Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Lesson in Secrets by Jacqueline Winspear

Maisie Dobbs is sent undercover as a philosophy teacher into a college that may be harboring spies.  What she finds is murder...

HarperCollins published this book in April, and I got my egalley from Net Galley for review (thank you both).  You can find a copy at your local bookstore now.

I find academic mysteries a bit dry and this starts out a bit slow.  However, as soon as the principal is killed, the pace picks up and the complex plot becomes to show itself.

Maisie is instructed to just see what she can uncover about activities at the school and to keep her nose out of the death investigation.  Unfortunately, the principal seems to be a integral part of school life and politics there, so that's not possible.

The plot is intriguing and the killer well hidden (in plain site).  The author's words have a good flow and you begin to wonder if Maisie's romance with James is fading as the story goes on.  You also care about Maisie.  She works hard on making things better for those around her and she's good at detecting.

I'll be watching for another book in this series.  I don't think Maisie is done playing private eye yet.

Happy reading!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Supernatural Noir

This collection of short stories has at least one for everyone.  The stories are varied, there are supernatural and paranormal stories, ironic stories, humorous stories, crime stories and more.  What's not to like?

Dark Horse Books, an imprint of Dark Horse Comics, provided an egalley on Net Galley that I downloaded for review (thank you both).  The book will be published at the end of June.

I don't know about you, but my favorite form of reading is short stories.  Authors can't wallow in detail or expand a character so much you get bored.  It's got to be succinct and tidy to get the point across in a limited number of words.  And each new story is a new adventure.  

This selection of stories comes from authors that have been writing for a long time:  Brian Evenson, Joe R Lansdale,  Caitlin R Kiernan, Nick Mamatas, Gregory Frost, Jeffrey Ford, and many more.

These stories are all dark, but they draw you in and you keep reading to see where the author is taking you.  If you collect short story analogies, here is a new one for you.  If you like reading fantasy, this book is for you.  Why not pick up a copy in June at your local bookstore?

Happy reading!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Dead Woman by David McAfee

Here is another chilling tale from The Dead Man series.  Matt is trying hard to stay alive long enough to conquer Mr. Dark, but it's getting more difficult every time he encounters him...

Mr. Goldberg sent me an advance ebook to read and review (thank you).  This series has individual stories that follow a theme but are written by different authors. All the authors are good writers and have not disappointed me.  These are horror tales with a supernatural touch, and you find yourself worrying about Matt, the main character.

This tale takes Matt to another small town, where he stops to find a job.  He finds one, but it turns out to be the job from hell.  He meets one who can see the same festering sores he can, but she has a different agenda from his.

This is one of the most dangerous of Matt's adventures so far.  But it's not over yet.  He's still alive and fighting.  And now he has another enemy.

If you like increasing your heart rate, you need to get a copy of this book and read it.  It will be available on June 2nd, so mark it down on your TBR list.  And happy reading!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Intoxication by Tim Kizer

This author likes to walk around in your mind...

Mr. Kizer asked me to review his novelettes and I was happy to do so.  I'm even happier now that I've read them.  You can pick up a copy on Amazon for 99 cents, so why not take a peek at them yourself?

Intoxication is about a woman who is spiraling into insanity.  She thinks someone at work is trying to poison her.  The more paranoid she gets, the more out-of-control she goes...

I found the story interesting and I was wondering how he was going find an ending that would work, but he did.

However, my favorite is Hitchhiker.  I love twisted tales with ironic endings.  And what could fit that description better than a driver and a hitchhiker both being serial killers and trying to get one up on the other?  It's a short ride, folks.

Mr. Kizer gets an "A" from me for stories that will stick with you after you've read them.  He writes the stuff of nightmares.  And they flow well, are believable, and read well.  If you like psychological horror, here you go.

Happy reading.

Alice-Miranda at School by Jacqueline Harvey

If you thought Madeline was bossy, wait until you meet Alice-Miranda!

Delacorte Press for Young Readers sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  It was published in April so you can get a copy at your local bookstore.

Alice-Miranda is a determined girl who knows what she wants out of life.  Right now, it's to go to boarding school and study fascinating subjects and meet all the other girls of the upper echelon.  However, when she arrives, while the school is what she expected, there's something missing: there is no school spirit...

Alice-Miranda gets there a day early, so she sets off to meet the staff.  She's surprised to find the headmistress unavailable, but she visits the cook and the gardener and other staff.  And then she sets about making things better.  

This is an amusing story about a seven year old girl who is headstrong and has doting parents.  What Alice-Miranda wants, Alice-Miranda gets.  Especially when it's to help other people.  Her actions are outrageous.  She has experience doing things normal children would never have.  And, thank goodness, she's kind and understanding.

This is the first book in a new series and, based on how Alice-Miranda handled things in this story, you can be sure she'll have another outlandish adventure in the next book, too.

Why not purchase a copy and enter the world of Alice-Miranda Highton-Smith-Kennigton-Jones?  If you've got a problem, she'll fix it!

Happy reading.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Blood Red Road by Moira Young

They live in the Dustlands by Silverlake in a home made from piled tires with wreckage scraps on the roof as protection against the sun and the wind.

Margaret K. McElderry, a division of Simon & Schuster, will be publishing this book in June and sent me an ebook for review (thank you).  

This is not a land or time for the weak.  The world as we know it is long gone, killed by war and weather changes.   Life is hard-scrabble and any survivors must be tough.  But Saba isn't really unhappy until raiders come and steal her twin away.  She would have given them her younger sister, Emma, and not felt bad at all, but Lugh is her other half and she has to get him back!

Since her father died during the raid, she takes Emma to stay with a neighbor and then sets out on her way to find Lugh.  Unfortunately, Emma doesn't stay where she's left and then she has to worry about her, too.

There's a flavor of Mad Max in the Thunderdome in this story and that was a plus for me.  I don't like wimpy characters.  Saba is determined to do whatever she needs to do to stay alive and get to her brother.  That's harder than you might imagine.

The story is compelling, enthralling, and already has me hungering for the next story in the series.  This new world is not friendly, but Saba has the power to change it and she does.

I highly recommend this as a good read about a dystopian future.   It's action packed and the words flow well.  Why not put it on your TBR list and get a copy when it comes out?

Happy reading. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Babymouse Mad Scientist by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm

Babymouse is back and she's got a new friend to introduce you to:  Squish!

Random House Books for Young Readers sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  It's #14 in the series and introduces you to a new character this sister/brother team is creating.  This is a graphic novel and it's available at your local bookstore now.

This was the first Babymouse story I read.  She's a real cute character.  Every time she hears an interesting word, her imagination takes off and she's off in another world on an adventure.  It doesn't help with her studies, but it makes a great story!

Her school is having a science fair and she has to have a project so outstanding she'll get a prize.  But how do you do that with an amoeba?

Why not let Babymouse introduce you to Squish?  It'll be fun.

Happy reading!

Squish Super Amoeba by Jennifer L Holm and Matthew Holm

He's an average comic book loving, Twinkie eating, grade school kid who just happens to be an AMOEBA.

Random House Books for Young Readers sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  This is a graphic novel written by a brother "Inkboy" and sister "WriterGirl" team.  You can purchase a copy at your local bookstore right now.  This is the first book in this series.

Squish is an interesting character.  He looks like a blob on paper, but wears a baseball cap.  He also has problems with certain classmates, has unusual friends and tries hard to do the "right" thing.  In short, he's a lot like any other little boy.

The graphics are fun, the text is easy to read, and it has an interesting ending.  It's for ages 7-10, and I think young ones will enjoy following Squish around on his adventures.

Happy reading!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Horton Halfpott by Tom Angleberger

Or:  The Fiendish Mystery of Smugwick Manor.  Or: The Loosening of M'Lady Luggertuck's Corset.

Abrams Books sent me an ARC of this book to read and review (thank you).  It's currently available for sale at your local bookstore.  It's written for ages 8-12.

Want to have a little fun?  Read this silly story with all kinds of strange characters and creatures and try to solve a wacky mystery.

