Monday, November 16, 2015

It's Been a Long, Long Time

I'm sorry to say but ReadAround Sue is retiring.  I am so busy with my business and upheavals in my personal life that I can no longer give this blog the attention it and my contributing authors deserve.  I notice there have been a lot of views lately so I felt I needed to say Good Bye.
To the authors I have reviewed:  You are wonderful and gifted.  Don't give up.  I have been honored to read your work.
To my faithful fans:  Thanks for being there for me and enjoying my blog.

I will miss ReadAround Sue but I'll never stop reading and never stop telling people to try indie books and small publisher books. I'll never stop telling parents to read to their kids.
Thanks again. Peace out.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Taking a Break

Summer is here and my cupcake business is in high gear with farmers' markets, weddings, graduations and birthdays!  If  you are an author that has submitted to me, don't worry I'll be back in September or October depending on another big event in my life.  Our son is getting married!  I'm not sure how much time I can devote to the blog until after the 3rd of October.
Thanks for being loyal followers and I'll see you soon.  RAS

Monday, June 8, 2015

Cry of the Sea by D. G. Driver


Juniper Sawfeather’s parents are environmental acitivists.  Most of the kids in her school just think they are weird so June isn’t a popular girl.  Luckily she has one good friend, Haley, who lives next door.
When disaster strikes the coast and animals are being killed from an oil spill, June and her father spring into action in spite of an argument the night before about college.
June spots a tangle of what she thinks are people covered in oil and it turns out they are mermaids.  In spite of June and her dad’s heroic efforts only one survives the trip to the nearest aquatic research center.
June meets a college age intern and is impressed by Carter’s looks and his interest in sea creatures.  He seems to find her attractive too.
A tangled web of deceit leads to the gripping end of the story.

To be honest, when I found out this was a “mermaid book” I was less than enthusiastic.  I’m happy to report that I changed my mind quickly as the discovery of the mermaids was handled in a most believable way.
June’s family dynamic was interesting and not run of the mill and I liked that. June herself was a determined and intelligent girl.  Even when she thought she lost her best friend and any chance with Carter, she carried on with her mission.
Carter wasn’t just another pretty face who was supportive of his girl.  He had brains and plans and wasn’t afraid to criticize June but he also was understanding of her choices.  I really liked him.
June’s friend, Haley, suffered from the intense desire to be popular and it motivated the things she did and drove her away from June and into the clique of the popular kids.  Haley was smarter than I gave her credit for however and in the end she and June worked things out.
The story of Affron Oil and its oil spill was realistic and brought focus to a problem that perhaps not all of us are aware of.  The descriptions of the scene of the spill was heartbreaking.

I really enjoyed Driver’s book and heartily suggest you give it a try.
You can buy this book here:Amazon

Monday, June 1, 2015

Shattered Rose by Tammy L. Gray


Avery is in college and is trying to put her life back on track and tackle her eating disorder.  She is sure she has everything under control as she heads to a new apartment with new roommates.
Then she meets Jake, her roommate’s cousin and is instantly and tragically madly in love with him.  He woos her and Shattered Rose by Tammy L. Gray
takes her to bed and then drops her for being to needy. Avery is devastated and old habits take control again and she binges and purges.
When she tries to reconcile with Jake, he puts her in her place and while she sits alone, a young man comes up to offer her comfort.
Parker turns out to be the opposite of Jake.  He is sincere and true in his feelings.  He is a devout Christian and helps Avery find her self worth and confidence once again.  Although Avery returns Parker’s feelings, she just can’t shake thoughts of Jake and can’t stop seeing him behind Parker’s back.
I don’t usually read Christian fiction but I found I enjoyed this story because it wasn’t preachy or overtly pious.  The characters seemed real and were relatable.  Avery had a huge issue that she didn’t overcome just with a snap of her fingers.
Her  roommate, Issy, had a lot of problems of a different sort and I was happy to see there are more books in this series and each one focuses on one of the characters in this story.
Jake was a lousy rat as many boys are when they are young and handsome.  He was used to getting his own way and felt entitled.  There is a book about him too so I hope he has an epiphany.

Parker was just a nice and loving boy but he wasn’t going to be used or taken for granted by Avery.  I liked that about him.  He brought Christianity to Avery’s life and she was the better for it.
You can buy the book here:Amazon  It's a free download!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Kate and the Kid by Anne Rothman Hicks and Kenneth Hicks


Kate sees a little girl in the window of her apartment building and it is the first step to a relationship that she never saw coming.  Kate has lost her job, thinks she may lose her boyfriend and worries about going on unemployment.
Her neighbor asks her to watch the little girl, Jenny who the neighbor refers to as Creephead and she reluctantly agrees.
Jenny has difficulty communicating so she does so with her doll Miranda and Kate seems to be able to break through to the child by talking directly to Miranda as if it is no big deal.
Nobody is exactly sure what Jenny has been through.  They only know that her mom left her and is nowhere to be found.  Kate slowly builds a relationship and helps Jenny scale the wall that she has surrounded herself with only to be thrown into a situation that is dangerous and frightening.

I really liked this book.  Kate was in a no win situation and still she opens her heart to Jenny.  She was torn and didn’t always do the exact right thing but in the end, she did.
Jenny was well written as a child who has been through too much and doesn’t trust relationships.  Her use of the doll to communicate was a coping mechanism that children do use.
Speaking of the doll, I think Miranda was my favorite character.  She told it like it was and really helped Jenny through a tough time.
The boyfriend, I was not crazy about.  He was in love with Kate or was he?  Was he a commitmentphobe or on the brink of making a commitment?  Could he open his heart to the new situation or would he just walk away from Kate?  It was hard to figure him out so I had a hard time liking him but in the end he redeemed himself.

This book had an entertaining story and I would recommend that you read it. You can buy it here: Amazon

Monday, May 18, 2015

Mira's Hope: The Sword of Lumina Book 2 by Erin Elliot


When I met these characters in book 1, I liked them all and nothing in this book made me like them any less.   The heroes are on the path to find the Sword of Lumina and when we first meet them, they are on their last legs.  Tark and Elenio have little or no stamina left and Galena is dying as they go along.  The men have to take turns carrying her and keep on the look out for Rau’s minions.  Only the goddess, Mira can help them.
The three friends travel on after Galena is revived and they go to a village where they find a group of Rau’s minions have attacked.  They are determined to help and they become the heroes of the villagers.
Tark stays behind to train elves to become warriors and Galena and Elenio continue on to the West Woods to find the cave and the Sword of Lumina.  Galena knows she will face the challenge of her life but finding the sword is the only way to return their country to its former self.

This book really shows the growth of the author’s talent to weave a story that is complex and interesting.  Galena’s powers grow as the story continues and she does some delightful things and some awesomely strong things.  Elenio continues to be her strength and support.  Tark reluctantly lets the two go off on their own because he feels a strong urge to contribute to the fight against Rau in a more active role.  His role as a trainer gives him renewed purpose.
Rau and his creatures are as disgusting as ever and Rau is coming to the end of his rope and takes a horrible stance that could mean the end of the elves.

This book was exciting and absorbing.  I really liked it even more than the first installment and can’t wait to read the next book!

You can find Mira's Hope here:Fire and Ice Young Adult Books

Thursday, May 14, 2015

KidzKorner: Summer Break

I'm going on Summer Break and after today I won't be doing KidzKorner until after Labor Day.  Before I go though, I wanted to talk about Summer reading.  When I was a kid the library at school was open all summer for a summer reading program.  It was so cool to go to the school when it was closed and look through the library door to the empty halls.  It felt like a privilege, like getting to go backstage.
Anyway, I met some of my best friends in that library.  I found Mrs. Piggle Wiggle and found my love of historical fiction.  I met Betsy, Tacy and Tib.  I remember finding a book whose name I can't remember about an orphan girl who moves in with her aunt and the description of the fried chicken they had for dinner.  I couldn't wait to go to the library each week.
So, go to the library, folks.  Take your kids.  Get lost in the picture books.  Some of the most beautiful artwork in the world is in the pages of picture books.   Don't believe me?  Find the book Hiawatha and check out the illustrations.

Find a book series to read at bedtime.  Harry Potter isn't the only one who has a great series.  Or choose an author and read those.  I have always loved the stories of Edgar Eager as they always have at least half magic.  

You can't go wrong with Beverly Cleary either.  From Henry Huggins to Ramona to The Mouse and the Motorcycle.  Cleary gets kids and kids love to read her stories. 

Let your youngest find the books that appeal to their eye and your older kids find an author they love.  Not only will summer fly by with outdoor fun but the evenings will go by in a flash with the help of good books.  Have a wonderful summer and until I see you again, Keep on reading!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!