Review and Giveaway: Captain No Beard series, (total combined value of $90), Worldwide

This is a joint giveaway with Living Peacefully with Children and Natural Parents Network. You may enter at one site only. Please find the section marked “Win it!” for the mandatory entry and optional bonus entries.

Carole P. Roman is offering three of our readers their own copies of the Captain No Beard series (Captain No Beard, Pepper Parrot’s Problem with Patience, and Stuck In the Doldrums) a value of $30 x 3 (combined total ARV $90).
Reviewer received a free sample for review purposes and consideration was given to NPN for hosting the review/giveaway. Links may be affiliate links.

Stuck in the Doldrums is a full color picture book for children about the continuing adventures of a young pirate named Alexander, his cousin Hallie, and a menagerie of a crew. Follow their adventure and discover the important truth inherent to all parents and caregivers – with power comes responsibility. For more reading fun, check out the rest of the Captain No Beard seriees

From our reviewer, Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children:

About the Book:

Natural Parents Network: Captain No Beard series giveaway

Stuck in the Doldrums, by Carole P. Roman, continues the tale of a young pirate’s life. Alexander, the pirate captain extraordinaire, and his cousin and first mate, Hallie, are joined by a menagerie of a crew: Mongo, the “mast-climbing monkey,” Linus, the “loud-mouthed lion,” and Fribbit, the “floppy frog.” Together they travel on their ship called the Flying Dragon, whose name was chosen for its fear-inducing qualities.

Without a wind to lift their sails, Captain No Beard and his crew find themselves marooned on a desert island, or as he says, “stuck in the doldrums.” The crew decides to make the best of the situation and sets about enjoying their day. Cloud watching, beach playing, and sand castle building top their list of activities. Seeing his crew enjoying themselves, Captain No Beard tries to steal some of the fun for himself with orders until he finds that no one wants to be around him.

Off to the ship by himself, he declares he will do everything himself. However, when a giant squid attacks the boat, he quickly realizes that he can’t go it alone and calls for help from his trusty crew. The crew is met with indecision, due to the earlier treatment received from their captain, but compassion prevails, as they vow to help first and talk to him later. With the help of the fearless crew, the Flying Dragon is saved, and Captain No Beard apologizes for his earlier actions.

Natural Parents Network: Children's book giveaway

The story has merit for parents and children alike, but I have to disagree with the title “Stuck in the Doldrums: A Lesson in Sharing.” The book isn’t about sharing at all. It is about perversion of power and how we use and abuse the power and trust given to us by others. It is a reminder that others, including children, deserve to have a voice and choice in their lives. As Captian No Beard learns, “Just because you’re in charge doesn’t mean you know everything. A good captain must always consider everyone’s feelings . . . .” With less of the playful pirate lingo found in the first of the series and with drawings which are less crisp, Stuck in the Doldrums still provides an easy segue into discussing an important issue between parents and children.

About the Author:


Carole P. Roman is former teacher and current businesswoman. Her favorite job is that of grandmother, and she loves to snuggle up in a chair, reading stories to her loved ones. Carole is proud to be able to go on daily adventures with her grandchildren, traveling all over through books and always being home in time for dinner. As the dedication in the book reads, her grandchildren have “reminded [her] how much fun it was to go from the bottom of the sea to the most distant star. All in one day!”




You can purchase your own Stuck in the Doldrums, along with the other book sin the series at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, or Create Space. The books sell for approximately $10 each and shipping ranges by site. Carole has another children’s book in which yoga is incorporated into every day life: I Want to Do Yoga, Too Her newest book series, If You Were Me, focuses on helping children learn about other culture and understand the global connection we all have.To stay connected with updates, Like her page on Facebook.



For your own chance to win a copy of Captain No Beard from Carole P. Roman, enter by leaving a comment and using our Rafflecopter system below.

Three winners will receive copies of the Captain No Beard series of books. Contest is open WORLDWIDE.

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This is a joint giveaway with Living Peacefully with Children and Natural Parents Network. You may enter at one site only, and we’ll be recording IP addresses to ensure that there are no duplicate entries. That said, please do visit and enjoy both sites!
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Disclosure: Reviewer received a free sample for review purposes,
and consideration was given to NPN for hosting the review/giveaway.
Links may be affiliate links. Amazon links are affiliate links.
We try to seek out only products we think you would find relevant and useful
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Information About Our Reviewer:


Mandy O’Brien is a WAHM to four fantastic unschooled children. You can read a bit about their lives at Living Peacefully with Children, where she writes about equality, learning, and life.


Photo Credits: Author (second picture) and Carole P. Roman.

Book Review: Prophecy


R. T. Kaelin, author of the fabulous Progeny, has done it again. Prophecy, the second novel in The Children of the White Lions series does not disappoint fans. The addition of  new characters, races, and warring duchies manages to add to the complexity of the novel without undermining the purity of the purity of the book. Bereft of any conventional notions which tend to limit many novels and add a level of predictability, Kaelin follows the story of the characters, allowing the book to take on a life of its own, driving the story line with a reality that adds a new level to the already complex richness. With beautifully deep characters and a well developed story line which follows it’s own unique path, the series continues to fulfill its promise to provide an entrancing book which enthralls readers and leaves them wanting more. I can’t wait to read the next novel when it comes out.

Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by the author. 



He never claimed to be the missing Cassiel. He just neglected to deny it. Given the choice between being a nobody, nameless and homeless, or being a somebody, with everything you’ve never had,  who wouldn’t hesitate? However, pretending to be someone else isn’t easy, especially when no one is who they seem.

