BOOK TOUR: Golden Gremlin: A Vigorous Push from Misanthropes and Geezers by Rod A. Walters

Book Details:

Book Title:  Golden Gremlin: A Vigorous Push from Misanthropes and Geezers
Author: Rod A. Walters
Category:  Adult Non-Fiction, 228 pages
Genre:  Humor
Publisher:  Omega Man Press
Release date:  November 2016
Format available for review:  print and ebook (mobi & PDF)
Willing to send print books: internationally
Tour dates: Feb 12 to 23, 2018
Content Rating: PG-13 + M (Mild and indirect innuendo to both sex genitalia, a short essay about the fictional “AssBook,” an essay on current health-care talk, a teaser “is his cord long enough?” to get readers to choose a short piece on electric cars next, etc.)

Book Description:

Written to make Dave Barry, Lily Tomlin, and Ben Stein laugh, Golden Gremlin: A Vigorous Push from Misanthropes and Geezers delivers the experience of a balanced life, and the wisdom to like most of it, and then laugh at the rest of it. What the heck, Barry lives in Miami, habitat of geezers, and Ben Stein is one. The world really needs that push, vigorous or gentle, from misanthropes & geezers, the world’s most valuable golden gremlins. Misanthropes pretend to not like or need other people, but in reality they merely prefer their own company much of the time. Geezers, aside from that silly name, also like their own company quite well. Both share the virtue of seeing the world calmly. You get pointy bite-sized life pointers from these experienced gremlins, told in easy bite-size chunks. Laughter included in the price! Two out of three wouldn’t be bad either. Life is good! So laugh a little at yourself on the way through these pointy essays, and that will buy your laughing at the world’s simpler parts, guilt free.

Golden Gremlin comprises about 70 short essays bundled into six topic areas:

NATURE: boys, ugly drivers, and coffee cups in the ‘fridge.
WORDS: the real meaning of Caucasian and Genre.
BUSINESS: deafness at the economics conference, and getting on AssBook.
KITCHENS: sushi chefs, and truth about manna.
HISTORY: when Hell froze, and Attila the Honey.

Golden boy gets to be GOLDEN GREMLIN: experience overcomes certainty.
What things could possibly be more important!

Buy the Book:    Amazon

Rod A. Walters

Meet the Author:

Rod Walters lives and writes in upstate New York to prove he can be an all-season writer. Since he wants everybody to be all-season persons no matter her or his circumstance, his writing aims sharply toward the practical—without turning into one of those godawful do it ma’ way authors. Life, after all, is practical hour by hour. Self-described as “old enough to know better, and he probably is,” his former life as Army officer, engineer, and administrative assistant could not have better prepared him to write both light and more serious short pieces pointing to creating a balanced life. Chuckling at yourself usually makes a good takeoff, he says. Giving up having to be certain makes for a good landing, especially for one’s friends! Then again, who the heck wants to live a balanced life? Mostly everybody does. That’s why he now writes. Although many friends nudge and badger him to be a Facebook and Twitter butterfly, he tries not to spend many numbing hours a day with circular keyboard tapping. Writing works better.

Connect with the Author: Website 

REVIEW:

mis·an·thrope

ˈmis(ə)nˌTHrōp,ˈmiz(ə)nˌTHrōp/
noun
a person who dislikes humankind and avoids human society.

If you are looking for a good encyclopedia / self-help / dictionary / literature guide all rolled up in one small volume, you’ve found it.  Not to mention a healthy dose of sarcasm and just plain silliness – Golden Gremlin: A Vigorous Push from Misanthropes and Geezers – is as unique as its author.

Have you lost something? (i.e. husbands ALWAYS losing their car keys).  There are only 16 logical places where any object can be found (you can find the list in the book) (which adds valuable years to your life) (after the cussing).  One of my pet peeves is the overused word “absolutely”.  Want to break the habit?  Pages 94 and 95.  You’ll learn the appropriate word substitutions.  The essay on “The Buffet Rule” draws our attention to the extreme sport of walking through a restaurant buffet.  There’s gotta be a better way to improve crowd control.  Yes, he even takes issues with electric cars and I have to agree with him.  Sure they’re good for the environment and cheap to run but how often have you been waiting for a lift and you suddenly turn around to find the car sitting behind you for 10 minutes?  Where’s that lovely engine noise to kickstart your heart?

Liver.  Yep,  liver.  Remember how traumatized you were as a kid when you had a piece of shoe leather liver placed before you with the words “you won’t leave this table until you eat it all?”  Mr. Geezer has included the perfect liver and onion recipe to encourage you to revisit your past.
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If you have a weird sense of humour and love history, politics and vacuums, you’ll pretty much tear through this book.  Written in short essays that are just the right length for bathroom reading, this book will give Uncle John’s Bathroom reader a run for its money.
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ENTER THE GIVEAWAY:
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Book review: Kitty Hawk and the Mystery of the Masterpieces

  • Title and author:  Kitty Hawk and the Mystery of the Masterpieces (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #5) by Iain Reading
  • Publisher:  CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Date published:  February 14, 2015
  • Pages:  238
  • Genre:  mystery / thriller / women sleuths / YA fiction

Book description:

Kitty Hawk and the Mystery of the Masterpieces is the eagerly anticipated fifth instalment of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency book series. This series features the intrepid teenage seaplane pilot and amateur detective Kitty Hawk as she continues in the footsteps of Nancy Drew and Amelia Earhart on her epic flight around the world. (But why is she wearing a superhero costume?!?)

After meeting up with an old friend in the eternal city of Rome, Kitty Hawk unexpectedly stumbles (almost literally) into a bizarre mystery involving creepy disembodied voices, secret hidden rooms, unbreakable mathematical codes, ominous chain-smoking strangers and an array of plundered artworks by such famous masters as Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro and Vincent van Gogh – all of it wrapped up and entwined in an enigmatic riddle hanging in plain sight right in front of everyone’s noses. With the help of friends both old and new, Kitty Hawk follows a trail of cryptic clues that leads her on a breathless tour across a quintessentially European landscape – from ancient Roman Italy to the darkest corners of Germany, Austria and beyond.

As with the previous books in the series, this new installment is perfect for firing the imaginations of readers of all ages. Filled with fascinating and highly Google-able locations and history, this exhilarating adventure will have armchair explorers and amateur detectives alike anxiously following every twist and turn as they attempt to help Kitty Hawk try and solve the extraordinarily bizarre Mystery of the Masterpieces.

There are currently five books in the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series: Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold (book 1), Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway’s Ghost (book 2), Kitty Hawk and the Icelandic Intrigue (book 3), and Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic (book 4), and Kitty Hawk and the Mystery of the Masterpieces (book 5).

“In the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series the heroine finds herself in a new geographic location in each book. The series will eventually have a total of 13 books in it (maybe more) and her flight around the world will be completed in the end,” says Iain. “The books are sequential but one could definitely read any of the later ones before reading the earlier ones.”

For more information, go to http://www.kittyhawkworld.com/

Buy the book:   Amazon    Barnes & Noble

About the author:

Iain Reading is passionate about Root Beer, music, and writing. He is Canadian, but currently resides in the Netherlands working for the United Nations.

Iain is the author of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series, The Wizards of Waterfire Series, and the dragon of the month club.

To learn more, go to http://www.amazon.com/Iain-Reading/e/B00B0NGI6Q/

Connect with the author:    Website    Facebook    Twitter    Kitty Hawk Website

REVIEW:  

Kitty is now in Rome where she will be meeting Charlie, her friend from Alaska.  A chance encounter with a thief, a walnut vendor and a scraped leg launch both of them into a totally unexpected international intrigue.  We are introduced to Matteo and his two sisters, Vega and Giulia.

As Charlie and Kitty are getting to know their new Italian friends, Kitty is admiring the paintings in their home.  After having just visited the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam, she has a “feeling” that these paintings may be authentic.  No way.  Yes way.  Not only are the paintings authentic but the “plot thickens” as Matteo’s house is broken into and they discover that their father’s home has a secret room housing a radio and transmitter which is still transmitting code.

As with all Iain Readings books, we explore history, literature, art, music and this time cryptography.  It was fascinating to learn how codes are written and deciphered.  We were also taken on a tour of Dachau and learn some interesting details about Nazi Germany.

I just visited the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam recently and could relate to everything they were talking about in the book. As with the first four books, this book is divided into 54 short chapters which makes reading this book such a breeze (mind you, you probably won’t want to put it down – it’s way too exciting!)

Another super interesting Kitty Hawk mystery that will keep up well past your bedtime!  I’m sad that there isn’t another book in the series.  I’m sooo hooked!

