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The Other Wives Club is a novel by Shari Low. It follows an unusual vacation where Drew Gold decides to celebrate his 50th birthday by taking his entire family on vacation. He brings his children, his wife, his grandchildren – and his two ex-wives.

Amy’s Rating: 3/5

I can’t resist bizarre human interactions. When I read the premise I was instantly intrigued, not only to see how the whole vacation would go, but also to see why the ex-wives were invited and why they were exes to begin with.

There was a lot to like about this book, including readability and several of the main characters. It was fun to see female friendships form under tense circumstances that might push many women – real or fictional – apart, and even the outright “villain” maintained a certain amount of humanity, although her flaws fell a little too much into stereotypes for me, such as caring too much about her appearance and having too many things on her body be “fake”. Still, she was a complete human, just a selfish one, and I was glad the author took some mercy on her fate.

The story structure was a little unbalanced for me. The chapters were too short to really get into a flow, and the changing points-of-view were a little jarring at times. Many of the romance plotlines felt rushed, which makes sense as the majority of the book took place on a cruise, but it did decrease the feeling of payoff in some cases. I also felt the husband got off a little easy narratively, being shown as a pretty good person, even though he deeply mistreated each wife in and never really seemed to regret it.

Still, I did enjoy this book and would like to read more from Shari Low. The Other Wives Club has humor as well as wry, real-life observations about life, both of which I deeply enjoy. I recommend it to anyone interested in the premise, especially if you want to fantasize about a cruise.

Buy The Other Wives Club

About the Reviewer

Amy Spitzfaden loves reading all things real-world. From contemporary, to chick-lit, to mystery, she enjoys seeing all the crazy things that could happen on this earth, and the way people overcome their unique and universal struggles. While she’s a sucker for a happy ending, she considers anything with growth and real emotion worth reading. Sometimes complicated endings are the best!

Amy is the author of Untold and Fingerprinted Hearts, with her third novel It’s Funny You Mentioned Chloe… coming soon. In her spare time she likes to drink tea, take baths, and contemplate all the ways human relationships are just really freaking weird.

The post The Other Wives Club by Shari Low appeared first on Amphibian Press .

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The Mannamong Volume 1 is a graphic novel with beautiful illustrations about a character named Kali. When Kali discovers a problem with a mannamong named Tontorus. A mannamong is like an elemental spirit.

When Kali gets sick, her mother carves her a necklace that sends her to Mother Nature’s Garden. Geisnes, Mother Nature’s daughter, discovers Tontorus is inside Kali making her ill. With this new information, and Geisnes’ help, Tontorus is expelled from Kali and the adventure begins.

You can’t help but follow Kali on this epic, “Spirited Away” type adventure.

Marissa’s Review 5/5 Stars

My son reads all the time and it’s hard to keep up with him. But when this book came in the mail, I handed it to him and didn’t hear from him till dinner. He’s eight and was reading at the table (a no-no in our house) so I told him to put it away until after. That’s when he informed me that was his second time through and he was desperate for the second book! he read it one more time during his reading time before bed and has continued to return to it between other books. The next day he brought it to school. I hope some of his friend’s parents buy it. It’s so worth it and I’ll be keeping an eye out for book 2!

Anything that captures my child’s attention so fully gets five stars!

For more from Michael or to buy The Mannamong visit his site:

https://michaellengyel.com

Marissa Frosch loves reading paranormal romance, urban fantasy, thriller/mystery, memoir, and self-help/business books. Diversity in literature is incredibly important to her and she loves to see #Ownvoices.

Marissa is the co-founder and Head of Marketing at Amphibian Press. She got her Associate’s Degree in Marketing from Southern New Hampshire University in May 2018 and is a Certified Book Launch Coach trained by Tim Grahl. Marissa created and runs Amphibian Authors, a place for authors to learn about marketing and publishing. Be sure to download your free Author Platform Guide. In addition to her Book Launch Certification, Marissa also received her Story Grid Editor Certification in March of 2019. Marissa also writes fiction under the name Cameron J Quinn.

