Thursday, May 28, 2009

Tumtum & Nutmeg Adventures Beyond Nutmouse Hall by Emily Bearn

If your child has read the Borrowers or Littles series and loved them, this is the book for them!

This book is the compilation of three tales about two married mice who live in a broom closet in their own many roomed home. They dress like people, enjoy their quiet routines, and eat what bits and pieces of food they find on the floor or bring in from the back yard.

The first story introduces you to them and Arthur and Lucy, the children who live in the home with their inventor father - who forgets about them most of the time. They decide they need to secretly look after them, and Nutmeg tells the children she's a fairy to explain why she does all her errands at night while they are sleeping. All is going well until Aunt Ivy moves in - she hates mice! And, of course, she manages to catch them on the stairs as they are coming down from the children's room.

She mounts an effort to eradicate them, but isn't very successful. In the meantime, the mice ask General Marchmouse to help them. You won't believe how they manage to run Aunt Ivy off - and the children are thrilled she's gone, too!

The next story also features General Marchmouse, but unfortunately for him, he's caught and taken to school to be a pet in the children's schoolroom. They put him in with nude gerbils, can you imagine? And then the teacher intends to eliminate the pets because she doesn't like them.

Can Tumtum and Nutmeg save them with the help of Ms. Tiptoe's bouncing ballerina army?

The next story, the General gets in trouble again. This time he takes the toy boat out on the water with Tumtum and Nutmeg aboard, although they didn't want to go. He has big plans about discovering an island and naming it after himself. They do find an island, but he scuttles the boat trying to land it. And then they find out there are rats on the other side of the island! Will they get back? Will they ever talk to General Marshmouse again?

Nick Price is the illustrator and his graphics really make the stories come to life.

This is a delightful book and should make the young one in your life smile!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sebastian Darke by Philip Caveney

I ran across these books by accident, didn't respond to a club membership. Got Prince of Fools and Prince of Pirates. Read the story line, they looked like good fun. So I ate up one with my eyes last night and the other one tonight...

These stories are a hoot! Sebastian is out on the road with Max, a buffalope with a big, smart mouth who talks back. Sebastian is young, but trying to find a career as a jester (as his father was) and being able to send money home to support his mother. Since he's not very good at jokes, you know he's doomed from the start.

And his travels are filled with strange friends, odd enemies, and absolutely unbelievable events. But, boy, do they read fast and keep you going!

If you have a child that likes adventure and fantasy, this a great series. There's also a lot of humor.

They made me laugh for the most part, feel sad in a few places, and Sebastian still hasn't accomplished what he'd like in life. But, not to worry. There will be another book!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Like fajitas?

I make a quick and easy batch of fajitas about every 6 weeks. Hubby and I both love 'em and, if I'm lucky, there's enough for me to have lunch the next day.

Get a skirt steak or a thin chuck steak, and cut it into strips. I take the fat off it, too. I throw that in a frying pan and add a little Worcestershire sauce on it with some salt and pepper and begin browning it.

Then I dice up onion, green pepper, red pepper, orange and yellow peppers, mushrooms if I have them.

When the meat is done, I add the veggies and saute them until they're done. Add more water if it looks like the meat needs more moisture.

Slop that on a plate, microwave a tortilla, and it's heaven!

You can use whatever veggies appeal to you. Green pepper and onion are the standard fajita fare, but I add more because I love vegetables.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Mating Rituals of the North American Wasp by Lauren Lipton

This one is a fun read. I don't normally do romances, but this story line caught my eye and I read the whole book in one evening.

First rule: Don't go to Vegas with your girlfriends and wake up in some strange man's room with no idea how you got there. Luckily she was still wearing all her clothes (and so was he), so she just quickly made her escape and went back home to her boyfriend - not even knowing who he was.

Next rule: Don't marry the guy right after you meet him in Vegas. When he calls her and reminds her of the fact that she's now his wife, even they don't really know each other, she panics.

She demands the marriage be annulled. He says fine. But then his lawyer's secretary calls his aunt, and it gets much, much more complicated.

She wants to marry her boyfriend she's had for years, this new man lives in very small town that has typical small town idiosyncrasies - everyone knows your business, there are proper ways to act and lots of things you "just don't do". But her business is failing and if she stays married to Luke for a year, his aunt will leave him the old homestead (which is worth money) and they can sell it and split the proceeds. The only hang up is that she will have to come to the house on weekends and stay with he and his aunt.

That shouldn't be so hard, should it?

They avoid each other, don't talk much, and try to pretend everything is normal for his aunt. She's no dumb bunny.

In the meantime, her old boyfriend proposes. And life gets even more complicated as the aunt dies and she has to decide which of the men in her life she really wants to marry.

The action and suspense continue right up until the last chapter, and nobody knows what she's going to do - including her!

If this sounds like a book you would like to read, send me an email at info@bookfaerie.com and give me your name and address for mailing and tell me why you'd like it. You also MUST leave a comment on this blog.

Dinosaur by Stephanie Stansbie

This is an outstanding book! It's oversized, the dinosaur on the cover makes you wonder if you should hide, and the inside is full of treasures...

There are multilayered lift the flaps (pick up the big dinosaur tooth to find a smaller under it - about four times!), gatefolds you can lift and find more info behind, a giant two sided poster, and more information about dinosaurs than you can imagine.

With the very colorful graphics and the fun surprises you find on each page, no child is going to want to miss any part of this book. Reading it over and over again will just bring something new to light for them.

Even if they don't really like dinosaurs, they'll love this book. It's like a trip to the natural museum and you can do it from your favorite chair at home.

Pets go Pop! Bob Staake

This is an amazing pop up book for children. The various pets have two word names and the pop ups are gorgeous. An adult needs to read this book to little ones to protect the pop ups from little hands, but it would make a great storyteller book.

Tall Pet is a Giraffe, Toothy Pet is an alligator, etc, and they all stand out from the book and give a child great visual aides to the story.

It even comes with a 3 1/2 foot activity poster!

Great for school, libraries or day care centers. Or even for a Mom who wants to make her little smile and clap their hands for joy...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Book Giveaway - An Honorable German - Five Copies!

The publishing house has graciously offered me five more copies of this book to give away.

Read my review and see if this might be something you'd like to read: Honorable German Review .

Part of what fascinated me about this book was the fact that it talked about him in a German prisoner of war camp in New Mexico. Fort Stanton is about 100 miles away from Las Cruces, and they did serve as a German war camp for a while, so it was like reading about actual historical fact. And since I was familiar with the desert, the possibilities of escape were as he stated.

I enjoyed reading this book and think you would, too.

If you'd like to win a copy of this book, leave a comment on my blog AND email info@bookfaerie.com with your name and address. I'll then pass on the info to the publisher. Again, this offer is limited to the US and Canada.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Pastel Photo Keepers Baby Blessings


Designed by Mary Lumpkin. This is a cute little pattern. Make up your photo frame for baby and decorate with baby accessories and baby colors.

I'll be folding this in half and mailing it first class.

If you'd like to get in the drawing for this one, leave a comment on this blog and then info@bookfaerie.com me with your name and address and tell me why I should choose you.

Photo Album Keychains


Designed by Jan Coen. A cute idea, mini albums that can either be kept on your keychain or in your purse. You can choose a color combination that works for you. Good gift for Grandmothers.

I'll be folding this in half and mailing it first class.

If you'd like to get in the drawing for this one, leave a comment on this blog and then info@bookfaerie.com me with your name and address and tell me why I should choose you.

Heavenly Messenger Faith Hope & Charity


This one is designed by Janna Britton. A pretty little angel holding clouds saying faith, hope and charity. You could put your children's names on them!

I'll be folding this in half and mailing it first class.

If you'd like to get in the drawing for this one, leave a comment on this blog and then info@bookfaerie.com me with your name and address and tell me why I should choose you.

Valentine Gift Box


This design is by Ruby Thacker, and it's a small gift box done in red with some fancy stones and beads to dress it up. You could reverse the colors and make a nice wedding gift with it, too.

I'll be folding this in half and mailing it first class.

If you'd like to get in the drawing for this one, leave a comment on this blog and then info@bookfaerie.com me with your name and address and tell me why I should choose you.

Bird Magnets


I'm going to do a different giveaway today. I found some small plastic canvas sheets that I'm going to offer you.

The first is called Tropical Appeal Magnets. They are approximately 3 3/4W" x 4 1/4H". A toucan, macaw, ricebird, cockatoo, and cuckoo.

They're bright and colorful.

I'll be folding this in half and mailing it first class.

If you'd like to get in the drawing for this one, leave a comment on this blog and then info@bookfaerie.com me with your name and address and tell me why I should choose you.

Friday, May 15, 2009

I HATE cleaning up craft booklets!

Getting the tag off of something that is over 20 years old is real time consuming and requires much care. My patience level is usually shot by the time I think of cleaning them up for listing the next day. Some glue is better than others. Some I don't even bother trying to get off. Some tags take some cover with them. But I hate to leave someone's address label on the book.

I've started using a mini screwdriver to try to help save my nails from splitting. The Goo Gone makes my skin dry and brittle. Ugh!

I need a helper to clean them up for me. But they'd have to be content with the same rate of pay I get doing this job - which is zero...

Guess I better just resign myself to the fact that I shall have to continue doing it. Sigh...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

New "Serial" is up! Free and giveaway

I visited the Hachette Group booksite about the book I reviewed earlier, AFRAID, by Jack Kilborn and found that new novella has been posted on the site.

Jack partnered with Blake Crouch to write a novella that will give you chills. These men know how to scare you.

Don't hitchhike or pick up a hitchhiker - it's dangerous!

You can read the book as an e-book or as I did, as a PDF file. The print is nice and big and it was easy to read on my screen.

I'd recommend not reading this one at night...

Here is the link to it: http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/books_9780446535939.htm

Go down to the lower right corner where it offers Book Extras and pick the type you'd like to download.

I sat right here and read the whole thing this afternoon, I had no desire to stop in the middle!

It also has information about the authors, an interview, and a preview of their two books that are soon to be available.

And, another nice touch: Hachette Book Group has agreed to offer five more copies of Afraid by Jack Kilborn. Just leave a comment here on my blog, then email me at info@bookfaerie.com with your name and address and why you'd like to have the book. Please note that Hachette is limiting the contest to those who reside in the US and Canada.

If you've forgotten what I had to say about it in my review, here's the link to that post:
http://bkfaerie.blogspot.com/2009/03/afraid-by-jack-kilborn.html

Now you can scare yourself again and maybe even get a free book!

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Scarecrow by Michael Connelly

Michael Connelly is very good at scaring me - and this book did, too.

He brings back his character newspaperman Jack McEvoy, who first appeared in The Poet. In this book, Jack has just been downsized out of a job, which he's not very happy about. But before he leaves his post at the Los Angeles Times, he gets a phone call from a black woman who says her son was convicted of a crime he didn't commit. This is a common comment from most women believe in their men, but she caught Jack's attention when she accused him of being part of the reason he was behind bars. She claims that what he printed in the paper was what condemned him.

Thinking about it, Jack decides he'll check it out a bit and see if her claim might be right. If her son isn't guilty, it would be a great blow out story to end his career.

As it turns out, it could end his life...

He's tracking a very astute killer who is also a computer whiz and knows all the ins and outs of hacking as well as using connections available to track people. He's also not alone.

As he begins following the tracks of the killer, he finds his email doesn't work, his cell phone is dead, all his credit cards have been cancelled and more... Then he notices someone following him in Vegas, and the only thing that saves him from death is the fact that Rachel, an FBI agent and a former girlfriend, is waiting in his room for his return.

From there, the speed of the story picks up. Jack's "replacement" is young blonde reporter who has cuthroat instincts and writes a good story. When Jack gets back home, he finds her under his bed - dead...

The FBI question him, but he had Rachel with him so he has an alibi.

The closer he gets to the killer, the more dangerous it gets for both he and Rachel.

And until you get to the very last page, you aren't sure how many will die and who will win.

A very entertaining read!

If you'd like my ARC, leave a comment here on the blog AND email me at info@bookfaerie with your name and address and tell me why you'd like to have it. I'll pick a winner in about a week.

Let's Do Nothing! Tony Fucile

Have you ever really tried to "do nothing"? Unless you're a mime, I doubt if you'll be successful!

This delightful book has two young fellas that have done EVERYTHING. From sports to board games to comic books, they have been there and done that. And they are really bored!

But Sal comes up a new idea and Frankie thinks it's way cool, and they decide they will work on doing 10 WHOLE SECONDS of nothing. Sounds easy. But Frankie has way too good of an imagination.

They get two chairs and sit down to concentrate on doing nothing. Sal suggests they pretend they're a couple of those statues you see in the park. That worked until Frankie envisioned being covered with pigeons.

Next they were two giant redwood trees, but Frankie imagined Sal's dog peeing on him...

Then Sal had Frankie be the Empire State building - but King Kong got him then.

So Sal makes him lay on the floor and puts blocks on his stomach and head to keep him still and make him do nothing - but even that doesn't work.

It's not possible to do nothing! You still have to breath, you still have to blink your eyes, etc.

So then the pair decide it's time to do SOMETHING - anything, but something, but nothing doesn't work.

The illustrations are great. They really add to the story.

Give your bored child this book to read - it may change his/her perspective!

The Curious Garden by Peter Brown

This is a very timely book for young ones. The national news talked about people who were "greening" up vacant lots. They also have talked about garden co-ops where each person rents a segment of ground and then grows what they wish. And here comes The Curious Garden...

Liam lived in a dark, dank town filled factories and industries. Gray was the prevailing color. Most people stayed inside. But not Liam!

He'd wander about with his umbrella and see what he could see. One day, he happened on to the old railway tracks that were no longer in use. He's always wanted to explore them and there was no one else around - so we all know what that little boy did next, right??? He opened the door, ran up the steps, and surprised himself by finding some color on the tracks! Wildflowers and plants were trying to grow there, but were dying from lack of water.

He didn't know much about gardening, but he decided to try to save the little garden he had found. He almost drowned the plants, he didn't do too well with pruning in the beginning, but he persisted.

Then, as the garden grew healthy, it began creeping down the railway line, reseeding itself and adding more color.

When winter came, Liam couldn't visit the plants anymore, but he read up on gardening and got his tools together for spring!

They looked awful, but with some tender, loving care, they came back to life from their winter sleep. And they kept growing and expanding until they began leaving the railway and began falling down into the city proper.

And, as the plants moved and grew, more gardeners grew, too! As time went on, the city went back to being green and having gardens. But Liam's favorite spot was where it had all begun...

Maybe this book will encourage your own little gardener to get started on doing some planting. It can all begin with one pot and one plant. Green is good for our world.

Friday, May 8, 2009

When the Moon Forgot by Jimmy Liao

Reading this book was a joy. The illustrations are wonderful, the story line is whimsical, and it will draw children back to it for re-reading.

A young boy goes out catching butterflies, and find the moon floating in a pond. He catches it with his net and takes it home with him.

People wonder where the moon has gone, and fret over when it will return. But, not to worry. They'll just make new moons and everyone can have one!

In the meantime, the boy is keeping his moon warm and cuddling it until it opens its eyes and learns to roll. He tries to get the moon to float, but it's not ready yet.

As time goes on, he finds that the moon likes to play at night. That's great, but it means he's too tired to play during the day and loses his friends.

(Be sure to check out the illustrations. There's one of a dog peeing on a moon - just like dogs do!)

Soon the fake moons are abandoned by their owners, and the real moon begins to grow with the experiences he and the boy have had together. Eventually the real moon returns to the sky...

It would make a good bedtime book. Settle the child down and read this one with him. And he'll be able to sleep under the moonlight.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Cemetery Dance - Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child have never written a book that bored me. This one is also full of action and with a hint of horror to add to the mix.

The adventure starts when an apartment neighbor attacks a man in his own apartment and kills him. They have video showing the killer, and the wife identifies him. But he died two weeks previously - how could he be the killer?

During the autopsy, they also find some strange markings and an odd thing in his mouth - which point to voodoo...

This leads to the thought that the killer could be a Zombie. The police detective is scornful, and continues to look for clues to a human killer, but then another murder happens. And it's the first victim who has returned and murders in front of a crowd that recognizes him.

They stumble upon a secret reclusive cult of Obeah and voodoo that no one would have imagined existed in Manhattan. They know they do animal sacrifices, but do they create Zombies? Intruders are not welcome, and they are not answering any questions.

Action picks up when the surviving wife gets kidnapped right out from under police protection and a video shows her in captivity and promises her death. Both police and FBI want to stop that, but how? They can't access the compound. They're not sure she's being held there anyway.

How all this ties together is fascinating. Nothing is what it seems to be.

It's a good mystery and has some horror for you, too.

If you'd like my ARC of this book, please leave a comment here on the blog, and then email me at info@bookfaerie.com with your name and address and tell me why you'd like to read it. I'll pick a winner in about a week.

Sergio Saves the Game by Edel Rodriguez

This is the second book about Sergio, who is a penguin. He's not the most graceful creature, he's not the most athletic, but he does love to play soccer. He's just not very good at it...

If you have a child having a problem in sports, I'm sure he/she will relate to this book and love reading it again and again.

Sergio has no illusions about how good a soccer player he is, but he loves playing. You see the ball bounce off him, knock him down, watch him fall over it. But he never gives up!

They decide to make him goalie, and he has to practice a lot. Then he practices some more.

But when they play the seagulls, who are much bigger and have longer legs, it's real hard work for the whole team. And it all comes down to one final play: Can Sergio, the goalie, keep that ball out of their goal post?

Young ones will want to read this one again and again. And maybe they'll play soccer, too!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Monster by A. Lee Martinez

I've been following A. Lee Martinez since I ran across a book by him titled: The Automatic Detective. It was about a robot detective and was a fun read. I've read a few others of his and have not been disappointed by any of them. So I was happy to have a chance to read this one.

Monster specializes in Cryptobiological Containment and Rescue Services. It seems magic is forgotten by most and is only accessible by a few, but if you end up with a Yeti in your refrigeration unit at the grocery store, you need to have someone to call for help. Monster gets paid by what he retrieves, so he's Johnny-on-the-spot for you.

However, his usual monster retrieval turns into a bit more of a challenge when the number of monsters starts increasing. Rather than one Yeti, there are four. Of course, part of that is Judy's fault. She has no idea that she has magic, but she does attract odd animals. After all, the next thing that happens is that she gets trolls in her closet...

Monster does his best to help her, but when his van gets totalled and the monsters begin overwhelming him, he's about ready to leave her and her problems alone. Unfortunately, his paper gnome companion is not about to let him do that. And then there's the problem with his girlfriend - who is a succubus.

Add to that mix a little bit of a problem with who gets to control the world's magic power, and it gets even more far out.

But I consumed it in a couple of hours last night and really enjoyed the romp. You ought to try this one, too. Even if you haven't read anything else by this author, it will be a good taste of talents. And I'll bet you buy more.

I can tell I'm getting older...

After a vigorous week with our daughter, it took me two days to get back to normal. We don't run around much anymore, and we were doing something with her every day of the week. Plus she liked to stay up and talk half the night. I NEED my beauty sleep!

I'm feeling much better today and think I can get back into my routine of listing.

I spent most of yesterday afternoon picking out books I wanted to buy from a remainder house in Albuquerque. They're as nutty as I am, they confirmed my order a little after 10 last night. They must live around their computers, too.

It's going to be 97 today. Hubby broke down and got the swamp coolers working. We just run them on low, but they put moisture back in the air and cool us off nicely.

Time to grab another handful of cross stitch booklets and get them up. Only a few more of those and then I can move on to something else.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Rumblewick's Diary My Unwilling Witch Goes to Ballet School by Hiawyn Oram

Poor Rumblewick. He's the familiar of a witch in training, and he has responsibilities. It's his job to keep her on the right track and guide her in the ways of witches, but she doesn't want to be a witch!

She likes to wear pink, a flower in her hair, loves to shop in our world (the other side), and now she's decided she wants to dance ballet. What a disaster!

Then the top hags find out that she's learning ballet and give him an ultimatum - he has to stop this silly idea of ballet and get her to really practicing to be a witch or they'll send him back to familiars school.

He's not successful at stopping Haggy Aggy, but he's a great spin doctor and makes the most of the moment.

Watching him trying to stop her from doing things that make her unwitchy is part of the fun!

There will be another in this series coming out soon: My Unwilling Witch Sleeps Over. I bet Rumblewick has trouble in that one, too!

Nicely illustrated and full of fun facts about witches and with absolutely awful spells, what young one wouldn't like to read this book?