Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Amy's review of Eve: In The Beginning by H. B. Moore

Eve: In The Beginning by H. B. Moore

Genre:   Historical Biblical Fiction
Content: Clean
Publisher:  Mirror Press
Release date:  November  2014
Number of Pages: 252

Book Summary/Teaser:
The first love story on earth . . . Haunting . . . Lyrical . . . Unforgettable . . . 

In a world where everything is perfect, yet the same day after day, Eve must decide if she wants to live forever in the garden with Adam and never know what lies beyond the walls. When she makes a choice with terrible consequences, the pain of mortality is swift. As she and Adam explore their new world, and her body changes, Eve discovers the sweetness of first love with the man who has always been at her side. 

My Opinion:
I think it was very daring and creative to take such well known characters and create such a personal story.  It was written very well, it kept me interested the whole time.  I did have to remind myself several times that this is written as fiction, and the author even has a little disclaimer at the beginning of the book explaining that this is not to be taken as doctrine and that it doesn't necessarily represent her religious beliefs either.  My religious beliefs did get in the way several times, I just had to separate them and realize AGAIN, this was written as fiction.  I really enjoyed having the characters come to life with real personalities and dilemmas.  I liked the way I really connected with Adam and Eve and found myself wondering what it would have been like.  I enjoyed this and I am interested to check out some of her other books about religious characters. 

Rating: ****

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Kim reviews Spell Check by Julie Wright

Spell Check by Julie Wright

Pages: 218
Genre: Youth  Fiction
Release date: June 2014
Publisher: Heart Stone Press


"It is a little known fact that witches are alive and well in Salem, Massachusetts. They call themselves cheerleaders."

Allyson Peterson believes that being hanged by the
Salem High Witches is the absolute worst thing that
can happen. But when her powers, wrested from the
trolls of ancient Sweden, manifest themselves, she
realizes that a prank hanging by vindictive cheerleaders is the least of her worries.

Ally accidentally sends her parents to the jungle to fight anacondas, turns her brother into a mute, and curses the entire cheerleading team with an illness that has no cure, proving that her spells need a  little checking. Her Swedish grandmother shows up to help her through the worst part of all--surviving the Troll Trials and saving the guy of her dreams from a vengeance that has festered through-out generations.

The power is in her, if she can just get the magic right.

My Opinion?
This book was really cute. It brings in some wonderful elements like believing in yourself and leaning on family to help get you through tough times. This is also a great coming of age tale for this young Troll Kivanna (witch). Ally is one of a select few women that have power in them taken from the Trolls long ago. When she turns 16 she comes into her power, unbeknownst to her, and all sorts of terrible things start happening that seem to be the product of her mindless wishes she only thinks in her head. She learns all this, and that she must now go through a trial of her powers from her Paternal Grandmother. Ally goes to these trials being incredibly anxious after having been threatened to surrender her powers or the boy she has a crush on may be killed at any moment. The outcome is great to read about and it definitely leaves room for many more books in this series.


Monday, December 22, 2014

Kim reviews Adrenaline Rush by Cindy Hogan

Adrenaline Rush by Cindy Hogan
A Christy Spy Novel

Genre: Young Adult Romance/Suspense
Pages: 412
Publisher: O'neal Publishing
Release date: 2013
A madman with a mission is kidnapping groups of thrill-seeking high school seniors across the country, and it’s up to Christy to stop him.

To do so, she must take on a fearless alter ego and infiltrate a group of adrenaline junkies bent on pushing life to the limit. Death-defying stunts are only the beginning: two groups fit the profile, and Christy must discover the real target before it’s too late.

If she chooses the wrong group, more people will disappear. But choosing right puts her as the prime target—with no guarantee that she’ll get out alive.

My Opinion:
This book was filled with action and intrigue. The author does a good job of giving you a sense of what may come next but then surprises you with what actually comes. The plot line develops nicely and leaves you wanting to find out what happens to the main character. Christy is tough and brilliant and she is able to keep her self in touch with reality throughout some major trials. I have not read the first few book in this series but you are able to fall into the story easily without having many questions about what happened to the main character in the previous books. Now that I've read this installment, I'd like to read them all.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Mary Ann's review of Ellie & Ace: The Case of the Bedtime Bandit

Ellie and Ace: The Case of the Bedtime Bandit
by Toodles and Whistlehoot
illustrated by Kathrina Iris

Genre: Chapter book to MG

Kindle edition

Meet Ellie and Ace! Soon to be... nearly... just about world famous detectives!

Well, almost.

Any day now, if they solve enough cases.

And good news! They are on a case now. Someone is causing trouble all over their small town of Huckleberry Springs. Each night, the troublemaker strikes – breaking into houses, spilling garbage, and stealing toys. Nobody knows who the culprit is, but everyone blames someone else. Ellie and Ace have to solve the mystery fast – before their neighbors go to war.

This is a charming children's book. It is simple enough for a third grader to read by themselves but still be interesting. It'll be fun to read more in this series. I think my 5 and 8-year-old grandkids would love it.


Friday, November 28, 2014

Amy's Review of Duty by Rachel Rossano

Duty: A Novel of Rhynan by Rachel Rossano
Genre: Historical Fiction
Content: Clean
Publisher:  CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Release date:  February 2013
Number of Pages:  352
Book Summary/Teaser:
Duty to King Tomas Dyrease, the newly made Earl of Irvaine and the village of Wisenvale, owes his good fortune to his king and the recent civil war. When his benefactor demands Tomas marry the cousin of a noble, he obeys. However, no one warned him that she wasn’t a typical noblewoman. Duty to Others Brielle Solarius struggles to keep her village from starvation under the new Lord Wisten, her cousin. The men rode off to war and never returned. The remaining women and children face a dire winter if they do not find a solution soon. When she learns her cousin sold her into marriage  to save his life, she isn’t surprised. However, she is taken aback by Lord Irvaine’s unpolished ways. Was this man a noble or a foot soldier? Duty to Each Other Bound by the words of their vows, they face a rough future. They must forge a marriage while battling betrayal, accusations of treason, and villains from the past. Survival depends on their precarious trust in each other. Failure could mean death.
My Opinion:
I don't remember the last time I have read a book in this time period and setting.  It was refreshing to read something different than the current popular genres.  I enjoyed the characters and the plot, it is always fun to read something that is so different from what you are used to, it felt more like an escape.  It was interesting and intense and it had good morals of duty and honor.  I could see this being made into a movie, it would be great!  Try it out, you will like it!
 Rating: *****

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Amy reviews Mom made Us Write This

Mom Made Us Write This in the Summer by Ali Maier

Genre:   Fiction
Content: Clean
Publisher:  Erie Island Media; 1st edition
Release date:  October 2013
Number of Pages: 208

Book Summary:
A sister and brother, forced to write in the summer, and share ONE journal? Ugh.

This is exactly what happens to 10-year-old twins Maggie and Max Pruitt. When Mom comes up with a plan for them to keep a summer journal, Maggie and Max can’t believe it. Worse yet, they have to share!

Through their writing, Maggie and Max find out they have very different (and hilarious) views about growing up, family and life - a conclusion they only discovered because, as Max and Maggie say, “Mom Made Us Write This.”
Mom Made Us Write This In The Summer is a journal-style book that inspires kids to read and write, and captures the essence of sibling relationships. Anyone with a brother or sister will identify with the fun and struggles that Max and Maggie experience this summer! From a trip to the zoo to the annual check-up at the docs – read all about the life adventures of Maggie & Max.

Mom Made Us Write This In The Summer is recommended for 2nd – 6th grade students.

Parents, kids, and teachers will love this book. Parents will welcome the emphasis on strong family relationships. Teachers will appreciate the classroom extension opportunities. Kids will enjoy the laughs, lessons and the “me too!” connection.

“Positive, creative and fun for classrooms and families!”
-Mrs. Jane Jagielo, 4th Grade Teacher

My opinion:

I had fun reading this book, I think kids would REALLY enjoy this one.  It is journal entries written by ten year old twins, they have fun sharing their opinions and teasing each other.  It is cute and clever the way it was done.  I did have a hard time believing that it could be written by ten year olds though.  I have a nine year old and an eleven year old and it just doesn't fit.  Their sense of humors are too mature, and their ability to express themselves with clear, coherent, and entertaining ideas is also too developed.  I really did enjoy it, and I think the idea of it is very fun.  My only complaint was that it didn't seem realistic.  But maybe that's why it would be best for kids! 
Rating: ****

 Mom Made Us Write This In The Summer is available for sale on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Ali Maier

Thursday, November 20, 2014

24 Magical Christmas Journal Prompts for Kids

Parents, be prepared for interaction. These prompts are designed to get your kids thinking about the true meaning of Christmas. They will need to understand the word symbol.
Adapt for younger children by breaking the drawing prompts into smaller pieces and spread them out.

Day 1--Draw a Christmas tree with a star on top, lights all around and presents underneath.

Day 2--Answer in your journal why we use evergreens for Christmas trees? Hint: it's symbolic. You might need to ask an adult.

Day 3--What does the Star at the top mean? What about all of the twinkling lights?

Day 4--Why do we give each other presents? List each member of your family and what you would like to give them this year.

Day 5--Red is known as the first color of Christmas. Why? Why is green the second color of Christmas?

Day 6--Write the lyrics of your favorite Christmas hymn or Primary song. Why is it special to you?

Day 7--Down the left hand margin of your paper draw Christmas bells, a candy cane, and a wreath.
To the side of each one write down what they symbolize.

Day 8--Draw a picture of Baby Jesus in a manger, with Mary and Joseph at His side.

Day 9--Write about your picture from day 8.

Day 10--Draw the biggest star you can fit on your paper.

Day 11--Who did the star guide?  What or who is your guiding star?

Day 12--Draw the stable with all of the animals.

Day 13--Write a story about what you imagine each animal gave Baby Jesus.

Day 14--Draw a picture of the Shepherds watching over their flocks being surprised by the Heavenly Host of Angels singing.

Day 15--Pretend you are one of the shepherd's children tending the flocks that night. Write about what it was like to hear the angels singing. What do you feel? What do you do next?

Day 16--Draw a picture of the 3 wise men seeing the star from far, far away.

Day 17--Pretend you are one of the Wise men. What would you do to prepare for such a long journey? Hint: it took them about two years to reach Baby Jesus.

Day 18--The Nephites who believed the signs of Jesus' birth would come were threatened with death. Would you be one of the believers? Why or why not?

Day 19--Draw a Nephite child seeing the star from Zarahemla. He or she is a believer.

Day 20--Imagine you are that Nephite child. Did it take great courage to believe? How did you feel when you saw sun set but it didn't get dark. What did you fell when you saw the star? How did the wicked Nephites feel when they saw the signs?

Day 21--The Wise men reach Bethlehem when Jesus was about two years old.They asked King Herod where Jesus might be.  Draw a picture of the wise men visiting Jesus and His family.

Day 22--What gifts did the Wise men bring? Write about what each gift symbolized.

Day 23--Draw a picture of Joseph, Mary, and Jesus escaping Bethlehem at night.

Day 24-- Herod ordered all of the babies two years old to be killed. Pretend you are Mary or Joseph. You have been warned to flee. What do you take? Are you frightened or calm?

Merry Christmas to all!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Amy's review of Michael Vey Book 3: Battle of the Ampere by Richard Paul Evans

Michael Vey: Battle of the Ampere by Richard Paul Evans

Genre: Fiction
Content:  Some intense scenes with mild violence
Publisher:  Simon Pulse/Mercury Ink;
Release date:  July 2012
Number of Pages:  320

Book Summary/Teaser:
Michael, Taylor, Ostin and the rest of the Electroclan have destroyed the largest of the Elgen Starxource plants, but now they’re scattered across the Amazon jungle. The Elgen have joined forces with the Peruvian army to capture the Electroclan, and only Michael has managed to remain free. With his friends due to stand trial for terrorism—a charge that may carry the death penalty—Michael will need all his wits and his abilities if he’s to save them.

 E.S. Ampere—the super yacht the Elgen use as their headquarters. With the Elgen fleet now under his control, Hatch heads back to Peru to pick up his army and then begin his quest for global domination.

Can the Electroclan win the battle of the Ampere? Or has Michael’s luck finally run out?

My Opinion:
This is Book 3 in the series, I was seeing a lot of repeat themes and ideas in this book.  It is still intense and fun to read, but it seemed a bit more predictable.  The way it left you hanging for book 4 I can assume we are in for some more "Michael Vey" type adventures.  Hopefully there are some new ideas and twists in the upcoming books.  I said it before, good books for the younger crowds!

Rating: ****

Book 4 Michael Vey: Hunt for Jade Dragon
released 16 Sep 2014

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Amy reviews Michael Vey Book 2: Rise of the Elgen by Richard Paul Evans

Michael Vey: Rise of the Elgen by Richard Paul Evans

Genre: Fiction
Content:  Some intense scenes with slightly disturbing violence
Publisher:  Simon Pulse/Mercury Ink
Release date:  July 2012
Number of Pages:  352

Book Summary/Teaser:
I rolled over to my back, struggling for breath. The pain continued to pulse through my body—a heavy throb followed by a sharp, crisp sting. 
The man said, “Trust me, there are worse things in this world than Cell 25.”

Michael, Taylor, Ostin, and the rest of the Electroclan have escaped from the Elgen Academy in Pasadena and are headed back to Idaho to plan their next move. But what’s waiting for them there will change everything.

After using their wits and powers to narrowly escape an Elgen trap, a mysterious voice leads the Electroclan to the jungles of Peru in search of Michael’s mother. Once there, they discover that Dr. Hatch and the Elgen are far more powerful than anyone realizes; entire countries have begun to fall under their control. Only the Electroclan and an anonymous voice now stand in the way of the Elgen’s plan for global domination.
But is the voice that Michael is following really an ally, or is it just another Elgen trap?

My Opinion:

This is the 2nd book in the Michael Vey series.  I knew what I was getting into with this one and I was much more pleased.  The book keeps your interest the whole time, and it is a really quick read.  I began to become attached to the characters in the story and found myself slightly invested.  My complaint would be that it was a little gross.  *Spoiler Alert*  They have electric rats that feed on live flesh, including humans at times.  I thought that was a little bit gory and morbid.  Other than that, I liked this book. 
Rating: ****

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Amy reviews Michael Vey Book 1: The Prisoner of Cell 25 by Richard Paul Evans

Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25 by Richard Paul Evans

Genre: Fiction
Content:  Some intense scenes with mild violence
Publisher:  Simon Pulse/Mercury Ink;
Release date:  July 2012
Number of Pages:  352

Book Summary/Teaser:
To everyone at Meridian High School, fourteen-year-old Michael Vey is nothing special, just the kid who has Tourette’s syndrome. But in truth, Michael is extremely special—he has electric powers. Michael thinks he is unique until he discovers that a cheerleader named Taylor has the same mysterious powers. With the help of Michael’s friend, Ostin, the three of them set out to discover how Michael and Taylor ended up with their abilities, and their investigation soon brings them to the attention of a powerful group who wants to control the electric teens—and through them, the world.

My Opinion:
I loved the beginning of the book.  It was real life, real problems, real people.  And then it changed.....into magical powers and rich bad guys.  Honestly, I was disappointed in the change of direction.  However, it is written very well and it keeps you entertained.  It is an enjoyable read, and I went on to read the next two books in the series.  But I probably never would have started these books if my 11 year old hadn't asked me to in the first place.  This would be a great series for teenagers and youth. 

Rating: ****

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Persuaded by Misty Dawn Pulsipher review

Persuaded by Misty Dawn Pulsipher

Genre: Romantic Fiction
Content: Clean
Publisher:  Misty Dawn Pulsipher
Release date:  July 2014
Number of Pages:  337

Book Summary/Teaser:
Hanna Elliot had worn the ring faithfully at first. Some part of her still clung to the hope that all was not lost. As the days turned into weeks, she finally took it off and set it atop her dresser. When weeks gave way to months, the ring finally went back into its box, where it gathered dust until it was moved to Hanna’s unmentionables drawer. For the first few years, she had taken it out on the anniversary of the day she’d received it, allowing herself to wallow in what might have been. 


Sure, he thought about her occasionally, especially on cloudless nights when he lay on the bow of the Laconia looking up at the stars. But as time went on, Derick began to feel grateful that it hadn’t worked out, for one thing was certain: if he ever did settle down, it would be with someone who knew her own mind. Someone who went after the thing she wanted without hesitation. Someone who would never allow herself to be persuaded otherwise. 

Penni's Thoughts:
Although I have not read Jane Austin's version I must say that I really enjoyed this one.  From what I hear the names are similar, but it takes place in the United States. 
Famous Sailor Derick Wentworth did all that he could to forget the girl of his dreams, Hanna but the memory of Summer rain, drops of moisture on pale skin, soft blue eyes the color of an early-morning sky kept filling his mind.
Hanna continued having her nightmares.  She would wake up in the middle of the night in a deep sweat.  Always the same dream and memory of Summer rain, drops of moisture on pale skin, soft blue eyes the color of an early-morning sky.  What would be better to escape her nightmare of an old fling than to go to an exotic island and visit her sister for the summer?
This book has twist and turns through out it.  Hanna is the good sister that's trying to help out her sister that is having some problems.  She goes and stays with her, and may possibly bump into the man that's causing her nightmares, or are they dreams?  Is Derick ok with being with a girl that has to be persuaded?
I did really enjoy this book.  I would give it 4.5 stars.  Wasn't my favorite, but it was a very good and clean chick flick.
Amy's Thoughts:
I do not typically like the 'modern day remakes' of Jane Austen's originals, but this one was different.  I loved it!  Unlike other books of its type, this one was not a mirror image of the original story.  In fact, if the author hadn't kept most of the names the same you might not have even known that it followed "Persuasion." The emotional parts were not entirely sappy and cheesy like other remakes as well.  I thought the pace of the book was wonderful, not too drawn out, but not too short.  I think the writing was really fun, a lot of creative metaphors and descriptions.  I enjoyed this book a lot!  Give it a try, you won't regret it!

Rating: *****

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Changing Fate by Michelle Merrill book review

Changing Fate by Michelle Merrill

Genre: Realistic Fiction
Content: Clean
Publisher:  CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Release date:  May 2014
Number of Pages:  252

Book Summary/Teaser:
All Kate wants is to live. Battling cystic fibrosis is hard enough, dying from it is even harder. When her mom moves them closer to the hospital in the middle of her senior year, Kate’s determined to isolate herself—saving everyone the trouble of befriending a dying girl. It’s a difficult task when cheerful optimist Giana insists on being Kate’s friend. Kate’s resolve falters even more when curly-haired Kyler captivates her with his sweet melodies. As her emotional walls collapse, Kate realizes the people she’s been pushing away may be the ones giving her a reason to live. But it might be too late.

Penni's Thoughts:
There are not enough good words to say about this book!! I was sucked in right from the first chapter. 
An amazing story about a young girl named Kate that has Cystic Fibrosis.  She tries so hard to make the best of it.  All she knows is how to shut people and feelings out of her life and continue her treatments and take pills all the time.  Her father left when she was little, then she is told she has a 'disease' and she will die at a very young age.
Her mom moves her to a new school that's closer to her doctor and hospital. At this new school she faces many new challenges...including a girl that she just cannot call a friend and a cute boy.  Will she over come her fear of shutting out her feelings and finally have a best friend and a boy friend?
I wish that more YA would read this book!  Kate has an amazing story to tell and the author does it in a wonderful way!  There will always be the bullies, but in this story Kate looks past that and finds her truest friends!
 Amy's Thoughts:

Wow.  I don't read the summaries before I read the books and I had no idea what I was getting into.  If I did, I would have grabbed a box of tissues.  It was a very well written, and a very emotional book.  It gives you an inside perspective on people who suffer with different illnesses and diseases.  It is heart wrenching to put yourself in the main character's position, but then all new emotions come when you put yourself into the mother's shoes, and the friend's, etc.  It did a great job for creating awareness for Cystic Fibrosis, something I wasn't very familiar with.  It is a powerful book.  Don't forget your tissues!

Rating: *****

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Amy reviews Hearts in Harmony by Raine Gillespie

Hearts in Harmony by Raine Gillespie

Genre: Romantic Fiction
Content: Clean
Publisher:  Trifecta Books
Release date:  August 2014
Number of Pages:  105
Book Summary/Teaser:
Elahna Nezario gave up her musical dreams to help run the Queen of Hearts, her mother’s chocolate shop, after her sister’s sudden death. After an unfortunate run-in with Elahna’s childhood crush, owner of the Dolce Theater, not only do her dreams surge back to life, but so does her heart.
This book is easy to get interested in, and it is written pretty well.  It is really short and makes for a quick read.  However, this genre isn't for me.  Many of the events are pretty unrealistic, and the characters reactions do not seem fitting.  The conflicts were pretty far-fetched and resolved WAY too easily.  The romance seems a little sappy and "too good to be true."  This is a good book if you are looking for a quick distraction. 
Rating: ***

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Amy reviews And Something Blue by Paige Timothy

 And Something Blue by Paige Timothy
Genre: Romantic Fiction
Content: Clean
Publisher:  Trifecta Books
Release date:  August 2014
Number of Pages:  108
Book Summary/Teaser:
Bridal consultant Laurie Fletcher spends her days helping others prepare for the most special day of their lives. Will true love ever come her way, or is she doomed to watch others get their happily ever after?

I enjoyed the fun simplicity of this book.  You get to know a lot of the characters in this small town and start to be involved in their lives.  Although it's completely predictable it is a fun "feel good" read.  It has the similar Mr. Darcy feel to it which is always welcome.  I have to say that I was actually disappointed with the end.  I feel like the author spent a good amount of time on the story build up and back stories, and then the ending wrapped up in about 2 pages.  I didn't think it did the story, or the other people in the story, justice.  I think she could have taken the story so much farther and done a lot more with it.  I was relieved, however, to be reminded that this is Book One.  That did make me feel better that we haven't heard the last from everyone in the small town.  I guess I will have to keep reading!
Rating: ***

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Amy reviews Night by Elie Wiesel

Night by Elie Wiesel

Genre:  Non-Fiction
Content: Some hard material concerning World War II
Publisher: Hill and Wang; Revised Edition
Release date:  2006
Number of Pages:  120

Book Summary/Teaser:
Night is Elie Wiesel's masterpiece, a candid, horrific, and deeply poignant autobiographical account of his survival as a teenager in the Nazi death camps. This new translation by Marion Wiesel, Elie's wife and frequent translator, presents this seminal memoir in the language and spirit truest to the author's original intent. And in a substantive new preface, Elie reflects on the enduring importance of Night and his lifelong, passionate dedication to ensuring that the world never forgets man's capacity for inhumanity to man.

