Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Jade Notebook by Laura Resau

Zeeta has the flightiest mother around.  She's a nomad, wandering from country to country and place to place looking for happiness and finding it.  Then looking all over again...

Delacourte Books for Young Readers shared an ebook of this story with me.  This is the third and last book in the Notebook series and I found it the most interesting of the series.  Zeeta has grown older and the story has more substance to it now.  It will be published on Valentine's Day, so you might want to add it to your wish list now.

Zeeta wants to stay permanently where she is now.  They are in a small ocean front town in Mexico, where the leatherneck turtles bury their eggs on the beach.  It's her mysterious father's hometown and she keeps hoping she might find him.

Her boyfriend, Wendell, is visiting and plans to go to college later, when Zeeta can come along, too.  Layla is still an airhead with quotes from Rumi, but she's found her element here, too.  She manages the cabins and has yoga on the beach in the mornings.  They do meals, have sing alongs, and meet all sorts of interesting transient people.  Zeeta is hoping her mother will let other folks do the travelling and she will stay in one place, but who knows?

The author has several twists and turns in this story that were surprising and added a good touch to her storytelling.  It's a good mystery, a lively adventure, and the words flow well.  I enjoyed this story and this series.  If you have a young one who has read the other stories, I know they will want to read this conclusion to the series.  It's too good to pass up.

Happy reading.

World Book Night April 23, 2012


Have you heard?  There's a really cool event scheduled for April 23rd.  Not only with it be a large group reading the same books, it is meant to encourage those who don't read much and introduce the magic of books to those who haven't really enjoyed reading.  This an opportunity to get a new book for free.  Do you know someone who needs encouragement to read?  Here's a perfect opportunity to match them up with books!

The event will take place on April 23, 2012 across the U.S., UK and Ireland. During World Book Night, 50,000 people, named as “book givers,” will each be giving away 20 books from a select list with a goal to have 1,000,000 people across the United States alone celebrating reading en masse. 

There will be adult books and young adult titles given away. People can sign up at http://www.us.worldbooknight.org/about-world-book-night/register-as-a-2012-giver by February 6th to apply to be a “book giver.”

You can see the complete list of titles that includes books from authors like Jodi Picoult, Michael Connelly, Stephen King, Barbara Kingsolver and Junot Diaz, among others at: http://www.us.worldbooknight.org/wbn2012-the-books.

The list looks like it has something for everyone.  Help someone new learn about the magic of books!
Happy reading.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Duck for a Day by Meg McKinlay

Abby wants a pet.  Abby really, really wants a pet.  Her parents say no because it would be messy, someone would have to take care of it, and it was just too much work.

Candlewick Press and Net Galley shared a copy of this ebook with me for review.  The book will be published at the end of February, so add it to your TBR list.

Confidentially, I'll have to say that Abby's parents were a bit "uptight".  She's a little girl that isn't allowed to get dirty, can't play with anyone not approved by her parents, and she definitely can't have a pet!  

Abby has a neighbor boy who would like to be friends, but he's always dirty and she can't let him in the yard, her Mom would freak out.  Besides, he's a bit weird.

Then they get a new teacher who owns a duck and brings it to school.  This teacher tells them if they can follow all Max's rules, they can take the duck home for a day and return it the next.  The rules are complex and both Abby and Noah are anxious to take the duck home.  

Abby finally gets to take Max home and that's the beginning of a brand new adventure.  Max teaches Abby a lot.  I bet he can even teach you some new things, too.

Happy reading.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Rabid by Jami Lynn Saunders

The world is a creepy place in this view of the future.  War has destroyed most facilities, a virus has created creatures called "ferals" and the remaining humans must hide and defend themselves from the altered humans.  Pippa's love, Aiden, has died, but she must go on with her sister and try to find her parents.  She'll die if she stays in one place too long.

711 Press sent me this in ebook to review (thank you).  It was published last Friday so you can get a copy on Amazon now.  This is a cross between science/fiction and horror and was a quick read for me.

Pippa is still adjusting to the fact that she has changed into a werecat and Aiden's death has taken its toll on her.  She suddenly becomes overwhelmingly angry when the ferals attack again and goes after them with a fury.  Unfortunately, that sets off her system and she turns rabid. As her friends try to find her, she starts hunting them.

This story is fast paced, highly speculative, and an interesting read.  Viruses do change and modify themselves from the chemistry in one's body so who knows what a malignant virus would do to us?

There are several creatures here I wouldn't like to run into on a dark night (or even during the day) so it made me read the story quickly.  These are desperate people and their journey is not over yet.  This is the second book in the Werecat Saga and another one is planned.  Each story gives you a bit more history about the disaster and its outcome.  I'm looking forward to reading the next story and finding out if Pippa's sister, Abby, makes it.

Why not take a trip into the world of the future and see if you can make it back alive?

Happy reading.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Christmas Village by Linda Andrews

First, never lose your way on a snowy night while on a visit home.  Second, don't get run over by a guy in a sleigh...

Zumaya Embraces sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can now get a copy at your local bookstore.

Egypt is going home for Christmas and because her sister is getting married.  The worst part is her new husband used to be Egypt's boyfriend.  This is the fourteenth time this has happened to her.  She's always the bridesmaid and never the bride.  Getting lost wouldn't be so bad, but she has her sister's wedding dress...

Cade is an artist who is waiting for the woman he envisioned in his art work.  Unfortunately, quite a few women have seen the figurine and they are all wearing the right outfit and are trying to capture him as their husband.  It's awful.

Then he runs over another one on the road when he goes for a sleigh ride.  Is this a new approach?

Ms. Andrews has a good sense of humor and makes her characters fun to read about.  How can you not enjoy a book that has "Egypt got run over by a reindeer" on the black flap?  This is a lighthearted romance that made me laugh.  

Why not take a trip to the Christmas Village and see if the lights come on for you?

Happy reading.

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Anatomist's Apprentice by Tessa Harris

Was Edward's death natural or was it murder?

Kensington Books sent me an ARC of this book for review.  It has been published as a trade paperback this month, so you may check with your local bookstore to grab a copy.

This is the first Dr. Thomas Silkstone mystery and it's a really tangled tale.  Set in eighteenth century England, forensics is not a developed science yet.  Lydia's brother's death was horrible and she's just not sure that he wasn't poisoned.  So she approaches an anatomist and asks him to see what he can find.

Thomas has to work with a dessicated body, but he gets samples to test for various chemical reactions in an effort to determine cause of death.  What he finds out is that he's proven the known causes of death have not happened.  But he also believes Edward didn't die naturally. 

Ms. Harris does a wonderful job of muddying up the water and giving you no real leads.  Even a confession by a suspected murderer does not lead to where it should.  What she did, didn't kill him.  As the story moves along, more people die.  And there is more than one murderer...

This is very interesting tale with evil all about.  The characters are well developed and have many layers of personality.  Edwards' killer was not even on my suspect list and the method of murder was was impossible to detect in that era.
If you like a good twisted tale this one will keep you going.  Grab yourself a copy and sit down for a good read.

If you'd like to read my ARC, leave a comment here on my blog and email at info at bookfaerie.com with your NAME & ADDRESS and tell me why you'd want to read it.  I'll do a drawing for it in about a week.

Happy reading.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Thorn and the Blossom by Theodora Goss

This is a story of star-crossed lovers whose lives mimic a medieval poem...

Quirk Books graciously sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  It was published January 17th, and is now available for purchase.

One of the most fascinating things about this book is that it is accordion paged and comes in a slipcase.  His story on one side of the pages, hers on the other.  There is no right or wrong way to read it.  Read her story first, or his if you prefer.  And it's a tantalizing tale.

Evelyn is a young American student studying at Oxford.  Brendan works in his father's bookshop.  When Evelyn drops in, he impulsively hands a medieval poem called "The Book of the Green Knight".  They find they are both familiar with the poem and a friendship begins.

There is a touch of other-worldliness to this tale.  It's an intriguing tale that was interesting to read.  The binding made it an unusual and charming read.  

Here's the trailer for the book:  The Thorn and the Blossom

Why not get a copy of this book for yourself and read about the secrets these two lovers hold?

Happy reading.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Careless Creek by Stan Lynde

Everybody important in Merlin's life has died.  His parents, his mentor, and his friend have all passed.  The only thing he has left is a very valuable race horse his mentor bequeathed him.  And then somebody steals the horse!

Dorchester Publishing and Net Galley allowed me a copy of this ebook for review (thank you).  The book has been published at the first of this month and is available in both paperback and ebook form.  Check with your local bookstore for a copy.

Merlin doesn't have much, and he's not going to let the thieves get away with his horse.  He was planning on making some money racing and improving his life.  It's worth a lot more to him than just horseflesh.

He begins his hunt with his friend (they were partnering on the horse race idea) and then the hot-headed friend gets gunned down in a gun fight right in front of him.  He wakes up in jail and has to continue the hunt on his own.

Of course, he doesn't have troubles enough now.  He's not sure where the thieves went, has no one to travel with and not much money, and is a bit lonely.  So what happens but Pandora wanders into camp.  She's wanted by the law for hitting her stepdaddy in the head with an ax handle.  And the story gets even more interesting...

This story is written in the jargon as would be spoken by a young cowboy with not much education.  It bothered me a bit, but the story was good enough to keep my attention and it did fit well with the premise of his story.  Mr. Lynde's words flow well, the story is action packed, and it doesn't take long until you are rooting for both Merlin and Pandora.  They're tough characters who will do what they need to do to survive and to succeed in life.  What more can you ask of anyone?

The ending was a real surprise and shows very eloquently what kind of man Merlin has grown up to be.  I highly recommend this book.  The author has done an excellent job with it.

Happy reading.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

La Desperada by Patricia Burroughs

She thought she was going to end up a spinster, but when she met Joel her life changed.  She was attracted to him and his knowledge of poetry; he was attracted to her.  When he proposed she accepted.  She had no idea about his past or his brother...

Book View Cafe has published this book and I got my copy for review from them and Library Thing (thank you).  It has been published and you can find a copy on Amazon now.

Elizabeth just wanted a quiet life with her husband.  However, they were sharing their home with his brother, was as different from Joel as you can get.  Clayton was fat, used to getting his way and was the local sheriff.  He was sniffing around Elizabeth and making her wary of his attentions.  Joel was turning into a drunk.  Life wasn't like she'd planned at all.

When Joel commits suicide and Clayton tries to have his way with her, she runs.  She might not ride well, has little time to pack resources, but she's going to escape.  Even if she has to break out an outlaw to help her get away.

Coulter didn't want any baggage.  No man on the run did.  And that's all Elizabeth was to him.  He had to find a way to get rid of her.  She's tenacious, though.  A lone woman can be raped and killed easily.  Clayton is saying she murdered his brother and people will be believe him.  She's turned into a "wanted" person herself.

Coulter has ties to all the characters in the story, despite having been on the run for years.  Elizabeth just wants to stay alive and stay with Coulter.  The race against time and away from Clayton and posses takes them across mountains and deserts.  

This is very exciting tale with honest emotion and growing love between the two main characters.  There is explicit sex.  It didn't detract from the main story line.

Ms. Burroughs has a very good story flow and kept my interest through out the entire book.  I think you'll enjoy reading it, too.  Why not get a copy and check it out?

Happy reading.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Shadow Crossing by Cotton Smith

US Deputy Marshall Winfield Hoback was a tough lawman.  He raised his family like him.  And when someone walks up to him and one of his sons on the streets of Denver City and shoots him down, no one is more surprised than he is.

Dorchester Publishing and Net Galley let me read an ebook of this story for review.  I like a good western once in a while.  This book was published January 10th, so you can get a copy now at your local bookstore.

This is the story of a strong western family that has carved a life in an unforgiving country with animals and Indians that offer danger.  Marshall Hoback taught all his children how to shoot, how to survive in the woods, and how to be aware of everything around them.  When Vince sees his father shot in the street, he's grief-stricken and guilty both; he wasn't wearing a gun and couldn't defend him.  The last words his dad left with him were:  "Remind Sell about justice."


The Hoback family consisted of five children.  Their mother died from an illness.  One of the brothers had died in war.  One is an outlaw.  One is a scholar and drinks too much.  Sell had aspirations to be a Marshall, but the Civil War had left its mark on him.  Kathleen is an expert with horses and lost her love in the war.


They wait for justice to find their father's killer, but when Sell disappears during his first outing as Marshall and the others in his party are dead, the family decides that's too much.


The plot is complex, there's lot of action, and you have to admire this family.  They do what they need to do and their father's expertise and guidance make them good at it.


This is not a story for wimps.  If you like authentic westerns, this is the book for you.


Happy reading.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Beastly Things by Donna Leon

Why would anyone kill a veterinarian?  He was unobtrusive, quiet and married.  He had recently separated, but he even did that properly and inoffensively.  So why was he knifed and dumped in the canal?

Atlantic Monthly Press allowed me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  The book will be available for sale on April 17th, so add it to your TBR list.

What intrigued me about this book is that it is set in Venice.  I really enjoy reading police procedurals set in foreign countries.  I'm familiar with how things work in the US.  It's fascinating to see how different and how much the same techniques are in other countries.  Cultural influences are different too.  But it seems the motive for murder is almost always influenced by greed, no matter which side of the pond the crime is committed.

Ms. Leon has an interesting plot where clues are dropped like breadcrumbs along the way.  It takes several police officers working hard to begin to see the way.  The actual reason he was killed is unusual and a bit offensive, but it is realistic.  People have been killed for less.

The story has a good flow, you'll learn about living in Venice, and I doubt that you will be able to identify the killer early.  I enjoyed reading this book, why don't you give it a try?

Happy reading.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Book of Mercy by Sherry Roberts

Antigone drove long distances when she became anxious or upset.  It calmed her down.  Sometimes she got lost, but she felt better.  Most people wouldn't do that when they found out they were pregnant, but Antigone has a secret...

The author allowed me to read this ebook for review (thank you).  Osmyrrah has published the book and you can grab a copy on Amazon.

This is another book in the Blog Tour deForce running from January 23rd to the 27th.

Ms. Roberts has made her main character someone that everyone should love.  She raises deer, owns a vegetarian restaurant, and is married to Sam, who loves her dearly and is protective.  She takes in anyone who needs some love and guidance and really cares about them.  She's a generally good person.  Her only hidden fault is dyslexia and she's tried very hard to get over it with no success.

The central theme in this story is the fact that a certain faction of town (the ladies group) wants to ban books from the library.  Antigone is appalled.  She might not be able to read herself, but she wants her child to have the ability to read and the right to read what she chooses, not what someone else has decided is "safe".  The war between the two women is sometimes funny, sometimes sad, and very believable.

I am very much against book banning, so I had to read this book.  I think parents need to discuss books that have uncomfortable issues in them with the children reading them, but I don't think the child should be held back from reading them.  It's better to talk about it and how it makes you or them feel and why you feel that way.  Then they won't be surprised later.

This author does a nice job of presenting both sides of the argument and showing how it eventually gets resolved.  Neither woman comes out of the fight unscathed.  Life is like that.

The story is a bit intense, but it felt "real" and it was done well.  Follow Antigone on her journey for "right."  It's a good read.

Happy reading.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Quick Kill by Patricia McCallum

Someone is killing young women in Toronto.  The women have no connection with each other.  It's just random death...

This book will be featured in the Blog Tour de Force that will held from the 23rd to the 27th of January.  This will be an excellent opportunity for you to pick up several books that you might not have heard about otherwise.  The author allowed me to read this ebook for review (thank you).


This is a Sydney Granger mystery.  When two young women are killed in the same way, Sydney knows there must be a connection between them.  It's not evident, though.  One was a waitress, one was a lawyer and they didn't know each other.  Were these totally random killings by a serial killer?

I enjoyed reading about the investigation and "watching" Sydney sift through the evidence and their lives trying to find a common denominator.  What she discovers is unusual and evil.  The motive for the killings is chilling.

This is a quick read with interesting characters.  I'll have see if I can find some more of Ms. McCallum's books about Sydney and her partner, Mike.  They work well together and hold your attention with their banter.

Why not grab a copy for your ereader, get a cup of coffee or tea, and settle down and read.  You'll enjoy it.

Happy reading.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Naked Addiction by Caitlin Rother

Ken Goode wants to get out of playing an undercover cop in the narcotics division and move into Homicide.  He thinks it would be much more interesting and challenging and not quite so dangerous.  He has no idea how right he is or how soon he's going to get a chance to participate in an investigation...

Dorchester Publishing and Net Galley gave me an ebook of this story to read for review (thank you).  This book was published the first week of January, so you can grab a copy at your local bookstore now.

This author writes a good mystery and includes the human side of characters.  You learn secrets about each individual involved.  You also soon begin to wonder how this wounded police officer is going to deal with all the emotional baggage his victim and friends carry.  Ken has never gotten over his wife's death.  His mother committed suicide.  And while he still gets up and functions each day, he still has his hurts.

The homicide victim is a young woman who was uninhibited and free in her sexual escapades.  She also kept a diary.  As Ken reads the diary to get clues to who the murderer may have been, he develops lots of suspects and begins to romanticize the victim. 

There are a lot of twists and turns, none of the characters are particularly nice people, and the actual murderer wasn't someone I suspected.  It's a busy story with lots of action and a very interesting character analysis of all characters.  You won't be bored.

Happy reading. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Cinnamon Roll Murder by Joanne Fluke

Hannah Swensen is going to lose Norman if she doesn't fight for what she wants...

Kensington will be publishing this book in March, and sent me an ARC for review (thank you).  This character has her own series, but this is the first book I've read about her.  She's an enjoyable character!

This is very interesting twisted tale with interconnections that aren't obvious.  Ms. Fluke's characters are a tight family of Mom and girls that are willing to work together to help solve mysteries.  The mystery this time is why a musician in the hospital for a bus accident injury was knifed to death.  There is seeming no connection with the people in their small town and a transient band member.  But someone killed him...

I especially enjoyed the interplay between the girls and Mom. Everyone is very independent, very opinionated and they are all passionate about chocolate.  Chocolate will comfort you when you're upset, stimulate your brain for thinking, and it just tastes good generally.

It's a good mystery with lots of intrigue, Hannah's love interest, and lots of recipes to make your mouth drool.  You can even make the goodies to enhance your future reading sessions.  What more could you want?

If you'd like to win my ARC, please leave a comment here on my blog and email me at info at bookfaerie.com with your NAME AND ADDRESS and tell me why you'd like to read it.  I'll pick a winner in about a week.

Happy reading.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Home Front by Kristin Hannah Audio Book

I have a special opportunity for you here.  Macmillan has provided me with an advanced listeners copy of this book for giveaway.  It is read by Maggi-Meg Reed.

By looking at AudioFile, I found the following information about our narrator:  

Narrator Profile

Maggi-Meg Reed

Maggi-Meg Reed
2008 Best Voice in FICTION & CLASSICS: 

Maggi-Meg Reed embarked on her career in audiobook narration when she was still in college, helping a blind classmate by reading textbooks and fiction to him. Her love of the spoken word started even earlier with the magical voices of her singer-mom and radio announcer-dad. She even recalls listening to the "Bookstall" radio program that featured serialized readings while doing summer house painting. Her theater career in New York has included stage, musical theater, and opera--including the lead in Cheri, based on a novel by Collette, at The Actors Studio. One of her first audiobooks was THE TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE. She found that it used all her theatrical and technical skills to move the characters through different ages and "age" their voices very subtly. Other titles include THE HIDDEN DIARY OF MARIE ANTOINETTE, a 2006 Audies Finalist in Abridged Fiction; George R.R. Martin's children's fantasy, THE ICE DRAGON; and the Earphones-winner HIDE by Lisa Gardner. Her "fresh, intelligent, and attentive" performance makes Maggi-Meg a narrator we hope to hear more from.  (Directly from AudioFile.)

I have not opened this set of CD's so you will be the first to experience her voice with this book.

Here is a paragraph from the review I did on the book:

"I was very impressed with how authentic the military life was depicted.  I've read non-fiction accounts of the war and the facts in those line up with the facts shown in this fictional account.  I discovered that the reason it was the quality of the tale it was had to do with her advisor, Warrant Officer Teresa Burgess.  Someone who has the experience can definitely add value to the story."

If you would like to see the rest of the review go here:  Home Front Review 

Value on this audio CD is $40, so why not enter the contest and get yourself a treat?  All you need to do is comment here on my blog and email me at info at bookfaerie.com with why you would like to win this audio book.  I will pick a winner in about a week.

Happy reading!

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Hunter by John Lescroart

Wyatt Hunt is a private investigator.  He has plenty of work, a good group of employees, and a nice place to live.  So he sure didn't want to see a text message come through from an anonymous sender with only these words:  How did your mother die?

The Dutton/Penguin group sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  It was published the first of January and the author is doing book tours now.  Watch for your chance to get the book signed by him.  Check with your local bookstore to get a copy.

Mr. Lescroart has created a very unique character in Wyatt.   Wyatt was adopted, knows nothing about his birth family, and didn't really care.  His life is fine, they didn't want him, why worry about it?  However, that text message begins to make him wonder.  And, since he's a private investigator, what do they do when they get curious?  They investigate...

His first discovery is that his mother was murdered.  He can't remember anything about it, but he feels like he should.  It was forty years ago.  His father was accused of the murder, but insisted he didn't do it.  Then he disappeared four years after the murder.  And now more people start to die...

This is a complex stories, with lots of odd continuities and circumstances tied to the central tale.  It's a well thought out mystery with a real emotional roller coaster for Wyatt.  He finds he does remember some of it, but not enough to help.  Wyatt was always in control; he cannot control this.

The strong story line will keep you reading.  And when you reach the end, there's still one little thread loose.  I think that thread might lead to the next book in this series.  We'll just have to wait and see, won't we?

Happy reading.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Knowing Look and Other Stories by Rebecca Emin

This is collection of pithy short stories that could almost be called "flash fiction".  I enjoy short stories because the author must get his/her point across in a limited number of words with precise and concise words.  You don't get mired down in details.  Words are not wasted.  I love a good short story.

The author sent me a copy of her book because of my love for short stories (thank you).  You can buy her book on Amazon.  

All the stories were interesting and ranged in locations from Africa to rural England.  Some were thought provoking, some made you sad, and some were just about life in general.  None of them were boring.

My favorite is the first story in the book "A Knowing Look".  It's about a child in Africa who has relationship with elephants.  I won't tell you more, you need to read it yourself.  It has the ring of truth and an ironic ending.  This story will stick in my memory for a long time.

If you enjoy good short stories, scintillating thoughts and different subjects, this will be a very good read for you.  Why not buy a copy and see for yourself?
Happy reading.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen

Their grandmothers had been the best of friends, but Willa and Paxton didn't share that affinity.  They were polite to each other, but reserved.  Then something happened that changed all that...

Random House Readers Circle sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  Bantam Books has published this book so you can get a copy now.

Willa is 30 and single.  Paxton is the same age and still living at home.  They both have grandmothers in an assisted-living home.  They pass each other in hallway and say "Hi", but that's about it.  

Paxton has invited Willa to the grand opening of the Blue Ridge Madam, a house that used to belong to Willa's family.  When bad times came upon the family, they lost the home.  Willa doesn't want to go.

Both women have a love interest, but aren't sure how to handle it.  It gets even more involved when they find out there is a body buried on the property of the Blue Ridge Madam.  

Was he murdered or was it an accident?  Who was he and what was he to the family that lived there?  And why is his ghost still hanging around?

Ms. Allen gives you bits and pieces of the mystery as you read the story, shows how the two young women learn about life, love, and the true meaning of friendship, and the epilogue gives you the untold part of the mystery.  

This was a very enjoyable read.  If you're still not sure if you'd like it, here's the trailer to tease you a little more:  Peach Keeper

You should read it.  It's a very good tale.

Happy reading.

Friday, January 13, 2012

I Don't Believe It, Archie! Andrew Norriss

Archie is a typical boy in all ways but one:  He is always in the vicinity of some odd, weird accident.  Even if he's just on his way to post a letter.

David Fickling Books allowed me to read this in ebook form for review (thank you).  Hannah Shaw illustrated it.  It will be published in March, so add it to your TBR list now and grab it then.

Mr. Norriss is real inventive about the "accidents" that Archie witnesses.  When Archie explains to people how things ended up the way they did, they just look at him like he's crazy.  But when he finally gets their attention, it all turns out like he said.

His curiosity and ability to attract strange events gains him a playmate, who wants to see what new adventures he will have.

This would be a good book to read a chapter aloud and ask your children to offer new ideas for adventures or discuss how the story might have ended differently.

My favorite part is Archie's mother saying "I don't believe it, Archie!" each time he comes with his errand undone.  Most people don't believe him, Mom.

Why not get a copy of this book and see if you believe Archie?

Happy reading.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis

Deza knew her father was going to Flint to get a job, but she never expected him not to return...

Wendy Lamb Books sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  It was published January 10th, so you can grab a copy at your local bookstore.

Mr. Curtis wrote an earlier book with Deza titled "Bud, Not Buddy", which I haven't read.  This adventure with her was a very good read so I'm sure the earlier book was also.

This story is set during the Great Depression, and her father has lost his job in Gary, Indiana.  Between being out of work and losing a friend in a fishing accident, he heads out for Flint to find a job and he will send money home.

Mr. Curtis invested a bit of himself in this story.  He was born in Flint, Michigan.  He writes a story that is depressing but full of hope.  It's how life was at that time and black people were treated with even less respect than poor white trash.  It's a way to share history with your child in an interesting story that will hold their attention.

Deza's family survives, but they have a lot of work to do to get back to normal.  I have faith that they will do that.  The Malone family doesn't give up.

This would be a very good read aloud book where the family could discuss this time period and the challenges of a black family.

Happy reading.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Scrumptious by Amanda Usen

Marly has devoted way too much time covering for Keith and helping her girlfriend ignore the fact that while he has a chef's degree, he doesn't have the work ethic required.  Now Olivia is bringing in another man to take over "her" kitchen!

Sourcebooks Casablanca and Net Galley gave me an ebook of this story to read for review (thank you).  It was published January 1st, so you can get yourself a copy now.

Marly and Joe are two of a type; the love 'em and leave 'em type.  So when you put the two of them in the kitchen together, it doesn't take long for things to heat up.  I really enjoyed these characters.  They're both very strong personalities and are confident in their skills both in the kitchen and in bed, but neither one of them is interested in commitment.  It's hard, though, when you start to realize that living without the other one isn't what you want to do...

While they go through the emotional turmoil of trying to decide how they really feel about each and what they want to do about it, someone starts sabotaging the restaurant!  A grease fire here, salt instead of sugar there, stoves unplugged and more incidents make them realize this not a mistake.  It's a deliberate act to drive them out of business.

Olivia grandmother is a hoot.  She manages to save the restaurant and a few lives in about five minutes.  Everybody needs one like her in their lives!

It's an enjoyable light read that will make you smile and keep you wondering over just who it is that is causing all these problems.

Get yourself a copy and have a good romantic read.  It's a fun story with unique characters.

Happy reading.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Land of Darkness by C A Lakin

Almost Cinderella-like, Jadiel has a wicked stepmother.  Huldah, though, is even worse than Cinderella's stepmom.  She intends to kill Jadiel...

Living Ink Books has published this book and the author sent me a copy for review (thank you).  It has been published, so you can pick up a copy now.  This is another in the Gates of Heaven Series and I'd been waiting for its publication.  I've read the other two books in this series and they are all good!


Huldah fights her natural old age with enchantments and potions, but nature is beginning to win the fight.  She has one more chance for continued youth.  Since she was unable to kill Jadiel directly, she sends her off in quest to get leaves from the Eternal Tree by the next full moon.  If she's not back in time, Huldah will kill her beloved father.  Huldah does not mention she probably will kill them both anyway for the money and property they own.

As she begins her journey, she finds herself captured by two men who intend to sell her at the next big town.  Since Jadiel is twelve, she can't do much about it. This is just the beginning of her adventures.

Ms. Larkin writes good tales.  There is lots of action, some magic, old stories from the past and rhymes that must be unraveled.  The characters she creates have an authenticity that's surprising, since some are magical.

This quest will only succeed if one has faith and is sincere in their desire to get to the Eternal Tree and out of the forbidden Land of Darkness.  Her characters are tested along the way.  Unbelievers will fail...

Why not get a copy and accompany Jadiel on her long and hazardous trip?  It's a good read, you'll enjoy it.

Happy reading.

Monday, January 9, 2012

The First Rule of Ten by Gay Hendricks, Tinker Lindsay

"Don't ignore intuitive tickles lest they reappear as sledgehammers."  That's the first rule of Ten.  It's also one of his best rules.

Hay House and Net Galley let me read an ebook of this story for review (thank you).  It was published January 1st and is out in paperback now.

Ten is an interesting creature.  He's an ex-Monk, soon to be an ex-cop who has Buddhist teachings firmly in his head.  He has aspirations to become a private investigator.  Unfortunately, his first case has to be done for free because the dead man's friend has no money.

This story has interesting plot.  Ten's Buddhist background gives it a unique flavor.  There are old hippies, old musicians, and the mob involved.  It's highly unlikely all these types would be merge into one common denominator, but they do.  It's possible; we all know truth is stranger than fiction. There are twists and turns all the way through the story.  It certainly kept my attention.  

This is the first book in a series, so Ten will be around again.  I'm anxiously to see how much he learns on his next PI adventure and interested to see if Julie returns to him.  You'll need to read the book to see what I'm talking about.  It's a good read, try it.

Happy reading.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Mystery of Drear House by Virginia Hamilton

This is a book full of secrets.  There are secret stairways, secret passages, and secret treasure.  There is a family determined to find the treasure and another family determined to keep it safe.  Just to make it more interesting, add a woman who appears to be crazy that walks the passages at night...

Open Media and Net Galley gave me a copy of this ebook to read for review (thank you).  The book was published at the end of December and you can get a copy now at your local bookstore.  

This story is the sequel to the House of Dies Drear.  The book reads fine as a stand alone; I had not read the first book.

Thomas and his friend, Pesty, know about the treasure that Mr. Pluto's cave hides.  Pesty's father and brothers are on the search for it, so she has to be very careful to hide that secret.  She has another secret she's hiding from Thomas also.  But that one won't stay hidden long.

Drear house was an underground railroad station and has underground tunnels, rooms, a nursery, and more.  Thomas' family knows it's there, but keeps it hidden.  They do it partially to protect from it the Pesty's family, and partially because it's such a wonder they want to preserve it and keep it safe.

I've read several stories about the underground railroad so this tale caught my eye.  There have always been people trying to discover the stations but this is the first time I heard of a treasure hidden in one.

The Darrows and the Smalls are in direct conflict because their interests are different.  How Ms. Hamilton solves this problem is inventive and believable.

Learn a little history with some folktale thrown in and take a trip through the underground railroad.  It's a good read.

Happy reading.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Stay at Home Dead by Jeffrey Allen

If it wasn't bad enough that there was a dead man in the backseat of his minivan, his T-shirt reads:  "IT'S NOT A BEER BELLY, IT'S A FUEL TANK FOR A SEX MACHINE."  No wonder somebody killed him...

Kensington Publishing sent me an ARC of this book for review (thank you).  It is published this month, so check with your local bookstore for a copy.

Deuce is a dad who has chosen to stay home with the little one.  His wife is an attorney and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out her wages would exceed his as a high school teacher/coach.  So he and Carly were a team and doing very well together.  At least until they went grocery shopping today...

Deuce's biggest problem is that he can't figure out who would hate him enough to try to pin murder on him.  He's not real sorry about his old classmate's death, but he wouldn't have killed him.  He just didn't speak to him.  Would you talk to someone who had crushed your knee when you were an up and coming football hero who was getting a college scholarship?  The cop decides that is enough of motive to think Deuce is guilty.  And so does a good portion of the community.

This is a small town mystery.  Everybody knows all your history, what you had for lunch, and who they think you like or don't like.  Just that makes the story amusing.  It's also fun to watch the ladies try to oust Deuce from his "Room Father" job because of this case.  One of them wants his job.  But Deuce's lawyer wife didn't become a lawyer because she was dumb...

All the characters are unique, some are unforgettable and a bit unbelievable, and they all go together to make an interesting mystery full of small town dynamics and odd characters.
Why not get yourself a copy of this story and see if you can guess who killed Benny.  I bet you don't guess who!

If you'd like to have my ARC, leave a comment here on the blog and email me at info at bookfaerie.com with your NAME AND ADDRESS and the reason why you'd like to read it.  I'll pick a winner in about a week.

Happy reading.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski

Take a journey back in time to a simpler life of farming and surviving off the land.  Here you will learn about those who were successful at and those who were not.

Open Road Media and Net Galley gave me the chance to read this ebook for review (thank you).  Lois Lenski wrote a lot of books, many with a historical theme.  This is another of these and was prize worthy in its day.

Milner Library at the Illinois State University had this to say about the book:  

"Strawberry Girl. Lippincott, 1945.
This 1946 Newbery Award-winning book portrays life for the hard-working Boyers, a Florida Cracker family developing a strawberry farm in Florida when such farming was just beginning there. The Boyers must learn to cope with their proud but lazy neighbors, the Slatters, who are squatters rather than farmers."

I'm pleased to see Open Road bring this classic story back to life.  It's well worth a read again.  The lessons within are still applicable.

The Boyers buy an old house next to the Slaters.  The Slaters let their animals run free, don't have much to eat, and the father tends to drink up any proceeds they get from sales of goods.

Soon, old man Slater decides he doesn't like them.  After all, they're painting their house, trying to grow strawberries and fencing their land.  They're uppity snobs in his mind and he's not going to let them get away with it.

Growing up on a farm, we always knew who had more money than we did.  But we all worked hard for what we did have and we didn't have time to resent the neighbors.

This story shows how the Boyers try to mend their relationship with Slaters.  It's not easy and it takes a touch from God to make a turn around at the end of the story.  But it shows that having more that you earned by working hard has nothing to do with being uppity.

Why not share this old classic with your middle grade reader.  It would be a nice lead in to reading more on the Great Depression or droughts or the black potato disease in Ireland.  Our children of today need to realize what they have now wasn't always available to all...

Happy reading.