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Archive for September 6th, 2019

Becoming Grim

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Becoming Grim

By Ashley Tomlinson

Genre: NA Urban Fantasy

Piper is running away from a cheating boyfriend and New York City when something terrible happens, her plane crashes. Instead of going to Heaven or even to Hell she goes to a whole other plane of existence. Now not only is she dead but she is a reaper learning the ropes to collecting souls from the handsome, Zeke.

Everything is going great until Piper sees something that she’s not supposed to see. Now she is torn between keeping it to herself or putting her and everyone she’s come to care for in danger.

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About the Author

Ashley Tomlinson was born in a very small town in South Carolina and now she lives in a slightly larger city in South Carolina with her husband. Most days you can find her writing in her home office that is filled to the brim with books and candles. When she isn’t writing she’s spending time with her plethora of animals, curled up reading on her couch, painting, or crocheting a blanket that she will probably never finish. She also loves being apart of the bookstagram world, especially taking photos of books.

She knew she wanted to be a writer in high school but didn’t pursue it fully until she was in her twenties. Now not a day goes by when she isn’t in front of her laptop typing away. Her head is always in the clouds thinking up new scenes or coming up with a new book idea.

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Brief excerpt:

    “I’m sorry but they won’t be able to hear you.” He says, now more in control of the situation.

“That’s okay, I just want to see them one more time and then I’ll go with you.” She says holding her hands in a praying gesture. “Please.”

It’s obvious something like this has never happened before. Liv also said something about only children being able to speak because of their innocence or something like that. Did that mean this woman was innocent? If not then what does it mean?

“Do you think that would be okay?” Zeke whispers to me.

“Um, you’re the one that is supposed to be teaching me, remember,” I whisper back. He nods his head trying to keep his calm composure.

“I think that will be okay just keep it quick.” He responds gesturing for her to go down the stairs in front of us. Sarah glides down the stairs almost like she’s floating. The staircase is clearly visible through her translucent body but she doesn’t seem to notice anything. Her sights are set on her mourning family.

I can tell she wants to reach out to them, to console them but that won’t be possible. I feel for her. I look to Zeke and catch him watching me. He doesn’t look away from me like he is trying to figure something out. Does he think I’m the cause of this? Am I? “Are you okay?” I ask raising an eyebrow.

“I’m fine,” he says trying to put on a smile but it doesn’t quite reach his eyes.

Sarah is standing in front of her family. She reaches a ghostly hand out to them but is unable to touch her daughters crying face. I start to go forward to try to pull Sarah away because this is too painful to watch when Zeke grabs my arm stopping me. “Look.” He whispers nodding towards Sarah’s daughter.

The girl’s tear-streaked face is looking directly at Sarah as if she can see her. “Mom?” She whispers to the air making her father and the detective look her way. “Oh Abby, I know you can’t hear me but I’m so sorry for leaving you like this. There’s a lot you don’t understand and probably won’t for a long time but know that I love you very much. I’ll be watching you from above thinking how beautiful and smart you have become. I just know it.” Then Sarah reaches her hand towards her husband but he doesn’t respond the way his daughter does.

“Ed, you are a great man and an even better father. I’m sorry I couldn’t give you more children. I’m sorry I’m leaving you to raise a teenage girl alone but you’ll get through it. You both will. Goodbye, my sweet family.”

Abby closes her eyes for a few seconds as Sarah makes her way back to us. Zeke releases my arm that I didn’t realize he was still holding onto. “Bye Mom,” Abby says making us all look at her. What is going on? Sarah turns to go back to her daughter but Zeke reaches towards her.

“I’m sorry Sarah but its time to go.”

She starts to fight free but then Zeke places his tattoo on her arm and she begins to change form into the shining light that I have come to like seeing. Though, this one doesn’t feel as peaceful as the first one I saw. It takes Zeke some time to get Sarah to move on because she kept trying to fight free of him. After a few minutes, he sent her on her way to whatever afterlife she was headed for. Zeke is panting when it’s over and his forehead has beads of sweat running down. That fight took a lot out of him that much is obvious and there is nothing I can do to help. At least, I hope there wasn’t or else I just sat there staring at that whole thing like a jerk.

“What the hell was that?” I ask.

“I have no idea.” He says wiping the sweat off his forehead and gesturing for us to leave. I look around one more time at the house surrounding us. At its beauty and it’s sadness. Even though this didn’t go as planned it is still something that I think will stay with me for the rest of my life, er death.

Picture

I would like to thank Sage Adderley-Knox for the opportunity to share this book.

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The Ginormous Jo Series

About The Ginormous Series

Through The Ginormous Series children learn how to communicate their problems and work through their feelings.  Loving, engaging adventures that follow pets discussing their ‘life handling’ problems and how they solve them together.

In ‘Ginormous Jo’s Silly Bullies’, ‘Ginormous Jo’s Welcoming Arms’, ‘Ginormous Jo’s You Are Special’, ‘Ginormous Joe’s Broken Bark’ and ‘Ginormous Joe’s Annoying Friend’ the animals chat about lots of ‘stuff’. Bullying, recycling, welcoming new members to a family or classroom, feeling alone, listening, learning and caring for others. A great addition to any child’s home or teacher’s read-aloud library. Encouraging thought-provoking conversation between adult and child.

Series Purchase Links:

Amazon UK      Amazon US

Ginormous Joe’s Broken Bark

by S C Cunningham

Illustrations by Scarlett Raven & S C Cunningham

Can a dog be saved by the love of a family?

Can he find his bark to save them from the local thief?

Meet Joe. He’s got the worst owner that dumps him by the road where he is found by the Tuttle family. They take him in, even though he has no bark at all. But he is a very large dog which should help protect the family from the recent break-ins around the neighborhood. But Joe loves to sleep. He stretches out and snores loud, barking while he dreams of chasing rabbits. He just can’t bark while he is awake.

Will he save the family when a burglar enters the house? Will Joe find his bark to warn them in time?

This delightful story is the first of a series of stories featuring Ginormous Joe. It shows how he becomes part of the Tuttle family. It’s a great read-aloud for families that have recently got a dog and teaches a lesson on how everyone has a purpose.

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My Review

5 stars

Joe is a large white dog that gets abandoned by his owner Nasty Nik. He is heartbroken and sad that he can’t even bark. But he is adopted by Mr. Tuttle and his daughter Mary. They show Joe what love is and help him heal from his treatment from Nasty Nik. Then there is a bunch of burglaries in the neighborhood. Joe comes to the rescue and saves Mary.

This is a wonderful story about a big, loving dog that never had anything until he was abandoned then found a loving home. Although he thought he was not a useless dog he found out that he was so much more.

This would be a wonderful story for children and could bring up talking points about feeling down on themselves. This story has a fantastic message and would be a great addition to any child’s shelves.

 

Ginormous Joe’s Annoying Friend

Written & Illustrated

by S C Cunningham

Do you have a child that has trouble talking to people? Or expressing their feelings?

Here is a story about dogs with the problem of communicating their feelings, and how they solve it together.  The Tuttles enjoy walking their dog, Ginormous Joe. But one day, they bring home a new friend, another dog named Mo. Joe and Mo don’t seem to hit it off. She is always ignoring him and not wanting to play. One day, Joe realizes that all he needed to do was reach out and talk. This gave Mo a chance to tell him why she never would play with him. She was shy. The awkwardness between them evaporates, and they become friends, all from finally being brave enough to tell each other their feelings.

This is a great book to show children how to communicate to solve their problems and work through their feelings. It will make a great addition to any child’s home collection or teacher’s read-aloud library.

