Monday, May 18, 2015

Feature: Castle Hangnail by Ursula Vernon

My son and I started the Dragonbreath series by Ursula Vernon and took quite a liking to them. Seeing there was a new book by her and a stand alone, I was intrigued.

This one is on my son's nightstand to read for the summer. Sounds super fun!

"When Molly shows up on Castle Hangnail's doorstep to fill the vacancy for a wicked witch, the castle's minions are understandably dubious. After all, she is twelve years old, barely five feet tall, and quite polite. (The minions are used to tall, demanding evil sorceresses with razor-sharp cheekbones.) But the castle desperately needs a master or else the Board of Magic will decommission it, leaving all the minions without the home they love. So when Molly assures them she is quite wicked indeed (So wicked! REALLY wicked!) and begins completing the tasks required by the Board of Magic for approval, everyone feels hopeful. Unfortunately, it turns out that Molly has quite a few secrets, including the biggest one of all: that she isn't who she says she is." (Goodreads)

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Mystery Lovers Check out these titles!

Lately I haven't had too many chances to read but that doesn't stop the offers for review requests. To compromise, because I still love knowing what is new and hot, I have offered to do Features! to appeal to my A-Z Mystery Author Challenge folks.

So today I have many wonderful mystery/thrillers to let you know about that cover quite a few different  sub genres within the mystery genre.

Gathering Prey by John Sandford
Sandford is a local boy for me. He is from Minnesota and is very well loved. His Prey series especially is always popular and the list is long, especially at the library I work at.
"They call them Travelers. They move from city to city, panhandling, committing no crimes—they just like to stay on the move. And now somebody is killing them.

Lucas Davenport’s adopted daughter, Letty, is home from college when she gets a phone call from a woman Traveler she’d befriended in San Francisco. The woman thinks somebody’s killing her friends, she’s afraid she knows who it is, and now her male companion has gone missing. She’s hiding out in North Dakota, and she doesn’t know what to do.

Letty tells Lucas she’s going to get her, and, though he suspects Letty’s getting played, he volunteers to go with her. When he hears the woman’s story, though, he begins to think there’s something in it. Little does he know. In the days to come, he will embark upon an odyssey through a subculture unlike any he has ever seen, a trip that will not only put the two of them in danger—but just may change the course of his life."

Midnight Crossroads by Charlaine Harris
What? A new series by Charlaine Harris. Sign me up. Obviously a huge fan of True Blood here. This is a little different but looks just as fun.

"Welcome to Midnight, Texas, a town with many boarded-up windows and few full-time inhabitants, located at the crossing of Witch Light Road and Davy Road. It’s a pretty standard dried-up western town.

There’s a pawnshop (someone lives in the basement and is seen only at night). There’s a diner (people who are just passing through tend not to linger). And there’s new resident Manfred Bernardo, who thinks he’s found the perfect place to work in private (and who has secrets of his own)."

Dry Bones (A Longmire Mystery) by Craig Johnson
Now this is a new series and genre for me. But I have heard amazing things about the TV show. Anyone read these before? Adding it to my challenge...

"Longmire, the TV adaptation of Craig Johnson’s New York Timesbestselling Walt Longmire Mystery series, has ratcheted up demand for the Wyoming sheriff’s written adventures. Publishing on the heels of the Longmire boxed set, Dry Bones is certain to join Johnson’s four most recent Longmire novels when it moseys on up the New York Timesbestseller list.

When the largest, most complete fossil of a Tyrannosaurus Rex is discovered in Absaroka County, it would appear to have nothing to do with Walt. That is, until the Cheyenne rancher who finds her is found face down in a turtle pond. As a number of parties vie for ownership of the priceless remains, including rancher Danny Lone Elk’s family, the Cheyenne tribe, the Deputy Attorney General, and a cadre of FBI men, Walt must recruit undersheriff Victoria Moretti, Henry Standing Bear, and Dog to investigate a sixty-six million year-old cold case that’s starting to heat up fast."

A few extra books to add to your mystery pile, right?

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Monday, April 20, 2015

Guest Review: The Patriot Threat by Steve Berry


Guest Review – The Patriot Threat by Steve Berry

The 16th Amendment to the Constitution is why Americans pay income taxes. But what if there were problems associated with that amendment? Secrets that call into question decades of tax collecting? In fact, there is a surprising truth to this hidden possibility.

Cotton Malone, once a member of an elite intelligence division within the Justice Department known as the Magellan Billet, is now retired and owns an old bookshop in Denmark. But when his former-boss, Stephanie Nelle, asks him to track a rogue North Korean who may have acquired some top secret Treasury Department files—the kind that could bring the United States to its knees—Malone is vaulted into a harrowing twenty-four hour chase that begins on the canals in Venice and ends in the remote highlands of Croatia.

With appearances by Franklin Roosevelt, Andrew Mellon, a curious painting that still hangs in the National Gallery of Art, and some eye-opening revelations from the $1 bill, this riveting, non-stop adventure is trademark Steve Berry—90% historical fact, 10% exciting speculation—a provocative thriller posing a dangerous question.

What if the Federal income tax is illegal?

Cheryl’s review:

Last year I reviewed The Lincoln Myth ( and was happy to have the opportunity to review Steve Berry’s latest, The Patriot Threat.

Cotton Malone is one of my favorite recurring characters in a book and The Patriot Threat doesn’t disappoint. Berry writes with a mix of a history lesson and fast-paced action. As his third Malone book with the United States as the starting point, he creates a realistic conspiracy incorporating historical figures and politics. Reading this in April during tax season made it especially speculative: “What if the Federal income tax is illegal?”

Although I enjoy all Berry’s books, this one was particularly fun. I couldn’t help but imagine what the country would be like if the Federal income tax was illegal. I’m familiar with Andrew Mellon’s financial legacy, but I didn’t know when or how it came about. Secret conversations, blackmail, and deception related to a President’s decisions also make you wonder what may have happened in past administrations.

I always appreciate the depth of historical research Berry does. Starting with the facts, he creates a realistic and though far-fetched, a believable conspiracy. As an archivist and historian, I also enjoy when his characters do archival research or visit archives. His explanations at the end of the book are worth reading to sort through the fiction from fact. While reading the story it can be hard to tell the difference, which is what makes the book good. I look forward to seeing what he comes up with next!

Thank you, Cheryl!

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Feature: Aunt Dimity and the Summer King by Nancy Atherton

There are so many mysteries out there that it is hard to keep up! The Aunt Dimity series has been around for many years and I sort of overlooked them until now .I was given the opportunity to feature the newest title, book 20! I couldn't pass it up. I didn't realize they had a paranormal twist. That is certainly right up my alley.

Has anyone read any of these? What's your opinion?
They sound delightful.

Cozy mystery lovers’ favorite paranormal sleuth is back with her twentieth otherworldly adventure

There’s trouble in Finch. Four recently sold cottages are standing empty, and the locals fear that a developer plans to turn their cozy village into an enclave of overpriced weekend homes. But for once Lori Shepherd can’t help.

Her infant daughter, her father-in-law’s upcoming wedding, and the crushing prospect of her fortieth birthday have left her feeling inadequate and overwhelmed. Until, that is, she has a chance encounter with an eccentric inventor named Arthur Hargreaves. Dubbed the Summer King by his equally eccentric family, Arthur is as warmhearted as the summer sun. In his presence, Lori forgets her troubles—and Finch’s.

But Lori snaps out of her happy trance when she discovers detailed maps of Finch in the Summer King’s library. Next, a real estate agent comes knocking. Is Arthur secretly plotting Finch’s demise?

With Aunt Dimity’s otherworldlym help—and her new daughter in her arms—Lori mounts a crusade to save her beloved village from the Summer King’s scorching greed.

Though my list is long, I will add this one to my pile and maybe scratch off the letter A in my Mystery Author Challenge.

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Audio Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

This book has been on my list for a few years now and I finally got around to it. I checked it out on audio and it is amazing. I have taken a break from dystopian/paranormal/teen fiction for awhile now and it was nice to get back into it with this one. Also, I really like books that take on well known fairy tales and twist them around. 
Cinder is a take on Cinderella, obviously. Cinder is a cyborg who falls for the Prince and battles the evil Queen Levana. 
"It is read by Rebecca Stolar who has narrated other Young Adult books before. She is magnificent!
 "Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future."

Highly recommended. 

Happy reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

So what happened to my reading/reviewing in 2014...

As I was driving home from picking up my son from school today, it hit me. MY reading has fallen by the wayside over the past year, as HIS reading and listening as flourished! And....I'm okay with that. But I had to get it all out in a post because, well, there is a bit of guilt for all the books that were sent to me having not produced reviews for most of them. Does this mean I didn't talk about them? Nope. Share them with others? Nope. It just means I didn't officially sit here at my blog and write a full page report. And....I have to be okay with that. I did what I could and all those books made their way to readers who ate them up.
So on to what I HAVE been doing. I have been watching and enjoying my son, now 7, become an amazing reader and lover of stories. We have been busy! We have always read every night but many times we read over breakfast AND we now listen to audiobooks!!!! In the car on the way to and from school or anytime we are in the car going anywhere. I'm so excited because he is at that stage of reading that I love! The early chapter book stage! Okay, who am I kidding? I love them all!

Here is what we have read over the past year together.
Ready, Freddy series by Abby Klein (all 28 of them!)
Andrew Lost series by JC Greenberg (6 of them!)
Charlotte's Web by EB White
The Best Little Christmas Pageant Ever
Stink by Megan McDonald
Calendar Mysteries by Ron Roy (all of them)
A-Z Mysteries by Ron Roy (A,B,C,D)
Capital Mysteries by Ron Roy (first one)
Captain Underpants series ( 1-6 and yes, we love them!)
Ricky Ricotta series (1-5)
Kitty Korner: Otis
Kung Fu Chicken series (book 1)
Eerie Elementary (books 1 and 2)

Listened to:
The Secrets of Droon series (books 1-8)
Magic Treehouse series (books 1-3)
Mercy Watson series (all of them)
Wayside School Collection by Louis Sachar (LOVED these)
Chet Gecko by Bruce Hale (books 104, read by Jon Cryer (Ducky from Pretty in Pink!!!))

I know I am forgetting some but man, it's been so much fun. So, alas dear readers, publishers, I AM reading and I will share your books you send me with the world but right now, at this wonderful age, I am enjoying reading with my son the most!

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Friday, February 6, 2015

2015 A-Z Mystery Author Challenge

It is Februrary 6 already and look at me, posting for a new year challenge! Go me. Obviously blogging hasn't been my top priority but here I am!. For those of you who wish to take on this challenge, please share your results in the comments below. I am not going to do a link this year. I hope to be a bit more successful in my mystery reading efforts this year than last. Overall, I was pretty slow in the reading process. Every year brings new hope, right?
-A-Z applies to the LAST name of the author in the mystery, thriller, crime, cozy , suspense, noir, etc. genre.
-Read as many or as little as you want.
-Post your links in the comments below.
-Challenge runs February 6, 2015-Febraury 6, 2016
-Have fun!
Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping!