Friday 28 April 2023

Mother Knows Worst by Sofia Bella Roma + Author Interview


Book Details:

​Book Title:  Mother Knows Worst by Sofia Bella Roma
Category:  Adult Fiction (18+),  280 pages
Genre: Literary Fiction, Novel
Publisher:  Mascot Books
Release date:  December 2022
Content Rating:  PG -13 

Pinnacle Award Winner!
"Author Sofia Bella Roma tells an absorbing story about two people from very different backgrounds falling in love and struggling to navigate the circumstances and people around them. Infusing romance, humor, and plenty of drama, Roma weaves an engaging narrative that keeps hold of the reader until the last page. Mother Knows Worst is not just a dramatic comedy but also a novel that showcases the challenges people sometimes face in adapting to other cultures, especially in relationships involving in-laws. The characters have their own idiosyncrasies, which make them very intriguing to read. Rose and Anil's dynamic feels genuine, as do their respective struggles and conflicts. Recommended to readers who savor drama novels revolving around relationships." - Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite

"A lively, thought-provoking journey into one young woman's marriage, cross-cultural encounters, and life. Mother Knows Worst is recommended not just for novel readers seeking stories of women's experiences, but for reading groups interested in the psychological entanglements between different cultures and generations." - Reviewed by Midwest Book Reviews

Book Description:

After trying her hand at acting, Rose decides to change career paths and enter law school.

She enrolls in law school in a sleepy New England town, only to find that the practice of law is not all she will study. This quirky thirty-something Italian girl falls in love when she lays eyes on Anil, a handsome intellectual from India. The two discover a deep connection and quickly begin a romantic relationship. What could go wrong as their romance blossoms? Their future looks bright. They have each other. They have great friends. They also have Anil’s mother. Inspired by true events, Mother Knows Worst is a humorous and heartfelt novel. Rose is on a path to finding herself, love, and relationships, taking the reader on a delightful and often comedic journey as she explores two cultural worlds colliding.
​Mascot Books
Amazon B&N
add to goodreads

Author Interview with Sofia Bella Roma
Do you have another profession besides writing?
Yes, I am a family law attorney. Haha… maybe I should write about being a family law attorney.
What made you write a book about two cultures colliding?
I wanted to take the reader through a relatable journey about love, hurt, deception and disappointment. It became apparent to me that a marriage is affected by more than just a husband-and-wife team. A marriage can be impacted by work, children, family, and friends.  
What was your biggest fear when writing your book?
     I was afraid of offending or hurting the real-life people who are part of the story. I was concerned about the reception of the book by the public and how it would be received by those familiar with the true story.  
Which was the hardest character to write?
      Anil was the hardest character to write. I wanted to show how he was torn and had his own struggles within the marriage.
If you could change one thing about writing this novel, what would it be?
The way some of the real-life people found out about the story. I could have done a better job by letting them know before the book was released. I really regret that mistake.

Meet the Author:

Sofia Bella Roma is a lawyer in North Carolina. She has been practicing law since 2009. She was first licensed to practice law in Massachusetts and then went on to become licensed attorney in North Carolina. Sofia has spent most of her career telling stories. She regularly performs to judges when litigating her cases. Mother Knows Worst is Sofia’s debut novel. This book tackles common problems in relationships and takes on mother-in-law drama with a quirky point of view. Sofia knows firsthand about difficult relationships since she has been practicing law as a divorce attorney. She currently lives with her son and their pet lizard. She has a love for the arts and enjoys making people laugh.

Enter the Giveaway:

Win signed copy of MOTHER KNOWS WORST by Sofia Bella Roma (one winner) (USA only) (ends May 19)


Thursday 27 April 2023

Doctoroo and the Case of the Picnic Pirates by Dr. Rachel Wellner + Guest Post

Book Details:

​Book Title Doctoroo and the Case of the Picnic Pirates by
​Rachel B. Wellner

Category:  Children's Fiction (Ages 3-7), 43 pages
Genre: Children's Picture Book
PublisherWellner Media
Release Date: January 9, 2023
Content Rating:  G - No profanity, sex or violence

Book Description:

Doctoroo (also known as Dr. Marsha Roo) and her team Kirby Koala, Louie Llama and Terence Toad may live in Australia, but they travel the world solving medical mysteries. In Doctoroo & the Case of the Picnic Pirates, they fly to the United States to find out why bear cubs in the Tumbling Potomac Pirates won't practice their somersaults, cartwheels, or handsprings. Will Doctoroo discover what is wrong? Will she have the answer in time for the cubs to perform on the Fourth of July, America's Independence Day?

Buy the Book

Guest Post: The Link Between Nutrition and Brain Power by Dr Rachel Wellner

Nutrition plays an important role in maintaining and improving the health of our brains. It is essential to ensure that we get adequate amounts of nutrients from our diets as these have a substantial impact on brain development. Good nutrition is integral for brain development, is also essential for higher cognitive functions such as concentration, memory and intelligence. 

Poor nutrition during critical periods of development such as early childhood or puberty can even cause permanent changes in the structure and function of the brain. Studies have also found that poor dietary habits result in poorer executive function – decision making, problem solving and planning – leading to decreased productivity at school or work. Finally, inadequate nutrition leads to slower reaction times due to fluctuations in energy levels caused by low blood sugar or lack of iron. 

Eating a balanced diet is important for the healthy development and functioning of the brain. This includes consuming plenty of nutritious foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. In addition to these nutrients, antioxidants are also important for brain health as they protect against damaging free radicals in the body which can lead to cognitive decline. Furthermore, Omega-3 fatty acids have been found to be particularly beneficial for improving concentration, memory and learning capacity. Studies have shown that incorporating Omega-3s into our diets can help boost brain performance by enhancing communication pathways between nerve cells and strengthening the protective myelin sheath around neurons. 

Poor nutrition can have serious consequences on our brain power and cognitive abilities. Eating diets high in saturated fat, processed foods and refined sugars can cause inflammation in the body and lead to a decrease in blood flow to the brain. This, in turn, affects the efficiency of neural pathways and decreases our ability to recall information stored in long-term memory. Also, when our diets are lacking essential vitamins and minerals needed for proper brain functioning, such as B vitamins from whole grains, it can lead to impaired mental performance. In addition, research has shown that poor nutrition can lead to neurological disorders such as learning disabilities and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). 
It is clear that nutrition plays an essential role in maintaining good brain health. Eating a nutritious and balanced diet can help to improve concentration, focus, memory, and overall cognitive functioning. Therefore, leading a healthy lifestyle by eating a nutritious diet is crucial for keeping our minds sharp and functioning optimally.

Meet the Author:

Dr. Rachel Wellner is a board-certified general surgeon, Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and a Society of Surgical Oncology-trained breast oncology surgeon.

Connect with the Author: Website Facebook Instagram ~ Goodreads

Enter the Giveaway:
Enter to win a $50 Sephora Gift Card courtesy of the author of Doctoroo & the Case of the Picnic Pirates (one winner) (USA only) (ends May 12)

Doctoroo & the Case of the Picnic Pirates Book Tour Giveaway

Tuesday 25 April 2023

Only Prince Charming Gets to Break the Rules by Anne E Beall

Book Details:
Book Title:  Only Prince Charming Gets to Break the Rules: Gender and Rule Violation in Fairy Tales and Life by Anne E. Beall
Category:  Adult Non-Fiction (18+),  148 pages
Genre: Feminist, Fairy Tales, Literary Criticism
Publisher:  Independent Publishing
Release date:  Oct 2022
Content Rating:  PG + M. Some mature themes, some characters are executed for their transgressions, some violence
Book Description:

Explore the fascinating link between gender stereotypes in fairy tales and real-world life with Only Prince Charming Gets to Break the Rules: Gender and Rule Violation in Fairy Tales and Life. This thought-provoking book carefully analyzes 200 folktales and fairy tales from around the world, uncovering a universal disparity in how male and female characters are punished for breaking the rules. Through a blend of thorough research and literary investigation, the book sheds light on how these stereotypes affect our families, politics, and education. A powerful feminist critique of social norms, this academic yet accessible exploration shows how our most cherished tales shape our cultures. 

Buy the Book:
add to Goodreads

Only Prince Charming Gets To Break The Rules is the second of Anne E Beall's fairytale survey books I have now read and, like Cinderella Didn't Live Happily Ever After which explores The Hidden Messages in Fairy Tales, I learned a lot about how fairy tales both reflect our ideas about acceptable behaviour within society and also, to a certain extent, steer that behaviour through the messages we internalise while reading them. In Only Prince Charming Gets To Break The Rules Anne Beall analyses dozens of fairy tales from all around the world, giving us insights into some different moral messaging globally and much which is remarkably similar the world over.

In a lot of instances, Beall's discoveries about fairytale rules and rulebreakers weren't a surprise. Men, especially high-status men, can get away with pretty much anything. Low-status men and most women do not. However I appreciated Beall's translation of her discoveries into real world situations - prison populations by gender for example - and her in-depth research concerning the types of fairytale crimes that various characters are caught committing. Only Prince Charming Gets To Break The Rules was a fascinating read with a lot of information imparted in an insightful and entertaining book.

Meet the Author:

Anne E. Beall is an award-winning author whose books have been featured in People Magazine, Chicago Tribune, Toronto Sun, Hers Magazine, Ms. Career Girl, and she’s been interviewed by NBC, NPR, and WGN. Her book, Cinderella Didn’t Live Happily Ever After: The Hidden Messages in Fairy Tales won a Gold award from Literary Titan. And her Heartfelt Connections book was named one of the top 100 Notable Indie books in 2016 by Shelf Unbound. She received her PhD in social psychology from Yale University and is the founder of the strategic market-research firm, Beall Research.

connect with the author:  website ~ facebook ~ goodreads

Enter the Giveaway:
Win a copy of Cinderella Didn’t Live Happily Ever After and Only Prince Charming Gets to Break the Rules (one winner) (USA only) (ends May 22)


Tuesday 18 April 2023

Aqua Paws by Patricia Allieri + Guest Post

Book Details:

Book Title:  Aqua Paws by Patricia Allieri
Category:  Children's Fiction (ages 3 to 7), 39 pages
Genre:  Children's Book
Publisher:  Aqua Kids Books
Release date:  Apr 4, 2023
Content Rating:  G.  Suitable for everyone.
Book Description:

Splish! Splash! MEOW! Most cats hate water, but not Aqua Paws. He loves it! There’s just one problem: he’s terrified of crabs!

​Then Aqua Paws finds himself in a sticky situation, and the only one around to help is a crab. Can Aqua Paws push his feelings aside before it’s too late? Full of whimsical sea creatures beautifully illustrated by Stella Maris, Aqua Paws also warns of the dangers of ocean pollution. A story that your child will fall in love with, that helps teach a valuable lesson at the same time.
Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ B&N 
​add to goodreads

Guest Post by Patricia Allieri: What Inspired Me to Write My Story
   It was a beautiful day in December; the perfect day for a wedding. As I stood waiting for the bride and groom to take the dance floor for their first dance, the caterer approached me. “If this cat doesn’t go away,” she said, I’m going to take it to the pound." I had not noticed the cat was wandering around the wedding reception. I just lost my cat, Tiger, the previous week, so my heart immediately went out to the cat. “Does the cat belong to someone here?” I asked her. “No,” she replied. “Would it be OK if I take him home?” I asked her. She answered with an enthusiastic, “Sure thing!” So, that is exactly what I did!
After the wedding, I packed the cat into my car and we drove home. He was the sweetest cat. I made multiple calls to vets, shelters, checked for a chip, and posted ads and flyers. But after a number of weeks, no one had claimed him.
Christmas was approaching, and I was hoping that I would be able to find the cat’s owner before the holiday arrived. But a couple of days before Christmas I gave up, and I announced to my husband and daughter that he was now our new cat! My daughter named him Jack Frost, but I just called him Jack.
I took him to the vet and he got his shots. It turns out he was about three years old. And he was an adventurous kitty. He had no trouble jumping over the six-foot fence in our backyard and exploring the neighborhood. Jack had several encounters with a local fox, but he was always strong enough to fight him off.
When Covid-19 hit, the public school I worked at was closed. I have always wanted to write a children’s book and now was my perfect opportunity to start! I decided I was going start writing a picture book with Jack as my main character. I wrote, wrote, and wrote. I finally finished my manuscript and now it was time to find an editor. I found a wonderful editor and we got to work on making the book perfect. But while working on the book, I had a I setback. Jack was hit by a car and badly injured in January 2022. I took him to the vet and she said his hip was broken. We did our best to look after Jack, but unfortunately, he did not make it and crossed over the rainbow bridge in March 2022. He was the star of my story. I was devastated.
I am so happy my book is finished. It is a special memory of Jack. I sent my illustrator a cute photo of Jack. She made his character come to life. Aqua Paws is dear to my heart and so is Jack. Forever.

