Thursday, May 31, 2012

Review: Luca Lashes The Brown Eyed Boy With the Magic Eyelashes by Nicole and Damir Fonovich


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:

Discover the world with Luca Lashes! Read and interact with a children's story in four languages. Please enjoy this multilingual, educational audio eBook series.
This eBook introduces the main character, Luca Lashes, and the accompanying series, following the exploits of "Luca Lashes, the Brown-eyed Boy with the Magic Eyelashes," as he discovers the world around him and experiences his "firsts" in life. The eBook includes parent suggestions and focuses on a relatable character.
This eBook is intended for 0-4 year olds. To promote reading in young children, individual words are highlighted as the story is read.  By combining the original text and artwork with features that entertain and promote reading, this eBook appeals to all readers.

MY TAKE:

I actually read one of the later Luca Lashes before I read this one so I already knew what to expect.

Luca Lashes is a sweet little boy with magical lashes. These lashes help him conquer his fears and be okay with new experiences.

It's a terrific technique to teach your kids, especially those who are timid about new experiences. As this book is an introduction to Luca Lashes, there's not much in the way of plot here. If you're looking for a plot, I suggest heading straight for the other Luca Lashes books. It helps to read this book first, though, so you have a better idea of how Luca's magic lashes work.

Thanks to NetGalley and PRByTheBook for the e-copy.

THE GOOD:

  1. The coloring is pretty.
  2. Luca can help kids overcome their fears.
  3. Little kids can relate to him.

THE BAD:

  1. There's no plot exactly because this is more of an introduction.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:


The lashes grew thick and the lashes and the lashes grew strong,
And of course the lashes grew extra long.


READ IT IF:

  1. You have a young child.
  2. Your child is timid.
  3. You like original concepts.

RATING:
Photobucket


SOUNDS INTERESTING?



Photobucket

Note: This post contains Amazon and Book Depository affiliate links.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Cobbogoth by Hannah L Clark






For this blog tour, we have an interview with Hannah Clark, the author of Cobbogoth.
What was the hardest thing about writing this book?
The hardest thing about writing Cobbogoth was probably the fact that it was my first novel.  A lot of the time I spent on it was simply spent on learning how to write a book in the first place.  I’m not sure if it was Orson Scott Card, or Brandon Sanderson that said if you want to be a good writer, write 6 novels, put them on the shelf, and then you’ll know enough to write a novel you can sell.  With Cobbogoth, I definitely wrote more than six completely different versions, before I found the one that felt right.
Which of your characters can you relate to the most?
I think I relate to Norah, my main character, the most.  She’s really the only girl character, for one, and she also struggles with some major fears, which is something I’ve dealt with all of my life.  Writing her character really helped me face my own anxieties, and every time I re-read Cobbogoth, it gives me the perspective and courage to continue facing and conquering them.
Which part of the book was the easiest to write?
Well, to be honest, there wasn’t really an easy part.  I have dyslexia, so the entire thing was a major struggle.  But, what I enjoyed the most was building the world of Cobbogoth and, of course, writing the love story. :)
Which songs would be on the soundtrack of the movie version of the book?
Hmmmmm…that’s a tough one.  I’ve always imagined Starlight by Muse being the song played during the final scene of my book.  Gravity by Sara Bareilles would be the soundtrack at the beginning when the love interest is introduced.  The Ruler and the Killer by Kid Cudi would be the theme for my villains.  And then, of course, since Norah Lukens, my MC was named after my favorite singer Norah Jones, I’d have to figure out a way to sneak something by her in the soundtrack.  :) 
Any future books in the works?
Yep.  Cobbogoth is the first book in a seven book series.  I’m currently working on book 2.



ABOUT HANNAH CLARK:



Hannah L. Clark was raised in the very small town of Oak City, UT with seven sisters and one brother. She spent most of her childhood daydreaming, writing stories, building forts, chasing after boys, and working really hard to earn money. (With six older sisters, her parents were really poor by the time she came along.)

In spite of great learning difficulty brought on by dyslexia, Hannah graduated from high school with honors and was awarded a scholarship in English to Utah Valley University. In 2006 she graduated from UVU with her Bachelor’s degree in English Literature and immediately began two of her most exciting adventures yet: Motherhood and writing her first novel.

Five and a half years later, Hannah completed Cobbogoth, a Young Adult Fantasy-Adventure novel, and book one in a seven book series.  

She currently lives in Pleasant Grove, Utah with her husband Michael, and their son. Hannah actively seeks to inspire kids and adults by speaking about her experiences of becoming an author in spite of dyslexia.

Hannah still daydreams, writes stories, builds forts, chases after her boys, and works really hard to earn money.

Favorite Quote: "Whatever you think you can or can't do, you're right." -Henry Ford
Author Links:
Website: www.hannahlclark.com 
Blog: www.hannieclark.blogspot.com 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/hannieclark

ABOUT THE BOOK:


To seventeen-year-old Norah Lukens, the Cobbogothians were just a myth. But after her archeologist uncle's brutal murder, and being asked to translate one of his old research journals for evidence, she begins a journey to discover the truth for herself.

Chasing the myth her uncle was obsessed with, Norah learns that his murder was a cover up for something far more sinister. If she hopes to save others from suffering the same fate he did--including the peculiarly magnetic James Riley--she must head to Iceland in order to find out the truth once and for all. If she succeeds, she'll gain the one thing she's always longed for. But if she fails, not even the gods can help her.

Book site: www.cobbogoth.com
Cobbogoth Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cobbogoth/201603626565950
Cobbogoth Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IY95wH2YrL8
EXCERPT:

1
Memory Lapse


Standing before me was a woman with tangled hip-length hair—hair the color of blood. Her eyes shone like amethysts. She reminded me of a painting Uncle Jack made for me as a child—the Opalian Eye from the Cobbogothian legends, their prophetess. As her eyes shone down upon me, I remembered her name—Totherma. She watched me carefully. Then, lifting her arm, she pointed to my right. I looked and saw a woman covering her face and crying.
Turning back to Totherma, I watched her enter through a doorway, walk down a corridor, and stop in front of another doorway. I went to follow, but something made me look down. My hands were covered in blood, and the floor sparkled with shards of glass. I smelled something pungent and musty, something burning.
Looking up, I saw the woman pointing into the doorway where she stood. I hurried to meet her when my path was suddenly blocked by people. They wore white.
Angels? I wondered.
They huddled around something, and I knew that whatever it was had caused that salty, burning smell.
I struggled to get by them, trying to see what she wanted me to see. I stood as tall as I could reach, but it wasn’t enough. I looked for Totherma until our eyes met. Understanding, she lifted her arm, and with the motion of her hand, I rose up off the ground. I could see over the group of people into the center of the circle . . .
What I saw made me scream.

“Honey! Honey are you alright?” I was being shaken awake. Panting and sweating I turned toward the dim light, blinking my eyes several times.
In and out, Nor. In and out. I tried to shake the last image from my mind.
As my eyes focused, a pretty woman with blue-black hair and honey-colored eyes began to materialize.
Completely disoriented, I became aware that I was not on solid ground. “Who . . . where . . . where am I?” I blurted out, as I pushed my back against what appeared to be a leather seat.
“You’re on a bus heading toward Boston. Ring a bell?” she smiled.
“Uh, no actually.”
“Give yourself a minute to wake up. Looks like you’ve been through some kind of an adventure recently,” she soothed as she brushed wet hair back from my face.
I stiffened under her touch.
With an understanding look, she dropped her hand. “I’m sorry, it’s just . . .” she reached up and touched my hair again. This time, however, she came back with a handful of debris. “You’ve got something in your hair.”
          I patted my head as well. Rather than sleek, smooth hair pulled into a tight braid, like I was used to, everything felt frizzy and matted. “What the—?”
“Let’s see, I’m sure I’ve got a mirror in here somewhere.” The woman dug around in a deep purse, then handed me a palm-sized compact.
As I took it, something caught my eye; a charm attached to a thin leather bracelet dangled from my wrist. I held it up in front of me and fingered the charm. It was a small, circular stone, white and speckled black—merlinite. “Where did this come from?” I mumbled.
“I’m afraid I can’t help you with that one. Hairbrush?” the woman offered.
“Yeah, thanks,” I took the brush. “It’s just, I recognize this stone from my geology final this morning, but I have literally no idea where it came from.”
“I’m sure it will come to you. Don’t worry,” she tried to look reassuring.
Finally, I opened the compact to check out my hair.
“What—what happened to me?” My hair was a ratted cloud, strewn with dead leaves and twigs. There was dirt smudged across my left cheek and my eyes were smeared with mascara, revealing several of the long, white-blonde lashes I worked so hard to hide.
“Like I said, you look like you’ve had an adventure recently.” The woman peeked into the mirror beside me. 
“Uh . . . no, I look like I spent the night in the woods!”
“Mmmm . . . true. Let me help you. What’s your name?”
“Norah Lukens,” I said, frantically dragging my fingers through my hair and loosening the rest of my braid. “There is no way I’m letting James see me like this.” 
“Calm down, honey. Look, I’ve got everything you need right here.” Again, the woman was rummaging through her purse.
I balanced the compact mirror on my knees and began working on my hair again. I’d just gotten most of the knots out, when I scooped it back into a messy ponytail and caught sight of a long, thin cut just above my collar bone. Strands of my hair were stained burgundy and caked to my neck where the blood had dried.
“Oh my gosh!” Leaning into the mirror, I scoured my brain for how this could’ve happened. For some reason, I was drawing a complete blank on anything after talking with Professor Anderton at my geology final.
A complete blank. That was a first.
“Here we go. Face toilettes and make up—oh dear! What happened to your neck!” the woman cried.
“I—I honestly don’t know.”
“Belmont, Belmont Center Station next.” The bus driver’s voice sliced through our conversation, as we pulled up the street toward my home town.
“Oh no,” I groaned, “this is my stop.” As the familiar buildings passed, my heart jumped into my throat. I glanced out the window looking for any sign of James.
“It’s alright, don’t worry.” The woman patted my arm. “Hold still, and I’ll have you looking glamorous in no time.”
I gave her a doubtful look, but realizing she was my best chance, I collapsed into the seat back. “I doubt the word ‘glamorous’ will ever be used to describe me. I’ve been called ‘ghost girl’ and ‘powder-face,' but never glamorous. Though I do appreciate your help, just the same.”
“What? I think you’re a beautiful girl!” She finished smoothing my hair. “Seriously, women the world over would kill for your porcelain skin, your natural platinum hair, and those eyes! I don’t think I’ve ever seen that color of green before. It’s like peridot, or kiwis.”
I couldn’t help but smile. “Gee . . . thanks.”
“Whoever this James guy is, he must be pretty important, huh?” 

