Across the Realm: Life Always Finds a Way is a story of the clash of two advanced civilizations. In the North, Humans live under a defined system of segregation and rely strongly on science, while in the South, the physically evolved humans live communally and are under the guidance of a deity they call “Mother.”
Separating these two and their land masses is a boiling sea and an impenetrable Southern Force Field. The two sides have been at war for longer than a century and now their planet is facing a catastrophe neither one can handle without the other.
A DIFFERENT KIND OF READ REVIEW
There are several literary genres in Across the Realm: Life Always Finds a Way. Let’s start with Science Fiction, the book’s main genre. The year is 2077 and once again, the North and the South are at war. However, this time the whole world is involved. For decades? Centuries? Millenia? Well, at least yesterday, these two enemies have been trying to invade each other’s hemisphere. One to conquer and stop the war, the other to take over and control them. Even to the point of making them…I can’t say it. This, you will have to find out for yourself. Now, pan over to Greg, the commander of the Northern Hemisphere, as he sits in a room watching a video. In it, Naledi jumps three floors into the air and makes a perfect landing on a corridor up above. Fascinated, Greg watches the video over and over again. Not because of what she has done, but because he finds her beautiful. Thus begins the Romance. Wait, how and where did he get these pictures and who or what is a Nedge? More importantly, what is the catastrophe they are about to face? Ahhh! That is the Mystery of Across the Realm: Life Always Finds a Way. Let us not forget those boiling waters . . . what is it about them or should I say, what is in them? A little Fantasy perhaps! Now for the Adventure—hmmm, I’ll leave that for you to discover.
What makes Across the Realm, Life Always Finds a Way a UNIQUE read is that all of the Genres mentioned above are seamlessly tied together to make an astounding, amazing, mind-boggling, surprising, wondrous story. What makes it ETHNIC is the people of Earth.
Across the Realm: Life Always Finds a Way is recommended for Young Adults 16 plus and Adults
BIO – Isobel Mitton is a Canadian writer born to an African American mother and an African father. She spent most of her life living in other people’s countries. An avid storyteller, she insists that is how she wants to be remembered when she dies. She is a proud nerd and wants people to know that beauty goes with brains!Isobel didn’t choose to be a writer. Writing chose her. In her novels, she seeks to entertain, excite, grip your attention for hours on end and give you food for thought. She wants desperately to take you out of the mundane and into the stars of scifi/fantasy where anything and everything is possible. She is an avid writer of scifi/fantasy novels, comics and screenplays.
She hopes one day to the able to write music and to that end, she is teaching herself how to play an acoustic guitar.
She really hates talking about herself and her past achievements and so she will stop boring the world right now. Besides, there is nothing in her past that beats the present or the future.
Her one wish is that many people read her work. They don’t have to buy it. They just have to read it, because she is a story teller. It is her one true purpose in life.
To find out more about her work and to connect with her personally, check out http://www.acrosstherealm.com
She can also be found on Twitter: https://twitter.com/IsobelMitton
And instagram: IsobelMitton
And Facebook: Isobel Mitton
See you there if you want to part of her crazy self.
Mackenzie Clair is looking for a fresh start. She thinks she’ll find it in her favorite childhood vacation spot, but returning to Donn’s Hill awakens more than nostalgia. Mac regains a lost psychic ability to talk to the dead, and the poltergeist haunting her apartment is desperate to make her use that gift to find his killer.
Aided by her new roommate—a spirited Tortoiseshell cat named Striker—and the ghost-hunting crew of the nationally televised show Soul Searchers, Mac struggles to learn how to use her powers, but she’d better get a handle on them fast, because someone in town is hiding a deadly secret. If Mac can’t somehow divine the truth, Donn’s Hill will never be the same.
A DIFFERENT KIND OF READ REVIEW
Donn’s Hill opens with a bang. Within the first seven pages, the mystery starts. Not in the usual way with the police, a little old lady, or a high profile detective looking at the body and trying to find clues. No, this story starts with Mackenzie Clair, a twenty-seven-year-old woman sleeping in a hotel bed.
Yes, the hotel is sleazy, rundown, and there was a lingering odor of stale cigarettes, but the room was clean and the price was right. Deep into sleep, she is startled by the weight of an intruder as he sits down on the side of her bed.
