Gargoyle Hall: An Araminta Spookie adventure by Angie Sage

Gargoyle Hall: An Araminta Spookie AdventureGargoyle Hall: An Araminta Spookie Adventure by Angie Sage

When Araminta throws cold water over her best friend, Wanda, to disperse a crowd of panicked bats, it s decided Araminta has been helpful one too many times, and she is packed off to boarding school. On arrival, Araminta is surprised to discover that Gargoyle Hall makes her home, Spook House, seems positively cosy. Strange moans and clanks echo down the corridors and the two head girls are equally creepy. Most of the other pupils have been scared away, but Araminta senses that something or someone is behind the menace.With the help of best friend Wanda and Uncle Drac s prize bat, she is going to do something about it!”

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In usual Araminta Spookie style, this book is full of silly laughs and an entertaining story that children and parents are sure to like. I’ve enjoyed watching the progression of these stories since the first one, and look forward to see what is going to happen in the future.

Hoping for more books.

I thought this one had a bit slower start than some of the others, but the antics soon caught up, making the kids smile and holding their attention. I love books that can make kids curious about what is going to happen next.

If you haven’t checked out this series yet, you should, especially if you have little ones in your life.

Another fun book, another recommendation.

This review is based on a complementary copy from the publisher and provided through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

Final Reviews

ionia martin:

Pamela Beckford with some excellent advice from a reader’s start doing and a shameless plug for plundering. I love that woman.

Originally posted on Year 'Round Thanksgiving Project:

This will be my final block of book reviews on this site. Posting on two different blogs is more than challenging and time consuming. I obviously haven’t done a good job with it either. So, I have decided to keep this site open for the history of my reviews and such, but my other site, Poetry by Pamela will contain all future reviews (except for children’s book reviews which will remain on here). But here are the reviews I have today.

Before I get into the reviews, let me make a couple of other comments.

1) Book Covers really do make a difference. I often buy a book (or bottle of wine) because I like the artwork. It indicates to me that the author either was a professional or used a professional. Book covers show me that it has a quality I enjoy. If they look too “homemade”, I usually…

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Plundering the Romance Novel by Ionia Martin

ionia martin:

Another complete surprise and a very good one at that!

Originally posted on a day in the life of patootie:

51t2fcaBeRL._SX383_BO1,204,203,200_I just finished reading the funniest book I’ve read in a long time. I trotted over to Amazon to leave a review. In their little pop-up, they asked me if there was sexual content in the book. I’m not sure how to answer that question, so I left it blank.

I will say, though, that this book is short, sweet, and hilarious. It is told by the hero, narrator, author, and your choice of two heroines. You can tell them apart by the color of their flowing locks. Watch out for the potato sack race which had me spitting my drink onto my Kindle. A MUST-READ for any romance fan or writer…especially writer. I encourage all of my author friends and anyone who loves a good romance novel to go get this book…TODAY…RIGHT NOW. Click HERE. If you hate romance novels, you’ll like it even more.

It is written by…

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Tuesday – Anything Possible – Ionia Martin

ionia martin:

I don’t see this this morning, but wanted to share it now. John Howell is a sneaky one. Thanks so much, John.

Originally posted on Fiction Favorites:

a ionia headshot

Iona Martin has just published two books and since she is such a good writer I want to take the time to let you know about them.

a Reluctant Muse

The first is one that Ionia wrote for authors. She is such and excellent reviewer and writer that it is time for all of us to take advantage of the prompts that she has provided.  It is titled The Reluctant Muse and is “a writing prompt and idea book for authors of fiction works. It is intended to offer inspiration when you can’t think of anything to write about and includes photos, exercises and inspirational quotes. It is not a long book and the exercises are simple and designed to only take a few minutes of your time. Hope you enjoy!” I know i want to read it and gain some fresh ideas.

The second book is one that only Ionia could write. Titled

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Everything but the Glittery Hoo-ha~#BookReview: Plundering the Romance Novel, #parody by Ionia Martin

ionia martin:

This is the best review I’ve ever seen. I’m still giggling!

Originally posted on Barb Taub:

I was crying. No, really.

cupid1I downloaded and read Ionia Martin’s hilarious bodice-ripper spoof, Plundering the Romance Novel (subtitled A Really Awful, Truly Terrible, Very, Very, Bad Romance) and was laughing so hard I was using the sleeve of the sweatshirt my husband had left lying on the couch—again, even though I’ve warned him about it, so it serves him right—to wipe off the tears and snot because I didn’t want to stop long enough to go for tissues.

Now that I’ve finished (and, okay, done some laundry) I just have to tell you about it.


gold starMy Review: 5  stars out of 5

Once upon a time there was an Omnipotent Narrator. Actually, she was a romance novel reviewer who had just had it up to HERE with all the crap that gets published these days, for god’s sake, she could do better in her sleep and maybe make a…

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Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty

A spooky mystery-thriller about an unusual girl who lives secretly in the basement of the grand Biltmore Estate. Watch the exciting new book trailer.

“Never go into the deep parts of the forest, for there are many dangers there and they will ensnare your soul.”

Serafina has never had a reason to disobey her pa and venture beyond the grounds of Biltmore Estate. There’s plenty to explore in the shadowed corridors of her vast home, but she must take care to never be seen. None of the rich folk upstairs know that Serafina exists; she and her pa, the estate’s maintenance man, have secretly lived in the basement for as long as Serafina can remember.

But when children at the estate start disappearing, only Serafina knows who the culprit is: a terrifying man in a black cloak who stalks Biltmore’s corridors at night. Following her own harrowing escape, Serafina risks everything by joining forces with Braeden Vanderbilt, the young nephew of Biltmore’s owners. Braeden and Serafina must uncover the Man in the Black Cloak’s true identity before all of the children vanish one by one.

