Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Book Blast: Murder On Valentine's Day by Pauline Creeden #MurderMysteries #BookBlast #CozyMystery


  Ridgeway Rescue Mysteries can be read in 1-2 hours. Perfect for when you're waiting for an appointment or just want a fast read. Don't miss out on this quick, clean, cozy mystery that will keep you guessing until the end!

 It's Valentine's Day and 20-year-old Emma Wright just wants her crush to take notice of her. But Colby Davidson, the K9 search and rescue deputy only thinks of her as a kid sister. How will she get him to take her seriously? When her veterinarian boss calls her to pick up a cat at a potential crime scene, she finds herself at the house of the richest woman in Ridgeway. Her father—the sheriff—and Colby are there. They both dismiss the untimely death as a heart attack, but Emma finds clues that it might be something more. Did the software billionaire die of natural causes, or was it murder?

Amazon (Free KU) Pauline Creeden

Pauline Creeden

Pauline Creeden is a horse trainer from Virginia, but writing is her therapy. In her fiction, she creates worlds that are both familiar and strange, often pulling the veil between dimensions. She becomes the main character in each of her stories, and because she has ADD, she will get bored if she pretends to be one person for too long.
  Follow Pauline Creeden: Website | Facebook |

 

Monday, February 5, 2018

Review: Angus: A Story About Finding Home by Mark Leon Reeves #MiddleGrade



Summary:
Angus McGuire is a thirteen-year-old boy with a very happy life until tragedy strikes. Angus must overcome tremendous adversity to find his way to his true home in life. 

My review:
Note: Being from the area the author writes about and knowing the author personally made this an interesting read. It would be easy to say that I am biased with the below review due to those two facts. However, I am reviewing based on the book alone and no other reasons. ~Michelle
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Angus is only 13 when his father dies of tragic circumstances leaving him in the care of an estranged uncle. He suffers personal anguish from his losses, abuse, and more. His circumstances are not over the top but certainly heart-wrenching. He finds friendship in the most unlikely place but has to put that aside for survival which finds him in the wilderness for quite some time before "finding home."

I thoroughly enjoyed the flow of the book although at first, it seemed to go in a different direction. The author skillfully managed to make the story work and the first couple of chapters made sense to the rest of the book. It was a bit slow paced at first but it was also necessary in order to get to the real meat of the story. The ending was fast paced and sweet. In fact, it left me longing for a bit more.

I am aware that this is a first in a series so, the things I am mentioning here, I hope have now been fixed. I sometimes felt the author was talking directly to me the reader or inserting his own thoughts as opposed to the character. It distracted me a couple of times but not so much to take away from the book itself. The author was also able to work it right back to the character's thoughts and actions which made those little faux pas okay.

The only other issue I had was the insertion of a couple of profanity words. I did not see them as necessary and truthfully caught me by surprise considering that this book is targeted toward younger students.  However, I am not so naive to not know that kids this age would also be using such words.

Although I loved Angus and loathed others, I found Angus to be an incredible 13-year old to know so much about how to survive, even though it was written that he looked these things up on the net. It seemed almost too good to be true and not as realistic as I think 13-year-olds to be. It seemed almost too contrived. However, for an adventurous middle-grade kid reading the book, it would also just be pure awesomeness!

Overall, though, I enjoyed this book. I related to many of the places mentioned in the book and enjoyed the references to books that were obvious inspiration for the writing of this book. Having been a first in a series, I think the author did a great job and I look forward to his next book in the series. 4 stars

Disclosure: I purchased a Kindle copy of this book for my own personal use. The views here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~Michelle aka Naila Moon

Where to find the author:

Amazon
Goodreads

Saturday, January 27, 2018

It's here! #MCBD #ReadYourWorld Review & Activities: The Rock Maiden by Natasha Yim


ISBN: 978-1-937786-65-6
Publication: March 2017
Publisher: Wisdom Tales
Page Count: 36, hardcover
Ages: 4+


Summary:
When her fisherman husband fails to come home after a storm at sea, the beautiful maiden Ling Yee is heartbroken. Every morning, she puts her baby on her back and clambers to the top of a cliff looking for any signs of his return. But day after day, she is disappointed. The villagers try to convince her to give up her vigil. “No,” she would say, “He will come home soon.” Tin Hau, the Goddess of the Heavens, takes pity on her grief and turns Ling Yee and her child into stone so that they would mourn no more. The fisherman eventually finds his way home―only to discover that his wife has been transformed into the Rock Maiden.

My review:
This book is a retelling of an old Chinese tale based upon a real rock called the Amah Rock in Sha Tin, Hong Kong. In the real legend, the story is not as happily ended. This telling is much sweeter and gives hope, but it also shares love and loyalty.

The tale also introduces a Goddess of the Heavens called Tin Hau, this is nice to illustrate that children around the world do not necessarily worship the same God. At the very least, it can bring the conversation about others and their beliefs that may not be the same as their own.

The illustrations were beautifully done by Pirkko Vainio in muted watercolors. Yellow, grays, and blues are main staples throughout the book which lends themselves to the overall feel of the book.

I recommend this book and give it 5 stars.

About the author:
Northern California children's author, freelance writer, and playwright. Born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and grew up in Singapore and Hong Kong. Came to California in 1979 to attend Dominican College (now University) where she graduated with a B.A. in English Literature with a Writing Emphasis and an M.S. in Counseling Psychology. As a Social Worker, she worked primarily with emotionally disadvantaged children in group home and foster home settings, and with Child Protective Services. Currently, she works part-time at the Mendocino County Office of Education, but works on writing every chance can get.

She has written stories since she was 11 years old, and even though interested in writing in a wide-range of genres and topics from picture books to plays, from travel and food writing to profiles, her heart has always been in writing for children.


Activities:
  1. Set up a "village" around a baby swimming pool that acts as the sea. Make "sampans" from larger sitting toys and have children "fish" in the sea. Use wooden poles with magnets on the end to catch fish made out of paper and paper clips. The "fish" could have Chinese words on them or words from the book. Younger kids the "fish" could have words they are learning or alphabet.
  2. (For older children)Talk about different stories the children have heard. Discuss what a legend is and maybe share and contrast other legends. Have them write their own retelling of a legend.
  3. Go on a walk with children and climb different "mountains" or set up a "mountain" on a slide. Discuss the mountain of Amah Rock and what it might look like. Discuss other mountains maybe the children have seen.
  4. Have the children paint rocks based on the different colors in the book. Have them write their names on one side and the people they love on the other side.
Happy reading! M.M. Hudson aka Naila Moon
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Thank you Wisdom Tales Publishing for providing me this book for Multicultural Book Day Celebration. 
Wisdom Tales is the name of the children’s book imprint of the award-winning publishing house, World Wisdom, which was founded in 1980. Wisdom Tales publishes both children’s and teen titles and was created for the purpose of sharing the wisdom, beauty, and values of traditional cultures and peoples from around the world with young readers and their families. The content, illustrations, and production quality of these books is intended to assure them a lasting value for children, parents, teachers, and librarians.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Celebrating 5 Years THIS SATURDAY! Multicultural Children's Book Day! #ReadYourWorld #Sponsors #MCBD

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/18) is in its 5th year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators. 

Current Sponsors:  MCBD 2018 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board.

2018 MCBD Medallion Sponsors
BRONZE: Barefoot Books, Carole P. Roman, Charlesbridge Publishing, Dr. Crystal BoweGokul! World, Green Kids Club, Gwen Jackson, Jacqueline Woodson, Juan J. Guerra, Language Lizard, Lee & Low Books, RhymeTime Storybooks, Sanya Whittaker Gragg, TimTimTom Books, WaterBrook & Multnomah, Wisdom Tales Press

2018 Author Sponsors
We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.
TWITTER PARTY Sponsored by Scholastic Book Clubs: MCBD’s super-popular (and crazy-fun) annual Twitter Party will be held 1/27/18 at 9:00pm.
Join the conversation and win one of 12-5 book bundles and one Grand Prize Book Bundle (12 books) that will be given away at the party! http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/twitter-party-great-conversations-fun-prizes-chance-readyourworld-1-27-18/
Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: http://bit.ly/1kGZrta
Free Empathy Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/teacher-classroom-empathy-kit/

Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

#Review: The Mistletoe Inn by Richard Paul Evans #Christmas #romancenovels



Summary:
At thirty-two Kimberly Rossi, a finance officer at a Lexus car dealership, has had her heart broken more times than she wants to remember. With two failed engagements, a divorce and again alone with no prospects, she hardly seems the type to dream of being a published romance author.

The theme of The Mistletoe Inn is that like literature, relationships must be lived with passion and vulnerability to succeed.

My review:
When I picked up this book I was sure it would be somewhat romantic in nature as that who the writer is. I also figured it to be placed at Christmas. All of this was true. It is also true that the book is essentially about romance writers who write romance books.

I enjoyed that Kimberly, the aspiring romance author,goes to a conference at the Mistletoe Inn which is described as a beautiful place but not much more. A mysterious man by the name of Zeke enters the conference and wins over Kimberly but her hesitations and constant crying made me cringe. Get a grip! It annoyed me such a  whiny character could not see her own strengths.

Most of the book talked about the conference itself and took awhile to get to the romance side of the book, of which Kimberly nearly ruined due to trust issues. Ugh!

Overall, things turned out just right with a few interesting twist and turns.  Little jokes the author writes to himself were also present too. It just took me awhile to get there as the book took awhile to develop.

I still give the book three stars as I did like it. I need to pick up some of the authors previous books to read.

Disclosure: I purchased a copy of this book for my own collections. The views here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~MM Hudson aka Naila Moon

Where to find the author:


Amazon

Friday, December 22, 2017

#Review: The Christmas Spirit: Memories of Family, Friends, and Faith by Joel Osteen #Christmas #Memoir



Summary:
His first holiday book, Joel Osteen offers uplifting and inspiring stories of family and friends celebrating Christmas traditions that will help readers return to the essence of the holiday by practicing the principles taught by our Savior, Jesus Christ, whose birth we celebrate that day. With these stories, Joel reminds us all of what is truly important in life. Filled with humorous and compelling holiday memories from Joel’s family and friends, this heartwarming collection will inspire and amuse readers while enhancing their faith in God’s goodness and eternal wisdom. 

My review:
In true Joel Osteen fashion, he tells tales of growing up at Christmas with his family and friends. Although the stories at times seemed a bit sappy, they were also heart felt as I would expect from this preacher and author. He includes tales told by friends as well.

Each story relates to some facet of the Bible and how he has always grown up with faith that all is good and life is how it should be.

I gave the book 3 stars as I did like the memoir of good feelings but at times felt disjointed and repetitive.

Disclosure: I purchased a copy of this book for my own collections. The views here are 100% my own and may differ from yours.

Where to find the author:
Amazon
Goodreads