Monday, January 30, 2012

The Princess of Las Pulgas Review

You know, I keep reading such great books that I think they can't get any better. Then along comes one that does. Recently, I was fortunate to win a copy of C. Lee. McKenzie's latest novel, The Princess of Las Pulgas. Okay. You gotta read it too. In the meantime, here's my review.

If you’ve ever lost a family member, you know how devastating it is and how your whole life changes. Then, if circumstances cause you to have to leave the home you’ve grown up in and live in a new place totally different to what you’re used to, it’s understandable that you’ll be bitter and hate your new life. At least at first.

Author C. Lee McKenzie’s latest novel for young adults, The Princess of Las Pulgas, deals with such a situation. When Carlie Edmund’s father dies, she loses not only the father that she loves but also her home and her friends. Unable to afford their expensive beach house any longer, Carlie’s mother sells it and they move to Las Pulgas, the worst place in the universe Carlie can imagine living. Even the cat, Quicken, is upset and runs away. Carlie and her younger brother, Keith, also have to attend a new school where Juan, the boy with the big smile, gives her the nickname Princess because he says she acts like royalty. Carlie has a lot to learn about the students in her new school as well as her old friends from Channing. And along the way little whispers in her heart remind Carlie of advice her father gave her. To me, these whispers show how close Carlie and her father were and how she is hurting for him.

Ms. McKenzie has written a touching story about love and loss, family and friends, and how we can misjudge people when we don’t really know them. This book would make a great addition to school libraries to help students that may be going through a situation similar to Carlie’s and also for your own personal library.

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Friday, January 27, 2012

What Was I Thinking?

Last summer, when the temperature was 100 degrees plus day after day, a little gray cat came into my life. I didn't want him. I had Patches, my calico, that appeared on the patio six years ago. She was sweet and I loved her. No more cats. They were trouble. They were expensive (vet bills and food).

Well, little gray had other ideas. He stayed on the patio except during the heat of the day when he went to the barn for the shade. He was so skinny, I started feeding him. He wouldn't hang around for long, I thought, and I couldn't watch him starve.

One thing led to another and before I knew it, Tiger, yes I named him, was in the house. Over the years we've taken in many throw away cats, but Tiger is one of the sweetest cats to own us. He's also sick. Visits to the vet, a strict diet, and lots of love I hope will cure him. Patches is less than friendly, and he just puts up with her. Maybe they'll be friends one day.

I don't know why, but I just needed to write about Tiger today. Here he is:



I wonder what his story is.

Have a nice weekend.

Happy Reading and Writing.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Destined amd Through the Portal

I have more great stories to tell you about. So pour a cup of coffee or tea, settle back and read on:

DESTINED by Jessie Harrell

From Goodreads:

When Psyche receives a prophecy gone horribly wrong, she learns that even the most beautiful girl in Greece can have a hideous future. Her fate? Fall in love with the one creature even the gods fear.

As she feels herself slipping closer into the arms of the prophecy, Psyche must choose between the terrifyingly tender touch she feels almost powerless to resist and the one constant she's come to expect out of life: you cannot escape what is destined.

Destined is a fresh and heartachingly romantic retelling of the Cupid & Psyche myth from debut novelist, Jessie Harrell.


The Review:

Take a boy, a girl, and a mother who wants to see them married. Mix. And you have a typical romance story, right? Well, sometimes. Other times you have romance, sure, but also adventure, sister rivalry, mortals, gods, and betrayals.

Author Jessie Harrell’s debut novel, Destined, has romance all right. It also contains much more. The boy, Eros, is a god. The girl, Psyche, is a mortal. Aphrodite, the mother of Eros, has chosen Psyche to serve as her daughter and also to marry her son. There are problems from the start, however. The two would-be lovers are strongly opposed to the marriage and make their feelings known. What’s a poor mother to do? Will Aphrodite find a new bride for her son? Will she punish Psyche for her unacceptable behavior regarding Eros? As the story unfolds, the reader follows the characters, sometimes wanting to shake them, other times wondering if the two lovers’ fates are destined or if they can change the future, at least these were the thoughts of this reader. Every time I thought I had it all figured out, the story would take a turn and introduce something totally unexpected, and I had to keep reading to see how the new developments worked out.

Now I know very little about mythology and gods and goddesses, but I loved Eros and Psyche, even though they weren’t always nice which made them more interesting, and I so wanted them to find happiness. Jessie Harrell raised the tension with each page, keeping the reader guessing what would happen next. She also threw in a couple of twists along the way, so I never was quite sure what to expect next. Whether you’re new to mythology, like me, or know all about the gods and goddesses, I think you’ll enjoy reading Destined. It’s a story well worth your time.

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THROUGH THE PORTAL by Justin Dennis

From Goodreads:


What's the worst part of falling through a portal to another world and not being able to get back? When the first person you meet almost gets you killed by a ferocious, fire-breathing dragon. Luckily, Jem and Oliver, two boys who were about to start their first year in high school, are saved by Sierra, a farm girl who is itching to get out of her small town. Together, the three of them set off on a quest to defeat the evil Veroci Regime that is stealing all the magic from the world, but can they do it before the Dragon catches up with them?
Through the Portal is the first book in a planned trilogy.
Approx. 104,000 words(less)


The Review:


Ebook courtesy of the author

Some kids get teased a lot at school. Some kids defend those that are teased. Friendship is a beautiful thing. Everyone needs a friend they can depend on.

In Justin Dennis’s debut novel, Through the Portal, we meet Jem Surwae and Oliver Pautelle. Jem is poor and often the victim of the bullies at school. He isn’t looking forward to entering high school next year. Oliver lives in a mansion and takes up for Jem.

On the last day of school, at 1 AM, the boys decide to go scuba diving. When they discover a hole in the bottom of the lake, their whole lives change and they’re soon on an adventure that takes them through a portal to another world. A 4-foot tall man, a giant bear, and Red Dragons are just the beginning. The boys meet sisters, Sierra and Rimaya, who use magic even though the Regime has outlawed magic for the people. Jem and Oliver want to help fight the Regime before they take control and kill everyone opposed to them, but they soon find themselves in big trouble. You’ll have to read the book to find out how, or if, they succeed in their goals.
Likeable characters and interesting encounters with unusual creatures in a fantasy world make for a fast read. The author has written a story that will appeal to fantasy lovers who like characters with spunk. This is the first book in a trilogy, so join in the fun and follow Jem and Oliver on their travels. I believe Justin Dennis has a promising future in writing ahead of him.

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Monday, January 16, 2012

A Couple of Reviews to Start the Week!

I'd like to share with you a couple of books I've read recently. Fallon O'Reilly and the Ice Queen's Lair and Rock Bound. Enjoy.

Fallon O'Reilly and the Ice Queen's Lair by Debra K. Dunlap.

From GoodReads:

Magic lives in the Americas, too?

Land of the Midnight Sun. The Aurora Borealis. Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes. Dog sleds. Mount Denali. 60 degrees below zero. Moose. Grizzly bears. Salmon. Gold nuggets. Blueberries. Bunny boots and duct tape.

To most people, the word "Alaska" evokes visions of a wild, mysterious land, but for Fallon O'Reilly, it means home. Growing up in a village hidden deep in the wilderness, she eagerly anticipates her first sojourn at the Borealis Academy of Magical Arts. Nothing dampens her enthusiasm; not the creepy bookseller, her sisters' nagging or the world's nastiest classmate.

However, when village inhabitants disappear, someone murders a student's pet and she suffers a near-fatal attack by a horrible, hairy creature, Fallon's curiosity draws her into a dark mystery. Can a twelve-year-old witch, together with her wheelchair-bound cousin and new found friend from Wyoming, uncover the identity of the evil behind the chilling events?

From the wind-swept tundra to the frozen peaks of Mount Denali, Fallon's struggle to protect the school and her fellow students encompasses a journey of far more breadth than she expected.

The Review:

I won the EBook in a contest.

How would you like to attend a school with brownies that don’t like to be seen by humans or with a ghost called six-toed Sam? What if you took flying lessons on a horse, and a mysterious Ice Queen seemed to be watching you? Sound intriguing? Add the discovery of a girl’s body, drained of blood, and a bully named Ophelia, and you enter the lives of three young characters determined to solve the mysteries surrounding them. And these are just for starters. You’ll also encounter more unusual happenings at the Borealis Academy of Magical Arts. So come on in and see what adventures await you.

Author Debra K. Dunlap’s novel for tween/teen readers is a fantasy story about Fallon O’Reilly, who, along with her cousin Ardis and friend Eddie, meet some weird creatures in their quest to get an education. The Alaskan setting with its snow and mountains is the perfect place for the story to unfold. From the opening scene with the birth of the babe “born with the mark,” to meeting the professors of their new school, to being attacked by an odd creature, the children’s experiences are anything but dull. The author takes the reader on a fantastic journey through unexplored places in the school as the kids learn more about the people and creatures inhabiting it.

A helpful glossary at the end of the book explains Latin words, Alaskan words, and others. Fallon O’Reilly and the Ice Queen’s Lair has many similarities to the Harry Potter books, but the Alaskan setting and the characters with their own unique personalities have a story to tell and they tell it very well. The book should appeal to fantasy lovers, young and old, and make a nice addition to school classrooms and libraries.

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Rock Bound by Rochelle Weber

From GoodReads:

The future is a dangerous place for dreamers and idealists.
When a dictator takes over the United States, Annie Peterson attends a protest in Washington, DC, with her husband Paul, and US troops fire into the crowd killing him. Jake Johnsrud, a virtual stranger, risks his life to save Annie’s. They are among the survivors who are sentenced to slavery on the Moon for their “crimes”—Jake as a miner; Annie as a sex slave.
Jake fights increasing feelings of anger and jealousy as Annie struggles to perform her job, while she resists her increasing attraction to him. Along with their fellow inmates, they fight to survive on the lunar "rock" that is their prison


The Review:

Imagine the U. S. Constitution being repealed. Imagine going to Washington DC to protest to have the Constitution restored and have free elections, but soldiers fire on you and you’re soon under arrest, accused of treason. Sounds terrifying, right? Could it happen?

This is exactly what happens in Author Rochelle Weber’s novel, Rock Bound. The year is 2051. Annie Peterson and her husband Paul leave their baby boy with Annie’s mother in California and set off across the country to take part in the protest even though they realize chances are good they’ll be arrested. They cannot visualize the horror that awaits them, however. Many of the protesters are killed. Annie and others that survive are sent to the moon where they’ll be indentured for ten years to the Freezeland Mining Corporation as punishment. Even after completing their sentence they must pay their way back to Earth, which is highly unlikely. Now I’ve never thought much about what life on the moon would be like. The author, however, paints a vivid picture of the hardships and trials the prisoners face in their new world. They have to grow their own food. No supermarkets exist where they can shop for bread and milk. At first they eat a lot of A-Rats. When a second wave of prisoners arrives, Annie and the new friends she’s made learn that the people on Earth want their constitution restored so fighting is still going on and the supplies they need likely will not arrive. Add a meteor that causes damage and death to their group and you have a story with constant action that makes the reader wonder if they will survive in this new world. Will they ever return home to the families left behind? Or is the moon their forever home?

The author goes into great detail about what the characters must do to survive on the moon. It’s fascinating. How much of the facts are accurate I do not know, but Ms. Weber has written a story that held my attention. I think you will enjoy it, as well.

I won the paperback in a contest.

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Happy Reading.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Thank You!

A big Texas THANK YOU to everyone who took time out from your busy day to vote for Frankie's Perfect Home in the Preditors and Editors Readers Poll. Frankie finished in the top 10, number 6, which is awesome. Frankie says "You're the best."

I'd also like to remind you that the eBook sale from Twilight Times ends on January 15, 2012. You can purchase books at Amazon for your Kindle, at Barnes & Noble for your Nook or at Twilight Times. Prices range fron $0.99 to $3.95 Caves, Cannons, and Crinolines, my YA historical novel is $2.95. My iPad overfloweth with books. Now to find the time to read them.

Myspace Graphics
Myspace Graphics, Friday The 13th Graphics at WishAFriend.com

Happy Reading. Have a howling good weekend.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Spurs for Jose Review

Historical fiction novels are some of my favorite stories. Recently, I read Wanda Snow Porter's YA novel Spurs for Jose and would like to share it with you. Here's a little about Wanda from her Website: I grew up on a small farm roaming the hills and riding horses along the California Coast, attended school in a nearby town, then married and stayed in this friendly community to raise a family. As a docent for the Dana Adobe, I help school kids experience what life was like 150 years ago on an Alta California rancho.
My love of animals, experience as a riding teacher and horse trainer, my passion for art and history led me to write and illustrate the Burro Picture Book Series published by the Dana Adobe Nipomo Amigos. To learn more about this wonderful old adobe or purchase books click:
Dana Adobe



The Review:

Many times I forget about the brave men, women, and children that settled our land. They suffered hardships we can only imagine, but because of the bravery of the people before us, America is the great nation that it is today.

In author Wanda Snow Porter’s novel, Spurs for Jose, the reader travels back in time with twelve-year-old Jose Rodriquez as he faces one challenge after another on the way to becoming a vaquero and taming the wild horses like his father and brothers. The year is 1846 and when Jose’s father tells him it’s time for Jose to ride the young colts, Jose is excited, but he also wonders if he has the courage that he needs to follow after his father.

The author takes us on a journey that will appeal to the adventurous nature in young and old alike. Through Jose, we learn how to tame a wild horse the way the vaqueros did years ago. Since I love horses and we once owned several quarter horses, I found this especially interesting. Jose and the other characters are well developed, revealing their desires and bravery, along with their doubts and their fears. Spurs for Jose would make a good addition to classroom libraries for information on American history.

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Spurs for Jose is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Whimsical Publications LLC

Monday, January 9, 2012

All Sorts of Good News

Happy Monday. I hope your weekend was exactly what you wanted it to be. Today, I have a couple of exciting announcements to share with you.

First, my publisher Twilight Times Books is listed in the top 100 publishers for 2012 in Writers Digest. I'm so happy for Lida Quillen. She has workd hard to publish great books and to get the word out about them to readers. Congratulations, Lida. I'm glad to be one of your authors.

Second, last summer I posted a review of The Pineville Heist by Lee Chambers. (I've reposted it below in case you missed reading it.) Anyway, Lee has great news. Actor Booboo Stewart (Breaking Dawn) is on board to take on the lead role of Aaron Stevens in the movie. How exciting is that. You can learn more at Lee's Website.

The Review


Take a wealthy, seventeen-year-old kid with an attitude, a robbery, and cops with secrets, add missing bodies, a pretty teacher who may or may not be involved in the crime, stir, and you have an adventure story with twists and turns that will keep you guessing who the bad guys are until the end.
In Author Lee Chambers’ novel, The Pineville Heist, seventeen-year-old Aaron Stevens accidentally finds a backpack from PINEVILLE SAVINGS AND LOAN full of stolen money. When he hears Tremblay, Sheriff of Pineville, and Officer Carl discussing how someone got away with four to five million dollars, Aaron decides to return the money with the help of his friends. Well, the boys have good intentions, but they encounter major problems on the way to do their good deed. Soon Aaron, Mike, and Steve are running for their lives, pursued by a gunman determined to kill them. Aaron escapes to the school where more killing is going on, and a battle ensues between Aaron and one of  the robbers. I’m not saying who because that would give away the story. However, the timid boy who was afraid to shoot a deer when he was a child, now faces a choice: kill or be killed. Will Aaron find the courage to not only protect himself but his teacher, Amanda, as well?


Readers that like a fast-paced action story will enjoy The Pineville Heist. If you’re a bit squeamish, there are dead bodies, gunfights, and some bloody scenes. This novel is better suited for older teens, 14 and up. I did have a problem with the change in point of view so often. I can see why Mr. Chambers wrote the story this way because so many characters are involved. Maybe space breaks would have warned the reader that we were in a new character’s thoughts. The Pineville Heist is a good story about a young man who faces more challenges in life than most teens and how he deals with the changes in his life. Even though I’m not big on bodies lying around, I enjoyed watching Aaron tackle each situation the way only he could. I think you’ll enjoy the read as well. Perhaps leave the lights on if you read the novel at night.


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Happy Reading!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Preditors and Editors Readers Poll

I had a pleasant surprise today. Frankie's Perfect Home is nominated in the children's division of the Preditors and Editors Readers Poll. Link is here. Scroll about halfway down the page and there he is. I've been voting, but didn't realize my Frankie was there until my dear friend told me. So, if you haven't voted and like Frankie, we would appreciate your vote. The voting closes Jan. 10th at midnight.

Frankie says "Thank You."
Beverly does too.

Happy Reading!
Have a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Winners Are ....

Yes, we have winners in the New Year Giveaway Hop. Random.org did the drawing. Emails have been sent to


Tiffany

and

Candie L.

Happy Reading!

A big thank you to everyone who entered. Welcome to my new friends. May 2012 bring you happiness, good health, and your heart's desire. Please stop by anytime and leave a comment. Let me know what's happening in your world.