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 Case of the Sad Mischievous Ghost

Davey & Derek Junior Detectives Series Book 5

By Janice Spina

 

Book Blurb

Twins Davey and Derek Donato are enlisted by two new characters, Abby and her cousin Holly, to assist them in finding and capturing the spooky beings that haunt their house.

When the boys visit Abby’s house they discover that this old Victorian holds many secrets and shocking revelations.

Davey and Derek soon find that they need the assistance of their Great Aunt Gigi to handle these mischievous phantoms.

My Review

Once again, Davey and Derek are off on an adventure to solve a mystery.  These two young detectives are on the trail of ghosts that are living in their friend Abby’s house.  Abby and her cousin Holly are school mates of Davey and Derek and have more interest in them than just finding the ghosts.  When they visit Abby’s home, a large old Victorian house, they discover the house holds secrets even Abby’s parents didn’t know about.  Of course, once again, they enlist their Great Aunt Gigi to help them.

This was once again another delightful middle-grade book in the Davey & Derek Junior Detectives Series.  Davey and Derek and their friends are delightful children who are respectful and considerate of others, but who don’t hesitate to do a bit of sleuthing under the nose of Abby’s parents.

As with the other books in this series, The Case of the Sad Mischievous Ghost is well written and meets the author’s criteria for instilling the love of reading in children.

I highly recommend The Case of the Sad Mischievous Ghost to all middle graders and to their parents.  This would be a wonderful book to share, with parents taking a turn reading aloud.

About the Author

Janice Spina is an award-winning author with nine 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 and Sebastian Meets Marvin the Monkey, Colby the Courageous Cat, and Jeffrey the Jittery Giraffe. 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.

Janice has published two novels under J. E. Spina, Hunting Mariah, a thriller/mystery and her 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 is working on two children’s books, book 2 of Hunting Mariah and a mystery series for YA girls will be written in 2018 along with a YA fantasy series. 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 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!”

Author Biography taken from Goodreads.

Author Links

Website – Jemsbooks

Blog – Jemsbooks (on WordPress)

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Halloween Books for the Very Young

Halloween books for the very young are falling off the shelves everywhere books are sold.  There is an abundance of cute ghosts, silly pumpkins, furry black kitties, sweet owls, and even happy witches waiting for someone to discover them and take them home. The little ones who receive them will flip the pages long after Halloween is past.

The Itsy Bitsy Pumpkin

THE ITSY BITSY PUMPKIN by Sonali Fry (author) Sanja Rescek (illustrator) is a darling little board book, just right for chubby little hands. The little pumpkin rolls down the street and passes some not-so-spooky ghosts and goblins. When he can’t find his way home, a sweet little witch comes to his aid and helps him find his way back. The story isn’t at all spooky and the illustrations are sweet. Told in rhyme, the story will delight children age four and younger.

Five Little GhostsFive Black Cats

FIVE LITTLE GHOSTS and FIVE BLACK CATS both by Patricia Hegarty (Author) Julia Woolf (Illustrator) are written in sing-song rhyme, perfect for young ones to memorize.  I found the stories and the pictures to be cute. THE FIVE LITTLE GHOSTS are looking for something to play at the end of the day and try a variety of activities from painting to dressing in costume to playing in the garden.  In the end, they are all tuckered out and tucked into bed. FIVE BLACK CATS is the story of the cats out on a Halloween prowl and finally end up at the ghosts’ party.

Five Little Pumpkins

FIVE LITTLE PUMPKINS by Dan Yaccarino (Illustrator) is Amazon’s number one best seller in nursery rhymes. It is artfully illustrated with cute Halloween pictures. Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate, The first one said, “My, it’s getting late!” is a poem we all remember from our own childhoods, and is sure to be memorized by young ones. Though suggested for ages 4-8, this book will be enjoyed by children even younger.

These and many other cute, non-spooky Halloween books can be found anywhere books are sold.