Friday, October 31, 2014

                         Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Out of the Mouths of Babes

I'm always telling you about the books I like so this week I decided to talk to a few friends and find out their favorites to share with you.  These experts know what they're talking about because they're kids!!

Corrine is a Fancy Nancy fan.  If you aren't familiar with Fancy Nancy you should look her up.  She is adorable and funny and loves all things fancy and French.  Corrine is pretty fancy herself as you can see here:

Harrison is a big brother now and has had loads of experience with books since his mom is a librarian.  He is loving How Do Dinosaurs Say I'm Mad? by Jane Yolen right now.  He's a little cutie as you can see here:

Brennan is my son's God child and he is into any book based on the movie "Cars" these days.  What can we say, he loves vehicles!  His former favorites are Little Bee by Edward Gibbs and a baby version of All the Places You'll go by Dr. Seuss.  He's a little darling as you can see here:

Dakin is my little cousin.  He is actually my cousin, John's, grandson. So we are probably second cousins twice removed or third cousins or one of those cousin things I can never figure out!
He is loving Mo Willems' Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus these days.  Actually, any of the pigeon books by Willems are on his list. He's pretty long in the cute department too!  Here he is:

So, trust me, you can't go wrong with any of these books because the experts have spoken!  So, until next week, Keep on reading!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Belialish Incident by D.B.Crawford



Vince Bocca is a full time restaurateur and a part time detective.  One day, the owner of a bank comes to him and asks him to find out what he can about Mark Overdale and what happened to the money he embezzled from the bank and supposedly gambled away due to an addiction.
Vince agrees to take the case and goes about finding clues using modern technology, his own contacts, his good deductive reasoning and help from a surprising source, Nancy Overdale, Mark’s emotionally unstable wife.
Through many twists and turns, Vince carries on until he gets the answers that are available, even if they aren’t the ones the bank owner, Thomas Walker, hoped to get.


I didn’t tell too much about the plot because I don’t want to spoil a minute of this thriller.  There were so many unexpected plot twists and turns, that to tell some of them would spoil some of your fun in reading this story.
I can say I loved Vince.  He had a great restaurant with some yummy sounding dishes which I enjoyed reading about.  His detective skills were  a bit old fashioned but I loved that about him.  He was in a committed relationship with Hannah, a local nurse.  When Nancy Overdale showed up I thought poor Hannah would be dumped but Vince was loyal as he was kind and he stayed true to his love.  His relationship with Police Lieutenant Dahl was strained but ultimately cordial and they worked together well.

I loved watching Nancy Overdale grow through the course of the investigation.  She became an integral part of the team and even though she developed a bit of a crush on Vince, she didn’t act on it and spent her time digging up facts and  building her emotional and physical strength back up.  I loved seeing so many sides to her.

I never got a hint of what was going on in all of the mystery until it was revealed to me.  I love that in a book.  I’m never quite as happy when I have it all figured out before the end.  Kudos to Crawford for a well-written, suspenseful book.

You can buy this book here :Melange Books

Thursday, October 23, 2014

John Chapman and Other Legends


I love old American legends.  Every year in elementary school, I couldn't wait until the teacher showed us the little movie of Johnny Appleseed that was released by Disney.  It was my favorite and I showed it to my students every year until I retired!  He's joined here by some other favorite American legends.

Johnny Appleseed by Steven Kellog

I love Kellog's illustrations!

Paul Bunyan Swings His Axe by Dell J. McCormick
My favorite lumberjack and his huge appetite( in more ways than one)

Pecos Bill by James C. Bowman and Laura Bannon
Raised by coyotes!  What's not to love??

John Henry: An American Legend by Ezra Jack Keats
A story of strength and determination.

A Picture Book of Davy Crockett
Born on a mountain top in Tennessee.......

Betsy Ross by Becky White
Can't forget that a woman can be a legend too.

Disney's American Legends
This is a video featuring Johnny Appleseed, John Henry and others.  I don't usually do this but I recommend this one for sure.  A great Christmas gift for any kid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Have fun with these legends and until next week, keep on reading!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


With the popularity of the movie, Melange publishers is bringing an anthology of short stories from sweet to sensual romances for the winter.  Women's fiction is popular and here's a sneak peek at the cover. There are some of my favorite authors in here doing their take on winter romance. Don't let it go!

