Showing posts from July, 2013

Wild & Wonderful Wednesday: Ship Out of Luck Review and Giveaway

SHIP OUT OF LUCK A companion to the award-winning The Schwa was Here by Neal Shusterman Dutton Children's Books, 2013 ISBN: 978-0-525-42226-6 Review copy provided by publisher in return for honest review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

In honor of Old Man Crawley’s eightieth birthday, the Bonano family has been invited to celebrate with a weeklong cruise to the Caribbean aboard the world’s largest, grandest ship. But whether on land or at sea, Antsy can’t manage to stay out of trouble: He quickly finds himself the accomplice of stowaway and thief Tilde, whose self-made mission it is to smuggle onto the ship and across the U.S. border illegal immigrants from her native Mexico. When Antsy steps in to take the fall for Tilde, he becomes the focus of a major international incident and the poster child for questionable decisions.

Equal parts clever and riotous, Ship Out of Luck brings back the beloved cast of characters from Neal Shusterman’s acclaimed The S…

MMGM: Cloneward Bound by M.E. Castle Review and Giveaway

CLONEWARD BOUND The Clone Chronicles #2 by M.E. Castle Egmont, 2013 ISBN: 978-1-60684-233-1 Review copy provided by publisher in return for honest review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Fisher Bas and Two were able to thwart the evil Dr. X, but after somehow surviving the explosion at TechX Enterprises, Two is in Hollywood looking for his "mother." Fisher must bring him back to Palo Alto before his cloning secret is discovered. When a class field trip to see the Dr. Devilish science show arises, it becomes the perfect opportunity for Fisher to find his clone. But all kinds of complications will get in the way--including Amanda Cantrell, who knows more than Fisher would like about Two's identity.

As Fisher, FP, and Amanda team up to find Two, they find trouble, high jinx, and the return of an evil mastermind--all set in the glitz of Hollywood.


M.E. Castle is a writer and actor working in the glorious center of the universe, New…

BOOK SPOTLIGHT & INTERVIEW: Motive for Murder by Marlene Bateman

MOTIVE FOR MURDER An Erica Coleman Mystery by Marlene Bateman Sullivan Covenant Communications, 2013 ISBN: 9781686124 Adult Fiction

Meet Erica Coleman: a gifted and quirky private investigator with a penchant for sleuthing and a passion for chocolate.

Erica imagined that her trip to Florida would be a slice of heaven—a chance to get away from it all and catch up with her best friend, Wendy. But a mere day into her idyllic vacation, all hope of fun in the sun is dashed with a shocking discovery: the body of an unknown man on the driveway. A failed second homicide attempt hits even closer to home when Wendy’s fiancĂ© barely survives poisoning. There’s no way to sugarcoat it—a murderer is on the prowl, and no one is above suspicion.

Unsettled by the proximity of foul play, Wendy asks Erica to investigate. Erica is convinced that the near double-murder was no coincidence, so she accepts her friend’s request—with her skill, solving the mystery should be a piece of cake. But…

BLOG TOUR/GIVEAWAY: Heaven's Just a Prayer Away by Diony George

HEAVEN'S JUST A PRAYER AWAY by Diony George CFI, 2013 ISBN: 978-1-4621-1189-3 LDS Nonfiction Review copy provided by publisher in return for honest review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Sometimes we wonder how, with so many people on earth, we matter to God. Like birdsongs in a city of sounds, answers to our prayers are easy to miss—unless we’re listening. Through inspiring personal stories, scripture, and prose, Heaven’s Just A Prayer Away answers many questions about communicating with and drawing closer to Jesus Christ and our Father in Heaven.

Here is a brief description of the book:
“Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let they heart be full of thanks unto God.” –Alma 37:37 Before we came to earth, we lived in heavenly realms. We knew our Heavenly Father. We walked and talked with H…

BLOG TOUR: Whisper Island by Anola Pickett

WHISPER ISLAND by Anola Pickett Sweetwater Books, 2013 ISBN: 978-1-4621-1167-1 Middle Grade Historical Fiction Grades 4 and up Review copy provided by publisher in return for honest review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

“Primmy, sure as anything, we should have named you Anne Bonny.”

He’s forever comparing me to the woman pirate who sailed our waters during Blackbeard’s time. Pa holds that Anne Bonny must have been a wild and careless girl. Like me. Although I have no desire to end up as a pirate.

I plan to be a Life Saver.

It’s 1913 in Whisper Island, North Carolina, and twelve-year-old Primmy Hopkins has dreams above her station. She wants to be a part of the US Life Savers Service, even though only men can join. She wants to do something worthwhile—to help people and make a difference. Her long-forgotten mother has other dreams for her, though. And when Primmy receives an invitation to spend her birthday with her mother, Primmy can only hope that she will acce…

BLOG TOUR: The Reluctant Blogger by Ryan Rapier

THE RELUCTANT BLOGGER by Ryan Rapier Bonneville, 2013 ISBN: 978-1-4621-1254-8 LDS Fiction Review copy provided by publisher in return for honest review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Todd knows he is in a bad place. That’s why he went to a therapist in the first place, and that alone took a lot of doing. So when Dr. Schenk threatens to stop their sessions unless Todd puts in more effort, he grasps at the last available straw: a personal blog that will force Todd to confront his demons.

Ever since he lost his wife, Todd has not been the same. He’s been forced to Single Adult activities at church, and everyone seems to expect him to just forget Marci and get married again—especially when he meets Emily, who makes him smile and starts to bring him out of his depression. But dating again is hard when Todd has three kids of his own, not to mention an overbearing father and friends with their own problems.

This beautifully woven and emotional tale is both heartb…

PICTURE BOOK REVIEW: A Bear in War by Stephanie Innes & Harry Endrulat

A BEAR IN WAR by Stephanie Innes & Harry Endrulat, illustrated by Brian Deines Pajama Press, 2012 ISBN: 978-1-927485-12-5 Picture Book Grades 2-5 Reviewed from purchased copy.


Teddy belonged to ten-year-old Aileen Rogers, whose father Lawrence left Aileen, her little brother Howard, and his wife Janet home on the family farm in Quebec when he went to war. Janet and Lawrence exchanged more than 200 letters during his service. Aileen and Howard also wrote their dad — and Aileen sent her beloved Teddy overseas to help protect him. Sadly, Lawrence died at the battle of Passchendaele. In 2002, his granddaughter Roberta Innes found Teddy and the letters in an old family briefcase. Her findings uncovered how a Canadian family’s strength was tested by war and how a small stuffed bear became an enduring memento of their love. Sensitive text by Harry Endrulat and Roberta’s daughter Stephanie, and Brian Deines’ lovely illustrations bring this unusual story of love and war…

BLOG TOUR/GUEST POST/GIVEAWAY: Playing with Fire by Bruce Hale

PLAYING WITH FIRE School for S.P.I.E.S. #1 by Bruce Hale, illustrated by Brandon Dorman Disney-Hyperion, 2013 ISBN: 978-142316850-8 Middle Grade Adventure/Suspense Grades 4 and up Reviewed from copy provided by publisher in return for honest review.

Max Segredo, tossed out by yet another foster family, has finally come to the end of the line. After being wrongly accused of setting a fire, he is sent to the Merry Sunshine Orphanage — on his thirteenth birthday, no less.

But what kind of group home offers classes in surveillance techniques, lock picking, and mixed martial arts? When the staff announces a “field trip” that involves breaking and entering, Max knows this is no ordinary orphanage.

Yet Max has something more important on his mind. Someone has slipped him a message stating that his father is still alive. Max is eager to find Simon Segredo, even though it might mean betraying everyone at Merry Sunshine. Because when it comes to family, blood is what counts. Ri…

Chick lit author Michele Gorman has a YA alter-ego

Known for her best-selling chick lit (the Single in the City series and Bella Summer Takes a Chance), Michele also writes coming-of-age fiction under the name Jamie Scott and today sees the re-launch of her first novel, Little Sacrifices. This atmospheric, evocative depiction of the American South may just be the perfect summer read for fans of The Secret Life of Bees or To Kill A Mockingbird.
How much would you risk to stand up for your beliefs?

When the Powell family moves to Savannah Georgia in the late 1940s, they hope against hope that they'll be welcomed. But they're Northerners and worse, they're civil rights advocates almost a decade too early. The American South is deeply segregated.

At first their daughter, May, can pretend they're the same as everyone else. It means keeping quiet when she knows she should speak up, but it's worth the sacrifice to win friends. Unfortunately her parents are soon putting their beliefs into action. And when they…

PICTURE BOOK REVIEW: Monsters Love Colors by Mike Austin

MONSTERS LOVE COLORS written and illustrated by Mike Austin Harper, 2013 ISBN: 978-0-06-212594-1 Picture Book Grades Prek-1 Reviewed from purchased copy.

Did you know that monsters love to








Because monsters love to make new colors!

Celebrate along with the hilarious monsters in this wild and energetic picture book from author-illustrator Mike Austin. Mixing and discovering color has never been so much fun!


Mike Austin is an award-winning illustrator and graphic designer.  He is the author of the digital children's book app A Present for Milo, which has garnered raves and recognition on NPR, in USA Today, and on MSNBC. He has created artwork for the Wall Street Journal, Boys' Life magazine, and more.  He lives on the Big Island of Hawaii with his wife, their two children, a cat named Milo, and a dog named Prudence.  


A delightfully chaotic introduction to colors, Monsters Love Colors provides a short, fun rea…

BLOG TOUR/GIVEAWAY: Up in the Air by Ann Marie Meyers

UP IN THE AIR by Ann Marie Meyers, illustrated by Ethan Aldridge Jolly Fish Press, 2013 ISBN:  Middle Grade Fantasy Grades 3-6 Reviewed from copy provided by publisher in return for honest review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

With themes of confidence, trust, guilt, and forgiveness, Meyers has crafted a novel that will inspire children and adults alike.

Ever since she can remember, ten-year-old Melody has always wanted to fly. And when she leaps off a swing in the park one day and lands in the mystical realm of Chimeroan, her dream finally comes true. She is
given a pair of wings. She can fly! Life cannot be any better.

Yet, dreams do come with a price. Even with wings, Melody realizes she cannot outfly the memories of her past. The car accident that has left her father paralyzed, and her unscarred, still plagues her with guilt—
she believes that it was entirely her fault.

In Chimeroan, Melody is forced to come to terms with her part in her father's accident. S…