Micro Review: My Little Pony: Under the Sparkling Sea by Mary Jane Begin

 

Title: My Little Pony: Under the Sparkling Sea

Author: Mary Jane Begin

Kindle version is only $2.99!

 

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

 

This gorgeous illustrated picture book features a brand-new My Little Pony underwater adventure, and includes an exclusive art poster!

When Twilight Sparkle receives an invitation to visit the underwater city of Aquastria, she invites all her pony friends and Spike to travel with her. The ponies are welcomed by the ruler of Aquastria, King Leo, who sits on the Cosmic Council alongside his cousin, Princess Celestia. There is a long-held rivalry between the seaponies and the mermares. The two groups compete each year in a race for the grand prize, which is a beautiful pearl. Join the ponies and Spike as they confront danger, make new friends and race to the finish in this shimmering new world!


Review:

I wasn’t feeling well earlier this week, so I wasn’t in the mood to read a  book with lots of words.  One that demanded a lot of attention. So  I picked up My Little Pony: Under The Sparkling Sea because, well, it’s My Little Pony!  And I thought the bright, vivid illustrations would cheer me up.  They did! 

Twilight Sparkle and the pony gang are invited to the Annual Aquastria Race by King Leo.   While some of the ponies have to be convinced that a good time will be had by all, they all worry about how they can attend.  Aquastria is located under the water!  Twilight Sparkle quickly reassures them that her magic will overcome all obstacles, like the ability to breathe under water, and soon they are on their way.  They meet many new friends, and are awed by the seaponies’ beautiful city.   They even rescue a few of their new friends!

I wasn’t totally wowed by the story, but the artwork is stunning.  Colorful and detailed, Mary Jane Begin’s illustrations capture the magic and wonderful of Aquastria.  I don’t know much about the My Little Pony characters, other what my niece has excitedly shared when she is on a MLP geek-out, but each of them has a unique, appealing design that incorporates their trademark flowing manes and chunky legs.  Each of them is a distinctive splash of color throughout the book.

While the story isn’t a total dog,  it falters in comparison to the lovely, vibrant artwork.  Still, this lovely rendered picture book will appeal to My Little Pony’s many fans.

Grade:  B-

Review copy provided by publisher

Guest Post: My Top 10 Favorite Things by Terry Spear and Giveaway!

Please welcome Terry Spear, author of A Highland Werewolf Wedding, to the virtual offices today!  Terry is here to share her favorite things! Afterwards, you can win a copy her previous Highlander Wolf book, A Howl for a Highlander.

My Top 10 Favorite Things by Terry Spear

10. Purple flowers—In Dreaming of the Wolf, the hero, Jake, loves to take pictures of Colorado wildflowers, and one of them is purple Shasta daisies. The cover artist even kept that in mind by making a purple cover.

Lavender, lilacs, heather, and thistle filled clear glass vases in the wedding service the hero, Cearnach attends in A Highland Werewolf Wedding, and the heroine, Elaine is so impressed, she knows one day she’ll want purple flowers for her wedding, too.

9. Ancient castles—I loved the castle ruins especially. When I visited the one that is featured in A Highland Werewolf Wedding, I felt one with the ruins. It’s supposed to be one of the most haunted, and yet I felt as though I belonged there. Maybe in the way distance past, some of my Scottish ancestors had married into the family and lived there. Elaine also feels a connectedness to the castle ruins overlooking the Irish Sea. And that’s why I set the story in that forlorn, lovely place where spirits of men and women still roam.

8. Chocolate—dogs can’t eat chocolate. But since my werewolves are part human, they definitely like chocolate. But even better than straight chocolate? Haviland Thin Mints. Yum. They only come out during the Thanksgiving/Christmas season, so they’re a treat! And in A SEAL Wolf Christmas (October 2013), you’ll learn how they get the heroine in trouble.

7. Irish Cream—I’m part Irish, so I love my Irish Cream! When we were in Scotland, the ladies were trying to decide on something to drink. I said, “Irish Cream!” I know it was Scotland, but we are all part Scot and part Irish so it seemed the right thing to do.

6. Water—I love the water—lakes, ocean, the Gulf. If you’ve read Savage Hunger (the first book in my Heart of the Jaguar series), do waterfalls remind you of anything? Pools, ponds. Crystal clear aqua water is the best, but I’ll take all kinds of other types, just to be near it.

5. Forests—I live in a cornfield. When the stalks are high, it’s like a forest and as the wind rustles the cornstalks, it sounds like the pine forests I lived near in Oregon and California and Florida. I love planting trees where I am now and trying to create a forest to cool me in the hot sun. My wolves all love the forests too. They provide protection for them when they run as wolves. Cearnach and Elaine are forced to run as wolves in A Highland Werewolf Wedding, and woods help to protect them while they try to reach shelter. Taking hikes in the woods is something that I love doing.

4. Writing—of course! I LOVE creating new stories. I think about stories all the time. It’s fun bringing characters and their troubles to life, giving them a romantic to-die for interest, and a happily-ever-after.

