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,, 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:

#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:

#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.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

#BookReview - Zurga's Fire @lee_eiland

Zurga's Fire: The Orfeo Saga, Book Three

By: Murray Lee Eiland, Jr.
Publisher: CreateSpace
Publication Date: November 2015
ISBN: 978-1519278364
Reviewed by: Anita Lock
Date: February 2017

Book Three of the Orfeo Saga shines a light on past civilizations of nomads and city dwellers during the heroic age of Greece.

In the third installment of The Orfeo Saga, the barbaric Hannae are on the move. Their persistent attacks, killing people and pillaging town after town has a curious aftereffect: no booty. It's not until the invasion of the town of Megara that the Achians and Dorrae outdo the Hannae. Under the command of Orfeo, a Hannae warrior is taken captive. Interrogating the soldier, Orfeo learns of the reason behind the Hannae's relentless assaults and lack of booty: the Getae, "masters of the great grasslands west and north of the smaller inland sea." The Getae use the Hannae to do their bidding—to kill, to collect and relinquish all booty, and to capture as many slaves as possible.

Bayanu, Getae's ruler, believes that when slaves have "all been returned to their rightful place under their Getae masters, then the world would blossom forth, and the grass would last forever." With world domination as their ultimate goal, the Getae determine their next attack will be the Achians. Orfeo, Telemon, Clarice, Daryush, and King Kiros believe the best way to penetrate the Getae is to send a spy. Daryush volunteers for the job and wastes no time busily collecting information about the Getae and getting acquainted with Bayanu and his daughter Semina. When Daryush doesn't report back, the Achians have no choice but to organize for the Getae's dreaded attack.

One could easily assume that a historical fiction/fantasy story about ancient civilizations in southeastern Europe would be nothing less that heavily doused with data. Not so with Eiland's third book of his Orfeo Saga. This reviewer was pleasantly surprised to find his storyline to be particularly light and easy to follow, especially considering that there was no prior knowledge of books one and two. Key to the book's readability is Eiland's formatting. Divided into four books and set within brief chapters, Eiland tells the tale of a group of people desperately devising plans to overthrow the evil Bayanu and his Getae tribe.

Eiland's plot, set approximately during the 3rd century BC, brims with a wide array of colorful fictional characters, many of which are warriors. Front and center is Eiland's protagonist, Orfeo, who exemplifies all the wonderful attributes one would expect from a true warrior. Amid the well thought out casting, Eiland punctuates a flurry of history and geography throughout. Aficionados will especially appreciate Eiland's historical note at the close of the book, which makes common connections to geological areas (i.e., the Great River/the Danube, Inland Sea/the Black Sea) and includes information on the mysterious Getae and the plausibility of historical stories associated with this powerful tribe.

Quill says: Zurga's Fire carries broad reader appeal for both history and fantasy enthusiasts.

Book Review - Argyle Fox

Argyle Fox

Written & Illustrated By: Marie Letourneau
Publisher: Tanglewood Publishing
Publication Date: March 2017
ISBN: 978-1-939100-09-2
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: February 19, 2017

I love, love, love (have I said love?) children’s books. No matter what “adult fiction” authors present, it is still the beautifully done children’s tale that hits you right where you live. It is also a true necessity in a world where children look more and more at digital screens than they do actual books.

So parents, I present Argyle Fox. Not only is he a precious character who lives in the woods and is surrounded by really cool things – like the Badger’s Place and the Beaver’s Pond – but he is also a young man who loves to play outside! (Without a cellphone in sight, by the way).

Argyle has one problem when it comes to his home in the forest. He lives in a really cool tree, don’t get me wrong, but in the springtime the winds will literally whip down the mountainside making it almost impossible to find a game to play that doesn’t get interrupted by Mother Nature. Readers will follow Argyle on a day such as this as he heads out to choose various activities that the wind most definitely interrupts. From building a card tower to playing “pirate” at the Beaver’s Pond, the “WHOOSH” of the wind literally scatters his hopes of having a fun day outside. Mr. Badger explains to Argyle that the wind will mess up his games, as well as the groundhog popping out of his burrow.
But...what’s a boy to do? Well...Argyle uses his imagination. He thinks and thinks and thinks about a game that can be played using the wind as an ally and not seeing it as an enemy. Can you guess what that game is? Well, read the book and find out!

The illustrations in this one are absolutely adorable. The colors are bright as readers get a full view of the true beauty that exists in the forest. Plus, the story is all about using your imagination and creativity and not giving matter how frustrated you get with something. The author/illustrator gets a huge A+ for this one, and a standing ovation from a fan who absolutely believes that children’s books must be a part of a child’s life for the rest of time.

Quill says: Sit with your child and spend time with Argyle. You will absolutely love him and want to return to his forest again and again.

#BookReview - Hello There, Do You Still Know Me?

Hello There, Do You Still Know Me?

By: Laurie B. Arnold
Publisher: Prospecta Press
Publication Date: March 2017
ISBN: 978-1-63226-061-1
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: February 19, 2017

There are two things that can be difficult for readers: One, finding a title that is so magical and fun that you can't put it down (AKA: Harry Potter); and, two, coming across a sequel that is as good or even better than the first in the series. Well...look no more. For those who missed out on Hello There, We've Been Waiting for You, author Laurie B. Arnold has not only "followed up" with that title in a big way, but also created a sequel where the characters are even more fun; the location is even cooler; and the magical TV (that's right, I said TV) is even more awesome than before.

This time out, we begin with Madison McGee enjoying the last two weeks of her summer vacation in Jaco, Costa Rica, visiting Rosalie Claire and her husband, Thomas. Thomas is taking the time to teach Madison how to surf those Costa Rican waves. (This upsets her dog, Leroy, by the way, who howls like crazy when she's out on the "high seas"). For these last two weeks Madison's best buds, Noah and Violet, have joined her in the sunshine. Unfortunately, their fun starts to slip away when Madison's Grandma, Florida, arrives in Costa Rica sick as a dog. In fact, she has some sort of mystery illness that no one knows how to cure. Now, for those who are unaware, Rosalie Claire has a magic fanny pack. But as of late, that fanny pack has gone "dead," and there is only one person who knows how to bring the magic back. Problem is, that person passed away five years ago. Grandma Daisy was her name, and apparently she was the owner of a special piece of amber that could recharge the fanny pack and make it work again.

So...what will the kids do in order to save Grandma Florida? That's right...they will get in a time machine and head back to Grandma Daisy to see how the "magic" can be revived in time to save Florida's life. Of course, you can't just build a time machine. Thankfully, in Madison's world there exists a television set called the MegaPix 6000. These amazingly bright kids use that TV to create a mode of transportation that shoots them back in time. But what happens on their journey is way more than they hoped for, considering that special piece of amber was stolen long ago and there's a criminal out there that needs to be found. If he can't be tracked down, Grandma Florida's time is sure to run out.

The characters in this series are a whole lot of fun, guys and gals. This is the perfect book, according to the 'experts,' for ages 9-12. But I must say, parents and people who get a true kick out of magic and adventure will also be enchanted by what this author has put together. Not only will you want that TV, but you will run to the nearest Humane Society and search for a Leroy of your very own.

Quill says: This sequel rocks. The toughest part in all this will be waiting for Book III and the return of Madison McGee.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

#BookReview - Natalie's Dilemma

Natalie’s Dilemma: A Frank Renzi Crime Thriller

By: Susan Fleet
Publisher: Music and Mayhem Press
Publication Date: January 2017
ISBN: 978-0-9847235-9-1
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: January 19, 2017

There is no better place to begin a suspense/thriller than on the gritty streets of New Orleans. And there is no better person to begin with than Homicide Detective Frank Renzi and his longtime partner, Kenyon Miller. This is how the 7th tale in the “Frank Renzi” series starts, but where it heads is far from New Orleans, into the stunning world of Venice. Renzi is also not the only character that author Susan Fleet has created over the previous stories that appears in this tale. Frank’s longtime adversary – a woman by the name of Natalie - is back, and in a real bind.

Cesare Valenti, along with two of his carabiniere officers, are in Venice monitoring a house directly across the street. Inside that house is a defenseless five-year-old girl who doesn’t belong there. Her name is Bianca, and not only is her mother dead, but her father is currently in a comatose state and might die at any moment. Her parents met their horrible fates when two Mafia brothers organized a diamond heist, shooting the owners and kidnapping their daughter. Europol knows that they need a spy to be set inside that house in order to bring these Mafia criminals down and save the child. Enter...Natalie.

Now, Natalie has been chased by NOPD Homicide Detective Frank Renzi for more than a little while, and she has managed to evade capture. This time around, however, an agent who is fully aware of Natalie’s long list of crimes is the one who forces her to act as the spy. Natalie has more than a dilemma; she is in a quandary that basically comes down to a child’s life versus her own freedom and staying one step ahead of Frank Renzi.

Natalie ran from her past and ended up in Venice, where she starts out by thinking that she has finally found that perfect sanctuary where all will be well and all will leave her alone. She certainly didn’t count on being immersed in a Europol sting operation. As a spy, she must take on the role of nanny. If she doesn’t do this, she will be shipped back to the states and placed on Renzi’s doorstep. But there are other questions and fears pulling on her heartstrings. Will the Mafia gang kill the child? Will she blow it completely and end up being the one the Mafia sends to an early grave? Or...will Frank Renzi somehow step into all this and find a way to finally apprehend her? Let me just say that Frank and Natalie do find themselves in the same place at the same time. But what these longtime rivals may just figure out is that when you have to face a different demon head-on, what you once saw as your enemy may just turn out to be your only ally.

Susan Fleet has delved into these characters and their cat-and-mouse game before, and it’s always a thrill to be able to say that these books just keep getting better. With as much talent and savvy as both Frank and Natalie have, they actually would be a killer team if they weren’t on completely different sides of the law.

Quill says: You will not see the end of this one coming...and you may just feel a roller-coaster of emotions when it does.

For more information on Natalie’s Dilemma: A Frank Renzi Crime Thriller, please visit the book's website:

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

#BookReview - Dream Big @katkronenberg

Dream Big

By: Kat Kronenberg
Illustrated by: Stephanie Dehennin
Publisher: Greenleaf Book Group Press
Publication Date: January 2017
ISBN: 978-1626343474
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: February 15, 2017

There once lived a moody, grouchy baboon who never smiled. Things were as they were so why should anybody hope for more? He seemed to think that dreaming was for silly animals who didn't know any better. But Baboon was about to learn a very important lesson.

One night while Baboon sat with his drum, Caterpillar wandered onto a nearby branch and wished upon a star, "Oh, I wish I could be like Bird and fly." Baboon couldn't believe what he heard and laughed and made fun of Caterpillar's dream. How, he reasoned, could an animal with 16 feet and no wings fly? What a foolish dream. Caterpillar felt bad and cried - Baboon was right, what a silly dream. Caterpillar spun a cocoon to hide but within that cocoon he kept dreaming until...he emerged from the cocoon as a butterfly! He could fly! Baboon was truly amazed.

The next night Baboon spotted Tadpole who also wished upon a star. Tadpole wanted to dance to the wonderful beat that Baboon was playing on his drum. Again, Baboon made fun of a dreamer - How can Tadpole dance? He doesn't even have feet. Tadpole felt so bad that he went deep into the water to sulk. But he continued to dream until...he emerged from the water as a frog. Baboon couldn't believe his eyes! What was going on? Did dreaming really work?

Dream Big is the enchanting story of a baboon who learns a very important lesson - that of believing in yourself and reaching for the stars. Baboon eventually dares to dream a dream for himself and through his wish, brings many of the animals together. Children will love seeing what happens to Caterpillar, Tadpole, Flamingo and even little Termite as they reach for the stars and dream big. Add in the wonderful illustrations that bring the savannas of East Africa to life, and children will want to read this book again and again.

Quill says: Dream Big is a delightful story that teaches children to never stop believing and dreaming.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

#BookReview - Shoes For Anthony

Shoes For Anthony

By: Emma Kennedy
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 978-1-250-09096-6
Review by: Janice M. Ladendorf
Review Date: Feb. 15, 2017

This heartwarming story is set in a Welsh coal mining town in 1944. It is a company town where most of the men work in the local coal mine. The protagonist is a bright eleven-year-old boy whose father and older brothers are miners. His character is based on the author's father. Most of the men in this town die young or are permanently disabled from mine accidents or diseased lungs. They say the coal they bring out is earned with their blood.

Their community is a close one with a moral code followed by all who live there. Wives and mothers work hard with none of the facilities we take for granted today, but they can dominate their families and no man dares argue with them. War rationing has already done much to worsen the already impoverished lives of these people.

The hero, Anthony or Ant, is part of the Scott Street gang. They play together, compete with each other, and fight other boys. All of them have to wear hand-me-down clothes and Ant's rubber boots are two sizes too big for him. When a banana comes to town, everyone runs to see what it is, but nobody knows how to eat it. The next excitement is the news American troops are coming to train on their mountains.

Ant's gang likes to climb up the slope of the mountain above their home to a place where they can watch bombers fly in and out of the nearby RAF base. One day a plane crashes near them and they help rescue a Polish prisoner of war who is brought to Ant's home. The next day the boys salvage everything they can find from the crash site and bring it to their hideout on the mountain. Ant's mother nurses the soldier and he soon becomes part of the family. When Ant's father is disabled, he helps out with funds passed onto him by an RAF officer.

The boys discover someone has been stealing food from their hideout and messing around with their salvaged treasures. They couldn't figure out who had discovered it; then the RAF discovers there should have been one more body at the crash site. The horrified town realizes there must be a German airman hiding out on their mountain. Fear-based hatred and anger run through the town like wildfire. When the man is caught, Ant becomes a hero when he prevents the German officer from stealing a plane from the RAF base.

After Ant's father dies, he no longer wants to be a miner. He takes the eleven plus exam, does very well, and wins a scholarship to a Grammar School. He will be required to wear the school uniform and is given a new set of clothes and a pair of shoes, all of which fit him well. He can hardly believe how fortunate he is.

Ant's many adventures realistically evoke both the beautiful physical setting and the close community life of this impoverished town. The horrors of war are brought home to Ant and the town by the stories of the Polish and German soldiers. Ant figures out they are both people just like those from his town who are serving in the British army.

Quill says: An exciting story with an unusual setting. Well worth reading.

#BookReview - A Bridge Across the Ocean

A Bridge Across the Ocean

By: Susan Meissner
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Publication Date: March 2017
ISBN: 9780451476005
Reviewed by: Diana Buss
Review Date: February 15, 2017

Brette Caslake was one of the females in her family to be given "The Sight." A gift that is only given to the women in the family, at random, The Sight is something that Brette tries her very best to ignore. This gift allows Brette to see drifters in the thin places between Earth and their afterlife, as a result of not being able to make it to the other side because of the fear of letting go. As the only living member of her family to have this gift, Brette has always felt alone and let very few people know of her ability, thanks to various mishaps in high school and college. Even her husband knows only the basics of her ability. It is only when the subject of children comes up that she freezes, as she could potentially pass on her gift to her daughter. With a promise to talk about what made her mother decide to have children while knowing the risks it could pose, he sets off on a business trip. Soon after, an old high school friend in need seeks her out for help for his daughter and leads her to answers she has always needed.

Simone Deveraux, the daughter of a shoe shiner, fell witness to her father and her brother’s murder as a result of being part of the Resistance during WWII. Upon a previous request from her father, she flees. In an effort to make sure no one sees her escape to the address her father had given her, Simone enters an old abandoned shop, where an awful event threatens to change the course of her life. She soon makes it to the address her father provided, where she is then taken to a winery in southern France, where she resides, and falls in love with an unlikely companion.

Annaliese Lange, a German ballerina, was also no stranger to wartime strife. After being forced to marry an abusive Nazi soldier who kept her cooped up in their apartment, she escapes to be with her childhood friend, Katrine. Annaliese lives with Katrine and has plans to move with her to America after Katrine marries an American. Things do not exactly work out the way that they are planned and these events leave Annaelise with a choice, what is right and what is wrong? What actions can be forgiven and what can not? Soon, these women are aboard the Queen Mary, a ship transporting war brides to America, to reunite with their husbands and begin their lives anew. But is one of them living a lie? Or are both of them? What actions are to be forgiven during a time of fear and war?

Even from the very beginning, I was hooked on A Bridge Across the Ocean. It is simple to get pulled deeply into the stories of Annaliese and Simone, as their pasts are haunting and filled with twists and turns that make you wonder what you would do in their situations. Brette and her Sight not only tie the stories together perfectly, but provide some extremely relatable thoughts and feelings. The different settings and times were separated perfectly and this ensured that the story did not become confusing to the reader. It was easy to differentiate the stories of the characters even when the story had just begun. As books like this are easily confusing at first, I was impressed that there was never a part of the book where I had to question what was going on.

Quill says: A Bridge Across the Ocean is the perfect historical fiction read for those who want to be thrown into a different place and time and challenged to put themselves in the characters' positions.

