Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Book Review: The Shadow of the Two Princes

Book 8 in the Shadows From the Past series: The Shadow of the Two Princes tackles one of the most intriguing historical mysteries – what happened to the two princes in the Tower of London? Jemima, Joe, and their friend Charlie could probably tell you, as could Max, their talking Tonkinese cat. The story begins on a sombre note that pervades the entire plot, as atmospheric and as creepy as the dank fog that lingers along the banks of the River Thames. Jemima wakes from a terrible dream, a cry for help from a boy, but was it a dream, or was it truly a cry for help that stretched across the chasm of time to reach her ears? And there’s mention of an Uncle Richard who might kill someone. But their Uncle Richard was the kindest, sweetest man imaginable, the perfect uncle, with whom the twins and Max had been living since their parents disappeared a few months earlier. When their Uncle Richard shows them a newspaper article with details of Richard Plantagenet, King Richard III, who was supposed to have murdered his two nephews in the Tower of London, Jemima is convinced there’s a link. The princes need their help, but will their magic book take them back to that date in time, to 1483, and will they be able to save the princes. After all, as they have learned before, you can’t change history…
Earliest surviving portrait of Richard III
Atmosphere, mystery, and intrigue abound in this tale as the twins, Max, and Charlie tumble headfirst into an adventure. Actually Max and Joe tumble headfirst into the Thames and have to be rescued from drowning by Doctor Argentine, who turns out to be the princes’ physician. An intriguing plot unfolds regarding the rescue of the two princes, with the help of everyone, including Max. Although not required to wear an elaborate disguise, as had happened to poor old Max in previous adventures, Max is pivotal by just being his handsome, special self. In fact he’s so handsome and special he even attracts the attention of Richard, then still the Duke of Gloucester. Well, they do say that even a cat may look at a king…
Max finds out more about a greater role the kids and their parents might play from Corbet, a raven (disguised as one, I should say), who introduces the detail of The Guardians of Time (first mentioned in Max’s Christmas Adventure). Some funny word play ensues which results in Max discovering he is not an “Animal of Time,” but sheds light on why the twins’ parents have disappeared!  The secondary characters are as memorable as the main players and are as important in their own way. Plenty of clues abound, with many nail-biting moments of tension and terror, and young time travellers, history buffs, and adventurers will love every word. Young readers will also appreciate the way the author conveys the fear, the fright experienced by the young princes. Although this is a dark moment in history, I found the young heroes – Joe, Jemima and Charlie – able to cope with and empathise with the events. They are also maturing as the series progresses.

I have always been intrigued by the story of the two princes, but found English history, the names and titles, and royal family relationships a bit confusing. Under the skilled pen of the author, all confusion is cleared up. Wendy Leighton-Porter manages to untangle complex historical threads and effortlessly weaves them into a very readable tale. The discovery of the historical Richard’s remains in 2012 also adds a touch of reality to the story, making the character seem more substantial. In addition, with new details arising about the ill-fated king, one wonders if he was all that bad. Even Jemima, who meets him, wonders about that. Was the maligned Richard as much of a villain as history has painted him? However, as always, author Wendy Leighton-Porter does not whitewash the facts of history, although in this case the fate of the princes remains something of a mystery. Even if history can’t be changed, might it be tweaked? In the end the kids learn that sometimes people don’t do as they are advised… The series is a wonderful gift for avid young readers and even more so for any reluctant young reader who has to be coaxed into the pages of a book.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Book Blast: Emoji Adventures The Horse Party

BeachBoundBooks is pleased to be coordinating a Book Bl ast for the children's adventure book written by P.T. Evans, Emoji Adventures V olume 1: The Horse Party. The blast will run June 20 - June 22, 2016.


About the Book

Title: Emoji Adventures Volume 1: The Horse Part y | Author: P.T. Evans | Genre: Children's Adventure | Number of Pages: 108 | Publisher: Montage Publishing  | Publication Date: February 21, 2016

LOL with your favorite emojis as they come to life in this fun, new series. Follow Annie with the constant smile; Kevin, her devilish brother; Bi lly, poop head and BFF; and Dot, the love-struck jock as they make their way through Emoji Elementary.


