Book Review: Henry and the Hidden Treasure by B.C.R. Fegan

About the Book:

Henry and the Hidden Treasure

Henry and the Hidden Treasure is an imaginative adventure a young child has in defending his pocket money against his little sister. Henry constructs elaborate defensive measures that he is sure will stand up to the clever ambitions of Lucy. Little does he know, Lucy has a few tricks of her own.

With a focus on introducing children to the use of ordinal numbers, Henry and the Hidden Treasure also draws out some important qualities of being a kid – such as creativity, the value of listening to parental advice, and of course, being nice to your sister.

My Thoughts:

A simple enough children’s story, this book seeks to enlighten children about the importance of listening to your parents and of having an imagination and not shying away from it. It also subtly brings out the concept of ordinal numbers and thus proves to be a useful way of teaching a mathematical concept to children.

The story is imaginative and Henry’s ideas are highly amusing. However, though it is a short story, it felt very abrupt and incomplete, as though the whole point of the plot is not yet conveyed. Looking at this from a child’s point of view however, it proves to be enjoyable and just enough to perhaps keep their attention.

This is a good story to use for both fun reading and as a teaching aid with it’s wonderful illustrations.

Enjoy and learn with this well illustrated children’s book, Martha the Blue Sheep by Gabrielle Yetter

Note: I was provided with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

About the Book:

Martha the Blue Sheep

When an accident made Martha’s coat blue, her world turned upside down. She was no longer like the rest of the flock. She stood out and she didn’t like it. She wanted to fit in.
But a series of surprising events and the help of an unexpected friend showed Martha that being different could be a blessing, not a curse.

Martha, The Blue Sheep is a story about acceptance, tolerance and diversity. It’s a charming story to inspire children not to be just one of the flock, but to celebrate being an individual who brings richness and colour to the world.

Find the book on Amazon

Check out the author’s website for more information.

My Thoughts:

Martha the Blue Sheep is a short and charming story of how being different is not a bad thing. The story is interspersed with wonderful images that bring the text to life. The writing is simple and easy to understand and trust me, it is a fun read! The author brings out the importance of accepting a person as they are, even if they are different in some way. She emphasizes on how it could be harmful, especially in today’s world, with the innate need to fit-in, leading to loss of self-confidence.

This is a great way to teach children these important lessons and to engage them through colourful pictures! This book is definitely worth the read and is important not only for children but also has a message that as adults, we can take away and apply.

Release Blitz: Amniwar by Adam Reese

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33957848Amniwar by Adam Reese

Genre: Science Fiction Suspense
Series: Amniwar Trilogy, Book One
Publication Date: February 21, 2017

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Humans are in danger of extinction due to the multiple world wars that have progressively shaken the fabric of society. The government discovers a leak, leading them to a Navy Captain’s son, Aaron Lambright. Their desperate actions to bring silence to the secret Aaron holds is only the beginning of a sinister plot to bring the nation kneeling before tyranny.

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Blog Tour: The Magician’s Workshop by Christopher Hansen and J.R. Fehr

This post is part of the Blog Tour for the series being conducted by b00k r3vi3w tours

There will be Guest Posts by the authors, interviews and reviews of the books posted on various participating bloggers on their respective blogs.

About the Books:

 

The Magician’s Workshop, Volume One

Authors: Christopher Hansen, J.R. Fehr
Published by: Wondertale, California
Publication Date: November 8, 2016
ISBN: 1-945353-11-2
ASIN: B01MQGHGBH
Genre: Coming of Age, Fantasy, Magic
Ages: 12 and up.
Length: 85,000 words / 290 pages

Book Links:
Amazon * Goodreads

 
Synopsis:
Everyone in the islands of O’Ceea has a magical ability: whatever they imagine can be brought into existence. Whoever becomes a master over these powers is granted the title of magician and is given fame, power, riches, and glory. This volume of books follows the journey of a group of kids as they strive to rise to the top and become members of the Magician’s Workshop.

Layauna desperately wants to create beautiful things with her magical powers, but all she can seem to do is make horrible, savage monsters. For years she has tried to hide her creations, but when her power is at last discovered by a great magician, she realizes that what she’s tried to hide might actually be of tremendous value.

Kai just wants to use his powers to have fun and play with his friends. Unfortunately, nearly everyone on his island sees him as a bad influence, so he’s forced to meet them in secret. When one of the creatures they create gets out of control and starts flinging fireballs at their town, Kai is tempted to believe that he is as nefarious as people say. However, his prospects change when two mysterious visitors arrive, praising his ability and making extraordinary promises about his future.

Follow the adventures of Kai, Layauna, and a boatload of other characters as they struggle to grow up well in this fantastical world.

 

The Magician’s Workshop, Volume Two

Authors: Christopher Hansen, J.R. Fehr
Print Length: 273 pages
Publisher: Wondertale
Publication Date: November 22, 2016
ASIN: B01N988TW7
Genre: Coming of Age, Fantasy, Magic
Ages: 12 and up.

Book Links:
Amazon * Goodreads

 

 

Synopsis:
Return to the world of The Magician’s Workshop: Where Dreams Become Reality.

In Volume Two, the Festival of Stars has finally arrived, and the Color Ceremony is about to commence. As children from all over the islands gather to stand before a puller, one question remains: who will have a Color, and who will be found void?

Rejoin your favorite characters as they step forward and receive a label that will have the power to dramatically alter the course of their lives forever.

 

About the Authors:

 

Christopher Hansen

The first glimmering Chris Hansen had that there was far more to reality than he had ever imagined occurred six days after his ninth birthday. “Christopher!” cried a wise, old sage. “Life is full of deep magic. Miraculous things happen all the time and all around us, if you know where to look for them.” Full of expectation and childlike optimism, Chris began searching for this magic, prepared to be surprised and amazed by it. And he was: he found Wonder! Now he’s chosen to write stories about it.

 

J.R. Fehr
When J.R. Fehr popped out of the womb, he knew there was more to the world than the four boring hospital walls that he was seeing. “Zango!” his newborn mind exclaimed as he saw people appear and disappear through a mysterious portal in the wall. As a child he found life wowtazzling, but as he grew older the cold water of reality hit him, and the magic he once knew vanished. After spending some wet and shivering years lost in a joyless wasteland, he once again began to see magic in the world. He writes because the Wonder of true life is far grander than anything he ever thought possible.

 

Contact the Authors:
Website * Facebook

Conversations Among Ruins by Matthew Peters

About the Book:

Conversations Among Ruins

CONVERSATIONS AMONG RUINS is a portrait of a descent into madness, and the potential of finding salvation there.

While in detox, Daniel Stavros, a young, dual diagnosed* professor meets and falls in love with the cryptic Mimi Dexter. But Mimi has secrets and, strangely, a tattoo identical to a pendant Daniel’s mother gave him right before she died.

Drawn together by broken pasts, they pursue a twisted, tempestuous romance. When it ends, a deteriorating Stavros seeks refuge at a mountain cabin where a series of surreal experiences brings him face to face with something he’s avoided all his life: himself.

Though miles away, Mimi’s actions run oddly parallel to Daniel’s. Will either be redeemed, or will both careen toward self-destruction?

*The term dual diagnosed refers to someone suffering from a mood disorder (e.g., depression) and chemical dependency.

My thoughts:

A raw, deep, emotional book, this will give the reader an insight into a troubled soul and the mind of a person dual diagnosed. The author seeks to bring out the troubles of a young professor who wants to avoid confronting his inner demons. When he meets Mimi while in rehab, he falls in love and we are drawn into a world of love, secrets and some amount of mystic is thrown in. Mimi has her own share of secrets and they are forced to decide how to proceed with their lives.

Written beautifully, the author pulls us into Daniel’s world of confusion and inebriation. Between the two, we are as confused as Daniel and ultimately imagination and reality seem to merge and the line between them disappears. As with the author’s style of writing, all the plot lines in this book are important and come together very well by the end of the story.

We are shown the importance of life along with the necessity and ways of dealing with alcoholism and mental illness. The descriptions are vivid and conversations are thought provoking and the question of whether our characters attain salvation will encourage the reader to finish the book. There is a message to this book and I am sure many can relate to some of the topics raised in this story. For the style of writing and the concept, I strongly recommend this book which I enjoyed immensely.

The Magician’s Workshop, Volume Two by Christopher Hansen and J.R. Fehr

I’m back with book 2 in the series, the continuation of the story and it is mega! Read on to know more about the book and what I thought about it.

About the Book:

The Magician's Workshop, Volume Two

Return to the world of The Magician’s Workshop: Where Dreams Become Reality.

In Volume Two, the Festival of Stars has finally arrived, and the Color Ceremony is about to commence. As children from all over the islands gather to stand before a puller, one question remains: who will have a Color, and who will be found void?

Rejoin your favorite characters as they step forward and receive a label that will have the power to dramatically alter the course of their lives forever.

My Thoughts:

Where the first book was light-hearted with the focus on introducing us to the world and characters, the second book takes the story ahead more seriously. A shift in the direction of the plot adds more to the magic of this series.The declaration of whether our characters have color in them or not is finally given out.

It’s interesting how parallels are drawn between the colors and personality traits. We are shown how people change when color is discovered in them as well as when it isn’t. The distinctions cast between having color and being void is indeed quite unfair. The pressure on the children to have something in them is immense and with high expectations, sometimes it is easy to lose one’s own individuality and identity. It becomes difficult to read about the characters and how they feel throughout this ordeal. Family bonds, friendships and even relationships are strained through this adding to the already declining morale. This is the kind of coming of age idea where after the color ceremony, the children are considered to have “grown up” or are adults. It is a freaky concept, one that can create or destroy a person and the bonds they share with those around them. The harsh rules and manner in which they are enforced do not make it any easier.

The Master Magician turns up with words of encouragement along the lines of color, no color, it doesn’t matter, but to accept all anyway. This comes across as a surprise and a rather new concept to everyone who think that the ultimate goal is to be found with color and then to train to get into the magician’s workshop. No-one seems to know or understand the hardships that it entails or even those that follow this kind of dream. There also seems to be an underlying sub plot to change how things are perceived in the islands for so many years. We meet some rather interesting older characters who though briefly introduced in Book 1, have more importance in this and probably further on. There is talk of how everyone should be equal irrespective of whether they have color in them and this seems to threaten a lot of people. This is a difficult idea to change and would take a lot of work.

Now that everyone has found out their place (it feels harsh to write it this way, but I cannot think of another way of articulating this), it’s time to move further, to train, to find new goals and to deal with the next stage of life. The authors slowly emphasize the importance of two characters, Kai and Layauna, and the story slowly shifts focus with more of the later chapters written from their points of view. Coming out with the kind of colors they have, it will give us a sense that the tests that life will throw at these two will be harder and that they will need all the help and support from their friends and family. It is also clear that now, having been declared as adults, our beloved characters cannot let their guards down and need to be careful about whom they trust.

This book continues on in chapters from where the previous left off. The authors flawlessly craft the story to take us further and draw us in. They maintain the playfulness and style of expression which is quite refreshing and enhance the concepts and story. It is easy to experience everything with the characters and this is one of the main things that drew my attention.The style of writing, the description about each projection only add to the soaring imagination of the reader. A wonderful feat achieved successfully by the authors. Kudos to the work they have done and the time they have spent in creating this world.

It has been a while since reading Harry Potter, that a series in this genre has kept me hooked. I will say it again and again that this is one mega awesome read! Keep projecting and I hope that the next book comes out soon.

The Magician’s Workshop, Volume One by Christopher Hansen and J.R. Fehr

I was provided with a free copy of the book by Wondertale in exchange for an honest and magical review! “It’s going to be mega” is what I was promised and it definitely is mega! Read on to know more about the book (first in a series) followed by my thoughts!

About the Book:

The Magician's Workshop, Volume One

Everyone in the islands of O’Ceea has a magical ability: whatever they imagine can be brought into existence. Whoever becomes a master over these powers is granted the title of magician and is given fame, power, riches, and glory. This volume of books follows the journey of a group of kids as they strive to rise to the top and become members of the Magician’s Workshop.

Layauna desperately wants to create beautiful things with her magical powers, but all she can seem to do is make horrible, savage monsters. For years she has tried to hide her creations, but when her power is at last discovered by a great magician, she realizes that what she’s tried to hide might actually be of tremendous value.

Kai just wants to use his powers to have fun and play with his friends. Unfortunately, nearly everyone on his island sees him as a bad influence, so he’s forced to meet them in secret. When one of the creatures they create gets out of control and starts flinging fireballs at their town, Kai is tempted to believe that he is as nefarious as people say. However, his prospects change when two mysterious visitors arrive, praising his ability and making extraordinary promises about his future.

Follow the adventures of Kai, Layauna, and a boatload of other characters as they struggle to grow up well in this fantastical world.