The post The Mannamong Volume 1: A Graphic Novel by Michael Adam Lengyel appeared first on Amphibian Press .

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Terrestrial Magic

Terrestrial Magic is the first in the Jordan Sanders series, and it’s a post-apocalyptic urban fantasy set in Italy. Jordan’s a young woman who studies “legimals” or legendary animals, creatures from myths that have over-run the world with dangerous consequences. As Jordan’s team hunts down a chimera, she uncovers a conspiracy against not only her team, but all human cities.

Sara’s Rating: 3/5

I really enjoyed the premise of Terrestrial Magic–it has all my favorite hallmarks of urban fantasy, with a bit of survival action thrown in. The lack of romance was refreshing–I believe Jordan is asexual, and it’s great to see more ace rep! The addition of fieldwork served as a great introduction as we’re first dumped into Jordan’s world.

My main issue with the book was writing. It read a bit like YA, which is totally fine, but it’s not marketed or categorized as such. I didn’t feel like I was in Jordan’s head nearly enough, especially given that it’s written in 1st person. Part of this was due to telling vs. showing, particularly in a few high-action parts, and not trusting the readers to understand what she meant the first few times and over-explaining, which pulls me out of the story. Overall, I think a round of line-edits would fix most of these issues.

I loved the world building, and the pacing, especially at the end–the final third of the book I read in a single sitting. The interactions between Jordan and her team as they learn the truth about their world are spot on. Recommended for fans of the Mortal Instruments world and Kim Harrison’s Hollows series. I’ll be checking out the second in this series for sure.

Buy Terrestrial Magic

About the Reviewer

Sara Voorhis is an avid adult / YA fiction and memoir reader. She loves character-driven work that is both honest and poignant. Works featuring marginalized folk of all sorts are her particular favorites, especially if they’re #OwnVoices. If it makes her cry, it’s a sure winner!

She works as an archaeologist and is the president of Amphibian Press. Check out her science fiction and fantasy under V. S. Holmes and romance written as Victoria Spencer.

The post Terrestrial Magic by Marina Ermakova appeared first on Amphibian Press .

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This adorable book chronicles the adoption of a hedgehog, Artie, from his point of view. It reads like his journal giving insights to exactly how he feels from the moment his brother Spike is adopted before him to when he has his first bath. (Spoiler Alert: He did not enjoy it).

Marissa’s Rating 3/5 Stars

My boys really enjoyed this book and since we’re in the process of moving it was a good introduction to the concept change for them (ages 6 and 8). (Video review from the boys coming soon!)

My biggest issue with the book was the length. When I received it I thought it was a simple children’s book but there are full pages of text which makes this a really long bedtime read. (If I’d read it to them any other time of day it wouldn’t have bothered me as much. We also love Mr. Maxwell’s Mouse and that one has a similar number of words per page). This could be resolved by breaking up the text and adding illustrations.

The illustrations were simple and cute. The cover image would be better if the background was a different color so Artie stood out a bit more.

The prose were a bit clunky which one could argue is Artie’s voice but it felt too rambly to me and made it harder to read out loud than I like in a kids book.

My kids loved reading about the real Artie in the back and as the granddaughter of a woman who owns and operates an animal rescue I was pleased with Wulff’s mention of checking for hedgehogs who were in need of a home before looking at a pet shop.

Overall this was an adorable book and the kids really enjoyed it.

For more about Artie or to buy the book for your little one,

check out ArtiesAdventures.com.

About the Reviewer


Marissa Frosch loves reading paranormal romance, urban fantasy, thriller/mystery, memoir, and self-help/business books. Diversity in literature is incredibly important to her and she loves to see #Ownvoices.

Marissa is the co-founder and Head of Marketing at Amphibian Press. She got her Associate’s Degree in Marketing from Southern New Hampshire University in May 2018 and is a Certified Book Launch Coach trained by Tim Grahl. Marissa created and runs Amphibian Authors, a place for authors to learn about marketing and publishing. Be sure to download your free Author Platform Guide. In addition to her Book Launch Certification, Marissa also received her Story Grid Editor Certification in March of 2019. Marissa also writes fiction under the name Cameron J Quinn.

The post Adopting Artie the Hedgehog​ by Susan Wulff appeared first on Amphibian Press .

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My Perfect Ex-Boyfriend is book one of the Perfect Guy series by Annabelle Costa. It follows divorcee and single mother Bailey as she embarks on a vacation with her dad, his new fiancee, and the fiancee’s son – who happens to be Bailey’s ex-boyfriend.

Amy’s Rating: 4/5

As soon as I heard the title of this book, I knew I had to read it. We all have the tendency to romanticize some part of our past in one way or another, and I’m a sucker for anything that openly admits this is what it’s doing. At the very worst, even if the boyfriend was objectively perfect and not romanticized at all in the protagonist’s memory, I wanted to find out why, if he was so perfect, was he an ex. So I added it to my TBR and am very glad I did.

Toward the beginning of the book, I felt some amount of skepticism toward the premise. They narration kept alluding to something terrible Bailey had done to her ex-boyfriend Noah ten years ago, which he still hasn’t forgiven her for. Putting aside the fact that a decade is a long time to hold a grudge, I wasn’t confident that whatever Bailey had done justified Noah’s bad behavior (burning her burger on purpose, making nasty remarks wherever he could, etc.) Most of the books I’ve read where the main character has made a Terrible Mistake fails to really put her in a position of accountability, making the bad reactions unfair and undeserved. However, once their past is revealed, I found Costa walked the line perfectly between understandable and unforgiveable in Bailey’s past self.

While the story itself was relaxed and amusing, I most enjoyed the layers beneath it, dealing with shock, loss, and disability in a real way. The writing had some laugh-out-loud moments, and I found myself rooting for Noah and Bailey in a way I didn’t expect going in.

I would recommend this very much to anyone who enjoys chick-lit, romantic comedies, and stories about picking yourself up and putting yourself back together again after some major curveballs. I will definitely be reading the second book in the series, and hope to find it as enjoyable as the first.

Find more from Annabelle at

her website

About the Reviewer

Amy Spitzfaden loves reading all things real-world. From contemporary to chick-lit, to mystery, she enjoys seeing all the crazy things that could happen on this earth and the way people overcome their unique and universal struggles. While she’s a sucker for a happy ending, she considers anything with growth and real emotion worth reading. Sometimes complicated endings are the best!

Amy is the author of Untold and Fingerprinted Hearts, with her third novel It’s Funny You Mentioned Chloe… coming soon. In her spare time, she likes to drink tea, take baths, and contemplate all the ways human relationships are just really freaking weird. For more about Amy check out her website.


The post My Perfect Ex-Boyfriend by Annabelle Costa appeared first on Amphibian Press .

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I Can’t Believe It’s Not Buddha offers “worldlings,” “householders” and Buddhists a fun, lighthearted, yet well-researched take on misquotes from the Buddha and beyond.  

Bonny’s Review 4/5 Stars

I loved this book, the premise, and the delivery. The title? Sheer perfection. I wish I’d named my book something equally apt.   

The author starts gently, with humor, understanding that their readers likely need support and guidance in this whole misquoting thing. I mean, we’ve all likely shared some of these ill-attributed quotes on social media, right? The author admits they have, too. 

Quickly, however, they move into the quotes themselves (arranged alphabetically), and the history behind where and how they became attached to Buddha. Not a simple process! I appreciated how the author took sometimes politically charged details, or religiously debated information, and tactfully shared the facts. They share how to spot a fake quote (there’s even a quiz!) and some ‘real’ things the Buddha supposedly said. Because, like all things long ago, it’s tough to get proper attribution and a decent translation for languages nothing like English.   

What I didn’t like? The errors with formatting (in the Kindle version). They took me out of the book often, so much so I didn’t finish it in one sitting. Normally, I would have read this until the wee hours – it’s that kind of book.  

I found a few parts dry, challenging, or difficult to slog through. I’ve experienced the same with some Buddhist meditations and discussions I’ve attended, too, so I can’t fault the author. Beautifully though, it doesn’t matter if you skip to a passage or quote you prefer or feel more resonance with. It works however you read the book.   

Highly recommended for fans of posting social media quotes, or for those that can’t get out of their head the first quote in the book (paraphrased), “I can’t go to bed, someone on the Internet is wrong”.

To read the book click here.

About the Reviewer

Bonny Albo is a former social worker and crisis counselor, sought-after speaker, author, consultant, workshop facilitator and dating expert. She travels full time and writes way too often about all things transformative. Her first book, Flip the Single Switch, was the #1 New Release for Dating, Relationships and Spirituality. Learn more about her tea obsession, how she travels full time, and what projects she’s working on at bonnyadventures.com.

The post I Can’t Believe it’s Not Buddha (What Fake Buddha Quotes Can Teach Us About Buddhism)​ by Bodhipaksa appeared first on Amphibian Press .

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Synopsis

Earik Beann tells this true tale as one of the nine neighbors saved their neighborhood from the deadly and incredibly destructive California wildfires of 2017.

As the Pointe Patrol hunted down potentially dangerous embers and put out fires they were also plagued by looters.

The story focuses on Viewpointe Circle. A small neighborhood within the Santa Rosa mandatory evacuation zone. Earik Chronicles their experiences with fires, looters, and a few run-ins with local law enforcement.

My Review 3/5 Stars

I’m not sure what surprised me more about this story, the fact that there was no official warning about the fire bearing down on the city or the way this small community pulled together to save their home.

The book is called Pointe Patrol but the story isn’t just about those nine people. Their neighbors on the outside were just as active in helping to save the neighborhood. They brought supplies, checked in daily with encouragement, and gratitude to keep the Patrol in good spirits and well fed if not comfortable.   

I gave Pointe Patrol three stars because Earik has a tendency to go off on tangents. Some of them are funny, some of them contain important information and a few of them slowed the story. They’re easy enough to skip. (Go to the next paragraph and he tends to pick right back up where he left off.) But I don’t like skipping pieces of books I read. I want to read the book. That’s the point after all. With some editing to remove the nonessential or entertaining tangents, I’d give this book four stars. It’s an incredible journey that is important for those of us who hear about the wildfires and tend to feel it’s as normal as a snowstorm. A seasonal occurrence that makes no difference. But these fires can get serious fast and people died in this fire and have died in fired since.

Memoir is a tough medium and I have faith that Earik’s fiction will be cleaner. I look forward to reading his other book Killing Adam in the future.

If you buy Pointe Patrol, Earik is donating the profits to victims of the fires as well as families of first responders. So please grab your copy today. You’ll get to feel good about your purchase while getting an inside perspective of the fires we hear about all too often.

Check out my interview with Earik on our YouTube Channel on January 28th.

More about Earik

Check out Earik’s website for more information and to buy your copy of Pointe Patrol.

About the Reviewer

Marissa Frosch loves reading paranormal romance, urban fantasy, thriller/mystery, memoir, and self-help/business books. Diversity in literature is incredibly important to her and she loves to see #Ownvoices.

Marissa is the co-founder and Head of Marketing at Amphibian Press. She got her Associate’s Degree in Marketing from Southern New Hampshire University in May 2018 and is a Certified Book Launch Coach trained by Tim Grahl. Marissa created and runs Amphibian Authors, a place for authors to learn about marketing and publishing. Be sure to download your free Author Platform Guide. In addition to her Book Launch Certification, Marissa also received her Story Grid Editor Certification in March of 2019. Marissa also writes fiction under the name Cameron J Quinn.

The post Book Review: Pointe Patrol (How Nine People–and a Dog–Saved Their Neighborhood From One of the Most Destructive Fires in California History) appeared first on Amphibian Press .

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The Hands We’re Given

Aidan is barely out of command school when he’s sent to command the Wildcards–a base with the highest insubordination record, as well as the highest mission success rate. When he arrives, however, he finds a ragtag group of misfits struggling to handle the death of their dear friend, Commander Taylor. Aidan struggles to take over for a larger-than-life Taylor, keep the base functioning, and keep his deepest secret–that he’s a trans-man. Add a crush on his mercurial logistics officer, Kevin, and Aidan might not stand a chance.

Sara’s Rating: 5/5

Wow. I stumbled on this series through the CO Resistance Reads, and I’m so happy I did. I don’t often give five star ratings, but this book deserves every one. Tearmann weaves a tale of survival and humanity, set against the backdrop of a terrifyingly possible near future. Often in dual POV books, I find myself enjoying one voice more, but that wasn’t the case here. Aidan and Kevin are engrossing, sweet, and completely believable. Their struggles with their pasts–Aidan was Assigned Female at Birth, and Kevin grew up among the very corporations they fight against–were honest and never strayed into melodrama.

Effortless world-building helped me easily picture the loud, bright reality of the United Corporations. It’s a future that feels TOO real at times–every move is bombarded by ads, and your credit and social standing mean life-and-death. The protagonists are part of the Democratic State Force, a group fighting for democracy against faceless companies like agricultural producer AgCorp and the military EagleCorp. My one criticism: I wanted to see even more of the missions! The Wildcards have a tough job, and I cheered for them every step of the way–or shouted at the book when they failed. Combined with a supporting cast of queer and unique characters and I’m sold.

This series is Firefly for the cyberpunk genre, and I love every word of it.

Buy The Hands We’re Given

About the Reviewer

Sara Voorhis is an avid adult / YA fiction and memoir reader. She loves character-driven work that is both honest and poignant. Works featuring marginalized folk of all sorts are her particular favorites, especially if they’re #OwnVoices. If it makes her cry, it’s a sure winner!

She works as an archaeologist and is the president of Amphibian Press. Check out her science fiction and fantasy under V. S. Holmes and romance written as Victoria Spencer.

The post The Hands We’re Given by O. E. Tearmann appeared first on Amphibian Press .

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Unexpecting by Holly Kerr is a novel that follows Casey Samms as she races to have a baby before she turns 37, thanks to the outdated advice of Dr. Francine Pascal Reed, the author of a parenting book published in the 40s. Unfortunately, Casey’s choice in men makes the task difficult, and pretty soon she finds herself in a position she never expected.

Amy’s Rating: 4/5 Stars

As soon as I saw this cover, I was charmed. As someone who has always wanted children myself, I found it charming to read about a heroine who, despite the fact that she is grown-up, independent, and modern, has her sights set on motherhood. She isn’t in it for the whole happily-ever-after, the right man would be a bonus but by far isn’t necessary. I liked this distinction between the goals of motherhood and marriage, which are far too often lumped together in a heteronormative narrative. Still, I was rooting for romance and a happy ending, especially since the book is full of so many near-misses.

The execution did not disappoint. Kerr’s writing is snappy and engaging, and Casey was sassy yet sympathetic character who managed to have several breakdowns throughout the book without getting annoying. There were several twists, and at least one took me fully by surprise, which is rare in romantic comedies, which tend to stick with formulas. I rooted for Casey through all the ups and downs, and grinned at the ending, which left me feeling warm and fulfilled. I love happy endings, especially ones that cover most of the characters in the book.

Despite all this, there were two elements that didn’t sit quite right with me. The first was that this book included an extremely toxic friendship. Instead of resulting in positive change or walking away from the friendship, both women stayed who they were, with Casey making excuses for her friend right through the very last page. Having had several toxic friendships in my own life, I wish this had had a healthier ending, and felt a pinch that Casey didn’t leave the friendship when she threatened to.

The other thing that didn’t make me feel quite comfortable was a little bit of an air of homophobia, or at least biphobia, with the phrase “turned gay” being thrown around more than I’d like. However, the gay characters themselves all were complete characters which avoided stereotypes, making it easy to believe the judgment and misunderstanding was on the end of the characters, rather than the writing. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys romantic comedy, especially those who aren’t ashamed to want what they want, regardless of society telling us to play it cool. I’m very interested in the sequel, Unexpectingly.

About Holly Kerr

Check out her website or buy her book.

About the reviewer

Amy Spitzfaden loves reading all things real-world. From contemporary to chick-lit, to mystery, she enjoys seeing all the crazy things that could happen on this earth and the way people overcome their unique and universal struggles. While she’s a sucker for a happy ending, she considers anything with growth and real emotion worth reading. Sometimes complicated endings are the best!

Amy is the author of Untold and Fingerprinted Hearts, with her third novel It’s Funny You Mentioned Chloe… coming soon. In her spare time, she likes to drink tea, take baths, and contemplate all the ways human relationships are just really freaking weird. For more about Amy check out her website.

The post Unexpecting by Holly Kerr appeared first on Amphibian Press .

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Running Down a Dream: Your Road Map to Winning Creative Battles

Running Down a Dream is exactly what the subtitle suggests, a roadmap. Tim begins this epic tale of creativity and triumph pretty close to rock bottom. Literally, crying on the toilet with a mortgage payment he didn’t know how he was going to make and a family depending on him. Then he backs up to when he decided to start his own company and shows us how he dug himself into the pit of despair and what he did to get back out, reach his goals, and save his marriage.

My rating and review 5/5 Stars

I don’t like giving out five-star ratings if you get one, you’ve earned it. But there was no less than two moments pre-chapter that I felt like Tim was talking about me. But he didn’t just leave me wondering why I can’t make shit work while he did, he gave me the actual steps to dig myself out of the hole (or start chipping away at the plaster).

Seeing someone I like, admire, and look up to going through the same things I am was more than inspiring. Before I started reading this book I was running on empty. I was working hard and seeing little to no results. Short term bumps and small wins. I was trained by Tim for crying out loud, why couldn’t I do this? The answer was in the book. I’m new. I’m still working on my 10k hours and I needed a more experimental mindset. Not just when I’m launching books and trying to help authors but in everything I do.

This book is the toolbox, filled with all the tools, you need to make your creative journey a little easier. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still going to be an uphill battle in ice, wind, and snow but this book gives you the ice pick and those claw things for your boots, a nice winter jacket and a little food for your soul along the way.

I highly recommend for anyone embarking on a creative journey or if you’re in about year four or five and wondering if things will ever work out.

Buy Running Down a Dream

For more by Tim

Check out his website booklaunch.com. recommendation

About the Reviewer

Marissa Frosch loves reading paranormal romance, urban fantasy, thriller/mystery, memoir, and self-help/business books. Diversity in literature is incredibly important to her and she loves to see #Ownvoices.

Marissa is the co-founder and Head of Marketing at Amphibian Press. She got her Associate’s Degree in Marketing from Southern New Hampshire University in May 2018 and is a Certified Book Launch Coach trained by Tim Grahl. Marissa created and runs Amphibian Authors, a place for authors to learn about marketing and publishing. Be sure to download your free Author Platform Guide. In addition to her Book Launch Certification, Marissa also received her Story Grid Editor Certification in March of 2019. Marissa also writes fiction under the name Cameron J Quinn.

The post Book Review: Running Down a Dream by Tim Grahl appeared first on Amphibian Press .

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