Showing posts from 2011

Reluctant Readers Check Out Jack Stalwart !!!

Jack Stalwart Series By Elizabeth Singer Hunt
Available through Weinstein Publishing

"Nine-year-old Jack Stalwart works for the Global Protection Force (GPF) battling evil villains and protecting the world's most precious treasures. In every book, Jack travels to a new foreign land, and tries to collect clues that will help him find his missing brother, Max.

The series has been named a 'must read' for boys by the British Education Secretary and was selected for inclusion in the Richard and Judy Children's Book Club. Recently, it was serialized by the BBC Radio 4's Big Toe Books program." From

"The Hunt for the Yeti Skull (Book 13) Jack has become the most decorated secret agent for the Global Protection Force, but during the day he’s still just an ordinary kid who has to put up with annoying people—like Marko Mayer, a new student in Jack’s rock-climbing class. When Jack an…

The No-Cry Picky Eater Solution by Elizabeth Pantley

Goodreads Blurb:
As a parent, you want your kids to eat well--not the frustration that comes with mealtime battles. In the end, it's chicken nuggets...again. Parenting expert Elizabeth Pantley will help you feed your child healthy foods without the fights and tears. In The No-Cry Picky Eater Solution, Elizabeth draws ideas from her readers around the world for getting children to eat nutritious food. She then has hundreds of parents test the ideas, so you can trust that one of these solutions that fits your situation best will work for you, too.

The No-Cry Picky Eater Solution also features recipe contributions from Missy Chase Lapine (The Sneaky Chef), Christina Schmidt (The Baby Bistro), Kim Lutz (The Everything Organic Cookbook), and several others. With Elizabeth's advice, you can help your fussy eater have nutritious meals and bring peace back to the dining table.

When Elizabeth contacted me about reviewing her new book, the timing could not have been better. Both my DS (2…

Book Review - The Time In Between by Maria Duenas

Blurb from Goodreads:

The Time In Between is a word-of-mouth phenomenon that catapulted María Dueñas, a debut author, to the top of Spain’s bestseller lists.

This sweeping novel, which combines the storytelling power of The Shadow of the Wind with the irresistible romance of Casablanca, moves at an unstoppable pace. Suddenly left abandoned and penniless in Algiers by her lover, Sira Quiroga forges a new identity. Against all odds she becomes the most sought-after couture designer for the socialite wives of German Nazi officers. But she is soon embroiled in a dangerous political conspiracy as she passes information to the British Secret Service through a code stitched into the hems of her dresses.

This is a story that is beautifully written and is very enjoyable. As you follow Sira the main character you see the evolution of a young girl to a strong woman. She makes mistakes along the way but when the time comes to stand on her own feet, she proves she can. I was able to enjoy the story…

Blog Tour Stop For Noah Zarc By D. Robert Pease

Middle School Fantasy (ages 9 - 14 as suggested by author)

Excerpt from author's website:

"Fire roared beneath me even as the ever-thinning air grew colder. The thrusters on my boots shuddered. The thermsuit popped and rattled, and I felt sure it would disintegrate before I tore free of Earth’s gravity.

And if it didn’t, my sister would kill me.
The blue sky darkened. I didn’t dare look down. Turning my head could send me careening off course, plummeting toward the surface fifty kilometers below. A blip on my heads-up display beeped. I’d pulled away from the assassin-bots, but I knew they were still there, watching me    rocket toward the cold depths of space." And so starts the story of Noah Zarc.

Noah lives for piloting spaceships through time, dodging killer robots and saving Earth’s animals from extinction. Life couldn’t be better. However, the twelve-year-old time traveler soon learns it could be a whole lot worse. His mom is abducted and taken to thirty-first centu…

Gift Pick - In The Middle Of Almost and Other Stories by S.B. Lerner

Blurb from
An engrossing collection of funny, sweet, and poignant stories(previously published in literary magazines)about women who look for men in all the wrong places, and discover something about themselves in the process.
The stories in "In the Middle of Almost and Other Stories" reveal moments in the lives of busy, successful young women who are somehow lonely and discontent. Their search for connection leads to encounters with an array of men--the garage attendant across the street, the stay-at-home dad in the playground, the younger man at the diner counter--with both funny and poignant results.
I think that the short stories in this book will resonate with all woman, even if they have not had the exact experience as some of the characters, they will know of someone who has been in at least one or more of the situations. I found that all of the stories engage the reader right away which made me ready to go right on to the next, then the next, and so on.…

Gift Pick - Scags at 7 by Deborah Emin

The year is 1958, and in a middle-class suburb of Chicago we find Scags about to begin her summer vacation. It would be a perfect time except that her best friend, Julia, is about to leave for summer camp. After Julia leaves, Scags thinks the most difficult challenge of her summer will be making a new friend. But slowly, she notices strange things beginning to happen to her Pops. Pops, her father and favorite adult, is not the same and her mother and grandparents are speaking in hushed tones. As her relationship to her Pops changes from trusting and caring to frightening and unexpected, what begins as an innocent summer vacation quickly transforms into a roller coaster ride of actions, emotions, and trying to understand the inexplicable behavior of adults.
I really enjoyed reading this book and by the end I wished I was able to think and see the world as a 7 year old again. This is an honest story told with the honest views of a child.

It is so well written that it would be easy to re…

Release Date Review - Catching The Eagle By Karen Charlton

Released Today December 8 2011 by Knox Robinson Publishing
Easter Monday, 1809: Kirkley Hall manor house is mysteriously burgled. When suspicion falls on Jamie Charlton, he and his family face a desperate battle to save him from the gallows.
When £1,157 rent money is stolen from Kirkley Hall, it is the biggest robbery Northumberland has ever known. The owner sends for Stephen Lavender, a principal officer with the Bow Street magistrate’s court in London, to investigate the crime. Suspicion soon falls on impoverished farm labourer, Jamie Charlton, and the unpopular steward, Michael Aynsley.
Jamie Charlton is a loving family man but he is hot-tempered and careless. As the case grows against him, it seems that only his young brother, William, can save him from an impending miscarriage of justice.
But William is struggling with demons of his own. Desperate to break free from the tangled web of family ties which bind him to their small community, he is alarmed to find that he…

Gift Pick - Ghellow Road by T.H. Waters

From Amazon:
Ghellow Road is a literary diary of a young girl's journey through the tangled labyrinth that is her life. Theresa's story begins in a large midwestern city where she is born to loving parents in 1965. For a brief moment in time, her life is full, as is her heart, and the world is hers to receive without consequence. As time passes and Theresa grows, supernatural forces begin to shape her existence, no matter how carefully her father colors the empty spaces of her world. After a series of tragic events, Theresa and her family seek refuge in a small Minnesota town nestled near the shores of Rainy Lake. She creates a new life for herself there, sharing adventures with friends and riding the ups and downs of adolescence. Yet through it all, her mother remains forever lost in the prison of her own mind and forever lost to Theresa. The young girl feels as though she is leading a double life, one that no one else could possibly understand. She begins to peer…

Married To Murder Blog Tour Review


I recently was invited to join the Blog Tour for Jennifer Oberth's first short story in the Ella Westin Mystery series.
Here is the description from Smashwords:
The soon-to-be Mrs. Ella Westin doesn't remember adding 'solve a murder' to her bridal to-do list but when she stumbles over the dead body of her matron of honor, it looks like she'll have no choice. Especially as her groom is the one and only suspect. Throw in bad weather, a deaf hairdresser, a ruined wedding cake and a not so retired pirate and it's enough to make Ella want to throttle everyone in sight. Can she catch the killer before the wedding is called off? Or will she be Married To Murder?  

This is such a fun story to read and I laughed out loud throughout! Less then 20 pages long (in the e-pub version) I was able to read it while my 2 year old slept and by the end of it had me wanting to read more stories with Ella a…

New Release Alert: Untraceble by S.R. Johannes

I don't usually talk about books that I have yet to read but I thought I would tell you about a new YA novel that was released yesterday, Nov 29th 2011.

There seems to be a lot of buzz going around different blogs and all the feedback is great from what I can see. Even better ... this is an awesome example of self-publishing at its finest! A professional looking book, a well written story, one that readers are saying will be the next big thing!

Check out what Kirkus Reviews had to say "this thrilling story is a dramatic entanglement of mystery, deception and teen romance. The action flows like a brisk mountain stream interspersed with rapids, holding suspense to last page."

Here is a synopsis:

16 year old Grace has lived in the Smokies all her life, patrolling with her forest ranger father who taught her about wildlife, tracking, and wilderness survival.

When her dad goes missing on a routine patrol, Grace refuses to believe he’s dead and fights the town authorities,…

Getting to Print ... a new way

I recevied an email about an author last week that peeked my interest. He was not looking for reviewers or for blog tour stops. He was not even looking to promote a release date. This self-publishing author is just trying to get his book into print and he is taking an interesting approach in financing it. His name Luke Bessy, the book Miss Chu's Story Time.

Luke has posted a request on, he is trying to raise $3500 before December 13th for the cost of printing 1000 copies of his picture book. is a website that allows users to promote projects that they are trying to fund in music, film, art, technology, design, food, publishing and other creative fields. The site connects them with those who are willing to help finance the project.

So far he is at $935 with 20 days left to go. The book is up on its facebook page!/MissChusStoryTime

Here is the synopsis:
Miss Chu's Story TIme is a delightful illustrated chi…

Cankered Roots by G.G. Vandagriff

I was invited to join the Gala Nurture Blog Tour for G.G. Vandagriff and received a copy of her first book Cankered Roots. The book was originally published in 1993 but has been re-issued this year.

Alexandra Campbell, a spunky young widow, partnered with Brighamina Poulson, an even spunkier, rifle-toting grandmother thinks that as they have begun a genealogy business (RootSearch, Inc.), it is high time she finds out her family secret. Something went wrong in her family during her adolescence, changing her mother from a Chicago North Shore matron into an alcoholic and a doting father into a workaholic. The moment she graduated from High School, she was sent to the Sorbonne in Paris with a generous bank account and instructions not to return. It is now fifteen years since she has seen her parents, and she intends to lay the ghost that has separated her family for good. However, as usual in Alex’s unpredictable life, things do not go as planned. After an acrimonious fight with her once …

What Comes of Blogging and a Good Heart

I am a huge believer of giving back so I just wanted to tell you all about an awesome thing happening over at a blog that I love to follow, The Girl from the Ghetto
She has a holiday gift guide going on right now and her plan for the items she receives for reviewing – giving them to a local charities that provides gifts for kids who may not get things otherwise.
This is the best use of a blog and I just want everyone to know what she is doing.Hopefully by the time the holiday season is upon us next year, more of us can follow in her foot steps!!! Here is the post

Daughters Of Iraq By Revital Shiri-Horowitz

Daughters of Iraq is the story of emigration of a Jewish family from Iraq to newly-established Israel as experienced by two sisters: Violet,whom we learn about through a diary she kept after being diagnosed with acritical illness, and through Farida, whose personality unfolds through her relationship with her new surroundings and her new life. Violet’s daughter, Noa, a student in her twenties in the late twentieth century, also has a prominent voice in the story. Noa embarks on a spiritual quest to the past, so that she can learn how to build her life in the present and for the future. While each of the three women is struggling with her own issues, they are all looking for the same thing: happiness. They share a strong sense of family and of their deep roots, and are all inextricably linked to each other.
I am so happy that I was invited to join in on the blog tour for Daughters Of Iraq. This book takes the reader on a journey through a period of history that many did not know exist…

Welcome Wednesday Blog Hop

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Master of the Game - Sidney Sheldon

I had never thought to pick up a Sidney Sheldon novel until a couple of months ago when I was helping a customer to find a particular book. She told me how great his stories were and that the characters seemed so real, even if they turned out to be pretty bad people! I love family saga stories, you know, the ones that follow the same family for generations, and the book my customer was looking for fell into that category. I found the customer her book and found a second copy to look at. I read a few pages at lunch and I was sold! Sadly Mr. Sheldon passed away a few years ago just days before turning 90 years old, but he has left 3 decades of writing behind for all of us to enjoy (not to mention early in his career he wrote for movies and television winning him an Oscar, an Emmy, and a Tony). Master of the Game was a great introduction and now I have at least another 17 to go!

From details

She is the symbol of success, the beautiful woman who parlayed h…

A Royal Pain: A Royal Spyness Mystery By Rhys Bowen

Published by Berkley Prime Crime (c) 2008

I had never heard of the Royal Spyness mystery series by Rhys Bowen until I was shelving books at work a couple of months ago. I picked up the book, read the back, and after reading the first 2 pages I bought the book at the end of my shift with the last few bucks I had in my wallet (thank goodness pay day was the next day)!! I do not regret buying this book one bit, it was one of the best books I have read in a very long time.

Here is the synopsis from Rhys Bowen's website :

The Queen of England has concocted a plan in which Georgie is to entertain a Bavarian princess—and conveniently place her in the playboy Prince’s path, in the hopes that he might finally marry.

But queens never take money into account. Georgie has very little, which is why she moonlights as a maid-in-disguise. She must draw up plans: clean house to make it look like a palace; have Granddad and her neighbor pretend t…

Self-Publishing Month: January 2012

Planning ahead to January already ... I will be doing a theme month were I review and speak to authors who have self-published their own work. If you have written a book or know someone who has and they have gone the self-publishing route - contact me at If you would like your work reviewed during my Self-publishing month contact me soon so we can discuss the details! I’ll be posting a cut off date soon.

October is looking good !

This has been a very exciting month for me in books so far this month, and it is only the 3rd!

I have been in contact with a number of authors over the past few weeks and I am in the process of receiving a number of books for me to review, many of whom are currently unknown but hopefully will soon be very familiar to you! I hope to turn this blog into an outlet for new and self-published writers to get the word out about their latest projects!

I also was able to attend a fall preview by Random House yesterday and got to hear all about their new releases for the next few months. They have a great line-up and I hope to be posting some of those reviews over the next few months!

This month I will be posting at least one review a week, and will be hosting my first giveaway as part of the blog tour for "Daughters of Iraq" by Revital Shiri-Horowitz. This is a fascinating novel based on the author's family story that has never before been told. The story is about two Iraqi-Jewi…

This Story Begins With A Box ....

This video from the Scholastic Inc. website is great! It makes a great point about how if a child is allowed to choose what they want to read ... how much easier it is to create a lifelong reader. While it is a way of promoting their bookclubs its also a great little video to show the importance of childhood literacy! Just thought I would share it with you :)

This story begins with a box#.Tnern9lmF-4.blogger"This

Tuesday New Releases 09-13-11

Here are a few of this weeks new releases! The list is pretty long as this time of year brings out tons of new books! Enjoy :)

The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern
New York to Dallas – J.D. Robb
Perfect – Ellen Hopkins (YA)
Jacqueline Kennedy (Historic Conversations on Life with J.F.K.) – Caroline Kennedy / Michael Beschloss
Modelland – Tyra Banks (YA)
How Firm a Foundation – David Weber
You Against Me – Jenny Downham
A Good Man – Guy Vanderhaeghe
Persuasion – Arlene Dickenson
Happy Accidents – Jane Lynch
Love Times Three: Our True Story Of A Polygamous Marriage – Joe, Alina, Vicki, and Valerie Darger

Tuesday New Releases - September 6, 2011

Here is this weeks sample of New Releases.

Please Note that books seem to have different publication dates in the different countries that they are released so these may not yet be available in your area. On the other hand, you may have had some of these books months ago and we are the ones behind!

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest (in paperback today) – Stieg Larsson
Naughty in Nice – Rhys Bowen
Royal Blood (in paperback today) – Rhys Bowen
A Private Affair – Lesley Lokko
Shelter – Harlan Coben (YA)
The Race – Clive Cussler and Justin Scott
Envy (in paperback) – JR Ward
Tales of a Sixth-grade Muppet (9-12) – Kirk Scroggs

In My Mailbox (8) 08-24-11 to 08-31-11

This past week I received one ARC from a giveaway and went to the library and picked up some holds. I have a new book loan from work and I also treated myself and bought a new book!

The Leftovers - Tom Perrotta (ARC)
I won this from a giveaway that was hosted by Mandy at

From the Library I picked up:

Royal Flush - Rhys Bowen
(the third book in a great series I recently discovered - Her Royal Spyness)

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Stieg Larsson
(not normally the type of book I read but I picked up the second in the series at a used book sale, started it, liked it, and thought .... maybe I should start from the beginning!)

I Don't Know How She Does It - Allison Pearson
(movie will soon be out starring Sarah Jessica Parker)

Born To Rule: Five Reigning Consorts, Granddaughters of Queen Victoria - Julia Gelardi
(history about how 5 of Queen Victoria's granddaughter's became Queen's themselves - a fascinating read if you like royal European h…

Tuesday New Releases - Aug. 30 2011

Here is this weeks sample of New Releases.
Please Note that books seem to have different publication dates in the different countries that they are released so these may not yet be available in your area. On the other hand, you may have had some of these books months ago and we are the ones behind!

Only Time Will Tell – Jeffrey Archer

The Leftovers - Tom Perrotta Kill Me If You Can – James Patterson

The Cats Table – Michael Ondaatje

Northwest Angle – William Kent Krueger

Slow Love – Dominique Browning (in paperback today)

Fall of Giants – Ken Follett (in paperback today)

First Impression Friday - The Summer Garden By Paullina Simons

The Summer Garden by Paullina Simons
                                 First William Morrow Paperback Edition Released July 2011
                                 Original Publication 2005

Through years of war and devastation, Tatiana and Alexander suffered the worst the twentieth century had to offer. Miraculously reunited in America, they now have a beautiful son, Anthony, the gift of a love strong enough to survive the most terrible upheavals. Though they are still young, the ordeals they endured have changed them—and after living apart in a world laid waste, they must now find a way to live together in postwar America.

With the Cold War rising, dark forces at work in their adopted country threaten their lives, their family, and their hard-won peace. To regain the happiness they once knew, to wash away the lingering pain of the past, two lovers grown distant must somehow forge a new life . . .or watch the ghosts of their yesterdays destroy their firstborn son. (taken from http://paulli…

Tuesday New Releases - Aug. 23 2011

Here is this weeks sample of New Releases. 

Please Note that books seem to have different publication dates in the different countries that they are released so these may not yet be available in your area. On the other hand, you may have had some of these books months ago and we are the ones behind!

The Power of Six  by Pittacus Lore
Flash and Bones by Kathy Reichs
Heat Wave by Richard Castle (in paperback today)
Betsy Wickwire's Dirty Secret by Vicki Grant
Viscount Breckenridge to the Rescue by Stephanie Laurens
Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
The Measure Of The Magic: Legends Of Shannara by Terry Brooks

First Impression Friday

I have been away from my computer all week because of a wrist injury that flares up once and again so this week I have missed not only taking part in the Review-a-thon but I have no first impression for this week :(

But I'll be back with more next week as I am always reading!

First Impression Friday - 2030 By Albert Brooks

Published By St. Martins Press May 10th 2011 The Description from the book cover: "Is this what’s in store? June 12, 2030 started out like any other day in memory—and by then, memories were long. Since cancer had been cured fifteen years before, America’s population was aging rapidly. That sounds like good news, but consider this: millions of baby boomers, with a big natural predator picked off, were sucking dry benefits and resources that were never meant to hold them into their eighties and beyond. Young people around the country simmered with resentment toward “the olds” and anger at the treadmill they could never get off of just to maintain their parents’ entitlement programs.
But on that June 12th, everything changed: a massive earthquake devastated Los Angeles, and the government, always teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, was unable to respond.
The fallout from the earthquake sets in motion a sweeping novel of ideas that pits national hope for the future agains…

Tuesday New Releases - Aug. 9, 2011

Tuesday is normally the day of the week that new books are released. This is just a brief list of some of the books available today (in Canada). Books seem to have different publication dates in the different countries that they are released so these may not yet be available in your area. Or on the other hand you may have had some of these books months ago and we are the ones behind!

Prime Time by Jane Fonda
The Accident by Linwood Barcley
The Ideal Man by Julie Garwood
Becoming Marie Antionette: A Novel by Juliet Grey
The Magician King by Lev Grossman
The Secret Power of Middle Children by Catherine Salmon PhD and Katrin Schumann
Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld (9-12yrs)
Storyteller by Patricia Reilly Giff (9-12yrs)

First Impression Fridays - Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

“Twenty years ago, the journey began: Diana Gabaldon swept readers into her mesmerizing world brimming with history, romance, and adventure. To celebrate the series that has captured the hearts of millions, Doubleday Canada will be publishing a special anniversary edition for core Gabaldon fans and new readers alike. Unrivaled storytelling, unforgettable characters, and rich historical detail are the hallmarks of Diana Gabaldon's novels. Here is the story that started it all, introducing two remarkable characters: Claire Randall and Jamie Fraser. A spellbinding novel of passion and history, that combines exhilarating adventure with a love story for the ages, The Outlander takes readers on an unforgettable journey.”
This is how Random House, the publisher of Outlander by Diana Gabaldon describes the book that was just released in a special 20th Anniversary edition on July 5th.The entire Outlander series has a cult following and those who love it cannot stop talking about it. Over th…