Serafina’s hunt leads her into the very forest that she has been taught to fear. There she discovers a forgotten legacy of magic that is bound to her own identity. In order to save the children of Biltmore, Serafina must seek the answers that will unlock the puzzle of her past.
Serafina and the Black CloakSerafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Serafina and the Black Cloak is promising to be one of the biggest books released this year. After reading it, I can see what all the hype is about. This is a book that much like Harry Potter did, will keep the kid’s imaginations wildly anticipating what is going to happen next.

I was taken aback a little by how dark this novel is. I don’t expect everything to be roses and butterflies, but for a first book, this was rather dark. I do however, thank the author for keeping those elements consistent throughout the story. Serafina is a character that was designed to carry a book like this, and she pulls it off well.

This book fascinated my children and they were insistent about getting to the end of it, which is usually a pretty good sign that they care about what you are reading with them. As a mum, that makes me happy.

The setting for this story is unbelievably interesting and allows you a chance to open a conversation with your kids and teach them something fun.

Overall, this was a great book for kids, and even for the adults in the family. I think you should check it out.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through Netgalley.

Poetry for Lovers and Others

ionia martin:

I keep seeing couples comment on a need for books that they can share with one another to spice things up. Pamela Beckford has that and much more available in her poetry books. The price is perfect, so give it a go. Steamy, sexy and enticing her books are sure to “kindle” your flames.

Originally posted on Poetry by Pamela:

I was chatting with my best friend this morning and she asked why I never promote my books. Hmmmm, I think I just hate pushing them all the time. But it has been quite awhile since I’ve talked about them at all so maybe it is time to remind you all that I have three solo books and one joint venture that are available for the nominal fee of $.99 on Amazon. If you prefer paper books, those are available as well. I primarily write poems around love – life wouldn’t be any fun at all if we didn’t have love in our lives. But, as things happen sometimes, love can be unrequited or can turn to loneliness and angst of loss. So, my books and my poems tend to highlight both sides of love.

So, if you haven’t purchased one or more of my books, please do so today…

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Plundering the Romance Novel by Ionia Martin

Plundering cover

If you should feel so inclined to purchase

Description: A silly, satirical romp into the land of romance novels and pirate adventures, full of romance clichés and humour. This book is a short novella, just over 10k words.

Have you ever wondered what goes on in the minds and hearts of romance novel heroes and heroines? No? Good, because this book won’t be helpful with that at all.

If romance clichés drive you mad and you like Monty Python style humour, this may be the perfect book for you.

From the twisted mind of a sometimes writer and lifelong reader, you are certain to have less brain cells than you started with after reading this book.

Captain Stormy is the typical romance hero/villain archetype. He follows the Romance Hero Handbook to the letter, but he is about to figure out that nothing in his guidebook is going to prepare him for the trials he’s about to face.

Uncooperative heroines, lack of treasure, severely delayed sex scenes, a missing crew and an old man’s butt cheeks later, Stormy has a story to tell you.

Even pirates have bad days.

*contains some mature themes and language

Wandering Among the Stars by Wirton Arvel

Wandering Among the StarsWandering Among the Stars by Wirton Arvel
The motivational biography of a poet, a tale written in prose with many poems and inspirational quotes.
‘Wandering among the stars’ tells the love story between the protagonist and life.

A story where poetry and prose are intertwined like soul and body, to bring this love story to life so the reader can live it.

So it’s not about a collection of poems, least of all a story in verse. Maybe it could be described as a book of ‘narrated poems’ or as a ‘literary musical'; actually it represents a narrative experiment that lies somewhere between a meta-novel, a collection of poems and an essay; its main aim is to encourage those readers that usually prefer to read only prose works to read poetry as well.

It includes chapters about love, the cosmos, death, spirituality and poetry itself.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Unlike Songs whose words depend on the melody of the music, poems must have their own internal music”

I love that quote and I love this book. If you are a poet, successful or struggling, or even just someone who appreciates the written word, you will find something to love or to inspire you in this book.

Above all else, even above the fantastic arrangement, excellent editing and interesting content–this book comes down to words. I know, I know, they all do, but some poets have a gift for choosing exactly the right word on the right occasion to send a tingling down the spine of the reader. Wirton Arvel is one of those poets.

This book is a mixture of free verse and prose, arranged in a way where one connects to the other to tell a story. The author’s journey as a writer is laid before us in a most unusual and pleasant way. Rather than using the boring formula of “first I picked up a pen,” as other authors have done, Wirton Arvel allows us to journey along through a combination of different themes and watch the progressive trek toward becoming a poet.

This is a beautiful book. It is startling, thoughtful and unique and in my opinion would be a treasure for anyone who loves poems. Highly recommended and (I don’t say this often) a book that I look forward to reading again.

INSPIRING EARLY READERS: Author on a Mission

ionia martin:

An awesome post about early literacy, check it out

Originally posted on Bette A. Stevens, Maine Author:

Early last winter, I discovered that one of my author friends regularly metamorphoses into “Blossom the Butterfly” to share her love of reading with pre-school and elementary school children. I asked Pamela to share her story. Opportunities abound for all of us! ~ Bette A. Stevens

CHILDHOOD LITERACY: Sharing the love of reading

Guest post by author Pamela Beckford

IMG_2405How did I get so involved in childhood literacy? I’ve asked myself that question dozens of times. I’m not a teacher, nor did I ever have any aspirations of being a teacher. I’m not a librarian, nor did I ever have any desire to be a librarian. But I am an avid reader myself and I have seen how much reading means to me personally.

I have the world’s best job as CEO of a local United Way. We have a goal of making sure that 90% of all children in…

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