Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Air Your Reviews – Christina Steiner and Jena C. Henry

The first review is for the recently released book by Christina Steiner – Shimji – The Channel Island Vixen.

About the book

Shimji, a young Channel Island vixen, dreams to go where no Island fox has ever gone: to the place her ancestors came from thousands of years ago. By talking with a sea lion named Malibu and a seagull named Topanga, she finds the island’s harbor and stows away on a boat headed to the California coast. During her adventure on the main-land, Shimji befriends wild and domesticated animals. She learns from their different ways and thus gains knowledge of the world. Her curiosity satisfied, Shimji longs to return home, only to be discovered by humans. Scientists want to send her to a zoo. Can Shimji escape and find her way back to her island home?

Reviewed by Rosie Malezer for Readers’ Favorite:

Shimji, the Channel Island Vixen is an adventurous children’s book written by Christina Steiner. After hearing so many tales of her ancestors, Shimji, a young fox kit, decides to explore the world and see what it has to offer. Knowing that water vessels travel between the islands and the mainland regularly, Shimji sneaks onto a ferry and makes it across, but has no idea where to go or what to do. She meets many different animals on her travels, but after being chased across town by angry dogs, Shimji finds herself befriending a cat and his human family. While trying to assist Shimji in returning to her island home, the family quickly discovers that Shimji would be taken by the government to a zoo instead. This causes Shimji to put all of her efforts, survival skills and cunning into trying to find a way back to the island on her own.

Positively engrossed in every word I read, I found that Christina Steiner’s story about a young fox named Shimji not only presented a wonderful, exploratory adventure of an animal eager to see the world, but also showed how different animal species interact, regardless of their difference in size or habitat, while helping each other escape the perils of various predators. Learning which foods and animals to avoid, Shimji is able to make her way across the treacherous sea and onto the mainland, where she finds new species of animals and is able to determine for herself whether or not they can be trusted. From sea lions, seagulls, possums, horses, cats and even skunks, Shimji has an incredible tale to tell, should she ever find her way back home. Each animal interaction left me smiling, with the exception of those with an evil motive in mind, and I found myself cheering Shimji on the whole way, while easily visualizing each interaction with each turn of the page. I thoroughly enjoyed Shimji, the Channel Island Vixen, and recommend it to readers aged 7-14 years of age, who enjoy books about various species of animals interacting in a peaceful, almost humanlike way. I look forward to reading more books from Christina Steiner in the future.

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Also by Christina Steiner

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The next author who recently received a great review for her second book B.M.I  in The Golden Age of Charli series is Jena C. Henry.

About the book

When Charli and her husband, Pud, enter retirement, Charli mistakenly believes that paradise is just around the corner. Unfortunately, instead of spending their days soaking in matching hot tubs and admiring each other’s wrinkles, Pud lives on the links and Charli cleans out the basement. Still, they press on, eventually becoming closer while bonding with young relatives through a love of fine dining. Now the couple faces new and weighty challenges.

Charli and Pud’s days are filled with more excitement than AARP discounts and Lawrence Welk reruns—and more calories than they ever imagined. Realizing they are out of shape and slipping mentally, Charli and Pud check their BMIs and immediately decide they need to change their ways. With a goal of becoming healthy sooner than later, the couple embarks on a roller-coaster ride through calorie counting, label reading, and laborious exercising. But when Pud begins making mysterious phone calls and acting strangely, Charli cannot help but wonder if more problems are lurking around the corner.

The Golden Age of Charli continues the delightful tale of the energetic, friendly, and positive McAntics as they cruise through their retirement years and discover the consequences of too much of a good thing.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Talk about picking up a book at just the right time in my life! I’ve recently “retired” from my JOB to pursue my writing career, AND I’ve hit the age in my life when I’m becoming more conscious of what I eat, and incorporating more exercise into my day. Even though the author intended this to be a humorous take on this stage of lie, which it was, I could identify with many subplots and topics in this story.

The focus of this book was an aging couple striving to get in better shape and lose weight, but so many more real-life elements came into play as these two braved the uncertain waters retirement.

Here are a couple of my favorite parts of this story, which spoke to the humor within:

*Around 28%, there is a story told about an older couple who calls their kids and tells them they are getting a divorce. The adult children become very upset and state they are coming to see their parents right away.

I don’t want to offer any spoilers here, but this tale ends in a humorous tone that outlines the genuine character of Pud in this book.He’s the one who tells the joke.

*My other favorite funny part is the “ID10T” issue, which is brought on by Pud and Charli’s adult son, an IT tech, who pulls a prank on his father while trying to teach him about the latest technology.

There is quite a bit of telling in this story, but it’s actually necessary, as Charli spends a good bit of time alone, while her adult children and husband do their own thing, leaving her feeling lost and abandoned at times, and suspicious–a feeling I’m sure many people can relate to. Some people enter retirement as a phase where they can finally relax after working so hard in their lives, others use this time as an opportunity to finally do all the things they’ve wanted to do.

Even though this is a humorous story in tone, the author doesn’t skip out on metaphors to bring scenes to life. One of my favorites was:

The expansive vista of deepening sky and fading ribbons and tendrils of the sun entertained the crowd until the first shot of powder and colors exploded into the sky and then melted into silky dark waters. (to describe a fireworks show! I love it!)

And my final thought on this book, which I feel sums up Charli’s entire sentiment on embarking on this journey with her family:

“What is there about a porch or patio like I have at home? Why do I feel so at peace? Is it that a porch is a cozy and safe way to feel and view the outside world?”

I highly recommend this lovely story to anyone who can appreciate the journey of staying grounded and realizing who you truly are, amidst the uncertain waters of life.

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Also by Jena C. Henry

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Thanks for dropping in today and please let me know if you have a review from the last couple of months that you would like to share for one of your books.


9 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Air Your Reviews – Christina Steiner and Jena C. Henry

  1. Pingback: Here’s Sally Cronin (and a 5 Star Review) on the Smorgasboard! « The Golden Age of Charli

  2. Pingback: Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – Magic, Music and Master storytellers oh and a bit of a laugh | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

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