Review | Agatha Raisin and the Christmas Crumble by M.C. Beaton

Agatha Raisin and the Christmas Crumble

Title:Β Agatha Raisin and the Christmas Crumble
Author:Β M.C. Beaton
Genre: Fiction, Short Story, Mystery
Publishing date: 6th December, 2012
Published by: Robinson
Pages: 33

My Rating: 3.5/5 stars

 

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Synopsis:

The bossy, vain and irresistible Agatha is back in this latest short story.

Agatha is spending Christmas at home in the Cotswolds – and in a fit of goodwill towards all men (and women) she invites six of Carsley’s oldest residents to come around and share Christmas lunch with her.

Christmas jollity soon turns to disaster as Agatha accidentally kills one of her guests with a gruesome homemade Christmas pudding… so will it be Christmas in the cells for Agatha? Or can she fix an escape out of this particular festive mess!


My Take:

I liked reading this short story.

Agatha is spending the holidays alone so she decides to hold a dinner party for six of the other lonely elders who would otherwise have been spending the holidays alone. She refers to them as ‘crumblies.’

She is a dysfunctional cook who shouldn’t be actually cooking but does that stop her from cooking for others, that to for a dinner party. Nope. πŸ˜› Her dinner preparations are hilarious to read about.

Image result for a cooking mess gifIf it wasn’t for the fact that this book falls under the mystery category, I would’ve liked the book more. Considering how small the book is, there isn’t much time to build up the mystery.

Given the length of the book, the author does a good job.


Why would I pick it up?

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For the quick read.

 

Review | The Awkward Owl by Shawnda Blake

The Awkward Owl

 

Title: The Awkward Owl
Author: Shawnda Blake
Genre: Children’s Fiction, Picture Book, Short Story
Publishing date: 18th August, 2012
Published by: Awkward Owl Media, LLC
Pages: 32

My Rating: 3/5 stars Β 


Synopsis:

When a little owl has difficulty flying, he needs an extra boost of confidence to try again. It takes the loving care of a little girl to help him overcome his awkwardness and take to the skies. A sweet and funny story for bedtime or anytime.


My Take:

This is a cute and colorful picture book with a beautiful message. πŸ˜€

Other owls can swoop and soar but our little guy is yet to learn how to use his wings properly. He flies backwards, to the sides, and bumps into trees. He is slowly discouraged. A little girl who observes him takes him home, her mom doesn’t approve of it, so she builds him a home, feeds him, gives him clean water to drink, and most importantly gives him love. She worries about him and wonders why he can’t fly like other owls.

It was a fun little book that has a very important message that kids should learn. ❀ πŸ˜€


Why would I pick it up?

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For the cute pictures and the moral! ❀ πŸ˜€

Review | Brianna, Rachel, and the Mermaid: Volume I by Audrey Ballard

Brianna, Rachel, and the Mermaid: Volume I

 

Title:Β Brianna, Rachel, and the Mermaid: Volume I
Author:Β Audrey Ballard
Genre: Children’s Fiction, Short Story
Publishing date: 27th July, 2014
Published by: BookBaby

My Rating: 1/5 stars Β 

 


Synopsis:

Two sisters who initially are at odds, team up to help a mermaid with a broken tail. The mermaid, Aquamarine, performs at the local zoo with the dolphin show. There’s a witch, talking critters, mermaids, and a mysterious island. This story is put into short episodes for reading at bedtime or any other story time.


My Take:

This is the first and only book to date that I’ve rated only one star. It is so badly edited that I was frustrated reading it and didn’t want to finish it. The grammatical mistakes made me feel like the book never went to the editor.

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The story would’ve been good if not for how poorly it is told. I couldn’t enjoy the story because of how it is written. The books that kids read has an effect on them and this book is not going to leave a good one.


Why would I pick it up?

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Sadly, won’t.

