Theodore and the Enchanted Bookstore by K. Kibbee Blog Tour!

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Theodore and the Enchanted Bookstore: Tale of the Spectacular Spectacles

By K. Kibbee

Genre: Early Chapter Book {ages 6-10}

Living life as a bumbling breadbox with fur, was hardship enough for Theodore the Corgi, but when the young dog finds himself cold and alone in a frightening animal shelter, it’s clear that his struggles have only just begun.

Labeled “unadoptable,” by shelter staff, Theodore mires in the gloom until a kind-eyed stranger with a pocket full of handcrafted jerky and a quirky smile, rescues him with the intent of making Theodore the newest addition to his curious Bookstore. Though overwhelmed at first, Theodore soon finds both his new friend and the odd bookstore are welcoming hosts, despite the Corgi’s run of clumsy mishaps. And while Theodore’s formerly dull and lonely life fades to memory, a new, adventurous one blooms before him—for hidden amongst the dusty stacks of books and things at the Enchanted Bookstore, waits a peculiar little man with a set of the most magical, Spectacular Spectacles imaginable.

About the Author

K. (Kristine) Kibbee is a Pacific Northwest writer with a fascination for all things literary. Kristine’s passion for creative writing began in her early youth and led her to the doors of Washington State University, where she earned a degree in Humanities, with a focus in Professional Writing. Kristine followed her scholarly pursuit of writing with published works in The Vancougar, The Salal Review Literary Review, Just Frenchies magazine, and S/Tick Literary Review. She is presently a regular columnist for Terrier Group magazine.

Kristine’s novella, “The Mischievous Misadventures of Dewey the Daring,” was her first and only self-published release, and is still currently available on Amazon.com. Her middle-grade fantasy novel, “Whole in the Clouds,” was released in November 2014 and is being re-released by Incorgnito Publishing Press, with additional material, in October of 2016. The first installment in her YA fantasy series, “Forest of the Fae-Devlin’s Door,” was released in early 2016 with Incorgnito.

Kristine anticipates following the release of book two in the “Forests of the Fae” series (“The Raven Queen”) with a third and final installment, which will tentatively come to print in early 2018.

Kristine regularly engages on a variety of social media platforms and can be followed:

On Twitter @K_Kibbee

On Facebook: facebook.com/KKibbeewrites

Publisher’s Info:

https://www.facebook.com/incorgnito/
@incorgnitobooks

Incorgnitobooks.com

On Amazon: http://amzn.to/2oVfUfz

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The Son: Philipp Meyer

More likely than not, you’ve seen at least the commercials for ‘The Son’, which AMC has made into a series. It stars Pierce Brosnan (my mom’s all time favorite celebrity crush).

The novel takes place as three, separate generational stories. Each is told via a member of the McCullough family in an every other chapter format. Story #1 is that of Eli McCullough. We follow Eli from a boy until far into adulthood. In 1849, 13-year-old Eli is kidnapped by Comanche Native Americans. Readers follow this brutal path with him as he fights to survive.

Story #2 is that of Eli’s son, Peter. Without having had as tragic a life as his father did, Peter finds it difficult to relate to the man they call The Colonel. Where Eli is strong, Peter is weak. Most of the Colonel’s endeavors make Peter cringe. But, a time comes when, in Peter’s eyes, the Colonel has gone too far. Then, Peter has to make a choice between family and conscience.

Story #3 is of J.A. McCullough. She is the Colonel’s great-granddaughter and only gets a few years to have with him. At the time of J.A.’s story, women are seen & not heard, at home & far from the workplace. But, as the family runs short of male heirs, it’s up to her to salvage the family’s name and wealth.

While each story contains its own drama, each character is quiet similar to the one before him or her. The McCulloughs fight for what they have, want, and/or can’t have. Sometimes they take the hardest road and a few times the easiest. During the time period for all combined, their families story could be of any family in the South trying to make their way. Few survived. But, in our (fictional) historical account, the McCulloughs were one of the few.

First, sensitive readers beware, there is an incredible amount of violence & sex throughout the book. Due to the time period, racial slurs were the norm. The book has them in abundance towards all groups excluding Caucasian.

By far the most violent is the time period of Eli with the Comanche. It is downright brutal. Perhaps it’s historically accurate. I never fact-checked and read it as fiction. Eli is both likeable & detestable depending on which stage of his life you’re reading about. Peter is the most likeable and could be considered a hero, I suppose. J.A., to me, was the least likable. She doesn’t come across as the type of person that anyone would want to know.

The plot was well-developed and, though I read reviews by some who disliked the format, I had no trouble with the switches in time and the back & forth of the chapters. The only thing I double-blinked about was the dialogue with the Native Americans. It was portrayed as if they spoke fluent English which is difficult to believe.

Putting the gratuitous violence aside, I enjoyed the mystery side of the plot. It truly had me guessing as to where the author was going with it. I did, however, think the book was way too long. I would have rather read about only Eli & Peter. But, at over 500 pages, it was a bit much. I preferred the book over watching the series. I have to give it 4 stars for being ambitious and original.

Houses & Homicides: Stacey Alabaster

Bakery Detectives #11

Rachel & Pippa have recovered after their train ride of terror in Book 8.
Book 8 Book 8 ended in a cliffhanger. Without giving the cliffhanger conclusion away, Pippa & Rachel have found themselves in another murder scenario. We were aware that Rachel has decided to go along with the conglomerate, The Pastry Tree, to expand her bakery and her wallet.

All seems to be humming along well until the company representative is found dead at her hotel. Now, in addition to yet another murder to solve, all of Rachel’s monetary dreams are put on hold. As if it wasn’t enough, she and her boyfriend Kenneth are having serious issues. Perhaps he isn’t the man fr her after all?

This newest addition to the series was certainly interesting. In the grand scheme of the series, the murder doesn’t really fit in. As a standalone book, it seems mlike a normal cozy mystery. To me, a different victim would have been a better fit.

Here, we have some development with Pippa and her family. Her character remains flighty and one I often shake my head about. There’s little development with Rachel as a character, but the town continues to expand and more support characters are introduced.

I had been anticipating the release of Book 11 due tot he cliffhanger. Without revealing, it was most definitely not where I thought it was going. While that’s neither good nor bad, it was a bit of a letdown I suppose. The series, in all honesty, is running out of steam. Some cozy series can run on for book after book without sacrificing quality. This may not be the case here, unfortunately. This one is a 3 star book.

Black Jack: Willow Rose

Jack Ryder #4
(Can be read alone, but I’d recommend starting at Book 1)

True to her style, Willow Rose blends multiple storylines to achieve one, big ending.
When we last left Jack & Shannon, they were planning a wedding. Now, they are just a few days away from the big day. After taking the entire family to Savannah, Georgia, they take up temporary resident in a beautiful, historic home. Taking a break from all the chaos, Jack & Shannon spend some time alone. It doesn’t last long. All alone on the docks, a very pale, little girl is sitting all alone. As a policeman, Jack finds it disturbing and checks on her. No shoes, no coat, and no idea where she came from all lead the couple to take her home with them. But, as her story unravels, Jack and Shannon realize that this is no ordinary child and their wedding plans are about to become last on their list.

Meanwhile, in an every other chapter format, we have the story of Kimberly. Kimberly & her family receive word that an unknown aunt has left Kimberly a house. Having lived in a small apartment, the family jumps at the chance. Leaving their old lives behind, they head to Savannah to start a new life as homeowners. What no one mentions is the house’s sinister history. Unusual events begin to occur and Kimberly begins to wonder how much of a blessing her inheritance really is for her family.

Four books into the series and I am still having a difficult time with our main characters. Jack & Shannon just aren’t clicking with me. As a father, Jack is oblivious and only seems to care about Shannon. They seem to rely solely on their assistant to care for their family. Shannon is just not coming across as a likable character. With her prior characters, Willow Rose made them personable and basically heroines/heroes that you wanted to succeed. These two don’t make me want to like them that much.

That said, this plot was just further proof of the aforementioned point. While the duo is running all over Savannah, their family is left with the assistant and mentioned here & there as afterthoughts until the end. For the last 2 books, Jack’s oldest has had an obvious eating disorder and is basically emaciated. Jack eats dinner next to her and never notices?

I was pleased that, while the plot has paranormal overtones, they all have plausible and realistic explanations. The mysteries are well-thought out, but just didn’t fit for Jack. The plot would have been better featuring one of her two prior heroines. The book just didn’t have the wow factor that usually accompanies a Willow Rose novel. I gave it 3 stars.

