Halfway to Harmony : Reflection and Review

Halfway to Harmony places two children on an unexpected adventure! Can one boy learn to find peace after loss?

I’m happy to partner with Turn the Page Tours to feature Halfway to Harmony by Barbara O’ Connor! For more information, check out their launch post.

Halfway to Harmony: Book Information

Halfway to Harmony by Barbara O'Connor.

Halfway to Harmony by Barbara O’Connor
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Genre: Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction
Length: 240 pages
Release Date: January 12, 2021

Goodreads | Macmillan


A heartfelt middle-grade novel from New York Times bestselling author Barbara O’Connor about a boy whose life is upended after the loss of his older brother–timeless, classic, and whimsical.

Walter Tipple is looking foradventure. He keeps having a dream that his big brother, Tank, appears before him and says, “Let’s you and me go see my world, little man.” But Tank went to the army and never came home, and Walter doesn’t know how to see the world without him.

Then he meets Posey, the brash new girl from next door, and an eccentric man named Banjo, who’s off on a bodacious adventure of his own. What follows is a summer of taking chances, becoming braver, and making friends–and maybe Walter can learn who he wants to be without the brother he always wanted to be like.

Halfway to Harmony is an utterly charming story about change and growing up.

Halfway to Harmony: Author Information

Halfway to Harmony Author, Barbara O Connor

Barbara O’Connor’s awards include the Parents Choice Gold and Silver Award, American Library Association Notable Books, IRA Notable Books for a Global Society, School Library Journal Best Books, and Kirkus Best Books. Her books have been nominated for children’s choice awards in 38 states and voted as a state favorite by children in South Carolina, Indiana, Kansas, and South Dakota.

Barbara was born and raised in Greenville, South Carolina. She draws on her Southern roots to write award-winning books for children in grades 3 to 6.

She currently lives in Asheville, NC. Her latest book is Wish, a middle grade novel published by FSG.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads

Review and Reflection

I was very excited upon learning that Barbara O’ Connor is releasing a new book! My previous experience with her work is Wish, and I fell in love with it! I looked forward to reading Halfway to Harmony, since I appreciate stories centering on friendship and finding oneself.

Halfway to Harmony conveys grief and loss through the eyes of Walter Tipple. Walter is trying to move on from the loss of his brother Tank. Throughout the book, Walter experiences adventure through his experiences with Posey, a new neighbor full of spunk! In addition to helping a man seek out his hot air balloon, Walter learns the meaning of kindred spirits. Walter certainly endures quite a journey of self discovery!

Halfway to Harmony Favorites

I compiled a short list of things I appreciated about Halfway to Harmony:

  • Addressing loss with care. From the start, Walter shares with us that Tank ‘is never returning home’. Special memories are treated with care, and we’re taken through family changes in his eyes. I feel that this is a thoughtful way of addressing loss, especially to a younger audience.
  • Evolving friendships. Walter learns to trust in others through Posey. Her sassy personality guides Walter in learning to trust in himself. Through many experiences (both emotional and fun), Walter begins the long process of healing.
  • Building confidence. In addition to Walter’s grieving process, he also learns to believe in himself. For many children, this is such an arduous journey, yet Barbara O’Connor approaches Walter’s road with great care.

Final Thoughts

To sum up, Halfway to Harmony is a thoughtful and lovely middle grade story. It addresses Walter’s personal journey through loss with great care, and we embark on fun adventures along the way. I highly recommend this book!

Thank you to Turn the Page Tours and Macmillian Children’s Publishing Group for the gifted digital copy!


Enter to win one (1) finished copy of Halfway to Harmony! The giveaway runs through Monday January 11-Monday January 18, 2021.
Rafflecopter Link: https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/1e4a114d16/

Please click on the banner below to view the upcoming tour schedule!

‘Those Who Prey’ By Jennifer Moffett | Book Review

It’s my tour stop on the Those Who Prey blog tour! Many thanks to Turn the Page Tours for letting me participate. For more information, check out their Launch Post.

‘Those Who Prey’ Book Information

Those Who Prey by Jennifer Moffett. A young woman standing in a crowd.

Those Who Prey by Jennifer Moffett
Publisher: Atheneum/Simon & Schuster
Genre: YA Contemporary Mystery/Thriller
Release Date: November 10, 2020



Sadie meets The Girls in this riveting debut psychological thriller about a lonely college freshman seduced into joining a cult—and her desperate attempt to escape before it’s too late.

College life isn’t what Emily expected.

She expected to spend freshman year strolling through the ivy-covered campus with new friends, finally feeling like she belonged. Instead, she walks the campus alone, still not having found her place or her people so far away from home.

But then the Kingdom finds her.

The Kingdom, an exclusive on-campus group, offers everything Emily expected of college and more. They bring acceptance, friends, a potential boyfriend, and a chance to spend the summer in Italy on a mission trip. But the trip is not what she thought it would be. Emily and the others are stripped of their passports and money. They’re cut off from their families back home. The Kingdom’s practices become increasingly manipulative and dangerous.

Also, someone ends up dead.

At times unsettling and always riveting, Those Who Prey looks at the allure of cult life, while questioning just how far we’re willing to go to find where we belong.

‘Those Who Prey’ Author Information

Those Who Prey: Author Jennifer Moffett

JENNIFER MOFFETT grew up in Arkansas, where she spent her childhood playing in creeks and climbing trees while dreaming up stories about faraway places. A college study abroad program sparked her lifelong passion for travel. After working in children’s television in New York City, she received an MA in Creative Writing and wrote book reviews for regional publications. Her short stories and poems have appeared in various literary journals, including New Orleans Review and descant. She teaches creative writing on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, where she enjoys kayaking, gardening, reading outdoors, and planning trips to new places (preferably with great local yarn shops and bookstores).

