Monday, September 30, 2013

Domingo's Angel by Jenny Twist

Rated 5 STARS
When Angela turns up in a remote Spanish mountain village, she is so tall and so thin and so pale that everyone thinks she is a ghost or a fairy or the dreadful mantequero that comes in the night and sucks the fat from your bones.

But Domingo knows better. "Soy Angela," she said to him when they met – "I am an angel." Only later did he realize that she was telling him her name and by then it was too late and everyone knew her as Domingo's Angel.

This is the story of their love affair. But it is also the story of the people of the tiny mountain village – the indomitable Rosalba - shopkeeper, doctor, midwife and wise woman, who makes it her business to know everything that goes on in the village; Guillermo, the mayor, whose delusions of grandeur are rooted in his impoverished childhood; and Salva the Baker, who risked his life and liberty to give bread to the starving children.

The events in this story are based on the real experiences of the people of the White Villages in Southern Spain and their struggle to keep their communities alive through the years of war and the oppression of Franco's rule.



They say there are angels who walk the Earth.  Domingo’s Angel is set in a small village in Spain.  Angela moves there and captivates young Domingo’s heart but at the same time she enraptures all the residents of this tiny town.  Shared sorrow builds strong relationships and the villagers become closer because of Angela’s presence.

The book unfolds each character’s past in an intriguing way.  I liked the way the villagers came to trust Angela after their initial skepticism.  Domingo was an innocent, warm young man who was likable from the first.
There were good descriptions of the people of the town and the  area.  I felt like I really got an idea of  the surroundings.

There were a lot of eye opening facts about the recent history of Spain which I didn't know and  found interesting also.  The book showed how the citizens of a small town fought for what they held dear.

Domingo’s Angel was a reading experience I won’t soon forget.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Girls Even Boys Will Like

I love a story about a girl who doesn’t always behave in the most ladylike way.  As an example, I love Emma by Jane Austen.  She is a nosy buttinsky.  Kids aren’t ready for Emma but here are some girls I think are worth taking a look at.


Ramona Quimby Series by Beverly Cleary. Start off with Ramona, the Pest and follow her through the trials of Kindergarten, First Grade and beyond.  Ramona is spunky.  She kicks the bedroom wall one more time after her parents tell her to stop just because she has spunk.  At school, she designs a slipper from paper towels to wear when she has lost a shoe.  She likes to scare herself by jumping from the new construction at her house into the original house.  She thinks the dawn’s early light is Dawnzer lee light.  She is a delight to read about.  Pick the grade that’s just younger than your child and let them have a good laugh.


Junie B. Jones goes one step beyond Ramona.  She is trouble all wrapped up in a cute little package.  She speaks her mind and thinks for herself even if it lands her in a locked up school all by herself with a need to use the facilities.  She is rambunctious and totally believable.  Sometimes she strikes me as immature but then what kid isn’t once in a while, right?


Both these series are chapter books.  Ramona may be one you read to your child and if your child is old enough, he/she may be able to read about Junie B. all alone.  But don’t be tempted to skip reading the stories even if you aren’t the reader.  You won’t be sorry.

I would read these books to children from 5-8 years old.  Older kids in the 9-11 year category may enjoy reading Ramona on there own.  Junie B. is definitely for younger readers.

Chapter books teach a child the enjoyment of anticipation of what happens next.  Don’t you wonder what I’m up to next?

You’ll find out next week.  Until then, keep on reading.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Special Offer

Buy Mysti's A Ranger's Tale for $2.99 and receive both the other Tallenmere books for FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  from now until Friday, September 27th at Buy A Ranger's Tale for just $2.99 on Amazon:
or B&N:

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A Ranger's Tale by Mysti Parker

Welcome to the  Page Turner book tour.  Today I'm pleased to present A Ranger's Tale by Mysti Parker.  Mysti has a whole series based in Tallenmere, a world she has created and is totally fascinating.  Don't miss out on a chance to read this book.  It is available at for only $2.99
Read my review  below.
Rated 5 STARS


I’ve read all three of the Tallenmere books and I loved this one the most.  I only wish I had read it first since I think it would have enhanced my enjoyment of the second and third.

Caliphany is the niece of the king, daughter of a powerful wizard and promised in marriage to a man she doesn’t really like.  She wants more out of life than easy court life and raising children.  She yearns for adventure and excitement and experiences outside Leograd.

When her controlling father leaves on a trip she convinces Galadin, with a bag of gold, to train her in archery and combat.  Then she feels that she could strike out on her own.  As the lessons progress, the two become more and more attracted to one another but deny their feelings.

Upon her father’s return,, Caliphany is thrown into a locked room and told by her father that he knows what she has been up to and he insists she will do what he wants.  Well, Caliphany tricks her guards, stows away on Galadin’s ship and they share adventures and fall deeply in love.

Another man, Jayden has strong feelings for Caliphany also and wishes to rekindle a romance they had many years before.  Circumstances lead Caliphany back into his arms and she joins the Rangers with him.

All is not what it seems and the many twists and turns keep the reader guessing.  Caliphany has a lot of guts and she forges ahead on her adventures without thinking things through.  I liked that about her.  Sometimes we all make rash decisions and someone has to help us out.

I understood her confusion over the two men in her life.  I don’t want to give away anything so trust me to say, she has a lot of decision making to do.  She doesn’t understand her cold father either and has a contentious relationship with him.

There are a lot of exciting parts in this book but the author gives you time to catch your breath too.  Her prose makes for easy reading and the whole Tallenmere world is described beautifully.

I urge you to give A Ranger’s Tale a try. If you enjoy a good romance and a fantasy world you will love this book.


Caliphany lowered her hood and smoothed out her robes. She smiled. I admit I’d held a vague hope we would cross each other’s paths again, but I’d also told myself a woman of her class and a man of mine had no business being seen with one another.

Even though I didn’t know who she was exactly, the clothes she wore told me she didn’t mingle regularly with us working classes. 


She tucked some hair behind her ear and blushed. “Captain Trudeaux.” 


I bowed. “My lady.” 


“Please don’t bow.” She avoided my gaze and clenched her robe. “You weren’t at the docks this morning. I thought you had gone.” 


Razor had started tearing into the rabbit, so I held up my finger. “One moment, please.” I knelt to retrieve him and the carcass before it was gone. 


Razor eyed Caliphany when I returned to her side. “I sent my men on to Faewood. They’ll be back by the week’s end. We had some Tilliyan coffee beans to deliver.” 


Her shoulders slumped. “I’ve read a lot about Tilliya Island.” Her eyes focused somewhere in the distance, and then rested on me again. “So, you’re a falconer?” 


“I’m a ranger. Razor accompanies me from time to time. We sell what we hunt and gather. Sometimes I help thin out wildlife. It’s just my job.” 


The words rolled off her tongue. “A ranger.” 


I nodded, a bit annoyed she found my profession so curious. I killed things for a living. It was a hard, dirty job, one I was sure she could never understand. I cleared my throat. “I’m glad to see you’re in one piece, though still unescorted. Would you like me to walk you back to Leogard?” 


She held up a satchel. “I’m gathering plant specimens.” 


“As you wish. Well, good day then. I’ve got work to do.” I began to walk away. 


“Wait,” she said. 


I turned, and Caliphany approached me, opened her mouth, shut it again, and finally spoke. “I wanted to thank you for rescuing me.” 


If she was any other woman, from the lower end of society, I might have thought she was flirting. “You already did, I believe, and it’s not necessary. Good day.” I tried to walk away again. 




Razor screeched and puffed his feathers when I turned back around. “Easy, now. Look, Caliphany, it’s really not necessary—” 


“I want you to train me.” 


I stepped closer. She blushed. I wrinkled my brow and asked, “Pardon?” 


The words tumbled from her mouth. “You know how to handle yourself, handle weapons. I want to learn that as well. Will you train me?” 


I puffed out my cheeks and exhaled. 


Should have known she wasn’t interested in me, just in what I could do for her. “I’m not sure what you think I am, my lady, but I’m no trainer. I’ve got work to do. Forgive me, but I can’t waste precious hours teaching you to handle a bow.” 


She reached into her cloak and pulled out a sack. From the jingle inside, I estimated a month’s wages in gold. She got my attention. 


“I’ll pay you. If this isn’t enough, I’ll pay more.” 


That definitely got my attention. “My men will have to take up the slack. I’ve got orders to fill. But, why would you want to do…” I pulled out a bloody, limp rabbit carcass. “…this?” 


“My reasons are personal. So, are you willing to train me or not?” 


I scratched my chin. “When can you start?” 


A smile flashed across her lips. “My father leaves for Mirrochet citadel in two days. He’ll be gone for a month. I can train with you every day for a few hours during that time. After that…” She frowned and turned her head, then met my eyes again. “After that, I don’t know. I can meet you at the ranger outpost just east of here. My family should not know about this.” 


Desperation settled in her eyes, and I had a strong urge to take her in my arms and kiss her until we both had to come up for air. But she stood waiting for my reply. 


“L-Look, I don’t know if I should be skirting trouble. Being caught out here in the woods with you wouldn’t look good for either of us.” 


She stepped a little closer, reached out as though she would touch me, but withdrew her hand. “Believe me; they would know it was my idea. And with my father gone, they don’t pay as much attention to my whereabouts. So, is it a deal?” 


She held out her sack of coin with one hand, and the other for me to shake. I took the gold and shook her hand. Her skin was warm and soft. Damn shame it would be to mar those pretty fingers.


About Mysti Parker:


Mysti Parker (pseudonym) is a full time wife, mother of three, and a writer. Her first novel, A Ranger's Tale was published in January, 2011 by Melange Books, and the second in the fantasy romance series, Serenya's Song, was published in April 2012. The highly anticipated third book, Hearts in Exile, has already received some great reviews. The Tallenmere series has been likened to Terry Goodkind's 'Sword of Truth' series, but is probably closer to a spicy cross between Tolkien and Mercedes Lackey.


Mysti's other writings have appeared in the anthologies Hearts of Tomorrow, Christmas Lites, and Christmas Lites II. Her flash fiction has appeared on the online magazine EveryDayFiction. She has also served as a class mentor in Writers Village University's six week free course, F2K. 


Mysti reviews books for SQ Magazine, an online specfic publication, and is the proud owner of Unwritten, a blog voted #3 for eCollegeFinder's Top Writing Blogs award. She resides in Buckner, KY with her husband and three children.



Tallenmere Series:


Hearts in Exile, Tallenmere #3 
Try the excerpt below to get a taste of the story:


Monday, September 23, 2013

Immortal Confessions by Tara Fox Hall

Rating 5 STARS
At the turn of the 19th century, former aristocrat turned lowly vampire Devlin Dalcon gets by on his supernatural charms until he meets bride-to-be Annabelle. Smitten by Anna's forthrightness, intellect, and bravery, Devlin risks his life to spirit her away to Fontainebleau, France. There Devlin begins his ascent to power in a desperate bid for wealth and social standing for himself and Anna.



I should have hated Devlin Dalcon.  He killed many without hesitation, mourned the loss of few.  He was evil in so many ways.  Sometimes he would do something so heinous I’d think he was nothing but evil. He was so matter of fact about these things that my skin crawled.  However, his deep love for Anna redeemed him for me.  All the awful things he did seemed necessary somehow.

Devlin’s life seemed to be going nowhere and stretched out endlessly before him until he met Anna.  She captivated him and they began a love affair that traversed time and trouble and turmoil.

Devlin added others to his life besides Anna.  Uther, a werebat, became a trusted ally and friend.  Quentin, another vampire, was his financial adviser.  Rene, the witch, was an enigma that Devlin didn’t understand but he accepted her aid.

The vampire world was dark, captivating and adventurous.  I never knew what was going to happen next or who was going to be friend or foe.  I love it when a book keeps me guessing like that.

Sometimes, I thought Anna was little more than a sexual slave.  Her spirit that she showed at the beginning of the book didn’t last long.  After a while, her will came back to her and she made a few decisions for herself.  Some were good and some not so much.

I also learned about a lot of new creatures, at least they were to me.  I didn’t know that Weres came in anything but wolf form.  I learned some things about demons and witches.

Also Devlin made it clear that some of the “facts” we know about vampires are just old wives’ tales.

 I thought I was done with vampire books. “ Been there done” that but Immortal Confessions changed my mind. I really enjoyed reading this book and I was so disappointed when I came to the end.  I will definitely read the rest of the series. 

If you are a prudish or shy type, the sex scenes may be a bit much for you but otherwise I think anyone would enjoy this story as much as I did.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Night and Day It's Cinderella


Kidz Korner
If you are reading to a boy, don’t pass this post by because of the title.  I actually found books about “Cinderella” that fourth grade boys even loved!  They all claimed they didn’t know the story but I think they were covering for watching the movie when they were little guys.  I played along though and we all ended up having a wonderful time comparing the various stories.


Bigfoot Cinderrrrrrella by Tony Johnston

This is the one that got the boys.  It is a hilarious retelling of the old story and it’s stinky and odoriferous and  horrendous.  All the bigfoot women want to marry the prince but he hates the wildflowers in their fur. Of course he falls for his one true love and wait til you see how! I would read this book to kids 5-8.


Cendrillon by Robert D. San Souci and Brian Pinkney

This interpretation of the story is set in the Caribbean so it has a flavor all its own.  New vocabulary words and the interesting cadence of the text makes this a great choice. I loved the different take on the fairy godmother in this tale.  The pictures are colorful and descriptive.  I would read this book to kids 6-8.


Chickerella by Mary Jane and Herm Auch

I loved the quirky tale of Chickerella.  It was fun and had a great twist at the end of the story that I sure didn’t expect.  Prepare to have your stereotypes shattered by this funny tale.  The illustrations alone are totally fascinating.  I would read this book to kids 4-8.


Someday your prince (or princess) may come but until then keep on reading.

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Secret Prophecy by Herbie Brennan

 Rated 4 ½ STARS
This book is intended for young adults.
When Edward Michael “Em” Goverton uncovers the key to a five-hundred-year-old deadly prediction by the prophet Nostradamus, personal tragedy morphs into international crisis. Soon Em finds himself enmeshed in a sinister web of shocking events where nothing is quite as it seems. But the ominous forces behind the plot are not about to sit back and let their plans be ruined, and soon their net begins to close in on Em.


Things start to go out of control for Edward Michael Goverton when there is a break- in at his home after his father’s funeral.  His mom sends him on a surprise vacation with old family friends and while he is there, he and his friend, Charlotte, are followed! 

Things get even worse when Em (as he is known) comes home and finds his mother has been confined to a mental hospital and that Children’s Services is coming for him.

On the run from them, he meets an old man, Victor, who turns out to be not only not old but is also a secret agent.

With the help of Victor, Charlotte, a cipher, Nostradamus and a message from his dad on an iPod Em enters a world of intrigue and unravels some terrible secrets.

Em is a great character.  He is smart and resourceful.  He had real concern for his mom.  I liked his relationship with Victor and I loved his interactions with Charlotte.  He was also able to think clearly when he was on the run.

Charlotte is a crackerjack of a friend.  She is supportive, smart and funny.  She is clever and wily.  If not for her, Em and Victor would have had more trouble figuring

out some of the problems they faced.

Victor was an enigma.  He kept changing and growing more mysterious before our eyes.  Was he a friend or foe?  That question will be answered when you pick up this book.

One thing I didn’t care for was some of the parts about the shortcomings of society.  I thought it got a little preachy.

The Secret Prophecy was a great little mystery and great big entertainment.

Boys and girls will enjoy this book equally.

Coming Event

Don't miss this book.  Promo on September 25th!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

To Everything There is a Season

Kidz Korner
As the year goes by, kids are fascinated by the changes in nature.  The books I chose for this week illustrate how the year progresses by months and seasons.  What do you do in each season?  Do you live in a place that doesn’t have distinct seasons?  What season is your favorite?  We’re coming up on mine in just a few short days.


Chicken Soup With Rice by Maurice Sendak

A romp through the year with a bowl of soup.  Sendak has a silly sense of humor that kids appreciate and his books have engaging pictures.  I’ve always loved his rhymes.

I would read this book to kids from 5-8 years old.


The Year At Maple Hill Farm by Alice Provensen

Beautiful photographs of a working farm not only help kids to appreciate the different times of the year but also the real workings of a farm.  Not many of us get to see a real farm in action so this is the next best thing.  I would read this book to kids from 4-7 years old.


A Tree for All Seasons by Robin Bernard

Did you ever really look at a tree?  This book shows a tree from every angle at all times of the year.  The photos are excellent and the text is easy to understand.  I would read this book to kids from 4-7 years old.

The Little Island by Margaret Wise Brown

Beautiful illustrations mark the changes in the seasons on a little island in the sea.  The pictures are realistic and give us a glimpse into another life we wouldn’t normally see.

I would read this book to kids from 5-8.



Have fun exploring the seasons and, until next week, keep reading.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Rated 4 STARS
One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.
Note: There are spoilers about Divergent in this review.
This is the continuation of the Divergent series.  When we last met Tris, her whole life was falling apart due to a war among the factions of her society.   Her ragtag group of Dauntless and Abnegation are trying to find a safe haven. They return to Amity to regroup and try and figure out what should be done.  Of course, there is no safe haven for them.
Factions that should begin working together seem to be more divided and threatening than ever. Every one seems to have its own agenda.
Tris has watched both parents die and under the worst of circumstances she killed one of her best friends.  She has been torn apart from the guilt and feels anything but dauntless.
An uneasy alliance with Tobias’ father, Marcus, forces Tris to make some alarming choices but she follows her instincts just the same.
Tris’ brother, Caleb gets involved with their group again as he has left Erudite and gone back to Abnegation.  Tris is conflicted between her brother’s emotional support and her loyalty to her new Dauntless friends.
Tris once again faces many horrible situations and is forced to depend on her wits and strength, but does she have any strength left?
I had really high expectations for Insurgent because I really enjoyed Divergent.  It was fast paced and interesting. It had a few flaws that I didn’t care for but all in all it was a great read.  Unfortunately, my expectations affected my enjoyment of Insurgent.
Tris’ most attractive qualities were her guts and spirit.  In Insurgent, she has all but fallen apart and has fears that nag at her the entire time which keep her from being her true self.  I realize she had some extremely harrowing experiences but I had been led to believe that Tris was made of stronger stuff.  That at the core she was a brave and intelligent young woman who could compartmentalize her feelings for the safety of her people.
Her on and off again romance with Tobias got a little boring.  I just wanted them to break up or stay together instead of the wishy-washy relationship they seemed to develop.
There were some real surprises in this book that I won’t reveal as it would really spoil things for you.  Let it just be said that I didn’t see them coming.
I wish I could have loved Insurgent as much as I enjoyed Divergent.  It seemed the author wasn’t sure how to proceed so she was all over the place.  I found it hard to follow at times.
Have I given up on the Divergent series?  No, I’ll read it to the end and hopefully, the author will give Tris back her bravery and bring the story to a satisfying conclusion.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Eight Days a Week


I know there are only seven, just couldn’t resist the title.  Days of the week are important for kids to know.  They need to know what day it is so they bring their library books back to school or have ballet lessons or whatever. 

Help your little one remember them with these books by only two authors.


The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle


You never saw anything so small eat so much and he does it every day of the week until the wonderful surprise at the end.  The pictures are great and it’s easy to make a hungry caterpillar puppet from an old sock and a couple of  buttons.  Just get your munching voice ready and read.  I would read this book to kids from 3-6.


Today is Monday by Eric Carle


Oh, that Eric Carle is at it again with a wonderful book about the days of the week.  In it he shows what animals eat every day.  I'll have Tuesday with a side of Saturday.  Read the story and find out what I like to eat. I would read this book to kids from 2-5.


We all know some days are just plain special so enjoy these next two books.
Pajama Day by Lynn Plourde

It’s pajama day at school and Drew A. Blank forgot all about it.  Watch how  his creativity and imagination help him to participate in the day anyway. I loved the classroom atmosphere presented in this book and I loved Mrs. Shepherd and how she helped Drew solve his problem.
I would read this book to kids from 5-8.
Book Fair Day by Lynn Plourde

Dewey Booker is so excited for Book Fair day that he is totally prepared and can’t wait to get there.  He is completely deflated when his teacher says they are the last class to go because he thinks all the books will be gone.  He tries to sneak in early and always gets caught and when he finally gets there he helps his classmates choose until there are no books left for him.  Or are there?
Find out in this fun story.  I would read this book to kids from 5-8.
Enjoy your week and until next time, keep on reading!



Monday, September 2, 2013

Labor Day

Taking the day off today for the holiday.  See you on Thursday for KidzKorner.