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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Book Review: And in the Morning: Fields of Conflict - The Somme, 1916 by John Wilson

Book received at no charge from publisher to facilitate my review.

A gift of a soldier's diary leads to the discovery of a family secret.

In the pages of the diary, fifteen year-old, Jim Hay pens his thought. With his country at war and his father leaving for battle, Jim desires to join the cause. Even after his father dies in battle, he imagines an adventurous and heroic life as a World War I soldier.

The fight to survive in the trenches in France has Jim longing for his true love at home while he lives through the horrors war with an outcome even he never anticipated.

While Wilson aptly describes the atrocities of World War I, it feels tedious in places. However, enough action is disbursed to keep the reader intrigued enough to find out what happens to the young soldier and the bride he left behind.
Publishing Information:

Publisher: Wandering Fox Books
ISBN: 978-1-772030-14-3
Ages: 12 & up

Rating:  Good to Recommended ★★★✬ ☆☆
Book can be purchased at the following retailer

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Book Review: Joltin' Joe DiMaggio by Jonah Winter & Illustrated by James E. Ransome

Book received at no charge to facilitate review.
Not many sports stars transcend time. Each generation makes way for new heroes. But when a legend like Joe DiMaggio paves the way, even new baseball fans will delight in turning back the pages of time.

In a time when baseball was the biggest sport in America, Joe DiMaggio wanted one thing. No way would becoming a fisherman like his father fill his plate. Instead, Joe made money in his teens playing baseball. He didn't have to talk about how good he was, he let his bat talk for him. Not only did his dad take notice, but the New York Yankee's discovered Joe as well and signed him to America's greatest team while only nineteen. Brought in to fill in Babe Ruth's shoes, the young kid proved himself worthy and quickly earned the nickname of "Joltin Joe"and a spot in the history books. Always classy, Joe DiMaggio earned respect even outside of the 'stat' books.
The attention to detail in Ransome's watercolor will bring back fond memories for grandparents wanting to share a blast from the past while reading to their grandchildren. Joltin' Joe Dimaggio scores a home run to the young baseball lover looking for a hero.

Rating: Recommended ★★★★☆

Monday, January 5, 2015

Author Signed Book Giveaway: Hissy Fitz by Patrick Jennings

Prize provided by publisher. No product or compensation received by blog owner.

I have teamed up with Egmont USA to offer my readers a chance to win Hissy Fitz by Patrick Jennings. Find out about the book and author and enter for your chance to win

About the book:

Hissy Fitz lives with some two-legged creatures who are destined to serve him in every possible way and understand his every whim. Sadly, these creatures are sorely lacking in their skills. For one thing–they touch him when they want to touch him. Don’t they know that the two-legged are there for him to touch when he wants to–meaning when he wants food? Petting wakes him up! They speak to him–don’t they know the two-legged should be seen–so Hissy knows where to order food–and not heard! It’s becoming intolerable. What is this irascible cat to do?

 About the author:
Patrick Jennings grew up in Indiana with lots of siblings and a book in his hand. After he grew up, he moved to Bisbee, in southern Arizona, where he taught preschool and began to write professionally. Eventually he left the desert for the coast of Washington State, where he lives with his daughter. A full-time author, Patrick teaches creative writing to middle-schoolers and is a much-requested speaker at schools around the country. The author lives in Port Townsend, Washington.

Enter to Win Signed Copies of HISSY FITZ on These Blogs!

One signed book per household but increase your chances. 

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Monday, January 05, 2015

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Friday, January 09, 2015


Thursday, January 30, 2014
To Be Announced

Contest Details:

Winner will receive a copy of Hissy Fitz signed by author Patrick Jennings. Use the Rafflecopter form to enter. By entering, you acknowledge you have read the terms on the form and agree to them. Contest opened to U.S. and Canada only. Ends 1/21/2015 at 11:59 pm EST.

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Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Briny Deep Mysteries: Trilogy Review

**FTC disclosure: Books received at no charge to facilitate my review. As always, I am free to give an honest review.

                        The Disappearing - Book 1

For Tim and his friends the seaside town of Briny Deep is the perfect place to grow up together. Nothing bad ever happens. Nothing until a stranger comes to town and a young girl disappears. Now Tim has more to worry about than his recurring nightmare in which a stranger chases him but he alway awakens before getting caught. When one of his own friends disappear, he and his friend Max set out to solve the mystery behind the disappearances and the stranger with the yellow hair. A jarring conversation overheard by Tim leaves him with more questions than answers about what might those closest to him are hiding.

The short novel length will appeal to the reluctant reader upper middle grade reader. However, the older teen may not find the story stimulating enough, especially since the plot relies on the cliche of a recurring dream. However, the cliffhanger presented by Torres will have the paranormal science fiction fan reaching for the next installment.

The Return - Book 2

In the two weeks since his best friend, Luke, disappeared Tim hasn't found many clues to his whereabouts. He has learned the name of the stranger with the yellow-hair, Canary. He is certain if he could find out more about a place called Earth, he may be able to find his friends. In the meantime, Tim overhears a conversation that makes him worry about his remaining friends, Max, Emily and Nina. In his quest to solve the mystery of the missing children, he stumbles across a secret  tunnel. His discovery takes him from the only home Tim has ever known.

Instead of starting where the previous book left off, The Return, begins inside Tim's recurring dream, making it hard for the reader to get into the real story. It takes several chapters to follow the plot, potentially losing those who haven't read the first installment. Luckily, the excitement builds and leaves a surprise twist for the protagonist.

The Battle - Book 3

Tim and his friends, Luke, Max and Emily have uncovered the dark secret of Briny Deep and embark on a journey to a place called Earth where the surprise of their lives await. But Tim can't quell the lingering feeling that he has left something behind. Trident, the evil leader of Briny deep, has vowed to stop the return of the precious cargo that he is convinced will save his planet.

Plenty of plot twists keep the reader engaged in climax of Torres' paranormal mystery trilogy. Overall, the series wobbles on lack of strong interactions between the protagonist and his female friends. Those who love plot driven stories may overlook the lack of reliance on friends and may even admire Tim's independent streak.

Series Rating:  Good to Recommended ★★★✬☆

Publishing Information:
 Publisher: Speeding Star (Sept. 2014)
Pages: 95-96 pages each book
ISBN-13: 978-1622851737, 978-1622851812, 978-1622851867
Age Level: 9-14

These books can be purchased from the following retailers: