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Monday, June 6, 2016

Space Kitties 2 Release and Author Interview

Hey Bookworms,

Last year a charming anthology released called Space Kitties, telling tails of cats in space, flying around in ships about the stars, daring adventures, and aliens.

Now, the second anthology, Space Kitties 2, has released!

 

Light-hearted tales of feline adventure from across the
cosmos, by a collection of authors from across the country.
Seven far thinking spec-fic authors band together for a
second collection of fun, unique and suspenseful stories
about kitties in space. What could be more purrific?

Enjoy this selection of literary entries as kitties take to
the stars amid the galaxies of your imagination...
(Copied from Amazon)

I've already read most of the stories in the anthology and they are sweet. A fun book to read. As part of the release's blog tour (I'm one of the stops), author interviews are spread across the blogsphere. Today, you get to meet Lesa McKee, author of Operation Space Cats. I'm excited to host Lesa because I read book 1, The Rescue Mission, in the first anthology and it was one of my favorites from the bunch. In book 2, The Missing Spaceship, we get to see her gang again as they go on a new adventure.

Now, without further ado, let me introduce Lesa McKee!

____________________________________


Lesa McKee grew up at her Grandmother's knee, listening to the French folk-tales her animated Grandma Ida shared. A love of stories was born and her imagination took off!

She’s now living her dream as a Christian Indie writer of feel-good fiction, including a short story series of far-out space cats, titled 'Operation Space Cats'. These purrific feline adventures are filled with faith, friendship & fun!

What is the synopsis of your Space Kitties tale?

Flying furballs! Cavias’s collar has went missing!

Tebbs is on the case. As he gets further into the search, secrets start to get unearthed, and Tebbs digs his paws in deeper. Just what line of work is Cavias into? And why is his own sister, Kibby being so mysterious?

The answers will lead Tebbs and his team on a return trip to Candar for another feline adventure that’s out of this world!

What inspired you to write it?

Book one, lol. This is book two of my Operation Space Cat series. When I finished book one, I knew these lovable space cat character’s weren’t finished yet. They were just warming up!:)

How long did it take you to write?

Let’s see. That seems like so long ago. I’m guessing around a month, not including the rewrites.

Was there any music you liked to listen to while you wrote?

Nope. No muse & no music. I work alone. Nice and quiet. Well ... except for those yowling, er, lovable space cats. :)

What was your reaction when you found out your story had been selected for the anthology?

I usually give my proper answer of ‘pleasantly surprised’, but actually It was more like a toss the confetti Woo-hoo! kind of moment.

Are you a plotter or a punster?

I’m a combination of both, really. Making me a plantser. I do lean toward pantsing quite often (I completely freestyled book one of OPSC) though with a series (the rest of the books, anyway) I have to include some planning, add foreshadowing, and make sure everything ties together. I love writing series (see below, I have another one planned), but it’s definitely more work.

What elements does your ideal story contain?

I write feel-good fiction-- faith with a helping of fun mixed in. Most everything I write tends to have that blend. That said, I could see myself branching out in the future.

Has there been an author or non-author person who has influenced your writing more than anyone else?

My grandma, Ida Portell. She wasn’t a writer, but she was an awesome storyteller. Every child in their life should have one. :) I grew up listening to her tell me French folk tales in her animated way, and my imagination took off!

Have you written any other books?

Yes. Book one of Operation Space Cats (Operation Space Cats, The Rescue Mission) which is published in Space Kitties 1. I’m also going to be releasing it on my own with beautiful full color illustrations soon. The plan is this August or September.

I’ve also written a couple of other short stories since OPSC, 1. Sky, a survival fantasy, and Blood-prints, a wolf fairytale. (Sounds gruesome, I know. And me not liking the sight of blood, lol).

What other stories are you planning in the future?

Book three in the series (Operation Space Cats, The Time Tunnels) is almost finished and ready for critique, revisions, and editing, and book four (Operation Space Cats, The Starlight Diamond) is my next project.