Review | Hark- A Christmas Collection by Justin Bog

Hark---A Christmas Collection

 

Title: Hark- A Christmas Collection
Author: Justin Bog
Genre: Short Stories, Fiction
Publishing date: 14th November, 2014
Published by: Booktrope
Pages: 134

My Rating: 2.75/5 stars Β 

*e-copy received from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review*


Synopsis:

A beautifully written collection of short stories from critically acclaimed Pacific Northwest writer Justin Bog, Hark—A Christmas Collection explores the range of emotions surrounding the holidays. From melancholy to madness, loss and despair to hope and forgiveness, these six tales shimmer with feelings, some we’d rather stuff away, that Christmas can evoke.

Within Harkβ€”A Christmas Collection, a retired police officer faces another Christmas Eve while bitter recollections haunt his every turn, a lonely businesswoman plans to seduce Santa Claus one Christmas Eve, a widow grows anxious searching for a misplaced present she intended to send to her ungrateful sister, a woman can’t keep the images of her past—these ghosts—from haunting the life she chooses to live; while attending a Christmas party in Sun Valley, Idaho, a bookstore clerk and his partner are taught a lesson most un-holidaylike, and, in the final story, a couple portrays Mr. & Mrs. Claus in their small island town holiday festivities and face a grim diagnosis together.

Set in colorful locations around the United States, from Anacortes, Washington, to Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Sun Valley, Idaho, each tale focuses on people who struggle to make good choices, learn lessons, and maybe even find peace during the holiday season.


My Take:

It has six short stories in it. Namely, Hark, Seducing Santa, Bracelet, Everyone wants me to, Snow Globe, The Heralds.

My advice would be to go into this book without any expectations because when we think of Christmas, we associate all the happy and mushy emotions with it but this isn’t your typical Christmas joy stories. This book portrays much deeper emotions, the underlying emotions to the joyous cover we display.

The stories are well thought and well written. When I began writing this review, I planned to give a summary of every story but then thought above it. I think this book is to be enjoyed with no prior knowledge of what the book contains.

When you look at the pretty cover and the title, you think, this is going to be one of those sweet, bubbly, syrup induced story but boy! you sure are in for a ride. This book explores the emotions that we don’t usually associate with Christmas but they are well and true to show their presence somehow. Not everyone gets into the festive hype, for some the festivals bring out their thoughts that might have a tinge of darkness.

All the stories explore different types of emotions and show us that Christmas is not the same for everyone but I feel that the dark thoughts are wrapped in the blanket of compassion and hope because that is what life is about. Getting over the negativity and embracing the positivity.


Why would I pick it up?

Image result for christmas reading gif

For the unconventional concept.

 

Blog Tour | Book Review | Mother Gaia by R.L.Baxter

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Click on the banner to see the complete tour schedule. πŸ˜€

Welcome to my stop of the blog tour for the book β€œMother Gaia” by R.L.Baxter , hosted by Sage’s Blog Tours.

Let’s get on with the review, shall we?:)


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Title: Mother Gaia
Author: R.L.Baxter
Genre: Dystopian Fiction
Publisher: Ricky Lee Baxter

Publishing date: 1st March, 2015
Pages: 35

My Rating: 4/5 stars

 

 


Summary:

4.54 billion years the earth has existed – forming life that has continued to grow and adapt. Of all the species that have evolved, mankind has exceeded the most, from the discovery of fire, to the Internet and advanced machinery. Unfortunately, the hearts of men have changed for the worse, due to greed, corruption and manipulative warfare. As such, the wrath of the earth has been stirred, and its creator Mother Gaia takes it upon herself to end the human race. Bearing the appearance of a beautiful young woman, Mother Gaia will experience the darkest hearts of mankind, with no light in sight. Political – full of scientific and religious contradictions that will leave you questioning your own morality, Mother Gaia is a reminder that nature is a force not to be reckoned with.


My Take:

4 stars? Why? Why not a 5 star? Because this book ended way too early. I wanted more. :/ This is one of the books that is so descriptive that the imagery makes you forget that you are reading a book and you are transported to the world spun by the author. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

Mother Gaia is one of those fictions where a major world problem is used to create a emotion-induced story. The problem that we all acknowledge but don’t do much about it and one such problem is destruction of mother nature. Abusing the privileges given to us is equal to making sure that the privileges are revoked soon.

My grudge comes from their senseless acts that destroy each other and themselves, even thought they possess a brain that allows them to think on levels higher than all the animals of nature.

“It’s time to reclaim my land,” I whisper, before strolling onward, towards the tower.

Mother Gaia has come to revoke those privileges from the humans. She has had enough of the cruelty that every other species has to bear because of one species, the humans. The way she emerges from the very core of the Earth is fascinating. She takes human form to end the life on Earth.

A single red flower sprouted from the ground, and within seconds the flower grew – as wide as the trunk of the largest trees that exist. Within its centre I am born, bearing the image of an adult human woman.

The way her steps result in lushness of greenery in the spots give across the message that no matter how angry Mother Gaia is, how much ever she wants to destroy everything so that life can take form again, her basic nature is to love, care, and nurture. Even she couldn’t stop herself from giving life. Her primal subconscious instinct is to protect not to kill.

But what saddens me is that we humans are turning the loving and protecting Mother Gaia into a killing machine. This book is something that will make us realize what we have in store for us if we don’t stop destroying the earth for our need and greed.

Part of a larger family of species that once were, mankind have evolved to become my own enemy. Although they to are my children, humanity has proven itself to be a parasite, andΒ I have no choice but to cleanse my body of their existence.

At first, I wasn’t so sure about why Maya was introduced and I kind of wanted Mother Gaia to wipe everything from the face of Earth but as I went on reading I realized the big picture. Good books do that to you. πŸ˜‰

Maya represents the goodness in the world. There are loads of people who care for our Earth and respect the bounties of nature. The physical entity that called itself God, represents the greed and evilness of our species. The bottom line is no matter how much the evil tries to suppress the good, the good will always find a way to shine. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

The ending was unexpected. Actually, there was so much to think about. Before I could process one thought, another one was inserted into my brain, giving me no time to think about how it would end. It was like watching the story unfold in front of your eyes rather than reading it. πŸ˜‰


Why would I pick it up?

A thought provoking read is a must. πŸ˜€


Author’s Bio:

PictureRicky Baxter is the author of Gideon and the Crimson Samurai, Mother Gaia, A Sinless Horizon and The Worst Death. He is an avid blogger and speaker, giving advice and thoughts to fellow creators from all walks of life. His other works include Colours of Destiny, a Youtube visual novel.

Currently Ricky lives in London, England, where he writes and blogs. Starting out as a composer since graduating with a Ba(Hons) in music and multimedia, Ricky worked for many independent short film directors, gaining notable IMDB credits . Since then, he has embraced his earlier passion of writing fictional stories.

Meet the author: |Β WebsiteΒ |Β TwitterΒ |Β FacebookΒ |Β 

Blog Tour | Book Spotlight | Hark- A Christmas Collection by Justin Bog

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Click on the banner to see the complete tour schedule. πŸ˜€

Welcome to my stop of the blog tour for the book β€œHark- A Christmas Collection” by Justin Bog Β , hosted by Sage’s Blog Tours.


HarkOfficialCover

Hark – A Christmas Collection
By Justin Bog
Genre: Fiction, Short Stories

​

A beautifully written collection of short stories from critically acclaimed Pacific Northwest writer Justin Bog, Hark explores the range of emotions surrounding the holidays. From melancholy to madness, loss and despair to hope and forgiveness, these six tales shimmer with feelings, some we’d rather stuff away, that Christmas can evoke.

Set in colorful locations around the United States, from Anacortes, Washington, to Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Sun Valley, Idaho, each tale focuses on people who struggle to make good choices, learn lessons, and maybe even find peace during the holiday season.

A bonus story, Poseidon Eyes, from Booktrope’s upcoming reissue of Sandcastle and Other Stories—The Complete Edition, is included.


Author’s Bio:

JustinBogAuthorhHeadshot

Justin Bog lives in the Pacific Northwest on Fidalgo Island. Justin Bog was Pop Culture Correspondent and Editor for In Classic Style. He enjoys cooking, lawn mowing not so much, and spends time walking and handing out treats to two long coat German shepherds, Zippy and Kipling, and two barn cats, Ajax The Gray and Eartha Kitt’n.

Meet the author: |Β BlogΒ |Β TwitterΒ |Β FacebookΒ |Β 

Get the book on: | Amazon|