3. Creating teddy bears—I started making them about 20 years ago and they were featured in magazines and won awards. Like characters in a book, the bears each have their own unique personality.

2. Photography—I love taking pictures of flora and fauna. I could never paint pictures as much as I’d love to, and so for me, photography is a way of capturing beautiful images in all their glory forever.

1. READING—I’m as addicted to writing as I am to reading!!! If I can’t write for a day, I’m in withdrawal. The same with reading!!! I now have a Nook, but the last plane trip I took where I didn’t bring enough books to read, I had to stop in an airport gift shop and stock up!

Thank you, Terry, for sharing your favorite things!!

GIVEAWAY TIME!!

Ready for a chance to win A Howl for a Highlander (Terry’s previous Highlander Wolf book). US and Canadian addresses only.  Just fill out the widget to enter.

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You can purchase Terry’s book by clicking the links below

Barnes and Noble

Books-a-Million

IndieBound

Chapters/Indigo

Discover a New Love

Sourcebooks

 

About the book:

A HIGHLAND WERWOLF WEDDING – IN STORES MAY 2013

On The Run…

After werewolves Elaine Hawthorn and Cearnach MacNeill almost have a head-on collision on a foggy Highland road, they’re pretty well stuck with each other. It’ll be hours before anyone can get there to pull his car out of the ditch and they both have better places to be.

And Nowhere to Hide From Each Other…

The sexy little American brings out all of Cearnach’s big bag protective instincts. If she thought she was in trouble before, Elaine has no idea what kind of complications a hot Scot can cause…

Delightful, steamy, and devilishly funny, join the hundreds of thousands of readers who already discovered that USA Today bestseller Terry Spear delivers a sizzle worth howling about.

Praise for A Highland Werewolf Wedding:

“The two protagonists are well matched in intelligence, and their snappy dialogue will have readers chuckling from the first chapter on.” —Booklist

“The hills of Scotland make a dramatic backdrop for this novel, and the characters are pleasing and well written.” —RT Book Reviews

“A Highland Werewolf Wedding is another shining example of exactly why Terry Spear is the Queen of the shifter romance.”—Night Owl Reviews, 5 Stars, Reviewer Top Pick

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

USA Today bestselling author Terry Spear has written over two dozen paranormal romance novels and medieval Highland historical romances. She has received incredible praise for her romances, including Heart of the Wolf named a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year. A retired officer of the U.S. Army Reserves, Terry also creates award-winning teddy bears that have found homes all over the world. She lives in Crawford, Texas, where she is working on her next paranormal romances! For more information, please visit www.TerrySpear.com.

Guest Post: Diana Quincy’s Top 10 Places to Travel and Giveaway!

Please welcome Diana Quincy to the virtual offices! She’s here to share her Top 10 favorite places to travel.  She also has a giftcard and a digital copy of her book Seducing Charlotte up for grabs!

TOP 10 FAVORITE PLACES TO TRAVEL by Diana Quincy

Paris – Because it totally lives up to the hype. There’s nothing like walking its streets and soaking up the atmosphere. The architecture is breathtaking, the coffee at the sidewalk cafes delicious, and the street fashion a feast for the eyes. Plus, with the Louvre and Versailles, what more could a person want?

New York – I’m entranced by the high-energy, people-on-the-go vibe of this city. The museums, fashion, shopping, food and sights make this iconic city hard to beat.

London - Because I write Regency romance, this destination is almost a given. It’s been too many years since I last traveled to this capital city. When I do return, I plan to hit some of the fabulous country estates, the British museum and Hyde Park, of course! 

Jerusalem – You can feel the history in the walls of this ancient city where the world’s three great religions meet. Walking along the stone walkways in the old city, with the voices of Palestinian peddlers and the aromas of Middle Eastern foods filling the air, one can’t help but feel a very special sense of connection to this vibrant place.

Bangkok – On a boat ride along city channels or visiting the city’s temples, the Thai people are among the nicest I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. The sites are exotic and awe-inspiring, the food delicious, and the mouth-watering fruit in the market unlike anything one can find in the US. 

San Diego – I don’t just want to visit this coastal California city. I wouldn’t mind living there. The weather is beautiful—sunny with a slight, humid-free breeze off the water—and the ocean views are spectacular. The laid-back vibe I experienced while visiting made me want to stay a while.   

Shenandoah Valley of Virginia  – The mountain views are dazzling, especially when the peaks are capped with snow. It’s as picturesque as anything I’ve seen. A feeling of serenity always comes over me when I take in the splendid views

The Caribbean – This is the ultimate place for complete leisure and relaxation, especially at the all-inclusive resorts where you don’t have to worry about the cost of food and water activities once you’ve paid for the package. With pristine beaches and water is so clear I can see the fish swimming around my legs, this is THE place to recharge and refuel.

Italy, Greece and Spain  – I haven’t visited any of these places yet, but all three are at the top of my list!