My Review

Those Who Prey is a thrilling story that could happen to anyone. Jennifer Moffatt writes Emily’s tale with raw honesty. She is both shy and brand new to the college experience. Also, she wants to share in friendship and first love that being alone in school entails.

No doubt we’ve all come across a new group, with the promise of adventure and connections. I remember my first year in college…there were many instances when I relived the uncertainty of finding kindred spirits!

Sometimes we discover groups that are truly genuine. We share and learn from one another. However, the opposite also occurs. Emily is drawn into The Kingdom and its temptation. As a result, she’s led away from the familiar comforts of home. I found myself going alongside Emily as she embarks on a new adventure: free herself from The Kingdom.

In conclusion, Those Who Prey is certainly an eye opening account of a student swept up into dark secrets, under the cloak of promises. It’s the Dark Academia story that you’ll truly enjoy!

Thank you so much to Turn the Page Tours for gifting me a digital copy for review!

One more thing…click on the banner below to view the other fabulous presenters!

Those Who Prey Banner

The Rage of Dragons

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‘Story Magic’ by Laurel Gale | Author Q & A

‘Listeners, I have a story that may interest you…’

Kaya speaks these words in Story Magic. Despite her village preventing girls from casting, Kaya indeed gets it done! When her brother goes missing, Kaya relies on quick thinking as she travels through unfamiliar land. With the help of stories, of course!

Today I’m here with Laurel Gale, the author of Story Magic. She shares her writing process, as well as the awesome gift of writing strong, magical female characters! You’ll certainly be excited to pick up your copy!

‘Story Magic’ Book Information

Story Magic by Laurel Gale. Link: https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1581012277l/51136406._SX318_SY475_.jpg

Story Magic by Laurel Gale
Publisher: Jolly Fish Press
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Release Date: October 27, 2020


Girls are forbidden to practice story magic. Only bad things happen when they do. Everyone knows this, but that doesn’t stop twelve-year-old Kaya A’Dor from learning the basics from her older brother Hob. The trick is to sense a listener, one of the magical beings that inhabit the world, and tell it a story. If the listener likes the story, it will allow the storyteller to work magic.

Although Kaya knows the risks, she attempts a little story magic to impress Hob. When Hob is taken prisoner in Prima, the faraway capital city, Kaya is convinced it’s her fault. Either because someone discovered what she was doing, or because the bad luck has found her.

Desperate to save her brother, Kaya will do anything to make it to Prima, including story magic. With each story she tells her ability to wield story magic grows. She soon begins to wonder if her brother’s imprisonment was really her fault or something else entirely. Thus, each story brings her one step closer to finding Hob and leaving everything she’s ever known behind.

‘Story Magic’ Author Info

Story Magic, Laurel Gale author photo. Link: https://www.laurelgale.com/p/about-me.html
Photo by Tal Miles

Laurel Gale writes books for children. Her middle grade novels include Dead Boy and Story Magic. She lives with her husband and their ferrets in Washington. In addition to writing, she enjoying hiking, playing board games, and reading. She loves animals and is easily distracted by squirrels.
Visit Laurel online through her Website or Twitter.

Website | Twitter

Author Q & A

1. Cathleen: How are you and your family during this time? I think we’re all ready for 2020 to end!

Laurel Gale: Thanks for asking! We’re doing well, but yes, we’re ready for 2020 to end.

2. C: Congratulations on the release of Story Magic! It’s such a heartfelt story!

LG: Aww, thanks! I’m super excited to share this book with everyone.

3. C: How did your love for writing begin?

LG: It’s hard to say because I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember! It started with poems and short stories when I was a kid. I’ve always loved to read, and I’ve always found that writing is the most natural way for me to express my ideas. I’m happiest when I’m writing something.

4. C: What inspired you to create ‘Story Magic’?

LG: Story Magic started with the magic system. I was talking to my husband and how magic systems are used in fiction, and this sparked an idea for a magic system based on storytelling. From there, I came up with the main character and the listeners, and the rest followed.

5. C: Kaya is truly fearless in her use of magical storytelling. What made you create such an empowering character?

LG: Kaya is very brave, but at the same time, she does experience quite a bit of fear. I think that’s what makes her empowering – she pushes past her fear to do what’s right. That’s certainly something I aspire to.

'Story Magic', Jolly Fish Press Promo photo.

6. C: While searching for her brother, Kaya faces many harsh truths in society. She goes through many growing pains!

LG: She starts off being a bit naïve, but she learns so much on her journey. This can be hard for her, but she finds her inner strength and grows. I think this is something a lot of middle grade readers can relate to. Even if they’re not going on magical adventures, they are learning more about the world at that age.

7. C: I love how Kaya sticks to her intuition throughout the book. Is she created after a particular figure in your life?

LG: I didn’t base Kaya on any particular person. I wanted to make her a realistic twelve-year-old who has a lot of doubts and sometimes messes up, but who is also very strong and tries to do the right thing.

8. C: Themes such as girl power and fighting intolerance are strong in ‘Story Magic’. Have you always wanted to carry this message in your writing?

LG: In Story Magic, only members of the Story Magicians Guild are allowed to practice story magic, and girls are never allowed to join the guild. This is a way for the guild to control who has power. I don’t think I could have done this concept justice without exploring themes of girl power and tolerance.

When I write a book, my main goal is to tell an entertaining story, but I think the message matters, too. Kindness, fairness, courage, and tolerance are important themes in my writing because those are important ideas in life.