Jenny Valentine’s young adult novel, Double (available for purchase tomorrow), begs the reader to ponder the essence of a person’s character – what defines a person and how that affects, or is affected by, an individual’s choices. Slow to build momentum, plot turns in the later portions of the book are certain to build suspense. Many of the characters seem lacking in dimension, but Chap’s struggles with ethical and moral decisions help readers identify with him. Despite annoying changes in tense during parts of the book, Double is an enjoyable book for teens and may lead to discussions.

Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

Beyond the Grave

Beyond the Grave (Past Midnight, #3)

It’s hard to have a normal life when your parents are paranormal investigators. Charlotte’s mother is in a coma after a previous encounter with The Watcher. Her father and sister are struggling to live, the business if falling apart, and Charlotte is left floundering, trying to hold it together and spend time with her boyfriend who is becoming more secretive each day.

Mara Purnhagen’s Beyond the Grave is the third and final book in her Past Midnight series. The book is strong enough to stand alone for those of us who haven’t read her earlier novels, but the characters seem a bit flat and the build up and discovery drags. Luckily, the action at the end mostly makes up for the slow clues.

Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

Catch and Release

Catch and Release

Polly Furnas had a plan. Graduate highschool. Marry her sweetheart. Go to college, and have children. MSRA was not in the plan. Neither was spending weeks in the hospital and loosing her eye. Somehow, out of everyone in her hometown who survived the infection, she survived, along with a fellow highschooler, Odd. Now she has a choice. She can lie around wallowing in self-pity or take Odd’s offer for a fishing trip. She can choose to fight to live or slowly die inside her new body. Plans change.

Blythe Woolston’s Catch & Release is interesting, a bit disturbing, and just perfect for analyzing our views and anger. With writing and a story line that gets under your skin, Woolston wraps it up with Odd’s letters to his grandmother, effectively putting a balm on the infected story. A new book with merit for discussing what we make of life and those around us, Catch & Release is certain to find its own among teens looking for something out of the ordinary.

Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by the publisher.



Julianna Baggott’snew  young adult dystopian novel, Pure,promises to deliver. Touted as the new The Hunger Games Trilogy and with movie rights already sold for the first novel, the hype is indicative of a best selling book.

Baggot’s descriptive writing pulls the reader in, and the premise behind the book is horrifying. Atomic bombs, set by those wanting to purify the Earth, have drastically changed the world. Secret agendas abound and the main character, a strong female lead, starts out strong. However, after the initial chapters, the book seems to be carried by remaining momentum rather than driving to a capitulating climax.

My main complaint, and one that I can’t let go of, is that the science in the book moves is so far removed to make the book fantasy rather than science fiction. With all of its promises and good points, for me the book failed to deliver.

The book comes out today, so yu can pick up your own copy and see what you think of it.

Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for review.

Deceiving the Protector

Deceiving the Protector (Resurrection, #2)

Haunted and hunted by the man who claims to hold her sister’s life in his hands, Lia doesn’t want to be rescued. Tate has a job to do though, saving the wolf shape-shifters who are now hunted by humans. He is not one to be deterred from his cause, and when the two causes collide, tensions heat up. Dee Tonorio’s Deceiving the Protector is the second book in her Resurrection series. Not having read the previous book didn’t diminish the story, which has no trouble standing on its own. While many paranormal romances tend to be lacking, Tonorio has developed a rich fantasy world with shape shifters which only promises to increase in her future books.

Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

The Shadowing: Hunted

Hunted (The Shadowing, #1)

Callum Scott is predominantly a normal boy. He does well enough in school, plays rugby, and keeps a low profile. The only problem is that for as long as he can remember he has seen ghosts. Now his premonitions are growing and he is being chased by a large creature from another place. Life is about to get interesting.

Adam Slater’s The Shadowing: Hunted would be a mediocre paranormal young adult novel with characters who are screaming to be further developed. However, he has managed to weave new aspects into his brand new paranormal series which may just set the foundation for a great story.

Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

The Garden of the Purple Dragon

Garden of the Purple Dragon (The Dragonkeeper, #2)

In the second book in the Dragon Keeper series, Garden of the Purple Dragon,
Carole Wilkinson takes the story of former slave turned dragon keeper, Ping, to a new level. Faced with the dessertion of Danzi and the responsibility of raising his son, Kai, Ping is forced to grow in new ways. As always, Ping represents a strong female character in the middle grade fantasy genre and Wilkinson’s prose paints a beautiful picture of not only Ancient China but also of the diversity of human character. In my opinion, this is a buy-worthy series for families who enjoy reading aloud or individuals who enjoy reading on their own. All of my children have been excited over the series, and I like being able to share some books which portray females in strong roles, despite typical treatment of them in the era.

The Snowman’s Revenge

The Snowman's Revenge by Mark Smythe: Book Cover

Snow days are always more fun with a freshly built snowman. However, when the children in The Snowman’s Revenge head in to warm up and enjoy some hot cocoa, the snowman is left all alone outside in the cold. Hurt and lonely, he quickly comes up with a plan for revenge.

Mark Smuthe’s prose is entertaining, if a little choppy, enhanced by Mike Motz’s full color illustrations. Personally, I found the idea of the book to be creepy. My children, on the other hand, thought it was a fun read. It’s definitely a change from the happy singing snowmen, and for that alone, it’s a nice change (although still a creepy one).

Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by the publisher.