Friday, 27 January 2017

Review of The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow by Jessica Haight & Stephanie Robinson

General Information

Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Year of publication: December 1, 2015
Age Group: 9-12 Years
Number of pages: 272 Print version

Plot summary: (blurb)

The Begonia House keeps its secrets. Everyone knows that. Everyone, that is, except for clever eleven-year old Fairday Morrow, whose family has just moved in. Being the Senior Investigator in the Detective Mystery Squad, more commonly known as the DMS, she’s ready to uncover the mysteries hidden within the strange manor. As the investigation gears up and the pieces of the puzzle fall into place, the three young sleuths enter into a world where anything is possible, and the danger is most definitely real. Can they piece together the puzzle before it's too late? Or will whatever's causing trouble find Fairday and her friends first?

Positive points

This was a great, well written story that will appeal to any children (and big adult type children) who love a good mystery story. It has very real, likeable characters that embark on a scary adventure (but not too scary) to discover the strange goings-on in a manor steeped in mystery. It is a real fun read and will keep you guessing all the way to the end.

There are a few scatterings of wonderfully drawn illustrations throughout the book that will help fire up the imagination of the younger readers. A nice touch! I'm so jealous, I want some in my books too!

Negative points

I have absolutely nothing negative to say about this book.

Overall impression

This is a great story filled with likable characters. The perfect addition to any school library. I highly recommend this book.

My rating

Five big shiny stars!

Meet the authors

Jessica Haight

Jessica is a true New Englander with a love of the ocean and the four seasons. She enjoys drawing while standing up and cultivating magic in her garden. Jessica easily floats away with a good story and is still waiting for her owl from Hogwarts. She lives in Connecticut with her family.

Stephanie Robinson

Stephanie lives with her husband in a quiet town, though not as quaint as Ashpot. After teaching fifth grade for almost fifteen years, she is now enjoying her role as a school media specialist. One of the many benefits of her job is that she learns something new every day. When Stephanie isn't working, she spends her time creating stories, getting lost in books, and traveling to new places.

Author links


Thursday, 19 January 2017

Happy Anniversary!!!

Tomorrow is my 28th wedding anniversary. Wow! How did I pull that off? I have actually been with my wife, Lesley, since she was fifteen-years-old when we first started dating. That is thirty-four years ago this year. When we were about eight-years-old we used to occasionally walk home from school together as we went to the same junior school and lived in the same area. It's the true childhood sweetheart story.

We started out as best friends and that is one thing that never changed. It hasn't always been fun and games. We went through some really bad times. Unbelievably bad. I could tell you stories that you wouldn't believe, proper horror stories, but despite all of it we are still together and still best friends.

I want to tell you a little about this amazing lady that stuck by my side through everything. She is without comparison the most unselfish and compassionate person you could ever meet. And this is genuine and from the heart. She spends her life worrying about everyone else without any concern for herself. There is nothing she would not do to help others in need. And she is a natural mum. She dedicated her life to raising our family and is loved, respected and adored by all children.

When we set out as a very young couple on this journey together into the world, life was an adventure. I was a cool dude in a rock band. I had a good job with money to burn and we had our own place within two years. We partied for six years before getting married, getting our first proper house and starting a family. Then we continued to party only with bouncy castles and balloons. It was amazing and so much fun. Now we have just entered a new phase in our lives. All our three children have left home and we have the whole house to ourselves. We are back to where we first started out all those years ago and I think it's quite exciting!

Just lately I have been reflecting on all the wonderful and crazy things that have happened as we grew up together. And what I see is just how lucky I am to have been given the opportunity to share my whole life with someone as amazing as you. You taught me so much. I wouldn't be the person I am now without you. I hope that's a good thing. lol I love so many things about you. I can totally be myself whether I am at my best or my very, very worst and it makes no difference to how you feel about me. Total acceptance. Absolute and unconditional love. You would do absolutely anything for me. Every week you bring me gifts and show your love in so many different ways. And you never ask for anything, ever! You are the most unselfish person I know. This, everybody, is my wife! Jealous much? LOL

Thank you for being there for me. Thank you for loving and caring for me. Thank you for being the best friend anyone could have. Thank you for your understanding and compassion. Thank you for the fun and laughter we shared and there was a LOT! You are one of the funniest person I know. Thank you for every single thing you ever did and will do in the future. There is not a person in the whole world who I would want to be with except you. I love you with all my heart. You are my true soul mate. 

Happy anniversary! xxx

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Book Review: Chase Tinker and the House of Magic by Malia Ann Haberman

General Information

Publisher: Self published
Series: The Chase Tinker Series, Book 1
Number of pages: 277 pages

Plot summary: (blurb)

Thirteen-year-old Chase Tinker's usually-normal life has taken an unexpected turn. Several shocking family secrets have come to light and he's seriously freaked out about it. His missing dad, bizarre magical powers, a grandfather he thought to be long dead, a fantastic, out-of-this-world magical house, and an evil Dark Enemy determined to destroy Chase's family are only part of all the craziness. Now Chase, along with his younger brother Andy and his cousin Janie, must find a way to stop these evil beings, while at the same time figuring out what's happened to his dad, unraveling even more Tinker lies and secrets, while not letting on that he has a crush on the housekeeper's daughter.

Positive points

There were many positive points to this charming story. The author did a great job with keeping this book filled with action from the first chapter to the last. This is so important when writing for a young audience who tire very easily when reading books. The characters were likable and realistic. They all had their good and bad points like in real life. Each chapter led you to want to read just one more to find out where the story would lead you next. A great story for young readers.

Negative points

I found a few POV slips and some technical issues that were more a case of writer style rather than mistakes. I noticed them more only because of my writing background, but they didn't take away anything from the enjoyment of the story.

What makes this book unique

I found the setting the most unique part about this story. A lot of the action takes place in a magical house full of all kinds of wonders.

Overall impression

This is a great, fast-paced action story filled with magic. It is perfect for it's targeted audience and for those 'older' kids which includes anyone who enjoys reading this type of story.

My rating

I would love to give this five stars, but because of the technical issues I have to deduct one star simply for fairness and honesty.

Meet the author

Once upon a time a girl named Malia dreamed of being an author. She wanted to write books that everyone in the whole universe could read and enjoy. So she packed a snack and happily set out on the road of life. But times being what they were, she was attacked by dreadful dragons and greedy goblins and terrible trolls who all tried their hardest to stomp her dream into dust. Brandishing her well-sharpened pencil at them, she bravely yelled, "You will not stop me, you wicked fiends! Away with you, or I'll stab you with my trusty writing implement!" And so they fled to shiver and hide in dank caves and dark holes.

One day, out of the blue, the most incredible, awesome idea came to her. She was so excited, she hugged her furry ferret friend and happy-danced all around the kingdom. Then, putting fingertips to keyboard, she typed out a magical story to end all magical stories, filling it with fun, magic, adventure, thrills, loathsome bad guys, and feisty, just-go-for-it characters, and even a troll or two. After many more trials and tribulations, all four of her books were finally published and ready to read and enjoy. Yay! Now, she's busily working on the sequel.

Author Links