Cover Reveal!

Hello, all!

I wanted to pop in and share this lovely cover for the second book in the Tales of Mentara series with you. The Ritual is coming out May 17th, so prepare yourselves for another magical adventure in a strange world.


Isn’t it wonderful? Tomas looks just as I imagined he would. The cover was designed by the always amazing Bad Doggie Designs, who I hope to do the entire series for me.

Stay tuned for more information about this upcoming middle grade fantasy adventure.

Timothy Mean and the Time Machine


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

Rating: 4 Stars

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


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

Rating: 5 Stars

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

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


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

Rating: 3 Stars

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!

The Kite and the Boy


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

Rating: 5 Stars

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.

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!


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




Amazon Universal:

Amazon Universal:

Amazon Universal:

Ship Rats


My review of Ship Rats by Rhian Waller.

Rating: 5 Stars

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!

Little Pencil Finds His Forever Friends


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

Rating: 4 Stars

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.