Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Book Review: The Book of Lost Fragrances by M.J. Rose

I'm very happy to be part of the Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for The Book of Lost Fragrances.  Today I am reviewing the book and on March 6, M.J. Rose will be here with a guest post about the historical fragrance.  The author has a special offer when you buy this book before March 1 (see below).

BookThe Book of Lost Fragrances (Reincarnationist #4) by M.J. Rose, Atria Books, March 2012, 416 pages.

A sweeping and suspenseful tale of secrets, intrigue, and lovers separated by time, all connected through the mystical qualities of a perfume created in the days of Cleopatra--and lost for 2,000 years.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Book Review: Partials by Dan Wells

Book Partials (Partials #1) by Dan Wells, Balzer + Bray, Feb. 2012, 472 pages.

Summary from Goodreads:
Humanity is all but extinguished after a war with partials--engineered organic beings identical to humans--has decimated the world’s population. Reduced to only tens of thousands by a weaponized virus to which only a fraction of humanity is immune, the survivors in North America have huddled together on Long Island. The threat of the partials is still imminent, but, worse, no baby has been born immune to the disease in over a decade. Humanity’s time is running out.

When sixteen-year-old Kira learns of her best friend’s pregnancy, she’s determined to find a solution. Then one rash decision forces Kira to flee her community with the unlikeliest of allies. As she tries desperately to save what is left of her race, she discovers that the survival of both humans and partials rests in her attempts to answer questions of the war’s origin that she never knew to ask.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Pitch for my new novel

I thought it would be fun to update about my latest writing project.  I wrote a novel called Antigone:  The True Story this last November during Nanowrimo and The Book Doctors have generously offered all participants an opportunity to pitch their novel in an on-line pitchapalooza.  I have been working furiously on editing my book and writing my pitch for the last month and thought it was time to share a bit.  Below is my pitch, so far.  It has to be 200 words or less.  Any feedback would be more than welcome and I would love to hear from others who are also submitting and writing pitches!!

Antigone: The True Story is a young adult fantasy novel where honour and scandal collide and the truth of history is definitely stranger than the fiction of myth.

Sixteen year old Antigone is a princess in ancient Greece who wants to lead a normal life, but finds the gods have other plans.

Antigone's father is Oedipus, who killed his father and married his mother. Once the truth is revealed, her mother commits suicide, her father gouges out his own eyes and is exiled. Antigone leaves everything she knows, her life, her sister and the boy she likes, to go with him.

That is the mythical truth. The whole truth is that Antigone is blessed in a cursed family. The gods speak to her in her dreams. She can communicate with snakes and heal people. Confusing as this is for her, Antigone tries to help others with her gifts. However, when the gods push her too far, Antigone learns she has more power than she ever thought possible. She will not stand idly by while her family suffers and her life comes crashing down around her, not if there is something she can do about it. And there is.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Book Review: Isabella: Girl on the Go by Jennifer Fosberry

Book:  Isabella: Girl on the Go by Jennifer Fosberry, illustrated by Mike Litwin, Sourcebooks Jaberwocky, Feb. 2012, picture book.

Synopsis from Goodreads:
The precocious, purple-haired traveler spends the day playing with her dad as she pretends everyday things (like the sandbox) are extraordinary places (like the desert and the pyramids of Egypt). Isabella ends the day in her own home-sweet-home, the most wonderful place to be. Illustrations.

My Thoughts:
I read this book with my kids and they really enjoyed it, both the cute story and the wonderful illustrations.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Guest Post and Giveaway: Barking Mad

Today is my stop on the Barking Mad book tour put together by Kismet Book Touring.  I am lucky enough to have a guest post, a review and a giveaway!!

About Barking Mad - goodreads, Amazon, Typecast Publishing
The year is 1931. The scene is werewolfishly classic English fare. And tonight the moon hangs as full as a royal pie plate in this inaugural Reginald Spiffington mystery when the none too obsequious playboy, Reggie, sets out for a delectably long weekend at Huffsworthy Hall to assist his dear friend, Moony, in his failing endeavor to take the hand of his lady-love and to partake in the culinary talents of the genius chef running the kitchen. With no one reason more important than the next, he'll be off straight after breakfast. Reggie's itinerary for the weekend turns abruptly less toothsome when he decides to solve the unexpected murder of another of the Hall's guests, a guest whose luggage is secretly packed full of nefarious plans. Soon, all Huffsworthy's inhabitants are potential suspects, including Reggie s saucy, quick-witted love-interest, Mimsy Borogrove. Aided by his invaluable valet, Pelham, and armed only with his knowledge of detective novels and a newly acquired set of keener, canine senses, Reggie sets out to find the killer before another meal falls to ruin.


The winner of the Follower Love Hop is:  Carrie Lee A.
Congratulations!!!  I have emailed you and you have 2 days to get back to me.  You've won a book of your choice from The Book Depository up to $15 CDN.
Thank you to everyone who stopped by my blog and entered.  This was a fun hop.  
Thank you also to I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Rachael Reene Anderson for organizing this huge event.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Book Review: I Want to Go to the Moon by Tom Saunders

Book:  I Want to Go to the Moon by Tom Saunders, illustrated by Cynthia Nugent, Simply Read Books, 2011, picture book.

My Review:
This is the fictional story of Neil Armstrong.  Neil is a boy with a dream - from a very young age, he wants to go to the moon, but everyone around him discourages him because his dream is too big, too audacious, has never been done.  They mean well, they don't want him to be disappointed, but Neil will not be talked out of his dream.  He studies the subjects necessary, takes menial jobs when necessary, works hard and keeps his dream close.

This is really a sweet book, encouraging yet simple.  It is actually a song, and the book includes a CD of Tom Saunders singing the story.  My kids absolutely love it and listen to the CD over and over again and I find them singing the chorus throughout the day.  It is quite catchy and Saunders has a nice voice.

And then there are the illustrations.  Cynthia Nugent is obviously quite talented and captures the spirit of the story in colourful, whimsical drawings that kids are sure to love.  My kids poured over the pictures, looking at every detail.

This is a fantastic book that I would highly recommend to kids.  I love the message about following your dreams, being passionate, and doing the work you need to get where you want.

Here's a short video to give a taste of the song:

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Book Review: The World According to Humphrey by Betty G. Birney

BookThe World According to Humphrey (Humphrey's Adventures) by Betty G. Birney, Puffin Books, 2004, 144 pages.

Synopsis from Goodreads:
With a fresh voice and an engaging, hamster's-eye view of school, families, and treats to hide in a cheek pouch, Birney's Humphrey will elicit laughter and demands for hamsters in every elementary classroom. Includes bonus material.

My Thoughts:
The World According to Humphrey is a cute story of Humphrey the hamster who lives in room 26 at an elementary school.   It is fun for kids to see the world from his point of view, and with quirky sense of humour.  

Humphrey is a curious hamster with some fun insights.  He tries to help those around them and is always coming up with Plans.

Though there is an overall story, each chapter is almost like its own vignette about Humphrey's life in school and the weekends where he goes home with the kids.

This book will appeal to both boys and girls in about the grade 2-4 range, especially those who like animals.

How to find the author:

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Book Review: A Greyhound of a Girl by Roddy Doyle

BookA Greyhound of a Girl by Roddy Doyle, Marion Lloyd Books, 2011.

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Mary O'Hara is a sharp and cheeky 12-year-old Dublin schoolgirl who is bravely facing the fact that her beloved Granny is dying. But Granny can't let go of life, and when a mysterious young woman turns up in Mary's street with a message for her Granny, Mary gets pulled into an unlikely adventure. The woman is the ghost of Granny's own mother, who has come to help her daughter say good-bye to her loved ones and guide her safely out of this world. She needs the help of Mary and her mother, Scarlett, who embark on a road trip to the past. Four generations of women travel on a midnight car journey. One of them is dead, one of them is dying, one of them is driving, and one of them is just starting out.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Follower Love Hop (Int)

Hello everyone and Happy February.  I am so happy to be participating in the Follower Love Hop - I do have so much appreciation and love for my followers!!!
 The giveaway is for $15 CDN at The Book Depository and it international, so long as they deliver to you (please check here for the list of countries).  

Contest ends at midnight February 14th.  I will contact the winner by email and they will have 2 days to respond or I will pick another winner.
Please enter by filling out the Rafflecopter form below, then check out the huge list of particpants below.

Thank you so much to I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Rachael Reene Anderson for hosting this hop.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Congratulations to Nina C.  She has won an ecopy of Kevin Turner's exciting adventure novel, The Magi!!!
Thank you to everyone who entered.  
I have sent an email to Nina.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Book Review: State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

Book:  State of Wonder by Anne Patchett, HarperCollins Publishers, 2011, 353 pages.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Ann Patchett has dazzled readers with her award-winning books, including "The Magician's Assistant" and the "New York Times" bestselling "Bel Canto." Now she raises the bar with "State of Wonder," a provocative and ambitious novel set deep in the Amazon jungle.

Dr. Marina Singh, a research scientist with a Minnesota pharmaceutical company, is sent to Brazil to track down her former mentor, Dr. Annick Swenson, who seems to have all but disappeared in the Amazon while working on what is destined to be an extremely valuable new drug, the development of which has already cost the company a fortune. Nothing about Marina's assignment is easy: not only does no one know where Dr. Swenson is, but the last person who was sent to find her, Marina's research partner Anders Eckman, died before he could complete his mission. Plagued by trepidation, Marina embarks on an odyssey into the insect-infested jungle in hopes of finding her former mentor as well as answers to several troubling questions about her friend's death, the state of her company's future, and her own past.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Book Review: Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater

Book:  Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater, illustrated by Robert Lawson, Little, Brown Young Readers, 1st published 1938, 148 pages.

Synopsis from Goodreads:
The unexpected delivery of a large crate containing an Antarctic penguin changes the life and fortunes of Mr. Popper, a house painter obsessed by dreams of the Polar regions.

My Thoughts
This is a sweet book that will probably appeal to a wide variety of younger middle school readers.  Mr. Popper is a house painter who has finished his work for the year.  Every winter, he sits at home and dreams about travelling, though he has never left his small town of Stillwater.  He especially dreams of the Arctic poles.  One day, he receives a package from the famous Admiral Drake, a penguin from the Antarctic, and the fun begins.