Monday, October 24, 2016


The Horribly Hungry Gingerbread Boy- A San Francisco Story by Elisa Kleven

Kicking off Picture Book week is The Horribly Hungry Gingerbread Boy- A San Francisco Story by Elisa Kleven. 

The Story-
(blurb)When Shirley's gingerbread treat leaps out of her lunchbox and begins gobbling everything in sight, a wild chase ensues through the neighborhoods of San Francisco as Shirley tries to stop her creation from eating up the whole town.

My Thoughts-
What an amazing picture book! It is full of not only fun rhymes (that work), but also San Francisco landmarks and colorful illustrations. I enjoyed the closeness to the original story, but like most kids, I was always sad with how the original ended, with the gingerbread boy being eatin'. This story takes a fresh twist, with a still naughty gingerbread boy, but one who learns his lesson and lives to make amends and have a friend. Splendid!

The illustrations are GORGEOUS! They are full of color, almost mosaic like, with patterns and collages. They take you on a tour of San Francisco, from China Town to the Golden Gate Bridge. They are so festive that the whole book is a party of style and prints. A delight for the eyes.

Added to the back of the book is an actual map and details of the landmarks covered in the book. Kids are going to love this one. 5 stars!

Friday, October 21, 2016

The Spice Box Letters by Eve Makis- Spotlight

It's YA Friday! 
Today I am spotlighting the September release, The Spice Box Letters, by Eve Makis.

About the Book:
Katerina longs to know why her late grandmother, Miriam, refused to talk about the past, especially when she inherits a journal and handwritten letters stashed in a wooden spice box, cryptic treasures written in Armenian, Miriam’s mother tongue.

On vacation in Cyprus, Katerina finds the key to unlocking her grandmother’s secrets and discovers a family legacy of exile and loss. Aged seven, Miriam was expelled from her home in Eastern Turkey and witnessed the death of her beloved brother Gabriel, or so she believed.

Katerina sets out on a fact-finding mission across the island and solves a mystery that changes her life and lays the ghosts of her grandmother’s turbulent past to rest.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding meets Sarah's Key in this gripping family saga, set during the tragic start of the Armenian genocide in 1915 Turkey, spanning the ups and downs of a family separated by the devastating aftermath in 1985 Greece.

About the Author:

EVE MAKIS studied at Leicester University and worked as a journalist and  radio presenter in the UK and Cyprus before becoming a novelist.  Eve  is a part time tutor in creative writing at Nottingham University. She  is married with two children and lives in the UK and Cyprus.

Praise for The Spice Box Letters:
"Reading The Spice Box Letters is like sitting down to a delicious Armenian dinner hosted by an ebullient family with a riveting and sorrowful tale to tell. Makis' story goes to some dark places, but her warmth and light touch keeps this engaging novel aloft.  You will come away impressed by the resilience of her wonderful characters—and craving Armenian delicacies. (I devoured a chunk of halva while reading this book.) I deeply enjoyed this novel." —Sharon Guskin, author of The Forgetting Time

Monday, October 17, 2016

Defenders of the Family by Benjamin Hyrum White

Welcome to Middle Grade Monday! Today I am taking part in the blog tour for Benjamin Hyrum White's book, Defenders of the Family!

About the book-
Defenders of the Family, assemble! God’s magnificent plan for us rests upon the strength of the family. In this engaging children’s book, discover the roles and teachings needed to unite your family, from devoted parents to extended members, all centered on the power of the gospel. Help your children see their families as they can be: incredible, empowered, eternal followers of Jesus.
My Thoughts-
This is a delightful, middle-grade read told as a super hero graphic novel/comic book. The tone is easily set as a Christian based book, specifically LDS. The journey begins with the definition of what defender means and then goes into the importance of family and protecting it from harm or danger. I enjoyed the big, colorful illustrations and the easy language. Families are shown in many shapes and forms, cultures and circumstances. My favorite part is the recognition of modern families where, "sometimes dads may nurture and moms might provide for the family's needs," but in all, "Fathers and Mothers are partners, working side by side together...".
The book is based on the LDS church's- The Family: A Proclamation to the World. A document describing the importance of family and individual worth.

This fun book is easy to understand, with pictures that supplement the message, and definitions to explain concepts to children. I like what this book stands for and how important its message is to families today. 5 stars!

About the Author-

Friday, October 14, 2016

Moon Chosen by P.C. Cast, Review and Excerpt

It's YA Friday! Today I am taking part in the Moon Chosen Blog Tour. Check out P.C. Cast's latest book, read my review, and then read an excerpt!

About the Book-
Mari is an Earth Walker, heir to the unique healing powers of her Clan; but she has cast her duties aside, until she is chosen by a special animal ally, altering her destiny forever. When a deadly attack tears her world apart, Mari reveals the strength of her powers and the forbidden secret of her dual nature as she embarks on a mission to save her people. It is not until Nik, the son of the leader from a rival, dominating clan strays across her path, that Mari experiences something she has never felt before…

Now, darkness is coming, and with it, a force more terrible and destructive than the world has ever seen, leaving Mari to cast the shadows from the earth. By forming a tumultuous alliance with Nik, she must make herself ready. Ready to save her people. Ready to save herself and Nik. Ready to embrace her true destiny…and obliterate the forces that threaten to destroy them all.

 With a fantastic storyline, fascinating protagonist, and swoon-worthy love story, MOON CHOSEN is sure to hit all the sweet spots readers love.

My Thoughts-

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Henry Hunter and the Beast of Snagov Spotlight

Henry Hunter and the Beast of Snagov

The Henry Hunter Series #1
by John Matthews

Sky Pony Press hardcover, also available as an ebook
On Sale: September 20, 2016 | ISBN: 978-1-5107-1038-2

Price: $15.99 | 240 pages | Ages 8–12

About the Book:
An intriguing combination of Indiana Jones and Sherlock Holmes, the Henry Hunter Series is the perfect middle-grade read for all young adventurers looking for a bit of supernatural excitement in their lives!

Adolphus Pringle lived a relatively normal life before he met Henry Hunter, but being the best friend of a twelve-year-old millionaire genius certainly makes life interesting. He has accompanied Henry on adventures all over the world and encountered dozens of supernatural creatures. Henry has a penchant for paranormal mysteries, and he never fails to drag his trusty sidekick, Dolf, into adventures to track down the truth in these mystical legends.

Henry announces one morning that he and Dolf are going to go in search of a creature more terrifying than Dracula himself: the Beast of Snagov. The pair of supernatural investigators travel from where Bram Stoker stayed in Whitby to Transylvania. Along the way, they come across some strange things such as Dracula’s daughter, Bella, and an organization called the Order of the Dragon that wants to sacrifice Henry Hunter to the Beast of Snagov.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Teen Read Week at Half Price Books

It's Teen Read Week and at Half Price Books they've got a cool tote bag giveaway!

Monday, October 10, 2016

OMG...I Did it Again! Book review and giveaway

Welcome to Middle Grade Monday! Today I am taking part in the blog tour for OMG, I Did it Again! by Talia Aikens-Nunez. First up is my review, then a little about Talia, followed by a GIVEAWAY!

The Book- 

Fifth-grader April wakes up from a dream about elephants, only to find a parade of elephants marching down her street! April has recently decided to become a witch and using a spell book, searches for a way to undo her dream magic. Her good friends Grace and Eve pop over to help out and together they find out a way to return the elephants to Africa and give them a safe habitat.

My Thoughts-