Smugwick Manor is located north of the Graveyard of Unfashionable Wigs (see I told you it was silly) and the family's claim to wealth is a Lump.  It's possibly the world's largest diamond, but it's never been polished and only resembles a lump right now.

Everything begins to go south when M'Lady Luggertuck decides to leave her corset a bit looser than she usually does.  Things begin to relax around the Manor.  The first main event is the theft of the Lump.  Horton Halfpott, the kitchen boy, is accused of the crime.  So he bands together with the stable boys and sets out to prove he didn't do it.  If you want to know what they run across in their search and found with their deductions, you'll have to get the book and find out for yourself.  This is the part that has the most action and the silliest consequences.

Children should find themselves laughing out loud when they read this comic farce.  You might even laugh, too.

And here's an even better deal.  You can win my ARC!  Just leave a comment here on my blog and email me at info @ bookfaerie.com (take the spaces out) with your name and address and why you'd like to win the book.  I'll pick a winner in about a week.

Happy reading!

June Jam by Ron Roy

Who's been munching on the strawberries???

Random House Books for Young Readers sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  It was published at the end of March and can be found in your local bookstore now.  It's illustrated by John Steven Gurney.  This is number 6 in the Calendar Mystery series.

Father's Day is coming up and the Pinto boys want to make strawberry jam for their Dad as a surprise.  They have a couple of problems:  The jam must be cooked and they aren't allowed to use the stove; and, someone is taking bites out of the strawberries and destroying them.

Watching the group of children use a variety of ideas to catch the thief is great fun.  Your child might even have some ideas to offer you in addition to theirs.

These are simple easy readers for ages 6-9 and have enough action to keep their attention and make the read enjoyable.

Happy reading!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Eye of the Moon by Dianne Hofmeyr

Poison, slavery and murder in the heart of Egypt...

Aladdin, a division of Simon & Schuster send me a copy of this ebook for review (thank you).  The book is being published in June, and you can get a copy at your local bookstore.

This is a well researched look at Egypt during the days when gods were honored and received sacraments and sacrifices and Kings and Queens ruled the world.  It's written for young adults and has enough intrigue and action to keep their attention throughout the story.

The high priest has big ideas.  He kills the Queen and attempts to kill the oldest prince and then he plans to manipulate the child prince to get what he wants.  But when the mortician, Isikara's father, refuses to kill the prince, he faces death himself.  He rushes Isikara down a secret hall and hands her the poisoned prince and instructs her to leave and go to safety.  Tuthmosis is groggy and not a lot of help, but he knows the way out and who will help them get away from the city.

In their travels, they face danger many times.  They pick up odd travelling companions, and they learn how to be strong, how to face their fears, and how to fight back.

This is a very good read.  And there is a sequel planned, so their adventure isn't finished yet.  Why not get a copy and visit the heat of Egypt yourself?

The Quite Contrary Man by Patricia Rusch Hyatt

Do you like beards?  This man sure did!

Abrams Books sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  It is being published this month, so check with your local bookstore for a copy.

Ms. Kathryn Brown is the illustrator of this book and she has created wonderful illustrations of a man with a most wondrous beard: It twists, it curls, it flies in the wind!

The most fascinating part of this story to me is that it is non-fiction.  There actually was a man who spent a year in jail because he would not shave his beard.  It sounds like a silly, made-up story about a stubborn boy who turned into a stubborn man, but it's not so.  His stubborness turned him into a folk hero!

Children should be caught up in this tale because of his unusual beard, but they will also be reading history here.

Why not pick a copy and share this tantalizing tale with your little ones?

Happy reading!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Murder One by Robert Dugoni

She was beautiful and he was falling in love with her.  Then his lady lawyer friend gets arrested for Murder One...

Touchstone, a division of Simon & Schuster, will be publishing this book in June.  They provided me an ebook for review (thank you).  Check with your local bookstore for a copy.

I was not aware of this author or his series of books with the character of David Sloane, but I'm glad I've found him now.  This is fascinating read.  It reads well as a stand alone story, you need not buy the whole series (unless you want to).

