Sunday, February 26, 2017

New Ads for Award-Winning Books Just Posted

We have another new batch of ads on our site's main page, advertising books that won an award in the 2017 Feathered Quill Book Awards. If you go to our site's main page, www.featheredquill.com, you can click on each ad and be brought to either the book's Amazon page or the author's/book's page. Check them out!


















Saturday, February 25, 2017

#BookReview - God Always Loves You


God Always Loves You

By: Mara Laird
Publisher: Archway Publishing
Publication Date: November 2016
ISBN: 978-1480839076
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: February 2017

God always loves us - we should all know that. But youngsters who are just learning about God have many questions and don't always understand that no matter what; God will love them - always. Author Mara Laird helps little ones understand about God's unconditional love with her lovely new book, God Always Loves You.

It's not difficult for children to understand that God loves them when they're good. Saying your prayers? Yes, of course God loves you for that. Helping a friend? God will certainly love you for that! It's those times when things aren't going quite the way they should be, that maybe, just maybe, God isn't happy with what you're doing. Will he still love you?

Author Laird does a wonderful job of showing children that God will love them no matter what - whether you "stumble and fall" or "stand tall."

Told in very simply rhyme, with just two sentences per two-page spread, the text does a good job of getting the message across that God always loves YOU.

God loves you when you show you're glad,
God loves you even when you're mad.


While there are plenty of children's bibles, and books about famous stories from the bible (Noah's Ark for example) on the market, there really aren't a lot of books for young children that talk about God's unconditional love. God Always Loves You tackles this subject beautifully in a simple and uncomplicated manner. Add in the bright, colorful illustrations of a brother and sister, along with their family and friends, and you have a wonderful book for parents to read to children about God's love.

Quill says: The perfect bedtime story for little ones to remind them of God's unconditional love.

For more information on God Always Loves You, please visit the author's website at: www.maralaird.com








#BookReview - Daddy's Girl


Daddy's Girl

By: Helen Foster James
Illustrated by: Estelle Corke
Publisher: WorthyKids/Ideals
Publicatoni Date: April 2017
ISBN: 978-0824956813
Reviewed by: Holly Connors
Review Date: February 25, 2017

It's tea time! What a perfect time for a little girl to prepare a party with her stuffed animals, and her guest of honor...her daddy!

Daddy's Girl is a delightful story about a young girl who is all excited about her upcoming tea party. Before her special guest arrives, she has to prepare the table. She grabs "Little Bear," her stuffed teddy, and together they set the table, arrange the flowers, and get some yummy treats ready. Then it's time to dress up in ribbons and bows, add some glitter and bling and then wait for that special guest. When daddy knocks on the door, the party can start!

Daddy and his little girl are soon joined by several other guests including frog, turtle, monkey and cat. The little girl dresses her stuffies in their best bows and ribbons, and they all enjoy some treats. With plenty of hugs and kisses from Daddy, there's no doubt that this is the best tea party ever!

Told in perfect flowing rhyme, author Helen Foster James has written a winner of a story about a little girl and the close bond she shares with her daddy. The story is very upbeat and happy, with smiles all around. The artwork, with a strong pink influence, is delightful and adds a tremendous amount to the story. If you're looking for a great gift for the little girl in your life, consider this one - you won't be disappointed.

Quill says: A happy, sparkling, uplifting story about a little girl who has the perfect tea party with her daddy.





Friday, February 24, 2017

#BookReview - Becoming Nature



Becoming Nature: Learning the Language of Wild 
Animals and Plants

By: Tamarack Song
Illustrated By: Peri Swan
Publisher: Bear & Company
Publication Date: March 2016
ISBN: 978-1-59143-211-1
Reviewed By: Kristi Benedict
Review Date: February 24, 2017

Many of us can say that we enjoy being outdoors, whether it be a walk in the park, a day on the lake, or a hike through a forest - there are several activities that allow us to enjoy nature. However, there are still some things we miss even when we seem to be surrounded by wilderness and author Tamarack Song has developed twelve steps to help us fully experience the outdoors and the animals that live there.

With intense experience living in nature himself, Tamarack Song has spent extensive time in the outdoors which includes living with a pack of wolves for a time. So, with all this great experience Song has put into words how everyone can become one with nature as he has learned to do. The steps begin with letting go of our dependence on technology for a moment and truly listening to the natural world around us. Even letting go of the restraint of time is something he suggests as he mentions that one day we should turn off any alarm clocks and try to avoid looking at the time. This will allow our bodies to wake naturally with the sun and function through the day without thought of the time. Each one of these steps works to bring us closer to the animals and plants around us and allows us to see things we may have overlooked before.

In the next steps author Tamarack Song then becomes more technical on how exactly to move through nature in the most effective way. He outlines the languages of different types of birds and how to recognize them, and also how to recognize the paw prints of different species of animals. In addition, he also lays out different pieces of needed supplies such as a good pair of moccasins that will help keep your steps quiet as you enjoy the nature around you. Then for travel down the river he puts together plans of how to build your own canoe and the best way to row through a river in order to work effectively with the currents but not disturb the animals around you.

When I first started reading this book I thought it was going to be more of a memoir of Tamarack Song’s experiences and memories of his time in nature. However, I was surprised when I saw this was a book completely dedicated to teaching readers the way to truly become one with nature. Of course Song included stories and lessons he has learned from others over the years but his teaching ability was showcased wonderfully in this book. There were many points that made me stop and think that this was something I could do, as I love being able to enjoy the wilderness around me whenever I get the chance and this book gave great advice in how to do that.

Quill says: A wonderful read and instructive guide for any outdoor enthusiast.

For more information on Becoming Nature: Learning the Language of Wild Animals and Plants, please visit the author's website at: www.tamaracksong.org







#BookReview - The Beekeeper's Daughter


The Beekeeper’s Daughter

By: Jane Jordan
Publisher: Black Opal Books
Publication Date: November 2016
ISBN: 978-1626945685
Reviewed By: Jennifer Rearick
Review Date: February 25, 2017

The Beekeeper’s Daughter begins in 1698 in Gothelstone Village, on the moors of England. Here in the town square is an unnamed woman. After being accused of witchcraft she is burned at the stake. While the smoke is rising around her, she sees her accuser. Seeing that he is enjoying what is happening to her, she yells out one last warning before she dies.

Fast-forward many years later to the 1860’s. Annabel Taylor is the daughter of Lilith and Josiah. Although she lives a carefree life, Annabel is following in her father’s footsteps of becoming a beekeeper. As time goes on, the bees take to Annabel and she becomes their new owner instead of her father. After seeing how carefree and reckless Annabel is, Lilith decides to enroll her in the area school. While attending school Annabel soon meets Jevan Wenham, who leads a reckless and carefree life just like herself. Although she finds Jevan very intriguing, she keeps her distance. One day while at school, Annabel and Jevan have an altercation. When their teacher inquires more, Annabel ultimately covers for Jevan. After this altercation, Jevan and Annabel become inseparable. As their friendship grows, Annabel believes that they will be together forever.

One day while Jevan and Annabel are roaming through the woods, Jevan leaves her with some devastating news. Jevan’s mother Adella will be traveling to London to stay with her sister. Jophiel, Jevan’s father, orders Jevan to accompany her. While there, Adella hopes that Jevan will receive a proper education and make something more of himself. When Jevan shares the news with Annabel, she does not take it very well. Her and Jevan do not leave the woods on good terms. The day before Jevan is supposed to leave, he tries to make amends with Annabel, but she doesn’t want to have anything to do with him.

Four years later after dealing with the death of her mother and never truly getting over Jevan, Annabel is trying to get on with her life. One day Annabel meets Alex Saltonstall, the heir to the Gothelstone Manor. While they do not initially get along, Alex and Annabel soon become friends. Alex eventually proposes to Annabel, but she turns him down since she hasn’t gotten over Jevan. After the proposal Jevan returns from London. Annabel is instantly drawn to him again. Alex finds out about her and Jevan and soon plans a way to make Annabel all his. His plan works and Annabel is soon forced to marry him. After their marriage, since she is still drawn to Jevan, Alex orders a constant watch over her. This causes her to be stuck inside the manor for most of the day. During this time strange things begin to happen in the manor. As Annabel looks into what is happening she not only finds out about the manor, but information about her family history as well. Soon Annabel must race against time to not only protect Jevan but to figure out what is happening in the manor before it is too late.

The Beekeeper’s Daughter is an interesting read. Not only is it a romance novel, but it adds in some history from that time period. It sheds a light on witchcraft and more specifically how it was viewed and practiced. Along with the historical factor, there is an interesting love story that unfolds. It is an intriguing romance that follows not only one love triangle, but two. Although it takes a little while to learn about the second, when it is revealed, it brings the story full circle. After learning all the information about why the events are happening, it leaves you going right along with Annabel to figure out how to overcome the unfortunate legacy that was planned out years before she was born.

Quill says: If you are looking for a historical romance that dabbles with witchcraft, this is the book for you.