Book review: Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic by Iain Reading

  • Title and author:  Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic by Iain Reading
  • Publisher:  CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Date published:  February 16, 2014
  • Pages:  234
  • Genre:  Mystery / thriller / women sleuths / YA fiction

Book Description:

Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic is the thrillingly cryptic fourth installment of the exciting Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series featuring the intrepid teenage seaplane pilot Kitty Hawk and her various adventures of mystery and intrigue as she follows in the footsteps of Amelia Earhart on an epic flight around the world. This fourth book in the series brings Kitty to the emerald hills of Ireland where she meets a handsome stranger and is quickly swept up in a perplexing hundred-year-old family treasure hunt involving secret codes and puzzling clues that lead her on a fast-paced adventure that carries her from Dublin to London – from the decks of the ill-fated ocean liner Titanic to the temples of ancient Egypt and the streets of Jack the Ripper – until she finally unlocks the mystery and discovers the long-hidden treasure.

Much like the earlier books in this series, Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic is a perfect book to fire the imaginations of armchair detectives of all ages. Filled with fascinating and highly Google-able locations and history the reader will find themselves immersed in brand new worlds that are brought to life before their very eyes as Kitty Hawk experiences the stories and history of a doomed ocean liner and unravels the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic.

Buy the book:    Amazon    Barnes & Noble

About the Author:   I Like Root Beer. When I was younger I fancied myself a bit of a Root Beer connoisseur, drinking my favourite brand (A&W, of course) from tall, narrow champagne flûtes and revelled in the sound of the ice cubes clinking against the side of the thin glass, creating a magical tinkling ambiance as I looked down my nose at all the other inferior Root Beer vintages. As I grew older and began to travel all across the globe I was naturally inclined to seek out the very best Root Beers that the world had to offer. Sadly, as I was to discover, Root Beer is very much a North-American thing and you can’t really find it anywhere else in the world. On the bright side, however, it turns out that the world is a pretty great place even without Root Beer. There are a million amazing things to see and as many more ways for all of us to see them, as our heroine and friend Kitty Hawk finds out in the course of her various adventures.

Connect with the author:   Website    Facebook    Twitter    Kitty Hawk Website

REVIEW:

Having followed Kitty Hawk from Alaska, Florida and Iceland we are now ready for a new adventure in the British Isles.  Kitty arrives in Ireland where she is doing a promotion for Wasabi Willy’s, a chain of restaurants that are promoting Kitty’s around-the-world tour.  At the sushi restaurant, she makes eye contact with a (ahem) handsome fellow in the audience.   Having read about her exploits in Florida and Iceland, Andrew, a young, good looking Scot, has a mystery that he wants Kitty to help him solve.

The mystery has to do with the sinking of RMS Titanic. Andrew’s great uncle was First Officer, William McMaster Murdoch, whose role in the marine disaster was often called into question.  Andrew shows Kitty documents his family received from an anonymous source in 1937 that were written in code.  Unable to decipher the code, he asks Kitty as the “One Woman Flying Detective Agency” to help solve the mystery.

Again, I have to admit that I learned so much about British and Irish history, hieroglyphics, code breaking, Sherlock Holmes and Egyptology.  Kitty and Andrew’s investigation leads them to a dangerous nemesis and the plot heats up as they struggle to stay one step ahead.  Heart-pounding adventure for these two is never far behind.

Although a popular theme found in London’s walking tours , I found that the sections about Jack the Ripper to be a bit too graphic for young adult readers.  I had to skim through these parts – they were pretty gross (imho).  I also question Kitty’s ethics in this story. What I really liked about Kitty is her ability to discern between right and wrong.

Kitty’s fourth adventure has everything we would expect – a bit of romance, oodles of excitement, as well as interesting bits of literature and history thrown in.  I can’t wait to read the next adventure in book number five!

Book review: The Wild Woman’s Guide to Traveling the World by Kristin Rockaway

  • Title and author:  The Wild Woman’s Guide to Traveling the World by Kristin Rockaway
  • Publisher:   Center Street
  • Date published:  June 6, 2017
  • Pages:  352
  • Genre:  Women’s fiction / romantic comedy / travel

Book description:  Objectively, Sophie is a success: she’s got a coveted job at a top consulting firm, a Manhattan apartment, and a passport full of stamps. It isn’t quite what she dreamed of when she was a teenager dog-earing pages in exotic travel guides, but it’s secure. Then her best friend bails just hours after they arrive in Hong Kong for a girls’ trip, and Sophie meets Carson, a free-spirited, globetrotting American artist.

