Tuesday, November 30, 2021
Friday, November 26, 2021
Thursday, November 25, 2021
The Prisoner and The Executioner
By: Catee Ryan
Published by: Atmosphere Press
Publication Date: September 2021
Reviewed By: Lynette Latzko
Review Date: November 23, 2021
Everyone can agree that being falsely accused is most certainly a terrible position to find oneself in. However, being wrongfully convicted, and sentenced to death for a murder you did not commit is, without a doubt, the most horrendous position to be in. That is exactly what happened to Eliza Jacobs in
The Prisoner and the Executioner, an electrifying novel written by Catee Ryan.
The story opens on the day of Eliza Jacobs’ execution for the murder of fifteen-year-old Lydia Garth. Ms. Jacobs was once a well-respected midwife and child advocate, but now she has been holed up for several years waiting to be executed, not in a regular death row prison cell, but in an underground cave, designed specifically for use only during the last few weeks of the condemned prisoner’s life. Through the years of solitary confinement and deep soul-searching, Eliza chose a vow of silence, and has more or less accepted her fate.
Brian Stafford, The Executioner, and son of the prison’s warden, is supposed to be getting ready for the execution, but unbeknownst to anyone, he believes in Eliza’s innocence, and refuses to go through with his duties. Instead he spirits her away through the underground cave system, and eventually they successfully escape to a faraway country which Brian believes is the perfect place for both of them to start a new life.
Meanwhile, a massive manhunt is being conducted by the FBI, and news of the unusual escapees quickly spreads across the nation. It attracts the attention particularly of a young girl, Emma Maxwell, who is now living safely across the other side of the country, far away from the same town in the news...the town she too escaped from several years ago. Emma knows who Eliza is, and knows she is innocent and shares this information (and the story of her own sexual abuse) with the FBI. But will this be enough to help prove Eliza’s innocence, and get her to return?
The Prisoner and the Executioner is an excellently written novel that catches a reader’s attention in the first few pages, and continues to adeptly weave a complex, yet compelling, tale (filled with both heartfelt and unbelievably horrifying moments) until the last page. The main characters are dynamic, and seem so real that readers easily become emotionally invested in their journey. Though a part of this story brings the serious topic of sexual abuse to light, it does not bog down and make the overall feel of the story too heavy, but it adds to the overall twists and turns that makes this novel truly unputdownable.
Quill says: The Prisoner and the Executioner is an outstanding novel that will keep readers glued until the final page, while still wanting more. Author Catee Ryan is proving to be a novelist worth keeping an eye on.
For more information on The Prisoner and The Executioner, please visit the publisher's website at: atmospherepress.com/books/the-prisoner-and-the-executioner-by-catee-ryan/
Kita and the Magic Paint
By: Laura Schaumer
Illustrated by: Pardeep Mehra
Publisher: Laura Schaumer Books
Publication Date: November 2020
Reviewed by: Holly Connors
Review Date: November 23, 2021
Two friends, a lot of paint, and loads of pretty, little daisies, combine to create a fun new children’s book that teaches children what happens when colors are mixed together.
Kita the raccoon and Bushy the squirrel are good friends who love to play together. Today, they have several cans of paint and lots of white daisies to paint. Kita decides to first paint a daisy blue while Bushy paints one red. But then Kita decides it’d be fun to add red to her daisy while Bushy adds blue to his red daisy. They both expect that the daisies will be half red and half blue. But wow! Surprise! Both daisies turn purple! It must be magic!
The two friends decide that they should try different colors and see what happens. Kita paints a daisy yellow while Bushy paints one blue. The “new” yellow and blue daisies look lovely so they decide to swap paint colors again and see what happens. And wow! Surprise! Both daisies turn green! It must be magic!
Soon, Kita and Bushy are joined by other friends and they all get excited about trying different color combinations. Each time, the result is unexpected. And when Annie the bunny hops her way onto the painted daisies, watch out!
Kita and the Magic Paint is a fun story that uses a delightful assortment of animal friends to teach young readers about the wonders of colors. The concept of mixing two colors to create an all-new color can be confusing for youngsters but debut author Laura Schaumer figured out a unique way to convey the “magic” that happens when you mix colors. To aid in understanding, the black text of the story is changed to another color when a specific color is mentioned (the word “blue” changes to blue text, “red” to red text, etc.). Children may be surprised by each color change and will likely try to guess the results of each mixing of colors as they turn the pages. When you then add in the vibrant, adorable illustrations by Pardeep Mehra, this will likely be a book your child will reach for again and again.
Quill says: What is better than having fun with paints and watching different colors combine to make all new colors? Kita and the Magic Paint uses a delightful array of forest animals to teach children what happens when you mix colors in a way that young readers can easily understand.
For more information on Kita and the Magic Paint, please visit the author's website at: lauraschaumerbooks.com