Jump Start your Holiday reading with Chipper Makes Merry

I know it is Halloween season, but it will be Christmas season before you know it. I love giving books and reading new holiday books during the season. Today’s Blog tour introduces a new book in plenty of time to get a copy for yourself. We were provided with the book so we have a review as well as other book details giving you a chance to decide if it is a book for your family. It is one we recommend. Other things in the blog today are a giveaway, author details and a guest post.

Book Details

Book Title:  Chipper Makes Merry by Kimber Fox Morgan
Category: Children’s Fiction (Ages 3-7)
Genre: Children’s Picture Book
Publisher:  Simple Wonder Press, 34 pages
Release date:  October 2021
Content Rating:  Rated G – Suitable for All Ages

Book Description

A “Mom’s Choice Award Winner”!
Tip toe, tip toe, crackle, crunch!

​Chipper the Fox sneaks through the forest to spread cheer to his weary friends. Will his merry making be a success? Or will a smelly fish disaster and a log pile tumble ruin his plans?

“Chipper Makes Merry” takes you on Chipper’s arctic quest filled with lessons of love, kindness and determination.

BOOK REVIEW

This is a cute book. It has a cute story full of cute illustrations and cute characters. It is plain cute! Youth will enjoy meeting the delightful characters and looking at the beautifully presented illustrations. There is even some repetition text throughout as well, which is great for this age group. This is a character trying to do his best even when things aren’t always going right. It really is a story of kindness and being determined. This is a nice story to add to your holiday story rotation at home or even at school. He wants to help bring happiness to his friends. Read in this book how it works out or doesn’t go as planned in this story.

It has sweet characters and an interesting story. I’d love to read more from Chipper’s adventures with his friends. An added element is the main character’s name, which is creative and fitting — Chipper the Fox. It is a nice book for reading aloud as well as for early readers. The book is a nice size with illustrations that fit well with the story and wording helpful for young readers to graps.

This is a good holiday story, which might be a little different, but fits well with the spirit of the holiday. We recommend it. This is a story for preschoolers as well as early elementry to enjoy. It is wonderful to add a new story to holiday reading time.

Buy The Book
Kimber Fox Morgan  ~  Amazon

Meet the Author

Morgan is a fun wife, and imperfect mom of 3 crazy kiddos and 2 little lemon (problematic) dogs. She tries to live her strengths the best she can. She likes to say she is creative, not crafty. Morgan is a homemade Halloween costume type of mom. She lets her kids mix the play doh. She bakes fun birthday cakes (cutely, but far from perfection). She loves a homemade valentine and a school project. Chipper the Fox is an extension of Morgan’s creative strength. Originally designed as character to create merry during the holiday season, Chipper has grown and developed into a story of determination and love.

connect with the author

website ~ instagram  ~facebook

Guest Post

www.KimberFoxMorgan.com

@kimbermorgan_writes

The Roller Coaster Ride of Publishing a Children’s Book

I have worked tirelessly on publishing my children’s book over the past year and there has been no shortage of learning. It has been a year full of trial and errors. There have been webinars, author coaching, and hours and hours of research. I have learned about illustrations, website development, trim sizes, printing (so many options), sell sheets, launch teams, reviews, and all things Amazon (complicated!), and the list goes on and on. I have learned what I am good at and what I like, and what I don’t. For the record, I do not like anything that has to do with money, profit margins, taxes, or budgeting. Luckily, I share a bed with my main investor 😊

Overall, learning how to publish a book has been fun! But not easy. I feel like I am back in high school, cramming for the History test. There are so many things to know and learn, which can be overwhelming, and when I get overwhelmed, I cry. But the demanding work (and tears) come with so many great rewards, just like getting that solid A in History. My favorites thus far have been the pictures sent to me of grandparents reading my book to their grandchildren; the smiles that came across my kids’ faces when they first saw my printed book; and my sweet, proud mom who cried when reading the dedication that wrote to her. The book publishing journey has been quite a roller coaster. But the thrill of the peaks has been worth all the dipping valleys.

Giveaway

Here is the link to enter the giveaway. Good luck and let me know if you win!!

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NOTE: This blog was written with and provided by media kit information from the iBOOK BOOK TOURS Host team. The review is my own idea as the book was provided.

Happy Spooky Season Reading Children’s Books

Happy Spooky Season as we call it here. We have several fun books fitting the season to review today. Each is in the children’s book category good for families, little ones and early readers. It is also just plain good reading for the Spooky Season!!

Gilbert the Ghost

Gilbert the Ghost by Buido Van Genechten is a charming best-selling character and this book’s author and illustrator is award winning. You can purchase this book in board book form now so they are rereleasing it to reviewers. I had a chance to look it over.

Casper isn’t the only cute little ghost. The illustrations are colorful with spooky designs fitting this character and story. They are beautiful. Gilbert goes to Ghost school and makes friends. He doesn’t really act as scary as a real ghost though. This is a story about being yourself and that includes being your own ghost even being a different ghost by being yourself. He even looks a little different.

The story is ok and fits well as a Spooky Time story, but the illustrations are great to view. Some of the story might be fun for little ones, but Gilbert is likable and cute. Even a ghost needs to be himself.

Pumpkin Heads

Pumpkin Heads is by Wendell Minor, who is an award winning author and artist. When you think of Halloween pumpkins might be something you think about and this book does a good job showing this. Going to pick out a pumpkin that you like the look — shape and size to decorate your house or make a jack-o-lantern is popular and fun. This is a good book to read at school perhaps before a field trip to a pumpkin patch or when talking about pumpkins and getting into the season spirit. It is also fun to read at home. Again, for the same reasons.

It is mostly great pictures. You go on a journey in this book through the journey of the pumpkin that becomes a holiday decoration. It gives some ideas for jack-o-lanterns, which is nice. Early readers and students will enjoy this book. There are many things to see in this book and it is a good seasonal book.

Happy Pumpkins

Happy Pumpkins is an adorable seasonal story sure to make your list this year and every year for your reading time. It is a not scary story with great illustrations. This story is about a little pumpkin and teaches the message to not judge others. Not every spooky season story is scary and this one does a good job being sweet, seasonal and presenting a message. It also shows not every pumpkin has to be scary.

Pumpkins are in the patch looking to be picked by their family and as some are and some are left behind it can be a sad time. This pumpkin feels that way. This is his story. The story is sweet and the illustrations colorful with a great look for the season.

Are you Looking for a Snack?

If you are looking for a snack RX Bar has some nut butter options we have tried. First, I am going to say we liked the nut butter product much better than the RX Bars we have tried, but I don’t think we have reviewed them here yet. Nevertheless that is for another blog. Anyway, the RX Nut Butter is not so bad. I am not saying it is the best and should be your choice other than what you are using now. But if you you are looking for such a product it is something to consider. It is worth a try.

We tried the Chocolate Peanut Butter, Honey Cinnamon Peanut Butter and Peanut Butter options. There are other choices too. We think our favorite of these choices is the Honey Cinnamon Peanut Butter option. One thing we liked about what we tried is they were not out of a jar, but it comes in packets. They do have jar options though. We liked these options because you have a single use that you can take with you. It is great for work and picnics. Also, you can still use it on the same things you do other peanut butters such as celery, crackers or sandwiches.

Peanut Butter

Learn more about these and other RX Bar products at the website. They are proud of having real ingredients.Products are also found in stores and online.

Peanut Butter

It is a spreadable peanut butter. They have added egg whites for more protein. It is also gluten free, Keto friendly, no added sugar and non GMO. Visit RXBAR.com/whats-inside for details and it sells for less than $13 for 10 packs that are 1.13 oz. It has a rich flavor.

Honey Cinnamon Peanut Butter

Honey Cinnamon Peanut Butter

We liked the flavor of this one the best. It is the Honey Cinnamon Peanut Butter. You can taste the cinnamon and honey making it a nice choice. It also has added protein from egg whites. It is also gluten free and non GMO. They have added egg whites for more protein too. It is also gluten free and non GMO. Visit RXBAR.com/whats-inside for details and sells for less than $13 for 10 packs that are 1.13 oz.

Chocolate Peanut Butter

The Chocolate Peanut Butter might be a nice little treat on its own. This spread also has added egg whites for protein and would be a good topper for desssert snacks or breakfast items perhaps too. It is gluten free, Keto friendly, no added sugar and non GMO. Visit RXBAR.com/whats-inside for details and sells for less than $13 for 10 packs that are 1.13 oz.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think we will be switching any time soon from what we already use to this product, but it is a nice change from time-to-time perhaps if there is a deal. If we want something portable in single serving packets this is a nice option.

Beautiful Celebrations In Our Moon Festival Book

Celebrations are beautiful in today’s book tour. We are a stop on the Our Moon Festival Book Tour with book details, a giveaway, my review and even more.

Book Details

Book Title:  Our Moon Festival by Yobe Qiu
Category:  Children’s Fiction (Ages 3-7),  30 pages
Genre: Children’s Picture Book 
Publisher:  Yobe Qiu LLC
Release date:  January 2020
Content Rating:  G

Book Description

“Our Moon Festival” is a beautifully illustrated children’s book celebrating the unique ways the Japanese, Vietnamese, and Chinese communities celebrate the Moon Festival. The story highlights different families and their traditions as they observe Zhong Qiu Jie, Tết Trung Thu, and Tsukimi!

Buy the Book
 Amazon ~
Author’s Website ~ ​Oakiebees

Meet the Author

Yobe is an educator, entrepreneur and mom who lives in NYC. As an educator, she focused on teaching families to embrace love, diversity and different cultures. Through the years working in the classrooms and closely with other educators, she noticed the lack of multi-cultural resources that represented children of color. That is when Yobe decided to create multicultural children stories that feature Asian children, families and cultures! Yobe loves spending time with her daughter, reading to children and taking long walks during the day!

Connect with the Author

  Website ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

REVIEW

This is a beautiful book. It is also well written and helps tell about different moon festivals. It does a good job introducing these moon festivals and gives readers some personal insight. The illustrations are colorful and bring to life the book as well. It even helps tell the story and gives more information about each festival. If you have not heard of these festivals and want to learn a little more by introducing them to your preschool to elementary child this is a great family story time book. It does a good job telling the story.

An added special element and good timing element to our family is one of my sons is learning a little about the Tet Trung Thu Vietnamese Moon Festival, which is mentioned in this book. It was nice to get another aspect of this festival that was a little more personalized with a family aspect through this reading. It added to our interest. This book does that with the festivals by bringing the family side of things and telling how they celebrate, which is nice.

