Thursday, May 28, 2020

New YA fiction from Kent Raddatz on bullying


The Boy Who Dreamed
Kent Raddatz

Young Adult
Fantasy
Kent Raddatz, publisher
May, 2020
Ebook - $2.99
Paperback - $7.9197 pp
ISBN: 979-8638-8225-07
Buy on Amazon

About the Book
Twelve-year-old Jacob Tannin is being bullied by Willard and doesn’t know what to do about it. He pretends to be invisible in the hopes that Willard will pick on someone else. It doesn’t work. And sometimes, while he’s being picked on, something sarcastic pops out of his mouth—which never goes over well. But Jacob’s also a dreamer. And when his dreams take him to another world called Chimeran, things begin to change. In Chimeran, he’s attacked by Haggeldies, a new set of bullies. But he also makes friends who try to teach him how to stand up for himself. As he goes back and forth between these two worlds, he’s forced to see others in a new way. And he’s encouraged to believe in the power that comes from what he thinks about himself. Will Jacob ever stop being afraid? What will give him the courage to speak up for himself? And how will he learn what he’s worth when bullies in both worlds say he’s nothing?

My Review:
Debut author Kent Raddatz has produced a winner for kids who like to read, especially those who read to escape problematic reality.

Jacob is every boy, on the verge of becoming a young man who is learning about the tough side of life, and deciding his path. Will he join the side that walks over those who are different, or will he develop empathy, no matter how much it hurts?

When Jacob takes that first step of reaching outside of his own insecurity, and wondering what life is like for others and realizing that everyone is a potential friend, life doesn’t get easier. Every encounter with someone in his greater, wider world shows him another piece of his developing life puzzle. Even family members become heroes when viewed through his newly maturing sight.

Raddatz’s story is told through young Jacob’s eyes, in the well-drawn voice of a twelve-year-old learning that life is bigger than himself. Reminiscent of my favorite book of all time, Dandelion Wine, readers, both boys and girls, who appreciate coming-of-age tales, watching their narrator get the big lessons and grow, will enjoy The Boy Who Dreamed.

About the Author:
Kent Raddatz is a writer and author of The Boy Who Dreamed, the story of twelve-year-old Jacob Tannin whose dreams transport him to another world. Yet the most important thing to know about Jacob is that he’s being bullied.
Professionally trained as a Pastor, Kent worked with many children who were bullied in a variety of ways. Some were physically attacked while others were verbally abused. All were forced to put up with angry people. He listened to their stories and encouraged them to accept and love who they are.
He is well suited to write about this subject because, in his own words, “at times I was bullied; while at other times I did the bullying [I was too small to use anything except my words].”
A member of SCBWI and the Wisconsin Writer’s Association, he attended the 2015 and 2017 Novel-In-Progress Book Camp where he was awarded the Fox Ridge Scholarship.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Legends from Moms Closet by Sasha Olsen child activist

Legends From Mom-s Closet Full 48HrsBook

Legends from Mom’s Closet
Sasha Olsen

Child Author, Environmental Activist
Non-fiction

Publisher: BCH
Release Date: May 19, 2020
Format: Hardcover
ISBN-13: 9780578620091 

$24.94
Barnes and Noble

About the Book
10-Year-Old Girl Uses Imagination and Vintage Fashion to Emulate Female Icons
A lesson in using creativity and learning at home

When 10-year-old Sasha Olsen was forced to spend a summer indoors because of rainy weather, she refused to spend all her time in front of a screen. Instead, she read through a stack of books detailing the lives of famous women throughout history. From Frida Kahlo and Audrey Hepburn to Billie Holiday and Joan Jett, Sasha’s imagination began to run wild as she learned about these accomplished and creative women who had become legends.

Soon, Sasha was in her mom's closet picking through her clothes and her grandmother’s vintage pieces to dress up like all the women she had been reading about. In her upcoming book, Legends from Mom’s Closet (May 2020), Sasha recreates the looks of her favorite female icons, from dresses to lipstick to hairstyles. She also offers highlights of their lives that she learned about while reading.

By dressing up in these clothes, Sasha also learned the difference between fast and vintage fashion, including the positive environmental impact consumers can have by choosing vintage or secondhand over newer items.  She encourages readers to embrace vintage as she has in an effort to help the planet in their own small way.

Complete with photos of the looks she created and tips for other young girls on how they can emulate these iconic women, Legends from Mom’s Closet will inspire kids to use their creativity at home, spending time to delve into the lives of truly remarkable people from the past to learn a thing or two about what it means to be legendary today.

A Brief Interview with the Author

Legends from Mom’s Closet


By Sasha Olsen (age 10)
In your book, Legends from Mom’s Closet, you share tidbits about and dress up like legendary women you read about during a rainy summer spent indoors. A lot of kids your age would spend a rainy summer watching TV or playing video games. What made you decide to start reading books about famous women?

Well, I actually love to read, especially biographies. I don’t usually spend a lot of time using any devices. I didn’t specifically start reading books about famous women, but I started looking around for books to learn more about legendary people. I just happened to meet these iconic women through their amazing stories and spending a day in their shoes!

Who was your favorite female legend to read about?

My favorite legend to read about was probably Frida Kahlo! I felt like she had a very inspiring story. She had a lot of difficult times in her life, but no matter what, she worked hard to achieve her dreams and become an artist.

What is the biggest lesson you learned from getting to know all of these female legends?

I learned many lessons! Most of all though, I learned that women are super strong. Women work very hard and can get through anything that might stand in their way of achieving their goals. Women are so inspiring!
What inspired you to use your mom’s clothes and your grandmother’s vintage pieces to recreate all of their iconic looks?

Actually, I just went into my mom’s closet and started trying on her shoes and dresses. This was after I read about Frida Kahlo. So, I just got the idea to try and dress up as her! I thought my mom might be really upset with me for playing with her things, but she loved the idea. If the legend was wearing something like I really couldn’t figure out where to get, I would call my grandma for advice. Most of the time, she had exactly what I needed!

Who was your favorite legend to dress up as and why?

My favorite legend to dress up as was definitely Yayoi Kusama. I love her bright artwork, and I was able to get even more creative to dress up as her!

How did you decide which legends to include in Legends from Mom’s Closet?

I didn’t choose them before. I just started to read about people who I didn’t know much about yet and it ended up being all women! After, I just decided to share them in this book.

Your other passion is the environment. Tell us what you learned about vintage fashion versus fast fashion.

When I was started my movement Iwantmyoceanback and this project, I was doing a lot of research during that time. I wanted to know more about what are the biggest things that pollute our oceans and cause problems for our planet. I found out like clothing is one of the biggest ocean pollutants and some fabrics, like polyester, have plastic in them so it breaks down and hurts our sea animals. After finding this out, I realized that it’s very harmful to buy fast fashion because people just buy the clothes and throw them away soon after. It inspired me to learn more about vintage and how we can buy secondhand instead, and just reuse clothing!

Ultimately, what do you hope your readers take away from your book?


I hope readers learn how important it is to let your creativity run wild! I want other kids to know that we can get inspired and have fun while also learning new things and growing our knowledge. It’s also very important that we learn more about how fast fashion affects our oceans and that we stop it! We need to win the war against fast fashion to help save the planet.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about the book or what you learned while writing it?

I just want to share that this book project is super special to me! It means a lot to me, and I worked very hard on it. I hope that everyone enjoys my stories and experiences dressing up as these legendary women. Most of all, I hope readers try it themselves and that it inspires them to think outside the box! I learned a lot from reading and getting to know these women, especially that we can do anything if we believe in ourselves.

About The Author
Sasha Olsen is an author, environmental activist, ballroom dancer, bookworm, pianist, and enjoys anything artistic. She always finds new hobbies and things to do, which usually ends up in her trying to juggle everything. She lives with her family in Bal Harbour, Florida, where she also spearheads the conservation movement “I Want My Ocean Back.” Legends From Mom’s Closet is her first book.

