Month: January 2019

Chobe National Park

We were blessed to have visited Chobe National Park located in the Northern region of Botswana. The country of Botswana is an incredible place to visit with it’s laid back lifestyle, focus on the environment and the protection of animals. We spent two weeks enjoying time with family, the culture and the natural beauty of this country.

During our visit, our family took us to stay at Chobe Marina Lodge and surprised us with a safari tour of Chobe National Park. This was an incredible, hard to put into words experience for us. Chobe National Park, which takes its name from the Chobe River, is Botswana’s first national park. Our youngest was so excited – he loves animals and this was a dream come true for him (I can see him returning home to live with family in Botswana!).

Each of us wanted to spot a specific animal on our safari ride – the top ones were elephants, a giraffe and a hippo. We spotted some of these and so much more. While the park is home and famous for its elephant population, we did not see one on our safari ride (although we did see many when we were leaving the Lodge to drive home on the highway!). The giraffe surprised us when we stopped for a bathroom break during the middle of the ride, it was so close! It was completely breathtaking and majestic to see this beautiful animal, can you tell it is my favourite animal?

Enjoy my collection of photos during our safari drive through Chobe National Park. Next week I will share our Chobe river boat ride!

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Melding Spirits

There’s a dark cloud lingering over the Wabash Valley—It won’t be long before it erupts into a raging storm.

About Melding Spirits

Twelve-year-old Evan Mason’s life has been turned upside down by the sudden death of his father. His mother isn’t home much, the insurance office during the day, waiting tables at night. Evan is spending a great deal of time alone.

Now he finds himself on a Greyhound bus headed for a small town on the Wabash River where he’ll spend the summer of 1958 with his loving grandmother.

Evan soon meets his new neighbor, Katie Dobbins. She’s a feisty blue-eyed girl with a ponytail, the type of girl Buddy Holly might sing about on American Bandstand. Evan is instantly enamored with her.

It seems the perfect summer is underway—but strange things are happening in the woods surrounding the Ghost Hill Indian Mound.

My Thoughts

Melding Spirits is an excellent, well written, captivating novel from the start. It has an excellent plot, well developed characters that you just can’t help hold close to your heart and suspense that makes you never want to put the novel down.

We are introduced to Evan, a young man who is wise and mature beyond his age. His mother is trying everything to make ends meet as a single Mother, which forces Evan to be both a child and caregiver himself. When he finds the chance to spend the summer with his beloved Grandmother, there could be no turning back. Could you really blame him? He deserves a bit of his childhood back.

This is the summer that would change Evan. He meets and forms a bond with a young girl that would forever change his life, Katie. We follow their magical summer with the pair and Evan’s friends – it is refreshing to see their innocence and love of life. But under this are tones of something not being quite right in their small, beautiful town. Is something evil brewing or is it just normal teen angst?

You are left on the edge of your seat, unwilling to put the book down to the last second as you have to know what happens to Evan, Katie and the characters in this town. I loved every moment of this well written novel, a definite must read for young adults and adults alike.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Indigo.

Rating: 5/5

About the Author

Michael E. Burge grew up in the Chicago suburbs and a small town on the Wabash River in Southern Illinois.

In the late sixties, he left college to serve on a U.S. Navy destroyer out of Norfolk, Virginia. Upon leaving the service, he transitioned to a career in the burgeoning computer industry, positions in product management and marketing.

He is now pursuing his lifelong interest in writing, publishing his debut novel, Bryant’s Gap, in 2015 and his second, Melding Spirits, in 2017.

Michael also plays piano, paints, and is an avid golfer. He and his family currently live in Illinois.

The Giveaway!

Enter to win a copy of Melding Spirits and a $20 Amazon Gift Card by entering here. Good luck!

Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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