Gary's Bookshelf Review at MBR Bookwatch
Becky and I are honored to have our book reviewed by MBR Bookwatch.
Gary Roen's review
"Bullies get their due in "the Haunted Bakery of Seven Pines" The authors bring together characters into a most interesting situation combining a haunted mansion with a bully who wants to prove he is not afraid of anything by spending the night in a vacant home that has had many legends told about it for many years. The solution to the aggressive behavior of certain kids is handled in a most unique way that makes for an interesting read that is enhanced by the artwork of artist Sudipta Dasgupta. There are many symbolic renderings for readers to pick up on in "the Haunted Bakery of Seven Pines that increase the enjoyment of this work for all ages to appreciate."
Gary Roen Senior Reviewer You have complete permission to utilize the review in any manner you deem useful for marketing and promotion.
Read the original review HERE
About the story
According to the hundred-year-old legend, children disappeared in Seven Pines every year to never be found again. People suspected that the old bakery in the woods was under the spell of evil forces and warned their children not to go near the old building.
Best friends Albert and Timmy were mean bullies, and nobody liked them. One day a group of children that were fed up with the daily torture of name calling and pushing and shoving, dared them to go into the old building at night to see if it's really haunted. Albert accepted the dare and although Timmy had his doubts, he went along with his best friend.
What will they find in the old bakery?
Is the legend true and they will disappear forever as many children did who had entered the building?
Literacy Enrichment Kit included
The background of the story
The Haunted Bakery is a part of Becky's childhood, she lived in the small town of Seven Pines Virginia where The Battle of Seven Pines was fought. Deep in the woods stood an old building built of stone and brick and in the basement, there were old brick ovens. People assumed it was an old bakery during the Civil War. Children dared each other to go into the building at night and scared each other with the legend that was told in every generation.
Becky had the rough outline of a story of two boys who went into the bakery at night, on a dare. When Becky showed the rough manuscript to Erika, she accepted the challenge of making the sketchy ideas into a great story together with Becky.
With Sudipta Dasgupta's wonderful illustrations and Lorraine Carey's professional editing, the story based on an old legend of the haunted bakery comes to life.
A few more reviews from Amazon
It's not cool to be a bully
Lessons and moral messages in stories
When my teacher asked that question after we finished reading a book, I wanted to sink into the floor and disappear. I didn't want to analyse the moral message of the story, I just wanted to enjoy it. But she was right, we learn something from every story we read.
We learn something from every book because every story has a message, either obvious or hidden.
Hidden moral lessons and messages are expected from children's books because that's what children's stories are about. They teach children without sounding preachy.
But what can you learn from a fantasy, romance or suspense story?
You would be surprised how much you can learn about yourself while relating to the characters.
Messages in my fantasy stories
The main character of the story, Ilona, lives in the real world and has a real job. She's a doctor and she live a normal, everyday life just like everyone else.
But magic happens on her birthday and she begins to remember things that were hidden in her memory as nursery rhymes. Reality collides with the hidden fantasy world and a new reality emerges.
A review from a reader, Carol Hanlon:
"Magical realism novels have not been one of my favorite reads. However, the title “Destiny” and distinctive cover of Erika Szabo’s new thriller captivated me. So, as a new Amazon Prime Member I sign up for it on my Kindle reader. I missed in the promo of “Destiny” it was the third book in the trilogy. To my surprise Erika’s excellent writing style made it enjoyable to read and the beginning pages gave me an understanding of what had happened in the first two books of the series. The story is a real thriller It held me spellbound. And kept me guessing to which side would win the battle between the forces of good and evil. as I turned each new page. The last page read I believe I’ve become a fan of magical realism. Thank you, Erika Szabo, for exposing me to a new genre with your latest FIVE STAR novel “Destiny."
Messages in my children's stories
Pico, the parrot, is sad and frustrated. He screeches and squawks all day but because he speaks Spanish, nobody understands him. His story teaches children acceptance, compassion, and helping others.
Even if nobody else reads this book, this editorial review fro Brian VanBramer makes the countless hours I spent writing this book worthwhile:
"I received a copy of this book before publishing, and I can honestly say that this is by far the best children's story I ever read to my seven-years-old son. He hung onto every word and displayed a wide range of emotions throughout the story such as sadness, fear, excitement, and sheer joy. What I value most is when we finished the book he said to me, "Dad, I wish I had a dog like Peanut." At first, I thought that he's just like any other little boy is wishing for a dog, but then seeing his unusually sad expression, I asked him why he wants a dog like the one in the story. He said, "Because a dog like Peanut could save me from Connor." My heart jumped into my throat because I never noticed any sign that my son was bullied. When I asked him why he didn't tell us before, he said because he thought I would be mad at him not being able to defend himself. This story encouraged him to tell me and we are working on solving his problem together. "
The ghosts of the Trinity of Wishmothers are trapped. The children offer their help, so the talking skeleton takes them on a journey to the realm of Creepy Hollow. Righteous motivations drive Jack and Nikki: to protect the weak, confront evil, conquer their fears, and gain courage. In the battle against Evila and her minions they grow into the warriors they were destined to become.
"I’m unable to do justice to the wealth of detail and action Szabo and Bonadonna managed to pack into this book." ~Fletcher Vredenburgh
"Szabo and Bonadonna make a great pair. Their Creepy Hollow Adventures is a perfect starting point for young children making the leap from "kids' books" to "novels." ~S E Lindberg
Becky Robbins and Erika M Szabo paired up to bring this fun, educational book for children 5-12 about acceptance, friendship, family, dealing with bullies, and moral values such as not judging others by their appearances before getting to know them. With Sudipta Dasgupta's wonderful illustrations and Lorraine Carey's professional editing, the story based on an old legend of the haunted bakery comes to life.
Penny always wants to do what her big brother does. She imitates his every move and constantly tweets, “Me, too.” Spike is angry at his sister and threatens to name her Metoo, but when the two young chickens face danger, Spike realizes how important family is and happy to have a sometimes annoying, but loving and brave little sister.
What are the most memorable lessons you've learned from books?
A reader sent this sweet message
Erika M Szabo
Author of epic fantasy/magical realism novels and children's books, Publishing Coach at
Golden Box Books Publishing
Click to read my portfolio