Amazon UK     Amazon US   Barnes and Noble     Goodreads

 

My Review

5 stars

 

 

Ginormous Jo’s Secret

Written & Illustrated

by S C Cunningham

In “Ginormous Jo’s Secret,” S C Cunningham explains the very link between listening and learning.  Though the huge, white, huggable dog called Jo wasn’t sure at first when her mum brought home a cuddly little kitten called Vinnie, she grew to love him with time. Vinnie was loving, playful and made her laugh a lot. Because Jo didn’t want Vinnie behaving like their noisy, shouty, and greedy neighbours, she introduces him to “Liswat,” telling him the great importance of listening and learning from others and the very secret behind her being a clever dog. Does Vinnie now know the meaning of “Liswat?”

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My Review

5 stars

One day Josephine, Jo, and her little kitten Vincent, Vinnie, were trying to enjoy the sun when the neighbor kids were making a big ruckus. They were demanding all kinds of things from their parents, not even waiting for an answer then demanding more. They were bothering Jo and Vinnie.

Jo starts talking to Vinnie about how the children need to learn the secret of liswat. She goes on to explain how she took the first three letters from the words Listen and Watch and put them together. That if you take a moment, listen to what is happening, and watch what is going on you will be a better person.

I really enjoy this series and do far this is my favorite book. It has a great message for children and gives plenty of examples of how liswat can help people be better. This is a wonderful story with beautiful illustrations and a powerful message for all children.

Ginormous Jo’s Silly Bullies

Written & Illustrated

by S C Cunningham

Looking for a way to help children face bullies?

Have them follow along on the adventures of Ginormous Jo and her dog friends as they learn to face bullies in her dog neighborhood. When Ginormous Jo visits one of her friends Muttley, she notices Muttley is very down. She doesn’t seem to want to do their normal play activities. Jo is worried, and finally gets Muttley to bravely tell her why she won’t go outside. The dogs down the street are bullying Muttley.

Will Muttley stand up to them? Or will it take some help from her friend Jo first?

This is a great read-aloud for the whole family or for a class working on beginning of the school year skills. Children will learn the techniques on how to stand up to a bully. This is the fourth book in the Ginormous Jo collection.

Amazon UK     Amazon US     Barnes and Noble     Goodreads

 

My Review

5 stars

Jo’s friend Muttley has been acting strange lately. Jo decides to find out what is bothering him and he tells her how some dogs down the street have been mean to him. They call him names and laugh at him. Jo feels sad and tells Muttley that the dogs are bullies. She goes on to explain what bullies are and how to deal with them

Bullies are everywhere and I think this is a good story for children that find themselves victims of bullies. I like how it talks about why some kids are bullies. For the most part I think this is a great message for children.

I think this would be a great addition to any child’s shelves and would be a wonderful story for all parents to teach their child with.

 

Ginormous Joe’s Welcoming Arms

Written & Illustrated

by S C Cunningham

Have siblings or school friends been having trouble getting along? Or is there a new member or pet in the family? Join loveable dogs, Ginormous Jo and little Tom, as a new member of the family is adopted, a ginger kitten.

Vinnie is a very mischievous and curious kitten. He gets into everything. Tom, is annoyed and unhappy with the new addition. Vinnie follows him around, making all sorts of big messes. What are they going to do with this new kitten? Faced with having to take charge of Vinnie, the dogs start to help and manage his adventures. Watching out for him, they learn to accept that family means to look after each other and being older comes with responsibility.

This is a great picture book for helping children understand additions to the classroom or family, whether they are pets or a new baby. Children will learn how to be responsible for the new member and that looking out for someone else is not only kind, but a new sort of responsibility, that can be fun. This will make a great addition to any parenting library or in the classroom.

Amazon UK       Amazon US      Barnes and Noble     Goodreads

 

My Review

5 stars

Jo’s family consists of Muttley, Tom, and her. Then their mom brings home a little orange kitten called Vinnie. Vinnie gets into everything, makes messes, and bothers Tom. One day Tom is talking with Jo about how he doesn’t like Vinnie. Jo explains to him about family and how Tom should look out for Vinnie, help him, and teach him things. At first Tom doesn’t like this idea but the more Jo talks the more Tom thinks he might be able to be a good Guardian Angel to Vinnie.

