Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Kidz Korner
Hanukkah Books



Hanukkah(or Chanukkah) and Thanksgiving coincide this year and that won't happen again for 70,000 years!  This blog is especially dedicated to my friend, Janet's granddaughter, Lia!  Happy Hanukkah!!
The Hanukkah Mice by Steven Kroll

A little mouse family watches the Silman family celebrate Hanukkah on the very first night.  Rachel Silman gets a beautiful doll house for a gift and the mice are enchanted and sure it is just the right size for them. 

Each night another little gift appears in the house and the mice have a wonderful Hanukkah and a new house thanks to Rachel.
I loved the pictures in this book.  The little mice even wore yarmulkes!
I would read this book to kids 3-6.

Hanukkah: A Counting Book by Emily Sper

A simple book that has cutouts as each candle on the menorah is lit. A little one could use it to learn to count and an older child can learn the names of the numbers in Yiddish and Hebrew.  I would read this book to kids 1-8.

 The Chanukkah Guest by Eric A. Kimmel

 Bubba Brayna, is old, hard of hearing and has trouble seeing but everyone
loves to come to her house during Chanukkah to eat her latkes. When he
first visitor shows up, Bubba Brayna is sure it is the rabbi but it is a bear
who woke up from his winter sleep instead!  She entertains him and feeds
him and sends him on his way.  Then the real company shows up! A cute book about miscommunication with a happy ending. I would read this book to kids 5-8.

 Latkes, Latkes, Good to Eat by Naomi Howland

If you ever read the story of Strega Nona you will love this book which has
the same theme.  Sadie’s brothers refuse to gather wood for the fire so Sadie
goes herself and meets and old woman who gives her a magic pan and the
special words to make it work.  When Sadie’s brother overhears her speak
the words, he is sure he can make it work too. When Sadie is gone to find
the old woman, the brothers make latkes and more latkes and more latkes.
Find out how the happy ending comes about when you read this book. I would read this book to kids 4-8.

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Monday, November 25, 2013

Daughter of Time by Sarah Woodbury


Meg’s abusive husband is dead, leaving the young woman with a 21/2 year old daughter to raise and living at home with her mother and sister.  When she takes her little girl, Anna, for ice cream one evening, Meg’s entire world is turned on its ear.

She loses control of her car and when she wakens, she has been saved by a man on a horse wearing a chain mail shirt.
How Meg adjusts to life in the 13th century and how she falls in love with the Prince of Wales, Llwelyn ap Gruffydd is the subject of this time travel novel.
Meg is a modern woman thrown back into a very different time from her own yet she makes remarkable adjustments and accepts her fate.  She cares deeply for her little girl and keeps her by her side as much as possible.  When she decides to “marry” the Prince, her life becomes one of concern for her husband and strategic planning to keep the kingdom together.
Llwelyn is a very open minded 13th century man. He is skeptical of Meg’s story of being from another time but he can’t deny the strong attraction he has for her and his growing love for the little girl, Anna.
All Princes and Kings are surrounded by a circle of men, some who are loyal and some who are false and Llwelyn is no exception.  Trying to figure out which men were going to betray him made for an intriguing part to the story. ,
The romance was straight forward and there was not a lot of sex making this story acceptable for young teens as well as adults.
My one criticism would be that there should have been a glossary of pronunciations for the cast of characters. The pronunciation guide that the author gives us is not very helpful.
All in all, I enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more in the series.

Sarah Woodbury bio:
With two historian parents, Sarah couldn’t help but develop an interest in the past. She went on to get more than enough education herself (in anthropology) and began writing fiction when the stories in her head overflowed and demanded she let them out.  While her ancestry is Welsh, she only visited Wales for the first time while in college.  She has been in love with the country, language, and people ever since. She even convinced her husband to give all four of their children Welsh names.  She makes her home in Oregon.

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Friday, November 22, 2013


I am a complete turkey when it comes to all things technical, even something as easy as Rafflecopter.  In light of that, the raffle for Nancy Pennick's signed copy of Call of the Canyon will continue until December 7th!  No need to leave a comment just follow my blog and you're in! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving  November 21, 2013


I love everything about Thanksgiving except the turkey.  I have to admit it isn’t my favorite, possibly it’s my least favorite.  I was a picky eater as a child.  So were my kids.  If you have a picky eater, don’t worry.  It all seems to work out in the end.

Here’s a little poem that was taught to me by a four year old so you can share it with your little ones.

Gobble,gobble said the turkey.
Soon will be Thanksgiving day.
OH, how you treat me!  Please don’t eat me!
I think I’ll run away.
GOBBLE,GOBBLE ,GOBBLE (Do your best turkey imitation here.)

In honor of the turkey, I present the following:

 One is a Feast for A Mouse by Judy Cox

 A mouse has his eye on a lone pea left over from the Thanksgiving feast.  He nabs it but he can’t resist to take just a little more of everything he sees.  In order to escape the family cat, he has to make a mad dash to his hidey hole and ends up with the feast fit for a mouse.  A great story for anyone whose eyes were ever bigger than their stomachs.  I would read this book to kids 3-6.

Arthur’s Thanksgiving by Marc Brown

Nobody wants to be a turkey in the school play that Arthur is in charge of. Not his friends, not his sister, not even his parents will take the party because who wants to be a turkey?  Well, Arthur bites the bullet and accepts his fate.  He will have to be the turkey.  There is a heart warming ending that shows how friends support friends, even if they are turkeys!  I would read this book to kids 4-8.

 One Tough Turkey  by Steven Kroll

Solomon is one smart bird. He sees those pilgrims headed his way so he protects his family as well as he can.  He puts up a sign, NO TURKEYS.  The pilgrims head for home but they aren’t fooled for long and when they return Solomon leads them on a wild goose chase straight to the briar patch.  That wiley turkey wins the day and the pilgrims have their feast without turkey.  I would read this book to kids 4-8.

 Gobble, Gobble by Cathryn Falwell

This is a serious look at the behaviors of wild turkeys throughout the year as told by a little girl who lives on a farm.  It’s a good chance to let your kids know that all turkeys don’t come from the grocery store!  Did you know that Benjamin Franklin thought the wild turkey should be our national bird?  How the bald eagle beat the wild turkey could make for a fun discussion.  I would read this book to kids 4-7.

Count your blessings and until next week, keep on reading!
P.S.  Next week, Kidz Korner will appear on Wednesday due to the holiday a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, November 18, 2013

RIP Barbara Park

Such a loss for all her fans.  Junie B. is crying today.

Barbara Park, a former class clown who channeled her irreverence into the million-selling mishaps of grade schooler Junie B. Jones, has died. She was 66. a Rafflecopter giveaway >

Happy Birthday by Danielle Steel

Rated 4 STARS

In this beguiling novel, Danielle Steel tells the story of three very different people, each of whom reaches a crucial turning point on the same day—a time to blow out the candles, say goodbye to the past, and make a wish for the future. 


Well, some birthdays you just don’t want to face.  Just ask Valerie Wyatt, successful style diva, who is turning 60 and just heard it announced on the radio!  She is fit, lovely and runs a gigantic business but she has no love life and no hopes of one on the horizon in spite of what her psychic says.

Her daughter, April Wyatt is turning thirty on the same day.  She isn’t too thrilled about that number either.  She has a successful restaurant and has travelled the world but she wonders if she should be married and having children by this time like she always thought she would

Jack Adams hates this birthday.  Not only is he turning 50 but he has completely thrown out his back the night before doing sexual gymnastics with some young, hot model.  He can barely crawl to the doctor and will have to spend the whole day in bed recuperating.

How these three birthdays turn out and the aftermath is the subject of this book.  I thought it had its ups and downs but the characters were interesting and likable if you could get over that they were beautiful, rich and successful.

Valerie and Jack bond over a terrible experience and become friends that may or may not turn into a romance.  Both are hesitant but interested.

April gets the surprise of her life and is pregnant from a one night stand with a food critic who dissed her restaurant.  She tried to ply him with liquour and it backfired.  She does think he has a right to know about the baby so she contacts him and gets a reaction she never expected.

I liked April.  She was a practical and smart girl who made a terrible mistake but was willing to face it like an adult.

I thought that Valerie was a little too worried about her looks but at the core of things she was a caring and thoughtful woman.

Jack was a pretty good guy if you could ignore his past and concentrate on the man he had become.  He shows himself to be a modest man who was proud of his accomplishments but not braggy about it.

If you like Danielle Steel, you’ll love this.  I’m not a giant fan of hers but I found this book to be entertaining just the same.  I just wish I had read it on my birthday!
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Friday, November 15, 2013

Trailer for Waiting for Dusk by Nancy Pennick

My favorite thing at the movies is watching the trailers.  When I went to see Thor, there were so many trailers, I was in seventh heaven.  I never realized you could have a trailer for a book!!  But you can.

