Stories of Music Volume 2
by Holly E Tripp
The powerful effect of music on us is universally recognized, just a few notes from a certain peace can instantly evoke memories which transport us back to another time, event, or place.
I thoroughly enjoyed the author’s first book, ‘Stories of Music’ Volume 1, and have been looking forward to Volume 2. As with its predecessor, this book enables you to, by visiting the free companion web edition, use the QR and short URLs throughout the book, to enjoy the original music and videos which accompany some of the stories.
The book is divided into sections, Origins, Interconnection, Exploration, Against All Odds, Transcendence, and Ghosts. The stories, poems, and essays within each section are personal accounts, from authors, and artists, throughout the world. All wanted to share with others how music has changed and affected their lives.
There are so many wonderful recollections to enjoy, however one I particularly like is called “The Magic of the Mouth.” In this story, newly arrived in Goa, India, Mukta Patil recalls being invited to a curtain raiser for World Mouth Harp Festival of India.
He recounts his confusion, as he imagines a full sized harp, and cannot see how one will fit in a mouth. However, as the story progresses all is revealed, and we learn about this fascinating musical instrument, thought to be one of the earliest known to man. There are wonderful pictures included, and the opportunity to listen to one being played by Neptune Chapotin.
They say that music breeches all boundaries and this book does just that, demonstrating clearly how music can inspire, create and heal. The icing on the cake for me, however are the QR’s and URL’s which provided me with the opportunity to enjoy the full sensory experience.
As a foot note I would like to add, that following through with her belief that music heals, the author is donating 10% of all of the proceeds to the non-profit organisations, Hungry for Music, and Music & Memory.
Reviewed by Susan Keefe
Tricycle and Friends: True-Life Adventures of a Three-Legged Golden Retriever and His Rescued Farm anima Friends
by Lester Aradi
This wonderful children’s books is about a three legged retriever called Tricycle who is adopted by a family, and goes to live at their farm.
Once there, he meets Buckaroo, the miniature donkey. The two quickly become friends, and Buckaroo introduces Tricycle to some of the other animals. Many are adopted too. He soon discovers that there are all sorts, not only other dogs, but horses, llamas, chickens, and honey bees.
They go to meet Cantara and Pink, the llamas, and discover fascinating things about these lovely animals. However, the icing on the cake is when they learn that there will be another new arrival at the farm the following day, a little baby alpaca! Everyone is excited! But what is an alpaca, and what will it be called?
The author teaches in a very gentle way, through the experiences of Tricycle and his friends, how being different is okay. And, as the book progresses we learn about bullying, the importance of adopting animals, and many other things.
I loved the way the reader gets to meet lots of the animals through delightful illustrations and lovely pictures. I thing they are so important in children’s books, and bring the farm wonderfully to life, adding so much to this enchanting tale.
I can’t wait to read more adventures from Tricycles and his friends.
Reviewed by Susan Keefe
Tau Bada: The Quest and Memoir of a Vulnerable Man
by John E Quinlan
Ever dreamed of doing something different, going to exotic places, stepping right out of your safety zone and taking the bull by the horns?
Do you wonder if people really do just change direction, start new businesses in different countries, juggle their lives, just like that? Is it possible?
Well, in this incredible biography the author takes the reader on his remarkable journey. After the end of his marriage he gets on his motorbike, leaves Grosse Point (a suburb of Detroit) and begins an adventure which takes him from the American West, through to Australia/Papua New Guinea.
An established CEO- entrepreneur, the author is not afraid of taking risks, and going with the flow. This bravery takes him on travels to amazing places, where he forges forward with the courage of a true entrepreneur.
On his odyssey, he finds new love and is never afraid to go with the moment, something I truly admire.
The book is beautifully descriptive and I especially loved his account of his life whilst he was running his South Pacific fishing business, which gave some fascinating insights into what life is really about living on-board ship. His first impressions and dealings with the South Pacific island natives and his business dealings with them are interesting, and the great thing is, that whatever the outcome he brushes himself off and starts again.
Juggling life between his business interests in Grosse Point and other part of the world is difficult at times, emotionally and financially draining, however, he copes with everything and is an inspiration to those of us who would love (or imagine they would love) to walk in his shoes.
He was known as Tau Bada, ‘big white man’ by the native farmers of Papua New Guinea where he worked hard to build them a sustainable living through the selling of coffee and chilies.
Travel lovers will thoroughly enjoy his accounts of his visits to different places, and wish they were a fly on the wall watching him meet people from many nations. It is an exciting way to really learn what it is like to live amongst various peoples and learn their customs.
This book is truly an awe-inspiring quest of discovery for one man, re-evaluating his life, taking on challenges, dealing with the consequences and all the time living life to the full. Whatever your dreams and ambitions, I would highly recommend this book, it is inspirational, informative and very thought provoking.
Reviewed by Susan Keefe
by Terry John Barto
This is a simply wonderful story about a dragon called Nickerbacher, whose job is to guard the Princess Gwendolyn who lives in a tall, tall tower. However the princess and Nickerbacher are friends and their favorite thing is staying up watching the live performances on The Late Knight Show every evening.
Soon we discover that Nickerbacher isn’t your ordinary dragon, oh he knows his job is to guard the princess, fight the knights who try to rescue her and generally be a big bad dragon, but that’s not what he wants to do the rest of his life – he has a dream. Nickerbacher wants to become a stand-up comedian! He hates the stereotyping of dragons and wants to show the world a different side, a caring, funny dragon, so dragons can be acceptable members of the community, not third rate citizens.