I also have a Christian historical romance novella series in the works, and an Island adventure, but that will take time as I’m busy with my space cats right now.
 

 ____________________________
 
 
Thanks so much, Lesa, for that interview. I look forward to more Space Cats adventures.
 
Space Kitties 2 is available from Amazon now! Plus, the publisher is also featuring a GIVEAWAY. If you comment on any of the blog tour posts, your name will be added to a drawing for an ebook copy of Space Kitties 2. So please comment and congratulate Lesa and the other authors!
 
Speaking of the other authors, check out the list of hosting blogs for this week. Tomorrow, you can check out MY interview. Yup, I'm one of the authors in Space Kitties! Talk about exciting and nerve racking. Now the reviewer gets to be reviews (and have author interviews). I hope it is the beginning of a long writing career.
 
Schedule:June 4 - Facebook party 1:00 - 6:00P.M. Central Time
~ Tour kickoff and cover reveal at E. Kaiser Writes A Blog
~ Interview with E Kaiser at The Splendor Falls
June 5 - Interview with Jamie Mortensen at Lesa McKee
June 6 - Interview with Lesa McKee at Bookworm Reading
~ FB giveaway winner announced
June 7 - Interview with Rachel Harris at Faith Blum
June 8 - Interview with Faith Blum at Rachel Rossano's Words
June 9 - Interview with H.L. Burke at Jessica Greyson
June 10 - Interview with Aletha Bakke at H.L. Burke, Author
June 11 - blog giveaway winner announced and tour wrap-up at E. Kaiser Writes A Blog
 
And be sure to check out the Submissions information for the next Space Kitties anthology, #3. Maybe it will one of your starts to a writing career and you will get interviewed next year. I'll be entering again.
 
Be sure to chew on a good book today...
maybe the Space Kitties 2!


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Jenni James Faerie Tale Collection: The Little Mermaid

"Is Grass Truly Greener than Ocean Blue?"
 
Bookworm's Ranking - 4 Worms

Storyline - Pearl has always dreamed going to see the people on land, even if that means leaving behind the merman, Keel, who wishes to marry her. But, when he decides to give her what she's always wanted, it is a dream come true and ignores the warnings of the dangers of land. When she get there, will it be everything she ever dreamed or will the warning of her loved ones prove true?

Author - Jenni James

Publisher - StoneHouse Ink

Age Group - 14 and up
 
Content - *May Contain Spoilers* Pearl and Keel lie to their families. Pearl is a bit gullible which get her and Keel in trouble once. Some fighting. Pearl and Keel are willing to make sacrifices to save each other. The both learn the truth about the world, changing their perspectives and being open to more then they originally thought.

Personal Opinion - This retelling of The Little Mermaid had a lot of the hallmarks of the original tale with a few twists. And isn't that just a beautiful cover? Keel, the leading merman, is a real prince in shinning... ah... scales, while Pearl's curiosity tends to get the better of them. While Pearl is curious and determined to live her dream of visiting land, there was one moment in the story I thought she was kinda dumb but don't want to go into details because of spoilers. Mostly, this story is well told and well built but I did have a couple of things that I wish had been different. This book had a lot of kissing and cuddling and it seemed over kill. It also took long time for them to get on land, like half the book. The people were presented as cruel and the reader doesn't get to know what the people are saying (because Pearl and Keel can't understand their language and vice versa) which can be good but it makes me wonder what was said and if there was a miss communication that blew out of proportion. I wish there had been more on land time and mix of people and maybe a point of view of someone who knew what was going on that the merfolk didn't. For a lot of the book, the world is full of terrible people who only look out for themselves. But, at the end, there was some hope when one character showed kindness. This was close to the end with very little time to get to know that character and have hope that there is some good. I like Jenni Jame's writing, this being the third book of hers I've read, and I will read more but this one is not my favorite and could have been better.

Buy - Amazon, Barnes and Noble,

Other Reviews for this Author - Jenni James Faerie Tale Collection: Beauty and the Beast - Review

To read or comment on this and other reviews, stop by Bookworm
 
Chew on a good book today!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Thieves of Greatness

 
Bookworm's Ranking - 4 Worms
Storyline - Elizabeth is the second daughter of King Henry the VII and unlikely to ever receive the crown or be remembered. Shunned by her family, she feels alone and wishes to be great. Yet, when she starts seeing a flying sailing ship, she begins to worry that she is going insane like her father is rumored to be. When the ship lands atop the palace and the man called Captain invites her aboard, she begins an adventure where animals talk, travels through time, and meets the other children invited on board like King Tut, the boy king of Egypt, Neal Armstrong, an adventurous boy who jumps into everything, and Coaxoch, a shy Aztec princess. But, their adventures are interrupted by someone taking children out of their time and abandoning them. As they race to stop whoever is doing this, the hunters become the hunted and they will have to find a way to send the world's and time's children back to where they belong and find in themselves all they can be.

Author - Emily C. Burger

Publisher - Howling Wolf

Age Group - 12 and up
 
Content - *May Contain Spoilers* Elizabeth decides to go with a man on a sailing ship that flies who she just met. Coaxoch struggles with right and wrong. Each child has to face their fear and doubt to overcome the evil they are facing and use their talents.

Personal Opinion - I've been jumping between rating this book at 3.5 or 4 stars because, while it is good and interesting and the characters are great, there were some questions and concerns I had. The story was really good and engaging, having a Doctor Who feel with the Captain and the Explorer and the strange items aboard the ship as well as picking up people who are fantastic (the biggest difference here is in Doctor Who, the companions are just normal people while each kid in this book is a recognizable figure from history but the sentiment is the same for the people who come along). That is one cool thing, that the every kid is an important person from history, which really shows that, "Every child has the ability to make history," as Captain says, and there are hints of how these children do so while reading this book. Speaking of history, while it was fun seeing  different people from various cultures and historical time periods, I did question the historical accurateness at times. The reader gets to see Elizabeth in her home for several chapters before she meets the Captain yet there were times I thought, "Is that right? I thought it was different." It makes me want to do research. That being said, the issue of accurateness also comes into play with point of view. It seemed it was mostly from Elizabeth's POV yet sometimes the author would seem to speak to the reader director, and then, again in the description, an item would be described by being compared to something else, something Elizabeth would not know anything about because of the time period difference. It made me wonder who was telling this story. There were also several POV changes without a scene break or chapter change that went from one character to another with only the change of a sentence. For the antagonist, I am still not clear is what his motivation and goal was. Lastly, and this is more personal, I would have liked to have seen Elizabeth at home longer at the end of the story, had seen how she changed, especially after how long the beginning was before even before a hint of the flying ship. But, this story was good. It wasn't a, "I have to get back to this right now!" story for me but, when I was reading, I was interested and engaged, enjoyed the various characters, human and animal, and seeing how these historical people before they were famous were brought into the story. I think there is a lot of room for it to become a series and continue on but it also works well for a stand alone. This is a good book, maybe one I would not say, "You have to go buy this," but, if someone was interested in it, I would say good things and support them picking it up. The author, Emily C. Burger, has a great future in writing if she wants to continue and work on it some more. I would keep an eye out for her next book.

Buy - Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Publisher,

To read or comment on this and other reviews, stop by Bookworm
 
Chew on a good book today!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Books Releasing in May

Hey Bookworms,

May today (hey, that rhymes!) and some new books. I love new books. New stories. New adventures. New worlds. So, lets check out what's coming out that I'm interested in.


A Branch of Silver, A Branch of Gold

Release Date: May 16

A retelling of two fairy tales by Anne Elisabeth Stengl. I love when fairy tales are mixed together to make a new an original story and seeing how they fit together and what new meaning comes from that. Sorry for the run on but it is so fun. Also, I hear good stuff about Stengl and look forward to reading her books.







Okay, not the best list. I did get an email with about 10 books on it from Goodreads but... I wasn't really interested. It had books from authors that I've only read once, such as Becky Wade whose book is really good and has a new one, Her One and Only, and Lynne Hinton with Sister Eve and the Blue Nun, but I knew nothing about or from a company so I wasn't interested in that particular story (one was a new TMNT graphic novel, Volume 14, but I've already read the comics collected in it so I didn't see that I should post about it) or authors I have read, even more than once, and am no longer interested in reading. So, yeah, new that I have heard and read about that is releasing this month is this book. While there are others coming out that is worth the time, this one is that I remember.

Please, share what you are interested in reading (or coming out) this month. Apparently I need the help. Have a great month and see you in June for a new list (there will be more than one book next month, I can promise that.

Chew on a good book today!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Quest for Truth: Unleash

"Claws Raised. Mouth Open.
It Was Coming for Her!"
Bookworm's Ranking - 4 Worms

Storyline - The adventure continues as Oliver, Tiffany, Mason, and Austin unravel the mystery surrounding their parents kidnapping and Ursprung. As they journey from planet to planet, more clues are found, more enemies are made and secrets are revealed. While struggling with all this, They also learn of an ancient truth of one who sacrificed himself to save the world and of those who still hold that truth. As thing get more dangerous and the come closer to their destination, their lives are in even more at risk then before. Can they stay out of the hands of the Ubel and Corsairs, save their parents, and discover the secret to eternal life?

Author - Brock Eastman

Publisher - P & R Publishing

Age Group - 14 and up

Content - *May Contain Spoilers* Lots of shoot outs as they fight to stay free and various enemies try to capture them. The kids lie at one point so those who took over their ship would not know what they had discovered about the mystery. The Wikks never leave each other behind and defend one another even when it could get them captured or in danger. Once they even put themselves on the line to save one of their enemies from death.

Personal Opinion - This was a nice edition to the story. The characters have grown, more determined and more capable of facing danger and always looking out for their friends, even when it might derail them from their journey. The is also a lot of action. That being said, this particular book felt like they were just running around from one spot to the next without much headway in the finding of Ursprung. *SPOILER* It was also not very believable when they shut the door in the face of a bad guy who had taken over their ship, held it shut until all the clues they had gathered were hidden and talking with each other on what to do with them, and then open the door and it was almost nonchalant as the bad guy walked in, found some fake clues they had hid and everything was find. This guy was supposed to be smart and devious and it barley phased him and he did very little to the kids who were obviously hiding something from him *END SPOILER*. So, there were believability issues and a lot of planet jumping. One thing that also just gets to me, and maybe this is just me, but, in stories where people convert who have never heard of Jesus in any way, convert on the spot with only a paragraph of explanation given to them, they just believe and it makes a difference to them, and the story they are given of his love and sacrifice is so general it isn't even specific on what happened. Those are not believable and even people who have believed in God for years find it difficult, challenging, and even face doubt. While this story gave me plenty to irritate me, I enjoy the adventure and think the idea of them finding the truth about eternal life intriguing also because I can see the hints dropped that the characters don't because I know the Bible and they don't. I look forward to reading the last two books and seeing how this wraps up.  

Buy - Amazon, Barnes and Noble, ChristianBook, Publisher, Author,

Other Reviews for this Author - Quest for the Truth: Taken - Review
                                                    Quest for the Truth: Risk - Review
                                                    Sages of Darkness: Howlsage - Review

To read or comment on this and other reviews, stop by Bookworm
 
Chew on a good book today!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Real Force: A 40-Day Devotional

"What lessons may we learn from this galaxy 
far, far away and how do they relate to the beliefs we hold so near, near to our hearts?"

Bookworm's Ranking - 4.5 Worms
 
About - Star Wars is a rich experience of cultures, morality, and action. But, can this beloved series represent and teach us more about the Christian faith? Paul Kent takes readers on a 40 day journey through the saga, using characters and events of the Star Wars realm to show Christian teachings and Bible verses to bring readers deeper in their faith in God. Everyone might want to be a Jedi and use the Force and visit Tatooine and Cloud City, but Kent shows us who the real Force is in this world.

Author - Paul Kent

Publisher - Worthy Publishing

Age Group - 14 and up

Personal Opinion - 40 days of seeing connections between Star Wars and Christianity. For this devotional, I did only read one chapter a day and it was really nice. I just got to focus on that and got to examine my faith through this great story. Since someone at my church has made a Bible study using Star Wars, there were a couple of times the author would take a different approach to the same situation than that study took so I would start thinking "what about this interpretation?" I was just stuck with that other idea, not that what the author was saying was any less pertinent. I did enjoy this. In the beginning, though, there seemed to be times where the chapter, beginning quote, and the information in the chapter didn't seem to go together very well. Like, it started with one idea but covered another. Somewhere within the middle of the book, this mostly went away but made enough of an impression that I still remember it. It also seemed to cover the original three more than the prequels (but the original three were better). It is also too bad the author couldn't have incorporated anything from the new movie (I believe this book was published before the movie was release or really close to). So, if you love Star Wars and want to see your faith through the lens (or, maybe, parable) or the films, check out this book.

Video - This is a video interview with the author about the book and Star Wars films.

 
Buy - Amazon, Barnes and Noble, ChristianBook,

To read or comment on this and other reviews, stop by Bookworm
 
Chew on a good book today!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Harry Potter Books 2-4

(I told Squirmy that Time Turner isn't real
but he is hoping it will give more time to read)

Bookworm's Ranking - 4 Worms

Storyline - Harry Potter is continuing his schooling at Hogwarts and learning more about his past and facing more dangerous. In Chamber of Secrets, the school is being terrorized by a monster that is petrifying students and it is only a matter of time until someone is killed. In Prisoner of Azkaban, a notorious inmate escapes and is linked to Harry's past and it is taking everything Harry can do to survive the Dementors, guards of the prison looking for the escapee, around the school and control his anger when he learns the truth about this man. In Goblet of Fire, the Triwizard Tournament is underway and visitors from other wizarding schools come together to compete in these dangerous and deadly games, and someone has added Harry as a contestant! Fun magic, action and adventure, and friendship fill the pages of books 2-4 as things become progressively darker and more serious for Harry and his future.

Author - J. K. Rowling

Publisher - Scholastic

Age Group - 14 and up

Content - *May Contain Spoilers* Disobedience and rebellion is something of a staple of the series as well as fighting (and, most recently, hexing) with the bullies. In book 3, when Harry hears of someone who was involved in killing his parents, he want to kill them but comes to willingly giving them to the Dementors instead. In book 4, Hermione begins to black mail a reporter, handling the illegal actions of the woman herself instead of seeking assistance from an adult. The return of Voldemort is creepy. While they are disobedient and try to handle things themselves, they usually come to turning to a teacher they can trust and learn important lessons in the end. Lessons of friendship, justice instead of revenge, and standing up for what is right even when you might get hurt.

Personal Opinion - Harry, Ron, and Hermione are in more adventures and danger as usual. While the characters do make bad choices that never seem to get addressed in the series of them being right or wrong, there is a lot of good in them. Yet, there is definitely actions I would not condone or support. The characters are constantly coming face to face with evil and doing the right thing. Harry especially keeps putting his life on the line to save others. I think the series also shows well how kids think and feel. The characters are realistic and trying to solve puzzles, especially when they can't get teachers to tell them everything, is normal. Also, the main thing of this series is right vs. wrong and good vs. evil. I think the characters keep learning the deeper into the series the books go. Of course, right now the books are still fairly light hearted, making me laugh out loud and chuckle and a lot of charming magic. Yet, I've also moved on to the later books and they get darker, more serious. I think there is meaning in that. While I can see caution with these books and discussions on some of the actions the characters take that are never addressed, it is a good series that I think can teach a lot about good, friendship, and standing up for what is right.

Buy - Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Publisher,

Awards - New York Times Bestseller
 
Other Reviews for this Author - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - Review
                                                    Very Good Lives - Review

To read or comment on this and other reviews, stop by Bookworm
 
Chew on a good book today!
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