Nancy Pennick’s first book, Waiting for Dusk has an intriguing trailer that really catches your interest.  It was designed by her son, Matthew, who has his own business making video trailers.  He has a lot of skill and all his trailers that I have seen are amazingly well done. 

First, check out the link to the trailer.

Then, take a look at Matt’s Facebook page.

Waiting for Dusk / Amazon
Waiting for Dusk / Barnes and Noble

Call of the Canyon / Barnes and Noble

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Thursday, November 14, 2013

An Interview with Anna

Today I am delighted to interview, Anna, that feisty centenarian, and friend of Kate and Drew.

Anna, it is wonderful to have you here today.

Anna, you must have been shocked to see Katie after all those years and still so young. How were you feeling?

Like a miracle happened. Kathryn was my best friend at the boardinghouse and although I knew her for just a short time, we bonded. When I saw her standing in my doorway I thought I was dreaming but I don’t question this great universe anymore at my age, I just accept.

Tell us some of the differences in your life in 1927 and in the 21st century.

 Well, first off, there’s lots more indoor plumbing! I left Chicago as a young girl and lived out west for most of my life. Ranch life became my life. I didn’t miss the big city in the least. When I was young, life was much more simple. Today’s youth have so much more to contend with. I can’t wrap my brain around all those new ways of talking to each other and getting the news. I just learned how to text. Pretty good for an old gal my age.

Everyone who reads the books finds Anna so wise. Is it just your long life experience or something more?

A long life definitely helps. I was on my own since age eighteen and was far from home. I had only myself to rely on at times. I had to make my own decisions. You grow up fast that way.

Tell us something about your life with Daniel that we don’t know.

I wore cowboy boots under my wedding dress! Daniel and I decided to have a huge western wedding with barbecue and country music. Lucinda’s wedding was so formal; I guess we wanted the opposite.

 Were you surprised that your son and grandchildren all stayed at the ranch and made it their home, too?

Well, all of them except that stubborn Beth! Seriously, I’m thrilled they’re all here. My son, Dan, did move the family away for quite awhile. It was tough on us, especially Daniel, but we understood why. They all came back when Daniel was ill and stayed ever since. Having family close by is a special gift.

Any advice for our readers, Anna?

Follow your dreams. I wanted to be a Harvey girl and because of that opportunity I’ve lived a life I never could’ve dreamt. I met good people and have a wonderful family because of that experience. I never would have met Kathryn and Andrew and been able to share in their unbelievable love story.

Waiting for Dusk / Amazon


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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Guest Blogger: Nancy Pennick

Today, I welcome Nancy Pennick, the author of the Waiting for Dusk trilogy.  Her second book, Call of the Canyon, is my giveaway this week.  Here’s what she had to say.


All My Children by Nancy Pennick

I've been asked if there’s a lot going on in my head and if it’s getting a little crowded in there. When you write books, people tend to ask things like that. They want to know where I got my ideas or how I can write an entire book.
The short answer is, “I don’t know!” That’s not the answer people want to hear so I will try my best to explain.

They are not books to me, they are my children. I send them out into the world and hope for the best, for everyone to like them and think I did a good job raising them. If I hear bad things about them, I get hurt feelings, but also look to how I can improve my skills as a parent. When I get compliments, I burst with pride.
These kids fight with me, sometimes I win and other times they get their way. I suggest a certain outcome and they insist on going in another direction. I may have plotted their course but they seem to have other plans. I hopefully will always know the beginning, middle and end but it’s the parts in between that make life interesting.

I say them when I talk about my books, even though I have an only child out there now. Soon more will join it, as recently as September and as late as next January. Am I nervous to send number two and three out there into the cold, cruel world? Absolutely. It’s just as nerve-wracking as the first time I sent my child out there on its own.
Will there be more beyond that, you ask? How can you fit any more into that brain of yours? Well, like any good parent, there’s always room for one more. I just hope everyone will keep enjoying all my children.




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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Interview Day

Today I welcome Andrew and Kate, the stars of the novels, Waiting for Dusk and Call of the Canyon.  I had a chance to ask them a few questions and get to know them better.

Hi, you two!  Welcome to Read Around Sue. I know I have questions as I'm sure other readers do.  So, here we go.

What did you feel when you first saw each other?

Drew: Could I be the first to answer? I know it might sound clich├ęd but it was love at first sight for me.

Kate: Looking back on it, I have to agree. I just turned sixteen back then so I doubted my feelings.  When I first saw him, I thought he was the most handsome man I ever saw.

Why did you give each other special names?

Drew: When Kate told me her name was Katie, I felt it didn’t suit her. It was a good name for a child but standing before me was a beautiful, young woman.

Kate: I thought Drew was a little cocky giving me a new name at the time. So off the top of my head, I decided to do the same. Now, I’m glad I did. I can’t imagine him as anything else than Drew. It’s my special name for him.

Drew, you are quite popular with the female readers. Why do you suppose that is?

Drew: Thanks for that comment, Susan. I think female readers love the idea I’m from another time and was brought up differently than kids today. My parents instilled values in me that are old-fashioned by today’s standards. There’s something romantic about that.

Kate, the same question?

Kate: I think Drew’s being too modest. Who wouldn’t fall in love with tall, dark and handsome? He comes across as loyal and loving to a fault. Isn’t that the man we all dream of?

Kate, some of your readers wonder why you forgave Ty so many times. Can you explain?

Kate: I tried to keep the illusion of Tyson alive as long as possible. He was my friend since I was eight-years-old. We played together when we were small and shared our dreams for eight years. I thought I knew him. I gave him the benefit of the doubt. He’s not going away any time soon, so I’m learning to handle him in a different way.

Some think you two are too young for such a serious romance. How do you respond?

Drew: Romeo and Juliet?

Kate: Pocahontas and John Smith?

Drew: I know people have their doubts about young love, but there are wonderful stories out there in fiction and real life. Don’t forget, back in the day, people married young.

Any hints about what’s in store for you in Stealing Time?

Kate: I’ve grown into my own person. Drew and I have some tough times but power through them. In the end, I hope everyone will be satisfied with our story.

Drew: Agree. I had to learn some hard lessons in Stealing Time.  Buy Call of the Canyon at

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Monday, November 11, 2013

Call of the Canyon by Nancy Pennick

Two Lives... Two Worlds... Heartbreak awaits.
Call of the Canyon, second of the Waiting for Dusk series, continues the dramatic story of Kate Roberts and Drew Kelly. New challenges face the couple when Drew joins Kate in the present. Nothing is easy. Tyson's still their nemesis, causing trouble whenever he can. Carl, Kate's friend and neighbor, moves back home to Ohio and creates unexpected problems at the canyon. A wedding, a tragic accident, and a family broken by scandal affect both the past and present. And in the end, Kate may pay the ultimate price.
What do two lovers do when one lives in the past and one lives in the here and now?  That is the problem facing Drew and Kate in the second book of the Waiting for Dusk trilogy.  Drew and Kate want to have a future together but can Drew live in the 21st century and ignore the draw of the Canyon?  Will someone be stuck in the wrong time frame or will someone fade away if history is changed?

This book is even better than Waiting for Dusk. It explores in more depth the effects of time travel on people's lives. It is exciting and has many plot twists. Kate and Drew are still very much in love.

Drew is torn by his decision to live in the 21st century and the author does a good job of explaining his dilemma.  His story picks up just where we left him at the bottom of the canyon by the Colorado river.

Kate is still trying to ignore Ty’s advances while making a future with Drew.  When history looks like it is about to change, Kate’s devastation is understandable and you really worry for her.

 Ty is still up to his old tricks. He becomes even more of a villain than in the first book. Carl Jr. travels back to the Canyon and stirs up some trouble without thinking. Spunky 100 year old Anna is still the best confidant and advisor. Lindsey is ever the loyal best friend.
The Grand Canyon continues to be the backdrop of the story and is an intriguing aspect of the story.  The call of the Canyon to return is something I understand having been there.  It is a place that holds many mysteries.
Even if you didn't read Waiting for Dusk, you can enjoy this book although I highly recommend that you read both!!
Can't wait for the third and final book!!
Nancy Pennick has generously offered a free copy of her new book, Call of the Canyon to one of my readers.  All you need to do is make a comment in the next two weeks here at Read Around Sue and you will be eligible.
Buy at
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Thursday, November 7, 2013

 November  Birthdays
November happens to be my favorite month.  Why?  You must be asking yourself. Well, it’s the birthday month of four of my favorite people. Me, and three other friends. Oh, yes and Mickey Mouse.  Bet you didn’t know that.  It’s November 18th so here’s a fun way to celebrate.  Bake cupcakes and add two mini oreos for ears , two mini m&m’s for eyes and a red one for a nose and Ta Dah! You can sing happy birthday to Mickey (and me too if you want).

Here are some books about birthdays.


Happy Birthday, Moon by Frank Asch

Poor bear is not the brightest bear on the planet but he and the moon somehow celebrate their birthdays together.  You’ll get a real kick out of the coincidental echoes that make it possible.  I would read this book to kids 3-6.


Happy Birthday, Rotten Ralph by Jack Gantos

Rotten Ralph is at it again.  He does everything he can to sabotage his birthday.  He puts toothpaste in Sarah’s slippers, wreaks havoc at the party store and ruins the cake.  Sarah sends him upstairs and he is convinced the party is off but you know Sarah really loves Ralph so guess what happens? I would read this book to kids 4-7.


Clever Jack Takes the Cake by Candace Fleming

Jack is very poor but he wants to make a present for the Princess on her birthday.  He cleverly gets all the ingredients he needs, bakes a lovely cake and it gets taken apart little by little until the cake is gone.  Poor Jack!  What can he do with no present?  He tells the story to the princess and she is delighted and says the story is the best present ever.  I would read this book to kids 4-7.


Otto has a Birthday Party by Todd Parr

Otto makes his own cake and adds some delicacies like a cootie bug and a shoe.  He opens presents and one is too small, another too big and nothing is just right.  He decides to go for the cake and  before you know it, the whole cake blows up.  Is the party a disaster?  Nope, the ice cream truck comes to the rescue.  I would read this book to kids 2-5.
Enjoy the birthday celebration and until next week, keep on reading!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Hearts in Exile by Mysti Parker


In Tallenmere, fate has a way of catching up with you...

Somewhere, hidden in the waters of the Southern Sea, lies an island unlike any other. Within the amber glow of its pyrogem-laden cliffs, legend says the very heart of the dragon god Drae keeps the island, and its occupants, alive.

Loralee Munroviel, daughter of Leogard's High Priestess Arianne, had no idea what she would face when she arrived by boat ten years ago and was left alone in exile. All she knew about Draekoria's inhabitants was written in one tattered notebook. Now, her life revolves around keeping Drae's descendants happy. Never in her life did she imagine being a Dragon Keeper.

Captain Igrorio Everlyn, known as Sir Robert to his unit of Holy Paladins, has faced his share of hell, battling the evils of Emperor Sarvonn's tyranny and the dark god Tyr's abominations. But none of that compares to the ten years of hell he's been without Loralee, presumed dead.

One freak storm changes everything. Now the two of them must fight to reestablish the delicate balance of the island before the dragons take things into their own hands. Through it all, they discover the secrets that kept them, and their hearts, exiled for a decade.

Loralee and Igrorio are two elfin children who meet after Igrorio’s father commits a heinous act.  Although Igrorio is mortally wounded Loralee is able to summon the power of her goddess and heal him.

They spend time together while he is healing and they create a bond.

Life separates the two friends and they continue on paths that are similar but never cross except in passing.

When they meet again as adults they find their friendship has blossomed into love.

They are doomed to be separated however as Igrorio has responsibilities in the King’s guard and Loralee is in training to follow her mother as the leader of the Healers.

Many obstacles are thrown in the path of the young lovers but by a miracle Igrorio washes up on the beach of a secret island where Loralee has been sent to be a caretaker over the last dragons.

Life doesn’t get any easier for the couple as Igrorio meets the dragons and at least one is not all happy to find another human on their island.

After a crisis with the dragons which ends with one of their deaths, Loralee and Igrorio decide to remain on the island and finally have the life together that they always dreamed of as protectors of the remaining dragons.

I enjoyed the story of Loralee and Igrorio for the most part.  There were an awful lot of different characters like elves, trolls, shades, necromancers and vampires that I found hard to keep track of.

Loralee was a spunky heroine and even managed to deal with her sister, Ivy whose jealousy turned her to the dark side of healing.  Ivy was evil and I was left a bit deflated when she had just disappeared at the end of the book and suffered no consequences for her actions.

I also had trouble with the huge time gaps between chapters.  Fifty years is probably not a long time for an elf but it is for me and I found it hard to believe that nothing happened in all those years.

These few things did not dampen my interest in the story however.  There was a lot of excitement and the characters were believable.  That poor couple went through the wringer to be together and I was happy that they found peace at last in each other’s company.

I especially liked the supporting character, Clive who was a corny jokester who managed to win the heart of Loralee’s younger sister,Prysilla.

I think if you let it, this book will capture your heart.