#BookReview - A Dog's Journey

A Dog's Journey

By: W. Bruce Cameron
Publisher: Forge Books
Publication Date: May 2013
ISBN: 978-0765330543
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: February 15, 2017

A Dog's Journey continues the story of a very special dog's soul, or essence, first told in the best-selling book A Dog's Purpose.

A quick recap from the first book: The reader is introduced to a puppy, Toby, who begins life as a feral dog, along with his littermates and mother. Toby's life is tragically cut short and then he is reborn, renamed, and lives a very full life in the body of another dog, with a different owner and a very different experience. The key is that Toby, or Bailey, or Ellie, or Buddy, as the dog is known through his various lives, remembers each previous life and experiences. As Bailey, the dog is loved by, and loves, a boy named Ethan and it is perhaps because of Ethan that the dog is reborn again and again as he searches for his special boy.

A Dog's Journey picks up right where the pervious book ended, with Buddy living in Ethan's home with his widow Hannah. Soon we meet other relatives, including Hannah's daughter-in-law Gloria, a woman who is basically a waste of oxygen. Self-centered and self-important, the only redeeming thing about her is that she has a delightful young daughter Clarity Jane. CJ, as she is soon called, is the focus of this book as the dog follows "his girl" through her life via several different dogs.
With the passing of Buddy, the dog is reborn as Molly, a poodle mix who is adopted by a now teenage CJ. The young girl has a terrible life with her mother Gloria, who brings a multitude of boyfriends through the house and finds that being a mother is just too much work. The only good things in CJ's life are her dog Molly and her best friend Trent. But things with Gloria go from bad to worse and CJ is forced to grow up much too fast. Molly and her other dog reincarnations do their best to help CJ and it is through her various dogs that CJ is finally able to find peace.

If you've read my review for A Dog's Purpose, you know that I loved that book and recommended it for all dog lovers. While A Dog's Journey is not quite as much of a page-turner, it was still a very enjoyable read. The main difference between the stories is that in the first book, the dog's various lives did not always intertwine with previous owners, making for very different adventures throughout the book, while in this book, the journey was all about CJ and the dog coming back repeatedly right into her life (with a little work on the dog's part to catch her attention). Regardless, there's no doubt that author W. Bruce Cameron has a talent for catching the essence of what a dog must be thinking and these thoughts, shared with the reader, are what captured the imagination and made the book a fun and quick read.

Quill says: While not quite as engaging as A Dog's Purpose, this second book is still very enjoyable and highly recommended for dog lovers.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Feathered Quill Sponsored Awards @ReaderViews

We'd like to thank the wonderful companies that have sponsored special awards in our annual award program. The authors who win these awards truly appreciate the extra recognition their books get, and we too, at Feathered Quill, really appreciate what these companies do to promote authors! Here are some of the sponsored awards:

The Write Companion Award for Best Overall TOP PICK - Adult, Children's and Young Adult categories: Originality is key. Falling into a stereotypical plot or character is difficult for an author. That is why this award is given to the author that makes that lasting impression. Based on pure originality, this award seeks the writers who - like Dean Koontz's Odd Thomas or Preston and Childs' inventive detective Aloysius Pendergast - have created a character who makes that lasting impression on readers. Do I smell sequel? The winner will receive marketing on all Amy Lignor's websites: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, TWC, Pinterest, as well as a free consultation regarding their next book project. This comes with a free edit/polish/notes/suggestions of their next book. If there is not a project as of yet, the consult will be given to answer any author's questions when it comes to publishing, agencies, independent books, self-publishing - a conversation regarding the here and now of the industry that may help them in the future. - $250 value

ReaderViews Award for the Readers' Favorite - We will choose from the winners of all categories on the book for this award, based on Reviews Scores, Cover Design, and relevance to readers today. The winner will get a Publicity Package AA, which includes a Book Review, Live Interview and a one-week Feature on our Home page, Inside Scoop Live page and Newsletter. Plus one hour of online publicity consultation. - $385 value

Maryglenn McCombs Book Publicity Award for Best Mystery - One professionally written press release with distribution. - $1000 value 

Five Star Publications Award for Best Children's Illustrated - A one hour- book consulting session - $200 value 

BestsellersWorld Award for Best Romance - This award includes an author page on the site and the book and synopsis added to the Featured Books page for 10 days. - $125 value

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Award-Winning Books Get Free Ads On Feathered Quill Book Reviews

Winners of our annual award program all receive a free front-page ad on our website, The first batch of ads have been posted - check them out!  (If you visit the ads on, clicking on each ad brings you to a page - Amazon or author's - where you can purchase the books.)

Saturday, February 4, 2017

#BookReview - Rufus Finds a Home

Rufus Finds a Home

By: Theodore Jerome Cohen
Publisher: TJC Press
Publication Date: January 2017
ISBN: 978-1542691697
Reviewed by: Holly Connors
Review Date: February 2017

Rufus is a beautiful golden retriever who lives with Charlie, a wonderful, caring man. Charlie loves his dog but the man is getting older and can no longer care for Rufus. What will happen to this special dog?

Rufus is full of energy and wants to play. He loves to chase sticks, go for long walks, and explore his surroundings. While Charlie would love to run around with his dog, the man has grown old and tired - he can't play fetch with his dog now. The two sit by a tree on a beautiful fall day, as Charlie worries about his dog. Soon Charlie will be moving to his daughter's house, and Rufus won't be able to follow his owner to the new home. Charlie remembers many of the fun times the two shared, but his thoughts keep returning to his dog's future. What will become of Rufus?

While the two friends sit quietly by the tree, a young boy comes up to Charlie. He asks the man about his dog - what's his name, can he do any tricks - and Charlie's face lights up. There's nothing he loves better than talking about Rufus. Charlie tells Jimmy about the tricks Rufus can do, how the dog went to doggie school and was a star pupil, and how Rufus helps around the house. Jimmy is quickly joined by his sister Heather, and their mother, and all three are intrigued by the beautiful golden retriever.

As Charlie talks about his dog, Heather notices that he is quite sad.

"Then why are you sad?" asked the boy's sister, Heather,
"A fine dog like Rufus should bring joy forever."

"I know," said the man, wiping tears from his eyes,
"but old age has taken my youth by surprise."

It's obvious that Jimmy and his family are loving people who adore Rufus. Will they be able to give the dog a new home?

While I've read and reviewed many dog stories that deal with rescues and finding homes for abandoned dogs, this is the first one that deals with a very difficult, but rarely discussed, topic of what happens when an elderly person is no longer able to care for their pet. Having to part with a beloved pet is hard for anybody, but for an elderly person who may have already lost a spouse, or other loved one, the event can be particularly stressful. Told in rhyme, with lovely photographs of Rufus that fit perfectly with each page's action, the story is easy to follow and heartwarming too. Rufus Finds a Home is a book that children will love to read, while it also educates them about how/why dogs sometimes need new homes.

Quill says: A difficult subject, tackled with sensitivity, makes Rufus Finds a Home a wonderful story and one children will enjoy and want to read over and over.

For further information on Rufus Finds a Home, please visit the author's website at:

Thursday, February 2, 2017


Feathered Quill Book Reviews is excited to announce the winners of the 2017 award program.

Started in 2008 by a small group of dedicated, enthusiastic reviewers, Feathered Quill Book Reviews has become one of the preeminent review sites on the internet. In the summer of 2013, it opened submissions for the first annual award program, and since that time, the award program has grown substantially.  This year, Feathered Quill was honored by the large number of submissions, coming from around the world and from all types of publishers, from the one book self-publisher all the way up to the major New York houses. 

When submissions closed on December 15, 2016, the judges had the daunting task of reading a HUGE number of excellent books and trying to decide the best of the best.  Every book was read,  
every book was judged, and often it was a mere point or two that separated the winners from the ‘almost won’ books.

In addition to the prestige of winning a national award, all winning books have been listed in the Feathered Quill online bookstore, accessible from all pages of its review site,  Feathered Quill also offered numerous additional awards, sponsored by various publishing related companies, valued between $100 and $1000.  For a complete list of winners, please visit the award page,, and click on ‘list of 2017 winners.’

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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Feathered Quill #BookAwardWinners

It's official!!! All winners in the 2017 Feathered Quill Book Awards program have been notified. A listing of winners has just been posted to our site and we'll be featuring many of them in the coming weeks on our various social media sites. Congratulations to all the authors who had winning books. What an amazing batch of nominations we had this year!!!

Winners are listed on this page - open link to pdf of 2017 winners: