First Chapter Review: A Nick of Time (The Adventures of Rupert Starbright) by Mike DiCerto

I received a digital copy of this middle grade fantasy novel from the author through Pump Up Your Book.

BLURB: It’s New Year’s Eve in Graysland, but when the final second fails to come Rupert Starbright finds his entire town frozen in time. Rupert and his school crush Rainn Evertree must travel to the Land of Annum to retrieve the stolen second from the nasty and evil Epoch. They will explore a wild, imaginative, and musical world where all the characters of the Zodiac join Rainn in helping Rupert in his most colorful and challenging adventure yet!

COVER: I love the cover art for this novel. It is so fun and colorful. I totally understand what genre I am reading by just looking at it, which always makes me happy because I want the cover to match the genre.

FIRST CHAPTER: Rupert is with his family and the entire town as they wait for the giant metal bellberry leaf to drop. Then everything stopped.

KEEP READING: I am definitely intrigued by this imaginative first chapter. From the very beginning, DiCerto constructs his characters’ world. Now, this is the fourth book in the series, so readers of previous novels will be familiar with Graysland, but for a first time reader, he used descriptions to paint a nice picture.

My only niggle is that I had no idea what the main character looked like or what he was. For all the descriptions, there was none of Rupert. Even though Rupert spoke of what Rainn looked like, I could only assume she was human, which doesn’t match the cover. This didn’t take much away from everything wonderful about the story, and I would definitely continue reading thanks to that neat cliffhanger ending to chapter 1, but I kept waiting to see if I would learn who or what Rupert is.

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Zumaya Thresholds (August 16, 2021)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 306 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1612710999
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1612710990

Purchase your copy from Amazon!

This First Chapter Review contains my honest opinions, which I was not compensated for in any way.

Visit the author’s website at or connect with him on Twitter and Facebook.

First Chapter Review: Beware of the White by Kai Strand


Author Kai Strand is on a virtual book tour to promote her new middle grade novel, Beware of the White. She submitted the first chapter of this book for review.

Beware of the White Final

BLURB: As is tradition, Terra learns on the Saturday past her twelfth birthday that she is a Nature’s Spirit. It is her legacy to serve in the peaceful underground city of Concord. Learning she is named in a prophecy and being threatened by the leader of the death tribe…that part breaks tradition.

The Trepidus are the death janitors of the Underworld, responsible for delivering fatalities with a smile and cleaning up after themselves until Blanco, recent leader of the Trepidus, decides the day of reckoning for his species is coming. He begins organizing the creatures and leads them toward an uprising. The prophecy says there is one person who can stop him. Terra.

With Spirit of Security, Frank, protecting her, Terra attempts to complete her training and discover her Spirit talents. Together, they go on a rogue investigation to learn how to defeat Blanco. In the end, it comes down to a battle of the minds. The future of Concord is at stake. Will Blanco, the older, more experienced being win? Or will Terra, the young, new Spirit earn back the peace of the city?

COVER: I like the details: the city in the background, the arm sticking out of what looks like wreckage, the spooky-looking dude behind the girl, and how the girl stares right at you. I also like the selected font with the big, bold letters.

FIRST CHAPTER: Just past Terra’s twelfth birthday, her entire life changes. She learns of her destiny as a Nature’s Spirit and is introduced to the underground city of Concord. With Hermie, an elf-like creature as her Introguide, she must learn her reason for being in Concord and all about those she is there to help.

KEEP READING: I’ll be the first to admit fantasy isn’t my preferred genre. I enjoy books about the real world. But Strand has created an interesting world we get a glimpse into within the first chapter of this novel. Smartly dropping the reader immediately into the action, Strand is quick to set up Terra’s conflict: she’s not your ordinary twelve-year-old and her mother never told her that. Suddenly, Terra is reading the signs she didn’t know existed behind her mother’s behavior. And though we don’t see any resentment on Terra’s part in this chapter–it’s more like an acceptance of her potential role in the underworld–the reader can’t help wonder if as the story proceeds Terra gets angry at her mother for not preparing her for this.  I like how Strand also gives the reader a quick rundown of Concord through Hermie’s eyes as he tells Terra more about the city. This is well done, and leaves the reader with a good picture of Terra’s new surroundings.

I’m definitely intrigued and want to keep going. First, I want to see how this new revelation impacts Terra’s relationship with her mother. But I also want to know what kind of dangers lie ahead for Terra.

Pages 246
ISBN 978-1-77127-320-6
Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing (May 16, 2013)
Language: English

The author submitted the first chapter of this book for review. This review contains my honest opinions, for which I have not been compensated in any way.

Interview with Yves Robichaud, Author of Tomes of Taria: Kaylen’s Rising

Yves Robichaud is originally from the small Acadian community of Grand-Barachois, New Brunswick, Canada. He has studied Business Administration and Information Technology, currently works for the federal government, and is the proud father of one son: Jeremy. Inspired by a love of fantastical, magical tales, Kaylen’s Rising is Yves’ first attempt to share this literary passion with his son and the rest of the world.

Thank you for joining us today, Yves. Can you please start off by telling us a bit about yourself?

Sure, I’m a 40 year-old French-speaking Canadian of Acadian descent. I live near the city of Moncton, New Brunswick, on the East coast of Canada. I literally live a two-minute walk from the beach. It’s beautiful here in the summertime. I love sports, mainly softball, golf and hockey. I also enjoy reading, jogging, traveling and playing poker. I have a university degree in business and also a course in IT from a private college. Most of my work experience has been in the fields of business or IT. I currently work for the federal government. I’m also the proud father of a 13 year-old son, Jérémy.

When did you first get bit by the writing bug?

I think that my writing experience is a bit different than most. You see, I never really wanted to be a writer. It’s just kind of something that happened. I know this sounds silly, but it’s true. You know how sometimes a song repeats in your head over and over and you can’t get rid of it? Well for me, this story popped into my head and just wouldn’t go away. Every time I thought about it, I would add a bit to the story. I had the entire plot mapped out in my head even before I started writing anything down. Once my son was old enough, I decided that it would be a great idea for me to share this story with him. It’s only when I started typing it all up that I realized that I truly enjoyed writing. I guess you could say that I caught the writing bug at that point.

Why did you decide to write stories for children?

I decided to write the story for my son. I wanted to share it with him. Given that he is currently 13 years old, the book ended up targeting that age group.

Do you believe it is harder to write books for a younger audience?

No, I don’t think so. I think it’s important to be able to relate to your audience. Whether you’re writing for children, adults or seniors, the important thing is to be able to put yourself in their shoes and write about something that would interest them in a way that they understand. Besides, kids are way more fun! J

What is your favorite part of writing for young people?

For me, the best part about writing for children is seeing their reaction. Kids don’t have much for filters so they don’t hesitate to tell you (or show you) how they feel. I’ve been lucky enough to be able to present my book at local schools. Seeing the reactions from the kids made it all worthwhile. My son was so proud of me presenting at his school that he walked over and gave me a high five after the presentation. It was a great feeling. I’ve witnessed kids rushing over to see me after the presentations so that I could sign their bookmarks. It’s also touching to receive an email or Facebook message from a child explaining how they loved your book.

Can you tell us what your latest book is all about?Tomes-of-Taria

Kaylen’s Rising is coming-of-age story about a young elf named Kaylen who lives in a city built underground. Kaylen envies most kids his age because he sees them wielding weapons and learning magic. His parents forbid him to do such things. The other kids pick on Kaylen and label him an outcast. Kaylen’s parents finally relent and allow him to attend school for the first time. There, he learns that his people are at war with the humans. He also learns that he has a very unique magical ability to summon skeletons. Kaylen’s life will never be the same.

What inspired you to write it?

Initially, I decided to write the story to share it with my son. He motivated me to put it on paper. Once I started writing and discovered my passion for it, I decided to share this passion with my son too. He played a huge part in the writing and editing processes. I enjoyed reading to him the evolving storyline as it unfolded. Without a doubt, he was my inspiration.

Where can readers purchase a copy?

For now the books are only stocked at local bookstores in Moncton, NB. The book is available for order at several websites online such as Amazon, Smashwords and the Friesenpress bookstore.

Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?

My website/blog is On there you will find out more on Kaylen’s Rising such as the book trailer, reviews, pictures, etc. I also write book reviews, so that’s something that might interest readers.

What is up next for you?

I’m still working hard on the marketing of Kaylen’s Rising. I have a book launch party coming up. I also have an author-signing event at a local bookstore. Finally, I am continuing to do presentations at local schools. At the same time, I have already started on the sequel and have plans to do a trilogy.

Do you have anything else to add?

As part of Kaylen’s Rising’s book launch, I’m having a giveaway of amazing prizes such as a Kindle Fire HD and Amazon gift cards. For more information, please check out my website at

Thank you for spending time with us today, Yves. We wish you much success.


Traegonia the Ember Rune by K. S. Krueger

Welcome to The World of Traegonia where two young Traegons turn one boy’s ordinary world into something truly extraordinary. Where trees are homes, hawks are transportation, fairies exist and the creatures of the forests have their own stories to tell. Open yourself to possibility that just beyond the forest tree line a very different reality exists. 

Traegonia the Ember Rune, the second book in the Traegonia series, continues the adventures of a young boy and a community of, mystical creatures of the forest known as, Traegons. These sixteen inch tall forest dwelling creatures, that resemble a cross between a troll and a wingless dragon, are wise and inquisitive. Although, they may appear scary at first they are actually quite kind and civilized. When Dino is faced with leaving, Karia and Juna, his two young Traegon friends behind when his parents decide to go on vacation, he decides to smuggle them on board a plane to California. His family vacation turns into an adventure of a lifetime when they meet two young girls and a bold and a bit wild young Traegon named Fletch. This Northern California Mountain holds danger, mystery and a path of learning for each of these new friends.  Faced with forces of nature, a rogue cougar and the evolution of their own journeys, the group of unlikely friends must believe in themselves and each other to uncover the meaning of the Ember Rune and get off the mountain safely. New friendships are made, old ones revealed and a new community of Traegons is introduced.  Join Dino, Karia and Juna on this second exciting adventure and decide for yourself…. Do they exist?        

Do you Believe?

Read an excerpt!


Sometimes there are moments in our lives that can take us from an ordinary existence and propel us into an extraordinary series of events that will alter our lives forever. This is my story of one of those moments. Many years ago, I was just an average, ordinary kid. I had a best friend from school named Quinn. I lived in an average, ordinary, rural Midwest town with my mom and dad. My life was pretty ordinary, too, until I met Karia and Juna. They were not your average, ordinary friends; they are Traegons—young at the time like I was, and brother and sister to each other.    

Traegons are mystical creatures of the forest. The first time I saw them, I thought they resembled what I would imagine a cross between a troll and a wingless dragon might look like. Some might say Traegons are strange looking, maybe even fearsome. I guess I might have thought that, too, at first, but now that I have gotten to know them, to me they are nothing short of awesome. They are small, only about a foot and a half to two foot tall when they are full grown. They walk upright like us, but their skin is not at all like ours. It is light brown and looks somewhat like the bark of a tree. Some have many lines with deep grooves, while others are more like that of a smooth young tree. Their knuckles look a little like raised, round knots. The males have a long muzzle with a square jaw and a single, long, fang-like dark tooth that protrudes upward, from one side of their bottom jaw. They have pointed ears that stand up, curving slightly forward. Some, like Juna, have wavy white hair, and others have none. They have large hands with only three fingers and an opposable thumb. They also have broad feet with three toes. The females have much softer-looking faces, still long but with more of a pointed muzzle. Their ears are also large but lie down at the sides of their heads. They have feathers for hair, and their hands are slightly smaller than the males’, but with long, slender fingers. 

Their clothing looks to be handmade. It is natural in color, so they are able to blend into their surroundings rather easily. They wear pouches, jewelry, and other embellishments, many of which they make themselves from found items or trade for with others within their community. They are skilled and civilized. Some might even say they are more civilized than we humans are, or at least some of us. They live at peace with the Earth, each other, and all of nature. They have families just like humans do, with a mother, father, and children. They are hunters, gatherers, carpenters, artisans, herbalists, and inventors. They live in trees, underground, or anywhere they can hide and remain undiscovered. They are incredible creatures, and since I have a gift for drawing, I have filled journals with sketches of them over the years. I started the first journal on the very first day I met them. Of course I have kept all of it hidden—the journals and the Traegons—and I only share this with you now because they have given me permission to tell our story. 

There are Traegon villages out there, everywhere. I have only seen Karia and Juna’s village on a few occasions, and it was only when I was taken there by Karia through a process they call summoning. These incredible creatures do not make themselves known to everyone, so I consider myself lucky that I was one of the chosen ones. 

The first year that I met them, their village, which is located somewhere in a forest near where my family often went for picnics and weekend fishing trips, was nearly destroyed by an unscrupulous developer. He wanted to bulldoze the forest, all of it, for his own selfish reasons. We came to learn of an old Traegon prophecy which is why we were brought together. I believe it was fate, really. That was when my ordinary world became extraordinary because we realized then that we can do anything we put our hearts and minds to. We just have to believe in ourselves, in each other, and in what we wish to accomplish. 

That was just the beginning of many adventures we would have. Since then, we have become great friends. Herein is the tale of another of our amazing adventures. You may or may not believe my story, but that’s okay. Just open your mind to the possibility and decide for yourself…

Read the reviews!

As soon as you start this novel you are in the middle of action. An old Traegonia prophecy that had brought the protagonists together was the beginning of an adventurous life for them in the process of which they learned many things in life together. There is a sweet mention of a game Track 20 which was innovatively created as a combination of hide-and-seek and Marco Polo. The game to me appears to be an initiative by the two different species to make a step forward to come closer to each other. This had been the very code of success for them in the first novel in this series. 

Every impending event in the story is foretold or sensed by someone or the other and that keeps the adventure alive in this novel. The blazing fires which scared Karia in her dreams did have a link to the looming fate that the Traegons and Dino had to face together. The cute little explanations of what California, mountains and planes are to someone who has never seen them in their life will keep the young ones pepping with curiosity. 

Oracle Blastar’s role is as always an interesting one, unveiling old mysteries and giving way to the new ones. The way he sits for a deep thought is quite amusing as karia and Juna always think that he has gone off to sleep. Such tit bits make the tale humorous and enticing. This series also has some interesting adventure on the cliffs and some tight gripping moments. 

The second series is refreshing and has lots of action and moments. The pace is really good and there no dull moments. The characters are always up on their sleeves for something or the other. A good read for the teenagers and grown-ups who are still kids. Loads of fun and activities packed with this novel, so get your kids reading…”

–Sweta, Bookreviews for Booklovers by Booklovers

“The characters have such good friendships and connect…K.S. Krueger can alwayg bring extraordinary adventure.”

–YA Books All The Way!

Although her background has been in business, K.S. Krueger has always loved to write. She has written poetry and several children’s stories originally for her eldest daughter. Kim enjoys the idea of seeing the world through the eyes of her imagination and finds herself submerged in the worlds she creates. Imagination has never been in short supply ever since she was a child. 

Because her Traegonia series rides a fine line between fantasy and reality, it calls each reader to decide for themselves if they BELIEVE!  Kim has always believed that when you find something you truly love to do, even if you think it is just a dream, find your passion, the gift that is within you, believe in yourself and follow that dream. “Let yourself be open to the possibilities that await. You never know where they might take you.” 

Kim is a wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend. She is a writer, businesswoman, Reiki practitioner and spiritual person. She loves animals, nature and kids. Kim has lived in the Suburbs of Chicago all her life. She is creative and always tries to foster creativity in her own children as well as in others. You can visit Kim’s website at


Interview with K.S. Krueger, Author of the Traegonia Series

Thank you for joining us today, Kim Krueger. Can you please start off by telling us a bit about yourself?

Thanks for having me, I am a wife and mom, I have three daughters ages 9, 11 and 21. We also have a dog, a cat, a love bird and a bunny rabbit. They all keep me very busy. 

When did you first get bit by the writing bug?

When my oldest daughter was 3 she had an allergic reaction to some medicine. I was at the time a single mom and stayed alone with her all night long in the hospital, sleeping very little. When she finally fell asleep I went into the quiet empty hallway with a pad of paper and started writing a story about a princess and a flower and have been writing stories and poetry ever since. 

Why did you decide to write stories for children?

I think the types of stories I write just choose me. I didn’t set out to write children’s stories and actually have other projects that are not geared toward children. It just seemed to work out that way; probably because I have children and in many ways they inspire me. 

Do you believe it is harder to write books for a younger audience?

No, I think writing is a creative outlet and when you let the stories flow and develop, any number of wonderful ideas can surface from that creative place within all of us.  

What is your favorite part of writing for young people?

My favorite part of writing whether it is for young people or the young at heart is the impact the stories have. When someone is touched by something I have written, or when someone who doesn’t like to read, is moved to pick up the book, because they saw the sculptures of the characters, or someone is inspired by the books, these are the moments that feed my soul and bring joy to my heart. 

Can you tell us what your latest book is all about?

My latest book, Traegonia the Ember Rune, is the continuing adventures of a young boy from the Midwest. But first let me tell you about book one. Traegonia the Sunbow Prophecy is about Dino, an average boy from the Midwest, who has a fateful encounter with two young Traegons, in a local forest. Traegons are sixteen inch tall forest dwelling creatures that resemble a cross between a troll and a wingless dragon. Looking beyond outward appearances, Dino chooses to find out more about them and discovers friendship in this most unlikely meeting. When the home of the Traegons, becomes threatened by an unscrupulous developer, Dino and his new friends Karia and Juna, must work together to stop the destruction that looms. An ancient Traegonian Prophecy is revealed and the three friends find that their friendship is the key that sets the prophecy in motion. Follow them as the adventure unfolds and the World of Traegonia is unveiled.

In Traegonia the Ember Rune, when Dino is faced with leaving, Karia and Juna, his two young Traegon friends, behind when his parents decide to take a vacation, the three devise a plan to smuggle Karia and Juna on board a plane to California. His family vacation turns into an adventure of a lifetime when they meet two young girls and a bold and a bit wild young Traegon named Fletch. This Northern California Mountain holds danger, mystery and a path of learning for each of these new friends.  Faced with forces of nature, a rogue cougar and the evolution of their own journeys, the group of unlikely friends must believe in themselves and each other to uncover the meaning of the Ember Rune and get off the mountain safely. New friendships are made, old ones are revealed and a new community of Traegons is introduced.

What inspired you to write it?

I was inspired to write the Traegonia series when a friend and former neighbor, Dino C. Crisanti, created a couple of the sculptures that would become Traegons. My husband went next door to help Dino move a piece of furniture and happened to see one of the creature sculptures. He thought they were so cool that he called me over to see them as well. The three of us talked about how cool it would be to give them a world and a life and since I loved to write the task was mine. I tell people all the time that inspiration can come from anywhere; you just have to be open to the possibilities.

Where can readers purchase a copy?

Both Traegonia the Sunbow Prophecy and Traegonia the Ember Rune are available through our website, where you can also view the incredible sculptures of some of the characters. The books are also available through and Barnes and You can also request the books at your local book store where they can order it for you as well.

Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?

As I have already mentioned we have a full website with a market place to purchase the books, t-shirts and other really neat items. You can check out the meet the characters page to view the sculptures and the characters bios. We also have a contest page where we post writing contests and other creative contests. We have a curriculum available for teachers and educators to download for free if they would like to use the books in their classroom. If you would like to see additional pictures from some of the events we have attended and those we will be attending, you can follow us on our Facebook page at World of Traegonia.

What is up next for you?

We are currently working on the third book in the series, which is yet to be titled, but I can give you a little sneak peek into what is coming. In book three, Dino, Karia and Juna head to New York, where small groups of rogue Traegons have taken up residence within the city. I could go on but I won’t you’ll just have to wait until it is done. There are also 10 illustrations in the first book and as requested by our readers, ‘more pictures’, there are 20 illustrations in the second book. We will have at least that many in book 3. 

Do you have anything else to add?

Oh, yes I do, I almost forgot to tell you about our sightings page. On our website at we have a page where you can view a book trailer for The Sunbow Prophecy as well as other sightings and investigations. Because Traegons live anywhere there is earth, trees and places where they can hide and remain undiscovered, they are all over the world and sometimes closer than you might think. So the next time you are walking through the park or your local forest and you hear a noise in the brush, look carefully, because as my 9year old says, “It’s not always a squirrel mom!” Take a look and decide for yourself…Do they Exist?

Do you Believe?

Thank you for spending time with us today, Kim. We wish you much success.

Thank you, and always Believe!