The Mighty League, Vol. 1: The Terrible Taunting Storybook APP – Review

I know what you’re thinking–“This is a BOOK review blog!”. Yes, I review books, all kinds actually, but when Jodi Murphy asked me to review her app there was no question about whether I would do it. You see, Jodi’s son Jonathan has Aspergers Syndrome and, having physical limitations myself, I tend to have a heart for others that have limitations as well. Jodi “created GCB to give my son who has Aspergers Syndrome and others like him a voice via children’s stories we make into apps.” (Direct quote). What is Asperger’s Syndrome? Asperger’s syndrome, also called Asperger’s disorder, is a type of pervasive developmental disorder which involves delays in the development of many basic skills, most notably the ability to socialize with others, to communicate, and to use imagination. And, as the person gets older, their ability to communicate can actually worsen. So, in order to help raise awareness, here I am. Below you will find all of the info on the app followed by my review. If this can help just one person out there I’ll know I’ve done something good. 🙂

DESCRIPTION | The adorkable JMan and his plucky hedgehog sidekick, Mr. Redge are the unstoppable, secret superhero team who save a classmate from the poking pranks of Dr. Evil Touch! Join this quirky duo on their quest to stop a bully, make the school playground a peaceful place, and more importantly, make a new friend who likes crime fighting, capes and karate, too. Discover JMan’s hidden notebook on each page about what it’s like to be an Aspie.

ABOUT THIS APP | This INTERACTIVE storybook app is based on the real JMan, Jonathan Murphy, and his REAL LIFE adventures growing up with ASPERGER’S SYNDROME. Written by his sister, Molly Murphy, and narrated by Jonathan, the story is told by someone who sees his world from a very unique perspective. It promotes SELF-ACCEPTANCE, AWARENESS, and an UNDERSTANDING for others who are different.

You can purchase it here: iTunes * Amazon * Google Play

Priced at just $3.99 and for children Ages 5-11

Website

 
 

~My Review~

 
First of all, anytime a family comes together to raise awareness of a disorder or any type of illness I think it’s a good thing. And, when they actually do something to help others that have a disorder or illness, I believe their voice should be heard as well. The Murphy family is doing just that. This app is just the coolest thing. It has the cutest graphics and songs that make you want to move to the beat. You can adjust the volume of the music as well as the volume of the narrator (Which, by the way, is Jodi’s son Jonathan! Cool right?). It has the words to the story (The stories are written by her daughter, Molly) written on the screen so you can follow along as Jonathan narrates. But the best thing of all is the person playing the app can record their own voice and narrate the story themselves! Do I think this gives people with Asperger’s a voice like it’s intended? Absolutely! I also think it will help anyone with developmental delays and not just Asperger’s alone. If you have a child with developmental delays I hope you will try this app. I think your child will love it and benefit from it as well. I also want to mention that once you finish the book it takes you to the App store so you can buy more stories but, the best part is, there are several stories that are FREE! You can believe I will be recommending it.
 
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review. The opinions stated are mine and mine alone. I received no monetary compensation for this review.
 

My Rating: 5 Stars *****

Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay – Win a Kindle Fire HDX & An Austen-Themed Prize Pack!

Cover Rating: 4 Stars ****

Blurb:

Samantha Moore has always hidden behind the words of others—namely, her favorite characters in literature. Now, she will learn to write her own story—by giving that story to a complete stranger.

Sam is, to say the least, bookish. An English major of the highest order, her diet has always been Austen, Dickens, and Shakespeare. The problem is, both her prose and conversation tend to be more Elizabeth Bennet than Samantha Moore.

But life for the twenty-three-year-old orphan is about to get stranger than fiction. An anonymous, Dickensian benefactor (calling himself Mr. Knightley) offers to put Sam through Northwestern University’s prestigious Medill School of Journalism. There is only one catch: Sam must write frequent letters to the mysterious donor, detailing her progress.

As Sam’s dark memory mingles with that of eligible novelist Alex Powell, her letters to Mr. Knightley become increasingly confessional. While Alex draws Sam into a world of warmth and literature that feels like it’s straight out of a book, old secrets are drawn to light. And as Sam learns to love and trust Alex and herself, she learns once again how quickly trust can be broken.

Reminding us all that our own true character is not meant to be hidden, Reay’s debut novel follows one young woman’s journey as she sheds her protective persona and embraces the person she was meant to become.

You can purchase it here: AmazonB&N * BAM * CBD * Deeper Shopping

About the Author:

Katherine Reay has enjoyed a life-long affair with the works of Jane Austen and her contemporaries. After earning degrees in history and marketing from Northwestern University, she worked as a marketer for Proctor & Gamble and Sears before returning to school to earn her MTS. Her works have been published in Focus on the Family and the Upper Room. Katherine currently lives with her husband and three children in Seattle. Dear Mr. Knightley is her first novel.

Find Katherine here: Website * Facebook * Twitter * Blog * Goodreads

~My Review~

 
 

Samantha Moore had had a rough childhood with an abusive father, a drug addict as a mother and moving from foster home to foster home. Then she found herself at a Grace House, a home for wayward and orphaned kids, and under the supervision if Father John. Sam had always lived in her books and, being a fan of Jane Austen, she often quoted her characters as a way to hide her true self. When Father John suggested her as a scholarship candidate to the Dover Foundation she refused because she wanted to do things on her own and on her own terms. After failing to do exactly that she contested the grantor of the scholarship to ask for a second chance. It was granted under one condition, that she write letters detailing her progress to his pseudonym–Mr. Knightley.

Sam soon finds herself pouring out her feelings to someone that started out as a stranger but is soon a trusted friend. With Mr. Knightley she can share her deepest, darkest secrets, her fears and her desires, and even a true love. With a new set of “parents”, new friends, a college degree and a new love blossoming in her heart, Sam is finally coming into her own and putting the fears of the past behind her. To her own amazement she is shedding her Jane Austen persona all while bearing her soul to one man and giving her heart to another. Can Sam have the life she has only dreamed of? Could this really be real or is she only a character in one of her beloved novels?

When I first opened this book I have to admit I was skeptical. A book made entirely of letters? My first thought was, “How can this possibly meet my expectations?”. Even though I have read such greats as The Wednesday Letters by Jason F. Wright and The Prayer Box by Lisa Wingate I still had reservations. Those books had such great story lines and the letters were a PART of the story, NOT the story itself. So as I delved into this story I did so with a little skepticism. Have you ever done that? Read a book that you had questions about but, once you read it, were so glad you did? That is exactly what happened. A third of the way through I knew I had chosen well, halfway through I was in tears, three quarters of the way through I was literally giddy (did I say giddy? Yes, GIDDY!) at the prospect of how the story was going to turn out every time I picked the book back up to start reading again. I have read tons of books in my life and, although I have seen times I didn’t want to put a book down, I have never felt giddy at re-entering a story. The way Sam bared her soul to Mr. Knightley just tore at my heart. I felt every heartache and disappointment she went through. I felt every loss and rejection and rejoiced with every happy moment Sam experienced. And when she finally found love, which she desperately deserved, I was ecstatic! It takes good writing to bring out those kind of emotions and in the form of letters? Excellent! If you love a story with depth and feeling, a story that makes you feel like you’re a part of it, you’ll love Dear Mr. Knightley. And, I must add, it’s a DEBUT novel! Which obviously means I have many more books to look forward to from Katherine Reay. I was SO pleased with this book and I recommend it HIGHLY!

 Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher for my honest review. These opinions are mine and mine alone. I was in no way compensated for this review.

My Rating: 5 Stars *****

 

*Tweetables*

 
 
 
 
 

Q & A: I ask the question and you answer with your own personal thoughts! 🙂

While writing her letters, Sam was writing to a pseudonym (A fictitious name). She had no idea who the recipient was or anything about them and that made it easier to be truthful about herself and dig deeper into her life and past. Do you think you could bare your soul completely to a stranger under these circumstances or would it have to be someone you know very well?

 
 
 
 
 
 

Debut author Katherine Reay is celebrating the release of her delightful novel, Dear Mr. Knightley, with a Kindle Fire HDX giveaway, a fun Favorite Austen Moments Pinterest contest, and an Austen-themed Facebook Party.

dearmrknightley-400

One winner will receive:

  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay
  • Handmade Austen-themed items (scarf, mug, bracelet, and necklace) 
Two ways to win! Enter today by clicking one of the icons below or participating in the Pinterest contest (see banner below)—or BOTH! 



But hurry, the giveaway ends on December 3rd. Winner will be announced at the “Dear Mr. Knightley” Austen-themed Facebook Author Chat Party on the 3rd. Join Katherine (and Austen fans) for an evening of book chat, prizes, and an exclusive look at Katherine’s next book.

So grab your copy of  Dear Mr. Knightley and join Katherine on the evening of December 3rd for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the book, don’t let that stop you from coming!)

Don’t miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by clicking JOIN at the event page. Spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway and party via FACEBOOK, TWITTER, or PINTEREST. Hope to see you on the 3rd!

CrossReads Book Blast with Laura J. Marshall

FREE Nov. 25 – 28th!

Faith, Love, and Fried Chicken (Serial Novel)

By Laura J. Marshall

About the Book

Excitement. That’s what Jaycee has been saving for since high school. With plans to leave rural Twain, Georgia, the “to where” and the “to what” have been the only questions stopping her. Will her intentions change when Dash Matheson pulls her wandering heart in his direction? Feel the summer heat of the Fourth of July in this southern series as Jaycee finds love. (Volume I, Summer of a four part short story series under the Faith, Love, and Fried Chicken title.)

Faith, Love, and Fried Chicken:
Volume II, Fall (Serial Novel)

99-Cents!

Volume II, It’s autumn in Twain, Georgia. Jaycee has herself a new job and with it, a new problem. Is it something bug spray can fix? Dash is struggling with more than just the reality of the pain from his injury. Could Jaycee be hiding something from him? The pumpkins are ripe on the vine and the pecans are ready to be shelled. Come spend Thanksgiving week in this southern series as Jaycee finds love.

A four part serial novel under the Faith, Love, and Fried Chicken title.

Volume III, Winter coming December 2013.

Volume IV, Spring coming March 2014.


About Laura J. Marshall

Laura J. MarshallLaura J. Marshall is a full-time mother of five boys and part-time writer and blogger. She operates a popular blog called The Old Stone Wall which hosts and promotes Christian Authors and encourages interaction between readers and authors. Laura writes Christian Romantic fiction and the best-selling Battle Cry Devotional Series. You can find out more about Laura and her other books online at LauraJMarshall.com
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The Crossroads Saga by Mary Ting – Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

The Crossroads Saga

Crossroads Saga

 

crossroads tingCrossroads (Book 1)

Can two worlds collide in dreams?

Crossroads, Between, Beyond, Eternity, Halo City-novella

Protecting her from the fallen was his duty.

Falling in love was never part of his plan.

Loving her was forbidden.

Being with her was all that mattered, even if it meant he would be exiled for all eternity.

Claudia Emerson’s life is about to change when her good friend, who coincidentally shares the same first and last name, dies in a tragic accident after the homecoming dance. Distraught at the loss of her friend, Claudia’s dreams become tumultuous, and through them she mysteriously travels to another world called Crossroads. Unknown to her, Crossroads is like a second heaven, a place between heaven and earth, where the souls of humans in comas or near death experiences may wander. There, she unexpectedly meets Michael, a nephilim–half angel, half human. It turns out that this isn’t her first visit, which is an enigma, for she has no recollection of being there, and is told that no human has crossed over…until Claudia. Now that she’s been there, fallen and demons are after her, suspecting she must be special, and it is up to Michael and the other nephilim to protect her. Her dream becomes a nightmare as more secrets are revealed about who she really is, and the true identities of the people she loves most. The situation becomes even more complicated when she is unable to hinder her feelings for her swoon-worthy guardian angel. Can Michael fight his growing feelings for Claudia and protect her as a guardian angel should, or will he be too blinded by human emotions and the struggles of being who he is?

Crossroads is FREE

Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Smashwords

Download a copy today!!

 

Praise for Crossroads

“Crossroads contains action, twists and romance that has you flipping through the pages so fast that you’re at the end and ready for more before you know it.” ~Gabby, Nashville Young Adult Fiction Examiner/What’s Beyond Forks

“Watch out Edward Cullen! The angel Michael has officially given you a run for your money! Teens everywhere will add a new fictional boyfriend to their ever growing lists! OMWings! An amazing paranormal angel romance that stays with you long after the last page has turned. I need more!” ~Jennifer Howell with LateBloomerOnline.com

“Crossroads by Mary Ting has it all: danger, romance, suspense, incredible characters and an original plot that is sure to thrill. The action never stops as good and evil battle to the death. This well written and fascinating love story will keep readers entranced.” ~ReadersFavorite.com

 

Book Trailer

Teaser

Though Phillip had already told me that I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between an alkin and a fallen, it was confirmed as I watched the battle. They looked just like the alkins as the two sides battled with swords. Watching, I noticed that Michael had one too, but where had it come from?

“No!” Michael shouted, suddenly standing directly in front of me. “You don’t need her. She’s just a human.”

“Get them!” Aden shouted again.

During the entire fight Michael stayed by my side, protecting me. They fought so swiftly that even with my flashlight it was hard to distinguish alkins from the fallen. I focused intently, trying to figure out who was who, but it was no use. They were too fast for human eyes. I pointed the flashlight, hoping to blind or distract them, but that also proved to be pointless. It was only useful for my vision.

In the blink of an eye they were here, there and everywhere. The clanging of swords colliding was painful to hear. As the screeching sounds continued, all I could see were sparks as the swords made contact, as if we were in the middle of a lightning storm. Fearful of any alkin getting hurt, I covered my ears, hoping that it would end soon.

Suddenly, Aden raised his hand toward the stars, and the fallen stopped. The sounds of the swords crashing against each other came to a dead halt. Aden started circling around Michael and me. As he drew closer, I could see that he looked exactly as I remembered him from my dream. The wrinkles on his forehead defined his age, and though I conceived him as evil, his voice scared me more than his appearance. Aden never lifted a finger to fight; instead, he relied on the fallen to carry out his battle strategies.

“Michael, come with me. I’ll give you anything you want.”

“There is nothing I want from you.”

“They’ve turned you against me. I should have killed you when I had the chance.” Aden’s eyes raged with anger.

“They didn’t turn me against you. I did it of my own free will.”

“Move out of my way!” Aden shouted.

“You’ll have to go through me first!”

As Aden continued to circle around us, I could sense movement from the fallen, edging closer to Michael and me. The alkin must have sensed it too as they positioned themselves right behind us and immediately began to attack the fallen.

Michael moved me to the left and then to the right, fighting while shielding me. Though the fallen were fewer in number than before, they were retaliating in full force. In the midst of all the chaos, I lost my grip on the flashlight, and it tumbled off the cliff. Instinctively I reached for it, and in that split second someone or something collided against me, and I plummeted off the cliff.

Gravity was pulling me faster than my body could resist. I’d always heard that at the moment of death, one’s life flashed before their eyes; all the moments that had brought them to that point, big or small. All I could think of was death itself and the one person who had changed my life forever—Michael.

 

crossroads saga 2

 

 

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mary tingAuthor Mary Ting

Bestselling/award-winning author Mary Ting resides in Southern California with her husband and two children. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Writing her first novel, Crossroads Saga, happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she once had as a young girl. When she started reading new adult novels, she fell in love with the genre. It was the reason she had to write one-Something Great. Why the pen name, M Clarke? She tours with Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children’s chapter book-No Bullies Allowed.

 

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BookBlast Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 12/15/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Stone of Destiny–COTT Champ!

A hearty congratulations to Mary Ball, author of Stone of Destiny!

And a special thank-you to these authors for entering their great new releases:

Bonnie Doran, author of Dark Biology

Laura V. Hilton, author of Awakened Love

Maddy Lederman, author of Edna in the Desert

Julie Cantrell, author of When Mountains Move


 

About Stone of Destiny:

Taylor has given up on everything but her work. After becoming the youngest CEO of Mugful’s Beverage Company, she believes life is complete–until her grandmother asks her to oversee the renovations of the family home, in addition to searching for a missing heirloom.

Her first contact with what she believes is an insignificant ring, lost for fifty years, sends her life spinning. Taylor experiences strange. Unexpected feelings surface that she doesn’t understand. Thoughts that should remain unspoken are voiced. Taylor’s emotional journey begins, testing a heart as cold as the ring itself and forcing her to question everything she believes. Is this a fairytale, or simply her soul reaching out for a different world–a life she can only find through faith and a divine trust in God?

What Voters Had to Say:

Mary L. Ball, I am looking forward to reading Stone of Destiny! The story sounds amazing.

Mary, your title sounds interesting. I like the idea of following the trail of an heirloom.

Stone of Destiny is one I look forward to reading.

Mary does such great work. What a mind ! I have been looking forward to her new book ever since I first heard about the storyline.

Mary Ball’s Stone of Destiny excerpt takes a Christian believer out of the box.

Mary Ball is an excellent author. I am looking forward to her next book.

Stone of Destiny is good reading. You’ll love it.

To to a wonderful beautiful lady Mary L. Ball keep on writing you are the best and your books are wonderful

About the author, Mary Ball:

She is a member of ACFW and lives in North Carolina between the wondrous mountains and beautiful beaches. When she’s not writing, Mary enjoys supporting her husband’s ministry,singing, fishing, and reading a good novel.

For more about Mary visit her at http://MaryLouwrites.weebly.com

Find her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/inspires4mary <https://twitter.com/inspires4mary

and facebook, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Inspirational-author-Mary-L-Ball/

Reviews for Stone of Destiny

 

Stone of Destiny by Mary L. Ball is a wonderful story of romance and one finding their way back to God through faith and trust. Taylor Harrison is the youngest CEO at the Mugful Beverage Company and she feels that her life is complete. With great trepidation she agrees to oversee the renovation of her grandmother’s family home. Fifty years earlier, a sapphire ring was lost in the house and Granny Kay wants Taylor to search for the ring as the renovations are being made. After finding the ring, Taylor begins to have strange dreams and she is even making phone calls in her sleep at night.

Brent Roberts is the nephew of Granny Kay’s best friend and he has been hired to do the renovations to the house. When he and Taylor meet, she is definitely not impressed even though she thinks he is the most handsome man she has ever seen. Brent is very much in tune with what God wants him to do with his life. His faith and the way he shares his knowledge of God cause Taylor to start questioning some of her beliefs. She soon realizes that she can only find happiness through a true faith in God.

The development of the plot, the characters, the dialogue, and the description of all the scenes were done in an excellent manner. The characters were so real that at times I wanted to shake Taylor and would not have minded if Brent gave me a hug. Granny Kay is the kind of grandma that everyone would love to have and her love for Taylor was a very important part of the story. All the action taking place in the book was so well done that in my mind I was struggling right along with Taylor as she worked to make her decisions and I was pulling for Brent to win Taylor’s heart. I really appreciate the way that the author handled the romance in the story and how Taylor regained her faith in God and finally trusted Him with her life. Searching for the missing ring added a little suspense to the story.

Would she find the ring or would it be lost forever?

I highly recommend this book. If you like a wonderful story with lots of romance, a little bit of suspense, and a story in which faith in God plays a big part, then this is the book for you.

***********************

Mary Ball has written a book that people must read. I have watched a lot of Nicholas Sparks movies and this book ranks up to the top of a Nicholas Sparks love story.

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This is the second book by Mary Ball that I have read. The first one was a mystery/suspense that had me guessing all the way to the end. This one had me intrigued and wondering all the way to the end what path Taylor was going to choose. This story starts out with a bang, literally, and I was wondering how I was going to put this book down to sleep that night. I love decorating and watching HGTV so I was especially interested in Mary’s description of how this old house was being renovated by our very special hero. This book also takes place over a period of time so it is not an insta-love, but one that grows. Though sometimes I did get aggravated with Taylor for some of the choices she was making that would have resulted in a very lonely life.

Brent, our hero, was very patient, knew what he wanted, and pursued Taylor by not be overbearing or controlling. The dreams Taylor would have added an air of mystery to the whole plot and kept me turning the pages just to find out with Taylor why she was having them and what they meant. This book was provided to me by the author and the opinions are my own.
 

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