9. C: Which authors inspire your work? It can be Middle Grade, YA, etc.

LG: There are so many amazing writers out there, and I think it’s important for writers to read widely.

When I was kid, I was obsessed with Christopher Pike books, and I think that’s where I really developed my taste for speculative fiction. Neil Gaiman has also been an inspiration.

10: C: What advice do you have for those starting their writing career?

LG: Persistence is key. I think a lot of new writers feel like they have to get published immediately, but it’s not a race. I spent a few years and wrote several manuscripts before I got my first book deal, and looking back, I’m glad those early manuscripts were never published. I still trunk manuscripts occasionally.

It takes time to learn the craft of writing, and not everything you try will work. Just keep pushing yourself to be better, and if you really want to make a career out of writing, focus on your long-term goals.

Also, please don’t feel like you’ve wasted your time on something just because you never publish it. As long as you’re learning and improving, you’re not wasting your time. You wouldn’t expect a musician to start performing concerts immediately! It takes practice to master any skill that’s worthwhile, and that’s normal.

Thank you, Laurel, for your time! ‘Story Magic’ is certainly thrilling! It’s available today, so get your copy! You won’t be disappointed!

Contact Cathleen!

The Lost Sentinel by Suzanne Rogerson | Book Tour

Today is my stop on The Lost Sentinel book tour! Thank you Storytellers on Tour for having me take part! For additional info, please click on the Storytellers on Tour link.

The Lost Sentinel Book Information

The Lost Sentinel: Silent Sea Chronicles, Book 1. File name: the-lost-sentinel-rogerson.jpg

The Lost Sentinel by Suzanne Rogerson
Silent Sea Chronicles (Book 1)
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Age Group: Adult
Length: 363 pages
Release Date: June 16, 2017

Goodreads | Amazon

Book Blurb

The magical island of Kalaya is dying, along with its Sentinel.

The Assembly controls Kalaya. Originally set up to govern, they now persecute those with magic and exile them to the Turrak Mountains.

Tei, a tailor’s daughter, has always hidden her magic. When her father’s old friend visits and warns them to flee to the mountains, she must leave her old life behind.

On the journey, an attack leaves her father mortally wounded. He entrusts her into the care of the exiles and on his deathbed makes a shocking confession.

Tei joins the exiles’ search for the new Sentinel – the only person capable of restoring the fading magic. But mysterious Masked Riders are hunting the Sentinel too, and time, as well as hope, is running out.

Against mounting odds it will take friendship, heartache and sacrifice to succeed, but is Tei willing to risk everything to save the island magic?

Follow Tei’s journey through the magical land of Kalaya and the Astral Plane in The Lost Sentinel – Book 1 in the Silent Sea Chronicles.

Author Bio

The Lost Sentinel Author: Suzanne Rogerson. File Name: SuzanneRogerson.jpg

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Amazon | Bookbub | Goodreads | Newsletter

Suzanne lives in Middlesex, England with her husband, two children and a crazy puppy.

Her writing journey began at the age of twelve when she completed her first novel. She discovered the fantasy genre in her late teens and has never looked back. Giving up work to raise a family gave Suzanne the impetus to take her attempts at novel writing beyond the first draft, and she is lucky enough to have a husband who supports her dream – even if he does occasionally hint that she might think about getting a proper job one day.

Now an author of four novels including the recently completed Silent Sea Chronicles trilogy and a Czech translation of her debut, Visions of Zarua, Suzanne hopes the dreaded ‘W’ word will never rear its ugly head again!

She loves gardening and has a Hebe (shrub) fetish. She enjoys cooking with ingredients from the garden and regularly feeds unsuspecting guests vegetable-based cakes.

Suzanne collects books, is interested in history and enjoys wandering around castles and old ruins whilst being immersed in the past. She likes to combine her love of nature and photography on family walks, but most of all she loves to escape with a great film, binge watch TV shows, or soak in a hot bubble bath with an ice cream and a book.

My Review

**I received a copy of The Lost Sentinel from Storytellers on Tour, in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.**

The Lost Sentinel pulled me in right from the start! This story indeed has equal parts action and adventure. Tei and her companions escape from persecution and ignorance in order to save Kalaya’s soul. They fight to restore the magic once plentiful in their island, now fighting a disease of neglect.

Narrow Pathway Near Trees. Link: <span>Photo by <a href="https://unsplash.com/@jplenio?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Johannes Plenio</a> on <a href="https://unsplash.com/s/photos/fantasy?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Unsplash</a></span>

Characters and Setting

Kalaya’s world building is captivating. Its landscapes and mythology instantly pulled me in! Additionally, you knew that you were transported to a special place that needed saving! Equally important are Rogerson’s characters. Tel and her companions were both likable and engaging. While I wished I learned more about Tei’s new ‘found family’, I’m also intrigued to find out in Book 2!

The Lost Sentinel’s Quest Trope

Suzanne Rogerson beautifully writes about Tei’s quest that both she and her companions embark on. Kalaya is certainly under attack by ignorance, so Tei and her friends embark on a wild journey. They are on a mission to save their world and stop dark influences. It kept me reading to the end!

Book Tour: The Lost Sentinel by Suzanne Rogerson. Link: <span>Photo by <a href="https://unsplash.com/@rockpapercynic?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Peter Chiykowski</a> on <a href="https://unsplash.com/s/photos/magical-quest?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Unsplash</a></span>

The Lost Sentinel: In Conclusion

In conclusion, I recommend The Lost Sentinel for those seeking action packed fantasy! It’s a great start to the Silent Sea Chronicles. I look forward to learning more about Tei and her friends in the future!

Also Available: Silent Sea Chronicles Box Set!

The Lost Sentinel: Silent Sea Chronicles Box Set. File name: SilentSeaChronicles.jpg

Box Set Includes:
The Lost Sentinel (Book 1)
The Sentinel’s Reign (Book 2)
The Sentinel’s Alliance (Book 3)

Goodreads | Amazon

Finally, click the banner below to view the tour schedule and the other fabulous contributors!

The Lost Sentinel Tour Banner. File Name: TheLostSentinelTourBanner.jpg

Questions or Comments? Contact Me!

‘The Ancestor’ by Lee Matthew Goldberg | Book Tour

Blackthorn Book Tours Presents The Ancestor Book Tour, 21-24 August. File name: The Ancestor Tour Banner.png

Today is my tour stop for ‘The Ancestor’ by Lee Matthew Goldberg! Thank you so much to Blackthorn Book Tours for letting me take part! Click on the banner above for more information!

Book Information

Book Tour

The Ancestor by Lee Matthew Goldberg

Link: https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1594998797l/54552798._SX318_.jpg

The Ancestor by Lee Matthew Goldberg
Genre: Fiction
Length: 348 pages
Publisher: All Due Respect
Release Date: August 21, 2020

Purchase Link: Down & Out Books


A man wakes up in present-day Alaskan wilderness with no idea who he is, nothing on him save an empty journal with the date 1898 and a mirror. He sees another man hunting nearby, astounded that they look exactly alike. After following this other man home, he witnesses a wife and child that brings forth a rush of memories of his own wife and child, except he’s certain they do not exist in modern times-but from his life in the late 1800s.

After recalling his name is Wyatt, he worms his way into his doppelganger Travis Barlow’s life. Memories become unearthed the more time he spends, making him believe that he’d been frozen after coming to Alaska during the Gold Rush and that Travis is his great-great grandson. Wyatt is certain gold still exists in the area and finding it with Travis will ingratiate himself to the family, especially with Travis’s wife Callie, once Wyatt falls in love. This turns into a dangerous obsession affecting the Barlows and everyone in their small town, since Wyatt can’t be tamed until he also discovers the meaning of why he was able to be preserved on ice for over a century.

A meditation on love lost and unfulfilled dreams, The Ancestor is a thrilling page-turner in present day Alaska and a historical adventure about the perilous Gold Rush expeditions where prospectors left behind their lives for the promise of hope and a better future. The question remains whether it was all worth the sacrifice….

Author Information

Blackthorn Book Tours
The Ancestor Author
Lee Michael Goldberg. File name: LeeMichaelGoldberg.jpeg

Lee Matthew Goldberg is the author of the novels THE DESIRE CARD, THE MENTOR, and SLOW DOWN. He has been published in multiple languages and nominated for the 2018 Prix du Polar. The second book in the Desire Card series, PREY NO MORE, is forthcoming in 2020, along with his first Sci-Fi novel ORANGE CITY.

His new endeavor will be as the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Fringe Press and Fringe Digital, dedicated to publishing fiction that’s outside-of-the-box.

His pilots and screenplays have been finalists in Script Pipeline, Book Pipeline, Stage 32, We Screenplay, the New York Screenplay, Screencraft, and the Hollywood Screenplay contests.

After graduating with an MFA from the New School, his writing has also appeared in the anthology DIRTY BOULEVARD, The Millions, Cagibi, The Montreal Review, The Adirondack Review, The New Plains Review, Underwood Press and others. He is the co-curator of The Guerrilla Lit Reading Series and lives in New York City.

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

My Review

**I received a complimentary copy of The Ancestor from Blackthorn Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own**

What would you do if someone you’ve met–who bears a striking resemblance to you–claims that they’ve come from the past? What if this person also has some unfinished business? This is what Travis and Wyatt are faced with throughout The Ancestor. Lee Matthew Goldberg does amazing work as he takes us through the Gold Rush period in Alaska (Wyatt’s time), and the present day (When Travis and Wyatt come in contact).

Wyatt is a man with many questions about his predicament. He lives a life with many regrets, as his former life shared a family he neglected due to his quest for riches. During modern times, he makes an unlikely bond with Travis, a man who happens to share not only his likeness but some hidden conflicts of his own. Along the way we meet several characters who are rightly doubtful of Wyatt’s predicament, yet the theme of unresolved challenges remain.

The Ancestor takes us through the question: What if things happened differently? Wyatt and Travis both have issues that alters the lives of their loved ones. As Wyatt’s situation is slowly revealed, it becomes clear that all of the characters are experiencing a period of transition. It becomes a matter of realizing what’s truly important in life.

Book Recommendations

Readers will love The Ancestor if they enjoy:

  • Stories with a character seeking personal redemption
  • Historical fiction
  • Books with alternate timelines

Final Thoughts on The Ancestor

I enjoyed reading The Ancestor, as it was a revealing portrait of a man seeking answers to remedy his life. I also appreciated looking back at the Gold Rush period in America!

Thank you again to Blackthorn Book Tours for letting me take part in The Ancestor Blog Tour! Feel free to check out the other fabulous contributors throughout the tour!

A Blackthorn Book Tour of The Ancestor

Filename: The AncestorFinal Banner.jpg

Feel free to Contact Me!

The Story of Babushka | Book Tour

The Story of Babushka Blog and Review Tour
Turn the Page Tours
August 14-24

Today is my tour stop for The Story of Babushka by Catherine Flores! This is a heartwarming children’s tale about friendship, love and the meaning of life.
Thank you to Turn The Page Tours for letting me take part! Click on the banner about for more information.

Story of Babushka Information

The Story of Babushka by
Catherine Flores
File name: Babuska_Cover.png

The Story of Babushka by Catherine Flores
Illustrator: Ana Beatriz Marques
Publisher: ACL Creative Studio
Genre: Children’s Fantasy
Length: 120 pages (with over 50 illustrations!)
Acquired through Turn The Page Tours
Release Date: July 29, 2020

Instagram | Facebook | Website | Amazon US/UK/CA/AU


Babushka wants to find out the meaning of life so she sends her bodies out of the forest and into the world to search for answers.


The babushka doll, also known as a matryoshka or Russian nesting doll, is a traditional Russian toy first made over 100 years ago. The doll has come to symbolise Russian folk culture, as well as the complex and beautiful layers of women. There are some babushka dolls with as many as fifty dolls nested inside.

This is the story of one very special babushka doll and her five bodies. There was the outermost body, Antonia. She was pure beauty. Everyone who saw her admired her good looks. Beneath that body of beauty hid Loretta, who was richly adorned. She wore gold ornaments, and her green robe was decorated with many different gems that glittered like the ocean on a sunny day Hidden within the rich body was Paula, the body that held all Babushka’s talents. Whatever Paula did, she was sure to succeed. She knew how to work and always did so with joy and determination.

Within the talented body was Viola, the body of wisdom. Viola knew a lot about the world and learned very quickly. She was always full of brilliant ideas and had clever solutions for every problem. The last body, the smallest of all, was Mary, the embodiment of love. Mary had a warm and compassionate heart and was very helpful. She could dry tears and mend broken hearts. Together, these bodies formed the complete Babushka.

Author Information

The Story of Babushka

Catherine Flores with her child. File name: CatherineFlores.jpg

Since quitting her full-time job at a branding communication agency in Zurich, Catherine has gone on to become a successful freelance designer and a children’s author. She lives on the small island of Madeira with her family, spending her time growing vegetables in her garden and working for clients around the world.

For the interactive website for “The Story Of Babushka” visithttp://www.thestoryofbabushka.com
You can also visit her website at http://www.catherineflores.ch or her design agency at

Website | ACL Creative | Twitter | Instagram

Purple Fern Leaf

My Review

*I received a copy of ‘The Story of Babushka’ through Turn the Page Tours and the publisher, for exchange of an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own*

When I began reading The Story of Babushka, I thought I was going to read a quick story with an equally quick ending. However, I had no idea that this children’s tale would pull on my emotions! Babushka is comprised of five components: beauty, wealth, talent, wisdom, and love. One by one, each layer seeks out their personal happiness. As the years go by, they learn that the road to contentment is filled with one valuable lesson: community.

Each body has a special gift, yet each piece encompasses the whole self. They shine when sharing their blessings to others, yet without the other layers, they cannot prosper. I enjoy this lesson of teamwork that Babushka shares with its readers. Each body needs their support system in order to shine.

The Story of Babushka‘s Lovely Illustrations!

The Story of Babushka Illustration

Mary, the body of Love, gazes at the water at night. File name: BabushkaIllustrations.jpg

I was completely enamored by the illustrations throughout the book! Ana Beatriz Marques created stunning images, pairing nicely with a wonderful story. Adults can apply a Picture Walk with young children while learning about Babushka’s journey!

In addition to beautiful illustrations, Catherine Flores also offers coloring pages to accompany the story, which I will feature below!

Book Recommendations

While I feel that the length of the book would be suitable for older children, The Story of Babushka is valuable for all ages! As mentioned before, younger children would benefit from the visual aids given, such as the coloring pages and character cut-outs. While browsing through photos, you can ask children what each body of Babushka should do next!

Final Thoughts

The Story of Babushka is so valuable! It teaches the lesson that one needs a support system to manage life’s challenges. It’s a wonderful story for everyone!

Purple Fern Leaf

Book Trailer

The Story of Babushka Coloring Pages

The Story of Babushka Coloring Page: Group
The Story of Babushka Coloring Page: Viola with a young woman

Characters (Print to use as Cut-Outs)

Book Blog & Review Tour:
August 14-24
Turn the Page Tours
The Story of Babushka

Thank you for visiting! Come check out the other fabulous contributors on this tour!

Feel Free to contact me!

Book Tour: Moonlit Dreams, Moonlit Nightmares by Laura Seeber

I’m very happy to post my review for ‘Moonlit Dreams, Moonlit Nightmares’, a horror anthology by Laura Seeber! Thank you very much to Blackthorn Book Tours for allowing me to take part! Click on the banner above for more details.

Book Information

Moonlit Dreams, Moonlit Nightmares: an Anthology
Compiled and Edited by Laura Seeber
Genre: Horror
Publisher: Antimony and ELder Lace Press
Release Date: April 19, 2020



The moon has always been with us — tempting us, enticing us, and enthralling us through the
ages. Here you’ll find thirteen stories involving this heavenly body — sometimes tragic, magical,
and other times mysterious, or horrific, but always, memorable.

Contributors include both veteran and first time authors alike, and hail from around the world,
including the United States, India, United Kingdom, and Greece. The collection was compiled
and edited by Laura Seeber.

