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Showing posts from November, 2008

Children's Book Review - South

Author: Patrick McDonnell
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Hardcover: 48 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Young Readers

In a story without words, just pictures, one reads the story of a sleeping bird whose friends fly off leaving it behind all alone and crying. Mooch the cat, comes across this pitiable creature and undertakes the task of leading it to where its friends are. Together they make their way across suburbia, a city, a forest, through night and day, even as the snow starts falling. Mooch is tired, but his newfound friend's sorrow motivates him to keeping moving and ultimately find the other birds.

This is a simple yet very moving story. I read it out aloud to my toddler, describing the actions and putting in sound effects where ever needed. As a result, he was thoroughly entertained and neither of us felt the lack of words on the pages at all. Even the images are subtle, soft and very pleasing. The story they tell is one which, like all good stories, has a moral hidden inside…

Book Review - Poisoned Profits

Poisoned Profits: The Toxic Assault on Our Children
Author: Philip and Alice Shabecoff
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Random House

In this shocking and sobering book, two fearless journalists directly and definitively link industrial toxins to the current rise in childhood disease and death. In the tradition of Silent Spring, Poisoned Profits is a landmark investigation, an eye-opening account of a country that prizes money over children’s health.

If you read one book this year, then make it this one.

I do not say this just as a parent, but as a human being whose world is being polluted around her beyond belief! Frankly speaking, reading this book was like having all my personal nightmares as a parent come true. This is the reason why I buy organic food even though it's expensive, try natural remedies and struggle to live as "green" a lifestyle as possible in today's economy.

The authors are 2 journalists who've not only un…

Book Review - The Fire Kimono by Laura Joh Rowland

The Fire Kimono (Sano Ichiro Novels) Author : Laura Joh Rowland Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Minotaur; 1st edition (November 11, 2008) Synopsis: The strife between Sano Ichiro, the samurai detective who has risen to power in the shogun's court, and his enemies has escalated to the brink of war. Called away from the crisis by the shogun's orders to investigate a mysterious skeleton Sano and his wife, Reiko, must confront dangerous, long buried secrets. What was Sano's own mother doing on the night when a burning kimono ignited a blaze that destroyed the city of Edo? The shogun gives Sano and Reiko just three days to find out—or risk losing not only their position at court but their families lives as well.Review

I have been following the Sano Ichiro series for a long time now, if not from the first. While I love this samurai/historical detective series itself, the individual stories comprising the series have been more of a hit-or-miss kind. The novel prece…

Nature Discovery In My Backyard - Review & Giveaway


Nature Discovery In My Backyard Author:  Rebecca Mattano Paperback: 16 pages
Publisher: The Little Environmentalists LLC; 1st edition (2008) Synopsis: Children will use their senses to explore nature. They will smell, hear, feel, and see their way through their own backyard nature discovery. Each page offers a unique look into nature with colorful pictures that will challenge your children to find all that nature has to offer. In the back of the book parents and educators will find amazing tips for going on a nature discovery with their children and students anytime of the year! The Nature Notes in the back of the book provide exciting information about the plants and animals in our nature discovery. This book also links to the Model Early Learning Standards so educators can use this book a a teaching tool.As a kid, the home I lived in had a huge backyard and an even bigger front garden. One of my earliest pleasures was to sit in the velvety grass …

Book Review - Romeo, Romeo by Robin Kaye


Romeo, Romeo Author: Robin Kaye
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca Rosalie Ronaldi doesn't have a domestic bone in her body. All she cares about is her career, so she survives on take-out and dirty martinis, keeps her shoes under the dining room table, her bras on the shower curtain rod, and her clothes on the couch. Nick Romeo is every woman's fantasy - tall, dark, handsome, rich, really good in bed, AND he loves to cook and clean. He says he wants an independent woman, but when he meets Rosalie, all he wants to do is take care of her. Before too long, he's cleaned up her apartment, stocked her refrigerator, and adopted her dog.

So what's the problem? Just a little matter of mistaken identity, corporate theft, a hidden past in juvenile detention and one big nosy Italian family too close for comfort.Review

If you're in the market for a light-hearted romantic romp, then Romeo, Romeo is the book for you. I en…

Children's Book Review - The Sister's Club by Megan Mcdonald

The Sisters Club ~ Megan Mcdonald
196 pp
Reading Level 3

Review Contributor: Tanya of

Written in 2003 by Megan McDonald, best known for her Judy Moody and Stink series,The Sister's Club is a great book, comparable, but different from, The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall. Written for a slightly older audience, Birdsall can incorporate a longer, more complex plot and her story spans a longer period of time and feels a bit timeless. McDonald's book has a much more contemporary feel to it.  However, both books employ one of my favorite devices in children's literature, one that will hopefully inspire the reader to seek out the originals - the incorporation poems, plays and snippets of other works of children's literature into the story line. 

The Reel family live in the aptly named town of Acton, Oregon. Aptly named because they are a family of actors, including their descendant Hepzibiah McNutty who, as a pioneer traveling on the Oregon Trail, settle…

Book Review - Regency Buck by Georgette Heyer


Regency Buck Author: Georgette Heyer Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca Synopsis - After their father's death, Miss Judith Taverner and her brother Peregrine travel to London to meet their guardian, Lord Worth, expecting an elderly gentleman. To their surprise and utter disgust, their guardian is not much older than they are, doesn't want the office of guardian any more than they want him, and is determined to thwart all their interests and return them to the country. But when Miss Taverner and Peregrine begin to move in the highest social circles, Lord Worth cannot help but entangle himself with his adventuresome wards.Review

Out of all Heyer novels, Friday's Child has long been my favorite. But that was before I read, Regency Buck. Now this intriguing and tempestuous story has taken my fancy and I firmly declare it to be one of the best Heyers ever!

Both characters and circumstances alike keep this story ever-moving…

Thursday Thirteen - Edition Eight

Thirteen Books in the Stephanie Plum Series by Author Janet Evanovich One for the MoneyTwo for the DoughThree to Get DeadlyFour to ScoreHigh FiveHot SixSeven UpHard EightTo the NinesTen Big OnesEleven on TopTwelve SharpLean Mean ThirteenGet the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

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In the Mailbox (19 Nov 08)


This week, in my mailbox, arrived these reads:

The Thirteenth (Vampire Huntress Legends) ~ L. A. Banks
The entire Neteru Guardian team is on the run, having now been labeled as America's most-wanted terrorists following the gruesome demon battle that felled the Washington Monument and crashed the front doors of the White House. The Anti-Christ is positioned for emergence, the powers of darkness have released the pale horse of the apocalypse, and half the Neteru team is pregnant. Plagues from hell that ravage the country are being cited as stemming from bio-terrorism. The nation is under martial law. The Neterus and their team are underground. If things weren't bad enough... the Dark Realm breaks the sixth Biblical seal, which plunges the world into perpetual darkness and irrevocably into the Armageddon.

Blood Dreams (Bishop/Special Crimes Unit) ~ Kay Hooper
Dani Justice knows all about monsters. They haunt her dreams—and her life. But she …

Book Review - Talk of the Town

Talk of the Town
Author: Karen Hawkins
Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Pocket (November 18, 2008)


Newly divorced Roxie Treymayne is dying to find out. After years of being the perfect Southern lady, all she ended up with was a cheating husband. So she goes bombshell blond, gets a provocatively placed tattoo, and prepares to live it up as a Bad Girl. But then her mother falls ill, Roxie is forced to return to Glory, North Carolina where, no matter how she dresses now, she’s known by one and all as ‘that nice Treymayne girl.

Once the town bad boy, Nick Sheppard is now Glory’s highly respected sheriff. When the hot blonde he stops for speeding turns out to be formerly prim Homecoming Queen Roxanne Treymayne, Nick doesn’t quite know where to look – though he’d like a much closer one at the tattoo peeking from her shorts.


It's been quite some time since I've had the chance to read a contemporary romance without the influx of paranormal characters or an ove…

Innovative Monday - Edition 19


Check out Linky Dinky's Magical Bookshelf!

The MAGIC SHELF floats your books in the air, docking to any wall you wish and is ideal for areas with limited space. I quite like it, although it's inadequate for my colleciton. What appeals to me is the idea of storage without visible shelves.

What do you think?
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Book Review - Faro's Daughter by Georgette Heyer

Faro's Daughter Author: Georgette Heyer Paperback: 304 pages Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca To help support her spoiled younger brother and a widowed aunt, beautiful but poor Deborah Grantham becomes the attractive hostess at her aunt's nightly card games. Soon she has a string of admirers including a callow under-age youth who wants to marry her and a jaded older man who has less honorable intentions, and none of whom Deb is interested in. And in this volatile mix enters Mr. Max Ravenscar, London's richest and most-tightfisted man. Cousin to the titled young gentleman who wants Deb for his wife, Ravenscar is determined in his efforts to buy off Debroah, believing her to be a scheming hussy, a Faro's daughter, a gambling addict. This infuriates the noble-hearted Deborah who then plots her outrageous revenge on Max. What results next is Heyer at her sparkling best - a exciting and highly entertaining Regency story of hidden love, ou…

Children's Book Review - Houndsley and Catina by James Howe

Houndsley and Catina 
by James Howe (Author), Marie-Louise Gay (Illustrator)
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Candlewick

Review Contributor: Tanya of

Buddy books seem to be the staple genre of beginning readers. Along with Frogand Toad and George and Martha, Houndsley and Catina can be added to the list of stand-outs in their field. Above all else, these stand-out friends show kindness and consideration for each other, especially at times of conflict. 

The three books in the series are written by James Howe, of Bunnicula series fame, and have detailed, cozy watercolor illustrations by Marie-Louise Gay, author and illustrator of the Stella and Sam books as well as the chapter book, Travels With My Family that match the gentle tone of Howe's writing. Houndsley is a dog with a soft-as-a-rose-petal voice who enjoys cooking, but learns that he neither wants or needs to be the best cook. Catina is a thoughtful, enthusiastic cat who thinks she…

Fantastic Fall Giveaway Contest

Welcome to the 1st ever Blog Tour!

This week we're chatting about:

The Fantastic Fall Giveaway Contest!
Just in time for the holidays, you could win over $335 worth of books, cds and dvds!

Sponsored by our friends at:

The Grand Prize  Winner will receive:


Whispers of the Bayou by Mindy Starns Clark
Rachel's Secret by BJ Hoff
Beach Dreams by Trish Perry
Playing God by Michelle McKinney Hammond
White Soul by Brandt Dodson
The Legend of the Firefish by George Bryan Polivka
Finding Marie by Susan Paige Davis
The Power of Praying Through the Bible by Stormie Omartian
A Man After God's Own Heart by Jim George
Evidence for Faith 101 by Bruce Bickel & Stan Jantz


Wake Up! Wake Up! by Everyday Sunday
Rock What You Got by Superchick
Sunday by Tree63
Houston We Are Go by Newsboys (Live CD/DVD)
Nothing Left To Lose by Mat Kearney
I Am Free Worship Collection
Salvation Station by Newworldson
Not Without Love by Jimmy Needham
Pages by Shane &a…

Thursday Thirteen - Edition Eight

In Memoriam

Michael Crichton

1942 - 2008

State of FearNextPreyTimelineJurassic ParkDisclosureCongoSphereThe Andromeda StrainRising SunThe Terminal ManAirframeEaters of the Dead

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

If you like this post, then please consider subscribing to my Full Feed RSS.
You can also Subscribe by Email and have new posts sent directly to your inbox.

In the Mailbox (12 Nov)

This week, in my mailbox, arrived these reads:
Any Given Doomsday (The Phoenix Chronicles, Book 1)  ~ Lori Handeland

Elizabeth Phoenix once used her unique skills as a psychic to help in the Milwaukee Police Department’s fight against injustice. But when Liz’s foster mother is found viciously murdered—and Liz is discovered unconscious at the scene—her only memory of the crime comes in the form of terrifying dreams...of creatures more horrific than anything Liz has seen in real life. What do these visions mean? And what in the world do they have to do with her former lover, Jimmy Sanducci? READ MORE...
The Sins of Lord Easterbrook ~ Madeline Hunter 

Only a desperate mission could bring Leona Montgomery face-to-face with the scoundrel whose dangerous sensuality once sent her fleeing from his arms. But she has under-estimated Christian, Marquess of Easterbrook. As irresistible as ever, his past swathed in mystery, Christian has his own plans for the…

Tuesday Treasures : Book Giveaways (11 Nov)

I'm once again going to start posting book giveaways here every Tuesday. So, if you're having one or know of one, then just click "Submit Contest" in the top menu bar to send me the details.

Enter to win:

Don't forget to enter my giveaway - the Kelley Armstrong Book Giveaway Ends Nov 24th.

ARC for Secrets to Happiness by Sarah Dunn @ Bookshipper
Ends Nov 25th

Treasure at Blue Heron Lake and Dog Gone by Eileen Key @ The Road I'm Traveling
Ends Nov 30th

Passive Aggressive Notes: Painfully Polite and Hilariously Hostile Writings by Kerry Miller @ Wish List Worthy
Ends Nov 14th

What Peace There May Be by Susanna Barlow @ My Raves
Ends Nov 30th

The Death and Life of Gabriel Phillips by Stephen Baldwin @ Books Movies and Chinese Food
Ends Nov 14th

Stargate Atlantis: The Official Companion Season 4 (Stargate Atlantis)  by Sharon Gosling @ TVaholic
Ends Nov 14th

Smallville: The Official Companion Season 7 by Craig Byrne @ TVaholic
Ends Nov 14th

Until We Reach Home by Lynn Au…

Kelley Armstrong Book Giveaway

Living with the Dead (Women of the Otherworld, Book 9)  Author : Kelley Armstrong Hardcover: 384 pages
I'm having a new book giveaway! TWO lucky readers of this blog will each win a copy of  "Living with the Dead by Kelley Armstrong". Many Thanks to Bantam Dell for generously sponsoring this giveaway!

To Enter
Just leave a comment with your email address and state which Kelley Armstrong book is your favorite. If you've never read this author before, then state why you want to read this book.No email address, no entry. (Your email address will only be used to contact you in case you're the lucky winner)
For Extra Entries

You may do one or all of the following. Each counts as one extra entry.
Please leave a NEW comment for each extra entry you do.
Mention this giveaway on your blog/site with a link back to this post and to the Bantam Dell website.Subscribe to my feed. (Only confirmed subscribers will be considered.)
Add my button to your blog/site's sidebar an…

Innovative Monday - Edition Eighteen

Check out the ASSEMBLAGE
Assemblage is made up of ten wooden crate style boxes, each with different silkscreen prints. The boxes nest inside of each other and can be stacked and held together by straps to create a shelf, or can be used separately as small side tables or storage units. [via]

Price : £450.00

'Nuf said.

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Children's Book Review - The Midwife's Apprentice by Karen Cushman

The Midwife's Apprentice by Karen Cushman
Reading Level 5
1996 Newbery winner

Review Contributor: Tanya of

Books written in the fantasy genre are my favorites, however, there are a few works of historical fiction that I enjoy reading over and over again. Among them, The Midwife's Apprentice is one of my favorites. Karen Cushman is remarkably skilled at evoking the colorful, dirty, smelly aspects of life in a medieval village and equally adept at creating strong female characters who face adversity and, through true trial and error, grow to meet their challenges.

The main character of The Midwife's Apprentice is a nameless, ageless and homeless girl, found sleeping in a dung pile for warmth when the story begins. Apprenticed by Jane Sharp, the self-interested, greedy village midwife, who renames her Beetle, after a dung beetle, she learns that midwifery is as much about hard work as it is tonics and spells. Used to being an outsider, Beetle watch…