Night offers much more than a litany of the daily terrors, everyday perversions, and rampant sadism at Auschwitz and Buchenwald; it also eloquently addresses many of the philosophical as well as personal questions implicit in any serious consideration of what the Holocaust was, what it meant, and what its legacy is and will be.
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My Opinion:
I have a hard time putting down books that are written about World War II, this book is no exception.  The stories and scenes are well depicted.  It is written with an honesty that is rare, and surprising.  It is a short read, but very powerful. 

Rating: ****

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Kim's review of Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold by Iain Reading

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold by Iain Reading
Book 1 in Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series
316 Pages

Publisher: Iain Reading
genre: middle grade/YA

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is the thrilling first installment in a new young adult series of adventure mystery stories by Iain ReadingThis first book of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series introduces Kitty Hawk, an intrepid teenage pilot with her own De Havilland Beaver seaplane and a nose for mystery and intrigue. A cross between Amelia Earhart, Nancy Drew and Pippi Longstocking, Kitty is a quirky young heroine with boundless curiosity and a knack for getting herself into all kinds of precarious situations. 

After leaving her home in the western Canadian fishing village of Tofino to spend the summer in Alaska studying humpback whales, Kitty finds herself caught up in an unforgettable adventure involving stolen gold, devious criminals, ghostly shipwrecks, and bone-chilling curses. Kitty's adventure begins with the lingering mystery of a sunken ship called the Clara Nevada. As the plot continues to unfold, this spirited story will have readers anxiously following every twist and turn as they are swept along through the history of the Klondike Gold Rush to a suspenseful final climatic chase across the rugged terrain of Canada's Yukon.

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is a perfect book to fire the imagination of readers of all ages. Filled with fascinating and highly Google-able locations and history this book will inspire anyone to learn and experience more for themselves. There are currently 4 books in the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series.

What I thought of this book:
Kitty hawk is a great read. I enjoyed the suspense and intrigue almost as much as the great amount of historical information.

I learned quite a lot from this book, from the sections about the whales to the sections about the Yukon gold rush.  I thought it very neat that the author was able to find so much mystery and suspense from an historical event.

Kitty is smart and inventive as well as tough and light on her feet. Her bravery shows throughout the story from her capture to her daring flights that save the day.

I would be very interested in reading more from this author.

I give this book four stars ****

Want to read more?

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Amy reviews Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson

Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson
Genre: Fiction
Content:  mild violence
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Release date:  2012
Number of Pages:  264

Book Summary/Teaser:
Marianne Daventry will do anything to escape the boredom of Bath and the amorous attentions of an unwanted suitor. So when an invitation arrives from her twin sister, Cecily, to join her at a sprawling country estate, she jumps at the chance. Thinking she'll be able to relax and enjoy her beloved English countryside while her sister snags the handsome heir of Edenbrooke, Marianne finds that even the best laid plans can go awry. From a terrifying run-in with a highwayman to a seemingly harmless flirtation, Marianne finds herself embroiled in an unexpected adventure filled with enough romance and intrigue to keep her mind racing. Will Marianne be able to rein in her traitorous heart, or will a mysterious stranger sweep her off her feet? Fate had something other than a relaxing summer in mind when it sent Marianne to Edenbrooke.
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My Opinion:
I really liked this book!  After reading some "heavier" material it was nice to read something light and fun.  This book was perfect for a quick escape.  I love reading books set in this era.  Donaldson made her characters believable and real, I got sucked right in from the beginning.  My only complaint is that it was over too quickly, I want to read more!  Read it, you will enjoy it!

Rating: *****
You can find it on Amazon:

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Kim reviews The Watchers by Deirdra Eden

The Watchers: Book One, Knight of Light by Deirdra Eden

All the training in Heaven couldn't prepare me for the war on earth, nor for the love, loss, or loneliness humans feel. There are things worse than death, and every last one of them is hunting people like us. Even though we all feel human at times, we must remember, we are not them, we are their watchers.

In England, 1270 A.D., Auriella (pronounced yurr-ee-ella) flees her village after being accused of witchcraft. Pursued by nightmarish creatures, she struggles to accept the truth about her humanity. Filled with fairies, dwarves, pixies, dragons, demons, and monsters, Knight of Light is an enthralling tale that will capture the imaginations of readers young and old.

The Watchers Series; has been described as Braveheart meets Supernatural. The mythology for the series is based on many theological texts from dozens of sects with correlating themes. Ancient writings include the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Traditional Apocrypha, the Pearl of Great Price and the Kabbalah. The Watchers are supernatural beings in human form whose duty it is to protect and guard mankind from the armies of darkness. Unfortunately, as the Book of Enoch mentions, some of these Watchers go bad.

Although the mythology is based on these texts, Deirdra Eden's; The Watcher's Series; is written in a traditional fairytale style with a young girl's discovery of incredible, but dangerous powers within herself, a cast of humorous side-kicks, a quest for greater self-discovery and purpose, and villains of epic proportions.

What I thought of this book:
This book covers a lot of information and several years of Auriella's life, so a lot of the details of every day life are left out, making room for the most remarkable and meaningful pieces of the story of the Lady of Neviah.  This is the first book in The Watcher series and definitely leaves you curious as to what will happen next.  The story is well written and the imagery makes it easy to picture the story unfolding page by page.

This book was a very interesting coming of age of a young lady who happens to be a member if another race known as the Neviahans. This race comes from another world. There are shadow legions that are fallen beings that were exiled from Neviah, which seek to destroy the human race; and the warriors of light, who are great celestial warriors on earth to protect the humans from these fallen creatures.

In the beginning Auriella does not know what she is, but the shadow legions do and they are trying to capture her. Auriella escapes the shadow wolves only by the aid of a witch, who is just as evil as the shadow legions.  She keeps Aurelia hostage for over a year where she is basically the witch's slave. She eventually escapes with the aid of a fairy and a dwarf who become her companions.  This is just the beginning.

I'd give it ****

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Review of "American Ride" with Stan Ellsworth

American RideHost of AMERICAN RIDE, Stan Ellsworth breaks the mold of the stereotypical High School history teacher. Former history teacher Stan Ellsworth tours the country on a Harley Davidson for the television show “American Ride.” Ellsworth’s approach to American history in AMERICAN RIDE removes the “bow tie and sweater vest” of history professors, puts on the “skull rag and denim vest” and breaks down stereotypes. His adventurous spirit and love for the United States is contagious and engaging. His approach is more like an invitation to walk (and ride) with him through the footsteps of history. He hopes the stories and “postcards” from the highways and byways of the country will make American history relevant to today’s audiences, and motivate them to take an active part in the preservation of the values this country was built upon. Now in the sixth season, Stan takes you across the world to see how the clouds of war gathered once again and what led America to enter WWII. New episodes air each Monday 9PM ET/ 7PM MT on BYUtv. If you've missed any episodes, you can catch up with all of the previous seasons online anytime at www.byutv.com/americanride

I've watched this show on and off for years. I absolutely love it! Stan Ellsworth is not your average History teacher. He makes History come ALIVE! It's not just a bunch of dates and names and places, Ellsworth fills in the background, giving you the why's and the wherefores'. History is a lot of cause and effect lessons and Ellsworth gives you the little-known tidbits that make History personal. He opens my mind to the sacrifices made and the hardships endured that help me feel truly grateful for America's heritage. You won't be sorry if you spend time with Mr. Ellsworth.

The episode I watched for this review was "Bloodied, but Unbowed" referring to American heads (metaphorically). The events at Pearl Harbor 1941 crippled US, but we didn't give up. Our fathers fought and struggled and many paid the ultimate sacrifice. This program is so worth your time!

StanABOUT STAN ELLSWORTH The 6’ 2”, 300-lb muscle-clad Harley Davidson-riding host of BYUtv’s acclaimed American history program, American Ride, would like nothing better than to inspire the next generation of George Washingtons, Susan B. Anthonys and Thomas Jeffersons. Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, and raised in the Carolinas, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and Pennsylvania, Ellsworth was steeped in the landmarks and stories of American history throughout his formative years. His family lineage includes such historic luminaries as Revolutionary War patriot Ethan Allen; both Generals of the Cival War, Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant (also the 18th president of the U.S.); and American folk heroes Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett. Ellsworth’s goal—both when he was in the classroom, and now in his weekly television program—has always been to “wake people up” to the stories of our founding fathers and mothers, and to the sacrifices they made in creating this nation. In his gruff baritone voice, he speaks eloquently of our heritage and extols the wisdom and bravery of those who came before. “LET’S TAKE A RIDE” ~ Stan Ellsworth
  American Ride Tour Blog Tour Giveaway $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 10/2/14 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 and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Kim reviews The Delilah Dusticle Adventures Book 1 and 2 by A. J. York

