Abby & Holly Series Book 2: Unfortunate Events

By Janice Spina, author

      John Spina, illustrator

 

Book Synopsis

Abby and Holly are cousins who are more like sisters. They enjoy doing everything together. Holly lives with Abby and her family in a haunted Victorian. Holly must deal in some difficult decisions with her family when unexpected and unfortunate events come to pass.

Abby is there to lend support to Holly along with two ghostly apparitions, Felicity and Minerva, who live in Abby’s house. These specters provide some magical and helpful advice along the way as they watch over Holly during this difficult time.

The girls’ friends, twins Davey and Derek Donato, from their own series, pop in to support Holly and bring some fun and comical relief to the story.

Synopsis taken from Goodreads

My Review

I am so excited about the Abby and Holly Series for girls, but it could be equally enjoyed by boys.  In Abby & Holly Series Book 2: Unfortunate Events, Abby’s cousin, Holly, is faced with some difficult issues.  While her parents are away on overseas jobs, Holly is living with Abby. Things go downhill when her parents return for a visit and her mother becomes ill. Throughout this trying time, Holly has a tremendous amount of support from Abby, her Aunt Jane and Uncle Bob, and two ghosts who live in Abby’s house, Felicity and Minerva. Of course, their friends Davey and Derek are there to help, too.

As with all of Spina’s children’s books, Abby & Holly Series Book 2: Unfortunate Events teaches life lessons such as respect, kindness toward others, and the importance of being polite.  This book concentrates on handling the unexpected and overcoming life’s disappointments.  The unexpected was Holly’s mother’s illness and hospital stay.  With the love of her extended family, Holly was able to cope with her worry for her mother.  Disappointment was addressed when her father announced that he was flying out to finish his work overseas. He explained to Holly the importance of fulling his obligations to his employer.

I highly recommend Abby & Holly Series Book 2: Unfortunate Events to all middle-graders, both girls and boys.  The storyline is one that will keep children interested with its elements of suspense and mystery.  Though there are references to a childhood crush, they are not a major component of the story and certainly not enough to deter boys’ interest. And who doesn’t love a friendly little ghost or two! As with all the author’s children’s books, this one is true to her ideals of writing books that encourage children to read while incorporating those all-important life lessons.  As a book I think every parent will want their daughters and sons to read, I give Abby & Holly Series Book 2: Unfortunate Events 5 stars!

About the Author

Janice Spina is an award-winning author with twelve children’s books, Louey the Lazy Elephant, Ricky the Rambunctious Raccoon, Jerry the Crabby Crayfish, Lamby the Lonely Lamb, Jesse the Precocious Polar Bear, Broose the Moose on the Loose, Sebastian Meets Marvin the Monkey, and Colby the Courageous Cat, Jeffrey the Jittery Giraffe, Clarence Henry the Hermit Crab, Lucy the Talented Toy Terrier, and five YA/MG/P/T books, Davey & Derek Junior Detectives Series, Books 1-5, Abby & Holly Series, Books 1 & 2, copy editor, blogger, book reviewer and supporter of fellow authors.

Hunting Mariah is her first novel to be published under J.E. Spina. She published her second novel, a paranormal/mystery/romance, How Far Is Heaven, June 2016. Book 3 of Davey & Derek Junior Detectives was published in August 2016 and Book 4 of Davey & Derek Junior Detectives Series in December on 2016. An Angel Among Us, a short story collection, was published in March 2017 and Jeffrey the Jittery Giraffe, a children’s book, in May 2017. Clarence Henry the Hermit Crab, Mariah’s Revenge, Lucy the Talented Toy Terrier and Abby & Holly School Dance, Books 1 & 2 in a series were published in 2018.

Jance has received the following awards for her books:

Mom’s Choice Awards – Silver Medal – Lamby the Lonely Lamb

Pinnacle Book Achievements Awards – Jerry the Crabby Crayfish, Broose the Moose on the Loose, Colby the Courageous Cat, Jeffrey the Jittery Giraffe, Books 1, 2, 3, 5 of Davey & Derek Junior Detectives Series

Reader’s Favorite Book Awards – Silver Medal – Book 3, Davey & Derek Junior Detectives,

Honorable Mention – Book 1, Davey & Derek Junior Detectives Series

AUTHORSDB – Cover Contest – Silver Medal – Book 5, Davey & Derek Junior Detectives Series

AUTHORSDB- FINALIST in First Lines Contest – Hunting Mariah

Red City Review FINALIST – Davey & Derek Junior Detectives Book 4, The Case of the Brown Scraggly Dog

She is editing a YA fantasy and writing more books in a series for MG/PT/YA girls and plans to write more Davey & Derek Junior Detectives books. All of these books, hopefully over the next few years, will be published.

Janice’s short stories have been published in others’ anthologies and in The Writer’s Newsletter, https://thewritersnewsletter.com/fiction-non-fiction-

Book trailers: https://youtu.be/pLCjyc9Q9tQ  (How Far Is Heaven)

https://youtu.be/pLCjyc9Q9tQ  (Hunting Mariah) (Both created by Chris Graham)

https://youtu.be/2DIawvOX9aw  (Mariah’s Revenge – created by Janice Spina)

Her logo is Jemsbooks – books for all ages! Her motto is – Reading Gives You Wings to Fly! Come soar with Jemsbooks! Happy reading!

Janice’s hobbies besides writing are crocheting, exercising to keep in shape, going to the movies with her husband or out to lunch or dinner, reading, book reviewing, blogging and spending time with her five grandchildren who are her writing inspiration.

Janice loves to hear from readers and appreciates and happily welcomes reviews.

Janice can be followed on her blog: http://jemsbooks.blog

Website: http://jemsbooks.com

and on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+ and Facebook.

Biographical information taken from Amazon author page

 

 

The gift of memory

The Silent Eye

One of the things we take away from our weekend workshops are the memories. Faces, places, people, conversations and realisations, all combine to create a kaleidoscope of intangible souvenirs that find their own place in the hierarchy of memory. We may share an adventure, but the memories are unique for each of us and it would only be by combining all of them that a true picture of the weekend would even begin to emerge. We each bring our own perspective to the experience, and what will seem unimportant to one may be awe-inspiring to another. Some of what we experience will seem so mundane that it fades into the background, barely registering its presence in our minds, some moments will make such an impression that they remain fresh and evergreen for the rest of our lives.

Memories are more important than we consciously realise most of the time. They…

View original post 583 more words

Mourning Dove – Guest Post by Claire Fullerton…

An excellent guest post by Claire Fullerton on The Story Reading Ape Blog

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Every writer has deep-seated motivation for writing a novel. It may be a person, place, or setting that resonates in their soul, and from this a story that won’t let them go. I was tentative when I began writing Mourning Dove, and by this, I mean to say that I tested the waters before I dove in head first to the full story. Mourning Dove started as a poem I never shared, but I liked its subject and rhythm. It spoke of a family dynamic, had movement and spoke of human nature in the face tragedy. In writing the poem, it occurred to me there is beauty to be gleaned in the worst of human affairs.

In one of those intuitive promptings that seems fateful in hindsight, I saw an online call for submissions to the 2013 San Francisco Writers Conferences’ contest. In looking at the categories, I thought narrative…

View original post 692 more words

Twenty Years After I Do

By D.G. Kaye

Blurb

In this personal accounting, D.G. Kaye shares the insights and wisdom she has accrued through twenty years of keeping her marriage strong and thriving despite the everyday changes and challenges of aging. Kaye reveals how a little creative planning, acceptance, and unconditional love can create a bond no obstacle will break. Kaye’s stories are informative, inspiring, and a testament to love eclipsing all when two people understand, respect, and honor their vows. She adds that a daily sprinkling of laughter is a staple in nourishing a healthy marriage.

Twenty years began with a promise. As Kaye recounts what transpired within that time, she shows that true love has no limits, even when one spouse ages ahead of the other.   (Blurb taken from Goodreads)

My Review

In TWENTY YEARS: AFTER “I DO”, the author talks about some authentic problems one encounters when the love of their life experiences health issues of advancing age.  In her instance there is an age gap of nearly 20 years, but none-the-less, the difficulties of illness of either partner, the marriage with not only a new partner, but with the partner’s family, and a plethora of other concerns are easily faced by a couple of any age and at any stage of their marriage if love and laughter are part of that union..  I’ve always believed that true love conquers all, and D.G. Kaye confirmed that belief with candor and wit in her book as she talks about the trials and tribulations of her own marriage.

To say that I am a huge fan of D. G. Kaye is an understatement.  I love her style of writing, her honesty in telling it like it is, and her never-ending sense of humor.  If you haven’t read any of her books, just peruse all the titles and find one or more you can relate to.  The author writes in a way that you can easily slip into her identity and find yourself present in a real-life situation that may be similar to your own.  You will laugh along with her, sympathize with her, and possibly learn something about life and your own situation.

TWENTY YEARS: AFTER “I DO” is highly deserving of 5 stars.

About the Author

D.G. Kaye is a nonfiction/memoir writer. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.

Kaye writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and the lessons that were taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcome some of the many obstacles that challenged her. From an emotionally neglected childhood, to growing up with a narcissistic mother, leaving her with a severely deflated self-esteem, D.G. began seeking a path to rise above her issues.

When Kaye isn’t writing intimate memoirs, she’ll bring her natural sense of humor into her other works.

D.G. began writing when pen and paper became tools to express her pent-up emotions during a turbulent childhood. She began writing notes and cards for the people she loved and admired when she was afraid to use her own voice. She journaled about life, and her opinions on people and events. Later she began writing poetry and health articles for a Canadian magazine as her interest was piqued by natural healthcare.

D.G. began reading extensively on the subject of natural health care after encountering quite a few serious health issues. Against many odds, Kaye has overcome adversity several times throughout her life.

Kaye looks for the good and the positive in everything and believes in paying it forward.

“For every kindness, there should be kindness in return. Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

Her Favourite Saying: “Live. Laugh. Love …and don’t forget to breathe!” is her website logo, to remind herself and others that we often forget to take a pause.  (Author Bio taken from Goodreads)

Social Media and Author Pages:

www.dgkayewriter.com
www.goodreads.com/dgkaye
www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7
www.linkedin.com/in/dgkaye7
www.google.com/+DebbyDGKayeGies
www.twitter.com/@pokercubster
www.facebook.com/dgkaye
www.about.me/d.g.kaye.writer

Buy the Book

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Folk tales, local legends and fairy stories? – Guest posts wanted!

If you like to write and want to share your stories, Sue Vincent has the perfect spot for you.

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

It is five o’clock here in England and my daily featured spot is empty again. I feel unwanted, abandoned, bereft… Here I am, all ready to welcome guests, and not a guest in sight! I could just sigh and reblog a post I have enjoyed, or I can use the space to offer it  to you. I already have the regular Be My Guest and the Elusive Realities series detailed below, but what if I asked for something else?

I love learning about different times and places, especially the kind of lore that seldom makes it into books. The blogosphere has no nationality and encompasses the whole world…  what better place to learn?

How did your granny predict the weather? What did your great uncle Albert tell you about the little green men he saw in the woods that night? What strange creature stalks the woods in your area?

So…

View original post 577 more words

Abby and Holly – School Dance

By Janice Spina

Book Blurb

This is Book 1 of a series of Abby & Holly books. These two girls were first introduced in Book 5 of the Davey & Derek Junior Detectives Series.

Abby and Holly are first cousins on their mothers’ side. They moved to the quiet town of Linden, New Hampshire, and live in a grand old Victorian which is haunted.

The cousins are excited about attending the 6th-grade dance. When their friend, Justine, is bullied by two other girls, Abby and Holly, along with the help of a ghost and Davey and Derek Donato, the twin detectives, work together to formalize a plan to put a stop to the bullying.

My Review

I have long been a fan of Janice Spina’s young children’s books and her middle-grade Davey and Derek Junior Detectives series.  I was excited to read the first book in her Abby and Holly series for middle-grade girls, and I was not disappointed.

Abby and Holly are the cousins we met in The Case of the Sad Mischievous Ghost (Davey & Derek Junior Detectives Series Book 5) who helped Davey and Derek solve a case involving a ghost that was residing in Abby’s house.  Now they are back seeking the help of their friends Davey and Derek in solving a case of a girl jealously sabotaging another classmate’s chance to go to the 6th-grade dance and plans to do even worse.

The story flows well, and the characters are developed nicely so anyone who hasn’t read any of the Davey and Derek series will have no trouble jumping in with book one of this series. Girls are going to love this series — a touch of puppy love, fantasy, and a mystery to solve all in one book. The lessons of forgiving and forgetting and being kind are  well documented in the story, an important reminder for everyone.  This is another 5-star book from Janice Spina.

About the Author

Janice Spina is an award-winning author with eleven children’s books, Louey the Lazy Elephant, Ricky the Rambunctious Raccoon, Jerry the Crabby Crayfish (won Pinnacle Book Achievement Award), Lamby the Lonely Lamb (won the Silver Medal from MOM’S Choice Awards), and Jesse the Precocious Polar Bear, Broose the Moose on the Loose (won a Pinnacle Book Achievement Award), and Sebastian Meets Marvin the Monkey, and Colby the Courageous Cat. Jeffrey the Jittery Giraffe, Clarence Henry the Hermit Crab Davey & Derek Junior Detectives Series (Book 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5) is a middle-grade/preteen series. Book 1, The Case of the Missing Cell Phone (won the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award and an Honorable Mention from Readers’ Favorite Awards). Book 2, The Case of the Mysterious Black Cat, won the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award and Book 3, The Case of the Magical Ivory Elephant, also won the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award and Book 5 won a Pinnacle Book Achievement Award and a Silver Medal from Authorsdb Cover Contest.

Janice has published three novels under J. E. Spina, Hunting Mariah, a thriller/mystery, Mariah’s Revenge (Sequel to Hunting Mariah) a paranormal/mystery/romance novel, How Far Is Heaven, and a short story collection, An Angel Among Us, all available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. She needs to edit a YA fantasy series which will be published in 2019 and beyond. Her husband is her illustrator and cover creator.

She has written over a hundred poems and two other novels. The two novels need editing before publishing. Janice says, “There is always another story swimming around in my head. If I don’t write them down they are lost forever.”

Her logo is JEMSBOOKS for all ages on which is her motto:
“Reading Gives You Wings To Fly! Soar with Jemsbooks!”

Janice’s and John’s joint goal is: To encourage children of all ages to read and to instill this love of reading in them to carry them through life and thus giving them ‘wings to fly!’

She loves to hear from readers and appreciates reviews. She says, “It’s like Christmas each time I receive a review!” (Taken from Goodreads)

 

Author Links

Website

Blog – Jemsbooks (on WordPress)

Goodreads

Facebook

Twitter

Google +

LinkedIn

Buy the Book

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

LOVE FINDS YOU IN SUGARCREEK, OHIO

By Serena B. Miller

Blurb

A mysterious outsider casts a long shadow on Ohio’s Amish country. Policewoman Rachel Troyer has always looked after her three elderly Amish aunts, proprietors of a farmhouse inn near Sugarcreek, Ohio. The idyllic town is popular with tourists, who come to sample its famous Amish goods. But one thing is clear to Rachel – Joe Matthews is no tourist. When the bearded stranger lands on her aunts’ doorstep, begging shelter for himself and his young son, Rachel is suspicious. Will she be able to uncover Joe’s secrets despite her aunts’ – and her own – growing affection for him?

