Beth's Book-Nook Blog

Reviews of What I've Been Reading….

For the Kids – THE KINGDOM OF OCEANA by Mitchell Charles

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My friends at Book Publicity Services recently sent me a galley of THE KINGDOM OF OCEANA, a story of two brothers, taking place in what is present-day Hawaii (you know I love Hawaii!).

Here’s the info from them:

The Kingdom of Oceana is the first book in a new Young Adult fantasy adventure series by Mitchell Charles. It was published in November 2015.

The story takes place five centuries ago, on the island now called Hawaii, where there was a kingdom filled with adventure, beauty, and magic.  When 16-year-old Prince Ailani and his brother Nahoa trespass on a forbidden burial ground and uncover an ancient tiki mask, they unleash a thousand-year-old curse that threatens to destroy their tropical paradise.

As warring factions collide for control of Oceana, it sparks an age-old conflict between rival sorcerers that threatens to erupt–just like Mauna Kea, the towering volcano. With the help of his ancestral spirit animals, his shape shifting sidekick, and a beautiful princess, Prince Ailani must overcome his own insecurities, a lifetime of sibling rivalry, and a plague of cursed sea creatures brought forth by the tiki’s spell. Can peace be restored to the kingdom? Can Prince Ailani claim his rightful place as the future king of Oceana? Two brothers, but only one can rule.

“While the book is fiction, it is heavily influenced by the rich and beautiful Hawaiian myths, legends, locales, and culture.  Many locations in the story are inspired by real places in Hawaii,” says Mitchell.

The Kingdom of Oceana takes readers on a fun and exciting adventure, with big wave surfing, fire walking, and shark taming, while also being educational and bringing to light many environmental and social issues, like ocean conservation.

The Kingdom of Oceana is currently available for sale on Amazon in kindle and paperback. The audiobook will be released in April 2016.

Praise

“This book is a real page-turner, full of action and adventure, and I would highly recommend it to anyone. I hope that there will be more books like this from Mitchell Charles in the future.” – 5 Stars, Readers’ Favorite

“This is a rollicking good read — a fascinating journey into a mythological world filled with legendary characters and magnificent twists and turns.” – 5 Stars, Amazon

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I had fun with this book. It had interesting elements of Hawaiian culture and beliefs, with fantasy thrown in (shape shifting and telepathy, for instance). But at its root, it’s a story about two brothers and their sibling rivalry. I thought it’d be a great classroom book, especially if you were doing a unit on Hawaii and Hawaiian history. Many Hawaiian words are used and a glossary is provided. On my kindle, I could just click and get the meaning of them, too.

Looks like a sequel is in the works!

Thank you for my review copy!

About the Author

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Mitchell Charles’ love of the ocean and its miraculous creatures began at the age of 12 when his father taught him to SCUBA dive. From his first adventure 50 feet (15 meters) beneath the Caribbean Sea he was hooked.  He has been involved in the Oceanic Society, America’s first non-profit organization dedicated to ocean conservation, established in 1969.

Mitchell’s inspiration for The Kingdom of Oceana was born of exploring the spectacular coastline, lush valleys, and vibrant coral reefs of the Hawaiian Islands. On these excursions, he imagined what Hawaii was like hundreds of years ago. Before Captain Cook arrived from England. Before the golf courses and hotels. Before the ukulele and the Mai Tai became icons of Hawaiian culture. He dreamed of a time when the islands were an undiscovered magical paradise.

These days, Mitchell divides his time between Southern California and Hawaii. He has two teenage children and a dog named Magic.

Mitchell is currently working on the second book in the Kingdom of Oceana series, The Legend of the Nine Sacred Pearls. For more information, visit http://kingdomofoceana.com/

 

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Review: TROPICAL JUDGMENTS by David Myles Robinson, Esq.

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My friends at Smith Publicity sent me a kindle copy of David Myles Robinson’s new crime novel: TROPICAL JUDGMENTS. This is one in a series centering on Pancho McMartin, Honolulu attorney, and the first one I’ve read by him. This novel easily stands alone.

In TROPICAL JUDGMENTS a popular Hawaiian performer is murdered in an apparent robbery and a young, homeless black man is charged with the crime. Pancho is asked to defend him as his court appointed defense attorney and he is really not looking forward to the experience. However, the more Pancho and his partner Drew look into the facts, the more they question whether Jackson, their client, is actually guilty, or just at the wrong place at the wrong time. As things progress Pancho starts uncovering an underworld of crime that definitely wants to stay covered.

I just loved this fast paced mystery which takes place in one of my favorite places! If you know me, you know I love all things Hawaiian. There is something intriguing about layering the beauty of the islands and Hawaiian culture with the seediness of drug lords, addiction, and homelessness. I really liked the character of Pancho, and hope to go back and read the previous book in the series.

Here a bit about the author from Net Galley: David Myles Robinson is a retired attorney who specialized in personal injury and workers’ compensation law and was awarded the Consumer Lawyer of the Year by the trial lawyers’ association in Hawaii. He retired in 2012 and currently lives in Taos, NM with his wife. He is the author of Tropical Lies and Tropical Judgments.

If you like a realistic crime novel set in paradise, pick up TROPICAL JUDGMENTS by David Myles Robinson!

You can see it on Amazon where I am an Associate:

Tropical Judgments

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Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tour for BLACKWELL’S HOMECOMING by V.E. Ulett with GIVEAWAY!

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As part of the Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tour, I’m blogging about BLACKWELL’S HOMECOMING today – book 3 in the Blackwell series. (I posted about book 2 yesterday).

This series follows the adventures of Captain Blackwell – Royal Navy captain – and his wife Mercedes as they find adventure and romance while sailing around the world.

Here’s what HFVBTours has to say:

============== POST TEXT ==============

Blackwell’s Homecoming
by V.E. Ulett

Publication Date: December 19, 2014
Publisher: Old Salt Press, LLC
Formats: eBook, Paperback
Pages: 278

Series: Blackwell’s Adventures, Book 3
Genre: Historical Fiction

Add to GR Button

“A very satisfying conclusion to the Blackwell’s Adventures series, with lusty escapades tempered with amusing side passages, lively characters and a lovely ending.” – Broos Campbell, author of the Matty Graves series

In a multi-generational saga of love, war and betrayal, Captain Blackwell and Mercedes continue their voyage in Volume III of Blackwell’s Adventures. The Blackwell family’s eventful journey from England to Hawaii, by way of the new and tempestuous nations of Brazil and Chile, provides an intimate portrait of family conflicts and loyalties in the late Georgian Age. Blackwell’s Homecoming is an evocation of the dangers and rewards of desire.

PRAISE

“This entire trilogy has lots of adventure, lots of romance, and lots of wonderful settings that will thrill any historical fiction reader.” – Meg Wessel, A Bookish Affair

“A real pleasure to read, this book can stand alone, although I recommend reading the previous volumes to see additional development of the main characters.” – Jeff Westerhoff, Historical Novels Review

AMAZON (KINDLE) | AMAZON (PB) | BARNES & NOBLE (PB) | BARNES & NOBLE (NOOK) | ITUNES

Me again!!  I love reading about Hawaii in the early 1800’s – the culture and traditions and the thought of the islands being not overdeveloped is wonderful reading. (If you know me, you know I have a long fascination and love of Hawaii and have been there many times). Blackwell and Mercedes have all sorts of interesting relationships with friends and family and adventures together. In this installment, they are growing older and they have the trials of aging. However, their love still binds them strong.

I have to say there is a story line re: Emma and Aloka that I found somewhat disturbing (or at least until the conclusion) – but that might just be me. I’d be curious what other readers think.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A long time resident of California, V.E. Ulett is an avid reader as well as writer of historical fiction. Proud to be an Old Salt Press author, V.E. is also a member of the National Books Critics Circle and an active member and reviewer for the Historical Novel Society.

Eighteenth and nineteenth century journals and letters inspired the writing of CAPTAIN BLACKWELL’S PRIZE. The sequels take Captain Blackwell and Mercedes to the far side of the world, on new personal and cultural adventures. Coming soon from V.E. Ulett, a historical adventure with a fantastic edge.

You, too, can follow the tour!

BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

Monday, July 27
Spotlight & Excerpt at Unshelfish
Spotlight & Excerpt at What Is That Book About

Tuesday, July 28
Review & Excerpt at Oh, For the Hook of a Book

Wednesday, July 29
Review at Book Nerd
Review at Just One More Chapter

Thursday, July 30
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation

Friday, July 31
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews

Sunday, August 2
Review at Beth’s Book Nook Blog (Blackwell’s Paradise Audio Book)

Monday, August 3
Review at Beth’s Book Nook Blog (Blackwell’s Homecoming)

But wait there’s more! A Giveaway!

GIVEAWAY

To enter to win a paperback of Blackwell’s Paradise, please enter via the GLEAM form below.

Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on August 3rd. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to residents in the US, UK, Canada & Australia only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Click here:

Blackwell’s Homecoming

Or here:

https://gleam.io/6T0Te/blackwells-homecoming-

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Audiobook Review: BLACKWELL’S PARADISE written and read by V.E. Ulett

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In conjunction with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, I received an audible edition of Blackwell’s Paradise, part two in the Captain Blackwell trilogy. I had not read the first book in this series, but this title easily stands alone.

In this story, Blackwell and his wife, Mercedes, are sailing for the Royal Navy and spending time in the South Seas and especially in Hawaii. This story has adventure, romance, and lots of history added in. I really liked the characters of Blackwell and Mercedes – and especially how Mercedes was a strong and independent woman. The love between them reminded a bit of Jamie and Claire Fraser – neither of them claimed to be perfect, but they were truly committed to each other. The whole section on Hawaii was my favorite part of the story because if you know me, you know I love Hawaii! I am fascinated by the history and culture and tradition of the islands.

Ms. Ulett reads the audiobook and she has a soothing voice. It runs just under 13 hours.

Thank you for my review materials – I enjoyed listening to Blackwell’s story (and now I want to go back and read book one – Blackwell’s Prize!).

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A long time resident of California, V.E. Ulett is an avid reader as well as writer of historical fiction. Proud to be an Old Salt Press author, V.E. is also a member of the National Books Critics Circle and an active member and reviewer for the Historical Novel Society.

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Saturday Snapshot: Hawaii!

We are just back from a week in Honolulu. Hawaii is one of our favorite places – so beautiful and warm and relaxing!

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Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Melinda at Westmetromommyreads.com. See her site for participation details.

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Spent the week on vacation…

Did you miss me? While I did have one post scheduled to go in my absence, I took an “unplugged” vacation this week and traveled with my family to Hawaii. If you know us, you know we LOVE the Hawaiian Islands. This was our third visit with the kids.

I’m sure I’ll do more of these for a Saturday Snapshot, but here are a few from my phone. Yes. the water was warm, the sky was blue, and it was sunny and 77 there every day. Given that we came from Boston, we greatly appreciated it!!!

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Saturday Snapshot: Aloha!

I’ve been a bit out of the loop as we’ve been in Hawaii! It was really wonderful. Here are a few of my fave shots (click to enlarge):

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Volcanoes at Volcano National Park

petroglyphs

Petroglyphs that were located near our hotel on an ancient road

and – of course –

Hawaii beach

the beautiful beach!!

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Melinda at http://www.westmetromommy.blogspot.com

You can participate by posting a picture that you or a friend took, and linking it to her site. Appropriate pics please!

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