The Delilah Dusticle Adventures
by A. J. York

Book 1 – Delilah Dusticle
66 Pages (Including preview of Book 2, 45 pages of actual story)

Book 2 – Delilah Dusticle’s Transylvanian Adventure
124 Pages (Including preview of Book 3, 116 pages of actual story

Genre: Youth Fiction
Publisher: A.J. York
Release Date: 2013

Available on Amazon.com and Goodreads.com
Book 3 – Delilah Dusticle and the Cursed Tempest - Coming Soon!

These books were quite charming.  I found them entertaining, but they also taught some very important lessons for young people.  These books were meant for a much younger audience but I found them to be a good read as an adult as well. 

The first book starts off with Delilah working for a family at a large estate. She is secretly in love with the son and heir to the estate.  Delilah is the chief dust-eradicator; she has a very special gift for this, and can eliminate any and all dust from even the toughest places.  After going on a trip abroad, the man she is in love with, returns with a fiancé. Delilah is crushed and her self-image is too.  She is asked to leave her position, as she is leaving dust everywhere she goes instead of removing it, due to her melancholy.  Delilah is left to find another place to live and work.  The only place she can find work is tending a cemetery and its gardens. 
One day when she is sitting at a pond near the cemetery, a woman comes to visit with her young son. She finds a friend in her, who appreciates her for who she is and treats her kindly, thus renewing her own self- worth and her powers.  The friendship results in a promising new business and partnership that saves more than just Delilah and her powers. 

The lesson being that a healthy self-image can affect more than we know, and kindness toward others can make a world of difference.  We do not know what others are truly going through in their lives, but if we are simply kind to those around us, we can make a big difference.
In the second book Delilah and her business of traveling maids are invited to Transylvania to aid a certain Count Dracula in readying his castle for his annual Halloween Ball.  This job is somewhat different than others, in that the castle is already spotless, and Delilah is put to the job of adding dust and cobwebs to the castle instead of removing them.

 The Count is an energetic and extremely cheerful person, who likes bright colors and wants his castle to be spotless.  Each year, during tours of the castle, the Count is burdened by having to dress with a cape and make his castle appear run-down and filthy.  When asked why he does this, he informs Delilah that this is what people expect, due to the unfortunate behavior of his ancestor Vlad.  Although it is quite costly, and he would prefer a glamourous ball instead of the gloomy ones he puts on, he feels it makes others happy to maintain this charade.
While working for the Count, he and Delilah have some very enlightening conversations about the dust-eradicating powers that Delilah is gifted with.  Delilah finds out that she is a Brownie, or a Dust Fairy; blessed with the gift of controlling dust.  This is how Delilah is able to decorate the castle as the Count has requested.  Delilah is very shocked to learn all of this information and her head is filled with the idea that she certainly is quite special.  When the guests arrive, the Count informs Delilah that she may want to try to keep her gifts under wraps, as she may be in danger if any of his guests discover what she is.  The Count turns out to be right, and Delilah is kidnapped by one of the guests, a woman consumed with making people believe that she is well liked and famous.  Delilah’s friends now must figure out a way to get her back safely and unharmed.  They come together and make quite a miraculous rescue.  It turns out that the kidnapper has spent all of her money on making herself appear to be adored and famous, and she wanted Delilah to use her powers and make them appear to be her own, which would really make her special. 

This never ending need to make herself seem more important has left the kidnapper friendless and people actually find her to be quite boring since the only thing she ever talks about is herself and how wonderful and beautiful she is. In the end when all is solved the Count comes to the realization that he doesn’t care what people expect, and from now on he will be throwing parties that really shows who he is, instead of what other people think or expect him to be.
 The lesson of the story is to embrace your unique gifts instead of conforming to what others want you to do or to be like.  Your life is your own, and you will only be happiest when you are true to yourself.

I can’t wait for the next book in this series.  I would place these books at the same level as Amelia Bedelia. I used to love those books as a kid, and Delilah Dusticle would have been right there along with that series if it had been around at that time. I think these are extremely entertaining stories with plenty of adventure as well as a bit of silliness and fantasy.  The lessons these stories teach just make them all the better.  I would definitely recommend these books to any of my friends who are looking for something wonderful for their children to read.