Posted in Book Reviews

#Sponsored Book Spotlight: ‘The Return of the Ripper’: Anna Elliott & Charles Veley


I RECEIVED THE TITLE IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW. ALL OPINIONS ARE MINE. PIC & SYNOPSIS BELONG SOLELY TO THE AUTHOR/PUBLISHER.

Book 7 of 8 in A Sherlock Holmes and Lucy James Mystery (8 Book Series)
SYNOPSIS: October 1897. Diamond mogul Cecil Rhodes wants Sherlock Holmes to break up a smuggling ring. Lucy James is preoccupied with her role as an actress and her upcoming wedding. And then, London’s most infamous murderer makes a most unwelcome entrance.

The Baker street team soon find themselves enmeshed in a deadly conspiracy, with tentacles that reach far beyond the shadows of Whitechapel. Lucy and Holmes will need more than their usual deductive brilliance to defeat their latest adversary, or else the case of the Ripper will be their last.

If you love a strong heroine, a touch of romance, and a classic Holmes, you’re going to love this fast-paced adventure.

MY THOUGHTS: I was thrilled to see that Holmes & Lucy were set to work on the elusive Ripper phenom. There’s been a resurgence of interest in Jack the Ripper in recent years, fueled by theory & the hunt for the ‘one who got away’. Part of the entertainment value, if one can call it that, in the Ripper’s legend is that so many people think they know who he was and there are so many suspects!

It’s timely that two of the finest detectives to ever grace the pages of a novel are now involved! Now, that alone would have made an incredible novel, but there’s more! We are also treated to Holmes taking on a smuggling ring and Lucy is getting ready for her wedding. There’s never a dull moment in their lives.

As always, our favorite father-daughter author duo has brought their ‘A’ game. There is so much to love about this book. It’s the kind of detective story that readers will want to read more than once because it’s so much fun to watch the plot unravel. Again, we have the iconic Sherlock doing what he does best while remaining true to the roots planted by Doyle in his original works. Lucy once again proves her skills at being a Renaissance woman as she solves crimes, maintains her acting career, and still has time for a productive social life. Dr. Watson is proof positive that the limelight isn’t necessary in order to make a difference or to be a great friend.

With a unique twist on all things Jack the Ripper along with the great diamond smuggling side plot, our authors hit yet another home run with this incredible, 5 star novel. I highly recommend this series and hope there are many more installments to come! Bravo!

Advertisements
Posted in Book Reviews

#Sponsored Book Spotlight: Mosquito Creek Inn: Sherrie Todd-Beshore

I RECEIVED THE TITLE IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW. ALL OPINIONS ARE MINE. PIC & SYNOPSIS BELONG SOLELY TO AUTHOR/PUBLISHER.

SYNOPSIS: “Eleven-year-old Sonia Molosky’s quiet summer and that of her close friends begins to shift after an insurance investigator arrives in Mosquito Creek to settle the vast estate of a young heiress who disappeared seven years before. When Sonia discovers the contents of a suitcase behind a hidden door at the back of her mother’s closet, she convinces six of her pals to help her search for new clues to the unsolved mystery. Curiosity soon escalates events to an unexpected discovery that challenges their untested resourcefulness and courage in order to outwit and expose a cruel and cunning foe. While attempting to retrace the path the missing girl rode her horse the afternoon she disappeared, history begins to repeat itself…”

MY THOUGHTS: ‘Mosquito’ is Book 1 of 7 in the Mosquito Creek Detective Club series. From page 1, it was engaging and gripping. Although it is marketed as YA and rightfully so, I had great fun reading it! Good mysteries are timeless and ageless.
As a lead character, Sonia is capable and intelligent. All the children in the series are respectful to each other as well as their elders. Adults aren’t portrayed as imbeciles as is so often the case in YA fiction. It’s a clean read. I found no cursing or violence making it more than acceptable for middle school through adults. In fact, I’d recommend it to adult readers in need of a new series.
As for the plot, it is original and a good, old-fashioned whodunit. Messages throughout the book related to teamwork, having a sense of community, and the importance of family. I recommend this series and give ‘Mosquito’ 5 stars.

Posted in Book Reviews

#Sponsored Book Spotlight: THE BOOK OF INGENIOUSLY DARING CHEMISTRY: 24 Experiments for Young Scientists : Sean Connolly

National STEM day is November 8th

SYNOPSIS: THE BOOK OF INGENIOUSLY DARING CHEMISTRY: 24 Experiments for Young Scientists (Workman Publishing; On-sale: October 30, 2018; Ages 9 and up; $14.95) turns questions like “Why does helium make balloons float?” and “How does fluoride protect teeth?” into learning opportunities. It’s a journey through the periodic table of elements with the master of daring STEM books, Sean Connolly. Ingeniously marrying science and fun, it is a perfect introduction to chemistry for curious kids as well as those who might prefer a more engaging approach to science. It’s like having a miniature science lab between two covers!
THE BOOK OF INGENIOUSLY DARING CHEMISTRY puts knowledge into action using household ingredients to conduct 24 awesome, hands-on experiments, including:
Sodium: Make “hot ice” by crystallizing vinegar and baking soda into sodium acetate.
Neon: See how this gas emits light by powering a light bulb with static electricity.
Iron: Submerge steel wool in vinegar to see how this metal oxidizes.
Phosphorus: Play cat detective by using ultraviolet light to locate bad cat smells!

MY THOUGHTS: One of the best ways to review a book such as this is to try one of the experiments. My 15 year-old son & I did just that! We re-created Experiment #19 which involved vinegar & eggs. Not only did he learn about acid’s effect on the eggshell, but, the experiment coincided with what he’s learning in his Biology class.

What I loved about the experiment was, well, everything! It gave clear, concise directions that were difficult to screw up (Hooray!). The ‘ingredients’ were inexpensive and, actually, on-hand. But, it went way beyond a typical experiment. After the directions, it told us exactly what we were seeing, what was happening, and why. We won’t tell the textbook company, but, we learned more from this book than we did from the textbook! Plus, it was way more fun!

I was stunned by the wealth of information this book packs in. Gone are the bland, business-as-usual experiments. This brings modern takes on chemistry that entertain while they teach. We will be utilizing this book OFTEN throughout the rest of his academic career. I just wish it had been published sooner. It’s a full 5 star rating from us!

Recommended for ages 9+

*Pic & Synopsis belong solely to the author/publisher.
**I received a copy of the aforementioned title in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine.

Posted in Book Reviews

#Sponsored Book Spotlight: Where Dragonwoofs Sleep and the Fading Creeps: A.J. Massey



SYNOPSIS: ‘The story centers on 13-year old Ben, a normal eighth-grader by day who one night awakens a fantastical dream world called Meridia, where snow burns, the sun disappears and reappears without warning, and magic is addictive. But this mysterious realm is disappearing, being eaten by a phenomenon called the Fading. Joined by Avery, Marcus, and three dog-like dragonwoofs, Ben journeys across monster-infested oceans and sun-scorched mountains to retrieve the sphinx’s head, the key to saving the world and every astonishing creature that inhabits it. But not everyone wants them to succeed. Soon, they find themselves pursued by the Sovereign and his generals, whose armies will stop at nothing to perpetuate the Fading and its consumption of the land.’

MY THOUGHTS: I’ll readily admit that YA anything (especially Fantasy) is not my genre of choice. I’ve never been able to follow along in a surreal plot. However, I dove right into ‘Dragonwoofs’ and, I also must admit, I was pretty well captivated.

A.J. Massey has done a spectacular job with character development and creating a fantasy world like no other. Taking the stereotypical underdogs-done-wrong, Massey makes them into heroic fighters who are to be admired and readers will truly connect with. On a humorous note, humans are referred to as ‘weeds’. Many parents of teens may agree with that name! The scenery and even the weather are supporting characters, adding to the ‘magic’ of the plot.

As our brave teens struggle in the timeless battle of good versus evil, readers find a message of friendship with unlikely friends, heroism in the face of incredible danger, and a good workout for one’s imagination. If Mr. Massey’s book can catch the attention of a 40-something blogger, then he will surely be a hit with the YA set. Well-written and a welcome escape from reality, I give it 4 stars.

*Pic & Synopsis belong solely to the author/publisher
**I received the aforementioned title in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine.
About A.J. Massey:
A.J. Massey writes thrilling fantasy novels for young teens and adults. His first book, Where Dragonwoofs Sleep and the Fading Creeps, blends shared dream worlds with middle school, and was influenced by his favorite childhood movies of the 80s, Labyrinth and The Neverending Story.
Massey studied at the University of Hawaii where he earned his business degree. He was also a former infantry medic in the U.S. Army, and worked as a project manager at several companies, including The Boeing Company and DirecTV. He now works as a Program Manager at a major video game company. He currently lives in Southern California with his wife, Katie, and pet dragonwoofs, Abby and Peanut.

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/where-dragonwoofs-sleep-and-the-fading-creeps-aj-massey/1129094174?ean=9781980944393

http://www.dragonwoofs.com

Posted in Book Reviews

#Sponsored Book Spotlight: DA VINCI’S WAY: Robin Stevens Payes

SYNOPSIS: Meeting Leonardo da Vinci in person isn’t your average middle-schooler’s dream science fair project, but Charley Morton isn’t your typical eighth-grader. Charley is mad about science and math and, with her best bud Billy Vicenzo, she’s set on doing the impossible—finding da Vinci’s plans for a time machine and traveling back 500 years to meet her idol.

Robin Stevens Payes is firing up a love for science with the second book in her thrilling EDGE OF YESTERDAY science fiction series, DA VINCI’S WAY (Small Batch Books; October 2018). The books are designed to open the minds of middle-grade readers to the adventure of learning about STEM/STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) through storytelling.

STEM is the fastest-growing sector in employment—up 28 percent since 2000, compared to 6 percent in other fields, according to the U.S. News/Raytheon STEM index. In fact, America is sorely lacking in college graduates with STEM degrees. From 2014-2015 in the U.S. there were only some 30K STEM graduates for approximately 230K STEM jobs. Clearly, engaging the attention of children, especially girls and young people of color who are too often excluded from exposure to STEM, is of paramount importance.

To help America reverse that trend, Payes is creating a curriculum that will present STEM through play, discovery, character, creativity and storytelling. Her lesson plans, workshops, interactive games and novels use the vast array of popular mediums, including print, web, digital, social media and video, to take advantage of the human brain’s affinity for story.

The Edge of Yesterday series will go a step further and create an online community for teens that will:
· Promote reading for content and inspiration by opening the gateway to STEM and STEAM learning.
· Inspire curiosity, creativity and a love of learning using Leonardo da Vinci’s example of intrinsic learning.
· Encourage teens to be curious, to engage with their passions, to discover new ideas, and to tell their stories in a variety of media.
· Connect learning to life that inspires a drive to mastery.

The ultimate aim is to nurture a growth mindset, a learning foundation that will increase young people’s capacity for learning, instill purpose and help them remain motivated in the face of life’s most difficult challenges.

ROBIN STEVENS PAYES is the author of Edge of Yesterday, a serial science fiction story and interactive web platform designed to blow young minds, tap creative juices, and explore the truths our stories are telling us in IRL. She works with teens through the Maryland Writers Association teen clubs, Girls in Technology, and the Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning.

MY THOUGHTS: I was stunned and pleased to learn that our author spent 10 years researching Da Vinci. True dedication! Hearing this makes a reader want to read. In today’s clogged YA environment, it isn’t often that one discovers a book (let alone a series!) that wants to teach, is entertaining, and worthy of reading. This book is ALL 3.

After decades of people being told it wasn’t ok to be ‘geeky’, Charley is showing girls that not only is it ok, but it is fun! In order to see kids getting interested in reading, we have to have a topic that interests them. Harry Potter comes to mind. Robin Stevens Payes has nailed the same successful formula as Ms. Rowling did with her series. I have wholeheartedly recommended this series to the two closest libraries in our area.

Although I am far (very far) from being a YA, I loved every minute of this book & it’s predecessor. Boys & girls alike will love the adventure from start to finish. I give it 5 stars!!
*I RECEIVED THE AFORMENTIONED TITLE IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW. ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN.
Pic & Synopsis belong solely to the author/publisher.

DA VINCI’S WAY
By Robin Stevens Payes
Small Batch Books; October 2018
$XX; 128 pages
ISBN: 978-1-937650-83-4

Posted in Book Reviews

Book Spotlight: Secrets Abound in Missing Lake: Tanya Fyfe


Secrets Abound in Missing Lake by Tanya FyfeSecrets Abound in Missing Lake by Tanya Fyfe

Publisher:  Create Space (April 27, 2017)
Category: Fantasy, Paranormal, Dragons, Young Adult
Tour dates: Apr/May, 2018
ISBN: 978-1545370308
Available in Print and ebook,342 pages

Secrets Abound in Missing Lake

In the third book in the acclaimed teen fiction, ‘Missing Lake’ series, Luke Houser is approaching his sixteenth birthday as well as summer vacation in the tiny mountain community of Missing Lake. He continues to try to find balance between real life with friends and their social requirements with the secret world of the mystical dragons.

Luke faces challenges with one of his beloved sled dogs as well as with Zagros, the majestic silver dragon, when he has to make choices that could lead to potential disaster. As the summer unfolds, so do more secrets in all aspects of Luke’s life and he tries to make sense of everything happening around him.

This is the third book in the series which shares Luke’s awkward and yet charming journey through adolescence with his beloved team of huskies, his friends near and far, and two dragon eggs that are going to hatch in the middle of nowhere.

Praise Secrets Abound in Missing Lake by Tanya Fyfe

“This seems to be a realistic portrayal of coming of age preoccupations and trials–with the added interest of a link with dragons that must be kept secret. Dragons, humans, and sled dogs come to life with equal vividness.”-Margaret, Goodreads Review

“The very talented Dr. Tanya Fyfe does it again. In her latest installment of the Missing Lake saga, we romp through Luke’s adventures with high school, veterinary medicine, and of course, dragons. In this third book of the series, Fyfe intertwines the relationships of a blended family, teenagers, and dragons. There is a great bit of fun and just the right dose of medicine.” Kelly Malinas, DVM, Nevada

Praise Dragons of Missing Lake by Tanya Fyfe

“What fun to read books that are imaginative, well paced, varied, and knowledgeable. I plan to go buy the third in the series tomorrow.”- Margaret, Goodreads Review

“What a fun adventure Luke goes on in this book. I think his life is about to take a very big change in direction and I can’t wait for the next book.”-Cindy C., Amazon Review

“Great escape in the pages of this delightful book. Wonderful sequel. I can’t wait to read more by this imaginative author.”- Kelly N. Maclellan, Amazon Review

MY THOUGHTS:Tanya Fyfe has definitely put her heart into this book. It’s evident from page 1 that, as an author, she cares about her characters. Luke’s life is crafted in a way that is completely relatable to today’s YA audience. His unconventional family, his issues at school, even learning to drive are all things readers of this genre would be (or are) experiencing. They probably don’t have dragon friends, but, the rest is spot on.
As a parent, I appreciate that Luke is portrayed as a responsible young man. He takes pride in his work with his sled dogs, does chores, and doesn’t spend his day consumed with social media. YA readers need more ‘good’ examples in their heroes. Luke cares for his friends and family, trying his best to do right by both.
The characters as well as the plot are definitely a fresh take on dragon stories. Even though it is obviously of the fantasy genre, it isn’t so off the wall that a readers couldn’t imagine it happening. In fact, Tanya Fyfe allows her readers to fell as if the dragons could very well be next door at that very moment. That’s what fantasy books should feel like. I give it 4 stars.

