Friday, September 30, 2011

An American Ghost by Chester Aaron

He's fifteen and staying home to take care of the place and the animals while the rest of his family visits the neighbors.  While he's sleeping, a flash flood comes through and takes the house down the Mississippi River.  What could be worse than waking up afloat with water in the house with no control over the course the house takes?  Finding out you are not alone in the house...

Zumaya Thresholds, an imprint of Zumaya Publications sent me a copy of this book for review.  This is a young adult story.  It reminds me a bit of Old Yeller, so make sure your child is mature enough to read it.

Albie has been taught by his Dad that good is good and bad is bad.  Anyone who threatens his livestock is considered bad and is killed to eliminate the threat.  He's heartless because he's protecting his family's food source.  Albie believes that is how the world works.

This natural disaster will teach him some other new lessons that will change his attitude and change his life.

Mr. Aaron writes hard hitting fiction that depicts the dangers of settling land and developing houses and farms where they have never existed before.  The ending in this book will stick in my mind for a long time.  

This is a coming of age story you won't forget.

Happy reading. 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Poisoned House by Michael Ford

Abi is a scullery maid whose mother has died from the plague.  The mistress of the house is mean to her, almost sadistic.  So when she gets a chance to go, she runs.  Unfortunately, she's caught the same night and returned.  Mrs. Cotton doesn't let her get off without punishment...

Albert Whitman and Co. and Net Galley gave me an ebook to read for review (thank you).  This book was published the first of September and would be available at your local bookstore now.  It is written for young adults but it's a good adult read also.

It's the 1850's in London, and servants are treated as if indentured, and often treated like slaves.  It's no different in this household.  The servants band together and try to protect each other, but the master and mistress must be obeyed unilaterally. 

Abi is young but smart.  By observing secrets in the household, she suddenly realizes that her mother did not die of the plague; it was murder!  Who would do such an awful thing?

This author does a nice job of drawing a picture of the dark ugly times of London that you experience as a servant.  It almost seems there is no way out for Abi.  Mr. Ford creates an interesting tale full of characters who are weak, overbearing, sad, selfish, and greedy.  Kindness doesn't appear to grow in this house.

This is a twisted tale that will chill your bones.  Just be glad you don't live there...

Happy reading. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Nearly Departed in Deadwood by Anne Charles

She's got three weeks to sell a house or lose her job.  He's a handsome hunk who wants to sell a house and use her as the agent.  And Doc, well, he's just Doc who works next door.  And another handsome hunk...

I am participating in the Best Seller of the Day blog promotion and was given a copy of this ebook for review.  I'm very glad I read it.  The characters are bigger than life and it's a real hoot!  I hope to read more about this character and the people who surround her.

Violet is determined to sell a house.  She's so desperate she'll even take a potential client out to dinner after he met her at the door with a shotgun.  He meant business, too.  So how did he suddenly end up being her bodyguard?

The two luscious men in the story are different types and  a bit odd, but how was she to know one of them was worse than "odd"?

Violet has more troubles than men troubles.  Young girls have been kidnapped and never found again and her daughter looks just like them.  So she's fretting about her job, her non-existent love life, and danger to her children.  That makes good reading.  

My favorite character is Harvey.  He's opinionated, stubborn, horny, and out-spoken.  He keeps spouting conversations with sexual content that the children keep asking about while Mom tries to shut him up.  It made me laugh outloud.  The worst part is that I've known old men like him...

Why not snag a copy of this humorous romance with murder and mystery intertwined and settle in a comfortable chair with a drink of your choice and maybe some cookies and have a read?  It'd be worth it!

Happy reading. 

Here's a bit more info on the book and on the author to entice you:

“The first time I came to Deadwood, I got shot in the ass.”—Violet Parker

Awards for Nearly Departed in Deadwood:

WINNER of the 2010 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense

WINNER of the 2011 Romance Writers of America ® Golden Heart Award for Best Novel with Strong Romantic Elements!


Irony is having a big ol' fiesta and Violet Parker is the piñata.  Little girls are vanishing from Deadwood, South Dakota, and Violet's daughter could be next.  Short on time and long on worry, she's desperate to find the monster behind the abductions.

But with her jerkoff co-worker trying to get her fired, a secret admirer sending creepy love poems, and a sexy-as-hell stranger hiding skeletons in his closet, Violet just might end up as one of Deadwood's dearly departed.

Praise for Nearly Departed in Deadwood:

"Violet Parker follows a path blazed by Stephanie Plum (the heroine in Janet Evanovich's best-selling series), but she is no copycat. Violet is sexy and smart. Charles' mystery Nearly Departed in Deadwood is out of this world." -Sarah M. Anderson, Reviewer for Romance Novel News

"Nearly Departed In Deadwood was a contemporary mystery romance with a touch of paranormal that kept me enthralled with goosebump-creepiness and belly aching laughter." ***** FIVE STARS! -Escape Between the Pages Book Reviews

"It's no wonder Ann won an award for this story. Her storytelling capabilities are tremendous."  ***** FIVE STARS! -ParaYourNormal Book Reviews

"Ann Charles weaves a fun romp of humor, romance, mystery, and the occult. The pages are brimming with eccentric small town characters." -Angela Spencer, Reviewer for Rise Reviews

"I loved the sexual tension that Charles portrayed and built along with a phenomenal plot." -Immortality and Beyond Book Reviews

"With colorful characters and witty dialogue, this is a book sure to please all fans of mystery, romance and the paranormal." -The Pen & Muse Book Review

"Mystery, humor, and romance--Nearly Departed in Deadwood is a fabulous book from a talented author! -Jacquie Rogers, award-winning author of Much Ado About Marshals

Full of thrills and chills, a fun rollercoaster ride of a book!" -Susan Andersen, New York Times Bestselling author of Burning Up

"An exciting, fast-moving story with fantastic characters and a riveting plot." -John Foxjohn, bestselling author of Tattered Justice

"Ann Charles has written an intriguing mystery laced with a wicked sense of humor.  Watch out Stephanie Plum, because Violet Parker is coming your way." -Deborah Schneider, RWA Librarian of the Year 2009 & author of Promise Me

Author Bio:

Ann Charles is an award-winning author who writes romantic mysteries that are splashed with humor. Her book Nearly Departed in Deadwood won the 2010 Daphne du Maurier for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense Award and the 2011 Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award for Best Novel With Strong Romantic Elements. She has also been a Pacific Northwest Writers Association Literary Contest finalist.

A member of Sisters in Crime and Romance Writers of America for many moons, she has a B.A. in English with an emphasis on creative writing from the University of Washington. She is currently toiling away on her next book, wishing she was on a Mexican beach with an ice-cold Corona in one hand and her Kindle in the other. When she is not dabbling in fiction, she is arm wrestling with her two kids, attempting to seduce her husband, and arguing with her sassy cat. Most nights, you can find her hanging out over at, on Facebook, or as DeadwoodViolet on Twitter--especially around midnight when her quirky fictional world comes to life.

Currently, she has two fiction books available: Nearly Departed in Deadwood and Optical Delusions in Deadwood, which are both part of her ongoing Deadwood Mystery Series. She also has one non-fiction book available: Nail it! The Secret to Building an Effective Fiction Writer’s Platform.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson

Eve finds herself falling dramatically in love with an older man who has secrets in his past.  When he takes her to Les Genévriers, a charming hamlet amid the fragrant lavender fields of Provence, she finds out that his house has secrets, too.

Harper sent me an ARC of this book for review (thank you).  It came out in first half of August, so you can find a copy at your local bookstore now.
I found this an intriguing and fascinating story.  It's the story of a young woman deeply in love with Dom.  When she makes friends with another lady in the village, she begins to find things out about his first wife, and Dom doesn't want to discuss it.  Eve is persistent and keeps asking questions; it begins to drive a wedge between them.

While their personal relationship teeters on the edge of destruction, the house itself seems to have grown colder and be less welcoming.  Eventually, Eve discovers there's a back story to the home as well.

Ms. Lawrenson binds together an old tragedy and a new one.  The story engages your attention as you try to answer the questions before the story does.  It's also interesting to watch these two lovers try to overcome their differences and move on with life.

I found it a very good read; both tales catch your attention.  The author's characters have faults, like humans do.  The ending is satisfactory.  This is tale of life, not romance novel.  That was part of what I liked.

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

Happy reading.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen

Carl Morck sincerely wishes he had been the one killed in the gunplay in the dead man's room, but that's not how it worked out.  And he's suffering greatly from the guilt he feels for not doing more...

Dutton, a division of the Penguin Group, and Net Galley allowed me a copy of this ebook for review.  The book was published in August, so you will be able to find a copy at your local bookstore now.

This story is set in Denmark.  Carl has lost one staff member and the other one is paralyzed.  He's finally well enough to go to work, but he gets along with no one.

I always enjoy reading books written by authors in other countries.  It tells me something about the area the story is set in and it also shows me how similar and how different Americans are from other nationalities.

Mr. Alder-Olsen writes a mean detective story.  He takes his angst-ridden main character and puts him in a control of a new department, Department Q.  He's the manager and also the only employee.  And he's happy with that.  Looking at closed cases and taking naps sounds good.  Especially since he ends up stuck in the basement.

This story is wound around old events and new terrors both.  The road to a solution is twisted and Carl tries not to be interested in the case, but it annoys him because the investigation was not the best and half the info received was never written down.

The ending is fast paced and traumatic.  I had a suspicion about what might have happened, but I never anticipated the stormy ending.  

This was a very good read.  Why not visit Denmark and do some sleuthing with Carl yourself?  There will be more in this series, and I'll be watching for it.  It was a very good read.

Happy reading.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Accident by Linwood Barclay

Glen is waiting for his wife to come home.  She's never this late.  He soon awakens his daughter and goes to look for his wife.  Unfortunately, he finds her...

Bantam, a division of Random House, and Net Galley gave me the opportunity to read this ebook for review (thank you).  It was published the first part of August, so you can find a copy of it in your local bookstore now.

Sheila has been killed in a car accident.  She was parked where she shouldn't be and she was drunk, which was not like her.  Glen cannot believe she'd drink too much and drive.  She never drank much anyway.  All he knows is that he's lost his wife and he doesn't know why.

This is a well written mystery with lot of ugly characters in it.  The setting is a small town that is normally calm and well mannered, but there is a lot of evil percolating inside those homes.  I had to read the whole book before I had a clue of just how many were involved and how the story tied together.

The author does an excellent job in building reality into her story.  Each person has their own separate motivation for their actions.  And the central bad people were folks I never even considered as suspects.  I love it when a book does that to me.

All the blocks start tumbling down after Sheila's "accident".  Why not get a copy and see if you can figure out who the killer is before the end.  If you do, let me know.  And tell me why you thought so.  I bet you don't identify the bad guys until the end either...

Happy reading.

The Infernals by John Connolly

How would you like to take a little walk through Hell?

Atria, a division of Simon & Schuster, sent me an ARC ebook of this story to review (thank you).  This book will be published in October.  It was published as Hell's Bells in the UK earlier this year.

If you like a rip roaring adventure full of the unexpected, unknown, and unbelievable events, this book is for you.  Add it to your TBR list now.

Samuel is a young boy who unfortunately found a hole in the basement of his home that had allowed the denizens of Hell entry to his world.  With help of a demon and his dog, he got the portal closed.  However, Mrs. Abernathy is one of the worst demons in Hell, and she hasn't forgotten him.  In fact, she's working on creating another portal so she can capture him and get back in the good graces of the Great Malevolence.  Watch out, Samuel!

I really enjoyed this story.  It's a tall tale, and it's full of characters that will make you laugh as well as scare you.  Imagine four dwarves who love drinking bad beer and are wicked at heart.  You thought the demons were bad?  The dwarves are almost worse.  Oh, and I forgot to mention there are two cops involved, too.

The story is action packed, full of tongue-in-cheek jokes, and a bit silly.  Who couldn't use a good laugh?

Happy reading.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Holy Terror by Frank Miller

Can the Fixer save his town from a holy war?

Net Galley and Legendary Comics allowed me to read this ebook for review (thank you both).  The book will be in your local comic book store in a few days.

She's a cat burglar who isn't excited to see the Fixer chasing her.  He's a superhero who could use a little help on his current quest.  

This is a graphic novel done mostly in black and white.  The artwork is frenzied, as is the action in this story.  This author brings the war home and the resulting fight is ugly.  Only one side will win and there is a traitor in the police force...

I enjoy short stories.  Graphic novels fit that format because the artwork tells the story; the text just gives the form substance.  Mr. Miller's graphics leap off the page into your mind and involve you in the story.

Why not get a copy and see what you think?

Happy reading.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Chasing the Nightbird by Krista Russell

He was so excited to be going on the Nightbird as a sailor instead of a cabin boy!  Then someone knocked him in the head and drug him off to another location...

Peachtree Publishers and Net Galley gave me the opportunity to review this ebook (thank you).  The book was published at the first of this month, so you can grab a copy at your local bookstore now.  I enjoyed this story.

Ms. Russell does a very nice job of drawing you a verbal picture of the life and times of Massachusetts during the 1850's.  Whaling boats arrived with their harvest and stocked up for the next voyage, which might take two or three years before they returned.  Slaves were allowed.  And the mills were enslaving anyone who would work hard and not complain.  It was a tough world then, especially if your father had died and you were underage.

Lucky was especially unfortunate because he had a half-brother that could indenture him.  Being underage meant you had no say in your life.  And when Fernando turns out to be a money grubbing nasty fella, Lucky feels even more despair.

Lucky's entire thought was to escape his brother and go back on the sea.  After all, who wants to be around landlubbers?  As time passes, Lucky learns a few lessons about life and what is really important.  Ms. Russell slowly works Lucky around to doing the right thing.

This is a fast moving tale with danger and no mercy shown on any front.  Your young adult will be anxious to see what happens next.  Encourage them to read some non-fiction books about the unsafe cotton mills, the Underground Railroad for slaves and a sailor's diary about life on the sea.  This is a great way to expand their knowledge of the era.

Happy reading.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Misfit by Jon Skovron

She knows she's different from the other students and she's never really fit in all that well, even with all the moving her Dad makes her do.  But she has no idea HOW different...

Amulet Books and Net Galley let me have an ebook to read for review (thank you).  The book was published the first of August, so check with your local bookstore for a copy.  This is a fantastic paranormal story for young adults but it sure kept me glued to my chair!

Jael likes the school she's attending now and she's made a few friends, so she doesn't want to pack up and leave again.  She knows it's coming, though.  

When her sixteenth birthday rolls around, her father gives her a necklace that her mother left to her.  He tells her she can't wear it yet.  Her body and mind tell her differently.  She suddenly discovers that she is half-demon...

I would not have guessed a male author wrote this book.  He really does an excellent job of portraying Jael as a young woman who knows she's a bit different, but not why.  His words even feel feminine when he's dealing with her conversations.  I'm impressed.

This is way out fantasy with good kick-butt action and plenty of danger.  The story moves fast, flows well, and draws you into the characters, even those you don't admire so much.  I loved this book and I think there may be more coming in the future.  Jael hasn't banned all the evil Lords of Hell yet...

I highly recommend this book.  It was good fun to read.  Why not try out a copy yourself?

Here's a link to a trailer from the Arlington Public Library (no state disclosed) that will tempt you if my words don't:

Happy reading!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe

Living on an island is great.  You know everybody, life is simple and life is good.  Until the first person gets sick...

Hyperion will be publishing this book in January.  Thanks to them and Net Galley, I got to read the ebook in advance.  

This story is haunting and all too real.  It will remain in your mind long after you put the book down and move on.  It's a nightmare come alive.

A ferry runs between the island and the mainland, there's an airport, and there are lots of fishing boats.  So while they are on an island, it doesn't seem oppressive.  They can shop, visit, or entertain themselves on the mainland from time to time.  Many of them have relatives there.  But when the sickness sets in, the rules change.

At first, it's just one person with a mysterious illness.  When the doctors can't determine what it is and the patient succumbs, the town starts whispering.  As the number of people ill grows, the people on the island find themselves quarantined.

This sounds like an end of the world novel, but everything the author portrays is how humans act when put under stress and when they are unsure of survival.  People get ugly.  

While Ms. Crewe writes a story of despair, she also offers you hope.  We are all defined by our strength of character, and this story proves that.

Put this one on your TBR list.  It's meant to be a young adult book, but it is pertinent to adults, too.  True characteristics poke out when you lose the world as you know it, and this author shows that.

You won't forget this one soon.

Happy reading.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Ashtown Burials #1: The Dragon's Tooth by N D Wilson

This fantasy tale is the beginning of a new series you won't want to see end...

Random House Young Readers sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  I'm glad they did, this is a fascinating new series that I think will sell well.  This book is written for ages 9-12 and is available now at your local bookstore.

This story has a "Bradbury" flavor to it.  It begins at a roadside motel which is surreal at best.  It's run down, the orphaned children run it themselves, and everybody eats waffles.  Most rooms aren't in very good shape.  Then one night a stranger shows up...

Mr. Wilson also wrote 100 Cupboards that I read some time ago, and that was a good read.  So I expected this one would be, too, and he didn't disappoint me.

This is a fast moving story with danger on every other page and with odd creatures and characters interspersed throughout the story.  There's mythology inserted here and there to add more context to the story.  It's also the traditional fight between good and evil that is the major plot of this story.

Cyrus and Antigone Smith are brave children who are determined to finish the current quest so they can save their brother.  The trials and tribulations they go through are what makes the story fascinating.

I enjoyed this one enough to already be looking forward to the next in the series.  Any book who keeps me flipping pages to read what happens next is a good book for me. Why don't you try it out and see what you think?  

Happy reading!

Reel Life Starring Us by Lisa Greenwald

Dina is new at school, but when the teacher matches her up on a project with Chelsea, the queen bee at school, she thinks has it made.  Not so...

Amulet Books sent me an ARC of this book for review (thank you).  This is written ages 10-14 and is being published this month.  Check with your local bookstore for a copy.
Dina was popular at her old school, but doesn't know any of the children in her new school yet.  Since there seem to be a lot of cliques and she doesn't fit in yet, she amuses herself by taking pictures.  She has no idea where this is going to take her...

Chelsea had mono and missed a month of school but didn't expect her friends to start a project without her.  Then when she laughs at the new girl, she gets punished by having to work on a project with her.  The worst part is that it's making a video about the school.

Ms. Greenwald has good insight into the difficulty of changing schools as well as how children are impacted by a parent's job loss.  The two girls dance around each other trying to work on a project that Chelsea could care less about and with Dina trying to not to let Chelsea know she has found out Chelsea's financial status has changed.  It's a delicate situation handled well.

If you have a fretful teen who thinks his or her troubles are new ones and they are alone in the world, this an excellent read to let them know it's the same everywhere.  All children have weird parents and unique problems, don't you know?

If you would like my copy of this ARC, leave a comment here on my blog and email me at info at with your name AND ADDRESS and tell me you'd like to read this book.  I'll do a drawing in about a week.

Happy reading.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Sixes by Kate White

Never underestimate the vindictiveness of young women...

Harper sent an ARC of this book for review (thank you).  It was published in August, so you can pick up a copy at your local bookstore now.

Ms. White's main character disappointed me in a way.  I suppose it's just because she made her too human.  Phoebe Hall is a journalist who did very well at interviewing celebrities and creating stories from the facts they revealed to her.  Her downfall was that she did not check her researcher's facts and ends up being accused of plagiarism.

Phoebe ran from her problems in school in the past, and she leaves town again under this new onslaught.  But instead of things getting better, it gets worse.

Ms. White writes of a clique in school that operates undercover.  Such societies do exist and she shows how their use of power and an inborn nastiness of the young can scare even older adults.

Phoebe's friend hires her to teach a class on a journalism, and asks her to see if such a society does exist and who belong to it.  She suddenly finds herself involved in murder...

The action is fast, there is a bit of horror in what the Sixes will do, and the killer is the last one anyone would expect.  This is a busy story with lots of cross-ties between the past and the present.  You won't be bored reading it.

If you'd like my copy of the ARC, leave a comment here on my blog and email me at info at with your name and ADDRESS to be entered into the contest.  

Let me know how you felt about the lead female character, too.  Was I offbase in my feelings about her?

Happy reading.

Shadow Magic by Kitty Wells

Imagine your tiny ceramic cats can come to life and help you with a problem.  Wouldn't that be special?

David Fickling Books sent me a copy of this book for review.  It's part of the Pocket Cats series and the first one I've read.  This is one of the cutest books I've read in a long time.  You can grab a copy at your local bookstore, it should already be in stock.

Nibs is a tiny kitty so small she can sleep on a dollhouse bed.  But she's got an attitude that won't stop!  Maddy has to be careful how she treats her, she's not like Greykin.

I've always had an active imagination, so it wasn't hard for me to "see" a ceramic cat coming to life.  The thought of having a tiny cat friend amuses me.

Maddy's cousin, Chloe, comes to visit and Maddy is all excited.  But Chloe doesn't even want to stay in her room and is totally uncommunicative.  Maddy doesn't get it until she hears enough to find out that Chloe is planning to run away and go back to her old home.  She's not happy with her new school and home.  Can Maddy stop her from doing it without earning her hatred?

Ms. Wells understands young one's desire to be liked and how hard it is to start as a new student.  The bit of magic she adds to the story with a pocket cat just makes the story richer and more fun to read.

Why not share a copy of this book with your young one?  You could grab the first one in the series so they can read both adventures.

Happy reading.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

How would you like to step forward into the future and find yourself back in the '80s?  1980s that is.

Wunderkind PR sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  I had been hearing a lot of buzz about it, so I was glad to get my own copy.  Crown Publishing has already published it, so you should be able to find a copy at your local bookstore now.

Mr. Cline creates an interesting concept for his story.  He sets it in the future, 2044, where almost everything is done online.  Nobody much goes out into the real world anymore.  Most live in a virtual world and play games all day.  They go to school in the virtual world, too.  Then he creates a man even richer than Bill Gates who creates the ultimate game; the prize is all his money and assets...

This is a geekie book.  I had no problem following even though I'm not a gamer, but I may have missed some references.  The fun part of the story is the fact that the author works in old video games that aren't popular anymore in this day and age, imagine how weird they must seem in 2044.  Mr. Cline's bad guys are a corporation that want the money and will do anything to acquire it, even murder.

The story covers a lot of time (it takes five years for the first key to be found) but the action keeps it moving fast.  You root for the little guys, but the corporation has multiple players and plays dirty.

The author's ending is smooth, the strings all tie together, and it was a very satisfying read.  If you enjoy mystery and intrigue, this book is for you.  Gamers should enjoy it, too.  Pick up a copy and see what you think.

Happy reading.

The L. A. Dodger by David A Kelly

When you go to the ballgame, you want to watch the game, don't you?  You don't want to worry about who else is there and might be stalking your dad...

Random House sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  This is a Stepping Stone Book and the third in the Ballpark Mysteries.  The book is currently available at your local bookstore.  If your child loves sports, I'd check out the others in the series, too.

Mike and Kate are cousins and they fly to Los Angeles to visit Kate's dad and see the game.  When they get there, they find that her dad is nervous and upset.  Someone has stolen his computer, he's gotten threatening phone calls, and he knows someone is after his scouting list.  He keeps the info on a small tablet in his pocket.

Mike and Kate find another tablet just like his and create a scheme to catch the thief.  It doesn't go as smoothly as they had expected, though.

The author writes a good realistic tale and the Mr. Meyers illustrations add to the charm of a good sports story.  Why not grab a copy for your young one?

Happy reading.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

My Lunatic Life by Sharon Sala

She talks to ghosts.  Doesn't everybody?

Bell Bridge Books and Net Galley gave me a copy of this ebook for review (thank you).  The book was published at the end of September, so it is available at your local bookstore now.

Tara Luna is orphaned and being raised by her Uncle Pat.  She loves him dearly and he's good to her, but he refuses to listen about her "ghosts".  He just doesn't believe in that sort of stuff.  Tara doesn't have any choice...

Ms. Sala does a wonderful job of showing how hard it is to keep going to new schools and trying to fit in.  It's even harder when you're "different".  I experienced that when I went from Catholic parochial school into public high school.  Talk about culture shock!

Tara tries to keep her secret, but that doesn't last long.  She can't let the little boy in the bathroom die.  She attempts to explain how she knew as being psychic.  The author shows you her confusion over trying to be less than truthful but still having to act when she senses danger.

I enjoyed this read.  It was light, a bit silly at points, and the ghosts are part of the fun.  I am glad to see there will be more in this series.  The door was left open at the end of this book to continue the search for a murderer, and I'm sure that will be in the next book.

Try this young adult book, it's a good read and an interesting story.  If you do, you'll probably be like me and you'll be waiting for the next story, too.

Happy reading.

Stone Rabbit Night of the Living Dust Bunnies by Erik Craddock

Zombie dust bunnies!  Really.

Random House Kids Books sent me a copy of this to review (thank you).  I loved it!  It is the sixth in the series, but the first one I've read.  You can pick this one up at your local bookstore now.  You might want to add a few more to the pile.  It made me laugh out loud.

This is a graphic novel with odd looking characters.  The illustrations appealed to me.  They are dressed to go out on the town trick or treating, and they expect no trouble except getting so much candy they can't carry it home.

Unfortunately, Henri the tortoise inadvertently turns on an atomic light on the way out and the dust bunnies in the house grow into Zombies...

This book is silly and fun and I'm sure children will love it.  Why not put some copies of this book in the trick or treat bags the children bring?  It'll last a longer than candy.

Happy reading.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Green River Killer: A True Detective Story by Jeff Jensen

I lived in Washington while the Green River Killer was active.  This case fascinated me.  We even got interviewed on the steps of the Boeing Museum of Flight about the case.  And even though the killer has been convicted, the story just doesn't seem to be over yet...

Dark Horse Comics and Net Galley gave me the opportunity to review this book (thank you).  It will be published at the end of the month and you can pick up a copy of this graphic novel at your local bookstore.

Jonathan Case is the illustrator of this novel, and his graphics add to the feeling of noir crime, seemingly dark and desperate.  Mr. Jensen's story is based on the lead detective's hunt over the years.  He has first hand knowledge, since that was his father.  Other books I have read have centered on Ridgeway.  I found this side of the tale much more entertaining and much more heartrending.

The killer was a soulless man who thought prostitutes were trash.  Mr. Jensen spent his whole career trying to find closure for the parents of the victims and to stop the killer from doing it again.  The hunt was tedious, almost hopeless, but he never gave up.

This graphic novel makes the story succinct and the art work makes the pain easy to see.  If you find yourself fascinated by true crime, you need to get this book and read what the son has said about his dad.  It's sad and touching both.

Happy reading.

Little Lucy by Irene Cooper

If your child likes dogs (or animals of any kind), this story is going to make him/her smile.

Random House Kids Books sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  I'm glad they did, it's a really cute beginning reader for grades 1-3.  It has already been published, so check with your local bookstore for a copy.

Lucy is a beagle puppy.  She loves the little boy who owns her and she also loves going on walks.  She's real excited to be going on a picnic with her family.  Then she finds out the lake water is cold and wet.  Oh no, she's not going in the water!

They tie her to a tree to keep her close, but she manages to escape her leash and adventure off on her own.  She makes all sorts of marvelous discoveries, but suddenly realizes she doesn't know where she is or where her family is.  But then she smells hamburgers cooking...

Ms. Cooper has written a cute tale about this beagle pup, and John Kanzler's illustrations are sweet.  Your young one will return to this book and read it again.  It's fun to watch Lucy explore...

Happy reading.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Entangled edited by Edie Ramer and Misty Evans

Let's see, we have vampires, werewolves, demons, witches, and more.  And then you have some sensual to spicy romance.  What's not to like about this collection of short stories and novellas?

One of the authors sent me a copy of this ebook for review (thank you).  You can purchase a copy on Amazon.  The best part about it is that the funds raised are going to be donated to the fight against breast cancer.  I don't think anyone could say they didn't know someone who has suffered from this illness.  This is a painless way to get some real good reading and do good at the same time.  Go on, it'll make you feel better. Especially after you start this wonderful paranormal romance collection!

There are several authors involved, all donating their work to a good cause.  Included are:

Foreword by Stacia Kane
Halloween Frost by Jennifer Estep
The Fat Cat by Edie Ramer
Medium Rare by Nancy Haddock
Sweet Demon by Misty Evans
Sian’s Solution by Dale Mayer
A Bit of a Bite by Cynthia Eden
Sinfully Sweet by Michelle Miles
A Night of Forever by Lori Brighton
Feel the Magic by Liz Kreger
Breaking Out by Michelle Diener
Ghostly Justice by Allison Brennan

I enjoyed every story in this collection.  I love magic and fantasy and most of these stories fit in that genre.  It's a good way to sample the writing style of the various authors, too.  They each have other works you can buy. If someone's story really tweaks your fancy, get yourself a book of theirs to read.  Why not have fun reading?

Just remember that the purchase of this book also will help the fight against breast cancer.  My Aunt had a mastectomy, so I understand the need to conquer this beast.

Happy reading.

Mason Dixon Pet Disasters by Claudia Mills

Mason is an only child and his parents think he needs a pet.  He doesn't think he needs a pet.  And he has the worst luck with them...

Alfred A Knopf sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  It has already been published and you can nab a copy at your local bookstore.  Guy Francis does the illustrations and gets Mason's facial expressions down pat.  His animals are great, too.

Mason likes brown socks; only brown socks.  He also likes plain T-shirts.  But he doesn't like pets.  However, his parents feel he needs some company besides his buddy, Brody, who lives next door.

They start with a goldfish; he overfeeds it by mistake.  They get him a hamster; it escapes through the open door and is never seen again.  They get him a cat; Brody is intensely allergic to it and they have to take it back.  They finally ask Mason if he wouldn't like to have a dog.  Not really.  But then he connects with one which only has three legs.  He didn't really want one that was disabled, but somehow he gets the feeling this dog is for him.  His excitement isn't over yet, though...

This is an excellent book about how to choose a pet for your family as well as carrying a message that a pet can be special in your life.  Mason learns that through hard knocks, but he does learn it.  

Why not share this animal tale with your young one?  It's a fun read.

Happy reading.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Dangerous Designs by Dale Mayer

Storey likes to draw.  So when she finds a fancy new pencil on her way home, she picks it up and takes it home.  It draws nicely, too; unfortunately, it's a stylus.

Ms. Mayer sent me an ebook of this story for review (thank you).  It written for young adults, but this older reader enjoyed it, too.  You can grab a copy on Amazon.

Storey doesn't understand the significance of the "pencil" she's found, but she does know that her drawing has become obsessive.  She can't stop.  And she can't control what she draws, the pencil does it itself.  She can just hold it and it draws.  As she begins to worry about this, she meets a new, very attractive, boy at school.

Eric is in our world searching for the stylus.  He's supposed to retrieve it and take it home.  His father doesn't even care if he has to kill Storey to get it.  But Eric does...

This is a paranormal romance story with lots of danger, evil people, and different worlds in different dimensions.  The story is well plotted and the action keeps you reading.  I was especially impressed with how quickly Storey learned to use the stylus and what she could do with it.

I have only complaint with this book.  It ends on a cliffhanger and I want Ms. Mayer to write the next book, NOW!  

How about you give this book a read and see what you think.  I bet you'll feel the same way.

Happy reading.

Ten Rules for Living with my Sister by Ann M Martin

Did you grow up with a sibling?  I had a little brother.  He was SIX years younger than I was and a royal pain...

Fiewel and Friends sent me an ARC of this book for review (thank you).  It's being published this month, so check with your local bookstore to get a copy.

Ann M Martin is a well known children's author and I looked forward to reading her new book.  It's a lovely story about a small family that's filled with sibling rivalry and the challenge of transitioning a grandfather fighting Alzheimer's into an assisted housing unit.

I could really relate to this story because my brother and I fought about "staying on your side" in the backseat of the car.  He wasn't allowed in my room and I wasn't allowed in his.  The battles between these two sisters sounded real familiar.

We also had to transition my mother into assisted living a few years ago and sell her house.  Making a change is hard enough when they are well but when they are sick, it is worse.

Ms. Martin deals with these subjects tactfully and with good taste.  She also teaches the girls a few lessons on the way.  Her story is interesting and amusing.  I'm sure young ones will laugh at the sister's antics.  Why not get a copy of this and share it with your young reader?

I am giving away my copy of this ARC.  Please leave a comment here on my blog and email me at info at with your name AND address to be entered into the drawing.  I'll pick a winner in about a week.

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...