ToM: The Ritual

I was so excited to dive back into this universe! Tales of Mentara is a series that will always be close to my heart and I am happy to announce that the second book in the series will be coming May 17th. The Ritual focuses more on Tomas, the leader of The Orphans. Anger issues and Charlotte’s smart mouth aren’t the only things he has to worry about in this book. Here is the summary:

Five children stranded in a strange world continue their adventures in the land known as Mentara. Twelve-year-old Charlotte feels the weight of her mistake in bringing her friends here. The local tribe of children who call themselves The Orphans are in a constantly warring state with a neighboring tribe, The Bomen. Drawn into this fight because of her magical abilities, Charlotte struggles to keep her friends safe while defending a group of strangers she is starting to see as family.
Tomas, the leader of The Orphans, is drawn to the kind and motherly Lena, impressed by the strong and intelligent Fred, and bewildered by the ever-moody Charlotte. He has his own personal issues to deal with while he prepares for a ritual that will change his status in the eyes of his people forever. But is this path he has chosen, this future he has worked and planned for what he really wants? Is it too late to change his mind and explore these newfound feelings of wanderlust?

I consider these books dark fantasy because they dive into horrors such as murder. On Mentara, death is a common, everyday occurrence, even if murder is involved. Our five children from Earth don’t exactly see it that way. The stories also touch on topics children of this age (10 to 13) have to deal with like puberty and quarrels with friends. This is fair warning for parents who aren’t ready for their kids to explore such topics. I don’t pull punches.

My amazing cover artist from Bad Doggie Designs is currently working on the cover for The Ritual and I am waiting on pins and needles! I adored the first cover so I can’t wait to see his take on this one. I will be sure to share once I have the finished result.

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Timothy Mean and the Time Machine

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My review of Timothy Mean and the Time Machine by William A.E. Ford.

Rating: 4 Stars

Review:
This was a fun story about a naughty boy who builds his own time machine. Timothy Mean travels back and forth in time, playing pranks. The illustrations were cute with humorous details. The rhyming made the story more enjoyable for my kids. A great read for young ones!

Daddy Dragon Saves the Day

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My review of Daddy Dragon Saves the Day by Marie Blair.

Rating: 5 Stars

Review:
A great rhyming story for beginning readers. I have always loved rhyming stories and this one did not disappoint. I read it to my five-year-old and we both enjoyed the lovely pictures. The dragon family was relatable and the moral of the story sound. My daughter said her favorite part was when the mother came home, glad to see her family safe.
I would recommend this one to families with boys and girls alike, since any child can enjoy this story of dragons, family, and behaving for your parents. I would certainly read more from this author!

A Turtle’s Magical Adventure

My review of A Turtle’s Magical Adventure by Wanda Luthman

Rating: 4 Stars

Review:
A cute story about liking yourself and discovering your own unique qualities. The wizard seemed like kind of a jerk but did the right thing in the end. My child was glad to see Tad return home safely at the end of the story.
There were some editing issues and parts of the story did drag a bit, but overall we enjoyed it.

 

Updates on Works in Progress

Hello, all! I have been absent from the blog for a while and for that I apologize. Things were pretty hectic last year but I plan to get back to reading and reviewing indie children’s books more this year.

A few things to announce: first of all writing on the second Fluffy Folktales book has been slow going. The characters are being a pain in my neck. (Cooperate, people!) It has been fun to write so far, but I’m sort of letting the story simmer and other projects have grabbed my attention while the two MCs squabble in the background. It will take time, but Beauty and the Beastly Herb Gardener will come to light eventually.

One of those other projects I mentioned above is the second Tales of Mentara book. It is complete! The five children stuck on a strange, magical planet are really going through some stuff this time, folks. While beta readers are enjoying it, and probably ripping me a new one, I am taking a breather before I get to revisions. The cover artist will once again be Bad Doggie Designs, who made such a beautiful cover for book one, The Portal. Here is the synopsis for Book Two:
Five children stranded in a strange world continue their adventures in the land known as Mentara. Twelve-year-old Charlotte feels the weight of her mistake in bringing her friends here. The local tribe of children who call themselves The Orphans are in a constantly warring state with a neighboring tribe, The Bomen. Drawn into this fight because of her magical abilities, Charlotte struggles to keep her friends safe while defending a group of strangers she is starting to see as family.
Tomas, the leader of The Orphans, is drawn to the kind and motherly Lena, impressed by the strong and intelligent Fred, and bewildered by the ever-moody Charlotte. He has his own personal issues to deal with while he prepares for a ritual that will change his status in the eyes of his people forever. But is this path he has chosen, this future he has worked and planned for what he really wants? Is it too late to change his mind and explore these newfound feelings of wanderlust?

Tales of Mentara: Book Two: The Ritual will release in a couple months. An exact date is forthcoming, along with a preview of the cover. Are you ready to continue the adventure? Stayed tuned for more details!

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!

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