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Now Available…My Bookstore: Writers Celebrate Their Favorite Places to Browse, Read, and Shop

My Bookstore :  Writers Celebrate Their Favorite Places to Browse, Read, and Shop- Edited by Ronald Rice and Booksellers Across America  is now available for purchase!

Make sure to check out my review here

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Posted by on November 13, 2012 in Book Review, Books, Events

 

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Otto Runs for President- Rosemary Wells

Just  in time for the upcoming presidential election, here is a great read for children.

A great children’s book about elections and what really matters

It is election time at Barkadelphia School and the competition is fierce.  Tiffany a brown poodle is the prettiest and most popular girl, and she wants to win the election, but Charles the bulldog, is the captain of all the sports teams and her biggest competition.

Meanwhile, Otto with the help of his friend Melanie, decides that he wants to run for class president as well. While Tiffany and Charles are busy promoting themselves, Otto talks to all of the students at Barkadelphia School and asks them what they really want.  They desire blankets for nap time, watermelon in the cafeteria, and bigger towels in the gym. Not hairspray and mirrors like Tiffany wants or more meat at lunch and skateboards in the hall like Charles.

Throughout the book, Tiffany and Charles campaign throughout their school until a simple election turns into a contest of insults and smears between the two, while Otto continues talking to his classmates. When the time for voting comes, who will win?

Perfect for the young reader, Otto Runs for President explores the voting process and shows that a good president cannot be won by insults and lies, but by listening to the voters and meeting their needs.

Recommended for readers age 4-8.

 
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Posted by on November 1, 2012 in Book Review, Books

 

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The Casual Vacancy- J.K. Rowling

Dark, unexpected, and vivid

In the small English town of Pagford, everyone knows everyone else’s business and privacy is a luxury. When Barry Fairbrother unexpectedly dies, the town is left with much unanticipated circumstances. A casual vacancy, as it is known on the town’s Parish Council.   The town has been going through a long term political struggle over who is responsible for the costs of supporting the poverty stricken area, the Fields. Fairbrother was an ally of those who wanted to maintain support for the Fields, and with his death, the two opposing sides square off. The politics of the Parish Council only set the stage for the book. The turmoil is the stage for the real story about the variety of people who call the town home and their daily struggle in life.

When the isolated town’s main source of gossip, the Parish Council message board begins to receive anonymous posting revealing some of the characters deepest and darkest personal secrets, a town already struggling with the death of one of their biggest personalities must reconcile their own places in Pagford.  There are a multitude of characters in this book and at times it is hard to follow, but through the course of the book their diverse personalities, personal hardships, familial loyalty, and relationships are explored. What follows is a well told story that reaches the underbelly of society and the dark truth of its residents. Abuse, drugs, rape, teenage hormones, and sexual affairs are some of the few topics explored in the interwoven stories of the characters.

This book was a struggle for me to start and I am still undecided about the end. The book really seems to not have a point to the plot, other than an exploration into the lives of the town’s residents, but I cannot declare that I did or did not enjoy the book. Overall I am still undecided, and I think readers will also be torn. If you are seeking another Harry Potter phenomenon, you will be highly disappointed. This is a book for adults and the topics inappropriate for young adults and children.

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2012 in Book Review, Books

 

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Gamers- Thomas K. Carpenter

LifeGame is more than a game; it’s a matter of life and death

In Thomas K. Carpenter first dystopian novel Gamers, in the Gamers Trilogy, he has created a futuristic society where LifeGame is all that matters. LifeGame is an ultra-realistic virtual reality video game where players score points for doing regular things, like brushing teeth and cleaning their room, to higher points for passing tests and solving complicated mathematical and physics problems. The top 15 boys and girls will make it to the University and get good jobs, but those whose scores fall below the line must settle for the jobs that no one wants.

Gabby DeCorte is a naturally skilled gamer. Her life revolves around trying to keep her LifeGame score up to guarantee her place at the University and dealing with typical high school drama. Everything from mean girls, controlling parents,  and boys, to insuring her best friend Zaela makes University with her. Unfortunately, Zaela lacks the natural ability of her best friend, so Gabby must constantly use her natural gaming talent as well as her extraordinary hacking skills and to insure her best friend’s success.

In this re-envisioned society, the Greater States of America (GSA) is competing to stay a prominent world power, and the future of society depends upon developing the best students, the LifeGame winners.  Gabby soon finds herself paired with a group known as the Frags. A group determined to undermine the GSA, and prove that those who don’t make it to University, don’t get undesirable jobs, but permanently disappear. The Frags need Gabby’s help, but with all the new revelations, Gabby is not so sure what is the truth and what is virtual reality, or who to trust.

Carpenter does a great job of setting the stage and creating characters that readers can relate to. Gamers is a fast read, with a creative plot, unexpected twists, and an intriguing premise. Readers not familiar with phrases such as noob, and DoT, may miss some of the humor, but it does not distract from the storyline. Overall, Gamers was a surprising good read, despite the bland cover art.

Disclaimer: This book was received directly from the author.

 
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Posted by on October 29, 2012 in Book Review, Books

 

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Mousetronaut- Astronaut Mark Kelly (Illustrator) C.F. Payne

Beautifully illustrated story perfect for the aspiring astronaut

A space mission is getting ready to leave, and everyone is excited. Along with all the astronauts, six mice will get to go on the mission as well. Meteor is the smallest of the mice, and he really wants to go on the mission so he has been working really hard. When it is time to decide, five of the biggest and strongest mice are chosen, but because of his hard work so is Meteor.

During the space mission the key to the control panel gets stuck in a crack. None of the astronauts can get it out, but Meteor is small and wants to be helpful. Will Meteor save the mission?

Mousetronaut is perfect for the budding astronaut with striking illustrations and a fun storyline. Written by Astronaut Mark Kelly, Mousetronaut is inspired by one of the mice on his first mission in space aboard the Endeavour in 2001. Included at the end of the book is a brief afterword by Mark Kelly that includes a brief history of the space program and life as an astronaut.

Recommended for readers age 4-8.

Here is a picture of the 2001 Endeavour’s Crew

 

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2012 in Book Review, Books

 

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Now Available…Reflected in You by Sylvia Day (paperback release)

Reflected in You in now available in paperback. You can find my review of Reflected in You (Crossfire Series #2)- Sylvia Day –>here.

 
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Posted by on October 23, 2012 in Book Review, Books

 

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Sirens- Janet Fox

Unexpectedly fantastic- an electrifying coming of age tale combined with a mesmerizing setting and studded with mystery and romance

With the captivating and beautiful background of New York during the roaring 20’s, Janet Fox’s new novel, Sirens, offers everything readers could want. Women have recently gained the right to vote, and with that independence the desire for more freedoms than they ever had before. Seventeen-year-old Josephine “Jo” Winters is about to graduate high school and has plans to attend college and make a name for herself as a writer. But her father has other plans, and suddenly sends her to live with her aunt and uncle in New York with the objective of finding a husband. Between her father’s mob involvement in a bootlegging operation, and her brother Teddy’s disappearance, Jo realizes that there is more to this sudden move than fatherly concern for Jo’s future.

Unfortunately, Jo’s aunt and uncles home may not be as safe as everyone thinks. Jo’s cousin Melody also has a secret, one she hides behind a “flapper” lifestyle of drinking and partying. Teddy, a war veteran has been gone for a year, suicide, or so everyone believes. Everyone that is, except Jo. She knows his secret, and when Jo gets ahold of Teddy’s journal, as the secrets it holds are revealed, the truth turns dangerous for Jo and everyone she loves.

Louise “Lou” O’Keefe, has fallen in love with mobster Danny Conner. From a life of poverty, as Danny’s “moll”, Lou suddenly has an upgrade in life. The newest clothes, a mansion to live in, all the money from his “bootlegging” operation a girl could desire, and the man she loves. Lou is determined to keep Danny and insure her lifestyle, even if it means eliminating any threats. When Lou and Jo’s path cross, their two lives become tangled in unexpected ways.

Written in alternating chapters from Jo and Lou’s perspective, the truth behind Teddy’s disappearance, a violent political bombing, and Jo’s cousin Melody’s secret slowly unfold. Readers will be enchanted by the brilliant 1920’s New York lifestyle and setting, captivated by the characters, and addicted to the ever twisting plot. Filled with love, loss, and loyalty and an impressive look into the worlds of “flappers” and “mobsters,” Fox weaves a fascinating coming of age tale that speaks to the ever changing role and rights of women during the early 1920’s.

Recommended for readers age 12 and up. Sirens is scheduled for release November  8, 2012.

 
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Posted by on October 22, 2012 in Book Review, Books, Not Yet Released

 

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