So, when Prince Happenstance arrives, fresh from the Prince Guild, with a mission to rescue the princess, he soon discovers that Gwendolyn is no ordinary princess, and Nickerbacher no ordinary dragon. Before he knows it he finds himself agreeing to take part in a plan cooked up between them to get Nickerbacher to La La Land so he can audition for The Late Knight Show, and make his impact on the world!
La La Land they discover is quite amazing, full of many sorts of wonderful creatures, all living with the humans, but there are no dragons, so Nicerbacher arrival causes quite a stir, and everyone wants to know why he is there.
However being there is only the beginning, can he get an audition with Johnny Kingston, and if he does, how will it go?
Find out if Nickerbacher’s dreams come true, will he star on The Late Knight Show?
Can he wow the audience with his jokes, and change their perception of dragons?
Discover the answer to these questions, and much more in this exciting children’s story full of magic and surprises, written by Terry John Barto, and beautifully illustrated by Kim Sponaugle.
Reviewed by Susan Keefe
Fearne Fairy and the Landing Lesson
by Sarah Hill
In this delightful children’s book we join Fearne Fairy as she is wakened by the dawn chorus in Whimsy Wood on a marvellous May morning.
Fearne is a lovely kind fairy, but she has a terrible voice, so when she asks to join in the chorus the woodland birds don’t want to hurt her feelings, after all why make someone unhappy if it isn’t necessary? Instead, they divert her thoughts by asking how her best friend Mustard the Magpie Moth Caterpillar is.
Racing down stairs she finds Mustard happily sleeping soundly in his little leaf basket by the stove. Fearne loves her friend so much that she decides to make him a special breakfast, and sets off for the Woodland Store. However, although like other fairies Fearne can fly, her landings are not so good, and on her return she crashes. Startled awake, Mustard suggests that she needs to get some help perfecting her landings, and she agrees.
Thus begins a magical adventure, as we join Fearne and Mustard in their search for Bristle Bumblebee and Dewberry Dragonfly, flying experts who Mustard thinks will be able to help her.
After breakfast, with picnic packed, they set off on their quest to find Bristle and Dewberry.
The woods are wonderful, and most of the creatures are having fun, and enjoying the lovely May weather, but then they come across Bromley the Badger, and his friend, who is a very sad Hedgehog called Humbug.
However, when Fearne discovers the cause of Humbugs unhappiness she realises that it is within her powers to make him happy again, and so she waves her magic wand, and says a special spell, making things right.
Pleased to see his friend happy again, Bromley tells them that Bristle and Dewberry have opened a Flying School down by the purple orchid patch, to help the May bugs and stag beetles who are having problems learning to fly. So off Fearne and Mustard go in search of Bristle and Dewberry’s Flying School.
But will they find it?
And, if they do, will Bristle and Dewberry be able to help Fearne improve her landing, after all, she isn’t a May bug or stag beetle?
Well you will have to read the story to find out the answers to these questions, but the only thing I can say is that practice really does make perfect…
The wonderful way this magical children’s story is told, and the way its beautiful illustrations compliment the story makes this not just a book, but a prized possession, the type of book which will be handed down from child to child, through generation.
I would liken it to the famous The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame, and think it definitely deserves a place on every child’s bookshelf.
Reviewed by Susan Keefe
Warrior of Light (Adventures of the Mind Traveller Book 3)
by James McKenna
In this third book in the Mind Traveller series we join a 16 year old Rosie as she, having just finished her GCSE’s, is looking forward to the summer holidays.
Laying under the ancient oak tree at Haston Manor, she is dreaming of Oliver, one of the local boys and one of her partners in adventures, when an Inca boy called Titu suddenly arrives. He has been sent by his brother Apo, who is an Inca prince from Vilabamba with news especially for her. A piece of the Dove of Peace is in the Huacas.
So Rosie and her SAS Angel Elissa travel into Mind Space, and asks Grubalot what they should do. He reveals that the dark angels are rising again, they are becoming very strong, amassing a large army, and he has another mission for her. She must finds her parents, and the last pieces of the Dove of Peace, because, when the dove of peace is whole again, love will spread across Mind Space, and together with the white angels they will win the war against the Dark Angel, and his forces.
And so begins the adventure for Rosie and her friends Oliver, Charlie and Dan. However her discussions in Mind Space have been cunningly overheard by the despicable Skreg, a slimy creature who works for the dark forces, and he is prepared to do anything to stop Rosie from completing her quest.
Thwarted at every turn, bravely fighting terrible creatures, dark forces, creppins, and the hideous Skreg, the friends desperately seek Rosie’s parents. However, they are being kept prisoner, and with deception and lies at every turn, and things not being what they appear to be, will the friends be able to find them?
Then, if they do, will they really hold the key to the location of the final pieces of the dove?
Who will win the war?
Calling on allies of old, Rosie’s mothers secret diaries, and discovering some amazing new things about themselves and others, they courageously undertake the mission.
In this marvellous fantasy adventure, the reader not only joins in an amazing escapade, but also discovers through the adventure that, united, despite the dangers, true friendship and perseverance can achieve wonderful things.
Although the third book in this Mind Traveller series, it is not necessary to have read the others to enjoy this great story.
Reviewed by Susan Keefe
Available from Amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/Warrior-Light-Adventures-Mind-Traveller-ebook/dp/B01J668VO0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1488046974&sr=8-1&keywords=Warrior+of+Light+%28Adventures+of+the+Mind+Traveller+Book+3%29+by+James+McKenna