My Thoughts

*I received a complimentary copy of ‘Moonlit Dreams, Moonlit Nightmares’ from Blackthorn Book Tours, in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

I’m always drawn to the moon’s power. It carries wisdom dating back centuries. I love how Laura Seeber’s Moonlit Dreams, Moonlit Nightmares carries that respect toward’s the moon’s magical abilities. In this book of 13 tales, we explore the worlds of those influenced by the moon. I really appreciated the stories that centered on bad omens (A Visitation) and dream symbolism (When the Moon is Full). The moon is a catalyst for significant change, and these stories highlighted the prominence of these journeys. Dreams also serve as the bridge to learn about restless souls, such as Receiving Room. This anthology does great work in exploring the delicate parts of the human condition. Sometimes we don’t love approaching the dark topics of humanity, yet it’s quite an interesting domain to explore!

I recommend Moonlit Dreams, Moonlit Nightmares to those who enjoy spooky thrillers and unsettling arrangements. This is an exceptional collection of stories!

Editor: Laura Seeber

Laura Seeber. File name: LauraSeeber.png

Laura Seeber actually performed double duty on this anthology, acting both as a contributor and
editor (so any typo complaints- send her way!). When she’s not writing horror, mystery, or dark
science fiction, she spends her time divided between her young son and husband, her freelance
writing business, and Antimony and Elder Lace Press

The Contributors

Todd Taylor (“The Experiment”)
Todd Taylor teaches high school ELA, Creative Writing, and Theater in an inner-city Memphis-area
School. His short story, “The Experiment,” was published by Laura Seeber in the summer of 2019 in
an anthology called, Moonlit Dreams / Moonlit Nightmares. He has also written a play for his theater
class that is being performed at 3 different high schools, and has 2 completed novels he is looking to
publish. When Todd is not writing, he spends his time coaching track and field, playing guitar in a
local band, woodworking, performing weddings / funerals, or relaxing with Sudoku.

Shaun Avery (“The First Victims Club”)
Shaun Avery writes fiction in a number of different mediums, normally with a dark or satirical slant,
and often both at once. “The First Victims Club” comes from questions raised by watching horror
movies. A LOT of horror movies. He also loves comics, and has co-created a self-published one, more
details of which can be found here:
Unsurprisingly, this is also a horror.

A.P. Sessler (“The Sound of Stars”)
A resident of North Carolina’s Outer Banks, A.P. frequents an alternate universe not too different
from your own, searching for that unique element that twists the everyday commonplace into the
weird. When he’s not writing fiction, he composes music, makes art, and spends too much time
trying to connect with his inner genius.
His first novel House of the Goat came out in January. It’s an homage to the Satanic Panic genre of
the ’70s-’80s.

Lori Tiron-Pandit (“Receiving Room”)
Lori Tiron-Pandit is a writer, editor, and Web communication professional. Her work celebrates
women’s lives and work, of both mystical and mundane significance, as well as their ancestral and
contemporary imprint on the world. Growing up with the “great” “classics” of literature, all men,
only very late did she realize that the male perspective was not all there was, that it was skewed and
small, and it ignored women’s views. Her work is rooted in the worlds of women she’s been lucky to
cross paths with.

Thomas Vaughn (“A Consultation by Moonlight”)
Thomas Vaughn is an author of literary horror and dark magical realism. He came from the debris
field of rural Arkansas where he persists in uncertainty. When he is not writing fiction, he poses as a
college professor whose research focuses on apocalyptic rhetoric. For him fiction serves as a tool to
mediate the terrible reality that encompasses all humanity. These works represent his clumsy efforts
to seek awareness in the face of a stillborn universe. And so he pulses, waiting for a reply in the void.

Cara Fox (“Anamnesis”)
Cara Fox is an English author trying to write her way out of the dark. She favors steampunk, horror
and Gothic romance, but you can find her anywhere that the stories sink their claws into you and the
wine flows freely. Her work has been published by Tales To Terrify, Empyreome, Broadswords &
Blasters and Horror Addicts, amongst others, and she is working on her debut novel, The Strange
Case of Doctor Magorian.

Parineeta Singh (“A Visitation”)
Parineeta Singh currently lives in Delhi, India, and has earned a Ph.D in Creative Writing from the
University of Surrey, as well as a Master’s Degree in the same field from the University of Newcastle-
upon-Tyne. Her work has appeared in many international magazines and anthologies, and we’re thrilled to have her talent showcased here as well.

Dawn J. Stevens (“When the Moon is Full”)
Dawn Juniper Stevens is the fiction pen name for Kara Kelso. She has been writing short stories and
poetry for nearly 30 years, with the past 20 years spent writing an assortment of business, hobby,
and nonfiction articles for a variety of businesses, websites, and projects. There aren’t too many
types of writing she hasn’t dabbled in at least once, but fiction remains her favorite. “Kira’s Tale:
Descend into Darkness” was released in 2013 and is currently available on Amazon.
In her spare time, she enjoys mostly non-fiction books for their source of education and learning
from another’s beautiful experience, as well as spending time with family and children. She also
enjoys sustainable gardening, music with soul, real life magic, and simply being surrounded by
nature. She lives in the Midwest.
For news and updates, find Dawn J. Stevens on both Facebook and Twitter.

Jesse Moak (“One Stormy Night”)
Jesse Moak is a lifetime writer and dreamer who has been perfecting his craft and pursuing the
dream of becoming a professional writer for some time. When he isn’t actively searching for an
agent or writing other stories, he spends his time exploring his other passion of retro gaming at his

Jamie Ryder (“Eleventh Hour”)
Jamie Ryder is a short story writer and pop culture content creator from Manchester, England. His
short stories and poetry have been published by Hyperion and Theia, Colp, EastLit Magazine, AEL
Press and more. You can find his other work on The Comic Vault, Yamato Magazine and The Rum

Sarah Walker (“Phosphene”)
Sarah Walker is an author and mixed media artist who currently lives in Lebanon Oregon. When she
isn’t busy writing, she spends her time creating art that explores the boundaries of reality.

Dimitris Psomadellis (“The Magic Circle”)
Dimitris is a life-long writer that has been perfecting his craft in Mytiline, Greece for a number of
years. “The Magic Circle” is his first published story with a professional publisher, and we have no
doubt it will be the first of many.

Feel free to check out the other fabulous contributors on this tour!

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Book Tour | Come Join the Murder by Holly Rae Garcia: A Review

Book Tour
Blackthorn Book Tours: Simply reviews...
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Today is my tour stop on the ‘Come Join the Murder’ Blog Tour! Thank you to Blackthorn Book Tours for allowing me to take part! Click on the banner above for more details.

Book Information

Come Join the Murder by Holly Rae Garcia
Publisher: Close to the Bone
Length: 239 pages
Genre: Suspense/Horror
Release Date: March 27, 2020

Amazon | Goodreads


“This is a novel I would read and reread and recommend to others. Fans of vigilante and desperado
revenge will delight in this horror story.” — Horror Tree.

Rebecca Crow’s four-year-old son is dead, and her husband is missing.

Divers find her husband’s car at the bottom of a canal with their son’s small, lifeless body, inside.
The police have no suspects and nothing to go on but a passing mention of a man driving a van.
Guilt and grief cloud Rebecca’s thoughts as she stumbles towards her only mission: Revenge.

James Porter knows exactly what happened to them, but he’ll do anything to keep it a secret.

James didn’t plan to kill Rebecca’s son, but he’s not too broken up about it, either. There are more
important things for him to worry about. He needs money, and his increasing appetite for murder is
catching the attention of a nosy detective.

About the Author

Holly Rae Garcia’s debut novel, Come Join the Murder, was released on March 27th, 2020
by Close to the Bone Publishing (UK). Her short fiction has been published by Siren’s Call, The Bookends Review, Rue Scribe, Pen to Print, The Australian Writers’ Centre, and Trembling With Fear along with a few anthologies. Holly lives on the Texas Coast with her family and five dogs.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

My Thoughts

**I received a complimentary copy of Come Join the Murder through Blackthorn Book Tours. All thoughts and opinions are my own.**

Reading Come Join the Murder was quite a wild experience! Holly Rae Garcia eloquently communicates Rebecca and James’ despair as they navigate their struggles through the story. She clearly describes Rebecca’s dark descent as she seeks out her son’s killer. No longer having a family, Rebecca is left to pick up the pieces of her life while piecing together what happened that fateful night on the bridge. In her quest to seek out answers, she loses touch with reality. Garcia also details James’ complicated predicament. The need to protect his loved ones, paired with his knowledge of that fateful evening, causes him to careen down an inhumane path of his own.

Come Join the Murder was a difficult read at times, as the story continually draws back to the night her son Ollie was killed. It highlights Holly Rae Garcia’s stunning ability to describe the horror of a child being murdered, and the drastic lengths a parent might go through to seek justice. Her writing sets up the stage of the night in question, slowly drawing you in before the unspeakable horrors unravel. Rebecca’s quest for truth (and her gradual descent into madness), will keep you engaged until the shocking ending!

If you like stories about revenge with a thrilling twist, then you’ll really love ‘Come Join the Murder’!

If you would like to check out the other amazing contributors, here is the Tour Schedule!

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The Queen Blog Tour | Makeup Magic & Mood Board

Today is my tour stop for ‘The Queen’ by Jennifer Armentrout! ‘The Queen’ is the final book in Armentrout’s Summer King’s novella series (set in the same world as Wicked).
I created a Mood Board of looks I imagine Brighton in as she’s traveling with Caden. Find out if they take their closeness to the next level!

Book Information

The Queen: A Wicked Novella by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Genre: Romance
Publisher: 1001 Dark Knights Press
Length: 146 pages
Release Date: July 14, 2020


From #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout comes the next installment in her Wicked series.

The King must have his Queen….

Bestowed the forbidden Summer’s Kiss by the King of the Summer fae, Brighton Jussier is no longer just human. What she is, what she will become, no one knows for sure, but that isn’t her biggest concern at the moment. Now Caden, the King, refuses to let her go, even at the cost of his Court. When the doorway to the Otherworld is breached, both Brighton and Caden must do the unthinkable—not just to survive themselves, but also to save mankind from the evil that threatens the world.

**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you’ll enjoy each one as much as we do.**

Amazon Buy Link
Note: This is only available on Amazon for the first month, then is available on other retailers

Summer King Bundle
Includes all three novellas, including The Queen

Blog Tour: The Queen by Jennifer L. Armentrout

The Summer King Bundle by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publisher: 1001 Dark Nights Press
Length: 460 pages
Genre: Romance
Release Date: July 14, 2020


From #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout comes The Summer King Bundle…


She’s everything he wants….

Cold. Heartless. Deadly. Whispers of his name alone bring fear to fae and mortals alike. The Prince. There is nothing in the mortal world more dangerous than him. Haunted by a past he couldn’t control, all Caden desires is revenge against those who’d wronged him, trapping him in never-ending nightmare. And there is one person he knows can help him.

She’s everything he can’t have…

Raised within the Order, Brighton Jussier knows just how dangerous the Prince is, reformed or not. She’d seen firsthand what atrocities he could be capable of. The last thing she wants to do is help him, but he leaves her little choice. Forced to work alongside him, she begins to see the man under the bitter ice. Yearning for him feels like the definition of insanity, but there’s no denying the heat in his touch and the wicked promise is his stare.

She’s everything he’ll take….

