Saturday, April 30, 2011

BITE ME, TRY ME, FANG ME by Parker Blue

She knew she was always different since she had some demon blood in her, but she still didn't understand why her mother didn't like her much.  She knew her standing in the family when she got thrown out of the house and fired from the bookstore they owned on her eighteenth birthday.  Some present, eh?

I got this three book series to review in eBook form from Net Galley.  It's published by Bell Bridge Books (thank you both for the opportunity to review).  It's out in paperback now and you can pick up a copy at your local bookstore.

I don't normally read books about vampires, but demons seem to fascinate me.  I think it's because there are so many types, most are unpredictable, and many of them are totally tricky and a bit sadistic.  Almost reminds me of some my relatives...

I really, really enjoyed this read.  Ms. Parker has a wonderful imagination and uses that to create a story that reads well, has good action and danger in it, and a side of romance as well.

Val is part demon.  When she finds a dog that will help her fight vampires, she's pleased.  When he talks to her through mental telepathy, she's amazed.  Turns out he's part Hell Hound himself.  Add in a cop and an undercover police unit that is searching for the bad vampires and you've got the theme of the first book.

By the second book, you have a mansion filled with good vampires who are using blood donations to meet their dietary needs.  (That's versus the ones that either drink their victims dry or try to turn them.)  This is also where Val and Fang (the dog) meet Shade, who is also part demon.  Soon they are fighting the bad vamps together.

By book three, you have vamps and demons trying to work together, a mage trying to steal the Magick books, Shade who can open portals to other worlds, and did I mention that Val is a succubus?

The stories are fast paced, follow each other logically and are fun to read.  There's humor, love, danger, lies, secret plots, and more.  Why not pick up a copy and read it yourself?

And, the good news?  There may be another book in this series.  I sure hope so.  I don't think Val, Shae and Fang are done yet...

Happy reading!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Shine by Lauren Myracle

Cat's growing up in small Southern town and has some close male friends from childhood.  When one is found bound to a gas tank with homosexual slurs across his chest and the gas spout stuffed in his mouth, she's surprised.  Not that Patrick was gay, she knew that.  But why would someone hurt him like that?

Abram's Books has sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  It's currently available at your local bookstore.

This author writes books that cover controversial subjects.  She's currently #1 on the American Library Associations's most challenged books list.  My personal belief is that you can't hide information from children; they'll find out about it anyway.  It is better to let them read the book and then have a conversation about what they've read.  Let them ask questions and ANSWER them.  Otherwise children may develop false beliefs about these facts.  You can share your opinions, but don't try to make the child adopt them.  Give them facts and let them develop their own opinions.  (Off my soapbox now.)

Cat is living in a small town full of poverty, bigotry, clannishness and intolerance.  (Sounds like a lot of small towns, doesn't it?)  Cat was particularly close to Patrick while growing up and he admitted to her he was more attracted to males than females.  She didn't mind.  But when people started condemning gays, she drew apart from Patrick.

This is a coming of age novel.  It's the story of a young girl, who has been abused herself, trying to solve the mystery of who harmed Patrick.  She knows it must be one of the group she grew up with, but there aren't many clues.

This is a heartrending tale of surviving your hurts and coming to terms with the situation you live in.  It's not a happy-ever-after story.  It's about life.

Just remember that knowledge can protect children.  This is a tough subject, but Ms. Myracle deals with it well and offers hope for the future. 

Go, Dog, Go! P D Eastman

I've sold every copy of this book that I have found and listed for sale.  This is a solid classic that young ones adore reading.  It's also the 50th Anniversary of this beginner book.

Random House Books for Young Readers sent me the anniversary edition of this book along with the new Party Book they've created to review (thank you).  These books are on sale at your local bookstore.

The new edition is foil-covered and shiny with illustrations that are done in primary colors, which makes them stand out.  It's a lot more fun to read about these dogs than Dick and Jane.  They do silly things and even have a party at the end.

The Party Book is a limited edition.  It contains party hats, snack cups, place cards, a poster and a board game.  