Meet the Author:

Patricia writes stories about the ocean, cats, and friendship. With beautiful illustrations and heartfelt characters, she aims to entertain and inspire readers to feel brave, adventurous, and appreciate the environment. Patricia’s memorable characters include Aqua Paws and Purple Beak with many more on the horizon. Her fiction picture book, AQUA PAWS, has subtle hints of pollution in our oceans and children can help by collecting the harmful trash. Patricia lives in Texas with her husband. She treasures time with her two grown daughters and her grand babies Tate (Tater-Tot) and Pierce. Her love of animals, the beach and the environment is undeniable.

connect with the authors: website twitter ~ facebook instagram 

Enter the Giveaway:
Win a signed copy of AQUA PAWS by Patricia Allieri (one winner) (USA only) (ends May 5)
AQUA PAWS Book Tour Giveaway

Monday 17 April 2023

Lifeline To A Soul by John K. McLaughlin + Author Interview

Book Details:

Book Title:  Lifeline to a Soul by John K. McLaughlin
Category:  Adult Non-Fiction (18+), 234 pages
Genre:  Memoir
Publisher:  Lifeline Education Connection
Release date:   April, 2023
Content RatingPG + M
Book Description:

Lifeline to a Soul takes the reader inside the fence and chronicles the victories and challenges one man faced as a first-time teacher in the strange world of prison life.
add to goodreads

Author Interview with John K McLaughlin
What inspired you to write this book?
This book is about a real life event, my teaching experience inside a minimum-security prison.  I spent over twenty years building a business and had a strong desire to teach what I had learned to others.  In seven years of applying for a variety of jobs, my only offer was to teach in a prison camp.  Although teaching in a prison was never my plan, since it was my only opportunity to teach, I accepted the job and am very thankful that I did.  
I took the job to teach and never had any intentions of writing about the experience, but I realized that I had spent time in a place that was very unfamiliar to almost everyone, and by sharing my experience, I could take the reader through the gate with me and let them see what life inside a prison is like and also share the change in perspective I experienced towards the incarcerated and the entire correctional system.
Can you tell me about the book?
The book tells the story of a first time teacher in a strange new world.  On my first day as a teacher I told my students that I was going to learn a lot more from them than they could possibly learn from me, and I was right.  The book will enlighten the reader on the prison system that, by design, dehumanizes its inhabitants.  I’m not saying that this is wrong, I think the dehumanization process is necessary to run a prison properly.  Dehumanization eliminates favoritism and keeps everyone in lockstep and following the rules. The people in charge have to have an “us versus them” mentality or the structure of the prison will suffer.  
What I learned from the experience is that prisons hold many people who could never function normally in society but they also hold many people with tremendous potential who have made only one mistake.  It’s usually a really bad mistake, but many people serving prison terms have learned from their mistake and are ready and able to move forward in life and leave the prison experience behind them. Unfortunately, when you treat everyone the same, you deny much needed resources to people who need them to change their lives and break free of the prison recidivism cycle.
Resources such as?
Educational opportunities.  The internet is banned in almost all prisons, so what I learned was that a person who has served a ten year sentence has fallen ten years behind on how things are done in this world.  I had students who had no familiarity with Netflix or Ticketmaster.  A person with a felony is going to struggle to find a good job, but add to that a lack of experience with current technologies and you are limiting a lot of very talented people to menial jobs upon their release. 
What did you learn when writing the book?
The writing process gave me an opportunity to relive the experience: the good days and the challenging days, the interesting people I met and above all the amazing opportunity I was given to teach what I had learned to over a hundred people who could change the direction of their lives with the information.  As readers will learn, I had some incredible experiences that I wouldn’t trade for anything. 
As far as the writing experience, I learned how much I love to tell a story.  This was a great project for me and an opportunity to branch out in a new direction.  That said, if I wasn’t stuck at home for a few years due to COVID, I would have probably never had enough spare time to write this story.
What surprised you the most?
Through the teaching experience?  What surprised me the most was how much I could identify with the plight of certain inmates.  I made some major mistakes when I was growing up as the readers will learn, and could have easily found myself serving time in a prison in my early 20s.  The difference between me and many of the men I met is that I was born white and middle-class. When I was caught doing wrong, it was “boys will be boys” and the authorities would take me home and let my parents deal with the situation.  Someone with a different skin color from a lower income neighborhood would have likely been treated much differently.
The statistics back this up and as I developed as a teacher, I would tell my classes, “Don’t break the law unless you are rich, white, and well-educated” and from what I could tell, there weren’t a whole lot of rich, white, and well-educated inmates where I taught.
What does the title mean?
Of the many things I learned teaching in prison, I learned that an early prison sentence often leads to another prison sentence, and sometimes another.   I had a few men tell me that they used to go visit their father in prison and now their son visits them.  Going in and out of prison can become a lifestyle and it takes a tremendous toll on the people with prison sentences and their families. 
As an entrepreneurship teacher, I felt like my job first and foremost was to convince my students that they didn’t have to spend the rest of their lives returning to prison if they didn’t want to.  They could get out and start their own business and their criminal record wouldn’t hold them back from that pursuit.  I thought that if I could improve the direction of one person’s life it would be worth it because it would likely also enhance the life of their future generations.
This process made me I feel like I was throwing a lifeline to a drowning man, but the big problem I had was most of the men I was throwing a lifeline to had no idea they were drowning.  They considered the prison experience to be part of their identity.
What did the subjects of the book think of it?
The people whose permission I received to use their real names were excited for the book and hopefully it will bring some attention to the successful businesses they have started.
What are your students doing now?
Two of the people I met in this experience are now working for my company.  Many others have started and are running successful small businesses.  In the epilogue of the book I list the people I kept up with who are doing well.
What advice would you give a first time author?
First and foremost, enjoy the process.  Writing is an opportunity to share what you have experienced and learned and also a means of getting your message to the world.  My goal in all this is not as much to sell books, as it is to bring awareness to the reader of how our prison system could be improved. That’s a message worth sending.  
What’s next for you as an author?
This is very likely my first and only book. I currently have the good fortune of working with Tavares James, the founder of Lifeline Education Connection.  Together, we have a program in place that will help those that have faced obstacles in their lives move forward.  We focus on teaching financial literacy and the principles of entrepreneurship and are ready to bring our classes anywhere we can help people make positive changes to their lives.

Meet the Author:

John McLaughlin spent half his life bootstrapping his start-up business to an industry leader. His desire to teach what he spent his career learning led him on a remarkable journey through the gates of a minimum-security prison where he taught entrepreneurship for almost three years. John has an MBA, a teaching certificate, and a marketing management certificate from Harvard Extension University. John enjoys riding a tandem bicycle with his wonderful wife, Reba on the greenways of Charlotte, North Carolina where they live with two extremely spoiled cats, Moe and Joe. You can learn more about John’s current teaching program at:

connect to the author: website

Enter the Giveaway:
Win a $25 Starbucks Gift Card courtesy of the author of LIFELINE TO A SOUL (one winner) (USA only) (ends May 12)
LIFELINE TO A SOUL Spotlight Book Tour Giveaway

Wednesday 5 April 2023

The Connection Game: A Novel by S.S Turner + Author Interview

Book Details:

Book Title:  The Connection Game: A Novel by S.S Turner
Category:  Adult Fiction (18+) ,  272 pages
GenreLiterary Fiction
PublisherThe Story Plant
Release date:   Feb 2023
Content RatingPG: There’s some violence and a small bit of profanity.

Tuesday 4 April 2023

The Registration by Madison Lawson + Author Interview

Book Details:

​Book TitleThe Registration (a Novel) by Madison Lawson
Category:  Adult Fiction (18 +),  320 pages
Publisher:  CamCat Books
Release date:  September 2022
Content RatingPG-13 + MThere is violence, including a torture scene, and some language, as well as mention of domestic violence, abuse, murder, and abortions. 

Book Description:

You can’t outrun the Registration.

Imagine it’s legal to commit one murder in your lifetime⎯if you Register the victim and accomplish the kill within fourteen days. So when Lynell Mize stands in line to Register the man who abused her as a child, she’s shocked to hear a stranger Register her to be killed. Why would anyone who doesn't know her squander his one legal murder on her? Desperate to survive the next two weeks, she must find out who wants to kill her⎯and why.

​Easier said than done as Lynell soon discovers that multiple strangers have used their Registration on her. Along the way, she reunites with her estranged husband who is determined to dig up a past Lynell prefers to keep buried. With only days left to live, Lynell fights to uncover the truth and survive a destiny not of her choosing.

Author Interview with Madison Lawson

What draws you to the genre you write in?