SOUNDS INTERESTING?

Note: This post contains Amazon and Book Depository affiliate links.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

At last count, there were more diets on the market that there are dollars in the federal deficit.
Photobucket

Note: This post contains Amazon and Book Depository affiliate links.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Review: Edible Party Bouquets by Fox Chapel Publishing


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:
Make a lasting impression with a stunning fruit, appetizer or dessert bouquet. Perfect for gift‑giving or any celebration, these 40 homemade, edible centerpieces are easy‑to‑make, inexpensive, and beautiful. Just follow the step‑by‑step instructions to learn how to easily assemble fruit, appetizers or treats into impressive arrangements that will make your next special occasion memorable.
MY TAKE:

I'm no Martha Stewart, but I'm all for making pretty arrangements, especially if they are edible.

Edible Party Bouquets contains easy step-by-step guides to create some really cool sweet and savory party bouquets.

A lot of the sweet bouquets were made of fruit, so I pretty much skipped that, although I did like the Truffle Tower bouquet. I might try that out. The savory bouquets were what really grabbed my attention. The Taco Blooms and the Oriental Garden Bundles look really yummy and easy to make. Those two things are the first on my to-do list.

Thanks to NetGalley and Fox Chapel Publishing for the e-ARC. Publication date of Edible Party Bouquets is on June 1, 2012.

THE GOOD:
  1. There are pictures for every step, so you won't get lost.
  2. The instructions are easy to understand.
  3. The bouquets all look yummy.
THE BAD:
  1. You might have to buy special equipment before you can start.
FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
It is important to keep most fruits and vegetables cool while preparing and arranging your bouquet.
READ IT IF:
  1. You are interested in making tasty centerpieces.
  2. You want to try something creative.
  3. You enjoy baking.
RATING:
Photobucket

SOUNDS INTERESTING?


Photobucket

Note: This post contains Amazon and Book Depository affiliate links.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

In My Mailbox




In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

FROM NETGALLEY:



Saving June by Hannah Harrington
Luca Lashes The Brown Eyed Boy With the Magic Eyelashes by Nicole and Damir Fonovich
Till We Eat Again by Judy Gruen


Photobucket

Note: This post contains Amazon and Book Depository affiliate links.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Review: Gems from Warren Buffett by Mark Gavagan


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:

Warren Buffett OKs Book of His Gems: 20% of Sales to Charity
Mendham, NJ -  Warren Buffett has granted permission to publish "Gems from Warren Buffett - Wit and Wisdom from 34 Years of Letters to Shareholders," a book based on 34 years of his iconic letters to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, provided 20% of sales are donated to charity.
Author/entrepreneur Mark Gavagan wrote the entire book on spec - meaning he completed the book while having no idea whether or not he would be granted permission to use excerpts from Mr. Buffett's letters, which are protected by copyright.

