Friday, November 18, 2016



From November 11th - 19th, Spark Award winner  
will be on sale
for just 99 cents!

And all visitors to the site can enter to win a 

Stop by to check out all sixteen middle grade books on sale and take advantage of this incredible offer, sponsored by
Dragon Moon Press.


Thursday, November 17, 2016

Book Review: THE CALL by Peader O'Guilin

Peader O'Guilin
Scholastic Inc.
14 - 17 years


You wake up alone in a horrible land. A horn sounds. The Call has begun.


The Sidhe are close. They're the most beautiful and terrible people you've ever seen. And they've seen you.


Nessa will be Called soon. No one thinks she has any chance to survive. But she's determined to prove them wrong.


Could you survive the Call?


Nessa's legs don't work well, due to a childhood bout of polio. This puts her at a disadvantage because she and all her classmates have one goal: to out run the Sidhe.

Adolescents all over Ireland vanish one at a time, without any notice. They are gone for three minutes and four seconds, and most reappear dead and severely deformed. But for the Called, those three minutes in the Gray Land equal an entire day, running for their lives, desperate to survive. Most don't.

No one thinks Nessa will make it. And she might not even make it to her Call because of Connor, who is determined to kill her first.

O'Guilin's world is one of the most creative and unique I've seen in years. His characters are so vivid, his villians so twisted, it's impossible not to get sucked into THE CALL. Once I opened the cover of the book, I could hardly put it down. A top notch thrill ride and worthy addition to the YA horror genre.


Profanity:  High
Sexuality:  Moderate
Violence:  High

Friday, November 11, 2016


From November 11th - 19th, Spark Award winner  
will be on sale
for just 99 cents!

And all visitors to the site can enter to win a 

Stop by to check out all sixteen middle grade books on sale and take advantage of this incredible offer, sponsored by
Dragon Moon Press.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Book Review: IN SUCH GOOD COMPANY by Carol Burnett

Carol Burnett

Who but Carol Burnett herself has the timing, talent, and wit to pull back the curtain on the Emmy-Award winning show that made television history for eleven glorious seasons?

In Such Good Company delves into little-known stories of the guests, sketches and antics that made the show legendary, as well as some favorite tales too good not to relive again. Carol lays it all out for us, from the show’s original conception to its evolution into one of the most beloved primetime programs of its generation.

Written with all the charm and humor fans expect from a masterful entertainer like Carol Burnett, In Such Good Company skillfully highlights the elements that made the show so successful in a competitive period when TV variety shows ruled the air waves. Putting the spotlight on everyone from her talented costars to her amazing guest stars—the most celebrated and popular entertainers of their day—Carol crafts a lively portrait of the talent and creativity that went into every episode.


I grew up watching The Carol Burnett Show and loving every sketch in every episode. Who can forget the iconic "Went with the Wind" and Carol's hilarious dress made from drapes, curtain rod and all?

When I saw Burnett's latest book, where she reminisces about all eleven years of her show, I couldn't resist. It was even more delightful because Carol narrates the audio book herself. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing her comments about each of the show's cast members and guest stars. I also loved listening her retell many of her classic sketches and movie parodies.

For anyone who loves Carol Burnett and who has fond memories of those years with her, you will love this book.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Book Review: I AM MALALA by Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai & Christian Lamb
Little, Brown & Co.

When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education.

On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive.

Instead, Malala's miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she became a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize
I AM MALALA is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for girls' education, of a father who, himself a school owner, championed and encouraged his daughter to write and attend school, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons.
I AM MALALA will make you believe in the power of one person's voice to inspire change in the world.


I, like just about everyone else in the world, knew who Malala was. She was the Pakastani girl who got shot by the Taliban because she believed in education for girls in a country where women were expected to stay home and cook and clean for their husband, wear burkas in public, and were discouraged from pursuing an education. I thought I knew Malala.

Malala's memoir about growing up in Pakistan, the daughter of a man who envisioned all girls going to school and who owned a school just for girls, has been one of the most eye-opening books I've read in years. I thought I understood the culture of the Middle East. I thought I understood the Taliban. I thought I understood Islam. Malala's story changed my entire perception of everything.

From a young age, she became a bold, vocal public spokesperson on behalf of the right of girls to attend school. While the world only came to know her after she was shot and later won the Nobel Peace Prize, her country had known her for many years. And yet she was a normal teenage girl who did well in school and had fun with her friends. The day the Taliban targeted her changed her life, and possibly the world, forever.

Loved this book. I recommend it to everyone from 10 years and up.


Sexuality: None
Violence: Moderate
Profanity: None

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Book Review: SANCTUARY by Jennifer McKissack

Jennifer McKissack
Scholastic, Inc.
12 - 17 years

After the untimely death of her aunt Laura, Cecilia Cross is forced to return to Sanctuary, a rambling, old French-Gothic mansion that crowns a remote island off the coast of Maine. Cecilia is both drawn to and repulsed by Sanctuary. The scent of the ocean intoxicates her, but she's also haunted by the ghosts of her past -- of her father who died at Sanctuary five years ago, and of her mother who was committed soon after. The memories leave Cecilia feeling shaken, desperate to run away and forget her terrible family history.

But then a mysterious guest arrives at Sanctuary: Eli Bauer, a professor sent to examine Sanctuary's library. Cecilia is intrigued by this strange young man who seems so interested in her -- even more interested in her than in the books he is meant to be studying. Who is he and what does he want? Can Cecilia possibly trust her growing feelings for him? And can he help her make peace with her haunted, tragic past?


I read SANCTUARY in a week. It was billed by McKissack's agent as being in the tradition of Daphne du Marier's REBECCA. I like gothic tales, and REBECCA was one of my favorite books in high school, so I picked up SANCTUARY.

It has all the elements needed for a good ghost story: a haunted house, a creepy cemetery, an isolated island, unexplained deaths, romance, insanity, and of course, a ghost.

While I wouldn't say SANCTUARY is all that distinctive, I did enjoy it very much. The main character was plucky and courageous and her romantic interest (almost a little too) perfectly romantic. While the ending came too abruptly for me, I felt compelled to keep turning pages, curiosity driving me onward. The story took kind of an odd, unexpected turn near the end, but it worked.

Overall, SANCTUARY is a perfect Halloween read.

Other books in this genre that I've enjoyed include:

THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE by Shirley Jackson (arguably the best haunted house book ever!)
THE SHINING by Stephen King
SLADE HOUSE by David Mitchell
ASYLUM by Madeleine Roux
HYSTERIA by Megan Miranda


Sexuality: Mild
Profanity: None
Violence: Moderate

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Book Review: MISERY by Stephen King

Stephen King

Bestselling novelist Paul Sheldon thinks he’s finally free of Misery Chastain. In a controversial career move, he’s just killed off the popular protagonist of his beloved romance series in favor of expanding his creative horizons. But such change doesn’t come without consequences. After a near-fatal car accident in rural Colorado leaves his body broken, Paul finds himself at the mercy of the terrifying rescuer who’s nursing him back to health—his self-proclaimed number one fan, Annie Wilkes. Annie is very upset over what Paul did to Misery, and demands that he find a way to bring her back by writing a new novel—his best yet, and one that’s all for her. After all, Paul has all the time in the world to do so as a prisoner in her isolated house...and Annie has some very persuasive and violent methods to get exactly what she wants...


MISERY by Stephen King was first published in 1987. And everyone knows about this story, right? If not from the book, then from the 1990 film starring Kathy Bates. So why bother posting a review here?

Believe or not, until I picked up a copy of MISERY a few months back, I had never read a Stephen King novel. I know. Shocking. But he is the master of horror and suspense, and over the past couple of years I've been writing a horror novel of my own and I really wanted to know what makes King so great. What is it about his writing that has elicited such fierce loyalty from millions of fans the world over, loyalty that has lasted for decades and more publications than I care to count? What is his secret?

So, what did I learn...

I learned that King deserves all the accolades he gets. Every single one of them. I learned that he hooks readers not by surprising them, but by telling them up front what horrible things are going to happen and then dragging out every agonizing moment, making us wait for it!

MISERY is a masterpiece! I could not put it down. Loved every page. It was deliciously terrifying and gruesome. I could totally read it all over again. I did make the mistake of actually watching the film once I'd finished the book. What a disappointment. Yes, Kathy Bates is amazing as Annie Wilkes, the crazed, serial killer nurse, but why the heck did the movie makers NOT go all the way? I mean, there are so many gory, terrifying moments in the book that would have been amazing on screen! Having never seen the movie before, I really expected to see them. Can't say them here in case you haven't read the book yet. But instead showing what Annie does in the book, which is so over the top and insane, the movie played it safe. Annie breaks the guy's feet. She shoots the cop. If you've seen the movie but haven't read the book, for heaven sake, read the dang thing! You'll never be the same again!

One of the best books I've read in a long time. Not since the HANNIBAL LECTER series have I enjoyed death and torture so much.


Profanity:  High
Sexuality:  Low
Violence:  Extremely High