Paula and her Multi-coloured Hair

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My review of Paula and her Multi-coloured Hair by Carmen Parets

Rating: 3 Stars

Review:
My four-year-old liked this one. The simple, hand drawn pictures were cute and kept her attention. The message of love of family was well-done without being overly preachy. However, there were some editing issues that were pretty noticeable in a book this short.
Overall, enjoyable story with bright, colorful pictures young children will love. Fix those errors, though, so kids learning to read won’t be confused!

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A Fun Twist on a Classic Fairy Tale!

Now that Tales of Mentara: The Portal is out, it’s time to get back into the world of fairy tale fun with the second Fluffy Folktales novel.

For those new to the series, these are stand-alone stories that take place in the same universe with a few recurring characters. The stories are clean romantic comedies. The first book, Once Upon a Pastry, was about a witch, a baker, and the spell that would change their lives forever.

Book two is titled Beauty and the Beastly Herb Gardener. This story will be a twist on the usual Beauty and the Beast tale but with more laughs.
Our female protagonist, Helena, is an outgoing, talkative girl who is trying to figure out what she wants to do with her life. Her best friend, Carter, is a shy boy who likes to dress like a woman and avoids his family at all costs. When Helena becomes lost in Labyrinth Forest, she happens upon a strange man who keeps his entire body covered, even his eyes. Nok is an herb gardener with a bad attitude, but Helena’s curiosity has her coming back often to learn from him. Will the spark of friendship develop between them or will Nok’s social issues and Helena’s mouth keep them at arm’s length?
Below is an unedited teaser from the first chapter:

The guards laughed loud and hard as the prince pushed his mare past her again, this time making sure to knock into her hard enough that she fell to the ground. Mud from an early morning rain splattered across the woman, ruining her blouse and skirt, and coating her hands and face.
“Oh, I know you did not!” The woman shot to her feet, flinging mud from herself and pointing a finger at the retreating prince. “I’m not done with you, Your Majesty!”
Tellum turned on his mount to face her, lifting his chin and gazing at her in disgust. “You have something more to add, hag?”
“Oh, I have something to add, all right! You think because of your title and your looks that you can just do as you please. You think everyone loves you. Well, little man, I’ll show you what people really think about you! If the world saw the ugliness you hold on the inside, they wouldn’t be so quick to throw their love at you.” As she spoke, the woman reached a hand down the front of her blouse, retrieving a small bag. Opening the tie string, she tossed what appeared to be colored sand his way. “You are about to see the true power of Rhiann the witch!”

I hope you enjoyed that taste of Beauty and the Beastly Herb Gardener. I plan to have this one out late this year. Have a great weekend!

The Kite and the Boy

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My review of The Kite and the Boy by Aaron Duffy.

Rating: 5 Stars

Review:
The illustrations were charming black and white with lovely details. The story itself is about a boy who spends all the money he has on a kite that he loves. The message is wonderful and it is executed perfectly. My daughter enjoyed both the story and the pictures. I recommend it for children ages five to ten.

Book Signing Event!

Next month Kyra and I will attend a book signing hosted by our local library. We will sell and sign a number of our published works, mostly focusing on children’s books. All these titles have beautiful new covers! Here are the books that will be available:

Spunky and the Wizard’s Chair
Spunky and the Dolphin Palace
Where’s My Kitty?
Hunting Vampires with Grandma
Tales of Mentara: Book One: The Portal

The Portal is my newest release about a group of children who become stuck on another planet. The first in a series, this fantastical adventure story is aimed at middle grade children ages eleven to thirteen, although my older readers have already left wonderful reviews about it.

We’ll be doing something different with the two books in the Spunky’s Magical Adventures series this time. We will have the regular color version available, but we will also have a limited number of Special Edition grayscale copies available for purchase. These copies are perfect for coloring. Here’s the fun part: if you or your child colors a page in the book and emails me a picture of it, I will post it with your name on my blog! So, let’s see those coloring skills.

If you are in the Grifton area of North Carolina (Near Greenville, home of East Carolina University) on that day, drop by and get a signed copy of an Uzzell book!

Location: Grifton Public Library, Grifton, NC
Date: Saturday, May 19th, 2018
Time: 11:00am – 1:00pm

The Portal is Here!

