First Chapter Review: The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper by Fiona Ingram

I am reading The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper, the third book in Fiona Ingram’s Chronicles of the Stone series. Having read the first two books in this pre-teen action adventure series, I have high hopes for this one.

BLURB: A plane crash! Lost in the jungle! Hunted by their old enemy, will Adam, Justin, and Kim survive long enough to find the Third Stone of Power? With only a young boy, Tukum, as their guide, the kids make their way through the dense and dangerous jungle to find the lost city of stone gods, where the Stone of Power might be located. River rafting on a crocodile-infested river and evading predators are just part of this hazardous task. Of course, their old adversary Dr. Khalid is close behind as the kids press on. But he is not the worst of their problems. This time Adam will clash with a terrible enemy who adopts the persona of an evil Aztec god, Tezcatlipoca, and is keen to revive the ancient tradition of human sacrifice. Adam, Justin, and Tukum must play a dreadful ball game of life and death and maybe survive. Will they emerge alive from the jungle? Will Dr. Khalid find the third Stone of Power before they do?

COVER: Just what I would expect for this series. It fits in well with the covers of the other titles, and its colorful image catches the eye.

FIRST CHAPTER: When Adam opens his eyes, the screaming of tearing metal has stopped. Shaken up by the plane crash, Adam, Justin and Kim need to figure out what to do now that their guide is injured. They quickly realize being alone in a jungle filled with hungry animals and unknown tribes places them in some of the greatest danger they have ever been in.

KEEP READING: Definitely! I’ve loved this series since the beginning, so there is no doubt that this latest installment should be just as thrilling. Dropped immediately into the action, the reader will be eager to find out what happens next and how Adam, Justin and Kim will figure out their next steps.

ORDER YOUR COPY

Amazon (print): https://amzn.to/39swq1j

Amazon (kindle): https://amzn.to/3iSb549

B&N eBook: https://bit.ly/3psW6QL

B&N Print: https://bit.ly/2Ymyf9E

Kobo: eBook: https://bit.ly/2Yi9wTB

iBook: https://apple.co/2KSX8GG

iTunes: https://apple.co/3qUFXny

Google Books: https://bit.ly/2MyMKEk

I received a free digital copy from the author. This first chapter review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way. Look for my full review coming soon!

Book Trailer Blitz: Our Friendship Matters by Kimberley B. Jones


OUR FRIENDSHIP MATTERS

Kimberley B. Jones
Rhetoric Askew Publishing, LLC
YA

Two teenage friends, Sasha and Leah, live a comfortable life in the affluent St. Louis suburbs. They attend a well-established private Christian academy and the only thing on their mind as they enter their senior year is graduation and their senior prom. When tragedy strikes,
however, the best friends are torn apart because of social tensions, ignorance, miscommunications, and fear.

Our Friendship Matters reveals a fictional story mirroring real-life
cultural tensions and racial injustice – a young black boy, Mitchell, is
mistaken for someone else and tragically killed by police. Tensions
rise among the community, citizens are angry. One night, while Sasha is out, she sees her old childhood friend protesting the death of Mitchell. Curious about him and wondering if there is anything, she could do to become involved, Sasha talks to her friends about it. Sasha’s white friends are not interested in getting involved and her parents forbid her from taking part. Sasha’s makes a momentous decision to go against all the advice she is given and joins her old friends in protest. The fight for justice in Mitchell’s name causes a rift in her relationships.

An argument with Leah drives a wedge between them and leads Leah to take the opposite viewpoint, taking sides with those who are supporting different viewpoints, while Sasha’s boyfriend is jealous of the time she is spending with her old friends, he breaks off their relationship. The girlfriends, one black and one white, are unaware of an escalating war between the groups they support, and chaos and fear continue—lines are drawn and sides are chosen.

Our Friendship Matters is a beautifully thoughtful coming-of-age story about two friends who are forced to take a deeper look at their culture through different angles. The easy-to-read story is full of drama, well-rounded characters and a positive narrative that will engage readers of all ages.

 

 

As I pulled up into Ricardo’s driveway, Victoria and two other girls who attended Eastview were standing there holding signs that said, “Justice for Mitchell.” I was sweating more than ever. Scared of both the police and the girls I didn’t even know who were going to be getting into my car.

“I didn’t know you were doing signs. I would’ve made me one.”

Ricardo and some guys were busy placing things in the car’s trunk.

“Are you okay? The time is now,” said Ricardo.

“I’m ready but a little nervous, too.”

“You shouldn’t be nervous. All we are going to do is go downtown and making a statement that we want justice. Once we are done, we’ll come back home. I won’t let anything happen to you but, if something breaks
out, I need you to look for Victoria and get in your car and go home. And if something happens to me, I need you to look for Victoria then go to my
house and warn my peeps.”

As the girls got into my car, Victoria told me I could march, and chant the same thing they were planning on saying.

I was missing Leah. This could have been a positive moment that we could’ve shared together. I was still hoping she would come to her senses and realize that our fight from our disagreement was all crazy.

We arrived downtown, and I parked in the garage.

“Why didn’t you park on the streets?” Victoria said.

“My parents always told me to park in the garage so nothing would happen to my car.”

She laughed at me and said, “Well, you are driving a Mercedes. I would do the same if I had an expensive car.”

ORDER YOUR COPY
Amazon → https://amzn.to/2RKybNF

Kimberley B. Jones is a small country girl from St. George, SC. She
followed her heart in college writing children books. Recently she
decided to challenge herself and branch off to novels. She is your
typical nomad who moves from place to place. Not by choice, but her
husband serves in the military. She has a bachelors and masters in early childhood education. Kimberley is represented by Rhetaskew Publishing
company and is best known for her debut novel, Our Friendship Matters.
When she is not writing, she is either thinking of another topic or
reading. She loves writing, it gives her a chance to escape into another
human character and express herself, other than being your typical
mother and wife. If you don’t want to be on her bad side, then she needs her white chocolate mocha every morning. Some days Folgers breakfast blend coffee is okay.

 

http://www.pumpupyourbook.com

Home by Alison Neuman

A sweet and delightful story of going home is what you’ll find in Home by Alison Neuman.

A Persian cat named Fluffy is far from home thanks to a winter storm. She and her mouse friend Levi, along with Levi’s family, are on a journey back to Fluffy’s house in the hopes all of them can live together with Fluffy’s human.

This is the third book in a series featuring Fluffy and Levi, who uses a special wheelchair to get around. While it mostly stands alone, it would have been helpful if I read the first two books. A dog named Buster is mentioned twice in the book, but not ever seen or heard from. One must imagine he played a larger role in a different book in the series. There is mention of a mouse-hunting cat patrolling the warehouse and how Fluffy stayed close on the journey home in case she needed to protect the mice from surprise visitors, but they don’t make an appearance. This is a story of Fluffy using landmarks to find her way home and hoping Melissa finds it in her heart to open their home to Levi and his family. A simple story with a simple message of finding a place called home without a ton of obstacles along the way. Sometimes, those are the best kinds of stories, because you expect a happy ending.

Katherine Restoveix provided the artwork for all three of the books. They are charming and perfectly complement the story. The blue sky with wisps of clouds, the fluffy white snow from the storm, the furry purple slippers on Melissa’s feet, and the red and white barn dollhouse are all favorite illustrations of mine and bring the story to life. Children will love the stories for the illustrations alone, so they will want to read more about Fluffy and Levi.

The author’s passion for sharing underrepresented voices is clear in this series. I would recommend you read Home, but I suggest you start with Don’t Eat Family and Help from Friends if you want youngsters to fully understand Fluffy and Levi’s story.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Series: Friends & Family (Book 3)
Paperback: 28 pages
Publisher: Dream Write Publishing Ltd. (April 4, 2020)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1988723728
ISBN-13: 978-1988723723

I received a digital copy of this book from the author through Pump Up Your Book. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Visit the author online at:

Website: www.alisonneuman.ca

Blog: http://www.alisonneuman.ca/blog/

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Alison_Neuman

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/alisonneuman.ca

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4375290.Alison_Neuman

Little Milly and the Great Lakes Series by Kelly McInenly (Giveaway)

In the first book of the Little Milly and the Great Lakes series, Marj and the Medal, readers meet Milly and her sisters. They are competing in Regatta day events and are determined to win something. After Marj competes in the solo canoe race, Little Milly ends up imparting some wise advice.

Series: Little Milly and the Great Lakes (Book 1)
Paperback: 24 pages
Publisher: Tellwell Talent (May 27, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0228808960
ISBN-13: 978-0228808961

Excerpt:

Smug as pie, Marj skipped off to claim her big loot,

The prize: A 1-gallon jar stuffed full of dried fruit.

“Marj, won’t you please share… just a wee apricot?”

“Prizes are for winners, and win you did not!”

Marj sat on the dock, pleased as mean Mr. Punch,

And gobbled her winnings… a victory lunch!

Check out Little Milly and the Great Lakes: Marj and the Medal (Book 1)

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.ca/Little-Milly-Great-Lakes-Medal/dp/0228808960/

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/little-milly-and-the-great-lakes-kelly-mcinenly/1131792651

Indigo/Chapters: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/little-milly-and-the-great/9780228808961-item.html

In Peg and the Party Line, Peg listens in on her neighbors’ conversations over the party line phone. Her shenanigans leave the Lake girls feeling a bit left out when they are discovered.

Series: Little Milly and the Great Lakes (Book 2)
Paperback: 24 pages
Publisher: Tellwell Talent (May 27, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0228808952
ISBN-13: 978-0228808954

 

Check out Little Milly and the Great Lakes: Peg and the Party Line (Book 2)

Amazon: https://www.amazon.ca/Little-Milly-Great-Lakes-Party/dp/0228808952/

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/little-milly-and-the-great-lakes-kelly-mcinenly/1131792650

Indigo/Chapters! https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/little-milly-and-the-great/9780228808954-item.html

In the third book, Bess and the Boil, Bess discovers she has a boil on her bottom. While their cure fixes the problem, the girls end up making quite a mess.

Series: Little Milly and the Great Lakes (Book 3)
Paperback: 24 pages
Publisher: Tellwell Talent (May 27, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0228808766
ISBN-13: 978-0228808763

These three rhyming stories follow a similar pattern young readers will easily recognize. They open with their grumpy father, then the girls’ adventures (or antics, you decide), and end with their father blissfully unaware of what happened that day followed by wisdom imparted by Little Milly as they sit in their beds. The nature of the adventures might cause some questions, since they are based on the life of the author’s grandmother, but children will laugh aloud as the Lake girls get themselves into some silly situations. Little Milly’s bits of wisdom allow parents to use these zany adventures as teaching points.

The illustrations by Sakshi Mangal are perfect for this series. They capture the quaintness of the Lakes’ waterfront cottage, while the girls’ attire and activities as viewed through the pictures speak to the era in which the girls grew up. The artist also captures the personalities of these sisters.

Check out Little Milly and the Great Lakes: Bess and the Boil (Book 3)

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.ca/Little-Milly-Great-Lakes-Bess/dp/0228808766/

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/little-milly-and-the-great-lakes-kelly-mcinenly/1131792655

Indigo/Chapters! https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/little-milly-and-the-great/9780228808763-item.html

I look forward to more books in the Little Milly and the Great Lakes series.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

I received PDF copies of these books from the author. These reviews contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

AUTHOR INTERVIEW

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

I am a Toronto-based negotiation consultant, distance runner and mother of two tween/teen boys. Writing Little Milly stories lets me escape my very male, urban world and tap into some of my memories of growing up in an outdoorsy and green smaller city (Ottawa) with my brother and sister.

When did you first get bit by the writing bug?

I always loved Creative Writing in school but never considered it as a profession or even a hobby. I entered the Gifted English program, won poetry contests and published a short story in a university publication. I have always found many ways to write in throughout my career in business, but these are more technical pieces like briefing documents, website copy and quarterly updates.

Why did you decide to write stories for children?

As a child, I loved it when my grandmother told me these stories. I wanted to try to capture the interest, imagination and giggles of kids in the same way. It is also something that gives me a new connection with my sons and my nieces who are excited and engaged by something as tangible as a printed book, not by the other dull and ambiguous details of adult life! 

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

YES! Kids are more honest, more distracted, more visual and more fun than adults! To account for this, I have tested my stories with kids, kept the books short and centered around an idea that would be new to today’s kids (party lines, regattas, boils…). I also engaged Sashi Mangal as my illustrator as she sees the world through the eyes of a child. You can see more of her beautiful work at Sakshi’s Illustrations

What is your favorite part of writing for young people?

To write for young people you have to remember what you enjoyed as a child. Reconnecting with my former favourite jokes, activities, foods, colours – anything that will bring some joy to a reader when they find it in my stories – is my favourite part of writing for young people. It makes me realize how much I have changed over the years, and not always for better… it feels good to be Little Kelly once in a while! 

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

Little Milly was my grandmother Mildred Lake’s nickname as a child. The Great Lakes are what I call her five sisters. They grew up without a mother and with a strict military father in the Maritimes in the early 1900s. They had few means, but always found adventure together. Each story centers around one of the sisters and ends with a moral. I have attached a Little Book of Morals activity for your young reader to complete. 

What inspired you to write it?

When my grandmother passed away, I had not written anything in years, but I felt inspired to write down the stories she used to tell me simply as a way to remember them. It ended up being a very enjoyable experience, but I still set them aside for another seven years until my kids were young readers and I realized there was a place for sweet, simple stories like these. 

What is up next for you?

More Milly… Ene and the Ivy, Flo and the Fishermen and Milly and the Mail are the next stories on deck for the Little Milly and the Great Lakes series. You can have your young reader appear in the illustrations if you send a photo to Little Milly to @littlemillyandthegreatlakes on Instagram. 

Big Brothers… Postcards From Heaven will tell, through the correspondence they sent home, the story of Little Milly’s three brothers who were killed on the front lines after sneaking into the military underage. 

Beginner Business… Foundation Before Creation is a business book for young people that I am co-authoring with my longtime friend and colleague, Julien Leblanc. It focuses on the soft skills you won’t learn in school but that are the key to success in business and life. 

Do you have anything else to add?

Kids can seek and find a bird hidden on each page of the Little Milly stories. I always loved finding the spider in the Little Critter series, so Little Kelly demanded I include this bit of fun.

GIVEAWAY!!!

Kelly McInenly will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Please click to Enter to win a $20 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

A Curse of Mayhem by Sunayna Prasad

Alyssa McCarthy thought she left magic behind for good. But, she was wrong. When her uncontrolled powers are unleashed on her hometown, her school, and her friends, Alyssa must boost her bravery and confidence to defeat Errol’s evil plan.

Published as Wizardry Goes Wild in 2016 and The Unruly Curse in 2019, A Curse of Mayhem by Sunayna Prasad continues the adventures of thirteen-year-old Alyssa after her return from Fiji. Now cared for by her godfather Alex, Alyssa lives the life of a normal teenager. She has a great group of friends and has a crush on a classmate. Alex and Alyssa have a good relationship now that Uncle Bruce is out of the picture. Normal flies out the window, however, as soon as Alyssa discovers her powers have returned with a vengeance and she can’t control when or how they will be unleashed. Her life now turned upside down, she learns with the help of her magical friend Simon about the curse Eerol placed on her and how she must boost her bravery and confidence if she ever hopes to defeat him.

The second book of the Magical Missions series opens with a startling revelation. This swift-moving plot encourages the reader to turn the pages. Filled with magic, chaos, and a bit of humor, A Curse of Mayhem is an exciting story with a protagonist middle-grade and teen readers will relate well to.  The underlying message of increasing your bravery and confidence is nicely woven in.

This reader found challenges with the choppy dialogue and how totally unsympathetic the adults acted. A top-notch editor could help shape this story in those areas and perhaps break up the enormous amount of dialogue with some narration and description; though when the author creates descriptions she does a fantastic job of it. It is my sincere hope we see a continuation of Alyssa’s adventures in a new story soon.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

File Size: 2839 KB
Print Length: 173 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: S.A. Prasad Publishing (July 15, 2019)
Publication Date: July 15, 2019
Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
Language: English
ASIN: B07SGLLF8W

I received a digital copy from the author through Pump Up Your Book. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.