He makes no sounds, she can’t even hear him breathing, but she knows he’s there because she can smell a foul odor like rotting garbage. What does he want? Why doesn’t speak? Is he holding his breath? She is. After several minutes, she finally gets the nerve to turn on the lights. Her room is empty. What! Did she…? Wait! I’ve got to stop here. You’ve got to discover the rest for yourself. You won’t be disappointed.
Donn’s Hill is a paranormal mystery adventure. What makes it a UNIQUE read is the plot. While there are no twists, finding the killer is possible but impossible at the same time. THAT IS SOOOO GOOD!
Donn’s Hill is recommended for Adults and Young Adults 16 and above.
BIO – Caryn Larrinaga is a Basque-American mystery, horror, and fantasy writer living in Utah with her husband and cats. Despite obtaining a degree in Anthropology (which is much cooler than you might think), she explored several career paths before deciding that she had to follow her passion. Suddenly, writing fiction was the only thing that made sense.
Watching scary movies through split fingers terrified Caryn as a child and inspires her to write now. She lives in a 90-year-old house with a colorful history, and the creaking walls and narrow hallways send her running (never walking) up the stairs from her basement whenever she has no other choice but to go down there. Exploring her fears through writing makes Caryn feel a little bit less foolish for wanting a buddy to accompany her into the tool shed.
When her fingers aren’t glued to her laptop keyboard, Caryn also enjoys binge-watching superhero television shows, reading, playing video games, and filling up her phone’s flash memory with pictures of her cats. She loves music, and plays the bass guitar.
Caryn is an active member of the League of Utah Writers and the Utah Chapter of the Horror Writers Association.
Creatures of Dawnia is a fantasy adventure series focusing on a group of animals and other ‘fantasy’ creatures living in the fictional city of Dawnia, and contains many diverse short stories focusing on the different adventures of the main characters. The first book, Baby Rescue, is a longer story that sees the main characters come together for the first time. The characters get to know one another and become friends whilst in the middle of an adventure to save a baby piglet from an evil goblin and his polar bear henchmen.
A DIFFERENT KIND OF READ
The main characters of Baby Rescue – Creatures of Dawnia—Book 1 are a verydifferent and unusual group. Let’s see there’s Fuzz, a mouse and Dack, a pterodactyl. They met when Fuzz was trying to get away from him because he didn’t want to be his dinner. Fuzz wasn’t successful, but that mouse used cunning and wit to stop Dack from eating him. Wait, that was after Carla, the sheep, brought the piglet to Bert, the pig, and Maggie, the cow, who lived on Dawnia Farm. It was Maggie’s job to take care of the piglet, but she couldn’t get it to stop crying. Somehow, the polar bears showed up, followed by the goblin. Then they were in the forest and met up with the dwarfs, Dougle, Dula, and Snuffy. Of course, their adventures took them to Louis. Now Louis is… Hmm, there is so much I want to tell you about Baby Rescue, but I don’t want to give away the story. The adventure is too great! I can tell you that the UNIQUE thing about Baby Rescue – Creatures of Dawnia—Book 1 is its cartoon features. Who doesn’t love a good cartoon?
Baby Rescue – Creatures of Dawnia—Book 1 is recommended for First Time Readers (1-8) and Middle Grade Readers to age 10.
BIO – Sam Savelli is a children’s writer, and creator of the internet series ‘Creatures of Dawnia‘ for children. He first came up with ‘Creatures of Dawnia’ at the age of 12 years old, after drawing a set of animal characters from a drawing book. After putting all the characters together in a story called ‘Baby Rescue’, he went on to develop the characters and create ideas for more stories in the series. Over the next seven years, Sam wrote and created a great number of ‘Creatures of Dawnia’ stories.
In 2016 he wrote his one hundredth ‘Creatures of Dawnia’ story and finally decided that it was about time that he did something with these stories. Having written so much, for no one other than himself and his younger sisters, he wanted to publish the stories to a larger audience. So, he set up the website dawniacity.com and began publishing the stories online and releasing them as ebooks.
Aside from ‘Creatures of Dawnia’, Sam continues to work on a number of other writing projects. He aspired to become a writer from a young age, and plans to devote more time to his writing after completing his degree at the University of Warwick.
