by Kimberly J. Smith
About the Book:
Title: The Verdo | Author: Kimberly J. Smith | Publisher: Lulu.com | Pages: 203 | Genre: Paranormal and Urban Fantasy | Recommended Age: Young Adult
Death is so boring. At least that's how fifteen-year-old Callie finds being stuck "in between," until the day she discovers someone has left a newborn baby in the old gypsy wagon (or "verdo" as it's also called) in Wailing Woods. Determined to save the child, she tracks down Laney, the girl who barely survived the same car wreck that took Callie's life three years earlier (and whose mother's recklessness caused the accident in the first place). A mysterious connection between the two girls allows Callie to lead Laney into the spooky forest to save the baby. Laney hopes the newborn will finally help her family heal, but when Callie's grieving parents end up with custody, emotional wounds are deepened. Callie pieces together the mystery connecting the baby, the fleeting psychic powers Laney has had since the accident, and the too-good-to-be-true new guy in town. Could there be a reason Callie hasn't moved on to whatever comes next? Could she be the only one capable of putting things right?
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The Dragon Whistler
Death is final, but what if you were given the chance to put some things right? Kimberly J. Smith explores this idea in her paranormal and urban fantasy book about a teenager who unexpectedly dies in a car crash. Her name is Callie and she finds herself stuck on earth as a ghost. For a few years, she never bumps into other ghosts and people can't see or hear her. It can get lonely and boring not having anyone to talk to. But things start to change when she hears a newborn baby crying from the verdo, an old gypsy wagon in Wailing Woods.
The Verdo is a great read for teenagers and young adults. The story flows smoothly from character to character. There's mystery around the baby's birth mother and the family that has just moved to town. There's conflict between families and suspense that isn't too dark and scary. One of the underlying messages in the story is the importance of appreciating our families. Another message is that people of different races and backgrounds should all be treated with equal respect.
The Dragon Whistler
About the Author
Kimberly J. Smith
Kimberly J. Smith is an advertising creative director with twenty-five years of experience telling brand stories for companies both large and small. Her passion for storytelling extends into children’s literature where she loves to tell tales that are a bit more fantastical. A voracious reader, her favorite stories (both to read and to write) tend to revolve around those that put a magical twist on familiar legends to reveal the imaginary hidden within the folds of reality. Her middle grade books THE DRAGON WHISTLER and SYDNEY WAKEFIELD: INTO THE FARAWAY definitely fall into that category. WAILING WOODS, a young YA paranormal, releases later this year. Her current project is an alternative reality novel for teens called THE SUMMONER’S REBELLION.
Disclosure: I received a free digital copy of this book for my honest review.