Visit:

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

new contemporary Christian romance from Pam Gossiaux

Finding Hope by Pamela Gossiaux

Finding Hope by Pamela Gossiaux
TriCat Publishing, 231 pp, May 12, 2020; available afte May 26 on BN

$4.99 ebook
$14.95 print

Buy on Amazon

About the Book:
An introverted horse-whisperer, a famous equine artist, and the mare who brings them together.

Tori Reynolds has never liked the term “breaking” horses to ride. Instead, she earns their trust, and can climb aboard a wild mustang the same day she meets it. Her farm, an historic bed and breakfast, sits along the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan in the small town of St. Ives, and her life as a B&B owner and sought-after horse whisperer is pretty much perfect. Until a visit to New York City changes everything.

Matt Cheval is a handsome, nationally-known artist. When Tori steps into his Manhattan art show, she unexpectedly finds herself and her horse in his paintings. Angry and frightened, she is now faced with the memory of a day she has spent years trying to forget.

Tori flees back to the security of her farm and the comfort of her horse, but Matt follows to apologize for a wrong he isn't sure he knows how to fix. Torn between anger and her growing feelings for Matt, she wonders if she has wrongly judged this sensitive artist. Maybe some wounds can be healed.

But when tragedy strikes, will their hope in the future, and their faith in God hold their relationship together? Or will they lose each other forever?

My review:
Finding Hope is for horse-loving, artsy romantics everywhere. Set primarily in Michigan’s windy upper west coast, an artist and a B&B hostess never forgot their perfect day. Except she was married horse trainer and farmer, and he was getting his art career underway.

Four years later, things have changed drastically. Tori, farm B&B owner, now widowed an author of several books on horse training, and Matt, the painter, have hit new highs. Tori is stunned to find herself and her beloved farm the as-yet-unidentified subject of Matt’s most famous traveling art show when she runs across him in New York where she’s come to demonstrate horse training and sign books. The mystery woman and her horse become a hot topic in the five-minute limelight world of the insatiably curious public, and when Tori’s worst nightmares come true, both Tori and Matt’s worlds fall apart.

Told in alternating points of view, Finding Hope is a story of healing, both from the past and from present wounds, and learning to forge new paths with the ones we can trust. Lovingly framed by Tori’s beloved horse, Hope, the characters learn to recognize their strengths and weaknesses, especially through the lens of their Christian faith.

Horse lovers and painters, and those who enjoy Michigan’s historic west coast will enjoy this sweet romance with a slight twist in the happily-ever-after.

About the Author
Pamela Gossiaux
Pamela Gossiaux the international bestselling author of the books Ordinary Girl, Good Enough, Why Is There a Lemon in My Fruit Salad? How to Stay Sweet When Life Turns Sour, and A Kid at Heart: Becoming a Child of Our Heavenly Father, as well as the highly acclaimed inspirational Russo Romantic Mystery series.


Pamela has been writing and working with writers for several decades. She has a dual BA degree from the University of Michigan in Creative Writing and English Language and Literature, and over 20 years of journalism writing experience. She teaches writing workshops and has been the editor for published books in a wide variety of genres, both fiction and non-fiction, including best sellers.

An avid horse enthusiast, she enjoys being outdoors and working in her garden. She also loves chocolate, and prefers to curl up with a good book in her downtime. Pamela lives in Michigan with her husband, two sons, and three cats. Visit her website at PamelaGossiaux.com.


Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Inspirational suspense set in Colorado



The Race of Her Heart
Robin Fuson

Contemporary Christian Romantic Suspense
218 pp
Forget Me Not books, Feb 14, 2020

Ebook $3.99
Paperback $8.97

Buy on Amazon

About the book
An engaged Jalyn Stewart returns to her hometown of Durango, Colorado following an accident that changed her life and Olympic dreams. A future with Timothy, her lawyer fiancé, moves forward with his new business partnership and their wedding plans. Jalyn’s part-time journalist job brings an unexpected encounter with an old flame and sparks fly. Can she believe him when he says he has changed?

Disturbing messages and threats make her realize, she's being stalked. Jalyn searches through her mind trying to discover why and who might be the stalker and does it have anything to do with her accident? Nothing points to the answers to her questions, causing more frustration. Jalyn’s faith is challenged as fear clutches her heart and soul.


An electric bicycle race takes Adam Walker to his home town of Durango, Colorado and through the mountains to the historic mining town of Silverton. His heart never got over the beautiful Jalyn after he left, hoping to be rid of the God she lived for. At their first encounter after his return, he notices she wears an engagement ring and his heart plummets. Can he accept them as friends or should he fight for more? Pride and a wager pits cycles against the mighty steam engine in an unheard-of race. Adam must conquer the mountain to win the race and the heart of the one he loves. Through overcoming dangerous obstacles is his new faith strong enough to rely on the Lord?


My review
Fuson’s new contemporary suspense in dramatic form. When Jalyn’s Olympic hopes are shattered, she returns to her touristy small hometown of Durango, Colorado, convincing her attorney fiancé to come along. Timothy sets up shop with a colleague and begins to build a clientele while Jalyn begins to integrate back into her former life of church and home and friends, and enjoys her many part-time jobs of cub reporter, summertime youth baseball umpire and wintertime ski instructor.

But home isn’t quite so friendly and familiar when Jalyn begins to receive threatening notes insinuating she was the source of someone else’s misfortunes and would pay. From then on, Jalyn feels she’s being watched and reports the matter to the local law enforcement. Durango has many attractions and happy summertime events, including the Durango to Silverton train. The train is not only famous for happy rails riding, but the subject of races of all kinds. This summer, it’s electric bicycles racing the train. Jalyn is sent to cover the intrepid bicycle riders and meets her former boyfriend, Adam, who’s made some marvelous life-changing decisions and cleaned up his act. As Jalyn’s fiancé continues to downplay her growing fears and the threats against her, oddly withdrawing more and more as their wedding approaches, Jalyn begins to turn to Adam for comfort and advice.

As Jalyn’s stalker acts out, affecting the lives of her friends and their businesses, even their lives and her own, Jalyn has many truths to face. She’s not alone. Faith, family, and friends enjoin in this gripping tale of romantic suspense.

About the Author
Robin is a Colorado native. Together, with her husband Jimmy. they celebrate with seventeen grandchildren. An award winner for romance and flash fiction. Robin is multi-published and writes stories on her blog for children. Robin is a member of ACFW, Vice President of ACFW Colorado Western Slope, and member of John316 Marketing Network. She enjoys leading a Bible study group and singing in two community choirs. Robin loves company and challenging her young guests to discover the many giraffes in the obvious and hidden nooks and crannies of their home.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Inspy romance Flowers Can Be Fatal 12

Holly in December: A Romantic Suspense for Every Month of the Year


Holly in December, Flowers can be fatal #12
Clare Revell

Pelican Ventures LLC, November 2016
Inspirational romantic novella
$3.99 Ebook
Also available on Audible

Buy on Amazon

About the Book
She's "Hopeless." When Hope ran away from home at seventeen it was just the start of a downward spiral that led to mistakes that have plagued her since. Now accused of a crime, she's lost her job and housing. With a young daughter to care for, she finds a place at a church-run shelter. Nick Slater is a new assistant pastor at Headley Cross Baptist. His focus should be on his job and volunteering at the shelter, but when the same woman keeps crossing his path, he knows God has orchestrated their meetings and resolves to help her, no matter what it takes. But even while scents of holly and fresh-baked pies fill the air with Christmas joy, and Nick finds himself falling in love with Hope and her little girl, the dark stain of Hope's past threatens to affect Nick's career. Should he ignore the urge to save his reputation, or is God teaching him a Heavenly lesson? 

My review
This twelfth book in the gently linked Flowers Can Be Fatal series of inspirational romantic novellas opens on a dramatic note. Social worker Hope Hargitay is being sent home after a blistering accusation of wrong-doing blows up in her face. She can’t even defend herself, and after five years’ of service, is fired. Not only let go, she and her daughter are tossed out of the apartment that came with the ill-paying job. Now what? Her last resort is moving into a homeless shelter in exchange for work.

A new tenant in a run-down apartment on the seedy side of town, Assistant Pastor Nick Slater helps a young woman move her bags down several flights of stairs. He’s never had time to introduce himself and is startled to meet her again during his volunteer time at the nearby shelter. This time she’s again in desperate need of being rescued and Nick is pulled willingly into her story. Holly has an idea of how and why she’s being victimized but is scared senseless over telling the truth. Already on probation as a pastor, Nick is repeatedly warned by older church members to maintain decorum. Nick understands, but how can he prove his faith practice if he’s told to keep his distance from the very people who need his help? God loves the downtrodden and the redeemed too, and Nick is determined to make sure everyone keeps past sins where they belong—firmly in the past—and that justice and mercy go both ways.

Revell’s series shares a few characters and intertwines storylines gently without needing to be read in any particular order. The stories are laden with contemporary issues and lovingly told through both hero and heroine’s voices. Each is lovingly and well told. I listened to the audio version and enjoyed the Brit-speak. Those who love short intense romances will enjoy Revell’s work.

About the Author
Clare RevellClare is a British author. She lives in a small town just outside Reading, England with her husband, whom she married in 1992, their three children, and unfriendly mini-panther, aka Tilly the black cat. They have recently been joined by Hedwig and Sirius the guinea pigs. Clare is half English and half Welsh, which makes watching rugby interesting at times as it doesn’t matter who wins. Writing from an early childhood and encouraged by her teachers, she graduated from rewriting fairy stories through fan fiction to using her own original characters and enjoys writing an eclectic mix of romance, crime fiction and children's stories. When she's not writing, she can be found reading, crocheting or doing the many piles of laundry the occupants of her house manage to make.

Her books are based in the UK, with a couple of exceptions, thus, although the spelling may be American in some of them, the books contain British language and terminology and the more recent ones are written in UK English.

The first draft of every novel is hand written.
She has been a Christian for more than half her life. She goes to Carey Baptist where she is one of four registrars. She can be found at:
http://www.revell124.plus.com/clarere...
https://www.facebook.com/ClareRevellA...
https://twitter.com/ClareRevell

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Lessons From My Mothers Life book review


Author Tam May discussed her purpose and the updating process for her work here.

Lessons From My Mother's Life
Tam May

Historical Fiction, short Story Collection
$9.99  Print, 190 pp
$0.99  Ebook
Buy here:Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple iBooks, Kobo

       About the Book:

It was the 1950s. The war was over and women could go back to being happy housewives. But did they really want to?
Women in the 1950s should have been contented to live a Leave it to Beaver life. They had it all: generous husbands with great jobs, comfortable suburban homes with nice yards, two cars, and communities with like-minded families. Their days were filled with raising well-behaved children, cleaning the house, baking cookies, and attending PTA meetings and church events.
They should have been fulfilled. Women's magazines told them so. Advertisers told them so. Doctors and psychologists told them so. Some were. But some weren't.
In the 1950s, women were sold a bill of goods about who they were and who they should be as women. Some bought it. But some didn't.
These stories are about the women who didn't. They didn't buy that there wasn't more to life than making a happy home. Except they didn't know they weren't buying until something forced them see the cracks in their seemingly perfect lives.
A teenage bride sees her future mirrored in Circe's twisted face. A woman's tragic life serves as a warning about the dangers of too much maternal devotion. And the lives of two women intersect during two birthday parties, changing both of them. These and other moving tales of strength, discovery, and hope are about our mothers and grandmothers and the lessons their lives have to teach us.

My review:

Tam May’s reimagined and repurposed collection of short historical fiction strikes a cord with readers who experienced the result of that tumultuous time. After WWII, when women were needed, they suddenly found themselves demoted to decorations as the world hit a technological boom that took their dignity. In an era that bolstered men returning from the warfront to resettle into a new world of exciting careers in science, technology, sales, and service, their wives were expected to maintain a certain decorum of support. Those who sought independence were deemed unfeminine; an unfortunate label other women were encouraged to assign.
I agree with other reviewers who call these stories somewhat bleak. But each of the challenges is worthy of thought and discussion, and still disturbingly relevant. Each of the women in the five stories struggles to refrain from becoming “Mrs. John Smith,” even if they don’t understand what that means. In “Fumbling Toward Freedom,” for instance, our young bride-to-be refuses to register for gifts because she “wanted those things [towels and dishes] to be of her taste rather than the taste of others.” It’s a subtle, perhaps unconscious desire to control her surroundings that battles out through the tale. In other stories, a young woman sacrifices herself as an early teen to become the mother/homemaker while her own mother wallows in pity. It becomes a role she can’t escape from, a role that consumes her and overwhelms her ability to find joy and understand love. In perhaps the oddly happiest of the stories, “Soul Destinations” is a noir train journey of strangers fighting their demons and finding peace and comfort in each other’s presence. An engagement party goes terribly right in “Devoted,” when Rachel’s aunt sheds light on a touchy subject, and it’s not the one we think, as everyone learns some truth behind what it means to love and be loved. The final story, “Two Sides of Life,” was unsettling. Empty nesters try to fill in their lives their own muddied way; Calvin by trying to fix something he doesn’t understand, and Leanne by struggling up the slippery slope of a tilted foundation. She’s been the glue, the firm cornerstone, and the rock everyone’s relied on for years, and when she is ready to remodel, her husband fearfully attempts to push her back in place. Dual birthday celebrations help Leanne realize some ugly and brave truths about herself, giving her a better footing for the future.

These are not all easy or joyous stories, but skillfully told and well set in time and place. Good for those who enjoy thoughtful prose that begs serious contemplation.

Friday, May 1, 2020

Blog Tour Chendell by Leslie I Landis YA Hero


Chendell: A Natural Hero
Leslie I Landis

Young Adult Fantasy Series (Book 1) Climate Change novel
Paperback: 221 pages, ebook and audio read by Alicia Silverstone and Adrian Grenier
Waldo LLC, April 22, 2020
ISBN 978-1732911406
$2.99 Ebook
$9.99 paperback
$17.99 Audio

Buy on

About the Book
A super boy from a village in China and a super girl from rural Vermont meet in college and fall in love. Both grapple with their unique powers and purpose. Will they master their abilities in time to save each other and the ecosystem from certain destruction? And what twists does life have in store? Originally released in early 2019, Landis is re-releasing an updated version of her environmental YA fantasy as well as adding an audiobook format in April 2020, to celebrate Earth Day.


While on a research trip to the Peruvian rainforest, Robin Dell and Jamie Chen’s lives (and consciousness) are changed forever when they drink a shaman’s brew and are transformed into CHENDELL. Two halves of one person. A dual consciousness – female and male – in one body. This new being is streamlined. Eurasian. With one green eye and one dark brown eye. Shoulder length hair that is half auburn and half black. As CHENDELL, their fight is to save our environment from the people responsible for ecocide and biocide – the willful destruction of the environment and the annihilation of living organisms. Individually, Robin can control insects and Jamie can communicate and control trees and plants. When joined as CHENDELL their powers are enhanced. Their senses are extremely acute. Their strength is exceptionally strong. Their mind is lightning quick. And their powers are extensively increased – not only with trees, plants, and insects – but also with other living creatures. All of nature is their ally. Finally, Nature has a hero.