Webpage: www.oceea.com

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MQGHGBH

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Magiciansworkshop/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32948256-the-magician-s-workshop-volume-one

My Thoughts:

Whoo whoo whooosh! That’s how the story flowed and finished in a flash of color, before I could find my bearings and return to the surface!

A wonderfully written story of a world where everyone has magic and can do magic, the authors take it one step further into the world of augmented reality. We are introduced to a myriad of people, both old and young and follow them on their various journeys. This book, the first in the series, is mainly an introduction. We are given a glimpse into the islands of O’Ceea and it’s inhabitants, their lifestyles and personalities.

The story is well written and though initially it may seem a tiny bit confusing, everything starts to make sense after a while. There are vivid descriptions that inspire the reader to imagine even further than what the authors have already shown us. The concept of projections and the fact that it forms the basis of the plot line makes this idea all the more interesting. It forces us to draw on our imagination and experience a new kind of high while reading. Just imagine being able to create anything that you can think of, make something you dislike taste or smell or even look better! So much fun! As everyone in O’Ceea say, it’s mega!

The authors introduce many characters, children around the age of 16 mainly, who are on the verge of being “tested” to find out whether they have “color” in them or are “void”. These terms will start to make sense once you read the book! As we meet each character and get to know them, the authors prepare us to embark on a journey that will see these characters traverse through their lives on the paths they are destined for. They are well-developed and many have a complex past with a lot of ups and downs. Each one has their own experiences and talents to speak of. With everyone in this world being able to do even a basic form of magic, it becomes rather interesting to see where the authors take us with this concept. It comes across as a story of growing up, moving forward in life no matter what is thrown at you as well as following your dreams among others.

The story ends rather abruptly, ensuring that once this is finished, the reader will be left wanting for more. Having been given just a taste of the magic, the reader is left hoping for more and more. I really enjoyed this book and will stop my vague review here to avoid jumping into plot explanations and revelations. So jump right in to experience a new kind of magic! Definitely worth the read and will leave you craving for more and more and more!

Review: Plum Pudding Bride by Anne Garboczi Evans

About the Book:

Plum Pudding Bride

Patience Callahan is twenty-five and fast becoming an old maid. But she s spent most of her life dreaming over romantic European literature and wants a dashing d Artagnan, not a bookish Bob Cratchit. Alas, the Colorado town of Gilman is chock-full of Cratchit s without a d Artagnan in sight. Peter Foote, the general store owner, has been in love with Patience for seven years. But every time he s on the verge of proposing, she cuts him off; he can only imagine on purpose. This time though, dadburn it, he s going to go through with it. Ring in hand, he s moments from touching knee to floor, when Patience pulls out a list of mail-order bride advertisements and declares her intention to marry a backwoods stranger, on Christmas Day. Peter has two weeks to change her mind.

My Thoughts:

This is a short romantic story written from the point of view of the hero. Peter is a wonderful character, strong, dependable, and quiet. Patience, on the other hand is confused and rather stand-offish. It took me some time to warm to her. The setting of the story is lovely, at a time when there was a proper way to be courted and to behave. Kitty is a wonderful addition to the story, and is quite likeable.

The story however seems to be quite mainstream. The usual guy loves girl, but girl doesn’t think that he is good enough, influenced by the kind of books she reads and by her fancy idea of how a perfect guy should be. In steps a thief, whose sole aim is to steal the silver that has been mined in the town. Throw in some fights and a series of events that open up the heroine’s eyes to the true nature of the hero, making her fall in love or even realize the love she may have always had for him and we have our story.

Contrary to the cliched plot, the story is written in a simple straightforward manner focused in a single point of view. The story is set around the time of Christmas and is rather fast paced with the plot moving along swiftly. The author doesn’t stop to expand on any of the unnecessary details making this good for a novella. It is a decent one time pick-me up for those who want a quick read while on the move.

Redpillows turns 3!

3-year-anniversary

A big Hello to all the lovely readers of Redpillows!

It’s simply delightful to celebrate the 3rd birthday/anniversary, however you want to consider it, of the blog! We have come a long way and are very proud of where we stand today. This going to be a very short post. We simply want to thank everyone (readers and authors alike) who have supported us this far and have shown tremendous faith in us! We will work towards improving further and making everyone one of you proud to be associated with us.

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To help us celebrate today, please take some time out to comment on this post and tell us why you like this blog or what you like about it. We look forward to hearing from you all!

Lots of love and happy reading!