The project was enormously time-consuming and could have resulted in an unpublishable book had Mr. Buffett denied his permission. But according to Gavagan, it was a risk-free gamble: "The worst case scenario would have been countless hours spent consuming some of the most entertaining and educational business writing ever produced."
Gavagan continues "I think part of what won Mr. Buffett over was that the book captures the essence of his letters in an entertaining and digestible format. It's not another in-depth biography or investment tutorial. It's a quick, fun read that conveys many of Mr. Buffett's wittiest and most insightful thoughts."
Mr. Buffett granted permission for the book on the conditions that: (1) 20% of sales (not just profits) be donated to the Glide.org charity, which Mr. Buffett has personally supported in the past; and (2) the book's cover clarifies that Mr. Buffett did not write the book and that it is based on Mr. Buffett's copyrighted letters.
Sales and charity donation figures will be updated regularly on the book's website.
For more information about "Gems from Warren Buffett," please contact Mark Gavagan of Cole House Productions at 201-320-3208 or visit http://www.gemsfrombuffett.com.

MY TAKE:

I don't know much about Mr. Buffett, but I have heard that he is quite witty.

Gems from Warren Buffett is a collection of quotes by Mr. Buffett. They range from the more serious business-related quotes to funny and witty quotes that apply to everyday life.

This book had me laughing every page or so. Mr. Buffett is clearly a man with a great, sarcastic sense of humor, which appeals to me immensely. Beyond entertainment value, though, this book has plenty of sensible business advice that will be useful even to those who aren't entrepreneurs at heart.

Thanks to NetGalley and Cole House LL for the e-ARC. Publication date of Gems from Warren Buffett is on June 1 , 2012.

THE GOOD:

  1. It's insightful.
  2. It's funny.
  3. You'll get a glimpse into the thoughts of one of America's most fascinating people.

THE BAD:

  1. It's less than a hundred pages long.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
Unlike many business buyers, Berkshire has no "exit strategy." We buy to keep. We do, though, have an entrance strategy, looking for businesses in this country or abroad that meet our six criteria and are available at a price that will produce a reasonable return. If you have a business that fits, give me a call. Like a hopeful teenage girl, I'll be waiting by the phone.
READ IT IF:

  1. You like Warren Buffett.
  2. You like quotable quotes.
  3. You are an entrepreneur.

RATING:
Photobucket


SOUNDS INTERESTING?

Click here.


Photobucket

Note: This post contains Amazon and Book Depository affiliate links.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Review: Robert Ludlum's (TM) The Bourne Imperative by Eric Van Lustbader


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:

The man Jason Bourne fishes out of the frozen lake is near death, bleeding profusely from a gunshot wound and drowning.  He awakens as an amnesiac, with no memory of who he is or why he was shot--and Bourne is eerily reminded of his own past.
Meanwhile, Mossad agent Rebekah is so determined to find this man that she's gone off the grid, cut her ties to her agency, and risks a summary execution if caught by her former colleagues.
Back in the U.S., Treadstone operatives Peter Marks and Soraya Moore are recovering from their last mission, during which Peter Marks was critically injured by a car bomb and Soraya Moore was almost killed in an ambush.  Cleared for duty and back at the office, they discover a new man assigned to their team: Dick Richards.  Can they trust Dick, or has he been sent to spy on them?
Everything turns on the amnesiac.  Will Bourne learn his identity and purpose before an international incident causes deadly consequences?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
ROBERT LUDLUM was the author of twenty-one novels, each one a New York Times bestseller. There are more than 210 million of his books in print, and they have been translated into thirty-two languages. He is the author of The Scarlatti Inheritance, The Chancellor Manuscript, and the Jason Bourne series--The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, and The Bourne Ultimatum--among others. Mr. Ludlum passed away in March, 2001.  www.Robert-Ludlum.com
ERIC VAN LUSTBADER is most widely known as the New York Times bestselling author of twenty international bestselling thrillers including  Ninja and Black Heart. He is also the author of two successful and highly regarded series of fantasy novels, The Sunset Warrior Cycle and The Pearl Saga. His novels have been translated into over twenty languages.  www.ericvanlustbader.com

MY TAKE:

I didn't really get into the Bourne movies, but I do enjoy action-thriller novels. As such, I didn't hesitate to request this book.

In The Bourne Imperative, Jason Bourne comes across an amnesiac man who may be the most important piece in a puzzle that involves Treadstone, the Mossad and several surprise players.

This novel was a well-crafted piece, even though the thing that everyone was fighting over wasn't exactly something that interested me. There are plenty of plot twists in this book, some surprising, some expected.

There were a lot of characters that were brought into the story, which got confusing for me. However, even though it was hard to keep track of how they were connected to each other, they were fleshed out in such a way that it was easy to care about them.

Thanks to NetGalley and Grand Central Publishing for the e-ARC. Publication date of Robert Ludlum's (TM) The Bourne Imperative is on June 5, 2012.

THE GOOD:

  1. It's action-packed.
  2. You care for the characters.
  3. It reads like a Bourne movie.

THE BAD:

  1. The number of characters can make it hard to remember how everything relates to each other.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:

"You've led such a fascinating life."
He shrugged. "More than some, I suppose. Less than others."

READ IT IF:

  1. You liked the Bourne movies.
  2. You like action thrillers.
  3. You like fast-paced books.

RATING:
Photobucket


SOUNDS INTERESTING?








Photobucket

Note: This post contains Amazon and Book Depository affiliate links.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Review: Scars by Cheryl Rainfield



SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:

Kendra must face her past and stop hurting herself—before it's too late....
An edgy, realistic, and hopeful novel about a teen survivor of sexual abuse who uses self-harm to cope.
Kendra, fifteen, hasn't felt safe since she began to recall devastating memories of childhood sexual abuse, especially because she still can't remember the most important detail – her abuser's identity. Frightened, Kendra believes someone is always watching and following her, leaving menacing messages only she understands. If she lets her guard down even for a minute, it could cost Kendra her life. To relieve the pressure, Kendra cuts; aside from her brilliantly expressive artwork, it's her only way of coping. Since her own mother is too self-absorbed to hear her cries for help, Kendra finds support in others instead: from her therapist and her art teacher, from Sandy, the close family friend who encourages her artwork, and from Meghan, the classmate who's becoming a friend and maybe more. But the truth about Kendra's abuse is just waiting to explode, with startling unforeseen consequences. SCARS is the unforgettable story of one girl's frightening path to the truth.
Many teens secretly self-harm; it is often a painful, hidden issue. Cheryl Rainfield has drawn on her personal experience of self-harm, sexual abuse, and trauma/dissociation, to offer an insider perspective in SCARS.
She shows Kendra cutting for many of the same reasons that she has — to relieve unbearable emotional pain; to escape or suppress abuse memories and related overwhelming emotion; to not kill herself; to shut herself up; to try to feel better; to silently cry out for help; and to punish herself. Although cutting hurt Cheryl, it also helped her survive.



MY TAKE:

I like YA books that talk about things other than boys and school. Teenagers go through more than that and it's always refreshing to read books that have a message that helps others.

Scars is about Kendra, a rape survivor who is undergoing therapy. She doesn't know who raped her and she's trying not to remember because this person is threatening her.

The book was slow-going at first, as the story was set-up. The pace sped up in the second half, though.

Kendra annoyed me every now and then, but when she's in her happy place, she's a quite pleasant narrator.
The romance is told well also. It's a lot more believable than all the insta-love stuff that you see in some of the more popular YA novels.

Overall, this book is a bit disturbing but you can tell that it comes from a real place so if you're looking for a book that will make you think, this one's for you.

Thanks to NetGalley and WestSide Books for the e-copy.

THE GOOD:

  1. It's a realistic look at cutting and abuse.
  2. The romance is believable and not cheesy.
  3. It makes you think.

THE BAD:

  1. Some people may find it disturbing at times.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
But I know if I show her my paintings, she'll critique the joy right out of them, the way she did with my oils.
READ IT IF:

  1. You have been abused.
  2. You cut.
  3. You are looking for a book that's not your typical YA.

RATING:
 Photobucket


SOUNDS INTERESTING?



Photobucket

Note: This post contains Amazon and Book Depository affiliate links.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Dancing Naked in Dixie by Lauren Clark





EXCERPT:

I’m a travel writer at Getaways magazine. Paid for the glorious task of gathering up fascinating snippets of culture and piecing them into quirky little stories. Jet-setting to the Riviera, exploring the Great Barrier Reef, basking on Bermuda beaches. It’s as glamorous and exhilarating as I imagined.
Okay, it is a tad lonely, from time to time.
And quite exhausting.
Which is precisely why I have to get organized.
Today.
I sink into my chair and try to concentrate. What to tackle first? Think, think.  
“Julia Sullivan!”
Third reminder. Uh-oh.
Marietta rolls her eyes and jerks a thumb toward the inevitable. “Guess you better walk the plank,” she teases. “New guy’s waiting. Haven’t met him yet, but I’ve heard he’s the ‘take no prisoners’ sort. Hope you come back alive.”
I grope for something witty and casual to say, but all of a sudden, my head feels light and hollow.
I’ve been dying to find out about the new editor.
Every last gory detail.
Until now.
“I’m still in another time zone,” I offer up to Marietta with a weak smile. My insides toss from side to side as I slide out of my chair.
Marietta tosses me a wry look. “Nice try. Get going already, sport.”
I tilt my head toward the hallway and pretend to pout. When I look back, Marietta’s already disappeared. Smart girl.
“Fine, fine.” I tug a piece of rebellious auburn hair into place, smooth my wool suit, and begin to march toward the inevitable.
Our new editor.
My neck prickles.
I’m not going to worry. Not much anyway.
My pulse thuds.
Not going to worry about change. Or re-organization. Or pink slips.
Focus, Julia.

ABOUT THE BOOK:


Travel writer Julia Sullivan lives life in fast-forward. She jet sets to Europe and the Caribbean with barely a moment to blink or sleep. 


But too many mishaps and missed deadlines have Julia on the verge of being fired. With a stern warning, and unemployment looming, she's offered one last chance to rescue her career. 


Julia embarks on an unlikely journey to the ‘Heart of Dixie’—Eufaula, Alabama—home to magnificent mansions, sweet tea, and the annual Pilgrimage. 


 Julia arrives, soon charmed by the lovely city and her handsome host, but her stay is marred by a shocking discovery. 


Can Julia's story save her career, Eufaula, and the annual Pilgrimage?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Lauren Clark writes contemporary novels set in the Deep South; stories sprinkled with sunshine, suspense, and secrets.
A former TV news anchor, Lauren adores flavored coffee, local book stores, and anywhere she can stick her toes in the sand.
Her big loves are her family, paying it forward, and true-blue friends.
Check out her website at
www.laurenclarkbooks.com
GIVEAWAY:


Photobucket

Note: This post contains Amazon and Book Depository affiliate links.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Blog Tour Review and Giveaway: The Golden Flute: The Adventures of Lilli and Zane by Catherine Lanigan




SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:

Teen treasure hunters Lilli and Zane have grown up in a world of ancient artifacts, coded messages, and long-buried mysteries. But there’s no telling what they’ll unearth when they face off against the infamous Zorav and his even-more-menacing advisor.
With the fate of the world in their hands, Lilli and Zane will have to stay one step ahead of danger, find the treasured artifacts, and keep them far away from their enemies or face death—and maybe even worse.
Masterfully written by bestselling author Catherine Lanigan, this thrilling action story keeps you guessing through every twist and turn. Cross continents and connect the clues along with Lilli and Zane as you’re pulled into a world of mystery and suspense. A must-read for adventurers of all ages!

MY TAKE:

I like adventure YA books and this one was no exception.

In The Golden Flute, Lilli, Zane and Teddy explore the significance of a golden flute that doesn't even seem to be working but which so many people seem to be looking for.

The novel relies a lot on plots and facts that are scientific but bordering on paranormal. Since I was fascinated by these topics, I read up a lot on these in high school. That's probably why I wasn't completely bowled over by the plot twists. I think if you're only vaguely familiar with the concepts and twists, then they would pack more punch.

The book doesn't hold back when it comes to action sequences. This would make a great movie. My only complaint would be the romance parts of the story. I felt like it was sort of mushy and a little bit unnecessary.

Thanks to NetGalley and Cedar Fort for the e-ARC. Publication date of The Golden Flute is on June 12, 2012.

THE GOOD:

  1. It's something new.
  2. It's action-packed.
  3. It's a promising new series.

THE BAD:

  1. There are some parts that feel unnecessary.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
That was her goal, and it was already a passion.
READ IT IF:

  1. You like action-adventure books.
  2. You like science fiction books.
  3. You like interesting characters.

RATING:
Photobucket

SOUNDS INTERESTING?



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Catherine Lanigan is the bestselling author of over thirty published titles, including the novelizations of Romancing the Stone and The Jewel of the Nile, as well as over a half dozen anthologies, including Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living your Dream, Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul, Chocolatefor a Woman’s Heart, and Chocolate for a Woman’s Spirit.
Ms. Lanigan’s novels are sold globally and have been translated into over a dozen languages. Several of her titles have been chosen for The Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Clubs. Her novel The Christmas Star won the Gold Medal Award Top Pick from Romantic Times Magazine and has also won the Book of the Year Romance Gold Award from ForeWord Magazine as well as Book of the Year Romance from “Reader’s Preference.”
Ms. Lanigan is a frequent speaker at literary functions and book conventions and conducts hands-on writing workshops and seminars. As a cancer survivor, she is invited to speak on raising awareness for early detection and inspires audiences with her real stories of angelic intervention from her Angel Watch series. She has been on numerous radio programs including “Coast to Coast” and on television interview and talk show programs such as “Montel.”
GIVEAWAY:
Photobucket

Note: This post contains Amazon and Book Depository affiliate links.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Review: JumpStart Comic/Activity Book by Neo Edmund


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:

From the award-winning educational software and kid-favorite gaming website Jumpstart.com, arrives the first-ever Graphic Novel from JumpStart and Knowledge Adventure! Come visit Windy Hallows and follow our group of adventurers: Logan, Maggie, Nicolas, Selena, and Poe as they arrive at Oakcrest School of Magic.
There they discover that their teacher is absent, with a note that says, "Will be back soon. Read your lesson books and DO NOT TOUCH ANYTHING!"
Follow them as they venture into Windy Hallows and embark on a series of quests to undo a potion that went terribly wrong!

MY TAKE:

I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked up this book because the cover photo doesn't show much. All I knew from the blurb was that it was about magic students.

This JumpStart Comic/Activity Book is actually entitled Windy Hallows. It's about Logan, Maggie, Nicolas, Selena and Poe. These kids were chosen to become magic students at Oakcrest School of Magic.

I'm so glad I requested this book. The art is gorgeous. It's manga-style and the coloring is at par with the top graphic novels you see in the market.

Yes, the plot does bring to mind Harry Potter, but this book is not a rip-off at all. For one thing, there are only 5 of them in the class and they're of different ages. Plus, their spells and potions are sillier and cuter.

The story is predictable but a lot of fun so you don't really care that you can already guess where the story is going.

Thanks to NetGalley and Silver Dragon Books for the e-copy.

THE GOOD:

  1. The characters are funny and endearing.
  2. It's well-written.
  3. There's a sticker activity part.

THE BAD:

  1. It's too short.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
Wow, chocolate vegetables. Now this is magic!
READ IT IF:

  1. You like Harry Potter.
  2. You like manga.
  3. You like cute, funny stories.
RATING:Photobucket


SOUNDS INTERESTING?



Photobucket

Note: This post contains Amazon and Book Depository affiliate links.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Review: The Paris Directive by Gerald Jay


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:
For the travel-hungry reader whose wish list says "France," but whose wallet says "stay-cation," this tantalizing and skillfully written thriller is just the ticket.

In a Berlin hotel room in the late 1990s, two former French intelligence agents hire Klaus Reiner, a ruthlessly effective hit man, to eliminate an American industrialist vacationing in the Dordogne, in southwestern France. Reiner easily locates his target in the small village of Taziac, but the hit is compromised when three innocent people are in the wrong place at the wrong time. Enter Inspector Paul Mazarelle, formerly of Paris but now living in Taziac, charged with bringing his experience and record of success in the capital to bear on the gruesome quadruple homicide at the height of tourist season.

Both Mazarelle's investigation and Reiner's assignment become complicated when Molly, a New York City district attorney and daughter of two of the victims, arrives to identify the bodies and begins asking questions. All evidence points to Ali Sedak, a local Arab handyman, but Mazarelle and Molly have doubts, forcing Reiner to return to Taziac to ensure they see things as he arranged them.

Gerald Jay delivers a perfect vacation read that's also like going on vacation: delicious food and wine, lush countryside, and characters with panache to spare. And the wonderful cat-and-mouse game between the suave, ice-cold killer and the earthy, engaging French detective is the icing on the "g√Ęteau."
MY TAKE:

I've always wanted to visit Paris so this novel's blurb piqued my interest.

The Paris Directive focuses on Mazarelle, an inspector, and Reiner, a hired assassin. The story is set mostly in Paris, but occasionally the location shifts to Spain and other choice places.

Mazarelle is no Poirot or Closseau, but the way he is portrayed is very realistic. He doesn't figure things out of the blue, but he reaches conclusions logically. As for the other characters, I didn't really warm up to them. Maybe that's why even though the plot was interesting and well-constructed, I didn't really get into it.

Thanks to NetGalley and Doubleday for the e-ARC. Publication date for The Paris Directive is on June 19, 2012.

THE GOOD:
  1. Vivid descriptions of interesting places in Paris.
  2. Interesting protagonist.
  3. Well-constructed plot.
THE BAD:
  1. Depending on how you like your thriller novels, you might not be too excited about this.
FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
One of those stores full of interesting jars and tins of Earl Grey tea from London, biscottinos form Milan, and wonderful French mustards, jams, jellies, nuts, and pates wrapped in yellow cellophane and ribbons.
READ IT IF:
  1. You like mystery, thriller novels.
  2. You like Paris.
  3. You are an armchair traveler.
RATING:
Photobucket

SOUNDS INTERESTING?


Photobucket

Note: This post contains Amazon and Book Depository affiliate links.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

In My Mailbox



In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

FROM NETGALLEY:





The Little Prince #1 THE PLANET OF WIND by Delphine Dubos
Little White Duck by Na Liu and Andres Vera Martinez
The Harder They Fall by Trish Jensen
The Ultimate Survival Manual by Rich Johnson
JumpStart Comic/Activity Book by Neo Edmund



Photobucket

Note: This post contains Amazon and Book Depository affiliate links.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Review: All The Things You'll Do! by Kevin Glavin


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:

Two parents sing to their first child, imagining all the amazing things he will do. Inspired, they all race out the door to get started! A fun, positive book with joyous illustrations. For ages 1 and up.
Following the story, additional space is provided for children to plan their own dreams and keep track of their accomplishments. A true keepsake.

MY TAKE:

I like children's books that offer a little something new so I really appreciated this book.

All The Things You'll Do! is told from a parent's point-of-view as he/she tells his/her child about all the experiences that they can look forward to.

My favorite thing about this book is actually the activity space at the last half of the book. It's the perfect way for kids to keep track of their growth, kinda like a diary. It may seem like a chore to fill up something like this, but it's a nice thing to look back on when the kids are older.

Thanks to NetGalley and Kevin Glavin Publishing for the e-ARC. Publication date of All The Things You'll Do! is on June 5, 2012.

THE GOOD:

  1. The coloring is nice.
  2. The story is enjoyable even though infants and might not understand it all.
  3. The activities.

THE BAD:

  1. The illustration style may not be for everyone.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
It was the first time -- you gripped our hands and you made them warm.
READ IT IF:

  1. You're looking for a book that you can read to your kid until he/she is 10.
  2. You are looking for an activity/children's book.
  3. You like "sweet" books.

RATING:
Photobucket

Photobucket

Note: This post contains Amazon and Book Depository affiliate links.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Review: 50 Climate Questions by Peter Christie


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:

Who knew that climate has been a leading actor in the drama of human history?
Climate is a hot topic. Turns out, it's been a major mover and shaker since time began. Climate has made it possible for new species to evolve, yet has wiped out others. We might not think about it this way, but it has a hand in determining where we live, what we do, and how well we survive.
The fourth book in Annick's highly engaging 50 Questions series gives readers the answers to earth-shattering questions such as "How big was the wallop that KO'd T. rex?" (Huge! Scientists believe a Manhattan-sized asteroid killed off dinosaurs by creating thick dust that cooled the earth's climate.) Or "Would you call this a BIG help?" (Giant poop from sperm whales is helping to reduce greenhouse gases-go, whales, go!)
You'll be surprised to read about the dangers of belching cows, or about the hailstorm that started a revolution. Discover the topsy-turvy world of climate in these electrifying pages, while enjoying the madcap illustrations along the way.
Peter Christie is a science writer and editor whose work has appeared in many newspapers and magazines. This is his fifth book for young readers.
Ross Kinnaird is an illustrator who has worked in London, Sydney, and Hong Kong. He lives in Auckland, New Zealand.

MY TAKE:
I enjoy reading children's books that help educate kids without talking down to them.

50 Climate Questions accomplishes this by answering 50 questions related to climate and its effects in a manner that is humorous and not overly technical.

As with the other books in this series, I appreciated the research that went into creating the book. The illustrations and bright colors of the book made this particularly appealing, much like the Time Almanac for Kids is, although this one is made entirely of cartoons.

Thanks to NetGalley and Annick Press for the e-copy.

THE GOOD:

  1. It touches on global warming and what we can do to stop it.
  2. There are activities and jokes.
  3. The illustrations are nice to look at.

THE BAD:

  1. Some parts may be boring for kids, depending on why they picked up this book.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
Pikas are furry animals with bunny faces and oversized mouse ears.
READ IT IF:

  1. You like educational books.
  2. You are interested in the climate and global warning.
  3. You like learning new things.

RATING:
Photobucket


SOUNDS INTERESTING?



Photobucket

Note: This post contains Amazon and Book Depository affiliate links.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Review: Mother's Mother's Day by Lorna Balian


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:
It's Mother's Day - a time for visits and gifts. A charming family of mice are planning to see their mothers. Hazel and her mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and great-great-grandmother all go to see their mothers on this special day. But where did Great-great-great-grandmother go?
MY TAKE:

I'm a big fan of children's books that are well-illustrated. Mother's Mother's Day definitely fits the bill. The cute illustrations could belong in a card. They definitely drive the story and give it a classic feel.

The book is about how Hazel and her family spends Mother's Day. This book made me laugh. I wasn't sure where this book was going at first. I was thinking perhaps it would go the melodramatic route, but I was pleased to see that the author went in a different direction.

Thanks to NetGalley and Star Bright Books for the e-copy.

THE GOOD:
  1. The illustrations are beautiful.
  2. The story is funny and cute.
  3. The ending was a little bit unexpected, in a good way.

THE BAD:
  1. It's a little bit unlikely for mice to have such long lifespans. :P

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
Because it was such a very. very special day, she was taking her some kernels of popcorn.
READ IT IF:
  1. You like fun children's books.
  2. You are looking for a Mother's Day read for your child.
  3. You like mice.

RATING:
 Photobucket


SOUNDS INTERESTING?



Photobucket

Note: This post contains Amazon and Book Depository affiliate links.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

No matter how great the talent or effort, some things just take time: you can't produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant.
Photobucket

Note: This post contains Amazon and Book Depository affiliate links.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...