Meet Author Bethany Hoeflich!

Azaaa Davis — Author of Fantasy Novels

April is #indieapril and I want to highlight the work of a fellow indie author (and writer mom).

A little background of Bethany…

Bethany Hoeflich lives in Central Pennsylvania with her husband, three children and an assortment of furry (and scaley) creatures.

Monday through Friday, Bethany is at the mercy of the sadistic whims of her scatterbrained muse, feverishly churning out the words for her next novel.

On the weekends, Bethany wrestles narwhals, participates in competitive taco-eating competitions and visits alternate dimensions through a rift in her stereotypically dark, spooky basement.

I meet Bethany in one of the many writer support groups on Facebook. She’s pretty active online and posts very engaging content about fantasy writing. I like that she updates our group on her work-in-progress (WIP) and often shares exerpts. Bethany is also great about replying encouragingly to questions from aspiring writers.

What motivates you?

The success of…

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New Release – The Latchkey Kids: The Disappearance of Willie Gordon by Vivian Munnoch

The Latchkey Kids series is a drama packed middle grade thriller.

By popular demand, Manitoba author Vivian Munnoch releases a second Latchkey Kids book, “The Latchkey Kids: The Disappearance of Willie Gordon”.


The Latchkey Kids: The Disappearance of Willing Gordon

The Latchkey Kids series book 2

By Vivian Munnoch,

Author of dark fiction for young readers

(Click to buy)


After repeated requests for a follow-up book, Canadian author Vivian Munnoch has written a continuation to the novel “The Latchkey Kids”.

The Latchkey Kids series is a drama packed middle grade thriller. “I purposely avoid describing the kids’ physical appearances because I want the reader to put her or himself into their shoes, no matter the reader’s background.”

This series is “clean”. It is middle grade school library safe.


The Latchkey Kids 2-Kindle crop

Five kids, twelve and thirteen years old and on their own before and after school, each faces their own struggles; a broken home, illness, crushes, bullying, depression, absent parents, suicidal thoughts, broken friendships, and fears of being only a kid and home alone.

What would you do if you came home from school alone and heard noises in the basement?


The Latchkey Kids: The Disappearance of Willie Gordon (book 2):

Madison, Andrew, Kylie, Anna, and Dylan survived the abandoned factory fire. They thought it was over. Spring break is ending and they are still trying to pick of the pieces of their shattered beliefs in what the world is supposed to be.

Life goes on as if nothing happened. But it did happen. And it is happening again.

Nothing in their lives seems to have changed when everything feels like it did. Everything is back to normal, right?

And then Willie Gordon vanishes.

While new jealousies burn, problems kept secret begin to emerge, and Joshua joins the group after his sister committed suicide, the group feels they are the only ones who can find Willie. Nobody believes them that the monsters are real.

The kids have to face the monsters again, in the basements where they nest.


the latchkey kids-flattened-b&n ebook cropThe Latchkey Kids (book 1): (Click to buy)

In The Latchkey Kids you are introduced to the five characters, Madison, Andrew, Kylie, Anna, and Dylan. Each has their own private world of problems they feel trapped alone in.

Madison, “plain old boring nothing ever happens to Madison”, is finally a latchkey kid for the first time. She just turned twelve. And what does she do on her first day ever having to come home alone? She loses her key; on one of the coldest days of a very cold winter.

Andrew has been a latchkey kid since last year but has never gotten used to being home alone. He hears noises in the basement that unnerve him; noises that his parents dismiss as nothing more than the house making noises. Being home alone scares him, but he won’t admit it to anyone.

Anna is alone more than anyone knows. She is a rebel without a cause, skipping school and doing whatever she wants. Dressed always in her long-sleeved shirts and I don’t care attitude, even her teachers have given up on Anna. Behind the face of indifference Anna is a tortured soul. Her younger brother is in the hospital with a terminal illness and may never come home. Her mother spends all her time at the hospital while her father works three jobs trying to hold the family together. Anna is utterly and completely alone, left to raise herself, her parents merely a footnote of her life.

Dylan was a latchkey kid before. Now he goes to a babysitter. Embarrassing! He does not want anyone to know, but is also terrified at the idea of being home alone; ever since their house was broken into, trashed, the perpetrators attempting to burn it down and torturing their now traumatized dog. That weakness and fear is even more of an embarrassment to him. Dylan has anger issues, lashing out thoughtlessly, his problems bottled up inside to the point they are seeping out in explosive bursts of violence. As far as school bullies go, Dylan is the worst at Woodside School. He is also raving mad crushing on Kylie.

Kylie feels like her life is a special kind of hell. She sees what others have and is quietly resolved to not having it. Her single mother is struggling to keep their little family together. It is just her, her mother, and her little sister. She lives in fear of her abusive father, who her mother finally managed to gather the courage to kick out. She lives in fear of Amber Shaw and the Mean Team, whose sole purpose in life seems to be to torture, torment, and bully Kylie. Amber has a special hatred for Kylie.

Newly introduced at the end of the Latchkey Kids:

Joshua walks into the Latchkey Kids world at the end of book one, confronting Amber Shaw in public and accusing her of killing his sister. His sister committed suicide because of Amber’s online bullying. This is only the start to his story and the problems he faces.


Author photoVivian Munnoch grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba and continues to live in Manitoba with her family and rescue dogs. Vivian’s writing has always had a vein of darkness to it.

“I’ve always loved horror. I used to sneak downstairs as a kid at night to watch old killer B horror flicks. They were delightfully naughty and scary for a kid before the world evolved into the online forum it is today.”

Vivian Munnoch is working on a few other projects. The Wishing Stone series will touch on a few of young readers’ fan favourites of vampires and the like, but with a darker twist. These creatures are not romantic. The Butterflies in the Garden series is a dark fantasy. You will never see your garden in the same way.

Vivian Munnoch’s books are available on Amazon Kindle and in print on Amazon. You can also check Vivian’s Facebook author page to find out where she will be signing books in the community.



Book Review: Under The Trees

From the Library of Alexis

underthetrees1.pngAuthor: Ashley Maker

Publisher: Self Published

Genre: YA Fantasy, YA Romance

Pages: 232

Rating: 4/5 stars


“Desperate to prevent an abusive arranged marriage, Princess Araya flees to a neighboring kingdom, only to land at the mercy of the impulsive Crown Prince Thoredmund, who provides refuge in a secluded forest and teaches her survival skills. Her surprise at the unexpected hold the prince has on her heart mirrors his shock at falling for the one girl he can’t have.

As the young couple’s feelings for each other grow, the fragile alliance between the two kingdoms threatens to break apart. With a vengeful duke and an enraged king fast on their trail, Thor and Araya must decide how much they’re willing to risk for love.

Even if staying together means starting a war.”

This book was so much fun to read! It was beautifully written and very captivating. I honestly wasn’t…

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The Dead and the Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Bedrooped Bookworms

#2 in Last Survivors series

336 pages, YA/Dystopia/Apocalypse

In this sequel-ish to Life As We Knew It, Alex Morales is a junior in high school in New York City when the asteroid hits the moon.  His dad was away at a funeral, his mom was called into work in Queens, and he is suddenly the oldest left in charge of his two younger sisters.  Devout Catholics, he turns to the church for help, but even they lack resources in this tough time.

Again, I really enjoyed this book.  I wanted so much to find out more about Miranda and her family but you quickly come to like Alex as well and are rooting for him to somehow make it through what seems to be impossible circumstances.  I can’t imagine at 17 having to make all decisions for my siblings and figure out how to feed them without any modern…

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Brightly Burning by Alexa Donne @alexadonne #bookreview #scifi #fantasy #YA #retelling

Carries Book Reviews

Title: Brightly Burning

Author:  Alexa Donne

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: May 1, 2018

Page Count: 405

My rating: 4 stars

About the book:

Stella Ainsley leaves poverty behind when she quits her engineering job aboard the Stalwart to become a governess on a private ship. On the Rochester, there’s no water ration, more books than one person could devour in a lifetime, and an AI who seems more friend than robot.

But no one warned Stella that the ship seems to be haunted, nor that it may be involved in a conspiracy that could topple the entire interstellar fleet. Surrounded by mysteries, Stella finds her equal in the brooding but kind nineteen-year-old Captain Hugo. When several attempts on his life spark more questions than answers, and the beautiful Bianca Ingram appears at Hugo’s request, his unpredictable behavior causes Stella’s suspicions to mount. Without knowing who to…

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Review: 5th Grade Screams: The Roaming Dead by Frank Livingston and Janee’ Livingston

Sempiternal Books

IMG_E6396“‘Remeber how we talked about the type of man you hoped I’d grow up to be in our man talks? Well, I want to be the type of man who fights for kids who don’t have anyone fighting for them-‘” 

5th Grade Screams: The Roaming Dead follows a group of uniquely named kids. Jean, Nix, and new kid Eddy, (real name Earth) live in the town of Bellybutton. After a meteor shower, a non-terrestrial pathogen is released into the atmosphere causing all that died within the last year to be reanimated.

This is a super cute middle-grade read, simply bursting with quirky and unique characters. It’s a story about acceptance and understanding. 5th Grade Screams has valuable lessons geared toward kids but important for all ages. In a simple way, the Livingstons remind us of the importance of bravery and standing up for those who cannot stand up for themselves. It was…

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The Dollmaker of Krakow – R.M. Romero

My Life, Stolen by Books


In the land of dolls, there is magic.
In the land of humans, there is war.
Everywhere there is pain.
But together there is hope.

Karolina is a living doll whose king and queen have been overthrown. But when a strange wind spirits her away from the Land of the Dolls, she finds herself in Krakow, Poland, in the company of the Dollmaker, a man with an unusual power and a marked past.

The Dollmaker has learned to keep to himself, but Karolina’s courageous and compassionate manner lead him to smile and to even befriend a violin-playing father and his daughter–that is, once the Dollmaker gets over the shock of realizing a doll is speaking to him.

But their newfound happiness is dashed when Nazi soldiers descend upon Poland. Karolina and the Dollmaker quickly realize that their Jewish friends are in grave danger, and they are determined to help…

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The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

You Otter Read

61lezc6sz3l-_sx326_bo1204203200_Originally published in: 2007

What it’s about: An orphaned boy living in a train station in Paris where he steals food to survive and takes care of the clocks.

What made me pick it up: Abby said it contained a lot illustrations so it was practically a graphic novel.

My favorite things: This book is like reading through a silent film. The illustrations are breathtaking, and rightly so, since this was awarded the Caldecott Medal in 2008 for illustrated work. I don’t think I’ve felt so strongly for a character since Harry Potter. Now this is no HP but there are a lot of similarities. It follows a boy on his own as he makes friends and works to solve a mystery before time runs out all while trying to protect his secrets. Magic might be involved. This was heartfelt and also very fun. Plus it flies by so the…

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