Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Tom T's Hat Rack: Review

Tom T's Hat Rack: A Story about Paying It Forward
Tom T's Hat Rack
Author: Michele Spry
Illustrator: Peggy A. Guest
Publisher: Spry Publishing
Pages: 106


Shelby Summers has a zest for life that can't be tamed... Tom Tucker has a dream of helping others who are facing the challenges he faced not too long ago. Join Shelby and Mr.T as they join forces to give back to their community, and be challenged to do the same for yours! (Goodreads)

My Thoughts:

To Shelby, Mr. and Mrs. T are like her grandparents. They help take care of her while her parents are working at the hospital. Mr. T has cancer and Shelby is always right by his side throughout all of his appointments.

Shelby's class is given an assignment to work on over the summer. They have to write an essay about something positively life changing they did over the summer. While her friends and classmates are vacationing, Shelby spends her summer break with Mr. T and they work on a project all summer to help out members of the community.  Shelby and Mr. T get all of the supplies they need for the project but Shelby won't know what they are making until they are done. She tries to be patient and works everyday without complaining. They end up contributing something wonderful to other people who are undergoing treatment for cancer.

This was a very touching story about paying it forward. It shows kids how they can help others who are going through a difficult time. They can make a difference in someones life and make their world a little bit brighter. I really enjoyed Shelby's attitude. She was always happy, upbeat, and positive. I also loved her relationship with Mr. and Mrs. T. It reminds me of the relationship I had with my grandfather.

The illustrations were nice but I had one complaint. Some of the drawings of Shelby reminded me of Carrot Top a little toooo much. Other than that they were great! All in all this was a very cute little story and it even shows you how to build a hat rack. It also encourages kids to come up with their own ideas about how to help others in their community, big or small!  

*I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

When Day Breaks: Review

When Day Breaks (Sunrise Suspense Society #1)
When Day Breaks
Author: Mary Jane Clark
Publisher: HarperLuxe
Series: Sunrise Suspense Society #1
Pages: 448


On the day she died, Constance Young was the undisputed star of morning television. But her plans to move herself and her loyal audience to another network were canceled when she ended up at the bottom of her swimming pool. And the fabled unicorn amulet, the centerpiece of the upcoming Camelot exhibit at New York's Cloisters museum--which Constance had been wearing during her final hours--is missing.

A morning-show veteran and now anchor of the KEY Evening Headlines, Eliza Blake is determined to discover who wanted Constance out of the way . . . and why. But the deeper she digs, the more twisted the trail to Constance's killer becomes--as the list of suspects grows longer by the minute. The one sure thing is that Constance Young made a lot of enemies, and now one of them is Eliza's enemy--and possibly her killer--as well. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts:

Constance Young decides to leave her current job to work for another network. It's possible that many of her loyal viewers would follow her to her new station and somebody is not about to let that happen. Constance is found dead in the bottom of her swimming pool and Eliza Blake, an anchor woman, is determined to uncover the truth behind Constance's murder. She may be the next victim.

I purchased this book thinking it was by Mary Higgins Clark, *I was tricked* who I am a huge fan of. When I got home I realized that it wasn't but I am actually glad I did because I really enjoyed it. The list of suspects just becomes bigger and bigger and I was actually surprised to find out who the murderer was. I like when a story keeps me guessing and this one did just that. If you are a fan of mystery/suspense then you should give this one a shot. I will be looking for more by this author in the future. 

Have you read anything by Mary Jane Clark? If so what are your thoughts and do you have any recommendations?  

*I purchased this book with my own money.


Friday, May 24, 2013

Book Spotlight: Royal Flush

If you prefer conventional novels, you should stay away from this book.
ROYAL FLUSH asks: can a man who throws his dates in a dungeon find a girlfriend?
A recipient of the H. R. (Bill) Percy Prize, it’s the humorous tale of a man known only as the King. As his Kingdom careens toward catastrophe, he cruises seedy taverns looking for likely maidens.
His incompetence and weakness for beautiful women drag him deeper and deeper into trouble. He is portrayed as a cross dresser by the Kingdom Crier (the Kingdom’s most popular tabloid). Shortly after, he must defend his castle against a siege, with only his royal fiddler—while attempting to steal his royal fiddler’s girlfriend.
Fans of Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett, and Monty Python will love this book.

Author Bio

Scott Bartlett has been writing fiction since he was fifteen. Since then, he's written three novels and several short stories. His second novel, Royal Flush, won the H. R (Bill) Percy Prize, and his third novel, Taking Stock, received the Lawrence Jackson Writers' Award and the Percy Janes First Novel Award.


Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Night Horses: Review

The Night Horses
The Night Horses
Author: Anaka Jones
Publisher: Createspace
Pages: 28


Children's book. Author Anaka Jones imagines the life of a herd of horses as they work, chow, play and turn a farm into their own three-ring circus in “The Night Horses”. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts:

The Night Horses may seem like regular horses during the day but once nighttime comes and everyone is in bed they hang up their disco ball and it's time to party. They play cards, tell jokes, play spa, and dance the night away.

My kids really liked this book and thought it was really silly. I loved how each horse had their own personality. The illustrations in this book are wonderful. They are very bold and colorful.

This book was written by a 6th grade girl which I thought was amazing. She did a great job. I hope that she continues to write more in the future. This was an adorable story and if you wonder what animals do when we're not around you then you should check this one out! :)

*I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


Saturday, May 18, 2013

Out of the Shadow: Review

Out of the Shadow
Out of the Shadow
Author: J.S. Winn
Publisher: Creative Writing
Pages: 239


Out of the Shadow tells the story of two women drawn together in the present to uncover a crime from the past

Having survived a rape and her husband's murder, all Becca Rosen wants to do is move on with her life, but how can she when she's being stalked by a psychopath with an attitude---and an agenda. The police are no help because they're convinced, with her history of mental illness, Becca has faked the rape to get away with her husband's murder. On top of that, Becca has begun to have flashbacks and nightmares of childhood abuse, possibly at the hands of the rapist. Not knowing where to turn, and feeling like she might go crazy again, Becca hires Psychologist, Sarah Abrams, to help her unearth who's behind the crimes of the past...and the present.

Three men come into Becca's life around the same time. While each of these men has his charms, Becca can't be certain whether any one of them is the real killer. Or could it be someone else? Together Becca and Sarah start on a course of hypnotherapy to discover the abuser's identity. Will their work reveal the real killer before it's too late, or will Becca once again fall prey to this demented criminal. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts:

This is the first book that I have read by this author and I was impressed. I really enjoyed that the story was told from the therapists point of view, that made it very interesting. Things were revealed slowly allowing for mystery and intrigue.

Becca is raped and finds her husband murdered. There is somebody after her but she seems to be the only one on the suspect list. She gets frustrated when the police can't and won't help her. How will she stay safe when there is nobody to help protect her? Why do all the clues lead back to her? Is this a highly intelligent psychopath or has she truly gone crazy?

Becca goes to a therapist and finds out that she has repressed some traumatic childhood memories. Bringing out these memories will be painful but they could just unravel this mystery, hopefully before it's too late.

This book kept me guessing until close to the end. I kept going back and forth on who I thought the "bad guy" was. I figured out who the psycho was but the ending still surprised me! It was definitely a thriller. Check this one out.

*I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Land of the Unaltered Cover Reveal

Rose comes from the capital of the Confederation of Cities where its citizens live in luxury and the greatest fashion statement of all is being Altered. People change everything about the way they look as often as they do their hairstyle but Rose is different. Her position of privilege has made her an outcast and led her to suspect that something sinister is happening to the citizens and flees the capital along with a past that imprisons her in search of a fresh start in the Land of the Unaltered.
Flynn lives in the Land of the Unaltered and hates the capitol and everything it stands for. So when a spoiled capital girl is assigned to work with him, he wants nothing to do with her and is prepared to make her life miserable. But Flynn was not prepared for someone like Rose. She doesn’t fit the mold he expected and finds himself strongly attracted to her. As she continues to surprise and outwit him, they begin to forge a bond that is tested when they discover a secret that could change everything they know about Land of the Unaltered.
Land of the Unaltered is a Dystopian Romance and is the first installment of the Confederation Trilogy.
This book will be available for sale June 18th!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Loren DeShon Interview and Redemption on the River Giveaway!

Hey there to all you readers out there! Today I have Loren DeShon here for an author interview and we will also be having a giveaway at the end! Thank you Loren for stopping by and for taking the time to do this interview.

Q: Where are you from?
A: I grew up mostly in Olympia, Washington.
Q: When and why did you begin writing?
A: I've always enjoyed writing but until now I've never been very serious about it. I took creative writing as occasion offered in school and I've written a few magazine articles and dabbled with short stories, but until now my most popular works have been my family Christmas letters, which people tell me they like.
I've always had the ambition to write a novel and made several abortive attempts. I finally realized that I needed to actually get off my butt and do it—or wait until the next lifetime. So, I guess one way to characterize the project would be to call it a bucket list item, but once I sunk my teeth into telling the story it became much more than that.
Q: How did you come up with the title Redemption on the River?
A: Oh boy, I wish I could tell you that that was the title from the start, or that it came to me in a flash of inspired genius, but it didn't become Redemption on the River until very late, and after much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

The working title was Overboard, and I got to the point in my late drafts (there were a total of 12) that I was asking my beta readers for suggestions, and I made a list of titles that grew to be very long.

The final title came from me, and when I conceived it I knew it fit. Redemption is a major theme of the story, the Mississippi and Missouri rivers are the setting, and I like how the title flows off the tongue.

Q: I think Redemption on the River does fit better! Are any of the characters in your novel based on or inspired by real people in your life?
A: Oh, certainly. I'm sure that Silas, the protagonist, is partly me, and Hannah definitely has elements of my wife.
The scrappiness of the Jacobson brothers are based on two brothers I knew who would fight anyone together and each other all the time. A very minor character, a pugnacious steamboat mate, is named after a friend of mine.

Q: What was the most fun about researching for your book and did you learn anything new?
A: The most fun was researching steamboats and their captains, pilots, and passengers. It was an incredibly colorful era, and there are true stories that, if they were put in a novel, would be difficult to swallow.

One actual incident that I did recreate in the book was repeatedly questioned by my beta readers, but my response is that it happened just as I wrote it. I provide an Historical Notes section at the end of the book which lists the actual historical people, places, and events in Redemption on the River.
Q: The Notes section in the back of the book was extremely interesting! If you had to do it all over again, would there be anything you would change about your book?
A: That's easy. I wish I had written it years ago, so I would have more years left to continue writing. As for the book itself—I'm very satisfied with it, although a few typos snuck through.
Q: What book are you reading at the moment?
A: The Complete Writings of Abraham Lincoln. I had thought I appreciated Lincoln before, but I had no idea. The usual superlatives fail me, so I'll just say that he was truly great.
Q: What is the strangest object on your desk and/or workspace?
A: If not the antique silver assay bar that I use as a worry stone, it would have to be the scores of Toy Story Alien figurines. My call sign in the Navy was Alien, and my kids have been giving my Toy Story Aliens for years. They're all over my office, my dresser, my truck, my flight gear, etc.
Q: Haha Toy Story Aliens? That's funny! Is there anything else you would like to say to the readers?
A: I sincerely hope that you enjoy Redemption on the River, and I humbly request honest reviews on Goodreads, Shelfari, Amazon, and wherever else you'd like to give your opinion.
Thanks again for stopping by!
 If you guys would like to check out my review on Redemption on the River you can click this link CLICK ME!
Redemption on the River
And now for the giveaway! I will be giving away my signed paperback copy to one of you lucky readers out there. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. This giveaway will be U.S. only this time. Just do the tasks on the Rafflecopter form below for your chance to win. :) GOOD LUCK!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Delila Dusticle: Review

Delilah Dusticle
Delilah Dusticle
Author: A.J. York
Publisher: A.J. York
Pages: 33


Delilah Dusticle has special powers, she can completely eradicate dust. With her quiver pouch of special dusters Delilah can run up walls and reaches places others just can’t. As a maid in the Fenchurch-Whittington house Delilah’s unusual skills soon lead to her being promoted to Chief Dust Eradicator and Remover. Until one day a broken heart leads to her powers taking an expected turn.

This is the first in a series of touching and funny stories about Delilah Dusticle. Follow her on a journey of self-discovery, friendship and adventure.

My Thoughts:

Delilah has a calling in life and this is to eliminate dust wherever she goes. Everything she touches sparkles, shines, and is free of dust. But one day Delilah's heart breaks and she learns that her special talent only works when she is happy. Now everywhere she goes, dust follows. This causes her to lose her job as a "duster" for a rich family. She doesn't know what to do with her life because that job and dusting is all she has ever known and that's what made her happy. Her world becomes gray and Delilah becomes depressed. She then goes on a journey of self-discovery and must learn how to find happiness in order for her life to go back to normal.

This story was a short, fast read. It reminds you that you can find happiness in your life even when you are going through a difficult time and sometimes you find this happiness in the place you least expect it. I'm not sure what ages this would necessarily appeal to. It feels like a book written for children but I think that it's a story that could also teach us adults a lesson or two. I think anyone could find a little spark of happiness in this story.

* I was sent a copy of this eBook in exchange for an honest review.


Monday, May 6, 2013

Circle of Fire: Review

Circle of Fire (Prophecy of the Sisters, #3)
Circle of Fire
Author: Michelle Zink
Publisher: Little Brown
Series: Prophecy of the Sisters #3
Pages: 362


With time dwindling but her will to end the Prophecy stronger than ever, Lia sets out on a journey to find the remaining keys, locate the missing pages of the Prophecy, and convince her sister Alice to help--or risk her life trying. Lia has her beloved Dimitri by her side, but Alice has James, the man who once loved her sister--and maybe still does. James doesn't know the truth about either sister, or the prophecy that divides them. And Alice intends to keep it that way.

There are some secrets sisters aren't meant to share. Because when they do, it destroys them. This stunning conclusion to Michelle Zink's Prophecy of the Sisters trilogy will make saying good-bye bittersweet for readers.

My Thoughts:

I read the first book in this trilogy ages ago and I remember loving it! The 2nd book wasn't as good and this book, sadly, doesn't compare to the 1st one either. I think that this trilogy has SO much potential. If the last two books lived up to the first one it would have been phenomenal. This author is a wonderful writer and I think she could have done so much better with this story.

So, Alice is the bad twin. She's evil and creepy and I loved that. I was like "oh S#!t" this is going to be exciting when the two twins battle it out in this book. Negative. She didn't even feel like a threat and she didn't even seem that evil in this book which I didn't really understand why she was completely different in this book compared to the first two. I was disappointed. After hearing Alice's side of the story and how nobody really seemed to love or care about her it's no wonder she was a bitch from hell! But there was no battle, no epic showdown of the century, nothing. It was just a nice, boring, peaceful ending. I honestly can't even remember all of the details of the ending so it's not very memorable. I like when a book sticks with you and leaves you thinking about it for days.

Lia is the good twin and I was rooting for her in the beginning but I started to not like her in this book. She got on my nerves and I didn't like the way she treated other people. One thing that really bothered me was the way she just cast her ex away for really no reason and got with Dimitri, who I found to be boring and overly perfect. Come on, who's really that perfect?!

It wasn't horrible but it wasn't great either. This author has a lot going for her. I just wish that she would have kept the magic of the first book going all the way to the end. I kind of expect 2nd books in a trilogy to be a little less exciting but you have to end it with a bang!

Have any of you read this trilogy? What are your thoughts?

P.S.-Sorry if I've been slacking on blogging lately. It's been pretty hectic around here but I'm trying to catch up! :)

*I paid for this book with my own money. :)


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Demonglass: Review

Demonglass (Hex Hall, #2)
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Publisher: Hyperion Book CH
Series: Hex Hall #2
Pages: 359


That was the whole reason she was sent to Hex Hall, a reform school for delinquent Prodigium (aka witches, shapeshifters, and fairies). But that was before she discovered the family secret, and that her hot crush, Archer Cross, is an agent for The Eye, a group bent on wiping Prodigium off the face of the earth.

Turns out, Sophie’s a demon, one of only two in the world—the other being her father. What’s worse, she has powers that threaten the lives of everyone she loves. Which is precisely why Sophie decides she must go to London for the Removal, a dangerous procedure that will destroy her powers.

But once Sophie arrives she makes a shocking discovery. Her new friends? They’re demons too. Meaning someone is raising them in secret with creepy plans to use their powers, and probably not for good. Meanwhile, The Eye is set on hunting Sophie down, and they’re using Archer to do it. But it’s not like she has feelings for him anymore. Does she? (Goodreads)

My Thoughts:

Sophie finds out that she is a demon and she is terrified that she will lose control of her powers and end up hurting someone. This is why she decides to go to London to go through the Removal which will strip her of her powers, that is if she makes it out alive. While she is there she starts having second thoughts about going through the Removal. Maybe being a demon isn't that bad after all?

Normally I'm not a fan of the 2nd book in a series. They usually feel like they are just setting up for the 3rd book and the plot doesn't really go anywhere, but this one is different. There is a lot happening in this story and there are new characters and a new setting added to the mix. Sophie is still her sarcastic, witty self and I love her for that. This book is full of action and the love triangle continues. Why is there always a love triangle? And why am I always "Team guy-who-isn't-going-to-get-the-girl"? Seriously. Can't the guy I like ever get the girl and live happily ever after?! I'm totally rooting for Cal right now. Who wouldn't want a strong, sweet, sexy, hard-working handy man? But I have a feeling Sophie is going to end up with her original crush, Archer.

I had a really hard time putting this book down. It seems like I couldn't turn the pages fast enough and it was over before I knew it. I am a fan of this series so far and I'm excited to go find the 3rd book and find out what happens. Oh and I must add that I really like the covers on the books in this series. And not just because the cat on the cover looks exactly like my kitty . . . ;p

*I borrowed this book from the library.