This would make an excellent party theme for your young one.  Or maybe Mom and Dad would like to wear one of these "doggie hats".  

All in all, it ties in together beautifully.  Make a fuss over the child and the book.  Help a child get interested in books and reading and give them an edge on life.  Why not buy this set and share it with your young one?

Happy reading.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Counting from Zero by Alan B Johnson

Programmers don't begin with the number one.  They begin with zero.  Computer language is based on binary code.

The author sent me a copy of this eBook for review (thank you).  Get it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Sony Reader Store, Diesel eBooks, Stanza, and Smashwords.

This is every person's worst nightmare:  Secret, damaging code sent in through a back door to take computers down.  Start with one, then move to every other one connected to the network and from there, on and on exponentially.  If it is dispersed far enough into the system on the right computers, it could should everything down...

The potential for such a disaster exists.  That's why we have computer security professionals constantly devising new ways of blocking such acts and analyzing any new code they find to see how it works.

Mick is one of those professionals and he happens to run across a bum code while at a conference.  With the help of his friends there, he restores the system there and then begins to track the code.

Mr. Johnson has created a very savvy male character who is smart, suspicious, and careful.  He finds himself drawn to a woman he met at the conference that specializes in firewalls and he knows he hasn't time for commitments.  He also realizes that when his personal user name and password (which he continually changes) are used to send false messages someone close to him must be involved...

This is pretty geeky reading, but the author creates conflicts between the characters involved and keeps your interest even if you aren't into computers that much.

The story flow is good, the idea intriguing and the villain was a surprise to me.  Why not get yourself a copy and see if you can figure it before it before the end.  I didn't.

Happy reading!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Possession by Elana Johnson

What if everything you did was watched, your thoughts were controlled and Free Thinkers were forbidden.  Would you want to live that way?

Simon and Schuster will be publishing this book the first part of June and shared a copy of the ebook with me for review (thank you).  

This reminded me a bit of George Orwell's 1984 novel.  I read that many moons ago, but it still remains in my mind.  Ms. Johnson's story of Vi, who doesn't want to conform, will also stick in my mind.

The world this author sees is one where the "Thinkers" control everything.  They have different powers, from mind control, to seeing the future, to convincing people with words and more.  There is no room in this world for independent thinking or freedom of expression.

Vi is a rule breaker.  She goes for a walk with her "chosen" one (her future mate) and dares to go into area forbidden for her, holds his hand and has even stolen a kiss.  She gets picked up for her bad behavior and this is where her life changes dramatically.  They banish her...

Vi is torn by the new things she learns and by the fact that she's attracted to Jag, when Zenn is supposed to be her chosen one.  However, Zenn was left behind when she was thrown out, so maybe caring about Jag is OK?

This is an intriguing story and and I enjoyed reading it.  I did not like the ending.  But I have hope this is just the beginning of a series.  This dsytopian world has more developing to do and the characters are coming of age.  I'd really love to read more about Vi - she's not done yet.

It's written for ages 14 and up, but I sure enjoyed it.  If this sounds like your cup of tea, why not pick up a copy at your local bookstore or nab an ebook for your reading in June?

Happy reading!  

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Abandon by Meg Cabot

This is a fascinating tale that is based on the myth of Persephone.  Can you imagine falling in love with Death himself?

Scholastic sent me an ARC of this book for review (thank you).  It's being published this week, so watch for a copy for yourself.  If you enjoy fantasy, you'll love this story.

I hadn't read Meg Cabot before, but this story line is one that fascinates me and I wanted to see how she adapted this mythical tale into a contemporary mode.  I was not disappointed, she does an excellent job of working the myth into a story for today.  This is book one in a trilogy so there will be more fun in the future for me!

The story is set in the Florida Keys, which has it's own kind of mystery and dark places.  That makes it fit in well with a man who wears dark clothes and can bring a bird back to life.  And you'll meet Pierce, who falls in a pool and drowns, but comes back to life...

The furies are about, and they want to use Pierce to get to Death's power.  Pierce, however, is a smart, strong young woman who has her own plan.

