is masterful in creating beautiful language phrases to convey her message. For example, “In summer, the heat got so heavy and thick it rolled down the street in dizzying waves…” Images portray the spirit and emotions of the characters. They literally jump off the pages drawing in the eyes of the reader. Bonus features include a Cuban recipe, glossary of unfamiliar words, and a list of resources to continue learning more. The book will be available in Spanish and English editions. Based on a true story, this multicultural tale will delight children and adults of all ages.

Don’t miss this release in April 2023.

THANK YOU to our wonderful MCBD participants and supporters including Co-Hosts, Medallion and Author Levels Sponsors, book reviewers, book donators, and readers! 

KEEP YOUR HEAD ABOVE THE GROUND

Harley James and the Trouble in Paris

Written by Leah Cupps

Another fun, fast read from the mystery adventure series that features Harley, an almost twelve-year-old cryptologist and official member of The Society for Mysterious Objects. She is the daughter of a famous, archaeologist, Russell James. Harley and her dog, Daisy are accompanying her father on a new job outside of Paris.

An announcement that an object has been stolen from the Louvre sets the plot in motion. Harley joins an educational group of young explorers and meets Veronica, her partner for this adventure. They feel duty-bound to explore the clues and solve the mystery. The setting of underground catacombs provides an eerie background for the middle-grade target audience but this fast-moving adventure will hold the interest of any age reader. Likeable characters, entertaining black and white illustrations, and short chapters appeal to beginning or reluctant readers. Each book of the series stands independently and apart from the rest.

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A well-written page-turner

The Madonna Ghost

Written by Linda Marie Frank

This mystery appeals to me on many levels. Annie embarks on summer vacation with her Aunt Jill to Fire Island, but her aunt is a detective secretly working on a case.

Annie hopes to find some people her age. She is excited to learn that Ty is visiting neighbors. He is close to her age and soon becomes a romantic interest. Soon Annie discovers they are both adventurers. They will team up to solve the mystery of a ghost reported to haunt the island.

At first glance, the reader might guess this is a book for a middle-grade or young adult audience, but this is not the case. I found myself engrossed in the story and every character. Frank has a background in forensics which allows her to describes the smallest detail. She paints a vivid picture of the setting. The dialogue between the characters is so authentic that readers can visualize themselves in every scene.

A bit of romance, an intriguing mystery, a touch of paranormal and fast-moving events combine to make the book an interesting and unique read for ages eight through eighty-eight.

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AN UNLIKELY ALLIANCE

Blood of a Gladiator: (Leonidas, the Gladiator Mysteries, Book 1

Written by Ashley Gardner

Leonidas is a gladiator who knows nothing about survival. He is tired of fighting and wishes to die. When he is mysteriously freed by an unknown benefactor and gifted to a scribe who used to be a slave, Leonidas must learn to survive in ancient Rome with no marketable skills.

The two major characters could not be more different. Combined with an assortment of minor characters, their journey is unpredictable and touched with tinges of mystery. The author does an excellent job of researching and describing historical details of life in ancient Rome.

This is the first book in a series. It certainly has my attention and I want to read other books in the series.

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THE NOT SO GILDED AGE

Victorian San Francisco Novellas: (San Francisco Novellas)

Written by M. Louisa Locke

If you are looking for a few quick reads and like history, this book may be your cup of tea.

The characters are secondary characters from the author’s mystery series. There is a good amount of historical detail about the Victorian age in San Francisco. These stories revolve around the working class and life in a boarding house. They tell about lives often forgotten and the struggles of the poor in San Francisco during a time when the needs of the poor were overlooked.

Fast reads with interesting plots and characters.

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JIMMY CHARTRON AND THE LOST KEYSTONE VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR AND GIVEAWAY #JIMMYCHARTRON

SO MUCH TO OFFER

In partnership with The Children’s Book Review and J.T. Michaels

ABOUT THE BOOK

Jimmy Chartron and the Lost Keystone

Written by J.T. Michaels

Ages 13-18 | 336 Pages

Publisher: J.T. Michaels | ISBN-13: 9781778035203

Publisher’s Synopsis: Author J.T. Michaels brings a fantasy tale of an ancient war, a modern-day murder mystery, mystical creatures, and memorable characters in his masterfully written young adult novel, Jimmy Chartron and the Lost Keystone.

