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Taylor Davis by Michelle Isenhoff

MMGM is a weekly feature for Middle Grade books hosted each Monday on Shannon Messenger’s blog.  Check it out for a list of all the participants!

taylor davis book coverI read TAYLOR DAVIS AND THE FLAME OF FINDUL by Michelle Isenhoff. This author has a wonderful list of books for the MG/Tween crowd, so be sure and check them all out!

Amazon Description:

Taylor didn’t want to follow his parents to the Caribbean. When he’s sucked into a world of angels and their supernatural adversaries, he wants the mission assigned to him even less. The Flame of Findul–the sword that guards the Tree of Life–has been allowed to burn out. The only way to avoid worldwide disaster is to relight it in the forge of Findul the Firesmith. Taylor has been chosen for this task. But there is One who stands in his way.

My Thoughts:

Wow, what an adventure! The action begins in the school lunchroom where a very tall girl named Elena steals a cheeseburger from Taylor Davis. That fateful encounter sends them both through a crack in the floor into a world neither of them expects. The unlikely pair is informed by none other than the pirate Davy Jones that the world is doomed unless they relight the Flame of Findul—a sword that, without its flame, cannot properly guard the Tree of Life. Teamed up with a couple of guardian angels, they set out with the flameless sword on a formidable quest from the Caribbean to England, and finally to the Pacific Northwest (including a side trip to New Jersey) in search of the forge of Findul the Firesmith. And their adventure just wouldn’t be complete without monsters from the land, sky, and sea trying to stop them, as well as an evil pirate ringleader, Barholomew Swain.

The mix of danger, interesting characters, and comic relief is wonderfully done. I loved the clever twist on Biblical and mythological elements regarding the Tree of Life. I also thoroughly enjoyed characters who each had very distinct (and super entertaining!) personalities. Taylor Davis, the boy who struggled with being great at anything, is a true hero, and in a clever parallel, Taylor’s eccentric guardian angel also finds redemption for his own inadequacies. An action-packed story about overcoming self doubt and doing the right thing, TAYLOR DAVIS is a wonderful read. This one will appeal to kids and adults alike. Tons of fun and highly recommended!


Honey Queen Official Release!

Release Day for YA Fantasy/Romance HONEY QUEEN

HQ coverHONEY QUEEN is a young adult journey that delves into the connection between nature and humanity, love and friendship, and ultimately life and death. Melaina Maris–savior to honey bees–is spun into a swarm of mythic power where love brings pain and every choice ends in loss. Her fate was set by a goddess-created bloodline, ancient and cursed, sweet and venomous, and narrowed to its last fertile daughter.

The queen must mate.

A drone must die.

So a new daughter can carry on the line.

Sacrifice for the good of the hive.

But there is wisdom to be found in an ocean of history and in the healing magic of ambrosia, and the last queen might prove strong enough to overrule the first.

A Regional SCBWI “Best in Show”
Easy Click Purchase:

Cover Reveal-YA Fantasy/Romance HONEY QUEEN


HQ cover

Love is honey sweet, but it comes with a fatal sting . . .


Melaina Maris needs wings to fly the gap between loving Sam and her family’s ancient curse that forces carnal love and then kills the male lovers. She won’t let the same fate that killed her father befall another. She refuses to allow her goddess-created bloodline to continue. But there’s no easy way out, especially after the curse turns her into the Honey Queen—savior to honey bees—spinning her into a new swarm of love, friendship and death.


“HONEY QUEEN will leave you tingling. Mercer delivers an unforgettable character connected directly to nature with a twist of mythology that exemplifies the power of love, and with enough courage, the power to change ones destiny.” -Rachel Allen Dillon, award-winning author and illustrator of Through Endangered Eyes


In prose so delicious, you can taste it, Christina Mercer’s HONEY QUEEN captures the genuine angst and yearning of YA fiction with a powerful honey-sweet twist of Mythic proportions. Readers will catch the buzz of Melaina’s riveting journey to convince a Goddess to save her bloodline, the love of her life, and all the bees. A wonderful reminder of the indelible bond between humanity and nature.” -Jordan E. Rosenfeld, author of Forged in Grace, Night Oracle and Make a Scene


The Swift by Alex Banks

Coming June 2, 2014 alex banks

How far would you go to save the ones you love?

The night twelve-year-old Pete planned to shoot the winning goal in the championship hockey game was the same night his dad was lost at sea. Now, eight months later, his mom still cries all the time, his beloved grandfather, stricken with Alzheimer’s, can’t even remember him, and they’re about to lose their crappy old house to the bank. To make matters worse, his twin brother Henry blames Pete for all of it. After all, they were a family of fishermen—if Pete had gone to help on the boat instead of to the game, their dad might still be alive.

While searching the attic for stuff they can sell, Pete finds a battle-torn ship-in-a-bottle. When he and Henry show the bottle to their grandpa, the three of them are transported back in time—on board the very ship that’s going down.

Battling pirates and the raging sea, the boys must learn to work together to help their grandpa save his past. If they don’t, they won’t have a future to return to.

 Add it to your “Want To Read” on:


Briksanna’s Sacrifice by Sabrina Rawson

Introducing a New Adult Fantasy Romance by Sabrina Rawson

(I have to say, I fell in love with this book cover!)

SRawson_BriksannasSacrifice_eCover_900x1350Briksanna’s Sacrifice is a character-driven fantasy romance novel, the first book within a series called A Novel of the Four Realms, about men and women of different realms on a quest to fulfill a prophesy.


He stilled his body, eyes turning a molten green, like an animal ready to pounce before shaking it off knowing he needed to put her needs before his allowing the cool Nate to come to the forefront.  Smiling he picked her up, “Mrs. Angelo, you have made me a very proud man.  I swear I will do all that I can to keep my promise to both you and the Goddess.  Now let’s get you showered, some food in you and a clean change of clothes.  With the way I am feeling right now not necessarily in that order.”

“Warm or hot?” he asked walking into the large bathroom.

“What?”  Licking her lips he wondered what it would feel like to have his arms wrapped around her all night long.  She seemed distracted by his touch before, but now she couldn’t keep her thoughts in the present tense.  She kept projecting her own fantasies of them together under the running water, he was afraid he would lose his cool and jump her.  If she didn’t get her head out of the gutter soon he was going to combust from his own desires boiling inside of him.

He smiled at her knowing she was distracted with her own private thoughts and this touched his heart knowing he excited her with just a thought.  They were the same reasons he was struggling with by putting her basic needs first.  He did not need her attacking him like an animal clearly as her mind was demanding her to do because if she did he wouldn’t last a second.

“Water, warm or hot?”  He repeated poised by the head of the shower stall.

“Warm, please.”  Shaking her head slightly trying to clear her thoughts he figured she should try deep breathing if focusing on the present moment continued to fail her.  Goodness sakes, she was acting like a crazed teenager around him and he liked it.

Suddenly feeling doubtful of her worth to him sobered up her libido real quick.  She stole a quick glance at him hoping to reassure herself of his commitment towards her but he saw her looking at him from the corner of his eyes anyway.

I have got to let go of this self-doubt.  Those thoughts have no place between us in this moment.  If I say that enough times maybe I will believe it?

Setting her down carefully on the bathroom counter, holding her around the waist with one arm he leaned into the shower stall to turn on the water.  She was too quiet for his liking, because after turning the water on he turned back and stared at her.  After a couple of debatable seconds he went with his gut pulling her into a hug wrapping his massive arms around her filling his senses with her scent.  She had endured so much.  He wanted to give her so much and not frighten her with his presence in her life in the process.  He knew he was the man for her and she was the woman for him but she still had a hard time with trusting despite what her heart and mind were saying.  There was still a piece of her she kept hidden.  Some things were just hard for her to let go of.  That he could defiantly understand.

Will she ever trust him enough so they could endure The Prophesy and defeat Lord Drakkoon?  More importantly could he trust her to endure the upcoming battle for the sake for the universe?  What a complete mess this was.  When he dreamed of confronting Bri with the truth of his feelings for her he didn’t count on all of this drama to go with it.  Frowning he thought about where his thoughts were heading.  He would lay down his life for her no matter what, so what the hell was he worried about?  For him there was no one else in the world he would rather spend his days with.  She was the one for him and there was nothing anyone could do or say that would cause him to betray her trust.



Although I have only been physically writing for two years the ideas that conceived my first novel have been percolating in my mind for many years. In many ways I found life experiences influencing my story although written in fantasy format.

Nelson Mandela’s words inspired me:

“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”

No truer words could have been said. After my first cancer battle three years ago, I was in the frame of mind of surviving trying to get back to my swing of things. Problem was I couldn’t. I wasn’t the same person anymore. Then I relapsed by the end of the first year. Came through that experience exhausted and have had multiple tumors pop up ever since. To say my health being a mental/physical challenge is putting it mild.
I realize what I left behind in that operating room in 2010 was my passion. Cancer can’t take that away, I put it away along with my drive and ambition. My creative muse happily skipped right along with the rest of them. I had to discover myself. Well here I am three years post my first surgery and even if I have to do it again in a few months, so what! I refuse to settle for a life less than what I can create for myself.

I live in Sonoma County heart of the wine country of California enjoying life in the rural land happily married to a wonderful supportive husband. You can always find me reading a book, cooking a meal for our multitude of children or playing with our dog, Taylor.

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