I recommend this book. You’ll learn about delightful festivals as well as what these are about through some family traditions. There are celebrations involving family aspects, food serving, activities and other cultural elements including customs. One thing that would have been helpful for this book is a pronunciation key since many may be reading this aloud and it is for younger readers and listeners. It would be helpful. Besides getting it right is always best. Another idea is a brief history or information page on each festival with more details. It would give a broader understanding of the festivals and good for older groups as well. Overall, great book!!

Giveaway

Enter to win OUR MOON FESTIVAL signed by the author (one winner/USA only) (ends Oct 4). Let me know if you win — good luck!

The full list of the tour and more reviews is found at https://ginaraemitchell.com/our-moon-festival/.

NOTE: This blog was written with and provided by media kit information from the iBOOK BOOK TOURS Host team. The review is my own idea as the book was provided.

Reviewing New Enola Holmes Mystery Book

Here is the review and book excerpt you have been waiting for since for awhile or at least since yesterday. It is the book tour for ENOLA HOLMES AND THE BLACK BAROUCHE by Nancy Springer that went on sale August 31.

A little more about the book. The quotes on the book jacket Netflix movie star that plays this character. She says this about Enola, “A young girl who is empowered, capable, and smart…the Enola Holmes book series convey an impactful message that you can do anything if you set your mind to it, and it does so in an exciting and adventurous way.”–Millie Bobby Brown

Enola Holmes is the much younger sister of her more famous brothers, Sherlock and Mycroft. But she has all the wits, skills, and sleuthing inclinations of them both. At fifteen, she’s an independent young woman–after all, her name spelled backwards reads ‘alone’–and living on her own in London. When a young professional woman, Miss Letitia Glover, shows up on Sherlock’s doorstep, desperate to learn more about the fate of her twin sister, it is Enola who steps up. It seems her sister, the former Felicity Glover, married the Earl of Dunhench and per a curt note from the Earl, has died. But Letitia Glover is convinced this isn’t the truth, that she’d know–she’d feel–if her twin had died.

Enola Holmes returns in her first adventure since the hit Netflix movie brought her back on the national bestseller lists, introducing a new generation to this beloved character and series.

BOOK EXCERPT

“Is she fainted?”

Indignant, I wanted to sit up and say I was not so easily killed and I never fainted, but to my surprise my body would not obey me. I merely stirred and murmured.

“She’s moving.”

I saw the clodhopper boots of common men surrounding me and smelled alcohol on the breath of those leaning over me.

“Let’s get ’er inside.”

“Somebody go fer the doctor.”

Strong hands, not ungentle, seized me by the feet and shoulders. I could have kicked and yelled—I felt strong enough now—but my mind had started to function, realizing that I was about to be carried into a pub, for only in a public house, or pub, would workmen be drinking in the daytime. And normally no woman of good repute would enter a pub, or if she did, she would be jeered at until she retreated. But, my avid brain realized, fate in the form of Jezebel had given me opportunity to spend some time inside a pub—no, in the pub, most likely the only pub in Threefinches! So I closed my eyes and pretended to be rather more helpless than I was as the men hauled me inside and laid me down on a high-backed bench by the hearth.

Someone brought something pungent in lieu of smelling salts, but I shook my head, pushed the malodourous hand away, opened my eyes, and sat up, acting as if it were a great effort for me to do so. A burly, bearded man in an apron, undoubtedly the publican who kept the place, came running with a pillow for my back, and I thanked him with a gracious smile.

“Will ye have a nip of brandy, lydy?”

“No, thank you. Water, please.”

“Jack! Water for the lydy!” he bellowed to some underling, and he remained nearby as I managed, with hands that genuinely trembled, to remove my gloves. Their thin kidskin leather was ruined by the mauling it had taken from Jezebel’s reins, and my hands were red and sore; doubtless they would bruise. Grateful for the cool glass, I held it in both hands and sipped, looking around me. Half of the denizens of the place, like the owner, stood in a semicircle staring at me not unpleasantly, while the rest did the same from seats at the rustic tables—all but one. A tall man with beard stubble on his chin and quite a shock of coarse brownish-grey hair hiding his forehead had withdrawn to a table by the wall, where he devoted his attention to his mug of ale, or stout, or whatever noxious brew he might fancy. I said brightly to the tavern-keeper, “I believe I would like to stand up.”

“Now, why not wait for the doctor, lydy—”

But taking hold of his arm, as he stood within my reach, I got to my feet with reasonable steadiness. There were muted cheers from the onlookers. Nodding and simpering at the men all around me, I lilted, “Thank you so much. Do you suppose anyone could go out and fetch my bag, and my hat and parasol? I believe they fell along the—”

Already half a dozen would-be heroes were stampeding towards the door. Yet, if I had walked in here under my own power, any request for help would have been met with deepest suspicion. Such is life: odd.

REVIEW

I had never met Enola Holmes until the Netflx movie recently. But, when I watched it I wanted to learn all about her. I love this character. She is interesting and strong. I read one book and loved it. I of course started with the first in the series, The Case of the Missing Marquess. I recommend it. If you are a Sherlock fan I think you will enjoy these books introduced in early 2000s. It is geared to young adults but if you enjoy historical fiction and mysteries as well as Sherlock Holmes you will enjoy these as well.

Then when given a chance to review this new book I could not say “YES” fast enough. This is a well written story and I want to read every book in the series. The characters are spectacular and exceptionally developed. You feel Sherlock and Mycroft are true to how they were written before. Engola fits well with them and it is overall an outstanding series.

