Book Review: A choice of Essence by Katelyn Uhrich

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About the book

My thoughts

I loved this book. I was slow reading it because I started again with my son. Then I started again on my own. But, every time , I started over, I loved it more.

Essie is a godling, with gifts of fire & nature. I love how she is described with her leafy hair, and how she can shift into a bird.

The gods live in the land above, and worlds have been created for the spirits. Not all the gods are good and kind, and certainly not towards spirits. Essie has a special bond with spirit Wilf, and this has made her loving and protective of them.

Without giving too much away, this little godling will find herself in a position where she has to take on the gods for the spirits, with the threat of a fate worse than death.

Considering the world is entirely fictional, Katelyn brought it to life in vivid colour. The characters were so real, even those that were not human. This book is brilliant and should be checked out by everyone!

Grab a copy for yourself from Amazon:

A Choice of Essence by Katelyn Uhrich on Amazon

If you like teen dramas with stints of magic you’ll like this book.

Holiday Reading

Here are the books we are reading over the winter holidays.

This post does contain affiliate links. To learn more about these please visit my Affiliate Disclosure page.

Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff

This book was gifted to me by my cousin. My personal goal is to read it in December, but it’s a big book and I’m a slow reader.

The book is really special as it has art work every couple of pages.

This book makes me fantasy about a life where I could read all day. It’s the sort of book you are sad to put down. It reminds me of interview of a vampire, except it’s the vampire interviewing a vampire Hunter to record his tales before ultimately dying (I’m guessing the end).

Snuggled on the sofa with my book 📖

Julia & the Shark by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

I saw how incredible this book looked on Instagram, and decided to buy it for my son’s Christmas Eve box. I like to give them PJs and a new book the night before Christmas so they are excited to go to bed. 😂

The book is extra special as it is signed by the author. The book’s edges are decorated with crows, and their is art work and velum pages inside.

The first chapter was sad as the child’s mother has died. However, my son was fascinated about the idea of someone living in a lighthouse and is excited to get to the “shark” bit. I actually don’t know if there is any sharks in the story but we’ll read & find out.

Roald Dahl Collection

As a child I loved Roald Dahl. My son borrowed George’s Marvellous Medicine from schools for we were really enjoying it, but ran out of tile before it had to be swapped.

So, I bought this set for him for Christmas so we could relive mummy’s childhood reading together. This pack of six cost £14.99 from Scholastic.

Christmas Day he started The Twits and read three chapters together. He enjoyed it so much that he’s continued reading more on his own. This is great, as books are competing with computer games, and he is a gamer.

The Girl & The Dinosaur by Hollie Hughes

I chose this book because my daughter has red hair and is into dinosaurs at the moment.

The story is about a little girl that digs up dinosaur bones at the beach. The beach looks a lot like Felixstowe – awesome. She then wishes that the dinosaur would come to life. Then, with magic, the dinosaur comes to life and they go on an adventure.

I love stories about imagination. I think imagination is underrated but without it many cool things would never have been created.

Tilda Tries Again by Tom Percival

This was a gift from my family to my daughter. My son already has Perfectly Norman. It’s part of Big Bright Feelings series.

The story is about a little girl (with red hair) that feels her world has turned upside down and doesn’t want to play with the other children. She then stops trying at everything. Then she watches a upside down ladybug right itself, and it inspires her to start trying again. Finally she is confident enough to try playing with the other children.

It was a nice read with a good message . My daughter is crazy confident but I was a very shy little girl. This book would have been amazing for me, and if my daughter ever loses her confidence, it’s nice we have this book on her shelf.

Book Token

Getting a book token is an incredible gift.

National Book Token: My kids were fortunate enough to get a book token for Christmas so we are planning an outing to a local bookshop so they can choose their own book. Book Tokens can also be spent online at Bookshop.org.

Amazon Voucher: My online book friends clubbed together and treated me for my birthday. I waited until after Christmas to spend it incase I got books as gifts. Now, I get to spend it. 🥰

Smashwords: Smashwords sell eBooks that can be read on any device or app, and are saved in the readers library. They have the option to gift eBooks which is a cool option to consider. Just pick the book you want and choose to gift, and the book will be sent to your recipient.

The cold weather is a perfect excuse to curl up with a new book. I hope you are reading something you love, and I’d love to hear what it is.

[kofi]

Book Review: Seal Mother by Rose English

Setting

The story is set in our world and inspired by the well known Selike folktale. If you’ve not heard of a Selkie, they are seals that can come onto land, shed their pelt, and become human. When they reclaim their sealskin, they return to the Ocean as a seal. But, without their sealskin they are trapped on land.

Main character

The main character is a poor Selkie who finds herself trapped on land. She marries a man and has children with him, but longs to return to the ocean.

Her story is told through rhyming verse, with a short poem on each page.

Review

This is a brilliant retelling of a popular folktale. I like poetry that rhymes and this is how the story is told. Every page had a short poem that pushed the story on, and throughout the book pages are the beautiful illustrations.

I loved this quick read and would recommend it to anyone that loves children’s fiction, poetry that rhymes, and folktales. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Below are affiliate links. To learn more about these, visit my Affiliate Disclosure page.

[kofi]

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Goodreads 2020 Reads

Something I love about Goodreads is how easy it is to track my progress towards my reading goals. At the end of the year, Goodreads gives stats on my reads.

Redfae Bookshop is my Affiliate Bookshop.org shop link. NB: This post contains these affiliate links.

2020 Reading Goals

My goal was set at 12 books, thinking I could easily read one a month but I hadn’t taken into account how busy I’d be certain months launching my own book, Ocean Heart. It turned out just 12 books was harder than I thought.