#BookReview - A Fatal Twist


A Fatal Twist (A Downward Dog Mystery)

By: Tracy Weber
Publication Date: January 2017
Publisher: Midnight Ink
ISBN: 978-0-7387-4878-8
Reviewed by: Diane Lunsford
Review Date: February 25, 2017

Tracy Weber manages a delightfully whimsical mystery in the latest installment of her ‘Downward Dog Mystery Series’: A Fatal Twist.

Kate Davidson is a yoga instructor and takes her job quite seriously. When she agrees to be the doula for her pregnant best friend, the reality sets in she is not ready for her own child bearing anytime soon with her love and live-in mate, Michael. The closest they had come to parenthood was with their beloved German shepherd, Bella. She had issues, but she was still the center of their universe and ample training ground for parenthood. This is to say until Michael added two precocious labradoodle puppies to the mix. Soon enough, however, that would be the least of Kate’s concerns.

At the grand opening of a new birthing center, Kate excuses herself and heads to the old wing to freshen up. When she discovers the body of surly fertility Dr. Dick and sees yoga student Rachel (his wife) fleeing the scene, Kate cannot help but incorporate the task of solving the mystery to her yoga business. Convinced Rachel is innocent, she makes it her mission to find the real killer before Rachel is destined to a life behind bars. It wasn’t easy balancing a yoga schedule and crime solving with the constant frustrations of keeping up with the shenanigans of Mutt and Jeff (the newest additions to their once balanced abode). Michael wasn’t exactly keen on Kate’s convictions to playing super sleuth in the recent turn of events with the murder of Dr. Dick either.

I’ve not had the pleasure of reading any of Ms. Weber’s Downward Dog Series. However, this being my first did not disappoint. It was fun and fast-paced and had a nice balance of humor and intrigue throughout. It is clear Ms. Weber is quite knowledgeable about yoga and I enjoyed how she developed main character Kate as the quintessential instructor with crime solving dimensions to complement her day-to-day yoga instruction. This by no means is a graphic and dark murder mystery. Rather there is a fluid and light air that carries from page to page with the sublime element of a crime having been committed and the need for resolution. I applaud Ms. Weber for focusing on the lighter side of a tragic event and maintaining her mission of guiding the reader to the answer of the proverbial ‘who done it’ with light and airy twists along the way. Well done Ms. Weber. I look forward to the next body of work in this series.

Quill says: A Fatal Twist is a fun, unpredictable read that has a nice balance of humor and intrigue throughout.





#BookReview - Traveling Light


Traveling Light

By: Lynne Branard
Publication Date: January 2017
Publisher: Berkley
ISBN: 978-1-101-98904-3
Reviewed by: Diane Lunsford
Review Date: February 25, 2017

Lynne Branard takes her audience on a delightful road trip in her latest novel, Traveling Light.

She is thirty-something, has worked for her Dad’s newspaper since she finished school and that’s just how life was meant to play out for Alissa Wells. This is until she bids on an abandoned storage unit and discovers the ashes of some strange man by the name of Roger Hart. It turns out he has a family miles away in New Mexico. Is she supposed to leave the comforts of her North Carolina home and deliver Roger to his rightful resting place? Is this a sign from the guy upstairs telling her it’s high time she broke out of her comfort zone and dare to do something beyond her complacent existence?

Alissa assumed adulthood far too early in life. She had to. Her mom passed from a brain tumor far too early in life. It was a natural fruition for Alissa to assume the role of accommodating her demanding baby sister, Sandra. They used to get along once upon a time. Sandra left North Carolina when she was old enough to pursue the life she was deserving of—fancy house, lots of money and a husband who took over where Alissa left off in acquiescing Sandra’s every whim. Yet Alissa never left. It was time to break out of her comfort zone and perhaps the discovered remains of Roger Hart would help her do just that.

She covers her duties and responsibilities at the newspaper, informs her Dad she is headed to New Mexico to return Roger’s ashes to the rightful owner and she is off. With her three-legged dog in tow, all that is left is to watch North Carolina fade into the distance of her rearview mirror. She never reached far beyond the city limits let alone considered a solo road trip. When she meets Blossom, a recent grad from high school, and agrees to allow her to hitch a ride as far as Texas, life as Alissa once knew it was about to become a distant memory.

Lynne Branard has the ability to open her arms and welcome her audience in with a natural flow and style that is delivered through her obvious writing ability. She is a true storyteller and knows how to engage with her audience within the first handful of pages. The dialogue is crisp and credible and the storyline flows. Her characters are believable and there is no predictability toward what will unfold with the turn of each page. There is a soothing tone to her voice which beckons the reader to sit back and relax as he or she enjoys the journey of her story. I give Ms. Branard praise for delivering yet another must read in her catalogue of terrific stories.

Quill says: Traveling Light pairs well with a rainy day and a comfy recliner.