The Great War ended a century ago. Peace reigns across the eight countries. Epic tales of heroic men and women of those times are recounted in song and story. Yet, history seems to have forgotten a young battlefield healer, Tessa Marlise…

Sixteen-year-old Jimmy Chartron has just enrolled at the Navale Academy of Eagleon, his mind set on becoming an electrician. A chance magical encounter binds him to the trapped soul of Tessa Marlise. As Jimmy struggles to deal with this shocking development, murder and mystery unravel in the academy. Caught in the middle of everything, Jimmy realizes that a larger evil is afoot and that only two things can stop it: himself and the ghost in his head…

PURCHASE LINK

Amazon

Bookshop

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Author J.T. Michaels has always loved storytelling, no matter the medium. Being immersed in a different world, whether it’s through books or video games, has also been an obsession for him. Years after writing for his school magazine, he discovered he wanted to create his own worlds for readers, and his journey to fantasy writing began with Jimmy Chartron and the Lost Keystone, the first volume in his epic fantasy series.   

J.T. gets inspiration for his books from everything around him, incorporating his friends as character ideas to make his stories as relatable and realistic as possible. He hopes his young readers come away from his stories having escaped from the real world for a bit and with a spark of magic that lasts long after the book is closed. 

When he isn’t writing enchanting fantasy novels for teens, J.T. enjoys running and spending time outside in the sunshine and hunkering down in a bookstore or library on rainy days. He lives in British Columbia, Canada, where he likes to indulge in a great cup of coffee. Jimmy Chartron and the Lost Keystone is his debut novel, the first in a planned fantasy trilogy. 

For more information, visit https://www.jtmichaels.ca/.

https://www.instagram.com/storiesbyjtmichaels/

https://www.tiktok.com/@storybyjtmichaels

MY REVIEW OF THIS BOOK:

JIMMY CHARTRON AND THE LOST KEYSTONE

Written by J.T. Michaels

This young adult novel combines the most popular genres for this age group of readers. Fantasy, ghosts, a murder, coming-of-age struggles, and strong characters all rolled into a fast-moving adventure written with humor and great dialogue. The setting consists of a peaceful world left behind after a devastating war that wiped out civilization a century ago. Myths and stories tell the tales of former heroes. A battlefield healer named Tessie attaches her lost soul to Jimmy, the protagonist, who has just enrolled in school to become an electrician.

Jimmy struggles to deal with this dilemma but soon finds himself embroiled in a murder mystery at the school. Readers become immersed in his struggles, the murder mystery, and the lives of other colorful characters at the school. Michaels artfully reveals the successes and failures of the characters through skilled dialogue and humor.

This young adult novel is the first in a series and has much to offer to its targeted audience of readers thirteen and older but has widespread appeal for adults.

GIVEAWAY

Enter for a chance to win a  Jimmy Chartron and the Lost Keystone prize pack!

One (1) grand prize winner receives:

The Comfy Couch Reader Prize Pack

– Two Alice in Wonderland throw covers

– A side lamp with a unique horse stencil design

-A signed copy of Jimmy Chartron and the Lost Keystone

One (1) grand prize winner receives:

The Books and Beverage Lover Prize Pack

– A Jimmy Chartron mug

-A Magic Mug with 3 Reveal Characters

-A signed copy of Jimmy Chartron and the Lost Keystone

Three (3) winners receive:

A signed paperback copy of Jimmy Chartron and the Lost Keystone

CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

https://gleam.io/BiYWY/jimmy-chartron-book-giveaway

TOUR SCHEDULE

Monday, July 18, 2022The Children’s Book ReviewA book review of Jimmy Chartron and the Lost Keystone
Tuesday, July 19, 2022The Children’s Book ReviewA Growing Readers Podcast interview with author J.T. Michaels
Wednesday, July 20, 2022J.R.s Book ReviewsA book review of Jimmy Chartron and the Lost Keystone
Thursday, July 21, 2022The Fairview ReviewA book review of Jimmy Chartron and the Lost Keystone
Friday, July 22, 2022The Momma SpotA book review of Jimmy Chartron and the Lost Keystone
Tuesday, July 26, 2022icefairy’s Treasure ChestA book review of Jimmy Chartron and the Lost Keystone
Wednesday, July 27, 2022Barbara Ann MojicaA book review of Jimmy Chartron and the Lost Keystone
Thursday, July 28, 2022Satisfaction for Insatiable ReadersAn article by author J.T. Michaels
Friday, July 29, 2022Confessions of a Book AddictA book giveaway of Jimmy Chartron and the Lost Keystone
Monday, August 1, 2022The Children’s Book ReviewAn Instagram Video Review
Tuesday, August 2, 2022Tales of a Wanna-Be Superhero MomAn article by author J.T. Michaels
Wednesday, August 3, 2022Lisa’s ReadingA book review of Jimmy Chartron and the Lost Keystone
Thursday, August 4, 2022Because I Said SoA book review of Jimmy Chartron and the Lost Keystone

SET IN STONE?

The Pharaoh’s Stone: (The Stone Collection)

Written by Nick Hawkes

This book is part of a series that may be read as a stand-alone novel.

Peter has just been released from prison in London. He meets Alex, a history professor and they form an unlikely alliance. They team up with an Egyptologist named Beth to solve an Egyptian mystery. All of this combined with Freemasonry makes for an interesting read.

This author has sometimes been criticized for injecting too much of his religious opinion within his stories but this did not particularly bother me because the characters were intriguing and the twists and turns of the plot held my interest and kept me reading. Recommended especially for those who enjoy mysteries and ancient Egypt. Appropriate for middle-grade, young-adult, and adult readers.

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THE CRABTREE MONSTERS VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR AND GIVEAWAY #thecrabtreemonsters

In partnership with The Children’s Book Review and Susan R. Stoltz

ABOUT THE BOOK

The Crabtree Monsters

Written by Chris Wieland

Ages 10+ | 384 Pages

Publisher: The Smart Aleck Press | ISBN-13: 9798985701302

Publisher’s Synopsis: Moving from Los Angeles to tiny Crabtree, Michigan, is the last thing thirteen-year-old Kat Dylan wants to do. Crabtree’s seen better days and isn’t what you call welcoming. Worse, the move means living with her gruff Grandpa Nick, the town’s police chief, and having to look after her little brother, Alec.

And that’s before Kat and Alec find themselves in the middle of a bank holdup by the Monster Gang—four robbers in monster masks. Before the heist is over, the kids lose their cash and Alec comes within a hair of losing his life. When it is all over, Grandpa Nick goes to jail, accused of being one of the robbers himself.

Suddenly, this boring little town isn’t so boring anymore. Kat’s determined to find out who the men are behind the masks, and she’s going to need help. But exposing the robbers could have big consequences. The deeper Kat goes, the more she learns life is about making choices, including some that are a matter of life and death.

PURCHASE LINK

https://amzn.to/3xhsEUn

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-crabtree-monsters-chris-wieland/1141380453

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Chris Wieland is an award-winning writer and filmmaker. He is also the father of two fierce children, including a tough, smart tween who helped him find the voice of his protagonist, Kat Dylan. He lives in Southern California with his family.

For more information, visit https://www.thesmartaleckpress.com/.

https://www.instagram.com/thesmartaleckpress/

https://www.facebook.com/thesmartaleckpress

https://www.tiktok.com/@thesmartaleckpress

MY REVIEW OF THIS BOOK

A MOVING EXPERIENCE

The Crabtree Monsters

Written by Chris Wieland

Thirteen-year-old Kat and her ten-year-old brother, Alec have much to worry about. Their parents are divorced. Mom has been deployed to Afghanistan and they are moving from their father’s apartment in Los Angeles to a rural town in Michigan to live with their grandfather for nine months. They are distraught.