Check it out here:Melange Books

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Sword of Lumina: Mira's View by Erin Elliot


In anger, the god Haulua creates a monster, Rau, who is now the ruler of the Land of Tormiro.   He has blocked the elves’ ability to do magic except for one lone girl.  Galen has noticed that when she tries a little magic, she doesn’t experience brutal pain as others do so she tries a little and keeps it on the lowdown. Only her dear father knows she can use her power.
Her friend, Elenio, who is her confidant and the man she loves, finally confesses his love for her and they plan to have a commitment ceremony soon.
However, before they can reveal their plans for the future, Rau sends in his minions, the Torloqs, to find Galen whose magic he senses.  The Torloqs massacre the elves and kill Galen’s father among them.
Galen is determined to leave the village to protect it and along with Elenio and her brother, Tark, sets off on a journey to find the sword of Lumina which was created by the goddess, Mira.  It is said that the sword has the power to return Tormiro to the land it used to be and to vanquish Rau and his evil minions if the right elf finds it.

Every quest story needs a hero that you can believe in and Galen is that kind of heroine.  She is strong and brave yet soft and vulnerable in her love for Elenio.  She is willing to use her magic even at the risk of her own peril.  She befriends Morgo, the cave elf who helps them on their journey underground and learns more magic from him.  Galen makes quick decisions and most of them are for the best.
Elenio is the perfect man to love.  He is supportive and loving and can fight his way through battles where the odds are against him.  His love for Galen is true and based on a life long friendship.
Tark is everyone’s older brother.  He doesn’t want Galen to go off by herself even if it means leaving his young family behind.  He teases her and worries about her in equal measure.
Morgo seemed blah at first but his personality finally shone through as he spent time with our heroes and became a beloved friend and an interesting character.
Rau was completely evil and single minded in his desire to cause the death of Galen.  He killed randomly and had no regrets.  He does have an Achilles’ heel however.  He has to grovel at the feet of the god, Haulau and be concerned for his own life.  I liked that Rau was afraid of the god.  It made him more interesting.
There are a lot of familiar elements of all quest stories but I liked the way Elliot put this team together.  The ending of the book was a cliff hanger so I am looking forward to finding out what happens to Galen and her friends. 

You can buy Mira's View here:Fire and

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The E's Have It


I own a Kindle and I love it almost as much as I love a good book in my hands.  Lots of kids who are a little older don't really show an interest in books so I love the idea of those kids having Ebooks.  This week I'm concentrating on books for kids who are a little older and have a Kindle or an iPad or a Nook.
Here they are, in no particular order.

My Monster Farts by Kate Clary

Now come on, what kid could resist a story about a boy with an invisible monster who farts and always gets the boy in trouble??  Not me, I must confess.

Get Lost, Odysseus by Kate McMullen

I've always been a sucker for the Greek myths and this sounds like a hoot.  Haydes, the god of the darkness, tells the story of Odysseus on his way back from the Trojan War with a few twists.

The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis

This is the first installment of the Narnia Chronicles.  If you want to find out how the two worlds were able to connect in The Lion,the Witch and the Wardrobe then this is the book for you.

The Ruins Of Gorlan, Book 1 of the Rangers' Apprentice Series by John A. Flanagan

I also have a weak spot for fantasy books.  Give me some elves, a few trolls, and some brave hero or heroine and I'm yours.  Hope your kids feel the same.

So, fire up the Kindle or the iPad or the Nook and until next week, keep on reading.
Don't forget that today is the day to comment to qualify for the drawing to win the book Everything I Need to Know I learned from A Little Golden Book.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Roche Hotel, Season1 by Mysti Parker

  Rated 3.5 STARS

This is the first installment of The Roche Hotel where we meet Jane Seymour, a newly divorced and disgruntled ex-wife who has been dumped by her husband for a younger, sexier model.
Jane is starting a new job as the night desk clerk at the hotel and she meets her colleagues, a handsome donut delivery man and an assortment of  customers from her first night on.
The hotel is having difficulties, which start to dissipate when a death occurs!  A councilman who was escorted by two women ends up dead in the early morning.
Soon the hotel is booked by people who want to see the ghost who seems to be appearing now.
Jane tentatively starts a relationship with the donut guy, tries to care for her mother who lives in a nursing home and tries to adjust to living the night life.

Jane was a likeable character but I wasn’t sure why Donut Guy fell for her so fast and hard.  He seems like a good catch and a nice guy but Jane has been tricked before so I understand her reluctance to start a new relationship.
I liked her relationship with her mom.  She genuinely cared for her and tried to provide the best environment that she could for her mom who seems to have dementia.
The supporting cast was quirky enough to be interesting and to continue on in the stories to come.

I’ll look forward to the next installment to see if Jane and the gang can really hook me but they’ve made a pretty good start.
You can order the first installment here:

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


On Thursday, October 16 you'll have a chance to win the book Everything I Ned to Know I Learned from a Little Golden Book by Diane Muldrow.  It is the book I mentioned last week in KidzKorner.  All you have to do to enter is make a comment on this Thursday's KidzKorner.  I'll put all the names in a hat and pull the winner on Monday, October 20th and will announce the winner on Thursday, October 23rd.
This book is a little gem and would make a great book for a sister or friend or a teen.  There can be only one winner but don't hesitate.  It may be you!

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Haunting of Secrets by Shelley R. Pickens



Aimee is a solitary girl.  She wants it that way.  She avoids contact of any kind with the kids at her school.  Amy is not antisocial or a threat.  It’s just that if she touches someone all their memories flood into her head and she is living with the bad memories of too many people.
When there is a bomb explosion in the cafeteria of her school, Aimee narrowly escapes. In the mad scramble to get out of there, a boy accidentally touches her and his memories flow into her.  Now Aimee knows there is a killer at her school.
Enlisting her one and only friend, Dejana, she sets her mind to finding and revealing the killer,whose face she never saw.
Adding to her confusion are her feelings for Logan, the boy who seems to understand and respect her but who doesn’t know her secret.  Her attraction to him seems to be futile because she thinks she can never have any kind of relationship with him.
How Aimee deals with all these things are the crux of this chilling story.

This was the most chilling and frightening thing I’ve read in a really long time and I loved it.  The author had me captivated from the beginning by Aimee’s gift and the horror that was the killer’s memories.  How Aimee dealt with this creepy affliction was understandable.  To watch her grow through the story,  made me admire her all the more.
She was comfortable with Dejana but she also opened herself up to Leah, a computer whiz they recruit to help find this killer.  She went from enjoying Logan from afar to trying to build a real relationship with him.  Aimee was an amazing young woman.
I didn’t know what to make of Logan.  Was he really in love with Aimee or was he just setting her up for a fall?  I wanted him to want her as she was and I wasn’t sure until the very end if he was true or false.
Dejana was a great friend who knew of Aimee’s affliction but accepted her the way she was.  She was brought into the intrigue and she joined willingly since she trusted her friend.  She had worked hard to earn Aimee’s trust and I found that an admirable quality that made me like her all the more.
Leah got dragged into the whole mess because of her skills but she stayed to the bitter end to help find this monster.
This story is violent and graphic so be warned if you are easily affected by that, this may not be the book for you.
If you can swallow your fears and pick up this book, you won’t be sorry. It is a great read.
You can buy The Haunting of Secrets here:Fire and Ice

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Golden Little Books

I love Little Golden Books.  My favorite (for obvious reasons) is I'm Suzy. It is sweet and all about me!!  Little Golden books run the gamut from old classics like I'm Suzy to Frozen, probably the most popular story of the present.  You can find something for anyone, even yourself!  Here are some suggestions.
The Happy Man and His Dump Truck
The Pokey Little Puppy
The Monster at the End of this Book
The Three Bears (several versions of this one)
Scruff the Tugboat
Baby Listens
The Jolly Barnyard
A Day at the Seashore
Elves and Fairies
How do Penguins Play?
Nurse Nancy

I saved the best for last though.  There is a little golden book for us too.  It's called Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Little Golden Book by Diane E. Muldrew.  It is just darling and just for us ladies!
So, take a look at some classics with your little one and until next week, keep on reading!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Guest Post by Charmaine Pauls

I would like to welcome Charmaine Pauls to my blog today.  She tells us a little about her inspiration to write Second Best, the book I reviewed yesterday.

Charmaine Pauls’ latest novel, Second Best, is a dramatic romance about the scars of the soul and the road that leads to healing. When a juvenile delinquent and a war journalist meet, they fight not to become victims of their past.

The first time Molly sees Malcolm is in Oudtshoorn, South Africa in 1978, when he jumps from the back of an army truck to challenge her through the school yard fence. Little did she know then, when she boldly gave him the middle finger, how their lives would become intertwined.

Surviving the secret horrors of an industrial school, juvenile delinquent Molly van Aswegen grows into a tough and troubled woman who has sworn never to love anyone enough to be vulnerable. When Malcolm McLeod, rebel journalist and soldier, comes home from the Angolan border war to save Molly from her institution, he starts fighting a different war altogether – the battle for both of their souls.

Molly’s fight for survival and Malcolm’s moral struggle will expose them as anti-conformists, at risk of being branded and outcast from society during a politically turbulent time when South Africa is in the midst of a twenty-three year long war.

“The story was inspired by my childhood experiences, growing up on juvenile delinquent school grounds where my father was a teacher, and my brother’s two-year compulsory military training at the dog explosives unit in Bourke’s Luck, South Africa,” says Pauls. The author resided in Oudtshoorn, and decided to use this Karoo town as the setting where the novel kicks off. Pauls says, “Not only did Oudtshoorn provide the perfect backdrop for Molly’s school, but it also happened to be the town where the famous South African reconnaissance military unit was formed, providing the connecting factor when Molly and Malcolm meet.”

Pauls uses exotic contemporary settings inspired by her travels for her romance novels, such as Easter Island, Patagonia, Costa Rica, Colombia, Brazil, France, and Tahiti, while she likes to include elements of fantasy in her work. Second Best is her first book that plays off in her home country, and that does not contain a supernatural element.

Second Best is Pauls’ fourth novel and received a NABE Pinnacle Summer 2014 Award for the category, women’s fiction. Previous books include the romance drama, Between Yesterday & Tomorrow; futuristic romance, Between Fire & Ice; and paranormal romance, The Winemaker. Pauls’ next book, The Astronomer, a futuristic romance that plays off in Chile’s Atacama Desert, is due for release in November 2014 by Mélange Books.

The author was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa, and obtained a Masters Degree in Communication at the University of Potchefstroom. She worked in the fields of journalism, advertising, graphic design, photography, brand marketing and public relations before she turned to full-time writing. Pauls previously lived in France, and currently resides in Chile with her husband and children.

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Monday, October 6, 2014

Second Best by Charmaine Pauls

  Rated 4.5 STARS

Molly van Aswegen  is a troubled young woman who is not very social or communicative.  She has been released from a government industrial school for delinquent girls and is trying to find her way in the world.  She thinks she has it all figured out.  Trust no one and love nothing.
She lives in a hovel with no phone and no locks on the doors.  She is ready to fight at the drop of a hat.
Malcolm McLeod chanced upon Molly while she was still in school and felt an attraction which he managed to work into a correspondence while he was away at war in Angola.  Through their letters, the two became close and revealed more of themselves than was their habit.
Through Malcolm, Molly finds a job at the Opera Bakery whose owner Neill sees something in her and gives her a chance against his family’s strong objections.  Molly works hard and demonstrates her talent as a baker and works her way into a better job and a place in Neill’s heart.  Neill is the father that Molly never had and she begins to slowly but surely respond to him in kind.
At the bakery, Molly gets involved with a very picky customer.  Judge William Brooks likes that Molly doesn’t take any crap from him and he wants to start a relationship with her.  Even though she is reluctant the relationship begins and Malcolm does not approve.
It seems like Molly has only enemies and can’t escape from her past but is it true?  Can she have a loving relationship with Malcolm?  Molly’s challenge is to make it in the real world.

Molly is not a real nice girl.  She is angry and has a giant chip on her shoulder.  She is mean to those who reach out to her and she hates herself to the point of doing herself physical harm.  Somehow though, I fell in love with Molly.  As her story of her years at school were revealed throughout the story, I understood more and more what made her feel as she did.  I just wanted her to triumph.  I really rooted for her from almost the very beginning.
Malcolm was a very dark but interesting man.  He too had ghosts that haunted him from his past.  He worked hard to help Molly and to love her but he had a lot of  hurdles to jump to make that happen.
Neill, the bakery owner, was the nicest man ever.  He had all good intentions and he saw Molly for what she was, a girl who had been battered by life that deserved a chance.
The bakery was a great place for Molly’s growth to take place.
Things never went smoothly for the cast of characters for very long and it made for an interesting and unusual story.  I was hooked and couldn’t wait to find out what was going to happen next. The only thing I didn’t like was that I didn’t hear enough about Molly’s final transformation. 

This book would be rated PG-13 for sure for sexual content and violence.  It is really a book for adults.

You can find Charmaine's book here:Melange Books

Thursday, October 2, 2014

On the Road Again

Kids love to travel even though they always want to know if we're almost there or how much longer!  Here are a few books about different modes of transportation that are loads of fun.

Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy Shaw
5 sheep go on a merry adventure in this learn to read book.

Lars the Car by Irina Arnelle
This 7 year old author has written a book about a car that wants to be special.

Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle

Animal and truck sounds abound in this story.

All in A Jam by Rebecca Bielawski
If the traffic light stops working, what happens?  Find out in this book.

The Fire Engine by Tibor Gergely
A classic Golden Book that shows how the firefighters save the day.

The Good Night Train by June Sobel

We're off to dream land but don't close your eyes, you just might miss something.

So travel off with your favorite little one and until next week, keep on reading!