On Friday, the first book in my new fantasy adventure series went live! I am excited to present to you, The Portal, Tales of Mentara: Book One. This fantasy adventure is aimed at children ages eleven to thirteen. Reviews are already streaming in. Here are a few snippets of what people are saying:

“All in all, this is a fun little adventure that anybody can enjoy regardless of their generation” ~ Goodreads Reviewer

“I thoroughly enjoyed Uzzell’s most recent work, and I look forward to seeing what she does next!” ~ Knightingale Reviews

Uzzell has created a novel fantasy fans of all ages can enjoy.” ~ Amazon Customer

Reviews like this make my heart swell with pride and joy. This book has been a long time coming and I’m pleased that everyone is loving it so far. Thanks to everyone who has read The Portal. And to those who haven’t gotten their hands on a copy yet, what are you waiting for?

Amazon – http://authl.it/9sw?d
Other sites (Barnes & Noble, iTunes, etc.) – https://www.books2read.com/u/4jw6BX
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39836110-the-portal
Lulu – http://www.lulu.com/shop/product-23560343.html

Guest Post by J. S. Burke

Today I have the talented children’s book author J.S. Burke here to talk about her books. Take it away, J.S.!

Ashley, thank you so much for inviting me to your marvelous blog!
I’m J.S. Burke, author of the Dragon Dreamer books and other series. I live in Georgia with my family and rescue pets.  I’ve worked as an author, artist, teacher, and marine biologist, studying creatures of the dark abyss and diving on coral reefs. I love books, chocolate, and the sea!

DRAGON DREAMER BANNER DIVER J.S. Burke COME READ #1

The sea is vast, beautiful, exotic, and much remains unexplored. I decided to become a marine biologist when I was a child. I’ve conducted research onboard ships and while diving; my research papers are published in science journals.

I wasn’t planning to write a novel until a young dragon visited me. Arak flew out to sea and crashed. To my surprise, an octopus appeared. Octopuses are natural shapeshifters, intelligent and creative, with abilities far beyond ours. Octopus Scree rescues Dragon Arak; they overcome great differences and become friends. I began to write and more characters appeared. So I learned the art of writing a novel, which is quite different from writing a research paper. A third book is growing, with new and original characters!

The Dragon Dreamer books share my deep love of the sea and our world. Arak, a misfit golden dragon, loves “the smell and taste of sea spray, the rhythmic sound of the waves, and the remarkable colors. Sunrise waves were purple and rose. Sometimes the sea sparkled like a field strewn with cut diamonds.”

DRAGON DREAMER by JS Burke front cover

“The Dragon Dreamer” and “Dragon Lightning” by J.S. Burke are the first two books in the Dragon Dreamer series. This Science Fantasy Adventure has dragons and an undersea world; it’s written in layers for readers age 9 to 99. They’ve won awards in Science Fiction, Science Fantasy, Young Adult, and Children’s categories.

The Dragon Dreamer series can be read on many levels. One reviewer wrote that “The Dragon Dreamer” has a “profound human message.” Children and teens have made Halloween costumes to dress as characters from my books. Arak, a misfit dragon, and Scree, a feisty Healer octopus, are popular with all ages. These books are available as e-books (Kindle, Nook, KOBO, iBook, more) and paperback; audible versions should be available this year.

DRAGON LIGHTNING Front Cover 9_20_16 low res 5x7 72dpi

“Fantasy Snowflakes Coloring Book” by J.S. Burke is an adult coloring book with hand-drawn mandalas woven from wildlife. These unique designs are fantasy snowflakes grown by dragons in the Dragon Dreamer series. “Crystal Geometry” and “Crystal Colors” are the first two books in the “Crystal Science” educational series (used in school systems).

I love Science and Art; they’re both based on patterns. I drew illustrations for my research papers and cartoons for my “Crystal Science” educational books. I painted the covers for my Dragon Dreamer books and drew a fantasy flake or illustration for each chapter. I’ve made a line of jewelry based on the Dragon Dreamer books.

FANTASY SNOWFLAKES by J.S. BURKE 17-09-88 front cover 10_11_17 used maybe

I’m currently drawing more fantasy snowflakes for “Fantasy Snowflakes Coloring Book II” and writing Dragon Dreamer book III. It’s fun to see the world through the eyes of a dragon or an octopus!
Thank you so much Ashley and everyone who stops by and reads this!

J.S. Burke

 

MEDIA LINKS for J.S. BURKE:

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/Jenny-S-Burke-721518861218158/
GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8283255.J_S_Burke
AMAZON: www.amazon.com/J.-S.-Burke/e/B00NVRVHWE/
WEBSITE: http://www.jennysburke.com
NEWSLETTER: http://www.jennysburke.com/bio–letter–events
TWITTER:  https://twitter.com/TheDragonDreamr   
BOOKBUB: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/j-s-burke-49b143b6-fbae-4b3a-a5c0-7571b588de62
GOOGLE+: https://plus.google.com/109374949212770892369

BOOK LINKS:  THE DRAGON DREAMER by J.S. BURKE
Amazon Universal: http://authl.it/B00K9DHTU2?d
NOOK: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-dragon-dreamer-j-s-burke/1120629824
ITunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-dragon-dreamer/id933034842
KOBO: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/the-dragon-dreamer

BOOK LINKS: DRAGON LIGHTNING by J.S. BURKE
Amazon Universal: http://authl.it/B01MA1ZOJ6?d
NOOK: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dragon-lightning-j-s-burke/1124857029
ITunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1166420789
KOBO: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/dragon-lightning

BOOK LINKS: FANTASY SNOWFLAKES COLORING BOOK by J.S. BURKE
Amazon Universal: https://www.relinks.me/0996042555

Ship Rats

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My review of Ship Rats by Rhian Waller.

Rating: 5 Stars

Review:
Great book!
I thoroughly enjoyed this book about Lu, her sisters, and their adventure at sea. The story was interesting and the characters lovable. The way the author conveyed how rats think and speak was perfect for children and hopefully will help them better appreciate these often misunderstood animals. The fact that the series will benefit a non-profit organization makes it even better.
Five stars for an amazing story!

A New Middle Grade Series!

Hello, everyone.
Today I am excited to reveal the cover for my upcoming book Tales of Mentara: Book One: The Portal, or The Portal for short. This is the first in a fantasy adventure series aimed at middle grade children ages eleven to thirteen. In all honesty, even adults will enjoy this magical series. Here is the back-of-the-book summary:

Five children find themselves stuck in a beautiful jungle on a strange planet. But all is not as peaceful as it first appears.

Twelve-year-old Charlotte has been different all her life. It isn’t just that her father left when she was a child, or her mother ignores her. What really makes her an outsider is the fact that she has strange abilities that she can’t explain and struggles to control. Everything changes in the summer of 1993 when she feels drawn to a certain spot outside of town. Unfortunately, she isn’t alone when things go sideways.

When the children realize they are definitely not on Earth anymore, they have to learn not only how to fend for themselves, but how to get along. The problem is, even Charlotte has no idea how to get off the alien planet. And, perhaps, she doesn’t want to.

It doesn’t take long for the five to realize they aren’t alone in this strange land and that life here is more dangerous than they could have imagined.

Portal teaser1

This book, or the entire series in fact, has been a long time coming and I am delighted that it is finally ready to share with the world. The Portal is scheduled to release on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, and other online retailers on April 13th, 2018. It will be available for pre-order soon.

Here it is, the lovely cover featuring one of the lead characters, Charlotte. I’m pleased as punch with this design by Bad Doggie Designs. Stay tuned for more information on The Portal and have a great day!

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Little Pencil Finds His Forever Friends

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My review of Little Pencil Finds His Forever Friends by Christine Calabrese.

Rating: 4 Stars

Review:
This was a great little book for pre-schoolers. The pages were bright and colorful, grabbing my child’s attention. The rhyming schemes were fun and easy to follow. As an added bonus, it teaches small children how to properly hold a pencil for writing. If my daughter, with her short attention span, can sit through a book and show real interest, then I am sold on it.

Franky the Finicky Flamingo

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My review of Franky the Finicky Flamingo by Wanda Luthman.

Rating: 5 Stars

Review:
What a cute book! This is perfect for parents to read to small children. An entertaining rhyming story that even my older children enjoyed. The illustrations were just adorable.
Five stars!