Trapped in a Runaway Balloon!

Deb’s Dozen: Sister and brother, aloft in a runaway balloon. What will they do?

Mark Wainwright wrote a delightful middle-grade story about Jenny, thirteen, and her brother, Cole, nine, and according to Jenny, a rotten brat. Jenny and Cole fought like typical brother and sister, but when Cole tossed away a piece of jewelry precious to Jenny, she had had it!

Flying in a hot air balloon? What fun! The kids felt excited and stood in the basket of the balloon while their parents and Mr. Weber finished up on the preparations for launch. Cole, showing off, accidentally hit the lever that turned the burner on. The balloon filled with more and more air and started to lift off. Jenny and Cole, terrified, watched in horror as the balloon tore loose from the moorings and went higher and higher, quickly lifting out of the reach of their parents. They flew alone in a runaway balloon!

I loved how Mr. Wainwright wrote Jenny and Cole. At times, I wanted to send both of them to a time-out corner. Jenny was so mad at Cole and rehearsed how bad he’d been. Cole was just plain scared. You’ll enjoy getting to know the children and reading about their very scary adventure.
A great story to read aloud or for older kids to read on their own. Five stars.

Mark Wainwright traveled to over thirty countries and had adventures of his own. He homeschooled through the Abeka Academy when his parents were missionaries in Papua New Guinea. No electricity in the village meant he watched his school videos on a solar-powered TV. Now he uses the adventures he had as fodder for the stories he writes. Trapped in a Hot Air Balloon came out of a flight  at age twelve at a balloon festival. Mark and Kari (his wife) have two children. Megan, 6th grade, and Tyler, 5th grade.

The author gave me a copy of Trapped in a Runaway Balloon, but he did not require me to write a favorable review

History and Romance Embue Split Time Novel

Deb’s Dozen: Old diaries lead to discoveries, love, history and romance.

Sloane Kelley, abandoned at birth, desperately wants to belong and to be loved. When an unwanted contribution to her museum reveals a nineteenth century diary, she embarks on a journey that leads to history and romance. The diaries intrigue her and cause her to step outside her comfort zone and become involved in the lives of Garrett and Lauren Anderson.

Garrett Anderson, well-organized and pragmatic, just wants to get his aging grandmother out of her house and into a home where she will be cared for. His sister, Lauren, on the other hand, wants to keep her grandmother in the beautiful but rundown ancient house. History and romance interest one but not the other. When Garrett brings in real estate agent Kimberly Walsh, the tension between them heats up–will she destroy their close relationship?

The diary brings the three together as they search for more journals written by Annabelle those many years before. Twists and turns, starts and stops hinder and help their discoveries of history and romance. All three learn to know themselves better and to treasure the memories of the past. Will Sloane find her history and her mother? Will Garrett realize life encompasses more than logic? Will Lauren realize her grandmother needs more care than she can give? I had a great time finding out. Four stars.

About the Author

history and romanceAmanda Wen lives in Wichita, Kansas, with her husband and three children. Roots of Wood and Stone is her debut novel and the first in the Sedgwick County Chronicles, which promise more history and romance.

Kregel Publications gave me a copy of this book but writing a review was not a requirement. And as an Amazon Associate, I may receive a small commission from any sales resulting from this review.

Murder? Or Mysterious Natural Death?

Deb’s Dozen: Was it murder? Kirby and Riley Gordan become sleuths to find out.

I have followed Danny and Wanda Pelfrey since they published their debut novel. Seeing their progress as authors has been rewarding. Solid Ground, the first novel in the Adairsville Heritage series, introduces two winsome characters. I certainly hope more books are to come soon as I didn’t want to part with this cast of somewhat quirky people, who unite to solve a mysterious death or was it murder?

Kirby and Riley Gordan, brother and sister respectively, come to Adairsville to settle their uncle’s estate. The situation turns mysterious, and they wonder if perhaps his death didn’t occur naturally. Kirby, an ex-baseball player turned cop, and Riley, his sister bound for law school, soon find themselves enmeshed in attempting to discover the reason for their uncle’s death and if someone committed murder. Along the way, the Pelfreys introduce us to more delightful characters who aid them in their quest.

The Pelfreys perfected their use of dialog through their first series and use it masterfully in Solid Ground. They’ve also learned to write realistic characters you wish were real. I loved Kirby and Riley, except I kept going back to figure out who was the brother and who the sister—their names confused me. But that’s me, forgetful at best. They both enjoy the ability to sleuth and see oddities in normal circumstance. They also show compassion and understanding for people in downtrodden circumstance.

You’ll love curling up with Solid Ground and meeting Kirby and Riley. I bet you don’t figure out the ending before you’re there. I also bet you love Adairsville and the denizens they’ve created who live there. Four stars!

About the Authors

Danny and Wanda live in Adairsville, Georgia, the scene of their two series. They write in various genres, but say they like most creating “mysteries with a message.” They also love spending time with their five grandchildren.

The Pelfreys gave me a copy of Solid Ground, but did not in any way require me to write a review.