THE LIFE OF NUZZELS NUZZELS THE NOSEY SKUNK FINIS T. JONES Illustrations by KALPART
This charming book follows a young skunk that loves adventure. Nuzzels goes against his mother’s wishes, as well as the advice of his siblings, when he leaves the safety of home to visit the forest. He meets several new animal friends.
A DIFFERENT KIND OF READ REVIEW
Nuzzels did something that he wasn’t supposed to do. We’ve all done that at least once in our short lives. You know when Mom or Dad tells you not to touch this, or do that, and definitely, absolutely, positively do not go outside. Come on Mom, we’d all do that if it led to a great adventure, and for Nuzzels the Nosey Skunk it did just that.
The Life of Nuzzels – Nuzzels the Nosey Skunk is a little animal mystery for kids. What makes it UNIQUE is the interesting twist that is given towards the end of the story. Let’s start with the mystery part first. As Nuzzels leaves his home he comes across a family of animals who were small and had bushy tails. As he got closer to them, they stood up on their rear legs, sniffed the air, and then ran off. Ran off, from this handsome little guy. Oooooh, ha ha ha, that’s right, he’s a skunk, a smelly skunk. That’s why they ran away, but what were those animals? How about this group, they had short tails, furry coats round ears and long noses. They seem a lot like the others but they’re completely different. Alas, they too could smell Nuzzels, so he left without trying to talk to them.
Now for that little twist—what? I can’t tell them about the twist? Whyyyyy? I really want to tell them about it. Okay, okaaaay. You’re right I don’t want to spoil this delightful book for them.
The Life of Nuzzels – Nuzzels the Nosey Skunk is for FIRST TIME READERS (1-8). It would also make a great bedtime story.
BIO – Finis T. Jones was born on a farm in Honey Grove, Texas in 1929. His childhood was difficult, to say the least. At a very early age he developed a wild imagination, partly to escape his many tribulations. He lived and worked on his parents’ farm until, at the age of twelve, he said goodbye and hitched a ride to Dallas, where after bending the truth about his age, he got a job with Sears & Roebuck. He had been there for a couple years when he decided to move to Houston. Here he met and married the love of his life. Many years after leaving the farm, he returned to Honey Grove to visit his parents for the first time. He took along his beautiful wife and two of their three children. Through the good times and the bad, he has never lost that incredible imagination, which shows in the stories he tells.
It’s 1801 and life is good for Buzzy the dog. She lives with Thomas Jefferson at Monticello, but her life turns upside down when Thomas tells her that they’re moving to the President’s House. Buzzy doesn’t want to move. She’s afraid to leave the comfort of Monticello. What will she do? This enjoyable children’s book teaches kids about President Jefferson, the new breed of dog he brought home from France and confronting issues about moving. If your child loves books by Robert Dawson like “Ben and Me,” then he’ll love Buzzy! Historical fiction at its best: learning from the pets of famous people in history.
A DIFFERENT KIND OF READ REVIEW
Have you ever had a chance to talk to a dog? I mean really sit down, just you and the dog and have a conversation? Why are you laughing? Okay, maybe it is a little funny because you say dogs can’t talk. Yes, I do know that it is common knowledge that dogs don’t know what you are saying either—or do they? I know my dog understood every word I ever said to her, and showed her understanding and responses through head tilts, whimpers, and quiet barks.
So I wasn’t surprised at how Buzzy expressed her feelings when she heard about Thomas moving from Monticello to the President’s House and that he planned to take her with him. She wasn’t…, You see none of the other animals were… I expected her to—well she didn’t do that. Then, I expected her to—oh, that didn’t happen either. What? What did I expect would happen? What? What did she do? You’ll solve that mystery when you read Buzzy and Thomas Move Into The President’s House. What is it that makes Buzzy and Thomas Move into the President’s House a UNIQUE read? It’s what Buzzy did just before they left Monticello. You know, I could have never gotten my dog to do that. Do what? Are you kidding? You’ll find out when you read it.
Buzzy and Thomas Move Into The President’s House is recommended for First Time Readers between the ages of 4 – 8.
BIO – Vicki Tashman has always loved historical fiction. Inspiration struck four years ago when her daughter graduated from college and moved back home with two cats in tow. She imagined the cats belonging to Cleopatra and, wow, the stories they could tell! After researching many people in history, she settled on writing her first children’s historical fiction book about Thomas Jefferson and his dog, Buzzy. Other books in the works are about Queen Victoria and her dog, Dash, the Wright Brothers and their dog. Vicki has a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism from the University of Colorado. She is a breast cancer survivor and has been an advocate for ten years. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), Children’s Book Writers of Los Angeles (CBW-LA), the Publisher’s Association of Los Angeles (PALA) and The Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA). She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their two golden retrievers, Ricky and Georgia.
Wonderworld: The Musical is a Tim Burton style fairytale about Max, a lonely and confused boy who struggles with distinguishing reality from fiction. An outcast, he is picked on in school and his only solace is found in his art (his “Wonderworld”). At his lowest moments, his creations come to life to sing to him. Can his art save him?
A DIFFERENT KIND OF READ REVIEW
Have you ever felt that you didn’t belong? That no matter how hard you tried, you couldn’t make friends or people found you weird? That was Max’s world. He always seemed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. To end his confusion and loneliness, he discovered Wonderworld, an imaginary place created solely by his imagination, and a box of colored pencils.
Now the thing about Max is that—. Oh, I can’t tell you that part. I don’t want to spoil it for you. In fact that part, that thing I can’t tell you about is what makes this a UNIQUE read. It also shows that the evil person and the good person are—oops, almost.
Wonderworld: The Musical is recommended for Middle Grade Readers. However, the musical version of the book is a great teacher for First Time readers or as a bedtime story for those children that can’t read yet.
Brett Schieber is the musical half of the electro-acoustic duo Arcanum. He also records solo music and gigs frequently. In addition to being an in demand writer, producer, and session musician for other artists, he writes and records popular educational music for children under the name of Mark D. Pencil and Friends with his friend, Ace. He loves all animals, Duran Duran, and Star Wars. Tree, the narrator and vocalist of “Wonderworld: The Musical”, is the lead singer of the critically acclaimed electro-acoustic duo Arcanum. He produces solo music, art, and writings under the moniker of Kobritz. He does not own a computer.
With a wink and a nod to such movie greats as Thelma & Louise and The Breakfast Club,Snapshots at the Fontaine Motel is about six eighteen-year-old friends in 1996 who seek immediate revenge after one of them is brutally attacked. But when their vigilante justice accidentally leaves the attacker dead, they flee Michigan to save their own lives as the FBI inches dangerously close. While hiding out in an isolated Oklahoma motel, they discover not only themselves, but find love and uncover shocking deadly secrets that will change everything and threaten the very lives they’re frantic to protect!
A DIFFERENT KIND OF READ (REVIEW)
Snapshots at the Fontaine Motel intertwines romance and mystery seamlessly. Although the clues are very subtle, they lead to some very powerful and wicked twists. The story is about six teenagers who have been friends since grade school. When they discover that one of them has been raped by the school bully, five of them decide to take matters into their own hands, and the results are… Ahhh, I almost said too much. To continue, things aren’t always as they seem, and here’s where the twisting and turning begins with an astounding intensity. When it’s all over, the outcome gives you one of those,“Humph I didn’t see that comin moments!”
There are two UNIQUE things about Snapshots at the Fontaine Motel. One is the way television shows, movies, and music from the 1990’s was included. Sometimes as a reference and at other times as part of the story. The other thing was the way you were drawn into the different romance stories of both Jill and Matt.
It’s midsummer. David Elbert’s final semester at the university comes to an end. For this fresh Engineer, the daunting task of saving a company from imminent disaster soon pales in comparison to the multimillion-dollar stash of drugs and money found in a luxurious property he comes to own. His nerves start to singe. Criminals come out of the wood work. Escalation is imminent. When police and drug enforcement agents pop onto the scene, all hell quickly breaks loose. At this point, pure survival instinct takes over.
A DIFFERENT KIND OF READ (REVIEW)
When I started reading Intrinsic Encounters I expected mystery, intrigue, espionage, and a spy thriller. Why? I’m not sure, that’s just what the cover spoke to me. Instead, I got the longest most hilarious first chapter I’ve ever read. It gave you all of David’s backstory. And the things he did as a kid. Hm, hm, hm. His parents way of resolving the problem–priceless. I’m still laughing.
Getting over my initial shock that this was not a mystery was replaced by some well written humor. This hype was immediately replaced as we returned to the present and David presented a more somber mood.
Then Elise came into the picture, David’s girl friend. No, not girlfriend, his friend that is a girl. That is until David realizes his like for her has moved into love. Aaaah, a budding romance. This is a romance novel. Of course not! Let me be clear that relationship does develop throughout the novel, but—there was that thing you know, that thing that centered around Displaytek (the place where David did his internship). That engineering thing that got him there in the first place and was the primary story of the book. Right, Let me explain it more clearly, It was that thing that some of us would label as technology. While others would call it geeky and nerdy. Oh! Or science fiction as those of us who must categorize books into genres would call it.
No mystery! I should have really been let down. But, I like humor. I like romance. Wait, I even like science fiction. Besides, there was a little bit of mystery with that drug thing. Yet, you already know about that.
The UNIQUE thing about Intrinsic Encounters is the suspense. Yes, you heard me, it is a suspense thriller, (my mystery) with lots of action and adventure. When David walks into Displaytek on the first day, and talks to Anje Tille of Human Resources, he asks her what is expected of him as an intern. Her answer is what kept me turning the pages of this book. With characters like Henrik Wang and John Nwosu, Intrinsic Encounters is also an ETHNIC read.
This book is recommended for Young Adults from age 16 and Adults.
Summary: A plucky girl encounters an enormous tree, discovers it includes all fruits, and decides, much to the chagrin of its current animal and insect inhabitants (no epiphytes, sorry!), to climb to the top to retrieve a prized tropical fruit, the mangosteen. On the way she makes a mess, though, and well to continue would be to spoil the reader’s adventure.
A DIFFERENT KIND OF READ REVIEW
The Tree Talks Back starts with a girl walking into the forest. A little ways in, she sees a huge, no gigantic, no humongous tree. The tree is so big that it takes her half a day to walk around it. Now the most interesting thing about this tree is that it contained a lot of…. Well there were a lot of…. And then…
You know it was a really big tree and I can’t tell you what was going on because I don’t want to spoil the story for you.
The Tree Talks Back is a beautifully illustrated, very, very funny adventure story. Interestingly, the play on words is what makes this a UNIQUE read.
Sssh–another thing that is unusual about The Tree Talks Back is that the tree…zzzzzzz.
Can you believe that girl. She was about to give you a secret. I had to put her to sleep. Ahem! No spoilers here!
This book is primarily recommended for First Time Readers (5-8) and Middle Grade Readers (9 – 12). But I think all tiny readers and some not so tiny ones will enjoy reading it.
BIO Bill Grigsby leads the glamorous life of a small college professor. ‘I could never write. I went to a ex-pharmacist-turned-handwriting analyst, and she said I should have been a doctor. At the time I didn’t know that simply meant my handwriting was illegible, so I went back to school. I found out the hard way that illegible handwriting and a PhD don’t grant a license to perform surgery. They don’t tell you that til you’ve defaulted on your student loans and lost your first malpractice suit.’
Speaking of student loans, his oldest daughter Esa announced after graduating with a degree in foreign languages that her true passion was illustration. ‘I told her I’d write up an old bedtime story and she could illustrate it. How hard can children’s books be to pen? Complete sentences, right?’
That’s how No egrets Publishing was born. Bill keeps his day job teaching sociology at Eastern Oregon University. ‘Lots of people are locked in to pretty narrow ways of thinking about the world, society, and their places in it. Some of what I do is trying to disrupt intellectual entropy. It’s not a great marketing strategy, but it’s therapeutic.’
Esa keeps her day job in the Portland schools, but her talent at translating stories into pictures, scenes and side stories comes out pretty clearly on the page.
Their stories are full of sociological themes. ‘Kids are a tougher audience than college students. You can’t hold a final exam over their heads. The subtext in The Tree Talks Back is subtle but universal, the visual adornments extravagant, and it will never be mistaken for an academic report.’
At the time I made up this story, I had been working and researching in Africa, and as part of that studying tropical trees and fruits. Our daughters were unimpressed with my day job exploits, and parents intuitively know that none of that matters to young readers at bedtime. Subtext is there for those with an interest, but the story always comes first, and this one–mind you the illustrator was part of that original bedtime audience–was a labor of love.’
This story is best read to a younger audience, older children will appreciate following the meter and rhyme (and the subplots hiding in plain sight in the pictures).
The weirdest, most horrible week in Toby Stevens’ life starts when he hears a voice no one else can hear. The voice tells him that he has been Chosen to fight in a thousand-year-long war. It says that he’ll be given a Gift, a superpower to help him save the world. Terrified, Toby tries to ignore the voice, to pretend that everything is normal. But his friends keep catching him talking to himself. And the voice keeps saying stranger and stranger things. It tells him that he has to go to the middle of the Nevernight Forest, the giant woods that surround Toby’s town. In the Nevernight, the voice almost screams, all of your questions will be answered.
By the end of the week, Toby can’t take it anymore. He jumps up in the middle of class, races past the school security guard and runs straight into the Nevernight Forest. As the shouts of “Stop!” and “Come back!” fade behind him, Toby almost runs headlong into a fight between an old man with a silver sword and a huge man with a black axe. The two men stop fighting long enough to turn to look at Toby. As they drop their weapons and start walking toward the frightened boy, Toby’s normal life ends and the Nevernight Wars begin.
A DIFFERENT KIND OF READ REVIEW
Imagine sitting in your basement on a dark and stormy night secretly looking at a forbidden scary movie with your best friends Kirsten Roberts and Billy Delancy when you hear a voice. “You have to help her,” it pleads. You look around, did the others hear it? No, they are focused on the screen where Freddy Krueger (A Nightmare on Elm Street) is chasing some girl. In confusion, you wonder if this is part of the movie. No . . .it’s not his voice. Freddy’s voice is deeper and scary. This voice is soft and gentle and . . . it’s outside. Slowly you look towards the window. There’s nothing there but your backyard. Yet, beyond that lies—the Nevernight Forest. Someone in that forest is asking you to help her because, “she’s drowning.”
Who is she? Who’s talking? Why are you the only one that can hear him? Yes, that soft gentle voice is male. At your hesitation, it becomes commanding. “TOBY! LOOK OUTSIDE!” What are you going to do? What any curious sixth-grade boy would do. Ignore the wet and wild weather and step outside.
The brilliant thing about Jeff Trussell’s The Nevernight Wars Book One: Toby’s Gift, is:from the moment that you discover the voice in the woods is Cayman, a black man with a Jamaican accent who tells you the history of the Nevernight Forest, and the war that has been going on for centuries to save it from destruction; from the moment that Toby’s gift (superpowers to you), which is achieved by an ancient process handed down by the Goddess Isis, begins to grow and you find yourself trying to scrat—no, no, no–no spoilers from here; from the moment, the very touching moment (I’m a girl what do you expect), that Toby asks Billy, his best friend who is in a wheelchair to teach him how to use his gift, you are part of the story both mentally and physically.
The Nevernight Wars Book One: Toby’s Giftis a fantasy story with a little bit of science fiction and a lot of mystery thrown in. The way that Toby defeats Mr. Skinner, the antagonist, makes this a UNIQUE read. With the inclusion of Cayman (not to mention Isis, my favorite Goddess) and Billy, The Nevernight Wars Book One: Toby’s Gift is also an ETHNIC and SPECIAL NEEDS read. I can’t wait to see where the next adventure will take us.
The Nevernight Wars Book One: Toby’s Gift is recommended for Middle Grade Readers (9 – 12). First Time Readers (8 -12) with Parent assistance. Girls will also enjoy this book.
BIO Have you ever had a story you just had to tell? Something you ran home from school, burst in the front door and started blabbing to your parents before they even knew who was talking to them? The Nevernight Wars is that story for me. And like any good story, The Nevernight Wars has become more that just a story. In a weird way, and I wouldn’t admit this to just anybody, the characters are real. Toby, Kirsten and Billy aren’t real in the same way my wife Jennifer or baby Silas or our funny looking basset hound Luke are real. But real in the way Halloween or what you wish for on your birthday is real.
And for everyone who keeps asking when the next Nevernight will be ready, the answer is very soon. I won’t say what’s going to happen, but I will say that even I was surprised.