Children’s Fantasy Ebooks (September 14-20, 2012)

Here are my picks of five digital-only middle-grade fantasy books published this past week:

Title: Zak and the Mystery Girl
Author: Candace Murrow
Length: 150 KB
Publisher and Publication Date: Singing Tree Publishing (September 14, 2012)
What caught my eye: The cover, which hints of mystery and adventure.
Zak and the Mystery Girl is an inspirational fantasy/adventure novel for ages 10 and up (adults included).

Twelve-year-old Zak Haley has always loved anything to do with outer space. In fact, this summer he has plans to go with his best friend to the Goldendale Observatory. However, on the last day of school, his mother informs him she has lost her job and cannot pay the rent, so she is leaving him with Aunt Jenny while she looks for work.

Zak is angry. He sees nothing ahead of him but a long, boring summer on a farm in the middle of nowhere. His summer is anything but boring when he is hurled into a mystical world of compassionate characters who teach him the value of life on Earth and his place in it. On his return home, nothing on Earth prepares him for the incredible surprise awaiting him.

Zak and the Mystery Girl is a short, sweet uplifting novel that touches on issues of love and compassion, taking responsibility, taking care of the environment, letting go of doubts and fears, the energy of everything, and the power of thoughts and the imagination. Though the book is intended for the younger reader, it is also written for the young at heart.


Title: Girl The Reaper
Author: L.A. Rikand
Length: 419 KB
Publisher and Publication Date: Not indicated (September 16, 2012)
What caught my eye: The cover.
Fourteen-year-old Cate Evans’ 1976 life is on the dull side. So dull, she borrows obscure troubles such as the price of gas and the Argentinean coup d’état to occupy her mind. Her carefree ways and lazy days come to an abrupt end when Death comes to claim her father. Comes, but fails, because even Death makes mistakes. Cate inadvertently gains possession of the token Life he needs to take someone. He needs one soul but hers isn’t it.

Cate’s father is alive, unaware of how close he came to dying. Cate, however, has one foot in a borderland, where she exists in both her old life and with the newly dead. And the borderland is anything but dull. The downside is Death, who waits, haunting Cate’s every move. All she has to do is give the token Life to her father and Death will leave with him. She’s not going to do that. Nor can she safely cast it away: unclaimed, Death will take it to finish what he started.

As her family celebrates America’s Bicentennial together, Cate holds her ailing father’s life in hand—literally. He’ll never get well: he works too hard, inhales too many pesticides and smokes too much. Cate can keep him alive indefinitely, or pass the token Life to him and say good-bye. Or is there another way—is it murder if she passes it to someone who has nothing to live for?

GIRL THE REAPER is the extraordinary dilemma of an ordinary girl who learns that death can sometimes be a beginning instead of just an end.


Title: Curse of the Ice Dragon (Keepers of the Stones)
Author: Tara West
Length: 1299 KB
Publisher and Publication Date: Shifting Sands Publishing (September 17, 2012)
What caught my eye: The cover and the ice dragon concept.
From the bestselling paranormal author of The Whispers Series comes a new fantasy saga.

Born with mark of the Mighty Hunter, Markus saves his village from the brink of starvation –for whenever he releases an arrow, his aim is true. But despite his skill and strength, Markus is unable to confront his tyrannical father. Shamed by his cowardice, he distracts himself by needlessly shooting the forest creatures.

When Markus takes no heed of the village prophet’s warning that his actions will attract The Hunter’s Curse—for every animal Markus kills, his loved ones will suffer the same fate—the Sky Goddess unleashes her ice dragon. Now, Markus must flee the dragon without killing it … or his beloved brother will be the next to die.

Available for: Nook, Kindle.


Title: The Good Night Clock
Author: Lisa Marie Wilberg
Length: 110 KB
Publisher and Publication Date: Not indicated (September 19, 2012)
What caught my eye: The title, and the premise.
A clock that puts children to sleep at bedtime? A parents dream come true!

Or so it seems…

Grandfather Slumbers is a very talented clockmaker who builds the most wonderful, magnificent grandfather clocks. People from all over the world, come to purchase his clocks. But it is when Grandfather Slumbers builds his best clock ever, THE GOOD NIGHT CLOCK; that all the fun and adventure begin!

Grandfather Slumbers builds a special clock that puts children under a spell of sleep. When Grandfather Slumbers brings the clock into his showroom to show all of his faithful customers, the richest lady in town, Mrs. Feathersbee wants to buy it. But The Goodnight Clock isn’t for sale. Why? Because it isn’t quite finished. There are a few more tweaks and adjustments that Grandfather Slumbers still has to do.

Mrs. Feathersbee wants the clock and she will do anything she can to get it. Including trying to steal it from Grandfather Slumbers! Something most disastrous happens out of this, and Mrs. Featherbees moves the hands on the clock’s face making the Goodnight Clock strike a sleepy song to ring out into the air which puts a hypnotizing spell on the city!

Because the clock isn’t quite finished yet, the clock doesn’t work as it’s intended to, and puts everyone in town under the spell of deep, deep sleep! But not everyone in town has fallen asleep. Somebody has stayed awake. Watson Slumbers. The clock maker’s grandson!

“Yippee! I’m free!” He whoops. And so the adventure begins!

Why didn’t Watson fall asleep when everyone else in town did? Because he is a kid, and all the kids stay awake – while the adults are knocked out into a night slumber of sleep!

Watson Slumbers, along with the other hundred children in the city, take advantage of their new found freedom. But what happens in a city full of kids when there is no parental supervision? When there are no parents to tell the kids to get to sleep and go to bed? You are going to have to read the book to find out!

The Good Night Clock is a wonderful book full of humor and adventure. It is a delightful treat for younger readers who will enjoy the Goodnight Clock as it magically entertains a city full of kids who grow wild without their parents discipline.

The Good Night Clock – a clock of adventure!


NOTE: This last ebook is not entirely new. It was first published as a paperback in January 2010, by A-Argus Better Book Publishers. At that time, the author was listed as Julia Lawrence, which was actually a father-daughter collaboration. I’m including this in today’s Friday Five because it’s a new ebook. And from a writer’s perspective, it will be interesting to keep an eye on how re-releases do as ebooks.

Title: The Crystal Locket: Secrets of the Hidden Pyramids
Author: Lawrence Tooley and Julia Nielsen
Length: 526 KB
Publisher and Publication Date: Amazon (September 20, 2012)
What caught my eye: The cover, which reminded me of some classic books I’ve seen. And the description.
Thirteen-year-old twins Andrew and Kristine Taylor are continuing their journey with the crystal locket, which they first discovered in present-day Virginia. This time, they find themselves in ancient Crete, a highly advanced civilization, with indoor plumbing and awe-inspiring architecture, as well as the fabled city of Atlantis. In Crete, they face their dreaded nemesis Chimera, where things are not as they seem and the mysteries run deep. This time, their challenges are harder, their enemies more cunning, and their will even stronger, as they again battle the forces that could destroy their world…but is it enough to thwart their enemies in time?


That’s it for today’s Friday Five. Take note that these are not recommendations or reviews, because I haven’t read any of them. If and when I write a review, I will post it and and update this list with the link. If you’ve read a listed book, let me know what you think of it in the comments.

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