The year has include some books I absolutely loved, and one I hated. I’m pretty good at choosing books I know I will love that I wasn’t surprised that my average rating was high. I just don’t have time to read books I won’t like. 😂

Wiccan Romances: Amelia’s Story by Nicola Hebron

This was my first read of 2020. It was a book I’d been eager to buy, but was lucky enough to win a copy from the author on Twitter! Whoop! Whoop! I love fantasy set in the real world so it was a good start to my year.

My last two reads of 2020 were Garden in the Sands by Ellie Mitten and… I rather unusual choice for me… The Substantial Meal by Florence Green. I’ve rated them both on Goodreads but still need to write the review.

Garden in the Sands by Ellie Mitten

I think I preordered this book, but I’m such a slow reader, by the time I got to it, it’d been out a little while. I’m going to write a review very soon but as you can see from my 5 star rating, I LOVED THIS BOOK!

The Substantial Sandwich by Florence Green

I can’t remember how Florence & I got talking, but I was a bit glum I wasn’t going to make my pathetic reading goal of just 12 books. I was beating myself up. Then Florence cheered my up by sending me his recent release, an erotic satire using innuendos and puns about the Covid restrictions. It was a quick short read and succeeded at cheering me up. Review coming soon.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas is the most popular book I read. I’m not surprised as I saw it all over Instagram. I actually bought my copy in summer 2019 at YALC.

Another YALC buy was Sea Witch by Sarah Henning. It’s a historical fantasy/fairytale retelling of The Little Mermaid. I really loved the book, and hope to read book 2 in the series this year.

A book that should be more popular is Sorceress of Truth by J D Groom. It’s contemporary fantasy and has everything I love in a book. The MC was relatable, but all the side characters were well developed. With a modern day sorceress, fairies and vampires, what’s not to love?

2021 Reading Goal

To alleviate pressure, I’ve lowered my reading goal to 10 fiction books. I know, some people can read that amount in a month. But, I read for pleasure. And, I have to be in the right mood. If I’m too tired or engrossed in my own writing, I just can’t get into the book.

I also have a few resource books I need to read and review. I didn’t review any last year despite reading some. So, you can look forward to that. These are separate from my reading goal.

[kofi]

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Find your Summer Reads in the latest WIW Brochure

This June the latest World Indie Warriors Brochure was released.

Indie Books

The brochure is packed full of indie books, their blurbs, where to buy and how to connect with the authors. But, thats not all…

Indie Services

There is a directory of service providers. These are small indie business offering services that support the indie community. It’s a great resource to discover cover designers, book formatters, editors, coaches and marketing.

Indie Products

The brochure also showcases indie businesses that make and sell their own products. This enables you to discover unique and custom items that can’t be bought in mainstream shops.

Articles

The brochure is full of useful information from start to finish. There are tips for readers and an interview with a book blogger. There is an interview with the author who won a book cover contest. And you can discover what World Indie Warriors is all about.

It’s FREE to download

If you’ve read this far, you probably want to know how to get your hands on it.

Just visit their website and download it.

How to get included in the next edition?

The brochure is to showcase World Indie Warrior members. To join you just need to follow them on Facebook or Instagram – they are working on a forum.

They do lots of different activities to support the indie community. For example, this month, they are doing CampNaNo on Instagram and have a goal tracker on Facebook. Being part of a team is a great way to stay motivated towards achieving whatever creative goal you set.

If you check their blog you’ll find details on how to get your content included in the next edition.

If you enjoyed this, you will like:

Where to find the best indie books…

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Camp NaNo April 2020 progress

WIW Brochure December 2019

Book Review: Mermaid School

This review is of an ARC copy of Mermaid School by Lucy Courtenay from Net Galley. My review has not been influenced and is my honest thoughts.

For starters, I know I am not the target audience for this book but here are two truths about me:

  1. I love mermaids.
  2. I love books for kids.

This is an early chapter book and doesn’t take long to read. The text is broken up with sketches of what is going on in the story.

Beginning

The main character is Marnie. She is feeling nervous about her first day at school. Marnie tries to hide who she is to fit in.

Certain teachers assume Marnie will be trouble due to her wild aunt Christabel’s reputation . Her aunt is also a radio celebrity which earns Marnie cool points with some students.

By the end of day one, Marnie has succeeded in making her first friend, Pearl, and her first enemy, Orla.

Middle

Marnie’s mum and aunt give her advice on handling Orla. Somehow their advice gets Marnie into trouble. Now Marnie has to muck out the seahorse stables.

Orla’s bad attitude is not making her popular with any of the other mermaids either. During an outburst, Orla reveals what her problem with Marnie is. Orla’s sister is missing in a dangerous storm and wouldn’t have been working there if Christabel had played the demo tape as promised.

Marnie decides she wants to help Orla. She goes to the studio with Pearl to look for the demo tape but can’t find it.

End

Things get worse. Orla’s sister is found – yay – but, now Orla is missing. Marnie has an idea, and together with Pearl they rescue Orla.

Marnie realises where the missing demo tape is. She finds it. Christabel plays it and offers Orla’s sister a job.

There’s also an extra chapter that reveals a final secret. Shh!

Thoughts

There are lots of fishy puns that reminded me of a YA novel I read called Forgive My Fins. The puns worked better in this MG book due to the age of the characters.

The story gently deals with issues like fitting in, bullying, friendship and being kind. The fantasy setting is brilliant. A lot of thought has gone into the sort of classes a mermaid would have and the way their world operates.

It’s a sweet story and will likely appeal to young girls looking to read their first chapter books.

Redfae Bookshop is my Affiliate Bookshop.org shop link.

[kofi]

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