Saturday, August 24, 2019

Five Kingdoms: Time Jumpers by Brandon Mull

Five Kingdoms: Time Jumpers (c) 2018
by Brandon Mull
Five Kingdoms Time Jumpers concludes the exciting five book series by Brandon Mull. In it, Cole has to travel through time to secure the help of the founders of the Five Kingdoms, and find advice and knowledge in being able to face Romaro who wants to destroy the Five Kingdoms. But it won't be easy. The Perennial Serpent keeps showing up, and when it bites people, they just disappear! Have they been killed, or just transported to a different time? And will Cole be able to get them back? Not only that, but will Cole ever find a way to get himself and his friends back home to Earth where they belong? Read the book to find out!

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

My Newest Book! Tabby Cats and Trap Doors

Tabby Cats and Trap Doors (c) 2019
I am so excited to announce that my latest book, Tabby Cats and Trap Doors has just been published! Jax, Julie, and Ani, the heroes from the last book, are off on another unexpected adventure! At the beginning of the book, the three friends think their time traveling adventures are over. The old house has been turned into a museum, and the tree with the magical rabbit hole has been chopped down! But when Ani’s new cat starts acting funny and leads them on a wild chase down into an eerie cellar, the kids realize that another adventure is just beginning. But where (and when) will they go this time?

Friday, August 9, 2019

Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle

The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle
(c) 1892
by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
In Sherlock Holmes' dilemma, The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle, he and his faithful friend Doctor John Watson, embark on a mystery that at first doesn't seem very complex. The morning of Christmas, a police officer, Peterson, was walking down the street when he saw a gang of bullies assault a middle aged man who was carrying a Christmas goose, knocking off his hat. While running to help the man, Peterson witnessed the man accidentally break a shop window while trying to defend himself, then drop his goose in a panic and run away. Wanting to return both the hat and goose to the man, the police officer consulted Sherlock Holmes. Knowing that they won't be able to find the owner before the goose went bad, Holmes instructed Peterson to take the goose home to his own family, which he did.
Holmes and Watson who had come to wish him a belated Merry Christmas are casually discussing the situation when Peterson comes rushing back to show them what his wife found in the goose's crop while preparing the goose for dinner: a small blue gem! The Countess of Morcar had recently been robbed of her Blue Carbuncle, and Holmes, Watson, and Peterson quickly realize that this is the very same gem, and that the man who is accused of having stolen it, a repair man who was soldering a loose grate in the fireplace in the Countess's hotel room around the time it was stolen, may not be guilty after all. Returning the gem to the Countess won't be difficult, but how in the world did the Blue Carbuncle go from a countess's hotel room to a bird's stomach? Also, who is responsible for its theft? In addition, how will they find the man who was carrying the goose originally, and get him back his hat and a goose to replace the one that Peterson's family ate? But is the man in any way connected with the theft of the goose?

All of those questions are what Holmes and Watson intend to answer!

This was an entertaining short story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, written originally in Victorian English, and I enjoyed following Dr. Watson and Mr. Holmes as they went after clues to find who really stole the Blue Carbuncle. I recommend this story to anyone who enjoys a good mystery.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Movie Review: Veggietales: The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything


Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything (c) 2008 by Phil Vischer and Mike Nawrocki

I have loved Veggietales for years, both because of the positive messages of the shows as well as the fun animation. I think Junior Asparagus and his adorable voice are my favorite part. Though I love everything about Veggietales. Including this movie, The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything.

In The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything, a full length movie, we have Larry, Bob, an Pa Grapewho are whisked away to the 17th century to help a prince and princess try to escape the clutches of their evil uncle who is trying to take over while their dad, the rightful king is away in the west. Through some zany trials and with the help of some friendly rock monsters, the veggie heroes are able to get into the evil uncle’s Ali. But will they be able to rescue the kids and get safely out again? Watch the movie and find out!

I highly recommend this to kids of all ages, and anyone who enjoys fun, uplifting movies!

Friday, July 19, 2019

The Ultimate Life by Jim Stovall

Ultimate Gift, The (c) 2007 by Jim Stovall
I recently listened to The Ultimate Life by Jim Stovall. It is the sequel to The Ultimate Gift which was made into a movie by the same name. I enjoyed listening to the audio of The Ultimate Life. In it, Jason Stevens finds that he has to prove to his family that he did indeed learn the lessons his grandfather wanted him to learn because they take him to court trying to take the huge trust he inherited away claiming that he can't handle it, and they are the rightful, legal, ethical owners of the money Red Stevens left behind.
I understand that the book The Ultimate Life had several inconsistencies to the book The Ultimate Gift, because the book followed what happened in the movie The Ultimate Gift rather than in the book, causing some slight inconsistencies between the two books. That didn't bother me personally, since I hadn't read the book The Ultimate Gift anyway. I thought that some of the characters were a little cartoonish, particularly the lawyer for the family, but overall, I enjoyed the message. As in The Ultimate Gift, Jason has to show that he has mastered 12 gifts:
1. The Gift of Work
2. The Gift of Friendship
3. The Gift of Money
4. The Gift of Family
5. The Gift of Gratitude
6. The Gift of Laughter
7. The Gift of Problems
8. The Gift of Learning
9. The Gift of Dreams
10. The Gift of a Day
11. The Gift of Giving
12. The Gift of Love
The story is told from the perspective of the judge overseeing the case, and we get to see him as he too tries out each of the 12 gifts in his own life.
I think The Ultimate Life is a good book to inspire people to bring lasting fulfillment into their own lives, and the lives of others and I recommend to anyone who enjoys uplifting books.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Five Kingdoms: Sky Raiders by Brandon Mull

Five Kingdoms: Sky Raiders (c) 2014
by Brandon Mull
The first book in the Five Kingdoms series by Brandon Mull, Five Kingdoms: Sky Raiders, is a fast paced middle grade novel that junior high and upper elementary readers would enjoy.

Cole is just a normal kid with an annoying older sister, friends, and a secret crush like so many other normal kids. But when a trip to what he and his friends thought was just a normal spook alley turns bad and he sees his friends whisked away through a strange portal by kidnappers, Cole dives in after them and finds himself in the Five Kingdoms, a strange new dimension where strange and amazing things can happen, but slavery is also legal. His friends have been enslaved by the kidnappers and as he sets out to try to rescue them, all sorts of scary things happen. Finding himself in a strange place called The Brink, he meets a girl his age named Mira who has a plan to stop the wicked king of the Five Kingdoms, restore order, and help him rescue his friends. But when there's a strange creature the people call Karnak terrorizing the country-side along with a despotic king to deal with, doing what they set out to do might be more difficult than they first planned.


Saturday, June 29, 2019

My Daughter’s Wedding

Rachel and Mitchell Nelson and their wedding cake
I am very proud and happy for my daughter Rachel and her new husband Mitchel Nelson who were married this last Wednesday, June 26, in the Payson Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I love them both very much, and wish them all the happiness in the world!