When I’m writing sci-fi, dystopian, or fantasy, I like being able to create how the world works, so I’m not married to any system we know in real life. But more than that, I like being able to exaggerate one part of life to better explore it and how it affects relationships. 

When it comes to thriller, suspense, and darker genres, my favorite part is simply the darkness. I’ve always been a Wednesday Addams/Louise Belcher type who watches IT to cheer me up on bad days and reads serial killer books in my downtime. As a kid, I liked shocking people. As an adult and an author, I love telling stories that scare people and explore the more gruesome aspects of humanity. 

What’s a fun fact about yourself?

Over the course of eight years, I’ve lived in Hawaii, Amsterdam, Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, Florida, and North Carolina. 

What are some go-to books you like to recommend to people?

I have an entire list of books to recommend organized by genre. Here are just a few from different genres:
Any book by SJ Maas, but most start with A Court of Thorns and Roses
Any book by Colleen Hoover, but most start with It Ends With Us or Verity (if you read a Hoover book, make sure you look up triggers)
Any book by Karin Slaughter, but Pretty Girls is probably her most popular (again, look up triggers)
Know My Name by Chanel Miller
Night Film by Marisha Pessl
Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant
Red White And Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
Death Warrant by Bryan Johnston 
My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante 
Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson

What made you decide you wanted to be a writer?

It’s cliché, but I’ve kind of always wanted to be a writer. I never really fit in as a kid, and I escaped into books as often as possible and started writing my own stories early on. I finished my first book “Crystal Clear” when I was 11 (it’s horrible), and my grandpa read it, gave me notes, and told me not to give up. So, I haven’t. 

If you could put yourself as a character in your book, who would you be?

If it has to be The Registration, then I would be Daniel’s sister. The reader never actually meets her, but that just means she’s living a more peaceful life.

But if I could choose a character from any book, I’d pick Princess Amari Crystalice from an upcoming fantasy novel. 

Meet the Author:

Author Madison Lawson writes speculative fiction novels full of suspense, social commentary, and complex relationships. She has published a dozen short stories, many of which won awards such as the Koresh Award and the Gordone Award. She received her B.A. in English from Texas A&M University and is currently earning her M.A. in English at North Carolina State University. Born and raised in a small Texas town, Madison began escaping through reading and writing as soon as she could.

connect with the author: website twitter facebook instagram ~ goodreads

Monday 3 April 2023

The Last Saxon King by Andrew Varga + Guest Post

Book Details:

Book Title:  The Last Saxon King: A Jump in Time Novel Book 1 by Andrew Varga
Category:  Middle-Grade Fiction (Ages 8-12), 361 pages
Genre:  Historical Fiction, Time Travel, Middle-Grade/YA
Publisher:  Imbrifex Books
Release date:   March 7, 2023
Content Rating: PG + M

Book Description:

One Jump to Save All Time

​Life is progressing normally for sixteen-year-old Dan Renfrew when he accidentally transports himself to England in the year 1066. He soon realizes that he’s trapped there, and that’s not his only astonishing discovery. Dan learns that he’s descended from a long line of time jumpers—secret heroes who travel to the past and resolve glitches in the time stream that threaten to alter subsequent history. The only way Dan can return home is to set history back on its proper course in the Anglo-Saxon age. This is no easy task. A Viking horde is ravaging England in the north while a Norman army threatens to invade from the south. In between and desperately struggling to hold on to his throne is Harold Godwinson, the newly-crowned English king. Dan is fighting to ensure that events play out correctly when he finds himself plunged into an even more lethal conflict. To save history, Dan must battle a band of malevolent time jumpers whose lust for wealth and power threatens the entire future of the world.

Amazon ~ Audible

B&N ~ BAM ~ Indiebound
add to goodreads

GUEST POST by Andrew Varga, author of THE LAST SAXON KING: A Jump in Time Novel Book 1 

Four Reasons Why Historical Fiction is an Important Genre for Middle Schoolers by Andrew Varga

Encouraging a child to read is one of the best things you can do for them. It improves vocabulary, increases knowledge, and exercises the brain. But there are so many genres out there—mystery, action, romance, science fiction, fantasy, just to name a few—how do you choose the right book for a child? If you are looking for something that will be enjoyable to read, while at the same time providing some sort of educational value, why not try historical fiction? 
For those who are not familiar with the genre, it consists of books that tell fictional stories in a real historical setting. A thrilling murder mystery set in bombed-out London during World War II, a passionate romance during the reign of Augustus in the Roman Empire, and an action-packed adventure during the First Crusade would all be part of this genre. A good historical fiction novel is a finely crafted blend of interesting historical detail, with exciting plots and characters to make the journey into the past memorable. It will both engage a child’s interest and teach them about history. But if that’s not enough to convince you to try a historical fiction book for your child, then consider the following advantages of the genre.

