Thursday, August 9, 2018

#BookReview - Ghosted @TheRosieWalsh


By: Rosie Walsh
Publisher:  Pamela Dorman Books/Viking
Publication Date:  July 2018
ISBN: 978-0-525-52277-5
Reviewed by: Diane Lunsford
Review Date: August 2018
What happens when girl meets boy and the chemistry is spot on; yet the universe steps in and throws a devastating curve ball to the budding romance? Rosie Walsh takes on such a premise and treats her audience to an intriguing tale in her debut novel, Ghosted.
Sarah Mackey is back in England. It’s the anniversary of the life-changing and tragic occurrence from nineteen years earlier. It was a blistery, hot day in the English countryside. Sarah began to wander down that familiar path toward the village. Children played in the yard of the primary school and their innocent sounds were interrupted by the bleating sheep who’d lost its way. What caught her attention was the response from a male—a strong and certain ‘…BAAA, it shouted. BAAA!’ followed by laughter.
It was the laughter of Eddie David that captured Sarah’s interest. He was sitting with his back to Sarah and by the time she reached the green, it appeared man and beast were having a proper conversation with each other. She approached the stranger and gambled a simple ‘hello.’ After learning the sheep had performed a near-perfect escape from its rightful pasture, Eddie informed Sarah he knew from whence the sheep had come. It would be nearly an hour before his rightful owner would come to collect him. In all truth, Sarah had no plans of wandering down the hill let alone join this stranger for lunch at the pub. Yet, there was something in the way he smiled—his laugh; so charismatic. For the next six days, the two became inseparable. They were cocooned together with a solid connection and there was no coincidence that they were meant to be together forever. However, on the seventh day they would part ways due to a previous holiday Eddie had planned long before he met Sarah. Perhaps coincidence wasn’t the cupid that had connected the two. In the days following their separation, Eddie vanishes. Sarah cannot let it go and her friends are insistent she do just that. Was it as simple as Sarah being Ghosted or was there something deeper Sarah needed to explore before she could let go?
Rosie Walsh pens a novel that is far from predictable in the notion of girl meets boy and they live happily ever after. She continues to fold and build a plot with a multitude of twists and turns that entices her audience to continue to turn the pages. This is not a simple tale of a woman being dumped by a man who she thought was ‘the one.’ Rather, there is a solid plot of wonder and intrigue that builds on a premise of uncovering a painful truth and the challenge of the truth either setting one free or laying a foundation of what can be once the truth is uncovered. Walsh has a gift toward laying beautiful prose and narrative and complements both with descriptive scenery and credible dialogue. She nails the concept of being ‘dumped’ perfectly. Yet, she consistently goads the reader on with a sublime notion of: ‘maybe this isn’t how this love story is supposed to end after all.’ This was a captivating read and I applaud Ms. Walsh for her ability to hook her audience on the very first page and refuse to let them go until she decides it’s time to do so. Well done Ms. Walsh! I am a fan and look forward to your next book.
Quill says: Ghosted is a testament to seeking the truth no matter how painful the journey may be.

Friday, August 3, 2018

#BookReview - Bully


Written and Illustrated by: Jennifer Sattler
Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press
Publication Date: July 2018
ISBN: 978-1585364169
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: August 3, 2018
Bully is a big green bullfrog who lives in a lily pond. In fact, there are lilies everywhere in this pond and Bully just loves splashing around in the water and enjoying the lilies. But so do many other creatures. Unfortunately, Bully doesn't like to share.
Bully loves spending his days eating the lilies in the pond, enjoying their wonderful smell, and sitting on them! One day, while Bully is enjoying "his" lilies, a happy little snail comes along and starts eating one of the lilies. Bully was NOT happy because "...he wanted the lilies all to himself." Bully made it very clear that he wasn't about to share the lilies and he demanded that the snail leave the pond. Sadly, the snail left.
Next a dragonfly flew to the pond to enjoy the fine smelling lilies. Bully would have none of that as he shouted, "Hey, you! Get out of my pond!" In fact, every animal that came to the pond was quickly told to leave by Bully.
Once everybody left the pond, Bully was able to enjoy the lilies and he didn't have to share. But he ate so many of the lilies, and sat on so many, that soon, there was only one lily left. When a bee flies by, a bee that Bully had already told to leave, and sees what has happened to the lilies, he knows something must be done. But what? He soon comes up with a plan that will require the help of all the other animals Bully had chased from the pond. Would it work?
Bully tackles the ever-present issue of bullying in a non-threatening way that young children will be able to relate to and use. Instead of confronting the Bully one-to-one, the author/illustrator, Jennifer Sattler, instead has her animals work together to confront the bully. This will give children an option of dealing with bullying that they may not have thought about before. On the last page is "A Note about Kindness" with ideas on how to treat others. Add in the sweet, expressive illustrations (love the eyes!) and this becomes an excellent resource to help deal with bullying.
Quill says: Bully is a good story to teach both bullies and those who have been victimized by bullies how to work together to end the practice.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

#IFASummerChallenge - Attn: Indie Fantasy Addicts

#IFASummerChallenge Details:

The purpose of this is just to have fun and discover more amazing indie fantasy authors! We are going to make this simple. There is no set reading list. Audiobooks also apply. Read whatever you want as long as it’s indie fantasy. 

All you have to do is post what you're reading and your thoughts on the book (without spoilers!) so the rest of us can discover more amazing adventures! 

The Challenge will go until September 20, 2018—last day of summer! We will be doing a tiered winning system since not all readers read at the same rate. Eg. A tier for the winner for whoever reads the most indie fantasy books, and a couple tiers for those who read eg. 0-3 and 4-7. 
Draws will be done to choose winners from the two lower tiers. 

Grand Prize: Multiple signed books and swag
Tier Two: Chance to win a signed book
Tier Three: Chance to win ebooks from some amazing authors. 

Let the adventures begin!!