Kat is a wonderful character. She is bright, stubborn, determined and so relatable to the middle-grade audience. The book is full of coming-of-age issues, sibling rivalry, difficult family relationships, adjusting to a new school with new friends, and the problems of moving to a completely different neighborhood. To add to the appeal, their father and grandfather are both lawmen. Kat and her brother have inherited their penchant for solving mysteries.

Not long after the move, the siblings learn of the Monster Gang and become embroiled with the crimes plaguing their new home. That sets the stage for a fast-moving detective mystery that Kat and Alec decide to solve.

I love the humor, appealing characters, and plot of this novel. The middle-grade readers will not want to put it down.

GIVEAWAY

Enter for a chance to win a signed copy of The Crabtree Monsters and a $50 Barnes & Noble gift card!

One (1) grand prize winner receives:

A signed copy of The Crabtree Monsters and a $50 Barnes & Noble gift card.

Four (4) winners receive:

A signed copy of The Crabtree Monsters.

CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

https://gleam.io/Zj4L7/the-crabtree-monsters-book-giveaway

TOUR SCHEDULE

Tuesday, June 14, 2022The Children’s Book ReviewA book review of The Crabtree Monsters
Wednesday, June 15, 2022Satisfaction for Insatiable ReadersAn article by Chris Wieland
Thursday, June 16, 2022The Fairview ReviewA book review of The Crabtree Monsters
Friday, June 17, 2022The Momma SpotA book review of The Crabtree Monsters
Monday, June 20, 2022Because I Said SoA book review of The Crabtree Monsters
Tuesday, June 21, 2022The Children’s Book ReviewA Growing Readers Podcast interview with Chris Wieland
Wednesday, June 22, 2022icefairy’s Treasure ChestA book review of The Crabtree Monsters
Thursday, June 23, 2022Lisa’s ReadingA book review of The Crabtree Monsters
Friday, June 24, 2022J.R.s Book ReviewsA book review of The Crabtree Monsters
Monday, June 27, 2022Tales of a Wanna-Be Superhero MomA book review of The Crabtree Monsters
Tuesday, June 28, 2022The Children’s Book ReviewAn Instagram Video Review
Wednesday, June 29, 2022Barbara Ann MojicaA book review of The Crabtree Monsters
Thursday, June 30, 2022Shooting Stars MagAn interview with Chris Wieland
Friday, July 1, 2022Writer with WanderlustA book review of The Crabtree Monsters

THREE TIMES THE FUN

Scaredy Bat Books 1-3 Series Collection: Illustrated Vampire Detective Stories for Kids (Scaredy Bat Collection)

Written by Marina J. Bowman

I previously reviewed the first book in this series and enjoyed it so I jumped at the chance to obtain the boxed series.

Ellie is a vampire detective who is very smart, but she is limited by some very real fears. She has a crew of friends who supplement her weaknesses and team up with her to get to the bottom of each mystery.

This is a wonderful detective series for beginning or intermediate chapter book readers. There are lots of supplementary illustrations to keep the story interesting, along with a few puzzles and bonus pages to make the books interactive. Most children enjoy becoming involved with characters in a series as they are well-developed and interesting.

Highly recommended for budding detectives who love a good mystery with interesting characters and questions to answer.

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A MATTER OF CHANCE

Dream of Empty Crowns: (Chosen King Book 1)

Written by M.J. Sewall

In the Kingdom of the Thirteen, youth are required to enter their names in a lottery system to choose a future ruler. Gordon does not give a thought about being chosen. When his name is drawn, he has no idea of how to deal with his fate.

This middle-grade series features the conflict between good and evil, family intrigue, peer struggles, fantasy, and a few elements of steampunk.

Will Gordon survive the turmoil and what will be the fate of his kingdom? Read Book One in the series to begin the journey.

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