About Tanya Fyfe

Tanya Fyfe grew up in Canada as a professional figure skater who dreamed of writing books. That dream came true when she wrote and published Lost and Found in Missing Lake in 2014. Now a veterinarian, Dr. Fyfe lives in rural western Montana and is inspired daily by the beauty around her.

She and her husband split time between Montana and North Dakota and enjoy improving their golf games and visiting Hawaii every chance they get. They share their home with charming dogs, inquisitive cats, a herd of horses, and three hilarious ferrets named Phillipa, Calypso, and Luigi.

Website: www.tanyafyfe.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tanyafyfe
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Lost-and-Found-in-Missing-Lake-578449102259842/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tanyafyfe/?hl=en

Buy Secrets Abound in Missing Lake by Tanya Fyfe

Amazon
Barnes&Noble
IndieBound
BookDepository

Follow Secrets Abound in Missing Lake by Tanya Fyfe Tour

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus Apr 23 Kick off & Giveaway

Devoted Mommy of 3 Apr 24 Review & Excerpt

Dawn Bound 2 Escape Apr 26 Excerpt

Lu Ann Rockin’ Book Reviews Apr 27 Review

Jean Amazon Review May 2 Review

Paula Community Bookstop May 3 Review

Sherry My Reading Journeys May 4 Review, Excerpt, & G

Dawn Bound 4 Escape May 7 Review

Ashley’s Bookshelf May 9 Review

Lora ettria.com May 10 Review & Excerpt

Marion’s Bookshelf May 17 Review

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus May 23 Review

Janet Teatime and Books May 29 Review & Interview

Excerpt from Secrets Abound in Missing Lake

A breeze came rushing off the mountains towards our house. I could hear it when it began and as it swept into our little meadow towards the house. I loved how you could hear the weather changing in Montana, especially with the wind. It was windy almost all of the time in North Dakota so getting to hear a solitary breeze coming towards you seemed really cool. The wind was loud enough to almost drown out the barking dogs and just about knocked me off balance. I turned towards the mountains where it came from with my eyes closed and let it seemingly blow right through me. I didn’t know why but it made me smile.
By the time the wind had moved on I realized that the dogs weren’t barking or making any noises. They were all crouched down facing the house with focused looks on their faces. That sort of thing didn’t happen in a husky kennel when the handlers were out in the pens with them. Unless there was a dragon landing in your front yard.
I turned to face the house and was once again blown away by the sheer magnificence of a tremendous silver dragon with his shimmering wings outstretched and glistening in the sun. He reached towards the same ground that I stood on with almost pointed toes and slowly lowered himself. My mouth was open even though I had witnessed both Tabitha and Zagros land before but the sight was something I didn’t think I would ever get used to. I hadn’t heard the swooping sounds of him flying because of the giant breeze that had blown through and I didn’t know how long the dogs had been lying still since my eyes had been closed. I wondered if he had been using the breeze to fly with and thought about how risky it was to come over in broad daylight but knew his lair wasn’t very far from our farm and it wasn’t like many people lived where we did, basically in the middle of nowhere.
“I used the wind as you suspected, my friend. And it is good to see you,” his powerful voice came through inside my head. He had landed completely and lowered his front arms to the ground. “Most people do not look up during strong winds such as this or they must close their eyes to avoid debris getting into them. These winds travel the world and the dragons know when they are there and we can use them for daytime travel.”
I had started to move towards him as he spoke to me without moving his mouth. The dragons could communicate with their Dragoneers in whatever language we spoke. I had made sense of if by comparing it to thought transfer. I had watched an old episode of Star Trek where they talked about thought transfer and that made sense as to how these giants from another era could speak with us. But they had to choose who could hear them or communicate back. Zagros told me that he could read my thoughts as well, that I didn’t need to speak out loud to him but I still usually did.
“I’m so happy to see you,” I said as I approached him. While he was a huge force in my life we hadn’t actually been face to face more than ten times. Zagros and Tabitha seemed more in tune to our activities and actions. It was Zagros who had saved my life when I had my snowmobile wreck.
He lowered his head towards me and I reached my arms around his neck. It had become a thing between us where it was okay for me to hug my dragon friend.
“I am pleased, as well, Luke,” came the voice inside. “I have missed sharing thoughts about our world and upcoming hatchings with you. Tabitha and I are both very excited.”
Zagros followed me as I walked back towards the dog kennel. I remembered that I hadn’t latched the door shut behind me when he appeared and then landed. Not that the dogs were going anywhere. They had their eyes glued to the dragon.
As we got closer to the kennel I heard one of the dogs growl. That was the first time I had heard that, having been out with the dogs when Zagros had appeared another time. Even Dad had been with the dogs the first time he accidentally met Zagros and nobody had growled, from what he remembered. I wasn’t sure which dog it was and I wasn’t sure how Zagros would feel but he seemed to know exactly who it was as he turned his head slightly to the side. He stared at Harry, our oldest husky, and the growling stopped. I wondered if he communicated something in dog language inside of Harry’s head.
“I did,” answered the voice. “And that will be the last growl from him.”