Careful Little Eyes: Willow Rose

Book #4 in the 7th Street Crew Series

Book #3 left us with a cliffhanger ending. Mary & Joey’s son, Salter, had been abducted by Mary’s psychotic brother, Blake. Here, Book #4 picks up right where we left off. However, in true Willow Rose style, we see multiple stories intertwine and are told together until they meet up in the present.

The first storyline is, of course, Salter’s kidnapping. Mary & Joey have embarked on a road trip to New Orleans. Internet guru & friend, Chloe, has picked up Blake’s picture from a security camera. She gives all the help she can and the ex-spouses are determined to find their son.

Next, we have a ‘ghost’ story. New Orleans in the early 1900s was terrorized by a murderer known only as the Axeman. Now, in the current time period, murders are occurring via the same M.O. Initially, residents attribute it to the original killer ‘returning’ to kill some more. Regardless, the city is again in the grips of terror as victims stack up.

A more recent yet still blast from the past story involves a woman trying to do the right thing. Robyn is childless & lonely. Little Suzy is an abused, neglected child. When they meet, they are a help to one another. But, Robyn’s kindness & Suzy’s volatile home life are on a crash course. How this connects to the other 2 will be up to curious readers to discover.

Book #4 is a great read. It is almost impossible to guess the ending. Very few clues are given to the reader. With many authors, that would’ve been a disaster. Willow Rose made it work just as she does with all her 2 to 3 plot books.

Unlike many of her works, this one isn’t as gory/graphic. Yes, there’s violence, but it’s not distracting and it isn’t over the top, either. The plot was more of an in-depth mystery than straight horror. I really liked that although the Axeman is attributed by some characters as a paranormal fiend, it doesn’t match the reality. It would’ve ruined the book for me if it had been.

Not all the members of the 7th Street Crew play a role this time. Mainly, it’s all Mary & Joey with a little Chloe. There’s a lot of character development for these two. Blake remains every sister’s nightmare & the mega-villain that he’s meant to be.

All told it’s a fantastic mystery & a definite 4 star read.

Four Cheese Murder: Patti Benning

Book #7 in the Papa Pacelli’s Pizzeria Series

Kittiport, Maine is experiencing a particularly nasty winter blast. The local community center is helping the locals who’ve experience power outages from the weather. Wanting to help, Ellie begins donating pizzas to the center on a regular basis.

During one of her deliveries, Ellie comes face to face with yet another death. A young, community volunteer is found dead, in the snow, outside the center’s doors. Never one to shy away from a mystery, Ellie decides she wants to find justice for the young lady. Unfortunately, there are a lot of layers in this mystery. Disgruntled roommates, jealous co-workers, and no murder weapon won’t make things easy for her. Adding in the fact that the Sheriff is out with an injury and Ellie is knee-deep in more than snow.

‘Four Cheese’ has more character development as we have Ellie & Russell’s relationship beginning to take a more serious turn. We also have more development in the town as Ellie visits more local places and we get a better feel for Kittiport.

The mystery was well-developed and with multiple suspects this time. As the series continues, the books are definitely getting better and more complex while maintaining that cozy mystery feel. This installment is a 4 star book. It can also be read alone, but I believe in reading a series from the first book on.

Gourmet Holiday Murder: Patti Benning

(Papa Pacelli’s Pizzeria #6)

It’s Christmastime in Maine & as Ellie Pacelli prepares to celebrate the season, she assumes there will be peace on Earth. Shopping & decorating take a temporary backseat to restaurant renovations. Ellie has her heart set on a drive thru window being installed at the pizzeria. Hoping it’ll encourage time-crunched patrons to continue to buy pizza.

After she picks a contractor, she assumes the project will continue. But, soon after he starts work, he’s found dead in the snow. At the most wonderful time of the year, who’s the murderous Grinch?

Although it is still technically a mystery, Book 6 seems more like regular fiction. We find out much more about Ellie & her friend, Russell. For most of the book, it’s a feel good story. The mystery portion is pretty routine. I won’t take much for readers to figure it all out.

It’s a good read no matter which genre it’s filed under. It certainly is better than the last one and hopefully will continue in this fashion throughout the series. I give it a solid 3 stars.