Do Fairies Bring the Spring? – REVIEW

5 out of 5 stars.

Do Fairies Bring the Spring? by Liza Gardner Walsh, illustrated by Hazel Mitchell is an absolutely delightful and charming picture book about fairies and spring.


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Everyone knows fairies love spring flowers and summer sun, but is it the fairies who wake up the earth as the snow melts? Do they entice the trees to turn green and the flowers to grow? In this charming follow-up to Where Do Fairies Go When It Snows, Liza Gardner Walsh, acclaimed author of the Fairy House Handbook and Fairy Garden Handbook, explores the matter in a children’s picture book of rhyming questions. Combined with delightful illustrations by Hazel Mitchell this whimsical book will help children discover the world of fairies and learn to enjoy and appreciate the outdoors.



This book has wormed its way right into my heart! Now, I will admit that I love fairies anyway, but this book is absolutely charming!

The text rhymes and is nice and lyrical. The pictures are just beautiful, engaging, and full of little surprises. If you really take the time to look through all the pictures, you’ll see little ladybugs, snails, bees, other little bugs, and woodland creatures. There’s a decent amount of diversity within the fairy ranks, including a boy fairy, and our main fairy is black.

I cannot say enough about the illustrations! I’m absolutely charmed by them. They’re delightful! One page talks about using tiny brushes and oil pastels to paint the flowers and some of the fairies are holding little oil pastels that they’re clearly using to color the flowers. It’s just lovely.

The text is very lyrical. A few times the rhyming words were stretching it a bit, but they never broke the lyrical pace and flow. It’s also obvious that the illustrator really paid attention to the text when she made the illustrations.

I highly recommend this book for any fairy lover in your life! It’s just delightful!

*** Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC. I was not compensated for my review. All opinions and conclusions are my own. ***


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The Frog Princess Returns – REVIEW

4.5 out of 5 stars.

Today, I’m happy to be bringing you a review of The Return of the Frog Princess by E.D. Baker, which is a new book in the Tales of the Frog Princess series. Ms. Baker is also doing a guest post over at Nerdy Book Club today. You should check out her post about not always having to write “what you know”.

Book Cover: The Frog Princess Returns - Tales of the Frog Princess by E.D. Baker - Pink background - Vignette picture of the Princess with the Frog prince on her shoulder talking to a fairy

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Two weeks after Emma’s birthday, Prince Eadric — having been turned from a frog into a human again — is still in Greater Greensward. One day, a beautiful princess named Adara arrives at the castle in Greater Greensward for a visit, claiming to be Emma’s distant cousin. But Adara has other motives that threaten Emma and Eadric’s blossoming romance.

Meanwhile, something is very wrong in Greater Greensward. Crops are dying, streams are drying up, and large sections of trees in the enchanted forest are withering — all because the Fairy Queen has disappeared. Without her, there is no peace in the magical kingdom, and dangerous foes threaten to take advantage of her absence. Only brave, tenacious Emma with her knowledge of the land can restore order . . . but first she must set out on a journey unlike any before.

Brimming with lovable characters and page-turning magic, The Frog Princess Returns will bring a whole new batch of readers to E. D. Baker’s highly acclaimed, wonderfully popular world of Frog Princess series.

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I’ve enjoyed the Tales of the Frog Princess series ever since I read them back shortly after they were first published so I was thrilled to hear that there was another book coming out in the series! The Frog Princess Returns doesn’t disappoint! Fans of the series will love this latest story.

While it didn’t have that extra little pizzazz I need for a 5-star rating, it’s a strong 4.5. There’s intrigue, secrets, mystery, fairies, dragons, and adventure. What more could you want in a story?

All of our favorite characters have returned and we’ve added a few new people, such as Princess Adara who’s on a mission. The characters are well-developed, fun, and easy to like. The settings are magical with just enough descriptions that you can imagine them easily.

The story line moves along at a decent pace and there’s a twist in the end that even though I didn’t necessarily like the character to begin with, I didn’t see the twist coming!

If you’ve read the series before now, this does not take place at the end of the series. This takes place earlier in the series. Emma and Eadric aren’t married yet, but they’ve had some of their early adventures. I’d place it right around the time of book three.

It’s a great addition to the series and whether you’re finding this series for the first time or are just excited about the new story, I highly recommend this one! So much fun!

*** Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of this title. I was not compensated for my review. All opinions and conclusions are my own. ***

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The Chocolate Garden – REVIEW

3 out of 5 stars

Book cover with garden pots of flowers sitting on a wagon and on the grass - with text

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Visionary gardener Tammy Hollins is making a new life for herself and her children after a tragic marriage. Plants she understands, but men…well, they’re of the weed variety. She’s started her own landscaping business, catering to her country music rock star brother’s friends. Her first client is sexy, soulful, Alpha hero material, and the one man who tantalizes her and scares her to death.

John Parker McGuiness is a man of many talents, working as a songwriter and lawyer for country music’s biggest stars. He’s drawn to Tammy like no other and hires her as his landscaper, wanting to show her they’re made for each other. When Tammy learns he’s a professed chocoholic, she fashions a magical garden for him—a chocolate garden.

As the garden comes to life, their love for each other grows. When tragedy strikes Tammy’s home, John Parker is willing to move mountains to protect her and her children. Tammy struggles to guard her newfound independence as they use the magic of the chocolate garden to help her children feel safe again. But when secrets from Tammy’s past resurface, can their love and passion survive the memories haunting her? (Source: Goodreads)

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The Chocolate Garden by Ava Miles is the second book in the Dare River series. The Dare River series is my favorite series.  The book itself is mostly well-written with great characters and a wonderful setting. And for the most part, I absolutely loved Tammy & John Parker’s story, but I find I cannot give this book 5 or even 4 stars because I’m so incredibly disappointed in how the author handled the beginning of their physical relationship.

I think Ms. Miles missed a perfect opportunity to discuss the PTSD that domestic violence victims go through. While it makes for much less of a romantic story, I was hoping that Ms. Miles would address all the things that come up when someone who’s been abused re-enters into a physical relationship. There are flashbacks. There are times when one has to stop in the middle of sex because of said flashbacks. There’s dealing with self-loathing that comes from being upset with yourself for having to stop. There’s dealing with being frustrated with yourself because logically, you KNOW that the new person you’re with is not anything like your abusive ex, but yet your body still occasionally reacts as if they’re exactly like that abusive ex and it interferes with being able to be intimate. However, instead of a more realistic version where Tammy has to deal with flashbacks and self-loathing and being frustrated with herself, we get a less realistic version where she simply “pushes through” her fears and suddenly everything’s miraculously okay and amazing. John Parker’s quiet support, gentleness, and tenderness would’ve made him the perfect one to help Tammy know that it was okay that she had to stop because of flashbacks and that she didn’t have to be upset with herself for those things. To help her realize that it takes a long time to heal from those traumatic experiences, even with the love of a good man. Instead, we end up with a much less believable, almost trite version where she doesn’t even deal with these issues. I was extremely disappointed.

However, on a positive note, the whole “chocolate garden” and “chocolate fairies” story to help the children feel safe again after a particularly traumatizing night in the book. The children are so wonderful and it’s a great, imaginative way to get them feeling safe again.

Also, the fact that reconciliations are starting to happen in this family is just fabulous. The first book, Country Heaven, found the family splintered apart and only the most tentative of connections being made. But, in this book, the reconciliations are starting to happen and it’s wonderful to see.

Overall, I still enjoyed the book and look forward to continuing on with the series in “Fireflies & Magnolias”.

Pink Tulips, Yellow Daffodils, Purple & Blue flowers in wooden wheelbarrow