(Blurb from Amazon)

My Review

LOVE FINDS YOU IN SUGARCREEK, OHIO isn’t a book I would have chosen myself, but since our book club chose it, I was committed to reading it. I don’t read too many books with a religious tone unless it is subtle. I knew nothing about the Amish. The first couple of chapters were a bit hard for me to get into. The situations were too unbelievable, but as I read more I let go of my preconceived notions and drifted into the lovely setting for the story. As the author researched the Amish in depth, I soon found myself lost in reading about the way of life of these simple, hardworking people. I became engrossed in reading about Joe and Rachel, the aunts, Bobby, Eli, and Joe’s estrangement from his father. The author did a wonderful job developing her characters. I soon had a vested interest in each character and their part in the story. The flow of the story was easy to follow and created a sense of being in the middle of all activity. I could smell Lydia’s pies and breads and taste her butter cookies. I could sense Rachel’s distrust of Joe and at the same time her fascination with him, as well as Joe’s worry over his current path. And then there’s Eli! I absolutely fell in love with him.
If you enjoy a bit of mystery, some romance, and don’t mind learning about a different religious culture, you will love reading LOVE FINDS YOU IN SUGARCREEK, OHIO. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this superbly crafted novel. I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

About the Author

Website

Goodreads

Genre: Historical Fiction, Religion & Spirituality

Biography

I live only a few miles from a flourishing Amish community and am blessed to count many Old Order Amish as friends. Love Finds You in Sugarcreek, Ohio is a natural outgrowth of my on-going fascination with these valiant, flawed people who struggle to live their lives according to their interpretation of the Bible. Once, when I apologized for asking so many questions while researching this book, an Amish father told me that I could ask anything I wanted. “Nothing is forbidden,” he said. He told me that he wanted my book to be accurate. I was thrilled when his family read it and gave me their enthusiastic nod of approval.

Our family, however, also lived for many years in Michigan. My father, a sawyer, told me stories he had heard from old timber men who had cut the fabled giant pine in the Saginaw Valley. Visiting museums and reading about the years directly after the Civil War, when Michigan became the lumber capital of the world, became a hobby. I was delighted when Revell Publishing allowed me to revisit that era by writing The Measure of Katie Calloway.

There are many other books on their way—both Amish and historical. Please know that each one is a labor of love from me to you.

To God be all the glory, forever.

(Biography from Goodreads)

Published: Neighbors!

Book Spotlight – Neighbors by Karen Oberlaender.

In a small compass...

Dear friends and readers,

Cover: Neighbors!
by Karen Oberlaender

It has finally happened: My second book, Neighbors!, was published today, June 19, 2018 as a multi-format ebook by Smashwords. As many of you may know, the book is a flash fiction series, focussed on Sheriff Jim Burrell and a peculiar case. It also comprises a bit of fan fiction: author C. S. Boyack lent me my favourite protagonist of his works, Lisa Burton, to support Sheriff Jim.

I hope you will take the time to check Neighbors! out at your retailer of choice or at Smashwords, where you can buy and download the book in the typical ebook formats.

Neighbors! is available at many retailers. Mobi format is available at Smashwords.

Buy/download links:  books2read.com/u/3G9dg8

I am looking forward to your feedback and reviews.  🙂

Best wishes,

Karen

View original post

How do you read it?

Just as everyone has a different style of writing, M.A. Lossl shows us there are different ways to read.

M.A. Lossl

As an author, I’m fascinated by the way people read. Is it possible to write a book to suit all reading styles?

Begin at the beginning, go on to the end, then stop, is not for everyone.

For myself, over the years, I’ve had many different reading needs.

Bookworm: I was an avid reader. Every opportunity, I would read from front to back. I remember having an argument with my dad, at the meal table. He read his newspaper, so I read my book. He did not approve, somewhat hypocritically, I felt. I felt sad to finish a good story; the library was my favourite place.

Short and sharp:  During my teenage years, magazines were my favourite. I first read The New Scientist when I was sixteen, but soon got into all the popular magazines. Life was busy. Time for avid reading was short. Short articles filled my…

View original post 287 more words