I think this is a great way to teach kids about having a new sibling, new friend or someone new in their lives. They might be annoyed but to reach out and help someone helps them grown too. I especially like how Jo kept reminding Tom that although Vinnie is a cat there are still things to learn from him and help him learn.

I loved this book. It has a great message and will help kids reach out to help others. I think Jo has a lot of wisdom and a great delivery method being a huge, fluffy, white dog.

 

Ginormous Jo’s You Are Special

Written & Illustrated

by S C Cunningham

Ever wish you could ask someone the big life questions?

Tom and Vincent have a full list for their friend, Ginormous Jo. Being in a unique family of three dogs and a kitten, they are all the best of friends. Tom, a little white dog and Vincent, a small kitten, play quietly in the backyard until they start asking questions about life. Are they special? Why do they feel they don’t fit in?

They come up with a list to ask Ginormous Jo, the friendly senior dog in the house. She takes the two to heart and listens to their questions. The answers might be astonishing to the pair, but they are an excellent example of how you can learn from those wiser than yourself. But the important thing, of course, is they asked for help from an elder. She teaches them how they are already special. And that through recycling, they can help save the whole world!

This darling little picture book continues the Ginormous Jo serious stressing the importance of asking questions and being honest with your elders. It helps model how children should feel free to express their feelings to loved ones older than them, and follow the advice. It stresses how anyone can be special by their personal effort to better the world. This is a great book for any children’s library especially as a gift from a grandparent or older sibling.

Amazon UK      Amazon US        Barnes and Noble     Goodreads

 

My Review

5 stars

Tom and Vinnie are best friends that do everything together. One day while talking Vinnie admits to Tom that he feels different because he is a cat. Tom admits he feels different too at times. To figure out why they feel this way the two friends decide to ask Jo for her wisdom. Jo explains how everyone is special.

Jo is so wise and has great things to teach Tom and Vinnie. Jo is wonderful when she explain about how we are all different and how things wouldn’t be as great if everyone was the same. I like how she explained about recycling and being helpful. This helps to inspire Tom and Vinnie to be helpful for Mary.

I think this is one of the more powerful messages to teach a child. Jo, Tom, and Vinnie have the right idea about embracing who you are.

This is an amazing series of books for kids and adults. They have beautiful illustrations and great messages to help children to talk about their feelings and to help them to help others. I think these would be a great addition to any child, parent, grandparent, teacher, counseler, or any one else that works with kids. I definitely recommend checking them out, maybe they will inspire you too.

 


About S C Cunningham

Owned by 3 dogs and a cat, Cunningham normally writes suspense thrillers. As respite from her crime novels, she creates children’s picture books, each with a theme to gently teach our precious young, and help open up conversation. The Ginormous Series is based on Cunningham’s beloved family pets – Joe, Muttley, Dali (Jo), Tom and Vinnie.

She is an ex-model, British born of Irish roots that married a rock musician and has worked in the exciting worlds of music, film, sports celebrity management and as a Crime Investigator and Intelligence Analyst for the Police. She supports causes for: Veterans, MH, Child and Animal Protection.

Website     Twitter – Author     Twitter – Ginormous Joe     Facebook

 

 

 

Giveaway to win a choice of 1 paperback from the first 6 books of the Ginormous Jo Series

(Open Internationally)

Winner can pick from

  • Ginormous Joe’s Broken Bark
  • Ginormous Joe’s Annoying Friend
  • Ginormous Jo’s Secret
  • Ginormous Jo’s Silly Bullies
  • Ginormous Joe’s Welcoming Arms
  • Ginormous Jo’s You Are Special

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

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*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

I would like to thank Rachel’s Random Resources for the opportunity to read and share this series.

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