A Brief Interview with the Author

How did you come up with the idea of CHENDELL?
Through media exposure, I certainly noticed how popular the superhero genre is.
When I thought about why I was not interested in this category, I realized that the typical superhero characters were not “real” to me and they usually battled against “unreal” struggles such as someone trying to blow up the world. So I thought why not a superhero who was fighting a real world problem - ecocide and biocide - the willful destruction of the environment and the annihilation of living organisms.

My book, Chendell: A Natural Warrior, has an environmental theme. People of all ages care about the environment but young people are especially tuned into the environmental degradation caused by global warming. They know it is their future that is most at risk.

Why is one of your protagonists Chinese?
There are three reasons I made one of my protagonists Chinese:
1. I’ve been to China and I found the Chinese people to be gracious, warm and kind.
2. I know what it feels like to experience anger and hostility just because I was American. I’ve traveled to other countries during a time when we had an unpopular U.S. president. I feel the people of a country should be treated as individuals, not as representatives of a government.
3. I’m personally very interested in other cultures and ethnicities. Having a Chinese character was just more interesting to me.

Why do environmental problems worry you the most?
The future of every living creature depends on the health of our planet.

What can people do to help our environment?
Buy less, use less, waste less and recycle. Also, people can vote for representatives who take the environment and global warming seriously.

How does a new story idea come to you?
I read a lot of current publications – newspapers and magazines – so trends eventually coalesce in my brain and ideas pop out from there.

What do you do when you are not writing?
The usual. Eating, sleeping, exercising, errands, grocery shopping, going out to dinner, etc.

What was your favorite book as a child?
Moby Dick

What is the one book no writer should be without?
The one they love and inspires them.

My review
I love the concept of this story. It’s magical realism meant for the adult who enjoys fantasy. The main characters are well drawn and portrayed in an engaging manner. There’s obviously a lot of comfortable background research done, and the story often feels part travelogue, part science lesson. But the real story doesn’t begin until chapter six—the first five are background. It’s important to know where Robin and Jinsong—Jamie—come from; their motives and so forth. But there’s a reason storytellers should start with action, why authors must learn that background is not all that appealing when given to an audience in lump format, and why genre and age level is important when describing your story. I wouldn’t call this young adult and certainly not middle grade even though the author took care to keep the sentence structure simply and choppy. I understand why other readers are having some difficulty placing it.

Anyway, in the first five chapters out of eight, two each separately describe each of the character’s early family life and growing up years in their respective China and Vermont; describe their families and the issues that cause them to choose their respective careers in medical research. They each have special gifts. Chapter five is meeting and life at school. Finally at chapter six chapter is their courtship and double wedding and concluding their doctoral studies. Then the excitement begins in chapter seven as they meet the mysterious Dr. Roy and go on what we hope will be their first adventure, an environmental studies trip to the Peruvian jungle where things go wonky awful fast.


The way the story is told is unique. Characters are labeled and get their own paragraph of narrative, diary-form, often backing up and repeating scenes from their own perspectives. I enjoyed it, but again, it was an awful long build up to the main event, which was over in two blinks of an eye. Hopefully this will be the first of other adventures to save the world. With much more world and people-saving in future books.

About the Author
Leslie Landis has been a teacher, a financial planner, a bank trust officer, worked for a U.S. Senator, an associate director in television and a licensed therapist. Her first book, is a humorous take on our food and diet obsessed culture titled The Art of Overeating: A Bellyful of Laughs About Our Food-phobic Culture. CHENDELL: A Natural Warrior is her first novel. Leslie lives with her husband in Los Angeles. Leslie’s degree in psychology informs her insight into how people look at the world and themselves. She created relatable characters who reflect the roles we play and the uncertainties of life. With a different take on gender equality and the battle to preserve our environment, her superhero CHENDELL speaks not only to young people but to all generations. In this captivating, exciting and realistic fantasy, Landis’ unique writing style presents a message of love, hope and commitment to fighting the real world evil forces destroying our planet.
Author website: http://chendell.com/