Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Reaper's Daughter Book Cover Reveal

The Reaper's Daughter by KM Randall
Publisher: Booktrope
Expected Publication: February 15, 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
The Reaper's Daughter
I’ve always felt like an average girl . . . except for my strange relationship with death. You could say I like to court it. Whether I’m soaring through the air as a flyer for Specter University’s cheer squad, or speeding down the steepest mountain with only grace and balance keeping me from an icy end, I’ve always needed to feel a rush. But now Death is courting me―in more ways than one. First, there’s Rishi, a rogue death deity who has a penchant for annoying me nearly to my grave and whose intense gaze has the power to see right through me. Then there’s Hades, who I’d rather had stayed just a myth. Now that he knows I exist, he’s never going to leave me alone until he can do the same to me as he’s done to my mother. Oh yeah, did I forget to mention her? I spent my whole life thinking she had died when I was a baby, but now I’ve found out she’s much more than dead. Fifty years ago, Hades banished my mother from the underworld and along with the Council of Death Deities, took away her ability to cross over souls―souls that have wandered lost through the world ever since. Now she wants me to clean up the mess. You may have heard of her before: they call her the Grim Reaper. You know what that makes me? The Reaper’s Daughter.
About the Author
KM Randall
As a girl, K.M. always wished she’d suddenly come into magical powers or cross over into a Faerie circle. Although that has yet to happen, she instead lives vicariously through the characters she creates in writing fantasy and delving into the paranormal. When K.M. is not busy writing her next novel, she is the editor-in-chief of a blog covering the media industry, as well as an editor with Booktrope Publishing. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Syracuse University and a bachelor’s degree in English-Lit from Nazareth College of Rochester. K.M. lives in Upstate New York’s Finger Lakes region with her husband and her extremely energetic little boy.

Friday, September 19, 2014

The Threshing Circle by Neil Grimmett

Genre:  Adult, Mystery, Suspense
Source: I received a copy to help facilitate my review.  The opinions expressed here are my own.
Warning:  There is some profanity and sexual violence mentioned in this book.

I wasn't really sure what to think about this book.  It sounded interesting from the beginning.  I was completely surprised by what I read.  It starts off in 1942 in a small village in Crete.  A young English woman is married to a Cretan soldier.  What she doesn't know is that he is married to another Cretan woman. She thinks the people of the village have accepted her when they give her a gift.  She shows it to her husband when he slips away from his patrol to see her.  Little does he know that the person who gave it to her has branded her in many ways and the Germans will use these gifts against her.  They take her from her house, leaving her young infant crying and they hang her.  Until she takes her last breath she believes she is dying for the cause of her village.  I could not believe how angry I felt at the villagers and how evil I felt some of them were.

The story then moves to present time and we meet a Scottish girl who is living in a Cretan village.  She keeps getting proposals from a Cretan named Barba Yorba.  They both see a young couple enter their village.  Barba Yorba is spooked by this for reasons you learn later.  Kristy welcomes Patneck and Eleni to the village.  She helps them find a jeep to tour the place.  Several strange events happen and then the couple disappear.  Kristy tries to find out about them and finds herself a target for reasons she doesn't understand.  She decides to seek the help of Barba Yorba.  At first he is reluctant.  The reason?  He holds secrets the villages and families want kept hidden.

This becomes a quick read because once you get started the action of it keeps you going.  You don't want to stop for any reason.  Definitely one you want to read.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Princess nevaeh Book Tour

Princess Nevaeh: Lessons on Self- Discovery 
by Paulette Harper
Paperback: 34 pages
Publisher: Thy Word Publishing (August 27, 2014)
ISBN-13: 978-0989969147
front cover 8 x 5

About The Book
Six year old Nevaeh wants to be something she already is. She will soon learn that her wish to be a princess takes a little more than just asking. Lessons on self-discovery are taught by her Mimi who makes her understand that being a princess takes work.

My Thoughts
This was a lovely book.  It is great for teaching children how to be a productive member of society. This book is full of great character traits that we want to teach our children. only did the author show what we want our children to exhibit, but also show the child the negative traits we don't want them to exhibit.  Definitly a book that should be on shelves in every home.

About The Author
author photo

Paulette Harper is an award-winning and best-selling author. She is the owner of Write Now Literary Virtual Book Tours and is passionate about helping authors succeed in publishing and marketing their books. Paulette has been writing and publishing books since 2008. Paulette is the author of That Was Then, This is Now, Completely Whole, Living Separate Lives and The Sanctuary. She resides in Northern, Ca.
Buy Link
Paulette Harper is an award-winning and best-selling author. She is the owner of Write Now Literary Virtual Book Tours and is passionate about helping authors succeed in publishing and marketing their books. Paulette has been writing and publishing books since 2008. Paulette is the author of That Was Then, This is Now, Completely Whole, Living Separate Lives and The Sanctuary. She resides in Northern, Ca.
Buy Link
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Monday, September 15, 2014

Desperate Reflections by Shay West


Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction
Source: I received an electronic copy to help facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own 
In This final book in the series, you can find reviews of the first and second book here and here,  we find Alexis Davenport dealing with even more issues.  She has broken up with her long-time boyfriend.  It was funny that it bothered her to find out through social media they were broken up, after she had ignored him for more than a month.  She has finally been given the okay to get her learner’s permit.  This is something everyone has joked about for a long time.  She, her mom and aunt have finally reached a point where she has set hours and expectations at her job, so that she has time for friends and a social life.  Things are going well until she learns her mom has a boyfriend.  I found this section to be absolutely hilarious.  She began to act like a spoiled little kid who couldn’t have her way.  There was a reason, an underlying cause for her behavior, which eventually comes out.

Then we get to the meat and potatoes of this book.  Her ability to travel back in time to stop things from happening that would change and have an adverse effect on history.  The reasons behind the Drifter’s plan to stop her become clear.  She has learned to use her gift to find the Traveler and is shocked to learn he doesn’t live in the past, he lives in the present and through a mistake he now knows who she is, and is set on coming after her. He will do whatever it takes to her family to get to her.

I sat up to finish the book.  I could not sleep until I read the last page.  I have recommended the series to our media specialist at school and will soon have all three copies on my own classroom shelves.  I wanted to wait until all three were out.  I have students who hate when a book comes out and they have to wait forever to read the next one in the series.  This is a series you want to read from cover to cover.  I can only hope that Shay West comes out with something new soon.  She is one of my favorite new authors.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

My Cousin’s Keeper - Simon Frency

Genre: Middle Grade Realistic Fiction
Source: I won a copy from LibraryThing

The main characters in this story are like many of my middle schools students. They want to fit in, and be accepted by others in school.  Looking and acting different make that difficult.  Associating with someone who is different is just as bad.  The main character Kieran has been trying to be part of the “in crowd” since his best friend moved away. He is always on the fringe as if he just isn’t quite good enough.  It is usually these kids who get into trouble by going too far to fit in.  In Kieran’s case, his difficulty fitting in just got harder.  His cousin Bon, whom he’s only met once before and doesn’t really like, shows up at his school and his home.  Kieran’s friends Mason and Lucas make fun of  Bon for his long braid and his not as nice clothes.  Bon seems unfazed.  He doesn’t care about fitting in.  Things get tougher when Julia the new girl that Kieran has a crush on, starts hanging with Bon.  Kieran really feels betrayed.  He joins in the bullying of his cousin. 

Things aren’t always what they seem, and this author did a wonderful job of showing that.  Bon is a character I not only felt so sorry for, yet admired.  He had his eyes set on where he wanted to go in life and kept his head up as he headed that way.  He was a true friend and cousin.  We learn more about Julia and her secrets as the story progresses and see how and why Bon and Julia became such good friends.  We have all had that one black sheep in the family that we didn’t want to acknowledge. This book made me look back at when we were younger and how I treated that cousin.  My treatment of them may not have gone to the extremes that Kieran’s did but I was just as guilty. They are someone I now look up to and admire. 

I think one of the reasons I liked this book so much is because I can see the value of reading it to  my students and having it on my shelves at school. I also love books that take me back to my own childhood and show me how I was not much different than the character,s and teach melessons I should have learned long ago.  Yes I can say I learned a lot.  I am currently dealing with one of those black sheep in the family and realized I was headed the wrong way. This book was a great reminder.  It is a great thing when a children’s book can teach a lesson to an adult.  Because after all, we all want to fit in.  This book looks at the dynamics of “family”, bullying, and jealousy. This is definitely a book I will tell my school librarian needs to be on our shelves.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of theRr.M.S. Titanic by Iain Reading

Genre: Middle Grade, Mystery
Source: I received a copy from the publisher to help facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

 This book opens with Kitty in Ireland in a blow up sumo suit as part of an opening promotion for Wasabi Willy's. This is the company that is now funding her trip around the world. ON this venture, Kitty meets a handsome Scottish lad named Andrew Murdoch. Andrew was related to First Officer William McMaster Murdoch who was on watch the night the titanic sank. Andrew has asked Kitty to help solve a mystery. This was fascinating reading as there was so much to learn about the Titanic. One thing I really loved about the books is the wealth of information at the back of the book along with websites and other resources. This is why I absolutely adore this series.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Cover Reveal: The Soul Thief by Majanka Verstraete

the soul thief - front cover
The Soul Thief by Majanka Verstraete
Expected Release: November 11, 2014
Publisher: Booktrope
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
When Riley is injured in a car crash and sees a girl stealing a boy’s soul, she’s convinced she’s hallucinating. But when she sees the same girl at the hospital later, she knows she wasn’t dreaming. That’s when Riley learns her secret heritage and who she really is: a halfling Angel of Death. Riley must come to terms with her new reality and supernatural abilities, but before she can do this, girls her age start dying in mysterious circumstances. It’s up to Riley to figure out why, what the innocent victims have in common, and what she can do to stop them.
The Soul Thief - full cover majankaAbout the Author Majanka Verstraete begged her Mom to teach her how to read while she was still in kindergarten. By the time she finished fifth grade, she had read through the entire children’s section of her hometown library. She wrote her first story when she was seven years old, and hasn’t stopped writing since. With an imagination that never sleeps, and hundreds of possible book characters screaming for her attention, writing is more than a passion for her. She writes about all things supernatural for children of all ages. She’s tried to write contemporary novels before, but something paranormal always manages to crawl in. Majanka is currently studying for her Master of Laws degree, and hopes one day to be able to combine her passions for law and writing. When she’s not writing, reading or studying, she likes watching “The Vampire Diaries” and “Game of Thrones,” spending time with her friends, or playing “World of Warcraft.”

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Kitty Hawk and the Icelandic Intrigue - Iain Reading

Genre:  Middle Grade, Mystery
Source: I received a copy from the publisher to help facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

One thing that fascinates me about this series is the amount of knowledge we can gain from reading these books. In this third book we find Kitty in Iceland. As a teacher, learning how literate the people in Iceland are makes me sad that we can't seem to solve this problem. There is so much suspense in this book. There are floods and Russians and so many more reason to read this book. You must follow Kitty on her trip around the world just to see what situations she gets herself into, and how she manages to get out of them. Another great book in this series to put on my shelves at school.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway's Ghost - Iain Reading

Genre: Middle Grade, Mystery
Source: I received a copy from the publisher to help facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Kitty Hawk is one of those series that appeals to all ages. This middle grade novel appealed to me first as a great series to put on my middle grades classroom shelves, then it appealed to me because it combines two things. I love to read about history and mysteries. I loved this book in the series.  I live in Florida ad have been to Key West.  I was able to picture so many things Kitty sees. The idea that this young lady is sure to go after what she wants to know, gives girls everywhere a leg up in the world.  It encourages them to reach for their dreams and goals. This is an excellent second book in the series.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Two Short Stories

The Princess and the Pauper by Monica Murray
Genre: Traditional, All Ages
Source: I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

I liked this version of "The Prince and the Pauper", told from the perspective of a princess instead of a prince. The characters were believable. I was definitely unprepared for the way this story ended. The author threw a twist in that in my opinion was great. My only complaints were the constant descriptions about what Summer and Autumn were wearing. Often I found I was confused about who was whom. Overall this is a great and original retelling of a traditional tale. This is one I would definitely recommend.

Thicker Than Water by Clink Roslam

Genre: Contemporary Short Story
Source: I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

This was a great short story. The life of two boys, brothers take different paths as they grow up. One is constantly in some form of trouble. He fights at school and at home to protect his younger brother. After spending a little over a year in rehab for a heroin addiction, the older brother returns.  His first stop is to see his mother. His second stop is at the secret spot only he and his younger brother share. But, as the younger brother discovers, sometimes things go too deep to be repaired.  He accepts this as easily as he breathes.  This story is woven together nicely and is one I love for the emotions it brings to the surface.  I would read many more short stories by this author and hope to see more from him.