David Sloane is a widower and has taken some time off to heal his grief over the loss of his wife by visiting Mexico.  Now he's home and going back to work. He literally bumps into Barclay Reid as he's leaving an evening event related to work and he finds himself attracted to her.

My favorite part of this story is the search for evidence to provide a reasonable doubt about the facts provided by the investigators and prosecutor; and the word play and fancy positioning of said facts to remove the effectiveness of the point the other attorney is trying to make.  If you've ever testified in court, you'll recognize some of these tactics.  I find the mind games played in court intriguing.  It's not always who had the most facts and made the best case; it's how it was presented and what the jury read in your words.

This story has a very ironic ending.  I was hoping for justice and thought maybe it been hoodwinked on the way to the trial, but justice does prevail.  Just in a different way.

This was a very good read with lots of police procedural and pithy attorney wordplay.  Why not get a copy and take a trip to court, too?  It's well worth your time.

The Dead Man: Hell in Heaven by Lee Goldberg and William Rabkin

Matt is back.  And so is the Dark Man...

This is the third story in this series and was just published at the first week of May.  Mr. Goldberg sent me a copy for review (thank you).  It's available in paperback or ebook form.

Matt just barely escaped from his enemies in the last story in this series, and his journey doesn't get any calmer this time around.  He's on a motorcycle going over the North Cascades Highway when he decides to stop for fuel and food and a rest from riding the bike.  He finds a small side road that has a sign indicating a town called Heaven, and he pulls off the main drag and heads into town.  He should have kept going...

There are horrors in the town of Heaven.  Beings you can't imagine, inbred psychotic monsters and more.

One thing about these stories, once you start one, you won't move until you've finished it.  They are fast paced, nasty reads that are best during daylight hours.  And I sure enjoy reading them.  

Why not pick a copy of all three and follow Matt on his journey to find out what his purpose in life is?  It's quite a ride.

Happy reading!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The White Devil by Justin Evans

If you can see a spirit that no one else can, would you tell? 

HarperCollins has just published this book and sent me an ARC for review (thank you).  Mr. Evans has written A Good and Happy Child, but this is the first "taste" of this author I've had.

The story begins with Andrew being sent away from his family, his school and his past to a final chance for redemption:  four-hundred-year-old Harrow School.  This is a very private school of moneyed students and being the new boy is not an easy thing to do as a senior.  Especially when the only friend he had suddenly dies from a lung problem that didn't exist before.

I found this author's plot line interesting.  He melds a literary mystery about Byron into this current story, adds a mean and jealous ghost, and creates a horror story all within the walls of this old school.  He also does it all so convincingly that's it's almost believable...

The story flows well, the pieces don't drop into place very easily, and Andrew is fighting for his life.  You'll want to keep reading this story until you see how it turns out for him.  Grab yourself a cup of coffee or tea and sit down by the fireplace and chill yourself reading this book.

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

A Tale of Two Castles by Gail Carson Levine

Elodie is looking for work when she goes to the town of Two Castles, but she never expected to become an assistant to a dragon!

HarperCollins Children's Books has already published this book and sent me an ARC for review (thank you).  You can get a copy at your local bookstore.

If it's not confusing enough moving to a new town and then getting involved with a dragon, now Meenore wants her to help him solve mysteries.  It seems someone is trying to harm Count Jonty Um who is a shapeshifting ogre.

Add a greedy king, a giddy princess, and a handsome cat trainer to the mix and you have quite a cast of characters to sort through.

Here is info direct from her website about how she got the idea for the story:  

A Tale of Two Castles is my first mystery.

Naturally, it comes from a fairy tale, very loosely from "Puss 'N Boots," one of the most charming fairy tales. I'm utterly won over that a cat threatens a bunch of peasants with cutting them up as herbs for the soup and they're scared. A cat against people?

I'm not sure anyone will get the connection between my book and the original, but look for it. Here's how I began: I was searching for a fairy tale mystery, and I realized it is one. If you remember your "Puss 'N Boots," you'll recall that Puss marches into the ogre's castle and challenges him to shape-shift. In response, the ogre turns into a lion and then turns back. When Puss recovers from his fright, he challenges the ogre again, this time to turn into a small creature. The obliging ogre becomes a mouse, and Puss eats him. That's the story according to Puss, but notice, there are no witnesses. All anyone can be certain of is that a cat walks in; a cat walks out; an ogre vanishes. So what really happens?

Ms. Levine is a previous Newbery Honor winner, and her writing style is smooth, the story is fascinating and fun, and it holds your attention the entire way through.  It's written for ages 8-12, but I enjoyed reading it also.  If you like fantasy, this a great book for you.

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

Friday, May 20, 2011

Act of Creation and Other Stories by J A Pak

This author has a love affair with food, and it's reflected in her stories...

Ms. Pak sent me an invitation to review her ebook on Smashwords (thank you).  It consists of three stories that are short and sweet  with a focus on food.

The author's writing flows smoothly, she doesn't waste words, and each story makes you pause a moment and think.  My favorite story was the first one, Act of Creation.  Her character manages to purge her hatred through food.  It was fascinating to see how she resolved her issue. 

Ms. Pak's characters might be a bit shallow, but they are real.  You'll recognize them as you read about them.

I have something special to offer you as a reader of my blog.  Ms. Pak has graciously offered to share her stories with you for FREE.  Just visit Smashwords and use this code to get it free:  YL34F

It will be available for two weeks, so go get your copy now.  It comes in a variety of ebook types.  And then let me know what you thought of that first story, OK?

Happy reading! 

Buried Treasures by Stephane Compoint

Subtitle:  Uncovering Secrets of the Past.  A search for lost civilizations and ancient creatures...

Abrams Books is publishing this book in May and sent me a copy for review (thank you).  Stephane Compoint is an award winning photographer and journalist.  His work has been in Life, National Geographic, Time and Newsweek.  His pictures alone are worth the price of the book.  And the text is fascinating and written for ages 9 and up.

As a child, I hated reading nonfiction.  However, I'm finding the new factual books for children very readable.  The text is written for the precise age group, the illustrations and photos are closely applicable to the text, and there are info oddities stuck here and there to keep you reading.  It's not boring anymore!

The treasures being examined in this book are like the shows on the History channel.  They have been around a long time, people are still discovering new things about them, and they fascinate people.  Mr. Compoint's pictures give you a new way to view them and will stir interest in your child's mind.  They may wish to do further research on some of the subjects, which will further expand their knowledge.

Why not pick up a copy of this book at your local bookstore and share it with your child?  You might learn a few new things, too...

Happy reading.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Watcher by Jeanette Winter

Subtitle:  Jane Goodall's Life with the Chimps.  Could you leave home and go live in a tropical forest in a tent?  For the rest of your life?

Schwartz & Wade published this book in April and sent me a copy for review (thank you).  This biography was written for ages 4-8 and should fascinate any young one who has an interest in animals.  It's available in your local bookstore now.

Jane was always interested in animals, even when living in London and going to school as a child.  She was fascinated with Dr. Doolittle.  But even she could not have foretold how her life would turn out.

Jane devoted years of her life to creating a relationship with the chimps and watching their life cycle and habits.  Her work kept the chimps from becoming extinct.  And her knowledge of the chimps is still the foremost in the field.

Ms. Winter's writes an easy to read and understand biography with lots of illustrations to explain the story she's telling.  This book is an excellent way to interest children in non-fiction.  They will find out that there are some very interesting people in the world and following their journeys can be fun.

Why not pick up a copy of this story about the study of chimps and go on a trip to Tanzania with Ms. Goodall?

Happy reading.

The Golden Ghost by Marion Dane Bauer

Delsie knew she and her friend Todd were not allowed to explore the abandoned houses by the old mill.  But when she dared him and they did, she sure didn't expect what she found...

Random House Books for Young Readers published this book in March and sent me a copy for review (thank you).  It's written for ages 6-9 and is part of the "color" ghost series by the Ms. Bauer.  It is illustrated by Peter Ferguson.

Ms. Bauer is a previous Newbery Honor-winner, so I was not surprised to see how smoothly her words flowed or how well she portrayed the children's friendship.

Sneaking down to the abandoned houses changes Delsie's life.  She and Todd find evidence one of the houses is occupied by a squatter; and she finds herself attached to a ghost!

This is not a scary ghost story, but it will fuel your child's imagination.  Reading this story aloud would be fun, too.  Why not get yourself a copy (perhaps pick up the others in the series, too) and have some fun playing with ghosts?

Happy reading.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Fierce Dawn by Amber Scott (Includes Guest Blog)

Sadie's Mom is acting really strange, but Sadie tries to keep Heather, her little sister, from worrying.  Then Mom dies and Sadie goes crazy...

The author shared a copy of this ebook with me for review (thank you).  This book is being promotion priced today for 99 cents on Amazon.  The direct link for purchase is in the guest blog at the bottom of my review.

This is a paranormal romance/adventure and I must admit they are growing on me.  I used to think they were silly, but I'm finding that they have good story lines, the author can make you empathize with her characters, and when the story ends, you want to read more about them.  Ms. Scott has this list down.

When Sadie gets out of the hospital, she's very cautious and careful about what she says and what she does.  She doesn't want a return trip!  When she meets Elijah, she has hopes for a relationship, but running into him with the library cart was not a good start.  Especially since he doesn't appear to be interested in her.  But that changes, and that's where this story takes off.

Ms. Scott throws in immortals, humans, changelings, and evildoers and mixes the plot "pot" into a very interesting and entertaining story.  

I really enjoyed this story.  For 99 cents how can you say no?  Pick up a copy for yourself and settle down to read a good adventure tale.  I'm hoping there will be more in this series. Sadie is just beginning to learn who and what she is...

Here is a guest post from the author that has more information about her and links to the sale:

I’ve Been Caught Cheating!
By Amber Scott © 2011

I’ve tried to hide it. To deny it. I kept up an alternate identity to keep my secret from the reading world. I even tried really, really hard to stop. Six months ago I finally gave up. I came out as a I’m a genre jumper. Yep. I write in more than one genre.

Moreover, I have not one, but three different paranormal worlds going, each with its own set of rules. I’ve given up trying to pick just one.

I just can’t!

I love them all too, too much. I love the blood addict vampires and winged seekers in “Fierce Dawn” just as much as the medieval Ireland Druid magic and evil fae of “Irish Moon.” Then there’s my Stupid Cupid series begun with “Play Fling” which tracks the lessons of a seriously
challenged matchmaker. What magic I’m loving most all depends on where my muse has taken me.

I know what you’re thinking. Uh-oh. That’s a no-no, right? Or, man, this chick gets around, right?

Yeah. Have I mentioned all the stand alone contemporaries in there, too? Eek! I do. I get around.

In the beginning of my career, I read a book by a famous agent who advised against indulging one’s muse by writing in more than one genre until a career has been established. The rule was, pick one and stick it out for five to ten books.

I tried to. I really did. But my muse just wouldn’t work that way. Ignoring the itch of adventuring into a new world stemmed my creativity and my progress. I tried separating out my paranormals under a different pen name at first. But then my paranormal worlds themselves differed drastically, too. It came down to either splitting off into yet another personality or going the therapeutic route.

I decided to simply write all my sub-genres under one name.

The truth is I don’t know if readers will mind. I do know that it feels right. I know that my books have a common theme no matter what magical or modern setting they arise from. Love can transform you. In each book, I get to see just how much.

As a reader, I love variety. I love my Shiver wolves as much as my Eclipse wolves. I love my regencies as much as my highlanders. I love my aliens right alongside my comic heroines. It never feels like infidelity.

I’m happy to say, writing ‘around’ no longer does, either. Yes, I’m easy. But I promise you this:

No matter where I take you, it will be one hot, addictive adventure.

In fact, today, “Fierce Dawn” is the IBC’s Bestseller For a Day, promotion priced at just 99 cents
for your buying pleasure. Grab yours and get in on some amazing giveaways, including a Kindle
and a signed ebook of “Fierce Dawn.” Just click HERE.

I've heard of some people reading more than one book at a time, but here's a writer who isn't challenged about writing about separate worlds and times.  Pretty amazing, eh?

C'mon folks, click that link above and get yourself a copy so you can read about Sadie and Elijah.  After all, you even have a chance to win a Kindle!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Buglette the Messy Sleeper by Bethanie Deeney Murguia

How does your child sleep?

Tricycle Press just published this children's picture book and sent me a copy for review (thank you).  You can currently buy a copy at your local bookstore.  It's written for ages 3-5, but I enjoyed it so much I'm keeping my copy for me!  (I guess I must just be a big kid.)

This is a lovely book.  The illustrations are perfect:  Little ladybugs, cute toys and accessories.  They make you smile before you even begin reading the book.

Buglette is a very tidy bug during the day, but when she sleeps she dreams of going on BIG adventures.  And boy, is she messy then!  Her antics at night left me wondering when she would fall out of bed...

I highly recommend this book to households with young readers and households with children's literature collectors.  This book is a keeper.

Here is a link to the trailer where you can get a preview of the book's contents:  Buglette the Messy Sleeper  

Here is the author's own explanation of how the story evolved in her mind:  

Says Bethanie: "I suppose it’s no surprise that I wrote a sleep-themed book at the point in my life when I was sleeping the least. I was a slightly delirious, sleep-deprived Mama with a newborn and feisty 3-year old when my friend asked me to take a writing workshop. I was too tired to say no. As I started to mull over story ideas, I was struck by the contrast between my swaddled newborn who slept so calmly and my 3-year old who thrashed from one end of her bed to the other every night. I began to suspect that my 3-year old was having BIG dreams. And the story of Buglette was born."

Now for the best part:  I can offer one autographed copy of this picture book to my readers.  Leave a comment here on the blog and email me at info @ bookfaerie.com (take the spaces out) with your name AND address and tell me why you'd like to win.  I'll turn your name into the publisher and they will send a copy of the book.  But there's just one, so get your name in now!

And, if you miss the one I'm offering, the author is also holding a contest on her blog for one:  http://bethaniemurguia.blogspot.com/  

Why not buy a copy of this precious book today?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Chicken, Chicken, Duck! Nadia Krilanovich

Does your child like to make animal sounds?  This would be a wonderful book for them.

Tricycle Press published this book in March and sent me a copy for review (thank you).  You can get a copy at your local bookstore now.

This is a very cute story and Ms. Krilanovich's illustrations make the animals come to life.  As each page turns, another animal comes into view.  The noise each animal makes is a cool addition to the story and as the animals add up your room will sound like it's a filled barnyard!

The animals even get into a stack on a two page spread for the little ones to ogle over and identify sounds for each.  Why not pick up a copy today?

Happy reading.

William's Midsummer Dreams by Zilpha Keatley Snyder

William has a chance to audition as Puck in a Shakespeare play during the summer break and he's looking forward to it.  But will he meet up with the Baggetts again?

Antheneum, a division of Simon & Schuster, will be publishing this book in June and sent me an eGalley for review (thank you).  You can pick up a copy at your local bookstore in a couple of weeks.  Right now, you could grab William S. and the Great Escape, the first book in this series, to prepare yourself for the next adventure.

William is a serious young man who is slight of build and not too good at sports.  He's nervous about going to a new school, but he's very happy that he and his siblings have been adopted by their aunt and that they now have someplace safe to live.

He enjoys acting and is looking forward to the chance to audition for the Shakespeare play this summer.  He also discovers he enjoys gymnastics, and classes have never been a problem for him.  As is usual, though, he has a few difficulties to face before summer is over...

This is the story of a young man finding opportunities for growth in his new life and how he handles the challenges he's handed.  It's written for ages 8-12 and it's a good read.  Why not pick up a copy for your young one?

Happy reading!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Noah Barleywater Runs Away by John Boyne

This is a very interesting tale.  A young boy runs away from home looking for new adventures and runs straight into magic...

David Fickling Books published this book on May 10th and sent me this copy for review (thank you).  It's available as a hardcover or an ebook.  You can purchase a copy at your local bookstore now.

This reminds me more of an old-fashioned fairy tale than a modern day novel and that's actually its charm.  Noah is a naive young man who thinks the big outside world must be more exciting than staying home with his parents and doing chores.  But he runs away with no money, no plans, and the villages he passes through aren't friendly.

The third village he visits has an odd tree in it and he stops to look it over.  While sitting on the bench, a dachshund and donkey stop to visit - and they can speak!  This is the start of a wondrous adventure for Noah.  

Noah meets an old man in the toy shop in the village and he chats with him.  The stories the old man tells teach Noah (and perhaps you) about people and consequences in life choices.  This is a book with a gentle message.

I really enjoyed this read.  Why not pick up a copy for a young one you know and share some magic with them?

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

May Magic by Ron Roy

Twins Bradley and Brian Pinto are celebrating Mother's Day by taking their Mom to see Hypo, the world's greatest hypnotist.  But Hypo turns her into a duck!

Random House Books for Young Readers sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  It was published in March is now available for purchase at your local bookstore.  John Steven Gurney is the illustrator.  This is one of the Calendar Mysteries series.  It's #5 and shows off the younger siblings of the A to Z Mysteries kids.  It's written for ages 6-9.

This is cute little story about a young man who wants to convince his Mom that he should be able to breed ducks for big bucks.  She's not willing, so he tries various ploys to get what he wants.  She turns the tables on him by playing a trick on him.

Young ones should find this story run to read because Mom starts acting like a duck...

Why not share this story with your young ones?

Happy reading!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Tiny Sunbirds, Far Away by Christie Watson

This is a heartrending novel about life in Nigeria.  It's based on fact, which really makes my heart hurt.

Other Press has published this week.  I got my copy from Net Galley for review (thanks to you both).  It's coming out in paperback, check with your local bookstore for a copy.

This is the story of a family in Nigeria.  The main characters are the boy and girl of the family.  When the children and their mother arrive home unexpectedly, they catch their father with another woman.  The mother was physically abused by the father, but stayed with him.  This was too much.  And when father leaves, they can no longer afford to live where they do or go to school at the private schools.

When the mother takes them home, they have more than just a change of environment to adjust to.  Her family lives in extreme poverty, which is the norm for most Nigerians.  The author drives home the difference between what the whites have (all the oil) and what the blacks have (a few pennies a day if they are lucky).

As always, in times of extreme poverty, there is ugliness and unrest.  Blessing's family is no different.  But they have a undying spirit that keeps them going.

The one factor in this book that will stick me for the rest of my life is genital mutilation.  I'd heard of it and read articles about it, but this author introduces you to the families that do it and gives you an explanation about the different types of mutilation that are horrifying and can end young women's lives when they become pregnant.  

Ms. Watson provides this information because it still exists in Nigeria, it's not for scare tactics or to impress you.  But it sure made an impression on me.  Ms. Watson has a Nigerian Muslim partner, so she knows her subject.

I read this to learn about life in other countries.  What I found out made me uncomfortable, but smarter about world problems.  Maybe you should read this book, too.  It will shake your comfortable world up.

Happy reading!

Blood Picnic by Tony Noland

If you like short stories that leave you thinking, this collection of stories is for you!

Mr. Noland sent me a copy of his ebook for my review (thank you).  You can purchase it at Amazon or Smashwords.

This author has an interesting imagination.  He writes short stories that are very readable.  This is nice mix of horror, irony, and oddities that kept me reading until I finished the book.

He can write a whole story and take your breath away with the final line.  I admire that in a writer.  After reading at least a book a day for 45 years, that doesn't happen often to me.  But Mr. Noland got my attention and that's impressive.

If you enjoy unusual stories, strange endings, and irony in your stories, this is a great read for you.  I enjoyed it a lot!  Why not buy yourself a copy and taste Mr. Noland's words?

Happy reading!

Long Road to the Circus by Betsy Bird, David Small (Illustrated by)

Suzy is tired of boring summers.  Then she finds out there is a retired circus performer living in her area.  She also finds that her Uncle ...