Monday, December 31, 2012

Candy Experiments by Loralee Leavitt

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Candy Experiments 
by Loralee Leavitt
NetGalley
Elementary Non-Fiction
January 2013

Book Jacket Summary
Candy is more than a sugary snack.  With candy, you can become a scientific detective. You can test candy for secret ingredients, peel the skin off candy corn, or float an "m" from M&M's. You can spread candy dyes into rainbows, or pour rainbow layers of colored water. You'll learn how to turn candy into crystals, sink marshmallows, float taffy, or send soda spouting skyward. You can even make your own lightning.
Candy Experiments teaches kids a new use for their candy.  As children try eye-popping experiments, such as growing enormous gummy worms and turning cotton candy into slime, they'll also be learning science.  Best of all, they'll willingly pour their candy down the drain.
Candy Experiments contains 70 science experiments, 29 of which have never been previously published.  Chapter themes include secret ingredients, blow it up, sink and float, squash it, and other fun experiments about color, density, and heat.  The book is written for children between the ages of 7 and 10, though older and younger ages will enjoy it as well.  Each experiment includes basic explanations of the relevant science, such as how cotton candy sucks up water because of capillary action, how Pixy Stix cool water because of an endothermic reaction, and how gummy worms grow enormous because of the water-entangling properties.

My Thoughts
Secret Ingredients, Color, Sink and Float, Blow It Up, Squash It, Hot and Cold, Dissolve This, Crystals, Sticky,
Science experiments were always the best part of science class in elementary school and this book brings in the best of both worlds- experiments and candy! Loralee Leavitt does a great job of making fun experiments and showing the science behind the effects. The experiments show how to find a secret ingredient, such as acid or oil. Colors come into play in a fun experiment called Halley's Comet M&M's where the student can use an ice pack to make a comet tail from their M&M.
Leavitt does include experiment tips on how to stay safe during the experimental process, including: wear an apron, ask a grown-up to heat the candy. never heat a jawbreaker (I think that would be tempting for a kid), do not eat or drink the experiments, and watch for mold on the candy water.
I would recommend this book to all the budding scientists out there or to a kid who loves candy. I know I would be eating the extras that would not be needed!

Book Pairings
Science Crafts For Kids: 50 Fantastic Things To Invent and Create
by
Super Simple Things to Do with Bubbles: Fun and Easy Science for Kids
by
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Happy New Year 2013 Giveaway Hop

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Happy New Year 2013 
Giveaway Hop

Hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer & Babs Book Bistro

January 1st - 7th 2013
 
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How about a $10 GC to amazon.com for that book you did not get over the holidays?

 

 

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Friday, December 28, 2012

Sworn to Raise Cover Reveal

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Cover designed by Kalen O'Donnell Cover Designs

Sworn to Raise by Terah Edun (Courtlight #1) - Publication date: March 15th, 2013
Seventeen-year-old Ciardis has grown up in poverty, a cleaner in a small vale on the outskirts of the  kingdom. But beneath her kingdom’s seemingly idyllic surface lies a hidden secret. Whispers of an inept crown Prince are growing ever louder—intensified by the five year anniversary of the soulbond  initiations.

Amidst scandalous whispers, Ciardis finds herself chosen to train for the Companion’s Guild. She leaves her home and sets off on a personal journey to become a Court Companion. A position she’d never thought possible for a lowly servant to obtain, she must prove that she has the skills to attract a Patron.

But she must master those skills quickly. If the legends are true, only Ciardis can harness the power to raise a Prince in an Imperial Court sworn to bring him down.

This sensational series debut melds intricate storylines with remarkable characters and unforgettable magic. Sworn To Raise is ideal for fans of Kristin Cashore, Michelle Sagara, and Maria Snyder.



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AUTHOR BIO
Terah Edun:
Terah Edun is an international development professional and author/lover of all things Young Adult Fantasy fiction. She is a native Georgian, adoptive Washingtonian, unrepentant expat currently living in South Sudan, brilliant dreamer, lover of dogs and not-so-closet geek. Her first novel, Red Madrassa, was released on November 8th and her second novel, Sworn to Raise, comes out in March 2013.

Author Links:
 
http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/a7132b1/" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway

 
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Just a Dog by Michael Gerard Bauer

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Just a Dog 
by Michael Gerard Bauer
144 pages 
NetGalley
Elementary
Dec. 2012

Book Jacket Summary
Sometimes a dog isn't just a dog--sometimes he's the glue the holds a whole family together.

Mr. Mosely is a special dog. Not just because he's so big (he's part Great Dane.) Not just because he's all white (with one black spot under his eye and a heart shaped splotch on his chest.) Not just because he's clumsy, or because of tricks (he only knows one, and it's not very good.) He's special because he seems to know exactly what everyone in Corey's family needs, even when they don't know themselves. This is the story of Mr. Mosely, from his puppyhood to the last time he curls up on the back porch. It's the story of how sometimes a dog isn't "just a dog". Sometimes he's the glue the holds a whole family together.

My Thoughts
What is it about dog books that always make me want to cry? Probably because my dog Chance is getting older and I know that he will be my Mr. Mosely. Corey talks about his adventure with his dog Mr. Mosely, a huge white dog with one black ear and a heart shaped spot on his chest. It is a sweet story that deals with more than just the typical fun stuff. It also deals with Corey's Mom and Dad going through the tough economic times. Dad is more and more cross and spends most of his time downstairs. However the focus is on Mr. Mosely and how he changes Corey's life for the better.
I especially love the story of how Amelia draws eyebrows on Mr. Mosely with permanent marker and he has a comical expression for months. Much like this guy here...


 (Picture Source)

Needless to say, I laughed and I cried through this book and I really liked the narration of the young boy talking about his dog. I would recommend but I warn that there is a sad ending, per usual with dog books. Otherwise this is a great book about a family and their dog.
Book Pairings
Old Yeller by  
Because of Winn-Dixie by

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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Cover Reveal: The Camp by Karice Bolton

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Cover by PhatPuppy Art ( http://phatpuppyart.com/ )

Book Details:

The Camp by Karice Bolton

Expected Pub: TBA

Emma has always strove for perfection in her almost eighteen years of existence, but it has never been good enough. As she finds herself counting the days until she’s officially free from her parents’ reins, her stepfather hands her a plane ticket explaining that she must attend the Re-Boot Camp in the wilds of Alaska.

Once she lands in the middle of nowhere, she realizes the camp is nothing like she imagined, and she wants out immediately. That is until she meets Liam.
The camp is full of teens with dark pasts, but she finds herself drawn to Liam’s ability to see who she really is and who she wants to become. While Emma and Liam begin adjusting to a place neither want to be, frightening events begin to unfold. When people begin disappearing, it becomes apparent they can only trust one another as they fight for survival.


Author Bio:

Karice Bolton

Karice Bolton is a paranormal romance/urban fantasy author living in the Pacific Northwest. All three books in The Watchers Trilogy are available now, Awakening, Legions, and Cataclysm. Lonely Souls, which is the first book in her new series Witch Avenue, was released in June 2012!



Karice married the love of her life who she met in high school, and she still can't get over how cute and funny he is. They have two English Bulldogs that are the cutest bullies in the world, and they use their cuteness to get what they want. Karice loves the snow and gravitates towards the stuff as often as possible! She enjoys skiing and tries really hard to snowboard, but often makes a nice little area to sit while everyone zips by on their board. She enjoys writing, and she also loves to read just about anything with print.

Author Links:


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Change the World Before Bedtime by Mark Kimball Moulton

Change the World Before Bedtime 
by Mark Kimball, Josh Chalmers, and Karen Good
NetGalley
Picture Book
August 2012

Book Jacket Summary
Written in simple, engaging rhyme, this story takes an inspirational look into how the little things in life a smile, a kind word, a simple deed can help change the world in a big way. Through 18 stunning illustrations, children will read about eating right, cleaning up the Earth by recycling and conserving, helping the sick and those less fortunate, and working in a group to make bigger miracles. Even an ordinary kid can be a superhero before bedtime! Grades Pre-K to 2.

My Thoughts
This cute book about making a difference in our world starts out like any other day except we are eating superfoods to boost our brains with fruits and whole grains. Children then pick up litter around their neighborhood and bring cheer to a sick neighbor. They also have a yard sale to benefit the local food bank and a lemonade stand to help kids overseas. This book shows all the little ways we can come together and help out our planet and our well being.
The illustrations are simple but effective. I do like the message and the way the illustrations look like very high quality children's art. I hope this book inspires many children to take part and make the world a better place. Even if it is just a smile at time. We all could use some cheer and happiness. Plus, making a garden and using compost will save money. It is also a useful skill for later on in life. I know I do not have a green thumb!

Book Pairings

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Trailer Reveal: Eternal Hope by Frankie Rose

Eternal Hope  by Frankie Rose (YA Paranormal)
Series: The Hope Series #2
Publication date: October, 2012
 
He loves me, he loves me not, he loves me

When your friends go missing and you don’t know if they’re dead or alive; when you tie your soul to the one you love; when you kill to protect and your family suffers, there’s only one thing you can do:

Move to Montana.

Farley Hope is special. She was prophesied to kill the forebears of her bloodline- a race of cold-blooded Reavers, men who steal the souls of the living to gain power. The Quorum had counted on Farley ending her own life in the process, but when Kayden came to her aid and helped save both her and Daniel, he undid their plans. Now the Quorum are displeased, not only with Kayden, but with Farley and Daniel too. Though her father is now dead, Farley’s troubles with the Reavers are far from over. An ancient Immortal, trapped for a thousand years, wants Farley for himself, and he will stop at nothing to claim her.

With secrets that lead to anger and pain, that turn friendship to dust, the group must overcome the problems within their own circle before they have a hope of fighting off the powers that threaten their lives.

 
 
 
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Two and Twenty Dark Tales: Dark Retellings of Mother Goose Rhymes edited by Georgia McBride and Michelle Zink

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 Two and Twenty Dark Tales: Dark Retellings of Mother Goose Rhymes 
edited by Georgia McBride and Michelle Zink
Anthology
NetGalley
October 2012

Book Jacket Summary
In this anthology, 20 authors explore the dark and hidden meanings behind some of the most beloved Mother Goose nursery rhymes through short story retellings. The dark twists on classic tales range from exploring whether Jack truly fell or if Jill pushed him instead to why Humpty Dumpty, fragile and alone, sat atop so high of a wall. The authors include Nina Berry, Sarwat Chadda, Leigh Fallon, Gretchen McNeil, and Suzanne Young.

My Thoughts
Now this a book that you do not want to read when you are already sad or down because it will make you cry. When they say dark tales, they really mean dark tales. Although, there are some with a bitter sweet ending and an occasional happy ending. That being said... I loved this book and the dark tone! It was such a gothic feel with retellings of Mother Goose rhymes. They were original and wonderful. Michelle Zink and Georgia McBride did such a good job at picking the very best stories and writing two of the best themselves.
Some of my favorite include: As Blue as the Sky and Just as Old by Nina Berry which is based on Taffy was a Welshman. Aderyn has always felt alone and an outsider since she was found in a dumpster as a newborn. The newest foster home is just like all the rest and she longs for escape. When her only confidant, Mrs. Davis, is killed in a hit in run Aderyn turns to the new boy but instead learns about her past and also learns that she is stronger than she ever thought.
In One for Sorrow by Karen Mahoney (from the nursery rhyme of the same name), Rose is visited by a crow at night and knows that it is more than an ordinary crow. How can she break the curse of the witch and save her own broken heart?
A Ribbon of Blue by Micheele Zink made me cry and I have to say that is was the most beautiful and bitter sweet of the stories. It is about Ruby, who has CP and walk with a limp, and how she looks forward to the fair each year. She is looking for a boy with a whistle, ticket, and ribbon that a fortuneteller predicted. Will she finally have a day filled with a happiness that she has never known?
All of these stories are excellent and I love anthologies. Hope these two have more anthologies in store because they did a great job!

Book Pairings
Gothic: Ten Original Dark Tales editor Deborah Noyes 
Geektastic: Tales from the Nerd Herd edited by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci 
 
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Monday, December 24, 2012

Lighthouse Christmas by Toni Buzzeo


Lighthouse Christmas 
by Toni Buzzeo
illustrated by Nancy Carpenter
Library
Picture Book
2011

Book Jacket Summary

Frances is determined to make Christmas jolly for her younger brother, even if it means joining family on the mainland and leaving Papa behind on their isolated lighthouse island. After all, would Santa even know how to find them in this faraway spot? But when Christmas Eve is ushered in on a wild storm and Papa risks his life to rescue a drowning man, the children realize that the most important thing about the holiday is being together.
As in all great Christmas stories, a happy ending is in store, and Santa finds them after all. Cozy and nostalgic, this story was inspired by the Flying Santa program, a New England tradition since 1929. It's the perfect book for a family to read together in front of the fire on Christmas morning.

My Thoughts
What a sweet story about a family of lighthouse keepers on a small island at Christmas time. I never knew about the Flying Santa Service that dropped presents to those lonely families who stood guard over the lighthouse flame. This particular family is Frances, Peter, and Papa, who are new to the Ledge Lighttower and this is their first Christmas without Mama. Peter takes comfort in knowing that Christmas is two days away but Frances knows that the pantry is low on food. The supply boast has been delayed and this Christmas will not be like their last one on the main land. 
Frances and her Papa prepare for a severe storm that will delay everything even longer and they might not even have a true Christmas. They do save a man from the storm and Frances lights the wick of the lantern knowing that the Ledge Light Family is doing their best to save people. Christmas is a small but joyful affair until a package from the Flying Santa Service appears and Christmas is filled with presents and sweets.
This is a sweet book that focuses on a family that really could use a Christmas in the middle of a huge transition. Little Peter does not understand the responsibility that they have as lighthouse keepers but still tries to find the joy in Christmas. Frances is a bit more pragmatic but she is also older and in charge of feeding the family. I really liked this picture book and they family who struggle to get by. It is a great historical fiction that still resonates with readers today.  

Book Pairings
The Money We'll Save by Brock Cole 
The Magical Christmas Horse by Mary Higgins Clark


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Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Money We'll Save by Brock Cole


The Money We'll Save 
by Brock Cole
Library
Picture Book
2011

Book Jacket Summary
When Pa brings a turkey poult home to fatten for Christmas dinner, he assures Ma that it will be no trouble since it can live in a box by the stove and eat table scraps--and just think of the money we'll save! But it's not quite so simple to raise a turkey in a tiny flat in a nineteenth-century New York City tenement. Can Pa and the children manage the willful and growing Alfred and keep the neighbors happy until Christmas? Pa finds a solution for every difficulty--until he encounters one that threatens to ruin Christmas completely. How the family joins together to solve this last difficulty makes for a very funny and satisfying holiday story.

My Quick Thoughts
 This book brings to mind A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith because of the poor family trying to get by. It is certainly a quicker look than Betty Smith's wonderful epic but still a nice beginning to the theme. The book takes a humorous look at how a turkey disrupts the lives of a tenement family right before Christmas. Pa is convinced that keeping a turkey will save them money and that is his mantra throughout the book. Instead of saving them money, it makes a mess and eats constantly. In the end the children won't hear of killing their friend Alfred and he is given to a neighbor. This is a cute book and a sweet Christmas story about family love. I would recommended this one to those who enjoy a humorous story set around Christmas.

Book Pairings 
A Christmas Tree for Pyn by Olivier Dunrea
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Saturday, December 22, 2012

A Christmas Tree for Pyn by Olivier Dunrea


A Christmas Tree for Pyn 
by Olivier Dunrea
Library
Picture Book 
2011

Book Jacket Summary
Christmas is coming. In the craggy rocks on the snowy mountainside, tiny Pyn has her heart set on decorating her very first Christmas tree. But, "No Christmas tree," Papa says. Still, Pyn won't take no for an answer. She knows that a Christmas tree is just the thing their cottage needs to make the season festive and cheery. Pyn is determined to find the perfect Christmas tree - no matter what.
With this story of the love between a father and daughter, Olivier Dunrea captures the true spirit of Christmas.

My Thoughts
What a sweet book. I was smiling throughout this book because little Pyn is just so cute and loveable! It is a story about enjoying and making do with what you have. Pyn's father is a gruff, no nonsense kind of mountain man and always tells Pyn to call him Oother, his name, instead of Father. Poor Pyn takes this in stride and takes care of her father, I mean Oother. She cooks, cleans, and wishes for a Christmas tree. She goes out one day but Oother finds her and ultimately decides that they will have a Christmas tree after all. We find that Oother is grieving over the death of his wife and how much Pyn reminds him of her mother. It may go over some children's heads but they will see him slowly thaw at the end of the book. The drawings are simple with a white background but you can see Pyn's happy determination. Here Christmas tree is sparsely decorated with items she has collected throughout the year but her joy is beautiful and this makes her tree beautiful. This is a sweet Christmas story to check out from your local library.

Book Pairings

Friday, December 21, 2012

Wrecked Cover Reveal

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Cover designed by Once Upon a Time Covers.

Wrecked by Alyssa Rose Ivy (Clayton Falls, #3) - Publication date: Spring/Summer, 2013When your past catches up, it's time to stop running.

Jake Mathews messed up yet again— but this time his misstep lands him in the hospital. He wakes up to find the girl of his dreams and the memory of having his deepest secret revealed.

Emily Taylor needs a break. She's been working double shifts as a nurse just to pay the bills while trying to heal a broken heart. The last thing she needs is to fall for a patient.

Strapped with community service and the knowledge that he's disappointed everyone in his life, Jake is determined not to let Emily slip through his fingers. Emily wants Jake, but can she really open herself up to heartache again?




PhotobucketAUTHOR BIO
Alyssa Rose Ivy:
Alyssa Rose Ivy is a Young Adult and New Adult author who loves to weave stories with romance and a southern setting. Although raised in the New York area, she fell in love with the South after moving to New Orleans for college. After years as a perpetual student, she turned back to her creative side and decided to write. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and two young children, and she can usually be found with a cup of coffee in her hand.


Author Links:
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Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Christmas Wedding by James Patterson and Richard DiLallo


The Christmas Wedding 
by James Patterson and Richard DiLallo
266 pages
Library 
2011

Book Jacket Summary
The tree is decorated, the cookies are baked, and the packages are wrapped, but the biggest celebration this Christmas is Gaby Summerhill's wedding. Since her husband died three years ago, Gaby's four children have drifted apart, each consumed by the turbulence of their own lives. They haven't celebrated Christmas together since their father's death, but when Gaby announces that she's getting married--and that the groom will remain a secret until the wedding day--she may finally be able to bring them home for the holidays.

But the wedding isn't Gaby's only surprise--she has one more gift for her children, and it could change all their lives forever. With deeply affecting characters and the emotional twists of a James Patterson thriller, The Christmas Wedding is a fresh look at family and the magic of the season.

My Thoughts 
If you are looking for a Lifetime movie about the perfect Christmas than you are reading the right book. It is full of over the top ways of trying to make your cry and feel good story lines. This may not be everyone's cup of tea but after reading so many end of the world stories and dystopian dramas this is what I was looking for in a Christmas book. I am not usually the one to read these "feel good" books that end up on the Popular Top Ten List but for this one I made the exception and I'm still not sure why. All I know is that the cover looked pretty and I wanted to see how they would pull off the "who knows who the groom is" plot. 
The characters are straight out of a Lifetime movie, the workaholic daughter, the would-be writer looking to be published, the battered wife, and the wife of the cancer patient. These story lines are okay and you pretty much know how they will end but they still make you feel like everything is going to be okay. The main character, Gaby Summerhill, is going to remarry but no one knows who the groom is going to be and she keeps everyone guessing until the last minute. She has everyone in the book wrapped around her little finger and is practically perfect. It sounds like I hated this book but I actually enjoyed it. I see the flaws but count it as a guilty pleasure of the holidays.
It is a sweet book and certainly not for everyone. I liked the Christmas joy and happy endings.

Book Pairings
Sundays' at Tiffany's by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet

Released Souls Cover Reveal

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Released Souls (Witch Avenue #3) by Karice Bolton
Expected publication: January 2013

Triss and Logan’s love is becoming stronger by the day as they harness the powers between them, but will that make them blind to the evil they’re facing?

After uncovering startling information about her family, Triss is determined to right the wrongs of her ancestors. Triss and Logan uncover who has infiltrated the covens across the globe, and they realize the plans of the dark side are far more sinister than they’d ever imagined.
As the power of this hidden world is exposed, Triss learns her role in the covens. With Logan, Dace and Bakula’s assistance, Triss is now able to fully realize the abilities her ancestors have given her.
It won’t be long until the dark forces regain their strength, especially as their leader, Eben, continues his quest for a power that can never be revoked. Triss must stop him before it is too late.


Goodreads link:

Author Bio:

Karice Bolton

Karice Bolton is a paranormal romance/urban fantasy author living in the Pacific Northwest. All three books in The Watchers Trilogy are available now, Awakening, Legions, and Cataclysm. Lonely Souls, which is the first book in her new series Witch Avenue, was released in June 2012!


Karice married the love of her life who she met in high school, and she still can't get over how cute and funny he is. They have two English Bulldogs that are the cutest bullies in the world, and they use their cuteness to get what they want. Karice loves the snow and gravitates towards the stuff as often as possible! She enjoys skiing and tries really hard to snowboard, but often makes a nice little area to sit while everyone zips by on their board. She enjoys writing, and she also loves to read just about anything with print.

Author Links:


Buy links:
Lonely Souls (Witch Avenue book 1) -

Altered Souls (Witch Avenue book 2) -

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Dangerous Cover Reveal

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Cover designed by Okay Creations.

Dangerous by Suzannah Daniels - Publication date: February 10th 2013Stone Hamilton had never known fear…until the accident.  Since then, his life has spiraled out of control.  He’s been kicked out of private school, deemed a disappointment by his father, and forced to endure his own guilt, anger, and grief.  The last thing he wants is a relationship with someone who will have expectations of him.  But once he’s enticed by the shimmering pink lips of the oh-so-popular, academically-excelling, straitlaced hottie from his new school, he knows he’s in trouble.

Seventeen-year-old Dara Golding has one goal for the summer.  Make enough money to buy a car, so that she can drive to school her senior year.  After starting a new job, she realizes that she’ll be working with the brooding, motorcycle-riding, bad boy who started attending Quail Mountain High last year.  With his less than stellar reputation, he’s everything she’s afraid of…and that makes him dangerous.

Their undeniable attraction has Stone struggling with his inner demons.  As Dara slowly allows Stone to claim her heart, a little white lie to cover an ugly truth could determine whether she’s his savior or the final straw that will break his sanity.



AUTHOR BIO
Suzannah Daniels:
Suzannah Daniels has had an affinity for words for as long as she can remember. She grew up in North Georgia with four brothers, so she learned at an early age to admire snakes and motorcycles.  When she wasn't pestering her brothers, she could usually be found reading or writing.

She is the author of Viking's Embrace, a historical romance, and Ghostly Encounter, Book One of her Ghostly series (young adult paranormal romance).

Currently, she lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee with her husband and her teenage daughter. Her son lives nearby. The family pets include a Lab mix, a Basset Hound, a Shih Tzu, and a sweet, little kitty.

Author Links:
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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Where, Oh Where is Santa Claus? by Lisa Wheater


Where, Oh Where is Santa Claus?
by Lisa Wheater
illustrated by Ivan Bates
Picture Book
Library
2007

Book Jacket Summary

It's a typical Christmas Eve at the North Pole. That is, until Santa suddenly disappears! Luckily, his polar pals are on the case. But will the furry friends rescue dear old Santa before it's too late for him to make his special deliveries? Filled with Lisa Wheeler's festive rhymes and Ivan Bates's cozy illustrations, here is a rollicking Christmas adventure that little ones will want to hear over and over again.

My Thoughts

This is a lovely book! The illustrations are beautiful with artic animals rescuing Santa Claus. The white animals and white snow make an interesting contrast but Bates makes it work wonderfully. The bear, seal, fox, and rabbits are so adorable and the reindeer are the only colorful animal with a touch of brown. Bates uses rosy pinks and reds to make the day fade into night. I love the illustration of the animals lining up to pull Santa out of the snow! The story is sweet and I really love this picture book. Sit in your rocker and read this one to your child right away or use it in a story time! Highly recommend!

Book Pairings

Santa's Stuck by Rhonda Gowler Greene
Bear Stays Up for Christmas by Karma Wilson
Who Will Guide My Sleigh Tonight? by Jerry Pallotta

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Suzy Goose and the Christmas Star by Petr Horacek


Suzy Goose and the Christmas Star
by Petr Horacek
Picture Book
Library
2010

Book Jacket Summary

Tenacious Suzy Goose aims to top her Christmas tree with a star from the sky — with unexpectedly wondrous results — in this vibrant, whimsical tale.

It’s Christmas Eve, and Suzy Goose and her friends are admiring their beautifully decorated tree. It’s perfect except for one thing: a star for the top. But Suzy sees just the right one, high in the sky, and no one can stop her from trying every possible way to get it! Bold, expressive illustrations follow the charmingly single-minded goose in a new adventure, a tale of seasonal magic found in surprising places.

My Thoughts

Suzy Goose goes off to look for the Christmas star to place on top of the barn yard’s Christmas tree but no matter how high she jumps she can’t quite reach it. She goes back when she hears her friends calling and finds that the star is right over the tree without her help. This is a sweet Christmas story. The illustrations are in mixed media and Suzy Goose is very sketchy with lines the shadow her body. I really like how they illustrate that sometimes you do not need to leave home to find what you want. Apparently there are more Suzy Goose stories and I will be checking them out soon!

Book Pairings

Silly Suzy Goose by Petr Horacek
Look Out, Suzy Goose by Petr Horacek

Monday, December 17, 2012

Scaredy Squirrel Prepares for Christmas by Melanie Watt

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Scaredy Squirrel Prepares for Christmas
by Melanie Watt
Picture Book
NetGalley
2012

Book Jacket Summary
'Tis the season for worrying, planning, decorating, wrapping, entertaining, carolling and, worst of all, fruitcake! Scaredy Squirrel returns with a quirky safety guide filled with practical tips and nutty step-by-step instructions to help readers prepare for a perfect Christmas. A fun-filled guide sure to appeal to all the Scaredies out there!

My Thoughts
Warning! Scaredy Squirrel insists that everyone put on mittens before reading his review. I have read most of the Scaredy Squirrel series but have posted a review, an over site that will be quickly remedied. This humorous series was in desperate need of a Christmas book because I need to know how to prepare for the coming holiday week. This book is just the thing I need! Scaredy Squirrel prepares us for Christmas decorations, sweets, gifts, characters, pet peeves and FUN! Plus what to do when all else fails!
I highly recommend this cheerful book about a squirrel who is always prepared for the worst!

Book Pairings
Bah! Humbug? by Lorna Balian and Lecia Balian
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by






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V is for Virgin by Kelly Oram Blog Tour

Tour Schedule



Author Kelly Oram

Kelly Oram wrote her first novel at age fifteen–a fan fiction about her favorite music group, The Backstreet Boys, for which family and friends still tease her. She's obsessed with reading, talks way too much, and loves to eat frosting by the spoonful. She lives outside of Phoenix, Arizona with her husband and four children.

V is for Virgin
When Val Jensen gets dumped for her decision to stay a virgin until marriage, the nasty breakup goes viral on YouTube, making her the latest internet sensation.
After days of ridicule from her peers, Val starts a school-wide campaign to rally support for her cause. She meant to make a statement, but she never dreamed the entire nation would get caught up in the controversy.

As if becoming nationally recognized as “Virgin Val” isn’t enough, Val’s already hectic life starts to spin wildly out of control when bad boy Kyle Hamilton, lead singer for the hit rock band Tralse, decides to take her abstinence as a personal challenge.

How can a girl stay true to herself when this year’s Sexiest Man Alive is doing everything in his power to win her over?


V is for Virgin is scheduled to be released on December 11, 2012.

For those who might wonder about content based on the title -
From Kelly: The book has a great overall message and promotes good strong moral values. For a book all about sex, there's not anything even close to a sex scene in it, but because of the nature of the topic there is a lot of innuendo/sexual humor and some name calling.


My Thoughts
Sex is not something to be pressured into and this is a great book about a girl who has the whole nations attention when a YouTube video of her deceleration of her virginity goes viral. Val is a product of a teenage pregnancy and was adopted by a loving couple but that thought of a teenage pregnancy weighs heavily on her mind. Val is determined to stay a virgin until she marries. However, the worlds biggest rock star is seeing this as a challenge and is determined to concur Val. 
 
I highly enjoyed this book because I like that Val sticks to her guns because the world is pressuring her to have sex. That should be her decision and no one else should have the right to pressure her into something she is not ready for. Another good book to pair this with is Meg Cabot's Ready or Not. This book has the same message except Sam is ready to have sex with her boyfriend and says so on national TV. She is labeled a slut by those around her even though she has not gone through with it. These are very personal choices and I think that girls should not be labeled either way. *Getting off my soapbox now*
 
I would recommend this one to girls and guys. Guys because you need to see what is going through a girls mind when she says that she is not ready and girls because there are other girls out there who are not ready as well and that is okay. Fun book with lots of witty banter! 

 
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Blood Oath Book Blast




Blood Oath by T.L. Clarke

The battle against pure evil begins. Friendships are betrayed. Rivals bond...and powers collide.


Before I discovered that I was born into a secret society called the Eternals, blood-oath Warriors sworn to track and slay the dark and evil creatures that walk the shadows of the earth, the only major thing that I, I mean we--that's me, Jessica, Rosalinda, and Zora--cared about was starting our freshman year at Vineswell Academy, the prestigious boarding school for girls.

But that was way before the blinders were cruelly ripped from our eyes and cold reality slapped us on the back of our heads with a chain of not-so-nice realities, like the fact that everything we knew about our mothers was all lies, essentially smoke and mirrors designed to hide their very secretive lives as Circles, women Warriors inside the very deadly world of the Eternal Warriors.





Excerpt
            “Your wicked magic will not work on me, Eternal. The choice is simple. Break the curse.” His voice was smooth like honey, coaxing and very mesmerizing.

            I laughed bitterly. “Using the enthrall spell will not ease the pain of my final decision.” Part of me was quaking in my shoes, but the other part was
irrationally calm. The conflicting emotions were tearing me apart. I looked at him with more calm than I was actually feeling as I continued, “I cannot give you what you want. The curse remains until sacrifices are made.”

            What in the world was I saying? I was practically sealing my death by telling him no. The Gabrielle side of my brain was screaming to just tell him what he wanted to hear to save my life, but the soul that was currently possessing me was saying quite the opposite.

            Tears slipped down my cheeks. “What shall your sacrifice be?”

            “You,” he responded in a voice laced with pure venom.

            I watched unflinchingly as his swords roared with flames, slicing smoothly into my body. Fire encircled me; wicked flames licked my skin without mercy, burning me from the outside in. I gasped with pain, banging against the shell of my body with all my might, but I was unwillingly trapped inside of the fiery tomb of pain. I silently begged
for escape as the heat smothered me, until the rational part of my brain screamed furiously that this was just a dream; just wake up, and it would be over. Or would it?

            “Gabi!”

            I heard my name being called, but it was distorted and warped, like it was being called through a wind tunnel.

            “Gabi, wake up.”


Purchase



Author T.L. Clarke

I write Preteen/Teen Fiction. I also write Adult Fiction (Paranormal Romance) as my alter-ego Sedona Venez. I'm a  lifelong reader with a fascination with mythology and anything paranormal. When I'm not writing, I can be found watching bad movies, listening to music, and traveling.





BookBlast Giveaway
$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 12/27/12
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareadernotawriter.blogspot.com and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.


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