In the midst of their whirlwind vacation romance, Carson invites Sophie to join him on his haphazard journey around the world. While the brief international jaunts she sneaks in between business trips don’t feel like enough, Sophie is far too practical to throw away her five-year plan on a whim. Yet Carson’s offer forces her to question whether the reliable life she’s chosen is really what she wants–and she soon discovers that his feelings for her run deeper than she realized.

Praise

“With its spirited yet credible plot and vividly intricate charactersthis debut novel shines.” — Library Journal (starred review)

“…a fun, sexy debut perfect for readers who love exotic settings and a great love story. For those wishing to indulge their wanderlust, or who have dreams too big for tidy little boxes, this is an incredibly satisfying read.” — Karma Brown, bestselling author of Come Away With Me

“…brilliantly navigates one woman’s quest to let go of what is practical to pursue her passion and surrender to her inner dreamer.” — Kerry Lonsdale, bestselling author of Everything We Keep

“Can a novel be smart and loads of fun? Kristin Rockaway’s debut is proof that it’s possible. Warm, witty, and completely delightful, this book had my inner escapist itching to hop on the next flight out of town.” — Camille Pagán, bestselling author of Life and Other Near-Death Experiences

“Kristin Rockaway is a wise and fresh new voice in women’s fiction and this book was a delight from start to finish.”  — Anita Hughes, author of Christmas in Paris

Buy the book:    Amazon    Barnes & Noble

About the author:  Kristin Rockaway is a native New Yorker with an insatiable case of wanderlust. After working in the IT industry for far too many years, she traded the city for the surf and chased her dreams out to Southern California, where she spends her days happily writing stories instead of software.

THE WILD WOMAN’S GUIDE TO TRAVELING THE WORLD is her first novel. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her husband and son, and planning her next big vacation.

Connect with the author:    Website   Twitter   Instagram   Pinterest   Goodreads   Facebook

REVIEW:

Sophie has it all. Or so she thinks. A top notch job, an apartment in New York and free travel with her job. But she is starting to unravel though she really hasn’t pieced it together yet. Her best friend dumps her on their first day in Hong Kong and Sophie, who considers herself an experienced solo traveller is suddenly lost. 

An unexpected encounter with Carson, a free-spirited traveller, turns her world upside down. He invites her to question her life, including her five-year plan for a successful career and questions why she hasn’t followed her dreams to travel. What? Sophie travels all the time.

Despite their different lifestyles, they begin to realize that the other fulfills them in a way they could not predict. However, the differences between them are tearing them apart.

This is a great read for anyone who loves to travel or who wants to bring something fun to read with them on vacation. Although a work of fiction, it does delve into deeper issues of insecurity and that sometimes we have to step back and re-evaluate what we need to do to be happy.

Book review: Kitty Hawk and the Icelandic Intrigue by Iain Reading

  • Title and author:  Kitty Hawk and the Icelandic Intrigue by Iain Reading
  • Publisher:  CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Date published:  April 19, 2013
  • Pages:  220
  • Genre:  Mystery / thriller / women sleuths / YA fiction

Book Description:

Following in the footsteps of her hero Amelia Earhart, Kitty Hawk sets off on an epic flight around the world and arrives in Iceland’s capital city of Reykjavik where she finds herself immersed in a beautiful alien world of volcanoes, Vikings, elves and trolls. Before she knows it Kitty is plunged head first into an amazing adventure that sweeps her across a rugged landscape where humans and nature exist in side-by-side in an uneasy truce and magical realms seem to lie just out of sight beneath the surface.

Kitty Hawk and the Icelandic Intrigue is the dazzling third installment of the Flying Detective Agency series featuring Kitty Hawk, an intrepid teenaged seaplane pilot with boundless curiosity and a knack for getting herself into – and out of – all kinds of precarious situations. This is a perfect book to fire the imaginations of readers of all ages – armchair explorers and amateur detectives alike. From dangerous criminals and corrupt government officials to mystical beings and clashes with the elemental forces of nature, this book has it all. Come and join Kitty Hawk as she experiences the strange and extraordinary world of the Icelanders, and unravels the Icelandic Intrigue.

Buy the book:    Amazon    Barnes & Noble

About the Author:   I Like Root Beer. When I was younger I fancied myself a bit of a Root Beer connoisseur, drinking my favourite brand (A&W, of course) from tall, narrow champagne flûtes and revelled in the sound of the ice cubes clinking against the side of the thin glass, creating a magical tinkling ambiance as I looked down my nose at all the other inferior Root Beer vintages. As I grew older and began to travel all across the globe I was naturally inclined to seek out the very best Root Beers that the world had to offer. Sadly, as I was to discover, Root Beer is very much a North-American thing and you can’t really find it anywhere else in the world. On the bright side, however, it turns out that the world is a pretty great place even without Root Beer. There are a million amazing things to see and as many more ways for all of us to see them, as our heroine and friend Kitty Hawk finds out in the course of her various adventures.

Connect with the author:   Website    Facebook    Twitter    Kitty Hawk Website

REVIEW:

Having just been to Iceland a few months ago, I was excited to begin reading about Kitty’s adventure in the third instalment of the Kitty Hawk series.  Did Kitty see the same things I did?  Yes, but she saw them from the air from the seat of her trusty De Havilland Beaver!  I saw Iceland all over again through her eyes and it makes me want to go back!

Kitty is warmly welcomed to Iceland by Konrad (who is originally from Alaska) and his family.  I especially enjoyed learning about the Icelandic naming Committee (you’ll see what I mean when you read the book).

Kitty is introduced to several interesting people by Kristin, Konrad’s daughter, who is studying environmental engineering at the University of Iceland.  Now this is where things start to get interesting (did you know there is a handsome, red haired, bearded Icelander Viking dude in this story?) (plus other cool stuff such as aluminum smelters).

There was plenty of action (pretty scary actually) in The Icelandic Intrigue. I always wonder how Kitty finds herself in crazy, dangerous situations when she’s pretty much a tourist like the rest of us (throw in a volcano, some Russians and some rotten shark meat).

I enjoyed reading The Icelandic Adventure as much as the first two books in the series and look forward to book number four “The Tragedy of the RMS Titanic”.

Book review: Halley’s Casino by Mark JG Fahey (3rd Place Winner of World’s Best Story Contest!)

Book Details:

Book Title:  Halley’s Casino by Mark JG Fahey
Category:  Adult Fiction, pages
Genre:   Science Fiction / Time Travel
Publisher:  Mark JG Fahey
Release date:  Jan 25, 2016
Format available for review:  print & ebook (PDF)
Will send print books to: USA & Canada
Tour dates: Jan 8 to 26, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 + M (No profanity,  readable for all ages 12 and up, pure fun and witty story)

Book Description:

Halley’s Casino is set in 1986. 26-year old Nebula Yorker (Neb to his friends), is patiently awaiting the return of Halley’s Comet. He is about to discover that the world is not what it seems.

Upon the arrival of Halley’s Comet, Neb is confronted by a mysterious stranger who literally swoops out of the night sky. What happens next will change the course of Neb’s life and that of all he befriends.

This stranger (Mr. Tict) reveals to Neb that Halley’s is not a comet at all, but an Intergalactic Casino that has been posing as a comet for countless years. Mr. Tict is the Concierge of the Casino and he has come back to Earth to recruit Neb as his assistant.

What happens next is an eye-opening experience for young Neb that no one on Earth can imagine. It can only be explained by watching old Star Trek reruns, while eating cheese sandwiches and drinking hot chocolate. From androids with attitude to a vast assortment of alien beings and historic individuals, with a touch of time travel from ancient Babylon to 1757 London and back to Rome of 12 BCE, Neb soon learns that his past, present and future have always lain in the stars above.

It’s a rock and roll ride chock full of chaos, a formidable nemesis, drama, satire, humour, death and new beginnings, with revelations that Neb never saw coming.

Even John Lennon is amused!

Starting out on a quiet evening of star gazing, Nebula Yorker finds himself caught up in the most extraordinary time travel and planet saving adventure of a lifetime.

​And that’s only the beginning of what is to come.

Mark JG Fahey

Meet the Author:

Mark JG Fahey is not an alien, contrary to what you may have heard, though he swears he has been to space. Mark has dabbled in various undertakings throughout his illustrious career, from on-air hosting/reporter/stand-up comic to messenger for the Prime Minister of Canada. Mark also holds a degree in Restaurant Services. His family and friends can attest to his excellent cooking skills. Born in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Mark was raised and still resides in Aylmer, Quebec, Canada. Halley’s Casino is the first book in the Halley’s Casino trilogy.

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

REVIEW:
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Who doesn’t love a good space opera?  Dr. Who followers will enjoy Halley’s Casino.  It wasn’t the the TV show’s outstanding sets or costumes that won us over, it was the stories.  Halley’s Casino is a quirky, slightly sarcastic and entertaining guide to what we don’t know about the universe.  The author has a fertile imagination and presents situations that are completely new and unique in the sci-fi world.
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Written in a eccentric, informal  style, we are introduced to Nebula Yorker, an orphaned wunder kid who was adopted and raised by an older, unconventional couple.  They gave him an education in several sciences, multiple languages and cultures.  Late one night while admiring Halley’s Comet from his microscope, he is joined by an unusually dressed visitor.  The rest is history, or so they say.
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I honestly couldn’t put the story down, the story had such an unusual plot that you really couldn’t guess what would happen next.  I did have a bit of trouble with the really weird alien names, but discovered that if you read some of them backwards you’ll see some surprises.  (Phil Collins :D)
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I have to take my hat off to an author who uses “twerp” and “espouse” in the same paragraph haha!  Though this isn’t a literary masterpiece, his unique style only adds to the charm of this story.  I’m glad I chose to read and review this book because I would have missed out on an exciting adventure.
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An unusual and entertaining space opera that you won’t want to put down.
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ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!
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Book review: Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway’s Ghost (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series Book 2) by Iain Reading

  • Title and author:  Kitty Hawk and The Hunt for Hemingway’s Ghost by Iain Reading
  • Publisher:  CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Date published:  September 11th, 2013
  • Pages:  246
  • Genre:  Mystery / thriller / women sleuths / YA fiction

Book Description:

Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway’s Ghost is the exciting second installment in a new series of adventure mystery stories that are one part travel, one part history and five parts adventure. This second book in the series continues the adventures of Kitty Hawk, an intrepid teenage pilot who has decided to follow in the footsteps of her hero Amelia Earhart and make an epic flight around the entire world. After flying across North America Kitty’s journey takes her down south to Florida where she plans to get a bit of rest and relaxation before continuing on with the rest of her long and grueling flight.

As Kitty explores the strange and magical water world of the Florida Keys her knack for getting herself into precarious situations sweeps her headlong into the adventure of a lifetime involving mysterious lights, ancient shipwrecks, razor-toothed barracudas and even a sighting of the great Ernest Hemingway himself. This exhilarating story will have armchair explorers and amateur detectives alike anxiously following every twist and turn as they are swept across the landscape and history of the Florida Keys all the way from Key West to the strange and remarkable world of Fort Jefferson and the Dry Tortugas.

Buy the book:   Amazon   Barnes & Noble

About the Author:   I Like Root Beer. When I was younger I fancied myself a bit of a Root Beer connoisseur, drinking my favourite brand (A&W, of course) from tall, narrow champagne flûtes and revelled in the sound of the ice cubes clinking against the side of the thin glass, creating a magical tinkling ambiance as I looked down my nose at all the other inferior Root Beer vintages. As I grew older and began to travel all across the globe I was naturally inclined to seek out the very best Root Beers that the world had to offer. Sadly, as I was to discover, Root Beer is very much a North-American thing and you can’t really find it anywhere else in the world. On the bright side, however, it turns out that the world is a pretty great place even without Root Beer. There are a million amazing things to see and as many more ways for all of us to see them, as our heroine and friend Kitty Hawk finds out in the course of her various adventures.

Connect with the author:   Website    Facebook    Twitter    Kitty Hawk Website

REVIEW:

Kitty is at it again with another nail-biting adventure in the Florida Keys.  Before she begins her around the world trip, she wants to take a bit of a vacation with her parents.  After exploring the Keys, she decides to go camping at Fort Jefferson to “really get away from it all”.  But we know Kitty,  her insatiable curiosity really gets the best of her when she suddenly sees an eerie green light in the shallow water close to the fort.  Unfortunately, she can’t resist taking a closer look.

I was curious to see how the author was going to prepare us for Kitty’s around-the-world trip.  I was a little worried that Kitty wasn’t ready for this enormous undertaking and was relieved to see all the precautions and preparation that Kitty and her family put into place before her trip.  The mini GPS maps really help to locate where she is on her flight path.  I googled a lot of the information I read in the book just to be sure she would be alright.  Her plane is a lot bigger than I thought and the extra fuel tanks will help her on her long haul flights.  I learned so much about geography, aviation, travel and literature as I read this book (and if you are interested to learn more, there is a mini encyclopedia at the end).

Kitty’s sense of adventure is contagious and I will be following her as she heads off to Iceland in her next book.  Where’s my backpack?

Book review: Charley Poon’s Pomes by Robin Hawdon

  • Title and author:  Charley Poon’s Pomes by Robin Hawdon and illustrated by Wendy Halle
  • Publisher:  Clink Street Publishing
  • Date published:  November 7, 2017
  • Pages:  70
  • Genre:  childrens fiction / poetry

Description:

Unable to find good funny poems to read aloud to his grandchildren – other than the seventy year old A.A. Milne classics – British playwright Robin Hawdon sat down to write some himself. The result is this collection of thirty hilarious and touching poems, beautifully illustrated by Wendy Hoile, which recount the exploits of young Charley Poon – every parent’s nightmare – and his eccentric menagerie of nursery animals.

The poems cover everything from youthful games and exploits, to the problems of growing up, to the ups and downs of school and family life, and the joys of country and seaside holidays. Parents and grandparents will be delighted to have something new and entertaining with which to occupy those tricky lights-out bedtime moments.

Buy the book:   Amazon     Barnes & Noble

Meet the author:  Dividing his time between Bath, Australia and the South of France, actor, playwright and grandfather Robin Hawdon has enjoyed a successful forty year career in the entertainment industry. During the early years he was a regular face on British TV — appearing in many series and co-starring with Michael Crawford in ITV’s ‘Chalk and Cheese’ and starring in a number of films. He has trod the boards as Hamlet, Henry V and Henry Higgins in Pygmalion
and in leading roles in London’s West End. Later his love of writing dominated his career and he is now recognised as one of the UK’s most prolific comedy playwrights —with productions including The Mating Game which has played in over thirty countries and Don’t Dress For Dinner which ran in the West End for six years before playing on Broadway and around the English speaking world. Many of his plays are published by Samuel French and Josef Weinberger.  Robin has also directed a number of stage productions, and in the 1980’s founded the Bath Fringe festival, and subsequently became Director of the Theatre Royal Bath, England’s premier touring theatre. He has written several novels including A Rustle in the Grass, published by Hutchinsons in 1984 and republished recently by Thistle. A second novel, The Journey was published in 2002 by Hawthorns and a third, Survival of the Fittest, by SBPR in 2013. His first foray into children’s literature,

Connect with the author:   Website   Twitter   goodreads

REVIEW:

Charley Poon’s Pomes turned out to be much more than I expected.  The writer uses a variety of poetic cadences for the different pieces.  The book begins with one of my favourites, limericks!  As entertaining as the poems are, they highlight the simple joys,  mysteries and challenges of childhood.  There were several poems that dealt with more serious subjects such as grownups and “If I was God”.

The illustrations are charming and there are plenty of wonky words and tongue twisters to wrap your brain around.  I really enjoyed the section entitled “SPELLING”.  My favourite animals were Sammy the Snouse and Squawker the Cockatoo.

Some of the poems in the book remind of  ee cummings’ poetry, who happens to be one of my favourite poets.

A lovely poetry book that can be enjoyed by children (and adults) of all ages.

 

 

Book review: The Bedtimeasnaurus by Mike Bayliss

  • Title and author:  The Bedtimeasnaurus by Mike Bayliss / illustrated by Megan Egan
  • Publisher:  Bespoke Book Publishing
  • Date published:  November 14, 2017
  • Pages:  32
  • Genre:  children’s literature / children’s fiction /  poetry

Description:

A charming collection of gorgeously illustrated poems to encourage fun and bedtime bonding between parents and their children.

The bright pink flamingoasaurus spends its day standing on one leg looking for something to eat. The round and delicious tomotoasaurus sings a tune while soaking up the sun. These are just two of the imaginative and amusing dinosaurs dreamed up in The Bedtimeasnaurus, the sometimes naughty and always hilarious poetry collection for children by Mike Bayliss.

Developing the idea for over thirty years while working on other projects , Bayliss was encouraged to publish his collection after being diagnosed with stage IV non – Hodgkin lymphoma in April 2017, using his work as a positive outlet for his energy as he worked to battle the illness.

Complimented by charming illustrations, opportunities for kids to draw their own dinosaur creations and simple quizzes on each of the characters, The Bedtimeasnaurus not only provides an entertaining read for young children before they go to sleep but also offers a valuable chance for parents to connect and engage.

Buy the book:   Amazon.co.uk   

Meet the author:   Born in Walsaill West Midland, UK, Bayliss is an entrepreneur that owns companies in several industries including building supply and property development. He also owns Bespoke Brewery, which opened in 2012 and has since won a number of awards for its craft beer. He lives with his wife and three children in Forest Dean, UK. This is his first book. 

Connect with the author:   Website    Facebook    goodreads

 

Meet the illustrator:
Hi there! My name is Megan Egan, and I’m a Brummie who just loves to create!

Creative Soul and Daydreamer, forged at Imaginate Creative in Leamington Spa, evolving into an Art Director at School of Communication Arts 2.0 in London.

I like drawing, pens, cats, big cities, drum & bass, spray paint, trainers, wine, weird clothes, clouds, graffiti, stickers, books, touchy-feely things, seals, cider, nice packaging, funky lights, bright orange, bare brick walls, scarves, abandoned buildings, olives, colouring in, bones, big windows, untouched snow, scribbling, pizza, fresh bedsheets, the smell of petrol, coffee… and I just bloody LOVE neon!

Connect with the illustrator:    Website    Twitter    Facebook    Instagram

REVIEW:

This is one of the funniest children’s poetry books I’ve read in a long time!  It’s pretty silly with a lot of “burping” rhymes!  It’s the kind of bedtime reading book that a child will want to have read over and over.  The illustrations are comical and interestingly, the more you look at them the more you see.

At the end of the book there is an interactive section entitled “Quiz time!” where you can go back and look for different things in the poems and pictures.

There is also an empty page where you can draw your own Bedtimeasnaurus (you can even give him a name!).  The last page is lined and you are encouraged to write your own funny poem.

It doesn’t end there!  What I like about this book is that it provides extra activities for the parent and child to do together.  The author has provided an email address where you can send your dino picture.  There is a competition for the best dinos.  https://www.thebedtimeasnaurus.co.uk/

A fun, interactive book that will tickle your funny bone!

Sakura’s Cherry Blossoms by Robert Paul Weston

  • Title and author:  Sakura’s Cherry Blossoms by Robert Paul Weston and Misa Saburi
  • Publisher:  Penguin Random House
  • Published:  February 20, 2018
  • Pages:  40 pages
  • Genre:  Children’s literature / children’s picture books / culture

SYNOPSIS

Sakura’s dad gets a new job in America, so she and her parents make the move from their home in Japan. When she arrives in the States, most of all she misses her grandmother and the cherry blossom trees, under which she and her grandmother used to play and picnic. She wonders how she’ll ever feel at home in this new place, with its unfamiliar language and landscape. One day, she meets her neighbor, a boy named Luke, and begins to feel a little more settled. When her grandmother becomes ill, though, her family takes a trip back to Japan. Sakura is sad when she returns to the States and once again reflects on all she misses. Luke does his best to cheer her up — and tells her about a surprise he knows she’ll love, but she’ll have to wait till spring. In the meantime, Sakura and Luke’s friendship blooms and finally, when spring comes, Luke takes her to see the cherry blossom trees flowering right there in her new neighborhood.

Sakura’s Cherry Blossoms captures the beauty of the healing power of friendship through Weston’s Japanese poetry-inspired text and Saburi’s breathtaking illustrations.

Buy the book:   Penguin    Amazon    Barnes & Noble

Meet the author:   Robert Paul Weston’s first novel was Zorgamazoo, a Booklist top ten debut of 2008. Born in the UK and raised in Canada, Robert Paul Weston lives in Toronto, where he currently teaches creative writing at the University of Toronto.

Connect with the author:  Website   Facebook   Twitter   Instagram

REVIEW:

This little story is about Sakura, a Japanese girl whose life is transplanted from Japan to America. She misses her grandmother, Obaachan and the little things they would do together in the spring when the cherry trees were blooming. Sakura finds learning a new language to be a bit tricky, as English sounds are very different from Japanese words. Her new little friend Luke is helping her adapt to her new life in America, such as making snow angels (I adore the snow angel picture!)

The story is written in a series of traditional tanka poems. A lovely little book that teaches children that, although learning a new language and culture can be difficult, it can have it’s own rewards and joys.