BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour, Favorite, Hardback, NetGalley, Purchase, YA

Shadow, #2 Heirs of Neverland, by Kara Swanson

About the Book

Book:  Shadow

Author: Kara Swanson

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

Release date: July 13, 2021

Swanson - Shadow

Peter Pan has crash-landed back on Neverland. But this is not the island he remembers.

Desperate to rescue Claire and the fractured Lost Boys, Peter must unravel what truly tore his dreamland apart. But with each step, he is haunted by more of his own broken memories. Not even Pan himself is what he seems.

Claire Kenton is chained to a pirate ship, watching the wreckage of Neverland rocked by tempests. When she finally finds her brother, Connor is every bit as shattered as the island. Claire may have pixie dust flowing in her veins—but the light of Neverland is flickering dangerously close to going out forever.

To rescue Neverland from the inescapable shadow, the boy who never grew up and the girl who grew up too fast will have to sacrifice the only thing they have left: each other.

Click here to get your copy!

My Impressions

This!! This YA retelling of a childhood favorite, Peter Pan, and how Neverland came to be, is a must-read all Peter Pan lovers. Some of us reluctantly left Peter Pan behind, realizing we had to grow up, wishing we could stay in his world, but our metaphysical world marches on, not allowing that. Somehow, Kara Swanson’s Heirs of Neverland series has healed that yearning of my soul to stay in Neverland, but in a most wonderful way. Swanson guides us first in Dust, now in Shadow, to meet the present, disturbed Neverland. Peter is partially grown up physically, but his emotional growth is questionable.

We meet siblings Claire and Connor. Connor has been taken to Neverland by Hook in Dust and Claire is working to get him back. Shadow is not a light-hearted book, although there are moments of joy, romance, and hope struggling to overcome the darkness that is fast becoming Neverland. Will these be strong enough to offset the reality of childhood abuse, nightmares, and evil determined to overtake Neverland and all the beloved inhabitants we remember (and a few new friends)? Enough angst, despair, evil, intrigue, with glimmers of hope, love, and growth struggling to break through to appeal to both young adults, those who work with them, and anyone who once journeyed with Pan and Wendy to Neverland. Just incredible!!


I gratefully received a copy of this book from the author and publisher through Celebrate Lit and NetGalley. I also purchased a hardback copy for myself and a friend. No positive review was required. All opinions are my own.

My Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Magnificent!! JUST INCREDIBLE!!

About the Author

As the daughter of missionaries, Kara Swanson spent her childhood running barefoot through the lush jungles of Papua New Guinea. Able to relate with characters dropped into a unique new world, she quickly fell in love with the fantasy genre. The award-winning author of The Girl Who Could See, Kara is passionate about crafting stories of light shattering darkness, connecting with readers, and becoming best friends with a mermaid—though not necessarily in that order. Kara chats about coffee, fairytales and bookish things online (@karaswansonauthor) and at karaswanson.com.

More from Kara

One of my favorite CS Lewis quotes is this:

“Some day you’ll be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.”

There’s something subtly profound about the idea that the very stories which captivate our imagination and shape our perspective on good and evil as children, will reveal more gems when we return to them later. When we’ve conquered some dragons of our own.

This was especially true when I write my Peter Pan retelling duology Dust and Shadow. These YA novels literally return to a fairy tale. I took a familiar story and dug even deeper, pushing Peter himself to grow a little more and see what new bits of pixie dust and hope there may be in a familiar story.

But there is another reason why our hearts gravitate toward fairy tales.

I think GK Chesterton put it brilliantly in a quote that is actually at the very front of Shadow:

Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.”

Because maybe even more than being reminded of the whimsy of a fairy, we need the reminder that even in a world filled with dragons – they can be killed.

We can conquer.

And that simple truth, told a hundred different ways, will always lift our hearts and our chins.

Shadow was not an easy book to write – and it is not a particularly lighthearted tale. It is raw and vulnerable and at times lives up to it’s title in some darker moments. But there is always a sense of courage there too. A reminder that even in the shadowed places, the valleys, the instances that steal our breath and twist our hearts and make us wonder if all is lost –

There is another page to turn. Another step to take.

We are not finished.

No matter how young we are, we can strap on our armor, lift our swords, and fight for the light.

We are not overcome because our strength does not come from us.

It comes from our King.

And in the end, He will make all wrongs right, and there will be a happy ending to our tale, even if it may not be the ending we expect.

Because it may not be easy to slay the dragon, but as the fairy tales do remind us –

The important thing is that they can be slain.

Blog Stops

Babbling Beck L’s Book Impressions, July 31

Inside the Wong Mind, July 31

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 31

The Write Escape, August 1

Remembrancy, August 1

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 2

Connect in Fiction, August 2

Blossoms and Blessings, August 2

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, August 3

Texas Book-aholic, August 3

Where Faith and Books Meet, August 4

Losing the Busyness, August 4

For the Love of Literature, August 4

Worthy2Read, August 5

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, August 5

Wishful Endings, August 5

Inklings and notions, August 6

Mia Reads, August 6

For Him and My Family, August 7

Sodbusterliving, August 7

Mary Hake, August 7

deb’s Book Review, August 8

Nancy E Wood, August 8

Tell Tale Book Reviews, August 9

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 9

Through the Fire Blogs, August 10

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 10

Artistic Nobody, August 10 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, August 11

Cats in the Cradle Blog, August 11

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, August 12

Simple Harvest Reads, August 12 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

The Book Chic Blog, August 12

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, August 13

Labor Not in Vain, August 13

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kara Swanson is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/110e4/shadow-celebration-tour-giveaway

BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour, Hardback, Picture Book, Tommy Nelson

I AM by Diane Stortz, illustrated by Diane Le Feyer

I-AM-FB-Banner1

About the Book

Book:  I AM

Author: Diane Stortz

Genre:  Juvenile nonfiction, Bible stories

Release Date: 2016

Creator, Comforter, Healer, Friend. God’s names tell us who He is, what He is like, and IAM-40Reasons-247x300what He does. This beautiful book covers 40 of the Bible’s many names and descriptive titles for God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, including Jehovah Jireh, The Lord My Shepherd, Immanuel, Rabbi, and I AM.
Through Bible stories, short devotions, and prayers, children discover the meaning of each name and how it relates to their lives. As they develop understanding of God’s character and His love for them, children will grow to know, love, and trust the great I AM more and more.
“Those who know your name put their trust in you.” –Psalm 9:10

 

 

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

My Review

This Children’s Bible story book made me squeal with delight when I opened the
package. I AM by Diane Stortz and illustrated by Diane Le Feyer is a perfect tool for the
grandparent, parent, or church worker who wants to teach their children about God.
Let’s start with the obvious, the visual presentation, because that is what your child will
see first. A hardback, with animated full-page pictures, (the cover is astounding!), the
illustrations are very appealing to the 4-8 year range the book is intended for.
As a Sunday School teacher for first graders, one thing our Children’s leader taught us is
that we want to focus not just on the Bible characters in the Bible story, but GOD’s
PROMINENT place in the Bible story. After all, isn’t that what the Bible is all about?
So while this book contains familiar stories, starting with ”Creation”, ”A Sad Day in the
Garden, ” ”Promises for Abraham,”; what is being emphasized through specially colored
shapes is God’s NAME and the characteristics of God (like ”Creator, ” ”God of Truth-El
Emeth, ” God All-Powerful, El-Shaddai, ” etc.
I AM
The Bible passage is listed, plus a relevant verse is written out, and there is a application
part, ”What Does it Mean?” Plus, there is included a ”learn more” Bible passage and a
hint of what is coming next. As I said before, I just love this book that gives 40 names for
God. It reveals His character to children, traveling through the Bible with stories, words,
and thoughts that will spark your youngster’s imagination and love for our awesome
God.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and publisher through
Celebrate Lit. This in no way affects my opinions, which are solely my own.

My Rating

5 Stars – What a Perfect Tool!!

 

About the Author

Diane Stortz is a multi-published author who writes to make God’s wonders known to Diane_Stortz_400x400-1-300x300the next generation. Her children’s releases include the best-selling Say & Pray Bible and I AM: 40 Reasons to Trust God, both from Tommy Nelson. Diane’s books for women, A Woman’s Guide to Reading the Bible in a Year and Encountering God’s Heart for You, both from Bethany House, encourage women to get to know God through His Word, the Bible. Diane and her husband have two married daughters and five grandchildren—all boys! Visit her at www.DianeStortz.com.

 

More from Diane

You can often guess someone’s age by considering their name. Diane, for example, was popular in the 1950s, so . . . that tells you something about me.

But God’s personal name? Well, it’s ageless. Just like Him.

When Moses met God at the burning bush and received the task of leading the Israelites out of Egypt, he wasn’t exactly thrilled at first. He peppered God with questions, including, “When I tell the people that I met you here and you gave me this assignment, they’re going to want to know your name. What should I tell them?”

The Israelites had just about forgotten who the God of their fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was.

But God hadn’t forgotten them. Not at all. God told Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. . . . Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you’” (Exodus 3:14).

I AM WHO I AM. I always have been. I will always be. I will never change.

Choosing a book title is rarely easy, and choosing a title for this book about the names of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit took a long time. I couldn’t be more grateful to the Tommy Nelson publishing team who developed and settled on the title I AM: 40 Reasons to Trust God.

My prayer for every child who reads this book and every family that goes through the book together, and for myself: May we all grow mightily in our understanding of who God is and our relationship with Him! As Psalm 9:10 says, “Those who know your name put their trust in you.”

 

Blog Stops

For the Love of Literature, June 25

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, June 25

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 26

Texas Book-aholic, June 27

deb’s Book Review, June 27

Inklings and notions, June 28

Older & Smarter?, June 29

Splashes of Joy, June 29

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, June 30

Artistic Nobody, July 1 (Guest Review from Donna Cine)

Lighthouse Academy, July 1

For Him and My Family, July 2

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 3

A Reader’s Brain, July 4

amandainpa, July 5

Simple Harvest Reads, July 5 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, July 6

Spoken from the Heart, July 7

Lots of Helpers, July 8

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Diane is giving away  the grand prize package of signed copies of all three I AM books!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/fcd6/i-am-celebration-tour-giveaway

BLOG, Hardback, Kiddie Lit, Picture Book, Waterbrook-Multnomah

Mama Kisses, Papa Hugs by Lisa Tawn Bergren, Illus. by Aleksandar Zolotic

About the Book

Mama Kisses

Author: Lisa Tawn Bergren

Illustrator: Aleksandar Zolotic

Publisher: Waterbrook-Multnomah

Released: March 2020

Audience: 3-7 yr. olds

From the creator of the best-selling God Gave Us You comes a warm exploration of the ways parents show affection–and how it mirrors God’s affection for his followers.

Parents are always looking out for the perfect bedtime book to create a sense of well-being before a night of rest. Mama Kisses, Papa Hugs explores a child’s curiosity about how love is shown between parent and child, with the reassurance that Mama and Papa will always love their little one. And like Lisa Tawn Bergren’s young protagonist asks his mother, this question is pressing on the minds of many children:

“Mama, how does God kiss us?”

Mama smiled. “He kisses us a hundred times a day; although if you don’t pay attention, you might miss it.”

“At night he kisses us with a shooting star. In the morning, he kisses us with sunlight, crawling across the fields and into our windows. On a hot summer afternoon, he kisses us with a gentle breeze. But most of all, he kisses us through our family. That’s how God made us. That’s why I give you Mama kisses.

My Review

Written for children 3-7, Mama Kisses and Papa Hugs by Lisa Tawn Bergren gives Mamas and Papas everywhere a chance to reassure their young children of their never-ending, unchanging love. Children this age want to feel grown-up and cut some ties that they actually need reinforced. They need to know that God made them, God made Mamas and Daddies, and gave them appropriate ways of expressing love. Bergren uses humor and the animal kingdom to spotlight this.
Alexander Zolotic brings his amazingly fresh, vivid, full-page illustrations to enhance these wonderful thoughts. Both the fun animal references and the gorgeous illustrations will keep the little ones turning the pages eagerly as they learn about parents’ and God’s love.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Waterbrook-Multnomah. This in no way affects my opinions, which are solely my own.

My Rating

5 Stars- Superior – Reassuring for Children of Parents’ and God’s Never-ending Love

About the Author

73754Lisa Tawn Bergren is the best-selling, award-winning author of over 50 books, with more than 3 million copies sold. She is in the middle of writing The Sugar Baron’s Daughters Series (KETURAH, VERITY, and SELAH), and recently finished a teen series called Remnants (SEASON OF WONDER, SEASON OF FIRE, and SEASON OF GLORY). She’s also written the River of Time Series (WATERFALL, CASCADE, TORRENT, BOURNE & TRIBUTARY, DELUGE) and The Grand Tour Series (GLAMOROUS ILLUSIONS, GRAVE CONSEQUENCES, GLITTERING PROMISES). She recently released a new time-slip romance duology called River of Time: California (THREE WISHES and FOUR WINDS).

Lisa’s time is split between managing home base, writing, consulting and helping Tim with his business. Her husband Tim is a sculptor of ducks-out-of-fenceposts (RMRustic.com), graphic designer and musician. They have three big kids–Olivia (who just got married), Emma (who just got back from Europe) and Jack (who is about to start high school).

The Bergrens make their home in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

 

About the Illustrator

From early childhood, Aleksandar Zolotic used his vivid imagination to create amazing photo-aleksandar_zolotic--squaredrawings, making everyday moments in his life look special. Years later, he studied at the Faculty of Applied Arts in Belgrade, and he’s gone on to win numerous awards for his work.

When not creating interactive worlds or imaginative illustrations, he spends time drinking ice coffee and eating homemade muffins with his wife and reading picture books to his daughter, while preventing his baby son from eating                                                       them.