Historical Fiction provides immersive learning about other cultures and times
Some people find history in schools to be dull—just lists of names and dates and events that are challenging to connect with and understand. But an excellent historical fiction novel is like a time machine that transports us to a distant place in our past, and fully immerses us in a new world where history comes alive. We aren’t just told about events—we watch them unfold through the eyes of the characters, who become our tour guides to a different land and time. We are shown what people of the time ate and wore, how they lived their daily lives and what they believed. We can visit the crowded Roman Forum and hear orators dressed in togas shouting from the Rostrum. We can cross the deck of an 18th-century British sailing vessel and hear the wind in its sails and the waves splashing against the hull as it slices through the waters of the Caribbean. With historical fiction, the sounds, the sights, and the smells of the past all come alive. 

Historical Fiction teaches the significance of the past
In our modern-day world with computers, cars, planes and spacecraft, it may seem kind of strange to read a book about events that took place in the past and hope to learn something useful. But the world did not arrive at its current place magically. Thousands of years of invention, discovery, struggle, and warfare created scientific breakthroughs, defined the borders, and shaped the world we know today. Through historical fiction, we can learn not only about the people and events that shaped our modern world, but we can also get a first-hand glimpse of the factors that drove these brave people to challenge the norms of their time and fight oppression, win freedom, right wrongs, or make brave discoveries. And, just as important, we can also learn about the great failures of the past, and hopefully, learn from the mistakes of others. 

Historical Fiction softens the blow when teaching the harsher parts of history
Unfortunately, not all history is pleasant. The last few thousand years have seen wars, plagues, slavery, genocide, and humans generally not being kind to one another. It is not easy to sit a child down and explain all of these darker parts of our shared history. But historical fiction allows for the harsher parts of our past to be taught in a more palatable manner for younger minds. It allows them to read and feel the struggles of different people, races, and cultures, and come to a better understanding of their own place in the world. And, in cases where a family member has experienced their own struggles, historical fiction can be a gateway for children to understand what previous generations have gone through. 

Historical Fiction can teach values 
We live in an age where communication and globalization have shrunk our world so that if something happens halfway across the globe, we can hear about in minutes. The days of intrepid explorers sailing off into dark uncharted waters are long past. There are no more brave pioneer families setting out with only a wagon full of goods to carve out a new home for themselves in a harsh and unforgiving wilderness. Historical fiction can take us back to those times, and reveal to us the courage, endurance, determination, and teamwork that made our ancestors persevere against tremendous odds. And, as we relive these experiences, we can think about how we ourselves would have reacted to the situations. This allows us the ability to empathize with viewpoints that are different from our own or discover alternative ways to handle our own problems.

So when thinking about the next book to purchase for a child, why not try historical fiction? The right book can spark a child’s curiosity and send them off on a lifelong journey through the past, which can make them better prepared for their role in the future.

Meet the Author:

Ever since his mother told him he was descended from Vikings, ANDREW VARGA has had a fascination for history. He’s read hundreds of history books, watched countless historical movies, and earned a BA from the University of Toronto with a specialist in history and a major in English. Andrew has traveled extensively across Europe, where he toured famous castles, museums, and historical sites. During his travels he accumulated a collection of swords, shields, and other medieval weapons that now adorn his personal library. Andrew currently lives in the greater Toronto area with his wife Pam, their three children, and their mini-zoo of two dogs, two cats, a turtle, and some fish. It was his children’s love of reading, particularly historical and fantasy stories, that inspired Andrew to write this series. In his spare time, when he isn’t writing or editing, Andrew reads history books, jams on guitar, or plays beach volleyball.

​Andrew currently lives in the greater Toronto area with his wife Pam, their three children, and their mini-zoo of two dogs, two cats, a turtle, and some fish. It was his children’s love of reading, particularly historical and fantasy stories, that inspired Andrew to write this series. In his spare time, when he isn’t writing or editing, Andrew reads history books, jams on guitar, or plays beach volleyball.

connect to the author: instagram ~ goodreads 

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