Book Review: The Rat Prince


The Rat Prince is a delightful version of Cinderella told, in great part, from the point of view of the rats that lived with her. The prince of the rats, Prince Char, had taken get interest in Cinderella ever since her stepmother and stepsisters moved in. He did everything he could to make life easier for her, and in exchange, she befriended them and tried to get rid of the rat poison the mean cook set out for them.

When news of the ball came to the rats, Prince Char and some of his rat warriors went to the castle to check out the prince. If Cinderella married him, not only would her life improve, but she could get rid of the wicked stepmother who tried to kill Prince Char’s subjects, and their rat lives would improve as well.

Things take a dreadful turn for the worse when Prince Char and his warriors sneak into the castle and discover horrible news. Then to make matters worse, Cinderella’s “fairy godmother” chooses Prince Char and two of his loyal subjects to be coachmen. Prince Char must deal with his new human body and find a way to save all of them from the tragedy that looms. They have until midnight before the spell ends. Will they have enough time?

Bridget Hodder takes an idea that seems quite unbelievable, albeit terribly amusing, and turns it into a story that feels not only logical but completely possible (in a fairy tale world). Definitely a fun read.

4 Stars

Book Review: Rowan and the Keeper of the Crystal


Rowan is a regular boy living a regular life in a regular village until a message comes one day. He and his mother have to leave the village immediately to travel to Maris. The Keeper of the Crystal, who lives there, is dying, and it’s up to Rowan’s mother, as the Chooser, to pick the next keeper. If a new Keeper is not chosen before the old one dies, Maris will not have the protection it has depended on for so long. They will be vulnerable to attack from their vicious neighbors who stand by eagerly watching how events unfold.

Tragically, when they arrive, Rowan’s mother is poisoned, and the task of choosing is passed down to him as the next in line. He will take on this awesome responsibility but only after he finds the mysterious and almost impossible to obtain ingredients for the antidote to save his mother.

With the three candidates for Keeper assisting, he sets out on this dangerous mission. Time is running out for both his mother and Maris.

Rodda paints an enchanting image of the world of Rin and gives the story exciting moments of danger and daring as well as suspenseful and emotional moments that will have you on the edge of your seat.

4 stars

Get your copy here.

Book Review: 100 Cupboards

100 Cupboards: Book 1 of the 100 Cupboards by [Wilson, N. D.]

Twelve-year-old Henry York wakes up in the middle of the night to discover that the plaster is falling off the walls in his room to reveal a hidden cupboard, so what does he do? He stays up all night scraping more plaster off to reveal more cupboards. These aren’t just ordinary cupboards, though. Most of them are locked, but the ones he can open lead to strange places that they couldn’t possibly lead to. The mystery deepens when two letters come to him through the doors. But that’s not all that makes it through. Evil finds a way out as well.

Henry discovers secrets that his family has been keeping for years and finds out that he’s not who he thinks he is. Only by working together can he and his family and friends survive.

Wilson does a great job of describing the typical family life. The adventure starts off a little slowly, but we have a rich account of Henry’s experiences as he gets settled in to his new life in Kansas. Suspense begins to build once the cupboard doors are opened and Henry gets a glimpse of what’s waiting inside.

4 Stars

Get your copy here. 

Book Review: Blade of the Sea: A Children’s Survival Unofficial Minecraft Book


Trish is a simple villager from a small Minecraft village. She enjoys crafting, but longs to go on an adventure. When some villains break into the village’s sealed mine, Trish follows them to find out why. She discovers that they are looking for a map to a device that they believe will allow them to take over the world. Trish is determined to stop them.  When no one else in the village is willing to go with her, she sets out alone. She makes friends along the way, solves puzzles, fights zombies and spiders, and gains new courage.

This is a light, fun, easy read for anyone who loves adventure and Minecraft. Nethermind weaves an exciting adventure full of danger, friendship, and self-discovery.

5 Stars

Get your copy here.

FREE E-Book. Today Only.

A potion that turns people into trees, monstrous panthers, a band of Xandi who seem to want them dead… When Molly and her friends travel through one of the impossible doors in the generator room, they find themselves in a strange land full of dangers they never knew to expect. Are the Xandi that live here as evil as the Gardener says, or is the Gardener the one who can’t be trusted? And what is in the mysterious bunker that is rumored to hold the greatest weapon ever known? Molly and her friends must stop the evil that threatens to rise. They just have to figure out who the evil ones are first.

Get your copy here: here. Reviews are welcome.