What others have to say about the book...< br />
"I LOVE this book! The dialogue is witty (and LOL funny ); the characters are endearing; and the theme is universally sweet. The author h as created a unique experience, blending modern inventions of emojis with cla ssic lessons for kids (and, truly, all of us). It would make a fun read-aloud as well! D efinitely a winner." - Robin (Amazon)

"This book is darling! My girls fell in love with Annie a nd her emoji buddies! We can't wait for the next installment so we can laugh and ke ep on reading!!!" - Amazon Reviewer

"The Emoji Adventures combines things that a lot of kid s love- silly characters, fun storylines and emojis!" - Amazon Reviewer

Montage Publishing Summer Reading Program


"We at Montage Publishing are committed to creating quality books for childr en; as parents and educators, we ’ re also aware of the academic backslide that can happen during summer.  We ’ ve created some worksheets, a reading log, and a certific ate of achievement to be used alongside our EMOJI ADVENTURES series.&nb sp; Feel free to use them as they are or adapt them to your specific needs .

To further encourage summer reading, we ’ re having a drawing for two sets of EMOJI ADVENTURES books – one for the winning student; one for his/her library."

To print worksheets and enter the drawing visit

About the Author: P.T. Evans


P.T. Evans has been writing books for children under various names for two decades. With seventeen novels, numerous author visits, and stat e reading awards, Evans' books have been translated into two dozen languages.

Book Blast Giveaway

Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card or $25 PayPal cash prize, winner's choice Giveaway ends: July 4, 11:59 pm, 2016 Open to: Internationally How to enter: Please enter using the Raffle copter widget below. Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSA RY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be ra ndomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a n ew winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated wi th Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, P.T. Evans and is hosted and managed by Stacie from BeachBoundBooks. If you have any additional ques tions feel free to send an email to

  a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Book Blast: Raising Sleeping Stones

BeachBoundBooks is pleased to be coordinating a Book Bl ast for the middle grade fantasy written by P.H.T. Bennet, Raising Sleeping Ston es (The Orora Crona Chronicles, Book One). The blast will run June 20 - June 22, 2016.


About the Book

Title: Raising Sleeping Stones (The Orora Crona Chronicles, Book One) | Author: P.H.T. Bennet Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy | Number of Pa ges: 
364 | Publisher: DreamKeeper Publishing Publication Date: December 4, 2014

Book Description: ***Winner of a 2013 Newbury C omics Award!***

Wh en sisters Kiva and DeeDee Stone discover a mysterious plot that threatens them and everything they care about, they have to take a crash course in the ancient art of DreamKeeping to survive. As two elder DreamKeepers lead them up the Varruvyen river to the Eyle of Return, they show the girls how to gain drea m powers greater than anything they had ever imagined. But can they become strong e nough to face the monsters that haunt their dreams at night, strong enough to fight the enemies that draw nearer each day? The answer lies somewhere in the bro ken history of Orora Crona, the Valley of Dreams lost centuries ago, and whoever can piec e it together first will rule for centuries to come.

Read an excerpt...

Kiva looked closely at the sun ’ s golden face. Wavy rays representing shimmering heat radiated out from it. Its cheeks were plump, the lips f ull and curved, the nose wide, and the eyes were a little almond-shaped, like hers. In the m iddle of its forehead was a weird circle with six curving parts swirling around a six-pointed st ar. She ’ d never seen the sun drawn like that. Wondering what was on the back of the pendant , Kiva turned it over.

The instant she saw the moon ’ s closed eyes, her hair flew back in the wind, her stomac h dropped, and she was pressed back against the cushions of a ves sel that was flying just inches above the river. She jerked her head back up and foun d she was in the back of a crescent-shaped boat piloted by an old man sitting up front. She was about to call out to him when he pointed at a tree that had fallen across the ri ver and shouted, “ When you get here, you must take a detour that even old Jacques didn ’ t know about! Hold on! ”

Before she could, though, he turned the boat around so quickl y that Kiva was thrown against the side of her boat and the wind was knocked out of her. She only got her breath back when he straightened out and followed the river back do wn.

“ Look there! ” he shouted moments later . “ Turn right between the tall twins! ”

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Watch the book video...