This book in particular fits well with the series and is interesting. You can tell why this writer is an award winner. If you haven’t read any of the other books yet you will be OK reading this one though. It brings you into her world very well. Engola is 15 now and is at the Professional Women’s Club. She is on her own with experience solving mysteries. She visits her big brother Sherlock when there is another mystery to solve and Engola decides to help.

I enjoy this this character. She is fun and creative. It is a dynamic story too and full of all the twists and atmosphere you want in a Holmes mystery. It is a good read for young adults readers as well as Sherlock fans. Young ladies looking for a strong female lead in a story this is a great one too! An added bonus is the historical fiction element if you enjoy that type of story. This is a perfect story for me.

I recommend this book and the series. I look forward to the next book and catching up on all the previous books too.

AUTHOR DETAILS

  • Author’s social handles o   Twitter: @NancySpringer
  • NANCY SPRINGER is the author of the nationally bestselling Enola Holmes novels, including The Case of the Missing Marquess, which was made into the hit Netflix movie, Enola Holmes. She is the author of more than 50 other books for children and adults. She has won many awards, including two Edgar Awards, and has been published in more than thirty countries. She lives in Florida.

BUY THE BOOK

Thanks to the St. Martin’s Publishing Group for providing publicity items for this blog tour!!

Spend Time Enjoying Reading About Enola Holmes!

I am very excited to be on the Enola Holmes blog tour. It is for the ENOLA HOLMES Black Barouche book. Have you seen the movie on Netflix? If not, then it would be great to watch that too and become familiar with the character. I love this character and the idea of Sherlock having a little sister. This is great. You’ll get a variety of details in today’s blog. Tomorrow will be the book review and book excerpt.

BOOK DETAILS

ENOLA HOLMES AND THE BLACK BAROUCHE by Nancy Springer; On-sale: August 31st, 2021

Jacket Copy:  “A young girl who is empowered, capable, and smart…the Enola Holmes book series convey an impactful message that you can do anything if you set your mind to it, and it does so in an exciting and adventurous way.”–Millie Bobby Brown

Enola Holmes is back! Nancy Springer’s nationally bestselling series and breakout Netflix sensation returns to beguile readers young and old in Enola Holmes and the Black Barouche.

Enola Holmes is the much younger sister of her more famous brothers, Sherlock and Mycroft. But she has all the wits, skills, and sleuthing inclinations of them both. At fifteen, she’s an independent young woman–after all, her name spelled backwards reads ‘alone’–and living on her own in London. When a young professional woman, Miss Letitia Glover, shows up on Sherlock’s doorstep, desperate to learn more about the fate of her twin sister, it is Enola who steps up. It seems her sister, the former Felicity Glover, married the Earl of Dunhench and per a curt note from the Earl, has died. But Letitia Glover is convinced this isn’t the truth, that she’d know–she’d feel–if her twin had died.

The Earl’s note is suspiciously vague and the death certificate is even more dubious, signed it seems by a John H. Watson, M.D. (who denies any knowledge of such). The only way forward is for Enola to go undercover–or so Enola decides at the vehement objection of her brother. And she soon finds out that this is not the first of the Earl’s wives to die suddenly and vaguely–and that the secret to the fate of the missing Felicity is tied to a mysterious black barouche that arrived at the Earl’s home in the middle of the night. To uncover the secrets held tightly within the Earl’s hall, Enola is going to require help–from Sherlock, from the twin sister of the missing woman, and from an old friend, the young Viscount Tewkesbury, Marquess of Basilwether!

Enola Holmes returns in her first adventure since the hit Netflix movie brought her back on the national bestseller lists, introducing a new generation to this beloved character and series.

AUTHOR DETAILS

  • Author’s social handles
    • o   Twitter: @NancySpringer
  • NANCY SPRINGER is the author of the nationally bestselling Enola Holmes novels, including The Case of the Missing Marquess, which was made into the hit Netflix movie, Enola Holmes. She is the author of more than 50 other books for children and adults. She has won many awards, including two Edgar Awards, and has been published in more than thirty countries. She lives in Florida.

BUY THE BOOK

Thanks to the St. Martin’s Publishing Group for providing publicity items for this blog tour!!

Learn More About The Ghost Camper’s Tall Tales with Story Excerpts

Yesterday’s blog featured reviews of three books on The Ghost Camper’s Tall Tales Book Tour and Giveaway. Today here are some excerpts of the books to help you learn more. It is a little lengthy of a post. But you are getting excerpts of three books to help give you an idea of what you will be reading. They are interesting books. 

Elizabeth Pantley is the international bestselling author of The No-Cry Sleep Solution and twelve other books for parents, published in over twenty languages. The Disappearance of Emily is the second book in her well-received fiction series. Elizabeth lives in the Pacific Northwest and is the mother of four and Nana to one. Visit her at nocrysolution.com

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Elizabeth-Pantley/e/B000APFU6Y

Win a Plush Kitty & Mug Swag + ebooks of the Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic Series!

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

Falling into Magic
Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic series – Book 1

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Falling-into-Magic-Destiny-Mystery-ebook/dp/B08MCRCW9J

Prologue

It all began when I was six and lost my cat.

Fluffball was a Himalayan rescue, the softest ball of fur I’d ever seen. I found her at the shelter and fell in love with her amazing blue eyes. I begged Nana and Gran to let me take her home. I promised I’d take good care of her, so they finally gave in and the cat joined our family.

I’d only had her a few weeks, but I loved Fluffball. Then one day, she was gone. Snap. Just like that.

They said, “Hayden, she snuck out a door and ran away.” But I knew what happened. It was the mirror.

1

Twenty Years Ago

Nana and Gran always told me I could figure anything out. They said I had a sharp mind and an abundance of curiosity. I knew I could make the drawbridge work on the castle I was building. Just a few more hinge pieces and maybe a rubber band and a paper clip. I found the pieces and worked to connect them.

I stepped back to look at my creation and caught a glimpse of it in the mirror above my dresser. I stepped closer. It was my castle I was seeing. But it wasn’t. The reflected version was glowing and floating on carpet that looked more like a cloud.

I turned around, squinted my eyes, and spied my castle. My non-glowing, non-floating castle, sitting on the beige carpet. I giggled. Nana was always saying I let my imagination run away with me. I shrugged my shoulders and turned my back to the mirror.

I added a few more pieces and was pleased to see my drawbridge could go up and down. Success!

“Look at that, Fluffball! I made a real drawbridge!” My new pet rubbed against my legs and meowed. It was fun to have a friend. Growing up with no brothers or sisters sometimes made me lonely. A cat wasn’t exactly someone to build with, but it was someone to talk to, and I liked that.

I placed my favorite piece on top—a flag I had painted. It was my castle’s crest: a shield with a waterfall and an old-fashioned goblet like the one on our bookcase.

Standing up, I took a slow trip around my creation. As I moved around the back, I saw the mirror-version castle. It was still glowing, still floating—and now, it had a small flag with my crest on top. But the flag was waving in the breeze from the open window overlooking the sea. The sea? I lived in the city and could see only the other homes in our neighborhood from my bedroom window.

As I moved closer to the mirror, I saw a child’s arm wave over the structure, and then, suddenly, a boy came into view. His eyes popped open and his mouth made a wide, soundless “O.” He was about my age, maybe a little older. He stepped closer to the mirror, tilting his head to the side, and reached out toward me. I sucked in a breath and spun around to look behind me. There sat my castle, my bedroom, my bed. The same as always. I very slowly turned back to the mirror and gasped. The boy had his face pressed up against the other side, looking directly at me!

He smiled and waved. I smiled and waved back. He pointed at his castle and then pointed at mine and gave me a wild, dancing two-handed thumbs-up. I laughed at him. He laughed, too. I could see the happy crinkles by the corners of his eyes, but there was no sound. My real bedroom seemed to fade, and the mirror room was becoming clearer.

“Hayden, time to go to the park. Come on downstairs!” Nana’s voice startled me, and I jumped back.  My own room snapped back into focus. The boy looked confused. Then he smiled brightly and motioned for me to come over to his side of the mirror to play.

I stepped forward and reached toward the reflection. My hand should have been touching the surface of the mirror, but there was no surface to touch. Nana called me again to come downstairs. My bedroom seemed wavy now, in the same way that things looked when I swam underwater in the pool. Yet the castle in the mirror was crisp and colorful.

Fluffball meowed and jumped up onto the dresser. At that exact moment, a bright flash came out of the mirror. I grabbed Fluffball, jumped backwards and landed on the floor with a thump. Then I ran downstairs and went to the park with Nana.

Two weeks later, when I came home from school, Fluffball was gone. We waited for days, hoping she’d return. We put up posters in the neighborhood. But after a while, we had to admit that my cat was gone for good. Nana and Gran tried to tell me that Fluffball must have snuck out when the front door was open. But I knew the truth. The mirror had taken her.

After that day, I didn’t trust mirrors. They even had to take the mirror out of my bedroom. Even as I grew up, I remained uneasy around them. As a teen, I learned to put on my makeup and do my hair in the reflection of the shower door or in my small compact mirror. Sometimes, when I walked by a mirror, I would swear I saw a man in there, looking at me. I came to understand that it could be any mirror, but not every mirror. It was unpredictable. Over time, I convinced myself it was a good image that I saw–like a guardian angel. He even became a welcome sight.

The Disappearance of Emily : Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic Book 2

Amazon:https://www.amazon.com/Disappearance-Emily-Destiny-Falls-Mystery-ebook/dp/B08MDZDQY7

Chapter 1

The mountain trail was tricky. I was moving slowly through the deep snow. I knew the lake had to be nearby. It was important to find it, but I could barely see ten feet in front of me. It was steep and slippery, and I was making my way using trekking poles to assess where I should step next. My hands and feet were cold. I heard Latifa calling out to me. Where was she?What was she saying? 

“Good morning, Sunshine!” Her lilting voice woke me from my dream. “Happy one-month-a-versary!” It’s amazing how accustomed I’d grown to my cat’s telepathic voice in my head.

I squinted at my fluffy Himalayan sidekick. She was sitting beside me on the bed. I stretched out my arms and gave an extra-loud yawn in her direction, hoping she’d get the hint that she had woken me up.

“Message received. Woke you up. So sorry. Got it.” She squinted at me and whispered, “Not sorry.”

I yawned at her again.

“Bet you forgot today is one month from the earth-shattering day we arrived in Destiny Falls.” Her big baby blues were focused on me, and her whiskers were twitching. “I have appointed myself Keeper of Your Calendar. You can be so forgetful about celebratory dates.” She shook her furry head as if it were impossible to believe.

I gave another exaggerated stretch and reached over to the bedside table. With a flourish, I presented her with a small, gift-wrapped package.

“Squeeee! You remembered!” She head-butted my face and spun a little circle on the bed, then turned to tear open the package. There was more squealing as she discovered her new, feathered cat toy.

I patted my sidekick’s head and tossed my legs over the side of the bed. A glance at my phone confirmed that Latifa-the-alarm-clock was right on time. I needed to get changed and meet Axel downstairs for a morning jog into town. He was often too busy with work to join me in the morning, so it was a wonderful treat to have some extra time with my newfound brother.

My brother. How I loved the sound of that. After a lifetime as an only child in a tiny three-person family, finding out that I had siblings and a large hidden family was monumental. Add to that a mysterious, magical new world, and I was floating on cloud nine.

The only dark spot was missing my family and my best friend, Luna. I was still trying to figure out how to tell them about Destiny Falls. I’d have to sort this out soon, since my cover story of a working trip to Denmark was nearing its expiration. A month overseas was feasible, but as the timeline continued, I’d need to address my disappearance.

My Nana and Granana would be happy that I was happy. They’ve been my biggest cheerleaders my entire life. They always said my happiness mattered most to them. Both my parents disappeared the week I was born, so my grandmother and great-grandmother jumped into raising me. They were dedicated to the job, with an enthusiasm that was a complete contrast to their tiny, delicate appearances. Luna and I referred to them as the Mighty Minis, which was an apt description. 

Figuring out how to explain that I wasn’t really in Denmark, but in a magical, hidden town in an unknown location was a whole new ball of wax. Especially since the town was finicky about who it revealed itself to. Any e-mails or texts I attempted to send, explaining my location, disappeared into the ether in a wisp of bounces— undeliverable, message not sent, connection lost. Even phone calls suddenly lost the signal. Maybe Axel, my brother (deep sigh of joy), could help me solve this problem.

I turned on the movie channel for Latifa, my furry little movie buff, tucked my ponytail through the back of my baseball cap, and headed out. I strolled slowly down the hallway, so I could absorb the beauty of this amazing home.

Hmm. That was odd. Where was the window seat? It was usually somewhere in my hallway, but it was oddly absent. There was a glorious swatch of sunlight, which is where it normally would be lounging. I snickered. Imagine that. A window seat that can lounge in the sun. Magic touched the Caldwell Crest home in the most interesting ways.

Caldwell Crest is a masterpiece of design. It could be described as a cozy, mansion-sized mountain cabin. I felt embraced by the sweeping staircase made of polished wood. I loved the plank wood floors and ceilings and the gorgeous but understated chandeliers. I adored the stone fireplaces that soared all the way up to the tall ceilings. The earthy colors of the décor were soothing. Even after a month, I was still adjusting to the fact that it was now where I lived.

The home was enchanting. I could almost believe the rumors that it was originally built as a castle back in the 1800s and magically remodeled many times. It’s difficult to understand Caldwell Crest and the mysterious place that was Destiny Falls, especially since the definition seemed to always be changing.

It had been a wild ride of a month since I’d been thrown through a portal and landed here.

Destiny Falls is different from any place I’ve ever known before. I had to let go of my preconceived notions of what defines a town. I still can’t quite wrap my head around the fact that the town isn’t on any map and isn’t accessible by normal means.

You must be called here by either the home or the town. Then you whoosh through time and space, to the accompaniment of a flash of brilliant light, as you tumble through a mirror. It’s a one-way trip. Once you’re here, you are, well . . . “trapped” is a harsh word for such a lovely place. However, it’s accurate. I cannot choose to leave. Destiny Falls controls the comings and goings.

I feel a bit like Alice falling through the mirror into wonderland. Albeit a much nicer wonderland than Alice had to deal with.

I’ve figured out that’s it’s easier if I just go with the flow and don’t try to understand all the nuances of this place.

THE GHOST CAMPER’S TALL TALES

(Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic Series Book 3)

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com

Just as the town is magical, the home is enchanted, too. It changes over the day, the years, and the decades to suit the people who live in it. Rumor had it that the home was originally built as a castle in the 1800s, but it looked like it was built yesterday.

I ran my hand along the glistening black granite countertops as I made my way to the corner where the makings for tea were kept. To the left of the pantry, my eye caught on a new door that I had never seen before. To be precise, it was a door that never existed before.

Doors that suddenly appeared like this tended to hide surprise rooms. Case in point, the door that appeared in my bedroom recently which led to a yoga and meditation room that included a private deck overlooking the bay. It was a room I used almost daily since I’d discovered it. The home had apparently understood my stress and provided a calming room for me to retreat to. As I said, the home takes care of its occupants, of which I am now one.

The other thing that I’d learned about this house, is that a door’s appearance is an invitation. If there is a secret, the door simply would not appear to you.

This door had no doorknob, as it was a free-swinging door, so I gave it a gentle push and stepped through. There was a sudden blast of deafening noise. I stumbled backwards into the kitchen, falling through the swinging door, and landing with a plop on the floor. I was met with the gentle quiet of the sleeping house. My brain took a moment, but I realized that the sound I had heard was music, albeit extremely loud music.

I stood up and tentatively stepped in through the door. My senses were bombarded by the blaring music once again. I stepped backward into the kitchen. Total quiet. Forward through the door: loud music. I kept my body still this time and just listened. It was a song I recognized. Eminem and Rihanna singing about not being afraid of the monsters under the bed.

My eyes darted around the room. My mouth dropped open. I was standing in a large, immaculate restaurant-style kitchen. It had gleaming stainless steel appliances and a large stove and grill station. A massive prep island dominated the middle of the room, a rack of pots hanging above it. Pans, bowls, and serving platters of all sizes and types were neatly lined on shelves.

The walls that were bare of shelves were painted with bright, colorful messages: “Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.” – Harriet Van Horne. “One cannot think well, love well, or sleep well if one has not dined well.” – Virginia Woolf. “I never met a meal I didn’t like.” – Miss Piggy.

I heard a man’s voice singing along with Eminem in perfect harmony. It was coming from an adjoining room that appeared to be a large pantry.

NOTE: This blog was written with and provided by media kit information from the Silver Dagger Book Tours.

Ending the Summer on a Camping Book Tour with The Ghost Camper’s Tall Tales

Today we have several books we are reviewing and much more in our blog. We are part of The Ghost Camper’s Tall Tales Book Tour and Giveaway. I enjoyed reading the books on this book tour and recommend them. This is a lengthy blog with reviews of three book. That being said today will be my reviews with book details and come back tomorrow for the book excerpts to encourage you to read these tales!

We will start with the featured book or the most recent book in the series and finish with the first book. I will provide the book details and then my review.

THE GHOST CAMPER’S TALL TALES

(Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic Series Book 3)

Genre: Magical Cozy Mystery

@ElizabethPantleyNoCryAuthor   

A mysterious old man keeps popping up to tell Hayden a series of tall tales. Who is he? And is he actually glowing? Are his stories fiction, or is he telling her the history of her family, the enchanted islands, and the witch? And why did a dead body show up . . . of someone who is already dead? Can Hayden and her quirky sidekick, Latifa unscramble this mystery before someone else shows up dead?

Hayden’s adventures in the magical world of Destiny Falls continue in this gripping story that answers your questions about the mysterious world she entered through a mirror in book one, Falling into Magic. We learn more about her missing mother, whose story begins in book two, The Disappearance of Emily.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58087372-the-ghost-camper-s-tall-tales

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Ghost-Campers-Tall-Tales-Destiny-ebook/dp/B095177BFG/

This is the third book in the series and it is best to read the other books first. Falling Into Magic then The Disappearance of Emily and I will be reviewing these books as well so you have an idea of each of these books. These books are great for most young adult readers and beyond. It is identified as a Magical Cozy Mystery and I think that fits it very well. These books are designed with a mystery that is solved and interesting. The series itself is captivating because there is a mystery going on throughout that keeps you thinking.

You get a ghost camper in this book and a magical town with secrets around every corner. The book is well written and the characters are welcoming including Hayden who meets a ghost while camping. It is a fascinating story as we learn about him through his tales along with Hayden. You get to know more about the charming Destiny Falls area and the characters that live there. This book is a fun read as is the entire series. This book has it all including a little romance. I will continue to read the series and will be looking for the next book!

The Disappearance of Emily

Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic Series Book 2


Hayden fell through a mirror and was thrust into an alternate, magical place. Destiny Falls is not on any map and is home to a family she never knew she had. The town is enchanted and charming, but something is amiss. She gets an ominous warning, and the promise of a package. Once it arrives, someone turns up dead and there are too many other suspicious episodes to call them coincidences. All signs point to the mysterious disappearance of her mother – way back when Hayden was just two days old. Can she identify and eliminate the threat before another person in her life is stolen away?

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56699611-the-disappearance-of-emily

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Disappearance-Emily-Destiny-Falls-Mystery-ebook/dp/B08MDZDQY7

Again it is important to read the books in order. It will help in the enjoyment of the series and you will know what is happening in the series’ story. The author does a wonderful job bringing her story to life with fantastic writing and creative descriptions. The main character is Hayden and she is in Destiny Falls, a magical land. While she is trapped there she is safe. It is an amazing place with fantastic things that happen. The place and characters are interesting as well as well-developed. You will not only enjoy reading the story, but you will feel you are there.


Let’s not forget the mystery of this story. There is a murder and she is eager to figure things out. Even her mom who has been missing for a long time is involved with this mystery. More questions are left unanswered than solved with this mystery leading to a captivating story that solves a murder but leaves you eager for the next story in the series. What else is happening in the magical and mysterious world of Hayden? I look forward to finding out.

Falling Into Magic

Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic Series Book 1

When Hayden was a child, she lost her cat. Adults told her the cat ran away, but she knew the truth. The mirror had taken her.

She knew because the mirror had given her a glimpse of an alternate world and had nearly pulled her in, so she was certain the cat had suffered that fate.

Twenty years later Hayden discovers the secret of the mirror when she is thrust into it. She learns of a world she never knew existed, and a family she never knew she had.

But danger brought her here, and it followed her. Now, Hayden is on a mission to remove the threat, so that she can begin her magical, meaningful new life in this enchanted world.

**On Sale the first week of August!**

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55764193-falling-into-magic

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Falling-into-Magic-Destiny-Mystery-ebook/dp/B08MCRCW9J

The series starts with this book and it is a great way to start. It starts off well written from a nonfiction author and it is her debut novel. She does a wonderful job transporting us to a magical world with vivid descriptions and a fantastic story. You can see the beauty around you through creative writing. This is a fun story to read full of magic and mystery. She has built a world full of imagination and well-developed characters, which help bring the book alive. 


This is a story of humor and magic, but there is even more to it. Someone wants to hurt Hayden, the main character. The mystery is why. Though the mystery is sort of solved readers know there is more to the story and lead us to the series. When you read this book you can’t help but want to read more in the series.

Elizabeth Pantley is the international bestselling author of The No-Cry Sleep Solution and twelve other books for parents, published in over twenty languages. The Disappearance of Emily is the second book in her well-received fiction series. Elizabeth lives in the Pacific Northwest and is the mother of four and Nana to one. Visit her at nocrysolution.com

Author Links

Website: https://www.nocrysolution.com/books
Blog: https://elizabethpantley.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ElizabethPantleyNoCryAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/nocrysolution

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/elizabethpantley

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/elizabeth-pantley 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Elizabeth-Pantley/e/B000APFU6Y

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/24811.Elizabeth_Pantley

Win a Plush Kitty & Mug Swag + ebooks of the Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic Series!

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

NOTE: The e-books were provided to me to write honest reviews. This blog was written with and provided by media kit information from the Silver Dagger Book Tours.

Cookbook Brings a Little Disney to You

If you enjoy visiting Disney then this cookbook will bring a little Disney Parks to you.

The Unofficial Disney Parks Cookbook

Ashley Craft does a wonderful job bringing the parks to you in The Unofficial Disney Parks Cookbook: from Delicious Dole Whip to Tasty Mickey Pretzels, 100 Magical Disney-Inspired Recipes. If you want to try it at home or have enjoyed it in the parks and have thought I wish I could enjoy it again at home then this cookbook has it.

I enjoyed, and my family enjoyed, many of these recipes. We looked through it searching for favorites and pretty much found everything we wanted to see was there as well as some things we wanted to try too, but haven’t had the chance to try in the parks yet, but now we can make them ourselves. You get the Dole Whip as well as blue milk recipe from Star Wars, which shows there are classics and new items included. There is also the Mickey pretzel, which I figure tastes great, but I figure I won’t get it to look as good.

There is more to this cookbook than treats. You learn about Disney, which fans will appreciate. You’ll get some history too, which is interesting. Then the sections have great information about the parks such as a map and park details. There is also important information such as materials and equipment you need for recipes as well. You might not have everything, which could be disappointing, but I think most cooks and bakers can make it work for favorite recipes making things with what they have. The author even says it is possible to not use all the applicances, but it makes it easier.

I also wish there were more photos, but I always want more photos in a cookbook, yet I especially wanted more in this one because I wanted to see more Disney. I did love what I saw though. This is well illustrated and visually appealing. Even if I didn’t want to make all the recipes the photos would have encouraged me!

This is a must cookbook for any Disney fan. If you aren’t a Disney fan, but enjoy treats this is a good cookbook for you too as it is a fun family cookbook with a nice variety of treats great for the family to enjoy and even make together. The recipes are clearly written and fairly easy to make. Pick some favorites such as the Cheeseburger Steamed Pods or the Jungle Juleps and enjoy them at home.

This year Disney World will be celebrating 50 years. It opened on Oct.1, 1971. Happy upcoming birthday Disney World and thanks for all the treats and wonderful memories!!

This fantastic cookbook is available at Amazon.com for less than $12.

Finding Reads to Enjoy, Reduce Stress

School is in session. Perhaps you are at home. Maybe you are back in the building. You might also see school time throughout the year on an e-learming schedule as the Covid pandemic is still happening. There are always stresses. Yet, it might feel a little more stressful right now. Here are some fun reads that might get your mind off the stress and the kids can find stress relief too.

Super Silly Jokes for KIds

Super Silly Jokes for KIds by Vicki Whiting is a fun for kids, but families can enjoy it too. Teachers take notice too if you want to take a little break and get the kids laughing. It is well designed with jokes children enjoy. Take time to destress with some silly jokes. Sure there are some “ugh” jokes or you might call them Dad jokes, but kids will enjoy this book. It is well designed and colorful, which is great for kids. There are also beautiful illustrations. If you want a super silly joke book that works for kids this is the book to get.

It is not full knock-knock jokes book either. Some jokes might even surprise you or maybe not really. But they are silly and fun. It has a nice variety. There are different topics too such as fish and pirates.

This book is available for less than $6 at Amazon.com. It is designed for elementary age students.

Learn to Draw Disney Furry Friends Collection

This is available for around $11 at Amazon.com.

Yes, our readers know we are a Disney household. That is just one reason we enjoy this book. The other is we enjoy drawing. Oh and another reason is it features animals. Really those are only a few reasons we recommend it. Learn to Draw Disney Furry Friends Collection: Featuring all your favorite Disney animals, including Stitch, Tumper, Rajah, Lady and more! is a book that is also well desgined and a fun way to reduce stress. The instructions are helpful if you have not drawn before so you can just have fun. It is good for any skill of artist. The illustrations to a great job showing you what to do as well. There are a nice variety of characters to draw. The instructions are step-by-step and easy to understand. It is a 64-page book and an added bonus that is interesting are the great facts that taught us a little more about the Disney animals being drawn.

Everything to help you be successful and have fun with this book are included such as the tools you need. Once you are done drawing then color your creation however you want because you have created it and it is time to make it your own. Be proud of your accomplishment. This is a fun book. This would be a fun family project or family time activity.