The story is romantic, full of fantasy and tickles your imagination.  The author's writing flows smoothly and she keeps your interest in the story line.

If you enjoy myths and fantasy, you'll really enjoy this book.  I highly recommend it. In fact, I like it so much I'm not willing to share my ARC with you - I'm going to keep it!  But you can get your own copy at your local bookstore so not to worry.

Here's a copy of the trailer of the book to further tantalize you:  Abandon Trailer .  Happy reading!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Stones for my Father by Trilby Kent Blog Tour

Imagine being a young girl on a farm in South Africa during the time the Boer families are being driven out by the British...  Life was never easy on the farm, but war had new terrors.

Ms. Kent does a lovely job of recreating these turbulent times in her story and sharing the Boer war history with today's young adults.  Her words make the land vivid, the emotions real, and the conflicts hurt.  

Not only does the author show how the British thought the Boer's were lesser beings, she also shows how the black Africans were treated by the Boers.  Her main character Corlie Roux finds a unlikely ally during all this trauma.  She needs one because her mother hates her.  

This book especially talked to me because my father's father immigrated from what is now Croatia during World War I by fighting for the American troops as an interpreter (he could speak eight languages).  War is war wherever it is fought and many of misdeeds in this story have been repeated in time.  If only we learned from history.

Since I have my own past history that touches me, I asked the author the following questions:  What inspired you to write this story?  How did you get interested in this historical moment?

Here are her responses:   "I've been interested in the Anglo-Boer War for a long time: partly because it's such a fascinating moment in history (the conflict sounded the death knell for the era of great imperial wars and was in many ways the first truly 'modern' war), and partly because my mother is South African and counts among her ancestors the Boer hero Danie Theron. So the interest was personal, as well as academic and creative.
A year before I began writing the novel, I spent some time in the Free State, where my mother's aunt and uncle had their farm. It's a breathtakingly beautiful part of the world, but like many such places it's dogged by a troubled history and the old inequalities and tensions are still very much alive. That experience inspired me to try to evoke a difficult moment in South Africa's history through a child's eyes... although it was only after I'd done a fair bit of reading and ruminating that Corlie's story began to take shape in my mind."

This story fascinated me with its historical content and the word pictures she created as you read it.  I highly recommend this book.  Not just for young adult readers, either.  Adults can enjoy this story as much young ones.

Why not visit South Africa from your armchair and follow the story of Corlie, who more than anything wants to live...

Happy reading!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Zig Zag Kids #3: Flying Feet by Patricia Reilly Giff

Have you met the Zig Zag kids yet?  This batch of school kids is always involved in high jinks and this book is no different.

Wendy Lamb Books sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  It's illustrated by Alasdair Bright and is available at your local bookstore now.  It's written for ages 6-9.

Charlie is always creating marvelous inventions.  Just because they don't turn out like he thinks they should doesn't mean he should give up, right?  So this time he creates "flying feet".  Suction cups on the bottom of a pair of sneakers and he'll be able to scale walls like Spiderman!

This author writes about realistic events at school and shows the challenges of being a young one in class.  I mean, who wants to be Peter Rabbit on Come As A Character Day?  Not Charlie!

This story would be fun read aloud where you could discuss the various issues she works into the story.  Would your young one (or your students) have made the same decision as Charlie?

I've read the two earlier books in this series and they're great, too.  Why not visit your local bookshop and take a look at them?

Happy reading.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Dear Mr. Holmes by Steve Hockensmith

If you've ever read any of the Dime Detective Novels, this book will capture your heart.  It's a combination of cowboys and the detecting style of Sherlock Holmes.

Mr. Hockensmith sent me a ebook for review (thank you).  You can buy this book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.  Check with your local bookstore, too.  They might be able to get a copy if you ask.

This is a collection of short stories about the cowboys, Old Red and Big Red.  Old Red has been a cowboy for a long time (in cowboy years) and it's time for him to find a new employment.  When his younger brother, Big Red, reads him a tale about Sherlock Holmes (Old Read can't read), he gets sudden inspiration.  He'll become a Pinkerton man!

These stories are especially enjoyable because their quest to become detectives is not a smooth transition.  Old Red might be able to figure out mysteries, but the Pinkerton's just laugh him out of the office.

With a few made up words and letters written by the most literate of the two (Big Red), these tales are charming and fun to read.  Also, since I live in the land of cowboys, I can tell you that these stories have a ring of authenticity.  The Old West was not a fun place to be sometimes.

I thoroughly enjoyed this read and highly recommend it for anyone who can enjoy a western with detective touches.  Buy yourself a copy and check it out.  I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Happy reading!

Cheesie Mack Is Not a Genius or Anything by Steve Cotler

This is Cheesie Mack's own story of his fifth-grade graduation; in his own words, with his own weird perceptions.

Random House Books for Young Readers sent me a copy of the book for review.  It was published at the end of March is now available at your local bookstore.  Adam McCauley is the illustrator and it's written for ages 8-12.

This is a funny, punny, corny tale full of younger one's humor and should tickle the reader's fancy.  There are made up words, silly drawings, and bad jokes galore.  

Cheesie has a best friend name Georgie and their antics in school and out sound quite a bit like my little brother and his friends.

Why not get a copy of this humorous book and let your young one follow along on Cheesie's adventures?  There will be more in this series, so keep an eye out for future volumes.

Happy reading. 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Second Fiddle by Rosanne Parry

When leaving their music teacher's home, three young teenagers witness a brutal beating and the attempted murder of Russian soldier.  They rescue him from the river, give him CPR, and hide him in the bushes.  But that doesn't end the danger...

Random House Children's Book for Young Readers sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  The book was published in March and is currently available for purchase at your local bookstore.  It is written for ages 8-12.

This story is set in the time period just after the Berlin Wall came down.  Jody and her friends are all military brats and they have become firm friends even though there are racial and wealth differences.  Their musical skills hold them close in friendship.  When they decide they must help this Russian soldier escape, they step into more trouble than they could ever imagine.

Their teacher is sick and can't make the trip, so they go on the planned music performance with the soldier in tow without letting their parents know of the switch.

The author shows a good knowledge of military family life as well as young adult females.  The girls are smart, wily, and willing to take a risk.  

I enjoyed this read.  It's a good story with history interwoven. Why not get a copy for your young adult?

Between Two Ends by David Ward

Yeats is very concerned about his father who tends to get deeply depressed.  What's worse is that his mother's patience and understanding are wearing out and he's afraid they will divorce...

This book will be published by Amulet Books, and imprint of Abrams.  I got my copy of the ebook to read from Net Galley.  Thank you both for the opportunity to read it.  You can purchase a copy of this at your local bookstore after May 1st.

Now his parents are taking Yeats to his grandmother's house and he's pretty sure that's not a good thing.  It seems most likely to either make things better for his dad or to break apart his parents relationship.

His father begins to tell him a tale of his youth that seems far fetched and full of fantasy, but before the story is completed, his mother sends him outside.  While the adults discuss matters, he happens to visit a long forgotten broken wishing well.  He also happens to find a pirate bookend...

This author has written a very good fantasy, time travel tale with magic involved that will catch any young adult's fancy.  It did mine, I'm much older than that.  I found myself turning the pages and wondering how Yeats would be able to do what he needed to do to get back home and save Shari, too.

This is a great adventure for those who know about the Arabian Nights story.  And for those who haven't read the 1,001 stories yet, here's an introduction to the type of adventures found in that classic book of fairy tales.

I really enjoyed this and think you will, too.  Why not pick up a copy and find a comfortable chair.  Give Khan a pet while you real the chapters he's in, OK?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Guilt by Association by Marcia Clark

Los Angeles DA Rachel Knight does not believe that her colleague from work, Jake, was a pedophile who murdered a young blackmailer and then committed suicide.  But the cops don't agree.  So she decides to check things out on her own...

Mullholland Books published this book yesterday.  They sent me a copy of the book for review (thank you).  Check with your local bookstore for a copy.

Rachel doesn't have a lot of time to devote to Jake's "murder/suicide" because she has to take over his cases.  And one of them is a young woman who was sexually assaulted in her home.  The father of the young woman is a very important man in the community and he wants the case resolved NOW!

The storyline is authentic, complicated, and fast moving.  The characters are tough, high-minded, and determined to do the best job they can.  There always obstacles when you decide to seek the truth rather than an easier answer.

Ms. Clark was the lead prosecutor on O J Simpson's murder trial, and her experience resonates throughout this book.  

I highly recommend this book.  It has a strong plot, a good flow, and is written well.  Ms. Clark says it took her a while to get the story right, but she sure did.

If you'd like my copy of this ARC, leave a comment here on my blog and email me at info @ with your name AND address and tell me why you would like to win.

Get a copy folks, it's good reading!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

He was supposed to be monitoring emails for misuse.  But he suddenly found himself following along the emails written by a fellow female employee and her friend because they were interesting and he was bored...

Dutton published this book this month and sent me a copy for review (thank you).  You can pick up a copy at your local bookstore now.

This story has an interesting premise.  Ms. Rowell takes a shy man who prefers to live at home and puts him on a night shift reviewing emails that have "key words" in them that might be inappropriate for corporate use.  Then she adds two young females into the mix who are struggling to determine who they, themselves, are.  Beth is in a relationship, but she never sees him.  Jennifer is trying to have a baby but isn't sure she wants one.  And they chat through emails...

The story moves a bit slowly for me, but it interested me enough to keep turning the pages to see how it was all going to turn out.  It's a bit of a geeky romance, but since they do online chatting and dating, this story line is plausible, too.  
You get to watch the characters grow, change and become stronger and better than they were in the past.  

I found it a good read with a new romance angle.  Why not get yourself a copy and see what you think?

If you'd like my copy of this ARC, please leave a comment here on my blog and email me at info @ (take the spaces out) with your name AND address.  I'll pick a winner in about a week.

Happy reading!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Monkey & Elephant's Worst Fight Ever by Michael Townsend

Monkey couldn't believe it.  Elephant was having a party and didn't invite him!

Alfred A Knopf Books for Young Readers sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  It was published in March in hardcover.  Check with your local bookstore for a copy.

As we all know, children have disagreements, get mad at each other, and sometimes won't speak to each other.  The fight between Monkey and Elephant gets even worse than that.  They keep trying to outdo the last trick played on them until the other animals on the island put them in a boat and ship them out to sea to work out their differences!

This is a humorous tale with an instance of butt painting that should make your child laugh.  Why not let them learn that communication can solve problems and not to let a small hurt turn into a big mess by "getting even".

Check it out at your local bookstore.  It's a real cute book for ages 5-8.

Happy reading!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Compost Stew by Mary McKenna Siddals Blog Tour

Earth Day is April 22, and this book would make the perfect gift for that day.  Subtitle of the book is "An A to Z Recipe for the Earth".

Tricycle Press sent me a copy of this book for review and asked me to join their blog tour (thank you).  The book is illustrated by Ashley Wolff.  If you think "green", this is a great book to share with your child and it's available at your local bookstore now.

This is a great picture book introducing young ones to composting.  It offers suggestions on what will create the best quality of compost, tells you what not to use, and will give you some real good mulch for your garden or flowers.

As a child, I grew up in the country and we had a garden every year.  We also had a compost pile.  We'd add to it from summer to spring and then when Daddy worked up the ground for replanting, he worked the compost into it too.  We always had a nice healthy garden and he never used fertilizer.

It's also a nice way cutting down your garbage and recycling the various compost ingredients.

Another little secret:  It's a great place to look for worms if you're going fishing...

This author is doing a giveaway during the blog tour, so don't forget to visit her site and enter.  Here's the link:

Why not buy a copy of this book for your family or daycare and show the children how to feed the earth with compost?  It's not hard and it helps keep us "green".

Happy reading!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Liar Liar by Gary Paulsen

What does it hurt if he tells a little lie so he gets to do what he wants?  No one will know...

Wendy Lamb Books sent me this story in hardcover for review (thank you).  It was published in March and also comes in eBook form.  It's written for ages 8-12.  Check with your local bookstore for a copy.

Kevin knows he can tell a convincing lie and he wants to get Tina's attention because she's cute.  So he works on changing his schedule to match hers.  Of course, he gives every teacher a different story...

My mother told me never to lie because they were too hard to keep track of.  If you tell the truth, you'll remember and can tell it again.  Lies will trip you up.  My little brother found that out, and so does Kevin.

I really enjoy Mr. Paulsen's work and always look forward to his stories.  He is now writing for the middle school age range, and he includes humor and silliness in the tale.  He makes them laugh as he teaches them a lesson.

Why not get a copy of this book and let your child see just how much trouble Kevin gets in and how he gets out of it?  It's an enjoyable read.

Happy reading!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Tyler Hill's Decision by Dannie C Hill

Never go camping with friends and let one of them coat the bottom of your sleeping bag with peanut butter.  It attracts bears...

This book is published by Small Mountain Publishing, and Mr. Hill sent me a copy for review (thank you).  The book is available on Amazon.

This is an adventure story that also addresses the issue of young man's heritage.  Tyler is a mix of several races and can't decide which box to check in the list of races. (I wish they just had one for "American", it'd be easier.)

The bear races away with Tyler's sleeping bag and Tyler.  He has no idea where he is in the mountains, the two bears still want to eat him for lunch, he has no supplies, and he's not sure which direction to head to get help.

He manages to find a few things to eat and eventually gets away from the bears, but his trip would have been much harder if hadn't met an old Cherokee man who helps him.  He actually helps him with both his goals even if Tyler doesn't realize it at the time.

This is a coming of age story with Indian folklore and some history about the different races we have in the states.  I found it interesting and entertaining.  Many of the outdoor hints shared in this story I had used while backpacking, so there are good valid woodmanship skills offered here.

Why not get a copy for your young adult and let him follow along on Tyler's adventures?

Happy reading.

The Secret of Zoom by Lynne Jonell

Imagine being able to activate a child-sized plane by being able to sing a perfect note...  And that's just one part of this adventure.

Square Fish, an imprint of Macmillan, sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  It is currently for sale in your local bookstore.

This is a fascinating tale that is full of action, danger, and wickedness.  The author's characters are all brave, determined to do the right thing, and are willing to sacrifice themselves for the general good.  Thank goodness they don't have to.

Christine has grown up almost alone (other than her Nanny).  Her mother was blown to bits in a laboratory accident, her father works long hours and keeps to himself.  The stone mansion they live in is surrounded by barbed wire.  She's allowed no contact with the children from the orphanage down the street, but they're allowed to play outside and know how to play games.  She's very wistful about that.

Everything changes when she actually gets to talk to an orphan boy and they arrange to escape their confinements, meet out back and take a walk in the deep forest (which is forbidden, of course). 

This is written for ages 8-12.  Several of the humorous sections of the story reflect that.  The overall plot holds together well and there is lots of action to keep the young ones eyes on the story.

Why not share some fantasy with your child and let their imaginations soar?  Grab a copy at your local bookstore.

Happy reading!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Haunting Warrior by Erin Quinn

Rory has always been independent and lived his own life.  He even left Ireland and moved to the states.  But you can never escape fate...

This is a book being published by Penguin under the Berkley Sensation imprint and I was lucky enough to get a copy for review (thank you).   It is currently available in your local bookstore, as is her first book, Haunting Beauty.   She has the third book in this series coming out soon.

Ms. Quinn's characters are larger than life.  They are strong, intelligent and willing to give up their lives for the ones they love.  She has some total scoundrels involved so it keeps the story fast paced and full of conflict.

I can honestly say I don't read a lot of romance.  Most of them are formulaic and not terribly entertaining to me.  This is NOT one of that type.  

The author has woven paranormal, time travel, and romance all together to create a tale that grabs your attention on the first page and pulls you through the book to see how it will end.  I found this an excellent read.  The story is complex and multi-faceted, covering several decades.  I read it in one day because I couldn't put it down.

I highly recommend this book.  And I'm keeping my copy.  If you want to read this fascinating story, visit your local bookstore and snag a copy.  You might want to get the first one, too...

Happy reading!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Afraid of the Dark by James Grippando

Jack Swyteck is back, and is trying to save a man from the death penalty for terrorist activity.

HarperCollins sent me an ARC of this book that will be published this month (thank you).  You can buy this book in hardcover, ebook or audio.  Check with your local bookstore to pick up a copy.

Mr. Grippando mixes a variety of darknesses together in this book.  There's a whiff of terrorism, lots of greed, sexual abuse of young girls and murder.  Each of those could have been the entire plot, but in this story they are all entwined in ways that a bit odd, but very believable.

Whether they are good guys or bad, the male characters are very strong and determined.  Past and present mix in this tale.  Even the characters working together aren't telling each other everything.

This one will keep you on toes and your fingers will keep flipping the pages to see where the story will go next.  It's not for the lighthearted.

If you like action, mystery, suspense and danger, you will like this book.

If you would like my copy of this ARC, leave a comment here on the blog and email me at info @ (take the spaces out) with your name AND address and the reason why you would like to read this book.  I'll pick a winner in about a week.

The Dagger Quick by Brian Eames

Christopher is twelve and doesn't want to be a cooper.  He wants to be a sailor and spend his life at sea.  But his father disagrees...

Simon & Schuster sent me an ebook of this for review (thank you).  The book will be coming out in May in hardcover and ebook form and is for grades 3-7.  Check with your local bookstore for a copy.  I'd get the hardcover.  I'm sure this is a story that be will read again and again.

Mr. Eames grabs your attention at the very beginning of the book when Christopher's father's brother shows up in town.  He's a pirate.  And he wants his brother and Christopher to make him lots of new barrels and go with him to pick up a treasure.  Since Christopher never thought he'd really have a chance to go sea with his clubfoot, he's real excited about it - at the beginning.

The author's characters are strong people who respond quickly to unbearable challenges.  They do what they must.

This is an action-packed tale of the time when Harry Morgan was on the seas and the author has researched the time period accurately.  Danger walks the pages of this book.

It's written for the young, but I loved reading this book.  I think there will probably be more in this series; I hope so!  I highly recommend this book.

Get yourself a copy and see what you think

Happy reading!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wrapped by Jennifer Bradbury

It's London in 1815 and Agnes is seventeen.  She is making her debut in front of a prospective suitor (her mother's choice) when she suddenly becomes ensnarled in the world of spies, politics, and Egyptian mystique.

Antheneum Books for Young Readers (a division of Simon & Schuster) gave me an ebook of this story for review.  This book will be published in May in hardcover and ebook form.  It's written for grades 7 and up.

Agnes has a bad habit of listening to her father's private conversations from her bedroom.  She knows matters that are not appropriate for a young lady.  She also knows how to speak ten languages because her father encourages her to learn against her mother's wishes.  She also knows how to act like a lady, but doesn't always follow the rules...

There is an interesting mix of Egyptian myth and the politics of the time in this tale.  Alice also has a Lord pursuing her for his wife, but she likes the young lad from the museum better, even if he's penniless.  The touch of romance and the "key" to the mystery make the story even more intriguing.  

Why not get a copy for your young one and let them follow a fascinating mystery and see just what Agnes will do to get to the truth.  It's a good read!

Happy reading!

A Hard Death by Jonathan Hayes

Edward Jenner has been a victim of political fallout and is now banished to Douglas County in Florida, working as a medical examiner.  His problems in New York came from the Inquisitor serial killings and he's glad to leave them behind: however, his acquaintance with death is not over...

HarperCollins sent me an ARC of this book for review (thank you).  It's being published this month as a hardcover book and is also an ebook.  Check with your local bookstore to get a copy.

Jenner is very good at what he does and he's a smart man.  But he's not willing to close his eyes to what he sees when the man who hired him and his wife are submerged in a sunken car.  Martie had knife wounds and his wife drowned in the trunk.  This was no accident.

The plot weaves in and about itself, and is not only about murder and greed, but about dysfunctional families and people with no conscience.  The pace is fast, the action hot, and the corruption so deep you will wonder how this author is going to end the story.  You'll also be surprised at the ending.

This is a very good read for those who like suspense, mystery,and action all in one book.  There's even a touch of romance.  Why not get a copy and check it out yourself?

If you'd like to win my ARC, just comment here on my blog and then email me at info @ (take the spaces out) with your name AND address and tell me why you want to read the book.  I'll do the drawing in about a week.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Heart of a Dog by Doranna Durgin

If you've ever loved a dog, you will love this book...

The author sent me an ebook for review (thank you).  She is using the sales of this book as a fundraiser for her beagle.  He has medical problems and veterinarian bills are expensive.  Between tests and treatments, her funds have disappeared.  But Connery is a fighter and hasn't given up.

The stories are mostly Ms. Durgin's, but other authors have chipped in and it's a nice mix.  They are mostly fantasy tales, but they all center around an animal.  It's based on animals and humans and how they interact.  They don't all have happy endings, so prepare yourself.  

The one thing in common they have is that the stories are all a good read.  I enjoyed this book.

Why not help Connery out and buy a copy of this book from Ms. Durgin?  You won't regret it.  And Connery would probably even give you a slop of his tongue for doing it.

Here's the link to the story about Connery:

Happy reading!

The Dragon of Cripple Creek by Troy Howell

Kat Graham is captivated by the lore of gold.  When she and her family are on the way to the west coast, she talks her Dad into visiting Cripple Creek.  She had no idea what she would find...

Amulet Books, an imprint of Abrams, sent me an ARC of this book for review (thank you).  The book is published in hardcover this month.  Check with your local bookstore to snag a copy.

Mr. Howell has created a very interesting character.  Kat's mother is ill and all their money has been used to pay for her care.  Her Dad is unemployed.  Her older brother is her good friend, but Kat wants to help in some way.  She's a good spirited, willful girl.  (A lot like me when I was growing up; I was a tomboy.)  It doesn't take long until you empathize enough with her to hope she can be successful in her endeavors.

However, who expected her to deviate from the mine tour route and fall down a closed of tunnel?  Or to find a dragon?

This story is written for ages 8-12, and it's fast paced, full of odd coincidences, and great fun to read.  If life is a bowl of cherries, Kat is finding some of the pits.  She perseveres and manages to come out at the end with wisdom and hope.  Don't we all wish it would be that way?

This is great for young ones that like action and fantasy.  Why not pick a copy for your young one?

If you would like the ARC I have, leave a comment here on my blog and then email me at info @ (remove the spaces) with your name AND address and the reason you would like to win.  I'll be drawing a name in about a week.

Happy reading!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Four Seasons by Jane Breskin Zalben

Allegra Katz and her family are all involved in music.  She goes to Juilliard.  Despite all that, she likes math better than music...

Alfred A Knopf Books for Young Readers sent me a copy of this book for review.  The book is currently available through your local bookstore.

Allegra's father is a violinist and her mother is a former opera singer, so it's natural that she would also be musically inclined.  She is and she enjoys it.  But as she gets older, she find that her unflinching and harsh music teacher wants more and more time spent practicing.  This means she misses class time and she has no time for friends.  When she loses out on a boyfriend she was just beginning to form a relationship with, she begins to consider if music is what she wants to do with rest of her life.  After all, she's very good at math, too.

This author understands competition in the music world and how important is to have an encouraging positive teacher.  An instructor can stimulate or unmotivate students by their attitude and input (or lack of).

Ms. Zalben also understands puberty, a youth's desire for control of their own life, and the uncertainty that you have at age.

This is a coming of age story with a young woman trying to pick her passion in life.  It's written for ages 10 and up.

Happy reading!

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...