But there’s someone out there who wants to return the Prince to his former self. A walking, breathing nightmare that is hell bent on destroying the world and everyone close to him. The last thing either of them needs is a distraction, but with the attraction growing between them each now, the one thing he wants more than anything may be the one thing that will be his undoing.

She’s everything he’d die for….


As Caden and Brighton’s attraction grows despite the odds stacked against a happily ever after, they must work together to stop an Ancient fae from releasing the Queen, who wants nothing more than to see Caden become the evil Prince once feared by fae and mortals alike.


The King must have his Queen….

Bestowed the forbidden Summer’s Kiss by the King of the Summer fae, Brighton Jussier is no longer just human. What she is, what she will become, no one knows for sure, but that isn’t her biggest concern at the moment. Now Caden, the King, refuses to let her go, even at the cost of his Court. When the doorway to the Otherworld is breached, both Brighton and Caden must do the unthinkable—not just to survive themselves, but also to save mankind from the evil that threatens the world.

**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you’ll enjoy each one as much as we do.**


About Jennifer

#1 New York Times and #1 International Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, hanging out with her husband and her Border Jack Apollo, six judgemental alpacas, two rude goats, and five fluffy sheep. In early 2015, Jennifer was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a group of rare genetic disorders that involve a breakdown and death of cells in the retina, eventually resulting in loss of vision, among other complications.  Due to this diagnosis, educating people on the varying degrees of blindness has become of passion of hers, right alongside writing, which she plans to do as long as she can.

Website | Instagram | Facebook | Facebook Group | Twitter | Pinterest | BookBub | Amazon | Goodreads

Enter to Win a Copy of the Summer King Bundle!


  • Winner gets a character in a future JLA book named after them! (Blog hosts can enter, too!)
  • FIVE Paperback copies of the Summer King Bundle
  • Open Internationally
  • Runs 7/6 – 7/21 (ends at 11:59PM EST on the 21st)
  • Click on the photo above to enter!

‘The Queen’ Tour Schedule

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Book Tour: ‘Shadow of a Dead God’ by Patrick Samphire | A Review

Patrick Samphire 'Shadow of a Dead God', a Mennik Thorn Novel. Book Tour: July 5th-July 11. 

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Today is my stop in the ‘Shadow of a Dead God’ Book Tour! Thank you so much to Storytellers on Tour for allowing me to take part. Click the banner above to check out the other amazing contributors!

Book Information

Shadow of a Dead God, A Mennik Thorn Novel by Patrick Samphire


Shadow of a Dead God: A Mennik Thorn Novel
by Patrick Samphire
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Fantasy
Length: 460 pages
Age Group: Adult
Release Date: May 27, 2020

Goodreads | Amazon

Book Blurb

A dead god. A brutal murder. A second-rate mage.

It was only supposed to be one little job – a simple curse-breaking for Mennik Thorn to pay back a favor to his oldest friend. But then it all blew up in his face. Now he’s been framed for a murder he didn’t commit.

So how is a second-rate mage, broke, traumatized, and with a habit of annoying the wrong people supposed to prove his innocence when everyone believes he’s guilty?

Mennik has no choice if he wants to get out of this: he is going to have to throw himself into the corrupt world of the city’s high mages, a world he fled years ago. Faced by supernatural beasts, the mage-killing Ash Guard, and a ruthless, unknown adversary, it’s going to take every trick Mennik can summon just to keep him and his friend alive.

But a new, dark power is rising in Agatos, and all that stands in its way is one damaged mage…

Author Information

Patrick Samphire started writing when he was fourteen years old and thought it would be a good way of getting out of English lessons. It didn’t work, but he kept on writing anyway.

He has lived in Zambia, Guyana, Austria and England. He has been charged at by a buffalo and, once, when he sat on a camel, he cried. He was only a kid. Don’t make this weird.

Patrick has worked as a teacher, an editor and publisher of physics journals, a marketing minion, and a pen pusher (real job!). Now, when he’s not writing, he designs websites and book covers. He has a PhD in theoretical physics, which means that all the unlikely science in his books is actually true. Well, most of it. Well, some of it. Maybe.

Patrick now lives in Wales, U.K. with his wife, the awesome writer Stephanie Burgis, their two sons, and their cat, Pebbles. Right now, in Wales, it is almost certainly raining.

He has published almost twenty short stories and novellas in magazines and anthologies, including Realms of Fantasy, Interzone, Strange Horizons, and The Year’s Best Fantasy, as well as one fantasy novel for adults, SHADOW OF A DEAD GOD, and two novels for children, SECRETS OF THE DRAGON TOMB and THE EMPEROR OF MARS.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Newsletter

My Thoughts

**I received a copy of Shadow of a Dead God by Patrick Samphire through Storytellers on Tour, in exchange for an honest review**

‘Shadow of a Dead God’ introduces us to Mennik Thorn. Mennik is a mage that never quite got the grasp of magic. When he and his friend Benny get wrapped into a heap of trouble, Mennik stops at nothing in order to make things right.

I appreciated the non stop action played out in Shadow of a Dead God! Mennik has the support of the little found family of Benny and his daughter. Mennik is very imperfect in his magical abilities, yet he’s determined to rectify the complications set forth by his actions. I love a flawed yet honest character!

Although the risks Mennik endures are high, he stops at nothing to make sure he and Benny get their names cleared. They also receive help from characters who lean toward the dark side, yet are loyal to a fault. I feel that readers will enjoy the antics depicted in Shadow of a Dead God. It is a very addicting fantasy tale!

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Don’t forget to follow the rest of the Shadow of a Dead God Book Tour! Happening from July 5-11th!

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