Of all the places you’ve visited, which is your favorite? Is there some place special you hope to visit one day?

Leave a comment for a chance to win one of two $25 giftcards to either Amazon or Barnes & Noble (winners’ choice).

GIVEAWAY TIME!!

Ready for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card and a digital copy of Seducing Charlotte? Just fill out the widgets below to enter!

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About the book:

A grand passion. A ruinous secret. An impossible choice.

The wildly handsome Marquess of Camryn is an industrialist who stands for everything social reformer Charlotte Livingston detests.

She’s mortified by her intense attraction to the aristocratic factory owner who thinks nothing of replacing workers with machines, depriving them of honest work.

Stirred by Charlotte’s tart tongue and refreshingly direct manner, Camryn launches a relentless campaign of seduction to win the spinster’s heart, but she is loyal to another man.

As a violent Luddite rebellion rages across England, unrelenting desire flares between the passionate adversaries.

Camryn vows to destroy the rebel movement, unaware Charlotte harbors a secret — a shocking connection to the machine wreckers that could shatter them both.

About the author:

Although I’ve always loved reading and writing, I’m not one of those people who has always known I want to be an author.

I discovered my love of romantic fiction about four years ago, while picking up summer library books for my two boys. I noticed a historical romance by Shirlee Busbee on the end cap and picked it up to browse through while waiting in line to check out our books.

That’s all it took to hook me.

I spent that summer reading every historical romance I could get my hands on.

A few months later, I was motivated to try writing my own story, which resulted in my first manuscript, Compromising Willa.

Now I cannot imagine not writing.

I guess you could say I’m a late bloomer. 

I’m now working on my fifth manuscript, which is my first foray into contemporary fiction.

When not bent over my laptop or trying to keep up with the laundry, I enjoy reading, spending time with my family and dream of traveling much more than my current schedule (and budget) allows.

Online, you can find me on Twitter @Diana_Quincy and over at The Dashing Duchesses, where I blog about history and romance with a talented group of authors.

I am a proud member of the Romance Writers of America (RWA), Washington Romance Writers (WRWDC) and the New Jersey Romance Writers (NJRWA).

Diana loves to hear from readers. You can keep up with her online at the following links:

Website: http://www.dianaquincy.com/

Blog: http://www.dianaquincy.com/category/news/

Twitter: @Diana_Quincy

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DianaQuincyRomance?ref=hl

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7045151.Diana_Quincy

 

Excerpt: Seducing Charlotte

© 2013 Diana Quincy

He marveled at the way the sun illuminated the clear blue in her eyes. “I won’t bother to dissemble, Miss Livingston.” Taking hold of her hand, he pulled Charlotte around the massive tree trunk, out of the sight of the rest of the guests. “I hope to steal another kiss. Actually, I have thought of little else since our last one. Will you allow it?”

She flushed, her gaze floating beyond him. “Really, Camryn, if you ask for permission, it hardly qualifies as stealing a kiss.”

Blood raced to his vitals when it registered she’d just told him to take what he wanted. Shaking his head, he wondered what is was about this woman that made him desperate to touch her again. It had been an agonizing week since he’d last felt her lips beneath his. Now, finally offered the opportunity, he greedily grasped it.

Cupping Charlotte’s cheeks, he marveled at their satiny softness before lowering his face to hers, kissing one side of her succulent mouth and then the other. Then he intensified his actions, pressing down on her lips, bidding her to open them to him as she had once before. When she did, he kissed her as deeply as he had ever kissed a woman.

He licked and plunged his tongue deeper, greedy to taste more, losing himself in her subtle floral scent. She tasted of lemonade, a woman’s softness, and unlimited possibility. Her untutored tongue ventured to taste him as well, provoking a delighted sound of surprise from him. The wondering hum that sounded from the back of her throat made his body quicken in a rush of heat.

Awareness gradually filtered back to him, reminding Cam of their surroundings. He pulled away with great reluctance, his blood at a boil, and forced himself to take a step back lest he pull Charlotte to the grass and make love to her right there with other guests nearby.

She stood frozen in place with her eyes still closed, red circles burned into the high arches of her cheeks. After a moment, as if in a daze, her lids fluttered open. He easily recognized the hazy arousal in those unfocused blue depths for they mirrored his own.

They stood facing one another for a moment, bodies apart, but gazes interlocked. She blinked. “When I said you had a clever tongue, I really had no idea.”

You can read more HERE

Didn’t win? You can purchase seducing Charlotte here:

B&N http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/seducing-charlotte-diana-quincy/1115100612?ean=9781622661039

Buy at Kobo

http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Seducing-Charlotte/book-9_54bie4KE6qnH8yw7sPlw/page1.html?s=KiYtLe-ceEy5D7G5sjlWBA&r=2

Buy at the iBookstore

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/seducing-charlotte/id634921193?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Buy at Google play (for Android)

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Diana_Quincy_Seducing_Charlotte?id=Au_agRHIpb0C&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDEsImJvb2stQXVfYWdSSElwYjBDIl0