Monday, December 21, 2009

Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier

This was a wonderful book. It's a fictional account of historical fact about Mary Anning, the young girl who found a unique fossilized skeleton on the English coast.

I had read a book some time ago for young readers concerning her and was amazed at how young she was when she found this extraordinary fossil.

This novel fleshes out the story and introduces me to her spinster friend who was much older but also enjoyed digging for fossils.

Elizabeth Philpot has had to move to the seaside village with her two sisters because her brother was getting married and he and his wife would be taking over the household. They don't have much money, so Elizabeth entertains herself by gathering fossils, cleaning them, identifying them, and displaying them in cases.

Mary and her family sell the fossils for their livelihood, even more vitally needed when her father dies while she's still small.

How these two strange friends interact makes the story move along quickly. The early nineteenth century did not allow women much freedom, so there is gossip and innuendo from the villagers.

Dutton will be publishing the book in January. It's a very enjoyable read.

If you'd like my copy of this ARC, please leave a comment here on my blog and email me at info NOSPAM (take the spaces and no spam out)with your name and address and tell me why you'd like to read it. I'll be picking a winner in about a week.

The Red Scarf by Anne Villeneuve

This is another delightful picture book published by Tundra Books. It will be out in February, 2010, is 40 pages long and is for ages 5-7.

It was originally published in French, and the artwork shows that influence.

There are almost no words in this book, but the story is very vivid and exciting and you'll be so taken with the illustrations you won't notice it.

A taxi driver in a yellow cab gives a passenger a ride and then finds a red scarf left in the back. The rest of the tale is all about how he tries to return it, how many places he goes, and what happens to him there is what makes you smile.

Since it is almost wordless, you can encourage your child to add more to the story and learn to use her or his imagination. Let them write their own story!

This book would make a very nice gift for a young one.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Things That Keep Us Here by Carla Buckley

This book gave me nightmares! I'm sure it's because the disaster discussed in the book is a real fear for me. I'm always reading "end of the world as we know it" books, but the premise is this book is more believable than most.

Imagine a world where Avian flu is pandemic and it metamorphoses into different viruses as time goes on...

Ann and Peter Brooks are separated. Ann has the house and the two children, Peter has an apartment and is a university researcher.

When his research leads him to a large duck kill and there is no sign of any external cause, he takes samples to the lab to test and see what caused their deaths. He's horrified to find Avian flu - and university is already shutting down and evacuating the building!

It doesn't take long to spread, and soon it is killing fifty out of every hundred people it touches. No one knows why some survive, but everyone is soon locking their doors and quarantining members of the family who were exposed.

Ann refuses to let her neighbor lady in because she's sick and she doesn't want to expose her children. The neighbor begs her to take her son in and save him and leaves him on the porch in the snow and goes home. Peter sneaks around the house and brings the baby inside and Ann cannot understand how he can risk his family...

There are difficult decisions to make in times like this, and many choices have deathly consequences.

This book may not give you nightmares, but I bet it'll keep you awake at night!

It has well paced writing, the story line is almost real, and there are places that will make you cry. It's the author's first novel and I highly recommend it. I'll be watching for her next one...

If you'd like to win my ARC from Delacourte Press, leave a comment here on the blog and send me an email at info NOSPAM with your name and address and why you'd like to read it. I'll be giving it away in about a week.

Here Comes the Bride by Beatrice Masini

Illustrated by Anna Laura Cantone, published by Tundra Books.

This book was originally published in Italy, and the artwork reflects that "flavor". It is also reminiscent of Edward Gorey's work and the New Yorker Magazine. The illustrations are colorful, a bit outlandish, and work with the story.

Filomena makes dresses for a living and is always designing wedding dress for other women. She longs for the day she'll be able to make one for herself.

The man working at the mechanic shop next door loves her, but is too shy to say so. When he finally works up his courage and asks, she accepts, and starts working on her dress.

And when she's finished with her magnificent dress and comes to the wedding, she scares her groom!

The story does have a message (the dress does not make the lady) and it's a fun read.

The book will be published in January, 2010 and is for ages 4-7.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Hollywood Moon by Joseph Wambaugh

Joseph Wambaugh has been writing for years now, drawing on his experiences as a police officer in the past. Now he's busy interviewing the officers who are walking that thin blue line currently to get info for his novels. And it's all still relevant and funny and horrifying and more.

He doesn't sugarcoat anything. The novel is graphic, many times heartrending, and it keeps your eyes glued to the page.

As you read about the lives and times of the officers, you'll find some you like, and some you don't. It's easy to worry about the officers and the messes they walk into. Even cases that look simple may not be.

If you're into police procedural stories, this book would be a good one to read. I enjoyed tasting Joseph's work again.

This ARC is from Little Brown and if you'd like to have my copy, leave a comment here on the blog, and email me at info NOSPAM (take out the spaces and NOSPAM) with your name and address and tell me why you'd like to read it. I'll pick a winner in about a week.

Sail Away with Me - Old and New Poems

Selected and written by Jane Collins-Philipee and illustrated by Laura Beingesser. To be published March 9, 2010 by Tundra Books.

I've had the privilege of getting a copy of this book from Tundra to read and review, and it's a wondrous book. It's meant for ages 3-6, but I sure enjoyed reading the poems and admiring the folksy illustrations and fun colors used to make the poems come to life.

Some are nursery rhymes, some are brand new poems, but all have to do with the sea. Some will make you laugh out loud!

My favorite is a new one about a ship that has a hippo for a captain and other animals for the rest of his crew.

This is an easy reader that will be read again and again.

If your child is not into poetry, this might open the door to that genre for them.

I can easily recommend this book to parents or grandparents or to anyone who loves kids!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Cincinnatus by Rusty McClure and David Stern

Subtitle: The Secret Plot to Save America

Initially, I wasn't sure if I was going to enjoy this read as much as normal because it begins with golf. I've never been a fan of golf, but the story begins racing in the first chapter and keeps on at the same pace through the whole book. I did enjoy it!

Matt Thurman, a golfer hoping his shoulder will heal well enough he can get back on the PGA circuit, is out practicing one night on the greens when two amazing things happen. A beautiful woman asks him if he was Bob Kazmir (he wished he was) and then he actually sees Bob Kazmir - who has company with him. When he realizes they are having an argument, he tries to leave, but they notice him and invite him to join them.

While they are chatting, the older man asks to borrow Matt's golf club to try a few swings. When the swinging becomes deadly, Matt finds himself framed for murder and no one believes his story except his brother.

He finally decides no one is going to prove his innocence for him, he'll have to do it himself. However, the road to the truth is twisted and no one wants him to find out what's going on.

He receives a mysterious visitor who helps him escape the jail, he finds out the beautiful woman is a Department of Justice attorney, and that there is a secret society with big plans to "save" America.

The various plot lines come together smoothly, there's a lot of action and intrigue, and it'll keep you turning all 523 pages eagerly to see what's going to develop next!

This ARC came from Atlas Books, and I'm going to be giving it away. If you'd like my copy, email me at info NOSPAM (take the NOSPAM and spaces out) with your name and address and tell me why you'd like to read it. And leave a comment here on the blog. I'll pick a winner in about a week.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Black Friday Special!

Black Friday special: 1/2 off all books in the Graphic Novel Category.

Email me to get the discount and amount due.

If the link doesn't work, visit and browse the Graphic Novel Category.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Glen's making us a pot of stew for our Thanksgiving dinner tonight. I get to smell it all day while I'm in here playing with books and working on my computer. The anticipation of how good it will taste is part of the fun!

My sister-in-law said brother picked up Mom at the nursing home and took her home with them for Thanksgiving. I believe Myra's sister will be joining them for lunch.

George took the two boxes of books I sent her over when he did the pickup and she spent the way out of the building looking back at her room and wishing she had had time to open them. See where I get my love of books?

I sent Myra the graphic image above to show to Mom and told her the turkey reminded me of her. Mom laughed and said she can't jump that fast anymore.

All is good in my life this holiday. I'm hoping you all are having fun with family members and remember not to eat too much (ha!).

We're having pumpkin pie for dessert. No Cool Whip, but we do have some vanilla ice cream...

Thanks to all my family, friends and customers - you're what keeps me going!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Last Night I Sang to the Monster by Benjamin Alire Saenz

I was amazed to see that this book was printed in El Paso, TX (45 miles from me) and that the author is a UTEP professor. It was like getting a present from home!

I was very impressed by Mr. Saenz's description of mental illness and how it impacts people. He writes of horrors they've seen or done in their lives, how they attempt to open up and interact, and how they learn how to overcome the event and move on. Not all of them are successful at this.

Teens will feel that this book is written by someone who understands the mixed up emotions they feel.

The problems discussed within range from alcoholism and addiction to drugs to dealing with death. We all have monsters on our lives - some are bigger and darker than others. But this book shows there is hope and there can be recovery, even if it's slow.

Even if your teen has no troubles in her or his life, this is good read for them. It will make them be aware of the dangers out there in the real world and give them an insight on why some folks behave the way they do.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

One Man's Music by Vince Bell

Subtitle: The Life and Times of Texas Songwriter Vince Bell.

This man is amazing. He has a talent with words and he has overcome odds that would have overwhelmed almost anyone else.

He begins with the story of his career as a songwriter and singer, which is entertaining and not all sane. He's an accomplished songwriter and has major country artists singing his work (like Lyle Lovett) and life is looking good.

Then he's in a horrific traffic accident - a drunk hits his car and puts both Vince and his wife in the hospital. Vince's injuries are so extreme they don't know if he will live. His own family members don't recognize him. And his brain injury is debilitating.

The doctor's prognosis is not good. Not much is known about brain injuries, but most people don't recover all the abilities they had previously. And Vince's injury is worse than most.

He has to learn how to do everything all over again. He ignores the doctors and works on rehabilitating what he has left of his body. It's a long, hard struggle. But he didn't become a songwriter because he gives up easily...

He just recently did a benefit concert in Sante Fe, NM, for the Brain Injury Advisory Council of New Mexico, so you can see he's still fighting and still doing good!

This is an extraordinary story and a great read - I highly recommend it.

If you'd like my copy of this ARC, please leave a comment on this blog and email me at info NOSPAM (take the spaces and NOSPAM out) and tell me your name and address and why you'd like to read the book. I'll choose a winner in about one week.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Fallen by Lauren Kate

Subtitle: They Are Among Us...

This book has been written for young adults and should please them. It has good and evil, fantasy, unknown forces and creatures and reincarnation. What more do you need? Oh, maybe a bit of romance? It has that, too!

The story moves quickly, is believable (if you like fantasy) and leaves you waiting for the next in the series. For this book is not an end - only a beginning to a story.

I enjoyed it. It has adult content, so don't let a young one read it. But if you have a teenager that likes action packed fantasy, this will work!

If you'd be interested in my ARC, please leave a comment here on the blog and then email at info NOSPAM (take out the spaces and NOSPAM) with your name and address and why you'd like to read it. Giveaway will be in about a week.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Other Chicago Mob by Verne Elliot Glassman

Subtitle: The True Story of Gary Cohen Man in Blue.

Gary was a Chicago police officer from 1966 to 1988. Enough years have passed now that he feels comfortable talking about the way it was - which was NOT the way it should be.

Crime was rampant in Chicago (still is to be honest), and Mayor Daley wanted to slow and stop all the crime he could, so he instructed the police to get out there and DO IT.

While the concept of fighting crime is a good one, when the Mayor lets the leash go on the cops and they have freedom to end it how they wish, the outcome will not be a good one.

This book names names, Gary includes the exploits in his cop life and has admitted he did bad things, too.

While there was much public outcry and newspaper reporting about the issue, this is an inside look at how the boys in blue operated and can make you wonder if one side was any better than the other.

It reads with a good flow, the stories are short and pithy, and you have to admire someone who tell about his own transgressions as well as others.

If you'd like my ARC of this book, leave a comment here on the blog and send me an email to info NOSPAM (take out the spaces and no spam) with your name and address and why you'd like to read the book. I'll pick a winner in about a week.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

9 Dragons by Michael Connelly

I've been reading Connelly's Harry Bosch books for years now, and he's never disappointed with any of his stories.

Harry Bosch is almost too human. He has his faults, sometimes he doesn't take the right action or respond in the right way, but it's his way and he means well for the most part. His life has not been all a bowl of cherries. He has his sorrows, his vices, and his own demons.

Despite all that, he's a good cop. He sometimes steps outside the lines of allowed behavior to get the criminal, but he doesn't worry about it.

This story begins with the suspicion that a Hong Kong triad has murdered a local store owner that Harry knows. But as the story escalates, there is more than one plot involved, and somehow he has to figure out the true reason the old man was shot.

In the meantime, someone near his own heart is in danger, and he is afraid that might also be the actions of the triad.

Harry still has his demons when the story ends, but you know there will be another story coming. There are still more cases in Harry's future. And more challenges in his personal life.

If you'd like my ARC of this book, please leave a comment here on the blog, and then email me at info NOSPAM (take out the spaces and NOSPAM) and tell me why you'd like to read it. I'll choose a winner in about a week.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Easy Stuffed Pork Chops

I like quick and easy menus - probably from all those years of working and only having an hour to cook dinner!

I buy a package of pork stuffing mix (chicken will work if they don't have pork), and make it according to the package instructions, but add green pepper, celery, onion, and canned mushrooms to it.

Once the stuffing is cooked, I mix it up, put it over the top of chops on a cookie sheet, and cook at 350 degrees until done. Usually that's about 45 minutes, but it can take longer depending on the number of chops and their thickness.

Ready in about an hour. And real, real popular with my family and friends. And not real expensive to do.

Make a good meal with all food groups and add some stewed tomatoes if you'd like. My hubby loves those!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Brick Layer by Noah Boyd

This book grabs your attention and runs off into the night without you if you don't keep up!

The Brick Layer is no ordinary guy working with mortar. He was previously in the FBI and last served as a contract investigator, but he didn't take commands well, and often "colored outside the lines". As a result, he left the FBI and went into brick work.

However, as is usual, when a big case comes up that they don't want the public to know about, they invite him back to work again - on his own terms.

It's a face paced, hard hitting story with some mean edges. But the story draws you in and holds you.

It's well written, the characters are bigger than life, and I highly recommend this book. I'm sure there will be more adventures with the Brick Layer. After all, he doesn't follow the rules...

If you'd like my ARC of this book, please leave a comment here on my blog and email me at info NOSPAM (take the spaces and NOSPAM out) and tell me why you'd like to read it. I'll pick a lucky winner in about a week.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Locked In by Marcia Muller

I've been reading Sharon McCone mysteries for years, so I was very happy to see another one published. Marcia Muller always has a fast paced story, where Sharon's brains are her biggest safeguard against danger and death - and even then that doesn't always work.

The premise of this story scares me to death! Sharon is shot when she tries to enter her office late one night, and the bullet lodges at the top of her spine - and renders her helpless. She can't speak, she can't move, and it's a while before they realize her brain is still functioning and she's awake and aware. The prognosis isn't good.

All her husband and her staff can do it try to solve the cases she was working on because they feel one of them must have been the cause of her injury. She can't offer them input like she usually does, so they have to determine themselves what she might suggest they do.

Not being able to communicate would scare me to death, and it certainly effects all the characters in the book.

If you'd like my ARC of this mystery, leave a comment here on my blog, and send me an email at info@ NOSPAM (take out the spaces and NOSPAM) with your name and address and why you would like to win it. I'll be giving it away in about a week.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Everything for a Dog by Ann M Martin

Ann M Martin has been writing children's books for years, and she's been very successful at it. I was intrigued about the fact she writing about dogs, because I'm a dog lover second (cats are my first love) and I truly wanted to see her work.

This is great book, but it has sad spots. It's about how life is, things you need to accept if you can't understand them, and how to go on when you feel like you can't.

It's written in three voices. The dog's, the father's, and the son's voice. Ghosts of the past come to haunt the present, and the current little boy just knows he wants to have a dog!

Having a cat and various other pets doesn't take his desire away to have a dog. His father won't allow it, but doesn't tell him why.

Bone has been traveling around since his youth, because the world isn't safe for dogs unless you find an owner with love. He has several homes, sometimes thinks it will be for "forever", but no.

How father, son, and dog meet each other and resolve their issues will most likely make you cry.

If you'd like my ARC of this book, please leave a comment here on my blog and email me at info@ NOSPAM (Remove the spaces and the NOSPAM to send it.) Tell me why you'd like to read it. I'll end the contest in about a week.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tell Me Something True by Leila Cobo

This is an interesting tale. It's the story of Gabriella, whose mother died when she was only four.

She's always had lots of love from her father in Los Angeles and her grandmother, who lives in Columbia. She enjoys the cultures of both countries, and loves being coddled by her grandmother.

While visiting her grandmother in Columbia she learns they are going to tear down the old house which has greatly deteriorated. So she goes to visit it one last time. And finds a diary that her mother kept.

She decides to read it so she can learn more about her mother. But the diary is full of secrets...

She's also found a new love interest. Her cousin took her to a party and she met Angel and was attracted to him. Her cousin tells her Angel is part of the drug cartel and she can't see him. She tells Angel that and he tells her he's in the music business and gets his money that way, he doesn't do drugs.

The diary tells her that her mother also found a love interest here in Columbia when she was visiting without her family.

After fomenting over the information and trying to decide what to do with, she confronts her grandmother - who tells her it's true.

So has everything she's been told about her mother been a lie? Or part of it? Could her father not know?

I don't want to give away more of the story line, but it will keep you busy reading to see just what happens next. What else her mother says in the diary. What Gabriella and Angel do.

Life isn't certain at any point, but when you find out you've been fed lies, it's hard to begin to trust again.

If you'd like my copy of the ARC, leave a comment here on the blog and then email at info NOSPAM (take the spaces and the NOSPAM out) with your name and address and why you'd like to read the book. I'll be picking a winner in about a week or so.

True Blue by David Baldacci

I haven't read Baldacci for a while, and I don't know why. This book was good!

It begins with a cop who was framed for a crime she didn't commit and jailed. The next chapter has a lawyer who opens the office fridge to get the coffee and has a dead lawyer fall in his arms...

Mace's sister lets her go along on the case if she agrees she won't say anything. You can guess how long that lasts. Roy immediately dislikes her because she's insinuating he might have been the murderer.

Mace wants to solve a big case to exonerate herself and become a cop again. Roy just doesn't want to be accused of murder or to let the Captain, a homeless veteran, be nailed the crime.

As time goes on, Mace and Roy end up working together trying to solve the crime. Mostly because the police think they have their murderer in jail, and because someone is trying to kill them both.

It's fast paced with a plot with lots of twists and turns. And when you find out upper level government is involved, you don't know who is going to win at the end.

If you'd like my copy of the ARC, leave a comment here on the blog and then email at info NOSPAM (take the spaces and the NOSPAM out) with your name and address and why you'd like to read the book. I'll be picking a winner in about a week or so.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Lion's Eye Seeing in the Wild by Joanna Greenfield

This book literally takes you into the heart of Africa, where the author has gone to study chimpanzees. It's nonfiction, and as you read along about the trials and tribulations she had to go through to study the chimps, you realize she had to be very dedicated to her work and the wonders of the chimps to stay.

Her vivid descriptions about the constant dampness, her illness from using unboiled water to wash with, and the various bugs make you feel like you're there and it's happening to you.

Her life is in danger from the soldiers in Uganda, and there are poachers in the area. She's not even sure if her own escorts to the camp are on her side or if they would sell her out to soldiers or poachers. But she persists.

The authorities harass her. They run out of food and when she goes to purchase more, she has to endure more humiliation and taunting.

Do you want to eat beans for six months solid? Do you want to eat the worms that get in the beans?

This is a very authentic look at what it's like to live in the wild with no amenities and no one checking on you - you have to take care of yourself and not let the jungle or the animals within it kill you.

Her plans don't come to fruition like she hoped, but she does learn a lot. Africa changed her. While she was studying the chimps, the jungle and the animals about her taught her about life.

I'd recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading about Africa, chimpanzees or survival.

If you would like to have my review copy, leave a comment here on the blog and email me at info NOSPAM @ (take the spaces and NOSPAM out) and tell me your name and address and why you'd like to have it.

Century Book One The Ring of Fire by P D Baccalario

This is the first novel in a series of four (I think - it covers four cities in the series) and starts with the premise that every 100 years humankind is tested. The problem is that the four young people who have been chosen to fight the battle don't even know it's happening.

They meet by chance when they all end up in Rome at the same hotel. They are from different parts of the world, but they were all born on February 29th.

When they take a walk to alleviate the boredom of the hotel, they find a man who is running from someone - and entrusts his briefcase to them. Unfortunately, "they" are looking for the briefcase and soon trace it to the children.

Then begins the game of cat and mouse while the young adults try to figure out what they have and what it means, the other side is trying to kill them to retrieve it.

Full of drama, some magic, and some luck, this is a busy tale that keeps you reading and will leave you wanting the next book when it comes out.

If you would like to have my review copy, leave a comment here on the blog and email me at info NOSPAM @ (take the spaces and NOSPAM out) and tell me your name and address and why you'd like to have it.

A. D.: New Orleans After the Deluge by Josh Neufeld

We all watched TV coverage of Katrina and the damage that was done, first by the hurricane, then by the dyke breaking. We also heard and saw the stories of the survivors.

This book is a graphic novel that tells the story of six Katrina survivors, and the illustrations gets the point across that no one person or decision alone created the chaos before, during and after the damage. Government decisions, political decisions and individual's decisions all played a role.

As you follow along the story and watch these people try to live with the decisions they've made and how it all works out, you see on a personal level just how awful the damage was and how it affected a variety of families. And how it still is affecting them...

If you've forgotten the horror of Katrina, this will refresh your memory. And if you think our disaster planning is sufficient, just hope you live somewhere you won't need it.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Witch's Guide to Cooking with Children by Keith McGowan

Yes, you read that right. And the witch is not talking about teaching them to cook, either!

This book is a fun little romp through a city where children who drive their parents nuts by talking back, not cleaning up their room, or other similar annoyances can be dropped off at a local dumpster for "witch cleanup". There are other techniques, too, that assure the witch of a constant diet of her favorite food and saves parents from parenting.

When Sol and Connie Blink move to Schoneberg with their father and stepmother, they have no idea one of their new neighbors is a witch.

At least, until they found her dog playing with a bone and Sol identifies it as "human".

I'm sure there will be a sequel to this story - there's too much not told yet at the end. But it's a fun read and made me laugh out loud a couple of times.

If your child likes stories that might give them a little chill, this is a great pick for them.

If you'd like to read my ARC, I'm giving away this copy. Leave a comment here on the blog, and write to me at info NOSPAM (take the spaces and NOSPAM out) and tell me why. I'll do a drawing in about a week.

The Murder of King Tut by James Patterson & Martin Dugard

James Patterson is a prolific writer, but his books are always good. That amazes me. Not that he's good, but that even when he writes a lot, he doesn't short cut, pick easy plots or just plug words in.

I first "met" him when reading about Alex Cross, but lately he's written some nonfiction - and he makes that just as readable as fiction, which takes some doing. (I'm not big on reading nonfiction.)

What he offers here is his speculation that King Tut did not die from his chariot race injuries, but was actually murdered.

His manner of presentation is a mix between King Tut's time and Howard Carter's search for Tut's tomb. Both stories have some intrigue and love interests, as well as disappointments and accomplishments.

He takes the various facts he and Michael can glean from x-rays, Carter's files, forensic clues, and oral accounts to arrive at his conclusion.

The Egyptians played rough, and Pharaohs and Queens were not exempt from danger.

Reading about the archeological dig was as interesting as following along Tut's short life.

Read it and see what your opinion is - he makes a good argument.

If you'd like to read my ARC, I'm giving away this copy. Leave a comment here on the blog, and write to me at info NOSPAM (take the spaces and NOSPAM out) and tell me why. I'll do a drawing in about a week.

The Lion & The Mouse by Jerry Pinkney

Jerry Pinkney has been illustrating books for years, and I've always enjoyed his artwork. However, he's really outdone himself in this book.

This is a retelling of an Aesop's Tale that he has dedicated to his first great-granddaughter, and the pictures show the love.

There are no words, the pictures tell the tale.

The poor mouse gets too close to the lion and is captured. By in a moment of compassion, the lion lets her go. She races home to her family and feels very lucky to be still alive. Then the lion is captured in a net and can't escape...

You feel the forest and the animal's emotions show plainly.

I highly recommend this picture book because the illustrations are outstanding. And, if you're not sure I mean it, this book is going in MY library as part of my own collection of childrens' books. It's a keeper!

Fanny & Annabelle by Holly Hobbie

This is the second book in this new childrens' series, and it's just as delightful as the first. Fanny's doll, Annabelle, is now her favorite toy and she decides to create a picture book for her.

The story in her picture book is very close to what is happening in Annie's own life. The graphics are typical little girl drawing for her story, and she ends up with a moral dilemma that she must sort out - with the help of her mother, of course.

The picture book story does have a happy ending, which is what Fanny wanted for Annabelle.

This is a very nice series for a young girl who is just beginning to learn life's lessons.

And there are bookmarks included, too - even one you can make for yourself!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Far Away by Carol Diggory Shields

Someone shouts in Annie's ear,
But what they're saying, she can't hear.
Buzzers buzz and school bells ring,
Annie doesn't hear a thing.
Friends can jostle, tug, and pinch,
Annie doesn't move an inch.
"Oooo, here comes a big black bug!"
Annie does not even shrug.
"Fire!" "Earthquake!" "Runaway bus!"
She remains oblivious
Until, at last, with a faraway look,
Annie smiles and shuts her book.

Found this one in I Like It Here At School by Jack Prelutsky.

Carol could have been talking about me when she wrote that poem!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ash by Malinda Lo

While this book is mimicking a traditional fairy tale, it's a very fresh and totally unusual way of looking at Cinderella!

I highly recommend this book. It read fast, was fascinating, had good historical content about the period, and it keeps you sitting there reading straight through to the end.

She is the poor stepsister, but she's content with her lot in life. Or, at least she was. When she visits the woods to try to find her mother's grave, she also meets a fairy. And then her life changes, ever so slowly. He wants her, but he's willing to give her things to improve her life, and that's all that's important to her now.

But, by chance, she meets Kaisa, the King's Huntress. Kaisa comes to the cottage when the stepmother and stepsisters are out and about, and brings a horse for Ash to ride. She teaches to read, to track, to hunt. And their friendship is very important to Ash.

The time comes when Sidhean, the male fairy wishes to call in his debt. She puts him off once. And then he comes again. This time she remembers what she has learned from her mother about fairies and uses that to negotiate with him.

After being without love for so long, she has to decide what is her heart's desire - and must attempt to keep it!

If you'd like to have my copy of this ARC, please email at info NOSPAM (remove the spaces and the NOSPAM to make it an email address) with your name and address and tell me why you'd like the book as well as leave a comment here on my blog.

School of Fear by Gitty Daneshvari

This is a great story for children with vibrant imaginations. Each child in this story has a phobia. And not just a little phobia either, these are full-sized monster phobias!

Madeleine is deathly afraid of bugs, especially spiders. Theodore is afraid of dying. Lulu is scared of confined spaces. And Garrison can't be around deep water. Each child has his or her own way of coping with these frights - but it makes it almost impossible to send them to school or envision a normal life for them.

So they are sent a school that deals specifically with phobias - The School of Fear.

This is an off-the-wall far away school that doesn't deal with students traditionally - and it creates a great adventure for the four students!

Will they manage to survive the school? Will they actually get over their fears? You'll need to read the book to see...

It's an action packed story with rigid characters who won't let go of their phobias.

Do YOU have a phobia??? (I'm scared of the dark.)

If you'd like my copy of this ARC, leave a comment here on the blog, and then email me at info NOSPAM (removing spaces and NOSPAM to make it an email address) with your name and address and why you'd like to have the book.

Tidings of Great Boys by Shelley Adina

Mac is from Scotland and has been going to school in the US (her parents are separated). She would normally go home for Christmas, but now she has some new friends in the states and isn't sure what she wants to do. Then she hits on the perfect solution - she'll take her new friends home with her!

The teens are having the usual growing up pains of life, but the parents involved aren't much better. Two sets of parents are separated, and the girls are trying to get them back together again. Each girl has her own perspective and set of knowledge, and they are all learning from each other's experiences.

Add to this a film producer, a prince that one of the girl's has broken up with, the fact that they may have to sell the castle, and it turns into quite an adventure!

If you'd like my copy of this ARC, comment here on the blog and send me an email at info NOSPAM - removing the spaces and NOSPAM - with your name and address and why you would like to have the book.

Bo's Cafe by Bill Thrall, Bruce McNicol, John Lynch

He's a high powered executive with an anger management problem. His wife and child love him, but are afraid to live with him anymore. And his work isn't going all that well either.

So he visits a local bar to drown his sorrows and happens to meet this guy named Andy. Andy has an old car he cherishes and he talks Steven into going for a ride and perhaps talking about what's bothering him. Steven isn't ready to go there yet.

But when his wife tells him he must move out and get some counseling to address his issues with anger, he decides it might be a good time to talk to Andy some more.

Steven is still trying to evade some problem areas (pretend they aren't there or aren't his fault), when Andy takes him to Bo's Cafe and introduces him to his friends there.

They are from all walks of life and all have had their own problems to work out. But they are happy now. And they've also taken grace into their life.

Steven will have to make a big change in his heart and his life for things to be resolved as he would like them to be. Can he???

A Christian theme runs through the story, but it has other lessons as well. And I'm sure you'll recognize some of the characters as people you have met in your own life.

If you'd like my copy of this ARC, please leave a comment here on the blog and email me at info NOSPAM - remove the spaces and NOSPAM from it - with your name and address and tell me why you'd like to read the book.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Feedback from a Customer...

You won't believe this story. Jane and I were in New Mexico for two weeks recently. Jane volunteered for six months at Ghost Ranch four years ago so we visited friends there in Abiquiu and spent time at Ghost Ranch Santa Fe as well, making side trips to Chimayo, Truchas, Taos, Chama, and Tucumcari (stayed at the Blue Swallow Motel - a step back in time.) Didn't want to leave.

Jane wanted to give Gary Salazar (a staff member of Ghost Ranch Abiquiu who loves to cook) a copy of the Linley Heflin cookbook since we are from Birmingham, where the cookbook originated as a fundraiser for scholarships. Thought he needed some "Southern" recipes. We couldn't find a copy in print anywhere. Came home and I started searching high and low online. Tonight ran across your site! Couldn't believe it. We are getting the book from New Mexico so that Jane can inscribe it, include a little of its travels, and mail it back to your glorious state. Doesn't God have a great sense of humor!

These stories are what makes selling books fun!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Midnight Charter by David Whitley

This is a young adult novel that creates an atmosphere of Olde England in the days of yore, but is actually the ancient city-state of Agora.

The poor are suffering from plague and get no medical help. Families sell their children. You have to trade goods to receive any (and most have none) and life is tough. Unless you're rich.

Mark is sold to a doctor who helps the poor, and goes to live in the Tower of Count Stelli. Lily is the servant who cares for him. Both Mark and Lily have bartered their labor for their lives.

When the Count throws his son (the doctor) out of his house, Lily and Mark exchange their duties. Lily goes out in the real world with the doctor and Mark serves Count Stelli.

Lily begins an almshouse and helps the poor. Mark ascends to power in the Tower. But there are others who are manipulating them, even if they are not aware of it.

With death surrounding them and Mark and Lily on their own, their adventures are thrilling.

The ending of this book opens a new door, and there will be a sequel.

I enjoyed reading this one - the Elizabethan setting and a hidden prophecy kept it entertaining and it intrigues me to see where Mark and Lily will be going next.

If you would like my advanced reading copy of this book, please leave a comment here on the blog, and then email me at info NOSPAM (take out the NOSPAM and spaces) and give your name and address and tell me why.

Undone by Karin Slaughter

This book is the second in a series about character Sara Linton. (First book was Faithless.) I had no problem reading this book and picking up on what had happened in the first one - the author does a good job of giving you just enough info to make this book stand alone.

Sara's husband has been killed and her whole life torn apart, so she's fled to Atlanta to begin a new life. She takes a job at the Emergency Room and works very long hours so she doesn't have time to think. But all that changes when they bring in a young woman who has been tortured and brutally terrorized. She just can't help getting involved...

The cops involved in the case are Georgia Bureau of Investigations Agents Will Trent and Faith Mitchell (last seen in Factured), and they each have their own personal battles they are fighting. Will is dyslexic, Faith has just discovered she's pregnant (and unmarried).

They don't WANT Sara's help, but her knowledge is useful.

When they find a second young woman tortured so badly she kills herself, they begin to believe they may have a serial killer and the investigation increases speed.

The torture in this novel is graphic and will stay with you after you've finished the book. But there are monsters in the world. And no matter how far you run, they can find you.

If you'd like my advance reader's copy of this book, leave a comment here on my blog and email with your name and address as well as why you'd like to read it: info NOSPAM - take the NOSPAM and spaces out of the email address.

Alex Cross's Trial by James Patterson & Richard Dilallo

Alex Cross has been told the story of his great-uncle Abraham and his struggles for freedom in the era of the Ku Klux Klan. Now he has written this book to document the case for his children.

Ben Corbett represents tough cases in Washington, DC, and he is asked by President Theodore Roosevelt to look into the rumors coming out of Eudora, Mississippi (Ben's hometown) about negroes being lynched. (Ben Corbett is white.)

He leaves his family behind in DC, and goes home. Initially, everyone is very nice to him and he's happy to be back home with friends and family. His father is cold and has no desire to see him, but he's actually relieved about that. He had already taken a room at the local hotel.

He visits Abraham Cross and meets his beautiful granddaughter, Moody. And as Abraham takes him around to show him where black men have been lynched, he is at first almost unbelieving. But as he watches the interaction between whites and blacks in town, he starts to see the seeds of hatred in the white men. They try to explain their position by saying the freed black man will take their jobs away. But it's more than that - they find a black person "worthless". That fact leads to dreadful acts.

Not only does Ben witness lynching himself, he actually becomes the victim of one because he's a nigger lover! He barely survives, and Aunt Henry (Henrietta) nurses him back to health at Abraham's cabin.

As he tries to protect Abraham from the Ku Klux Klan, he finds even capturing the guilty parties and delivering them to the sheriff is no guarantee of justice.

This story depicts very accurately the turmoil and upset that came after negroes were freed. It also shows just how badly the white folk reacted.

If you'd like to have my review copy of this book, please leave a comment on here on my blog and email me at info NOSPAM Take the spaces and no spam out of that email address. Tell me your name and address and why you'd like to win this book.

Inglourious Basterds by Quentin Tarantino

This is the complete original screenplay for the movie Inglourious Basterds, starring Brad Pitt.

The setting is Nazi-occupied France, the main character is a Nazi known as "the Jew Hunter."

A Jewish teenager witnesses the murder of her family by this man, and she vows never to forget him. She escapes by fleeing to Paris and attaching herself to an old woman who owns a theater. In time, she becomes the owner and operator of the theater herself.

Then she meets a group of soldiers led by Lt. Aldo Raine, a hillbilly from the Tennessee mountains. His method of ridding the world of Nazis is to catch them, kill them, and scalp them - all to increase the fear factor. Their group is known as "the Basterds".

Add in a German actress who is also an undercover agent, and the pot begins to boil.

All these characters come together in a final confrontation that will amaze and overwhelm you with how smoothly Quent Tarantino works it all out - and how it ends!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink

This is an eerie book. The story line grabs you and drags you along, even if some of things happening might make you feel uncomfortable.

Lia and Alice are twins and they have a younger brother, Henry. Their mother committed suicide when they were young, and now their father has died under mysterious circumstances. Their aunt is now in charge of their care.

The twins share a heritage that no one has told them about before, but after the death of their father, they begin to understand that things are not quite what they seem.

It's an old, old prophecy that they cannot ignore, even if they would like to. It involves evil and pits the two sisters against each other.

The story is both fascinating and frightening and reads up quickly. There will be a sequel because the tale has not all been revealed yet. And I'll be watching for it come out.

Good and evil, the supernatural, and two sister's vying for power. And only one can win in the end...

A Hero's Guide to Deadly Dragons by Cressida Cowell

The subtitle to this book is: The Heroic Misadventures of Hiccup the Viking. It's a very appropriate subtitle...

Hiccup has a small dragon who hasn't quite grown up enough to behave. Toothless tries, but he's too small to scare anyone.

His friend is Camicazi, a Viking girl who's even tougher than Hiccup! Her mother's name is Big-Boobied Bertha. (You can tell this author was having fun naming the characters.)

The illustrations resemble a child's drawing, but they are part of the charm.

The trouble all starts when Big-Boobied Bertha made a bet with Hiccup's father and Toothless ate the book that was supposed to be part of the trade. Hiccup had to get another copy, and the only place that had one was the Meathead Public Library that was closed to public access.

Imagine a Stealth Dragon, Driller Dragons, a Hairy Scary Librarian and more all involved in the attempted "theft" of the book that was damaged...

This one will keep the child glued in place until he or she sees how it all works out - or doesn't...

I'd highly recommend this book. Lots of fantastic adventure with dragons of all types!

Billy Bones The Road to Nevermore by Christopher Lincoln

This is the second book in this series, but it read just fine as a stand alone novel.

Billy Bones is a child that was made human again in normal world, but he never grows any older than 10 years old. His parents live in the closet, and they are skeletons but he loves them anyway.

He and his cousin want to go aboard the beautiful sailing boat his aunt is building and have an adventure, but his aunt won't allow that. So Billy and Millicent go ask his parents for help finding Pirate Pete so they might have their sea adventure after all.

Unfortunately, Pirate Pete is in the worlds below ours, and very close to being stuck in Nevermore. There is no escape from Nevermore...

And when Billy's parents get taken prisoner, he has to figure out how he and Millicent can save them. Then Millicent's soul is stolen and Billy has to attempt to save her, too!

This one would be great for a boy who loves adventure and fantasy. The story is well put together and you don't know how it's going to end. Even children who don't normally like to read should be drawn in by this story.

Rumblewick's Diary My Unwilling Witch Sleeps Over by Hiawyn Oram

This is the second book in this series that I have read, and it's great, too!

Rumblewick is the witch's familiar, a cat, who is working very hard to make his witch be a WITCH, not a nice little girl. She strays to the other side way too often and mingles with people, which is real no no in witch land!

He spends most of his time trying to cover for her and salvage what he can out of the messes she gets in.

The book is filled with puns, odd witches and familiars, and normal little girls who have no idea just what Haggy Aggy is.

Haggy Aggy wants to go to the jim (gym) and learn gymnastics. If that wasn't bad enough, then she gets invited to sleep over. Oh my...

Little girls will find this book delightful and there are lots of illustrations and side stories going on to hold their attention.

Rumblewick's Diary is one of a kind!

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Bibliomaniac's Prayer by Eugene Field

Keep me, I pray, in wisdom's way
That I may truths eternal seek;
I need protecting care today -
My purse is light, my flesh is weak.
So banish from my erring heart
All baleful appetites and hints
Of Satan's fascinating art,
Of first editions, and of prints.
Direct me in some godly walk
Which leads away from bookish strife,
Than I with pious deed and talk
May extra-illustrate my life.

But if, O Lord, it pleaseth Thee
To keep me in temptation's way,
I humbly ask that I may be
Most notably beset today;
Let my temptation be a book,
Which I shall purchase, hold, and keep,
Whereon when other shall look,
They'll wail to know it got it cheap.
Oh, let it such a volume be
As in rare copperplates abounds,
Large paper, clean, and fair to see,
Uncut, unique, unknown to Lowndes.

In a book of cowboy poetry I'm cleaning up and pricing for listing later. How could I not share this with you?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer

I always enjoy reading about the culture and country in areas I have never visited. We are all so different and yet so very much the same.

This story is set in Malawi, which is at the southeastern tip of Africa. It's a memoir that catches your heart and touches your soul.

William's father would like to see his son go to school and live a better life than he had been able to do. They live in a small house, have some farmland, raise maize and coffee and hope to harvest enough to fill their storage shed to feed themselves and have some left to sell to give them money for other things, like clothes, school expenses or medicine. It's pretty much hand to mouth and a lot of hard work, but it keeps them alive. Then the dry season comes and a new dictator takes over, and there is no more maize, no more seed.

Famine sets in. William has to give up school because there is no money. They can't raise any crops because they can't afford to buy the seed. They are starving because they can't afford the flour. It's bad. There are beggers everywhere - no one has anything left to give.

But William finds a library. And, since he's not going to school otherwise, he decides to take up his lessons himself. He's fascinated by electricity - after all, there's none in the village.

So he starts reading books on the subject and trying some experiments.

He's very determined. He uses whatever parts he can find, People refer to him as being crazy, his family isn't really sure one way or the other.

But the real story here is the fact that he had a dream and he refused to give it up.

As that saying goes: Necessity is the mother of invention. He used whatever he found free, tried different things to find one that would function, and he kept on, despite the rude comments and laughter.

Learn how he helped improve his village and just what that did for him and for his country. It's a very good read!

If you'd like my advance readers copy, leave a comment here on the blog and email me at info NOSPAM (take out the spaces and no spam) with your name and address and why you'd like to have this book. I'll pick a winner in about a week.

The Brutal Telling by Louise Penny

This is a Chief Inspector Gamache novel. He's from the Surete du Quebec and his division works on the worst of all crimes in the worst of all conditions.

The story begins with a very small village where everyone knows everyone and about all their habits. When a dead body is found in the bistro, the police show up to unravel the mystery.

But this is a multi-layered mystery. Everyone in the village has some of secret or some kind of odd behavior. He knows they are hiding things, but is it the truth or is just some area of their past they don't want uncovered?

The body was not killed in the bistro. No one knows who the man is - or so they say. Someone moved him from where he was killed and, obviously, someone must have known him to get that close.

There are many suspects with various motives. And the villagers are all beginning to look at each other differently because they realize that SOMEONE in that village must be a murderer!

As Chief Inspector Gamache attempts to unravel this mystery, he calls in various experts and travels to the western side of Canada for more information to help him understand what happened.

I followed all the clues, had some inside knowledge, and was still surprised by the ending. I think you'll enjoy it, too, if mysteries are your thing.

If you'd like my copy of this advance reader's edition, please leave a comment on this blog, and email at info NOSPAM (remove the spaces and the no spam) with your name and address and tell me why you'd like to read it. I'll be giving it away in a week or so.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Try Fear by James Scott Bell, Book Review & Giveaway

This is the third book written by Mr. Bell and the first one I've read. It reads quite well as a stand alone novel. I'm sure those of you who have read the earlier books (Try Dying and Try Darkness) will be looking forward to getting your hands on this one.

Ty Buchanan is no longer a big trial lawyer. He's living in a small trailer next to the Church that Sister Mary Veritas works for. She's his investigative assistant. And all he really takes on as cases now are folks within the church who need some help. No more big money. No more limelight. And he's content with that.

When he's asked to defend a guy who has been picked up wearing no more than a g-sting and a Santa Hat and failing the drunk test, he does it for the mother. And he manages to get him off by reading and knowing case law.

Unfortunately, not long afterwards, Carl (the drunk) is found dead. And his brother is accused of murdering him. So he now has a new client.

If that wasn't enough to occupy his time, Sister Mary is getting threatening emails. He then begins trying to trace those and determine who is trying to scare her and why.

And one more wrinkle, he finds himself falling for Sister Mary, and has put those feelings aside because nun's don't marry.

Of course, he has the beautiful deputy city attorney trying to court him, so he's not without a love interest.

All of a sudden his case is getting media attention and things are getting out of hand on all sides.

To see how he resolves all his difficulties and who is really guilty of these crimes, you'll need to read the book.

It read fast, was entertaining, and I'll be watching for more by Mr. Bell.

If you'd like my copy of this ARC, post a comment here on the blog and email me at info NOSPAM (remove the spaces and NOSPAM) with your name and address and tell me why you'd like it.

Cell Block Z Ghostface Killah - Book Review

This is a graphic novel done with Chris Walker, Shauna Garb, and Marlon Chapman. The artwork is dramatic, the story line violent. This is NOT a comic book for children.

Dennis is a boxer by trade, and while he almost won his last big match, almost is not good enough. But it does get the eye of folks further up the food chain who think he has a hell of a right...

When he is suddenly picked by the police and accused of murder, he has no idea what they are talking about. But when a video shows him committing the murder, he is found guilty. He knows he's innocent, but all prisoners say that.

Once he's incarcerated, he begins hearing about Cell Block Z, and how if you fight well and hard, you can get help appealing your case. He's tempted, but has some hesitation. But the system knows how to drive you to do it.

The fights are very graphic and very violent. If he doesn't fight the big fight, they'll kill his only inmate friend in the prison.

Beyond the fighting and betting done by prison officials, there's another little enterprise going on that the only honest guard runs across. However, he's not ruthless like the other guards, and he'll have to face them when he comes out the door...

This book will keep your young adult male reading until the end!

A Separate Country by Robert Hicks - Review and Giveaway

This is a fictional account of General John Hood, who was one of the most respected generals of the Confederate Army. The novel discusses his life after the war.

He was a strong General who made tough decisions. During the course of his time in the Army, he lost the use of his left arm and his right leg. But he kept on with his duties until the end of the war.

John goes to New Orleans where he meets a young woman who is determined to marry him. He finds her attractive and they eventually have a family of 11 children. She is everything he is not - and he finds himself changing with time.

What he thought was important before now seems insignificant, maybe even wrong. Anna Marie's friends all teach him something about a life far different from any he experienced before and, with the passage of time, he begins to change his beliefs.

But he still has to fight for everything he has and wants throughout his life. There are good years, there are bad years, and there are years of no hope. But he keeps on going, motivated by a need to do good to make up for the younger years.

Times were not easy in New Orleans after the war for anyone. The black people living there were viewed as "niggers" and constantly persecuted. Yellow fever was a frequent visitor.

This is a good overview of how life was in New Orleans after the Civil War.

If you'd like my ARC of this book, leave a comment here on my blog, and email me at info NOSPAM (take the NOSPAM and spaces out of the email) with your name and address and tell me why.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Dead Men's Boots by Mike Carey - Review & Giveaway

This is the first book I've read by Mr. Carey. In some ways, he reminds me of A. Lee Martinez - they both use fantasy characters and both write a good romp of a book.

Felix Castor is his main character, and his sidekicks are a succubus named Juliet (that he almost loved and lost - and he would have lost even himself if he had succumbed) and a zombie friend who is good with computers and investigative work. Felix himself is a freelance exorcist, so it's quite a cast of characters.

It all starts when a friend's widow wants to stop a lawyer from cremating her husband's corpse - his final instructions to her were different. Then add in the fact that another friend, who is now possessed by a demon, has caregiver issues. And it just may be that long dead serial killers are coming back to life.

As he tries to deal with all these problems, he also has folks trying to kill him because he's an exorcist, so it's a very busy plot with lots of action.

I enjoyed it and would recommend it to those who like a lot of action and can let their imaginations wander.

If you would like to have my review copy, leave a comment here on the blog, and then right to me at (take the no spam out) with your name and address and tell me why you'd like the book. I'll pick a winner in about a week.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Odds and Ends from Bookselling

Just some little observations from my desk where I list books for you...

I bought some western stock from another dealer and when I was listing the books last week, I found address labels in some. The lady who owned them used to live in Las Cruces! Then she moved to California. And I bought them from a dealer in New Jersey and brought them back to Las Cruces - ironic, eh?

On Sunday, my neighbors older son brought over his daughter to stay with Grandma for a while. They had purchased her a small umbrella to protect her from the sun. So Dad opens the SUV door, and she steps out, then opens her umbrella, and walks regally across the road and up to Grandma's backdoor. She's about three, and very self important. So it was almost dark, she had the umbrella and she was going to use it!

I entered a contest online and won! I got a book, The Edge of the World, a CD of music which is quite haunting and tells the story line of the novel, and (my favorite part) I got a telescope, too! It came in its own little box and both the box and the telescope have the book's title printed on it in gold. What fun!

Yesterday I listed some knitted doll clothes booklets and they were published in Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada. That's the same place a woman who was going to make a doll for me had refused to return my crocheted dress that my Grandmother had made for me. (She was going to dress the doll in it. Never got the doll or my down payment on it back.) I finally wrote to the postal service up there telling them it was postal fraud. The Canadian Postal Service sent me to the Royal Mounted Police. I wrote them a letter giving them the information and the lady's name and address. (This had been going on for about three years now - she just ignored me. Even when I sent her a registered letter.) The RCMP did me proud. They went and knocked on her door and told her to return the dress! She did, too. I love the RCMP.

All these little stories come from sitting right here listing books.

Today I listed another interesting craft booklet:

Angora Hats Fashions in Wool Leaflet 97Author Name: Hilde Fuchs

Title: Angora Hats Fashions in Wool Leaflet 97

Publisher: 1962

Seller ID: 019936

Craft leaflet, two pages. Very good condition, bottom right corner has been bumped. Includes: Pillbox, knitted beret, popcorn pillbox, knitted hat.

Knitted Hats

Price = 8.00 USD

When's the last time you wore a pillbox hat?

Wonder what I'll find to list tomorrow?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Ravens by George Dawes Green

Have you ever read The Juror? That book stuck me to my seat and made me worry until the end how it was going to turn out.

This is his new book. And it has the same thrilling pace and uncertainty in it.

You've seen ravens before? Big black birds, who like shiny things, steal they anything can, and often act like birds of prey, right?

The title on this book is very provocative to me, and the men who are the predators in this novel are just like ravens.

You take a down and out southern family struggling to make a living and get along where Mom keeps buying lottery tickets and hoping. And you take two young males who are fed up with their jobs and going cross country heading for a new life.

Then you mix in a winning lottery ticket, folks with big mouths that let the winner's names be known, and what seemed like miraculous luck and a wonderful thing turns into an experience from hell.

It all starts when a lottery official visits them - and he's a fake. He wants half of the winnings and will kill people to get it. At least his partner will.

All the characters are unique. No one's perfect. But add some religious beliefs into the mix and it gets even more strange.

George got me again with his ending. I never know exactly where he's going, but he always goes someplace I never thought of!

It's a fascinating read I ate up in one evening. I think you'd enjoy it, too!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Monuments Men by Robert Edsel

The subtitle on this book is: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History. It's very accurate.

It's World War II, and we know of all the sacrifice and pain that peoples of all types felt, especially Jews.

I've seen specials on the history channel about the types of arts that were stolen from the Jewish people and stored for the benefit of the German commanders and their causes (sometimes just their own enrichment). But I'd never heard of the Monuments Men!

It all started when one man took a great interest in how well art held up when it wasn't protected as it should be. He did research on that, tried to get the powers to be interested in his efforts, and had no success. But then one day, he enlisted in the service. He was not a young man, but war times make the branches of the service a bit less critical about that. They needed manpower.

And by pure chance, he meets another man who feels art has an importance and should be preserved. So they manage to get support to develop a team to go and attempt to save what hasn't been desecrated in the war zones, and to bring back any art that is movable for preservation purposes. It also became a matter of returning art to the rightful owners down the road.

The story is fascinating. It's all men except for one French woman who actually functioned as a spy while dealing with the Nazis. They are universally disrespected, thought of as unnecessary and in the way of war, and got no supplies for their work.

But the people were kind, the team persevered, and save some treasures they did. Others, they cried over the loss.

You'll recognize the names of the commanders in this book, but I'd never seen them presented in quite this context.

It catches your attention and the pages turn quickly - it's good read and teaches you at the same time.

If you'd like my copy of this ARC, please email me at (remove the no spam) with your name and address and tell me why you'd like it. Also, you must leave a comment here on my blog.

Happy reading!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Odds and Ends in a Bookseller's World

Those of you on the other side of the pond will most likely laugh at me, but I finally found out what a jumper you wear is. I was listing vintage crochet/knit booklets and found one published in the UK that had several sweaters in it - all called jumpers! That's not what we call a jumper over here. (I know there are several terminology differences, as well as spelling differences.) But I'm delighted to now understand what I'm reading in books. I knew it was a piece of clothing, but now I even know WHAT piece of clothing!

I was listing some western americana I had purchased from another bookseller back east, and noticed that the address labels in them were for Las Cruces. It appears the lady lived here and then moved to California. Most had Las Cruces labels in them. So how did they end up back east?

I've also reached another milestone in my world of bookselling - I sold a single book for $300, my largest sale yet. I was grateful and also felt like maybe my purchase of another bookseller's inventory might have been as good an idea as I felt it would at the time. It just takes time for the dollars to return.

On another note, I've had to turn moderation back on for comments here on my blog. I didn't want to discourage anyone trying to comment, but some foreign language computer bot has found my blog and is sending me multiple comments on the pages each morning - all at the same time. So now you'll have to do the secret word to make the comment. If you can't see it well, there is a button you can push to get a new word. I think it also gives you an option for audio. So please keep commenting. I want YOUR comments, I just don't want spam.

Monday, June 29, 2009

I, Alex Cross by James Patterson

Alex Cross was always one of my favorite characters to read about, but it seemed, as time passed, James Patterson made him harder, more brittle and biting. I'm sure that was his intent, but it tended to put me off. However, not so far off I wouldn't read another one in the series!

This one finds Alex celebrating his birthday with his children and his girlfriend, who just happens to be a cop, and Nana. Right in the middle of it, he gets a call (which is not unusual) to go out on a job. However, this time, it's one of his relatives that is dead.

She's his dead brother's daughter, and he hasn't had contact with her for years. And now she's dead, too. And when he finds out how and why, it hurts him even more.

He becomes determined to find out who did this - and the more he finds out, it appears it might be someone in government.

If he wasn't stressed enough about that, Nana has a heart attack. She's been his strength and his mentor for some time - he needs her with him now while he's confused about his niece could have ended up where she did. But she needs him to help her heal...

His girlfriend takes time off to help Nana heal. He continues on the case. Nana has another attack...

And while he's sure it's someone in government, he can't be certain who. So he keeps hunting, even while the government helps him. (Isn't that an oxymoron?)

Does Nana die? Does Alex get his man? If you want to know, you need to read this book. It'll keep you going!

If you'd my copy of the ARC, leave a comment on this blog and then email me at - you will need to take the no spam out. Tell me why you would like it and give me your name and address for shipping. I'll pick a winner in about a week!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Need bookcases or office furniture?

Being a bookseller means you never have enough bookcases. NEVER!

I am using bookcases I had built for our new in Washington for my own library. Now they are housed in New Mexico in my family room (only ceiling tall enough to take them), and are holding stock. And so are 11 other various sized bookcases. Not to mention the knickknack shelf created where a window used to be - which holds children's paperbacks.

I also have a library stand that I use for my stock that needs to be listed. It has wheels, but it never goes anywhere, LOL!

I got an email from CSN, a company that specializes in office furniture
and offers Budget Bookcases, amongst many other items. That almost turned me off, but when I searched for for what they offered, I was pleasantly surprised. They offer lots of different sizes, some unusual configurations (which I eyeballed, let me tell you!), and some very nice children's bookcases or toy racks.

After looking at all 341 that come in the lowest cost category, I settled on one that is in natural wood finish and can be folded up for transportation.

It will fit between two bookcases and leave me room to get my books in and out plus provide more shelving. (I ALWAYS need more shelving!) Plus, since it folds, it would be great if I ever start doing book shows. 

See what I mean? It's small, compact, but has several shelves to use and is attractive. (They have lots more you can snoop through if you're like me and need another bookcase.)

If I get it, I'll be back to tell you how I like it!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Boy Next Door by Irene Sabatini

What caught my eye on this one was the story line and the fact that it was set in Zimbabwe. I have visited with a white female author who lived in Zimbabwe, and her life was threatened, the farm they had in her family for over 100 years was taken over by the black government, and food and fuel cost so much she couldn't even afford to leave the country.

This novel talks about two neighbors, one family white and one family black and the interaction between them. It also discusses all the changes going on for anyone who lives in Zimbabwe and how the cultural differences often cause misunderstandings and anger.

It turns out most people in this story have secrets - many of them from war activities or family troubles.

Lindiwe Bishop is black and has only seen the boy next door from a distance. He's white, older, and it's inappropriate for them to have any contact. But when his stepmother gets burned alive and they charge him with her murder, she doesn't believe it's true.

When his sentence gets commuted for lack of evidence (after he's spent some time in prison) she's fascinated by his return home. And, as time goes on, they become friends. It's very tentative in the beginning and both have reservations with each other. But they also like each other.

When he decides to move on, she tries to get him to take her with him, but he won't. He does write, though. And, when he gets back to town, he comes to meet her and chat.

By the time, she has a new boyfriend, Jean, a Frenchman. She admits this to Ian, and he realizes he's probably waited to long to claim her. But she goes away with him on the weekend because she wants to.

He debates what the mixed signals mean, but is resigned to let her make up her own mind. As they get ready to go back after the weekend, he needs some change and she tells him to take some out of her purse.

That, in turn, lets the "cat out of the bag". He finds a picture of her son - who is obviously his!

At the moment, her mother is raising the boy as her own and doesn't even let her visitation rights with him. She gave up all her rights when she became an unwed mother with a white lover as far as her mother is concerned. There are more reasons behind it than this (her father wanted a boy and her mother didn't have one), but Lindiwe didn't want her mother to keep her child - she wanted to love and care for him herself.

Ian decides to go after his son, and she goes with him. Their life continues to be complicated by the differences in race, in culture, and in temperaments.

I enjoyed reading about how they tried to overcome differences, how they were viewed by friends and family, and how they kept on trying despite all that. It's also a good look at the country of Zimbabwe.

To see if they succeeded and if they kept their son, you'll have to read the book yourself.

I am giving away my ARC of this book, so if you would be interested in reading it, please leave a comment on this blog, and email me at info(NO SPAM) . You'll need to remove the (NO SPAM) to make it work. I'll be giving it away in about a week.

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin

This is an enchanting young adult's book. It has dragons, magic, and mystery in the story.

Within the main story, there are many small storyteller tales that Minli's father tells her as they struggle along in life. There is no rain, so the rice crops are small and everyone is hungry and tired. But the stories bring the Jade Dragon and the Old Man in the Moon to life in Minli's mind.

Her belief, a talking fish, and other fantastical events conspire to lead her towards the way to the Jade Dragon and the Old Man in the Moon. But will she survive her adventure? Will they do the things she hopes they will to bring rain and harvest back to her parent's fields? Or will she just become another statistic on the road to life?

Along with the fantasy tale, there's also an underlying message about how to be happy with what you do have instead of wanting something more.

This a great book for a young one who likes dragons or other flights of fancy. And the illustrations are very colorful and striking and definitely add to the charm of the book. I'd recommend reading this one (even by adults).

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Link by Colin Tudge

OK, I have to be honest and admit I thought this one was fiction. I was looking for a rumble in the jungle tale with dinosaurs and such and then I find out it's non-fiction, ugh! However, it was still an intriguing read.

This is the story of Ida. She's 47 million years old, and died very quickly at a young age and fell into just the right kind of mudpit to preserve her body indefinitely. She was found by a private collector and then offered at a later date to Jorn Hurum, associate professor of paleontology at the Natural History Museum at the University of Oslo. First he had to determine if she was genuine and actually was that old. Then he had to find funding to buy her. Then he had to get her out of the country she was found in and back to Oslo. That alone was quite an adventure because she'd been in the Messel pit, and that pit was now a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site. But he wiggle waggles his way through the corners and pitfalls and comes home with Ida.

From here, it gets even more complex. There are various theories on how humans have developed, how the animal kingdom became what it is. And Ida didn't really fit in any of them. Nor was anyone totally sure what kind of creature Ida was. She had attributes of several.

The photos of Ida and a few other creatures found in the Messel Pit are quite eyecatching. It's like taking a trip in a time machine to ages long ago.

And facts that are presented in this book are total news to me. You may know if you've studied the life cycle of ages/times of our earth, but I never knew India had been drifting north from Antarctica and ran into the southern coast of Eurasia and kept going until it ground up the base of Asia and created the Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau!

Or did you know that fossil elephants of many kinds have been found all over Europe and in both North and South America?

They feel Ida is an in-between species and that without a species quite like her, there would have been no modern-day lemurs, monkeys or apes.

Of course, the evolution of life's trail is still muddy and there are disagreements about her significance, but she is another clue in our history.

I'm sure you'll learn something if you read this book!

If you'd like the copy I received for review, leave a comment here on the blog and then email me at with your name and address and tell me why you'd like to win the drawing.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Countdown to Summer - J Patrick Lewis

Are your children not really enthused about going back to school - at least after the first few days? How about a book of poetry that they can read each afternoon or night when they come home that helps them count down the days until they are out of school again?

It has silly illustrations and fun poems - which should make it a good read even for those who aren't sure about poetry.

For example:

Wet September
The Grasshopper swaying
in the rain
on a spear of wheat
held fast...

Is like a distant
ship captain,
sea swept
against the mast.

Or that old familiar poem (???):

There Was on Old Woman
Who lived in a sneaker
She had so many Keds
Her life was getting bleaker.

She tied their shoelaces
Together for fun,
And now those poor Keds
Have nowhere to run.

Or how about this one?:


Cried a spunky young lady from Bruges,
"Oh, what to be racing the luge!"
But the sled overshot -
The young lady did not -
And it left her behind rather rouge.

C'mon, this is good clean fun and you can take turns reading the poems to each other - how could you not enjoy it?

If you'd like my ARC of this book, leave a comment here on my blog and send me an email at, telling me why you would like the book. This giveaway will last about a week.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Strawberry Hill by Mary Ann Hoberman

It's the time of the great Depression, and Allie's father has finally found a job in another city but it forces them to move. She likes living in the house they are sharing with another family, and she has a best friend - why move?

She almost gets enthused when she finds out they're moving to Strawberry Hill, but that doesn't last long when she finds out there are no strawberries...

The best message this book will share with your young one is how to make friends, how to keep them, and what kind of friend is the best type of friend.

There is also discussion of the prejudice some people held for Jews, something that Allie had not seen before.

It's a coming of age story, and while it's not easy for Allie, she is happy with the decisions she ends up making and how it turns out for her.

If your child is having problems making friends, this book could be a good way to open up some dialogue.

I'm giving away my Advance Reading Copy. If you'd like to get in on the drawing, leave a comment here on the blog and then email me at with your name and address and tell me why'd you like it. I'll do the drawing in about a week.

I don't want a posh dog! Emma Dodd

Have you ever searched for the right dog breed for you? It's very important to be sure the pet you choose will be compatible with you and be one you can handle.

This is a fun picture book to read aloud: the text rhymes, the illustrations are big and colorful, some of the dogs look silly, and there is one for every type of child. But she wants the one that's just right for her!

Daycare centers could use this book to make it an interactive reading event. Let the children each choose which dog is right for them. Or Mama and child could just have fun repeating the rhymes and laughing at the illlustrations.

Do you want a fancy, attitudey dog? Or a scritchy, scratchy, twitchy dog? Me neither!

Dinotrux by Chris Gall

We all know the stories of the dinosaurs, but have you heard about the dinotrux?

They're from the same time period, and they were big, and mean, and did anything they wanted!

This would be good for a young boy who isn't sure he likes reading. The illustrations are great, the dinotrux act badly, and there should be enough disgusting things on the pages to keep them reading. Imagine when Cementosauris stomach turned and out came "Yuck!" Or how about the Blacktopadon? You don't even want to know what he does!

When the bad weather comes, most of the dinotrux rust up and stop in their tracks, but some of the smarter ones moved south...

If you want to know if they survived and what they evolved into, you'll need to get a copy of this book!

Lots of action for the young ones looking for adventure.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Each seller is different and has her/her own style, but...

...why would they not do the little clean up things I do?

I get them in with pencil prices from the past, leftover glue from tags that Goo Gone takes off in a minute, dirt on the DJ that a little water removes. These things aren't big things, but I just can't let a book go out of here sticky, dirty, or marked in any way that be cleaned up nicely, completely and without harming the book or DJ.

I'm not talking about just buying a book from them to read, I'm talking about buying their stock they're liquidating and had on their shelves for sale.

That's like when I mail a craft booklet or magazine or oversized softcover children's books, I put them in a plastic bag with a piece of cardboard and then use a rigid mailer. That's just to protect the item I mail from the postal gorillas. (Many other bookdealers prefer to call them postal elephants, so maybe I'm kinder than you think...)

Part of the booksellers overpack and it takes me some time to get to the actual book, some don't pack enough. Some have the books they offer in the condition they offered them - others don't.

I've gotten so I keep a mental list of those who disappoint me - I won't be buying from them again.

I guess I'm probably just a bit too anal rententive, but I want my books clean and in as good a shape as they can be for their age/use.

I think the bottom line is that I love books and want to preserve the ones I buy for years to come!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Easy Stuffed Pork Chops

Hubby ordered these for dinner tonight and I thought I'd share my recipe with anyone who likes to put together quick meals.

Get a glass dish big enough for your pork chops, we usually make up two or four. Lately it's just been two. This recipe will work for four, though.

Use a package of stuffing mix for either pork or chicken (both work). Follow the directions to make it on stove top.

Add, according to your taste, diced onion, diced celery, a can of sliced mushrooms, some green pepper if you have it, and even olives if you like them. I put that in the water you're bringing to boil and when you add the dried bread, be sure to mix it well.

You can use all or none of these or any combination you like. Jalapenos give it a kick that I like, but he complains.

Salt and pepper (if you do) your pork chops. Then put the stuffing mix over the top of it, covering them completely. I usually salt and pepper that lightly, too.

Then put it in the oven at 350 degrees and cook it for a half hour or 45 minutes depending on the thickness of your chops.

I've fed this to fussy kids, the guys at the apartment, my Mom, and it's a family favorite. Maybe it will be in your household, too!

By the way, if you want to, you can put tinfoil in the bottom of the glass dish, so you just lift it out after the food is gone. But don't you go throwing any leftover stuffing. Somehow it always magically disappears...

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Edge of the World by Kevin J Anderson

This is a work of fantasy that quite accurately portrays how little it takes for wars to get started and how noble ambitions don't always come to fruition or end the way it was planned. It's a timely book because it helps point out how stupid and hurtful wars can be, and that they can be more a combination of religious differences, language differences, arrogant leaders and misunderstandings than an actual "cause" that needs to be resolved.

The subtitle of the novel is: An Age of Discovery... A Quest for Glory... A Search for the Ultimate Treasure.

Think of a world, long ago and far away, where people still think you'll fall off the edge of the world if you venture too far out on the ocean, and there are parts of the world still unexplored.

When one arrogant leader challenges a merchant ship, the captain of the ship kills him and they escape. However, it's enough to begin talk of war.

The two leaders understand that war is not a good thing and attempt to meet to sign peace treaties. Then one of the vendors selling to the crowd inadvertently starts a fire outbreak, and the entire site of one town burns down. The people believe it was deliberately set, and take steps for retaliation.

Many die on both sides. Even those trying live quiet lives away from the courts find themselves being attacked on the fishing coasts.

While the war continues, the leaders are trying to find new ways to attack their enemies, explore new lands, and find more resources.

The boats sent out on the sea are attacked by the enemy or by sea serpents. Anyone captured is imprisoned and turned into slave labor (if not killed on the spot).

A black man comes into one city and says he's from the desert. They had not believed anyone could survive trying to cross the desert, but he made it. So the leader and a few others go by balloon and meet the two groups of people who live in the desert area: one stays in the desert, the others live on the sea.

There are bandits preying on anyone travelling. And the palace intrigue is it's own story. Anyone who thinks he can have three wives and not have some squabbling needs to think again.

This is not a "happily ever after" story, but it is realistic and shows that life is very uncertain - especially in times where medical knowledge is lacking and where war is the common theme.

There will be a sequel to this book - there are too many open questions. And it's intrigued me enough, I'll be watching for it.

If you'd like to read this book, email me at and tell me why you'd like AND leave a comment here on the blog. I'll pick a winner in about a week.

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 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.

Eeny Up Above! Jane Yolen, Kathryn Brown (Illustrated by)

Eeny is a mole.  Her sisters are very happy in their home but Eeny is more adventuress.  She goes up and samples all of the seasons of the y...