The Forest of Faces

Readers Wanted: Help me choose the best book blurb for the back of my upcoming book, Stealing the Amber Key: Book One of the Xandi

I got some great responses the last time I asked for help choosing my book blurb. Unfortunately, the results were about 50/50. I need more votes! I’ve even put it in an easier-to-use format this time, and there’re only a few questions. Just click the link below to go to the Survey Monkey survey. Please take a couple of minutes to let me know what you think. Thanks!!!


The Library


This is a scene from my upcoming book Stealing the Amber Key: Book One of the Xandi. It is the calm before the storm, a peaceful moment in the library before a frightening attack. Check out the book when it’s released on October 24th.

FREE Today Only!!!

Book 1 good copy

The Search for the Lost Laboratory is downloadable for free today, January 10, 2015, on

If you’re not sure if this would be something you’d like, read the short summary below:

For many generations, dangerous secrets have lain hidden in a cavern laboratory deep below the surface of a small island in the Pacific Ocean. Despite many efforts to find and claim the incredible powers within, none, so far, have succeeded, and the story of the lost laboratory faded into legend…until now. A dark enemy has arrived on the island seeking the extraordinary power that waits to be found in the professor’s scientific creations – a great, unfathomable, almost magical power. It’s up to Jake, his sister Molly and their new friends to hold back the evil that threatens to rise.

With the help of the professor’s ancient journal, the group begins their quest. If they are to find the laboratory first, they must solve numerous puzzles, overcome countless obstacles, and survive perilous traps set by both the professor and their new enemy.

Little do they know that their greatest and most dangerous challenge will come after they find what they seek. It’s then that they must make a terrible decision: turn their backs on the world and let evil win, or risk losing everything they know and love, everything they are, by using the powers in the cavern themselves.

Reviews and/or ratings will be greatly appreciated. You can review/rate it here,, and/or here,

Top 5 Things to Do When You Get Bored


Let’s face it. We all get bored sometimes. Well, I’ve finally found a cure. At least a short-term cure. Here are five things that you can do the next time you get bored. And please record them. Everyone knows that YouTube can always use more videos. 🙂

1. Conduct a sociological experiment

Materials needed

  1. video-recording device
  2. tree or pole
  3. $10 bill
  4. Stepladder
  5. tape


Find a tree or pole in a well-traveled (walked) area. Find a time when traffic is slow. Using your stepladder, tape the $10 bill to the tree or pole where it will be seen but where it is just out of reach of the average person. Then hide with your camera and wait. Video the people as they walk by and see how many try to reach the bill and how many just ignore it. After the experiment, draw conclusions based on your observations, write a paper and publish it in a journal.

2. Plan a formal dinner for you and your friends at McDonalds

Materials needed

  1. white tablecloth
  2. candles & candleholders
  3. cloth napkins
  4. silverware & china
  5. permission from McDonalds
  6. Information on napkin folding and dinnerware placement
  7. Place cards with your friends’ names on them


Arrive a few minutes early to pick out the perfect table. Spread the table cloth, lay out the silverware and fold the napkins into the shape of an animal or flower. Set the candles up in the center of the table and light them. Put the place cards at the appropriate seats. Wait for your friends to arrive. Have everyone order their food, and enjoy.

3. Record you and your friends critiquing an old/obscure television show or movie in the manner of Mystery Science Theater

Materials needed

  1. an old/obscure television show or movie
  2. a recording device
  3. friends


Pop some popcorn, set up the recording device, get comfortable, play the show/movie, and begin making brilliant, insightful and hilarious comments.

4. Make home-made butter

Materials needed

  1. whipping cream (can be normal or heavy whipping cream but should not be cold)
  2. a jar
  3. a measuring device (not necessarily needed)
  4. strong arms, able to do a lot of shaking
  5. 10-20 minutes


Measure out 1 cup of whipping cream for each ½ cup of butter that you want to make. Once you have your desired amount, pour it into the jar. (Your jar should be no more than 1/3 full.) Close the lid tightly. Shake hard. Keep shaking. Still more shaking. You should see the cream begin to separate into butter and buttermilk. The cream will begin to get “heavy,” become firm and turn yellow. You have butter at this point. You can stop here and have a good soft spread or keep shaking for a harder spread. Dazzle your family by serving your efforts at the next family meal.

5. Make a maze/obstacle course out of silly string and race with your friends

Alternative idea: Set two mazes up in the woods to protect each team’s flag. Use a blue chalk line instead of silly string. The other team must steal their opponent’s flag without getting any of the blue chalk on them.


  1. Silly string
  2. Space
  3. Trees, tables, poles, etc. to act as a foundation or outline for your maze
  4. “Mission Impossible” or “Eye of the Tiger” music
  5. Timer


Go crazy with the silly string while setting up your maze. Play music. Take turns going through the maze as quickly as possible. Time each person. Determine a winner. Go out to eat to celebrate your mad new spy skills.