IF THE RAFFLECOPTER FORM DOESN’T LOAD, CLICK ON THE WORDS ‘A RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY. A NEW TAB WILL OPEN!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Posted in Book Reviews

Adventures with Ragweed: Linda Lou Crosby + Giveaway

ragweedbanner
Adventures with Ragweed
By Linda Lou Crosby
Genre: YA, Short Stories, Adventure

SYNOPSIS:

Adventures with Ragweed is a collection of humorous short stories filled with adventure and family themes. Ragweed is a tribute to the whimsical part of each of us. Follow this young teen and her best friend, Marney as they travel to Mexico for a fishing trip where the family is to shoot a pilot for a television show instead find themselves in an unexpected sea storm. Laugh out loud as Ragweed takes on the tennis elite at the country club or attempts to rearrange their perfectly cut lawns. Always one to learn new things, this young freckled face gal with the unruly blonde hair builds a float, rides a horse and grows a garden. Each task done with her own unique vies of the world. These stories are meant to entertain. It’s difficult to narrow it down to one specific genre as the book is a collection of short stories suitable for young adults as well as for an older crowd with a sense of humor. Family Relationships, Friendships, Essays and Humor are categories all presented within the pages of this book. May you enjoy each tale as much as Ragweed enjoyed living the adventures.

MY THOUGHTS:

Anyone who grew up as an adventurous little girl will find themselves in Ragweed. The stories reminded me a bit of the Judy Blume’s I read in elementary school. Each tale is a lighthearted read, fit for elementary through middle school age kids. Parents looking for a good, clean book for the upcoming school year will find it in Ragweed’s adventures.

AUTHOR BIO:

Linda Lou Crosby is a video producer, storyteller and former professional athlete. Like Ragweed, she has a unique approach to life. Ragweed is a part of herself she wanted to share with others. Linda Lou has a great sense of humor and likes to laugh and make others laugh too.

She currently lives with her husband in Montana and California where on clear days you can find her fishing, hunting or hiking.

Links:
Website: http://ragweedadventures.com/
Paperback: http://amzn.to/1iDHpDS
Kindle http://amzn.to/1iDGX8L

RAGWEEDCOVER-5
a Rafflecopter giveaway

IF THE GIVEAWAY FORM DOESN’T SHOW, CLICK THE WORDS ‘A RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY’. A NEW TAB OR WINDOW WILL OPEN.
DMO3 ISN’T RESPONSIBLE FOR PRIZE FULFILLMENT.
I received a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine.