Wednesday, April 26, 2017

RI Author Feature: Dragonfly Magic by JM Sheridan

 
Synopsis: "Bound and determined, Brianna and her favorite stuffed animal, a black-and-white cow named Mrs. Moomoo, set off on a search for magic. Follow along with them on their fun and exciting journey. The childhood friends search for magic in all kinds of things, from toys and dolls to blocks and crayons, they keep their spirits high and never give up hope. Does magic exist in the very shoes she wears? Or perhaps within those mouth-watering pancakes she loves to eat so much. Join Brianna and Mrs. Moomoo as they venture outside and are surrounded by the beauty of nature and all the magic it brings to our world. As Brianna and Mrs. Moomoo play in their sandbox, something unexpected happens, and they discover magic in one of Mother Nature's oldest creatures - right in their very own backyard. Magic can come in many forms. Believing in magic opens our hearts to hope and our minds to imagination and wonder. A portion of the net proceeds from this book will go to a national children's charity that works to bring a sparkle of magic into the lives of children who need it most."


My Review: Another book I picked up at a local RI Author Event. This book drew me in with the cute illustrations, and it also came with a plush Mrs. Moomoo. Munchkin loves cows so I thought we would enjoy it. It has a very cute message about finding magic in the ordinary things around us. I did find that this book is clearly geared towards girls and even Munchkin commented that it was a girl book and didn't really want to read it again. It also had a lot of text on the pages that made it difficult for him to sit through reading. It is a cute book and I think it will really appeal to young little girls the most.
  
 
My Rating: This is a very cute book that would be perfect for little girls (especially if you gift it along with a little plush cow).  I think maybe my nieces would have enjoyed this more than Munchkin, but it does have a great message behind it.  I give it a rating of Three Paws.
 
 
You can learn more about JM Sheridan and her work on her Website.
 
I picked up my copy of Dragonfly Magic with Mrs. Moomoo at the RI Author Expo, but you can obtain your own copy in print or digital format from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or directly from the Publisher.
 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

RI Author Feature: Poems from the Mind of a Madman by Don J. Metivier

 
Synopsis: "Within this book are simple and deeply reflective messages. Every poem carries meaning for the reader to enjoy and philosophize with. Whether you are looking for poetry that delivers simple reading enjoyment or poetry that takes the reader to deeper levels of understanding. This book is for you. From life's little curiosities to major ongoing world conditions, this book will provide the reader with an opportunity to scavenge through brilliantly thought out messages. The Poems from the Mind of a Madman deliver what the reader wants. Prepare yourself for a journey into a world of well-crafted poetry."

My Review: Based on the cover and title of this book I was expecting some very dark poetry and wasn't sure how I would enjoy it. I am glad I gave it a shot anyway because it was much more than what I expected. The selection of the poems ranged from the depressing and dark to the beauty of the seasons and some patriotic poems as well. It was quite a range of not only subject matter but also style of poetry. A unique and varied collection of poems.
 
My Rating: I was pleasantly surprised that this collection wasn't as dark as I expected and while I didn't find every poem agreeable to my reading preferences, there were a lot that were great.  I give this book a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag.
 
 
I was able to meet Don at the RI Author Expo, and he doesn't seem to have a website but I did find his Twitter Page and an interesting Youtube video to get to know him and his work a little better.
 
You can purchase your own copy of this poetry collection in digital or print format from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or even direct from the Publisher

Monday, April 24, 2017

Spring 2017 Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon - Sign Up

Spring is in the air so it is once again time for Dewey's 4 Hour Readathon!

 I have joined this readathon in some way twice a year for several years now.  As I said earlier today Munchkin's Opening Day for Tball got pushed back to this coming Saturday (the same day as the readathon). We will be at the ball field for 3 hours at least and then the family will be coming back to the house for a BBQ after.  So I will be unofficially signing up.  Instead of participating for 24 hours straight, I will be breaking it up over 3 days. I plan to read for 8 hours a day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
 
 
 
Some Goals:
Read for a total of 24 hours over 3 days
Read 15 books total
Read at least 2 Requested Review books
Read at least 1 Graphic Novel
Read 1,200  Pages
 
 
 
TBR Pile
The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary (186)
Runaway Ralph by Beverly Cleary (175)
Ralph S. Mouse by Beverly Cleary (176)
Journey to the Lights by Suzanne Francis (224)
Soldier Sister, Fly Home by Nancy Bo Flood (176)
R2 D2 to the Rescue by Ace Landers (64)
Samurai Rising by Pamela S. Turner (236)
Huck: Book 1 - All American by Mark Millar (152) GN
Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard Vol. 2 by David Petersen (144) GN
Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin & James Dean (40)
Giggle Giggle Quack by Doreen Cronin (32)
Outside My Window by Melissa Lagonegro (32)
Planet Earth by Leonie Pratt (32)
Otis' Busy Day by Loren Long (32)
Meet Chase the Police-Bot by Lisa Shae (32)
Meet Heatwave the Fire-Bot by Lisa Shae (32)
Team of Heroes by Jennifer Fox (32)
Fyre by Katherine Bogle (122) RR
Book of Bera by Suzie Wilde (320) RR
Jesper Jinx and the Mouse Mayhem by Marko Kitti (152) RR
 
 
 
So there is my crazy TBR list, it looks a lot more intense than it is, most of the books are short children's books in preparation for Children's Book Week coming up in May. Are you participating? What are you reading?


Monday Reading List




Its Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Shelia at Book Journey. Share what books you have finished in the last week, are currently reading and what might be coming up next!




Reviews Posted Last Week:
Links will take you to my review

Hidden Presences by Jenna O'del
Motocross Summer by Thom Ring
More Than Peaches by Christine Depetrillo
Why Not Call it Cow Juice by Steven Krasner (Bedtime Story)
The Longest Game by Steven Krasner
 
 Books Finished Last Week:
Reviews will be posted at a later date

The Book Thief
A Court of Mist and Fury
Keeper
The Sculptor
A Little Book About Safety
Ten Rules of Being a Super Hero
Super Truck
Love and Muddy Puddles
Meet Boulder the Construction-Bot

 
Currently Reading:
 





 Books to be Read Soon:

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince


 

Pages Read/ Time Listened
100:26 Hours Listened (8:41 listened this week)
19,703 Pages Read (2,043 this week)

Books Added to Shelves This Month
Beauty and the Beast by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by JK Rowling
Samurai Rising by Pamela Turner
The Mating by BJ Cunningham & Misty Clark
Hold Your Breath by Katie Ruggle
Fan the Flames by Katie Ruggle
Keeper by Ellen Jensen Abbott
Love and Muddy Puddles by Cecily Paterson
Dawn Study by Maria V. Snyder
Irish Rising by Marie Rose Dufour
The Sculptor by Scott McCloud
Huck: Book 1- All American by Mark Millar
The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

Books Read From My Shelves
The Book Thief
A Court of Mist and Fury



Interesting Tidbits on the Web:


 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Boy what a week, it was a busy reading week last week trying to push and get my Tome Topple Readathon finished (and finish a could of books before they were due back to the library).  Munchkin's first Tball game ended up getting cancelled due to weather on Saturday, but honestly it was a little nice to finally have some time as a family with no other people or distractions.  It also gave us some time to finish the garage clean up and me to get the house cleaned up.  Once we got the garage done, Sunday weather was nice enough to work on outside chores, we got our front yard and all of the neighbor's yard raked. We still have to plant the gardens and clean up the backyard next weekend.

Speaking of next weekend, Saturday is Dewey's 24 hour readathon! I was planning on participating but since Munchkin's opening day and first game got moved to this coming Saturday it will be a little difficult.  So I will kind of unofficially participate, instead of shooting for 24 hours straight through I am going to stretch my readathon and shoot for 8 hours a day Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I will have a post up later today with my plans and TBR. 


How was your weekend? Did you get outside this weekend? Did you read any great books?  This is my last week of the RI Author Month (sorry for not having more fun interviews and giveaways, I really dropped the ball on that, but have had some really interesting books).

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Tome Topple Readathon Wrap Up

I have been participating in the Tome Topple Readathon that was hosted as a Goodreads Group.  It was a 2 week challenge from the 7th of April to the 20th of April, and your goal was to read books over 500 pages. You can see my original sign up post HERE.
 
 So I had a pretty ambitious TBR pile for the challenge



So here are the books I actually read and finished:
A Court of Mist and Fury - 626 pages
The Sculptor - 496 pages
The Book Thief - 552 pages


and while I am pretty proud of what I did read, I didn't quite get as much read as I had hoped.  There are a few reasons for that, I didn't get started on the readathon until about 5 days in because I had several books to finish first.  Next I really struggled with getting into The Book Thief at the beginning and I finally had to put it down and pick up a different choice instead (thankfully that decision really helped).  I definitely wouldn't hesitate to try this readathon again, though next time I would like to actually read with someone or at least interact with other readathoners.


Did you participate? What book did you read? How was your reading experience?

Saturday, April 22, 2017

RI Author Feature: The Longest Game by Steven Krasner

 
 
Synopsis: "A non-fiction account of the longest game in professional baseball history, a 33-inning game between the Pawtucket Red Sox and the Rochester Red Wings played in 1981 at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Two of the players in the game became major league superstars: Wade Boggs and Cal Ripken, Jr. How well did they do? Check out the box score at the end of the book."

My Review: I had only heard about this historic event in baseball briefly in the past but being that it took place in RI and the book is written by a RI Author, I thought I should pick it up. I like that it is a non-fiction accounting of the game. It is a little repetitive, giving an overview at the beginning and then going into more detail throughout the book made it a little long for young readers to sit through. It would be great though for those young baseball fans or those going to see a game at McCoy stadium. The pencil illustrations were great and gave a classic feel that matched the book well.
 
My Rating: This was a little repetitive but it would be fun for those young baseball fans and players.  I also love that while an obscure fact in most of the world, it is non-fiction and an actual event.  We give it a rating of Three Paws.
 
Note: We are sitting at Munchkin's very first Tball game now, thankfully at this point they limit the number of innings and length of the innings!
 
You can find out more about Steven Krasner and his other works on his Goodreads Page or Website.
 
I had picked up my copy of this book at a local event but you can order your own copy in print format from Amazon or see if your local bookshop can order a copy for you.

Friday, April 21, 2017

RI Author Feature: Bedtime Story: Why Not Call it Cow Juice by Steven Krasner


 
 
Synopsis: "A fun, whimsical 32-page picture book featuring plays on words for 7-12-year-olds, as well as bedtime reading for younger children.

Dad gets mixed up a lot, to the amusement and frustration of Mom and their three children, Amy, Jeffrey and Emily. You get apple juice from apples, right? So what do you get from cows? Cow juice, right? You have to squeeze the cow, too, don’t you? That’s what Dad thinks, anyway. Ears of corn? Heads of lettuce?

Eventually, Amy and Jeffrey turn the tables on their silly Dad.

Find the cows that are hidden on every double page!"


My Review: This is such a fun book to read, and while kids will be completely entertained by it, adults will find the true humor in it. We had so much fun reading this, I read it with Munchkin and my mom & nieces over Skype and the kids really had fun but mom and I were really entertained. Not only is the story entertaining and sure to get the giggles started but the added element of a hidden cow on each page spread keeps the kids engaged in the story.
 
My Rating: This is a fun book, it is meant for slightly older children who will maybe understand the different ways of saying things and the humor, but it is still a fun book for younger siblings to find the cows on each page.  We give it a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag.
 
 
 
You can find out more about Steven Krasner and his other works on his Goodreads Page or Website.
 
I had picked up my copy of this book at a local event but you can order your own copy in print format from Amazon or see if your local bookshop can order a copy for you.


Thursday, April 20, 2017

RI Author Feature: More Than Peaches by Christine Depetrillo

 
Reviews of the Previous Books:
 
Synopsis: "Book Six in The Maple Leaf Series

Grady O’Donnell serves drinks to all who roam into his bar, The Clumsy Grasshopper. His heart had once been filled to the rim with love back home in Ireland, but the Universe shattered that bottle. He’s started over in busy Boston, and he’s happy to mix his business, his painting, and his lazy beagle, Cricket, into a life he can easily swallow. Most of the time.

Lena Clover brightens people’s days in Boston with her natural wares at Clover’s Fruit and Flower Shoppe. She’s been so involved in running her farm and store that she’s let her love life seriously wilt. The only love she gives out is to her silly dog, Snowy. Her business partner wants to help her cultivate that part of her life, but after her last relationship, she’s still not ready to stop and smell the roses with anyone.

Until she meets Grady.

Brought together to work on wedding arrangements for Rachel and Harris, their mutual friends, Grady and Lena have to face the fact that maybe, just maybe, there is a little room to explore the instant attraction blooming between them.

If their plans don’t get weedwhacked, that is."


My Review: I have been following this series since the beginning and have really enjoyed it, while I am a little sad to see it end, this was a great conclusion. I had thought in the last book (More than Cocoa) that Harris would be my favorite guy of the series, but honestly Grady has stolen my heart entirely. Lena is also a great female lead, she is kind, loving and sweet but still strong and independent. I love the way the relationship grows between Lena and Grady and their respect for each other was what really made it for me. I also love how the previous characters are integrated into this book and it was all wrapped up nicely, making a satisfying end to the series. This would be a great book to read in the summer, surrounded by sunshine and fresh fruit.
 
My Rating: I love when authors are able to wrap up a series and leave it satisfying but a clear conclusion, and this was one of them. I enjoyed this book so much and fell in love with Grady and Lena.  I give this book a rating  of Four Paws!
 
 
You can find out more about Christine Depetrillo and her work, including this series and her new series, on her Goodreads Page or Website.
 
You can purchase More Than Peaches in print or digital format from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or check in your local bookshop for the whole series, if they don't have it ask to have it ordered.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

RI Author Feature: Motocross Summer by Thom Ring

 
Synopsis: "You know those "How I Spent My Summer Vacation" essays teachers always give students as a new school year begins? Well, Jason Merlo finally has something to write about. He went motocrossing.
Starting out in the novice class for newcomers, Jason shows how serious he is about racing. With
the help of two new racing buds he learns what it takes to go fast in this brutally demanding sport. He also proves that hard work pays off, as he gets faster almost every race.
Soon he's running neck and neck against the fastest guys in his class, "guys" turning out to be a much more general term than he originally thought. His success on his Honda motocrosser goes beyond what he'd even hoped for. Yet as obsessed as Jason is with motocross, it's a new
friendship with an old flat-track racer that gives him his biggest thrill - and surprise - of the
summer."


My Review: I picked this book up at a local RI Author event to support my local authors and to build up Munchkin's library. I thought this would be more of a middle grade book based on the length, but the characters are senior's in high school, with that said middle grade readers would still be able to really enjoy the book. I grew up in a place where motocrossing was pretty popular and several classmates even competed but even with that experience I still learned a lot more about the sport. I would caution parents because by the end of this book your young reader may be asking for a bike! I like that the book is geared more towards male readers but there are also female riders in the book so girls may also enjoy this book. It was a thrilling and adventure filled book that also has some great life lessons to take away from it.
  
 
My Rating: I really enjoyed this one, even more than I expected and while it is geared more towards boys, girls will also enjoy it. I think Munchkin will have fun with this book someday, and I already know a few more reluctant young readers who may just latch on to books after this one.  I give it a rating of Four Paws!
 
 
Note: I did have the opportunity to discuss the book with the author after reading it and he made a few good points to me.  One of them was the fact that he wrote up in age for kids because they don't want to read down and as it is written so that a wide range of young readers, both reluctant and experienced bookworms, could enjoy it. There are also two other books in this series so far but they can be read in any order and as stand alones and all are currently geared towards racing things with motors ;)
 
I had the pleasure of meeting Thom Ring at the local RI Author Expo but you can find out more about him and his books on his Goodreads Page or Website.
 
You can obtain your own copy of Motocross Summer in digital or print format from Amazon or you can get each book or the whole series (even personalized for that perfect gift) from Thom's Website or ask your local book supplier to order it.
 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

RI Author Feature: Hidden Presences by Jenna O'del

 
Synopsis: "In the middle of the night, Adamar the fox's kit, Miro, is stolen. When Adamar learns about Miro's disappearance, he is guided towards the Darvin kingdom, and its king, Girbindon. Adamar and his fellow archers head out on a quest to bring Miro home. On the quest, they must fight the forces of Girbindon, who is determined to keep Miro for his evil plans. Adamar is ready to get Miro back at any cost, but he quickly begins to discover just how far Girbindon's influence reaches."

My Review: I discovered this book at a local RI Author event last spring, I was very impressed to find a teen with a published book. This book had some unique story ideas and quite an adventure story. I did find that there was a lot of repetition in descriptions and at times it got a little tedious to read, but with continued writing experience and some editing this will improve. The characters were anthropomorphic and each had very unique qualities, you didn't forget what species they were or that they had animal instincts and tendencies. I think that readers from middle grade on up will be able to enjoy this book.
 
My Rating: I tend to really like the idea of anthropomorphic books but I do end up struggling with them.  This book did a great job of making it clear that the characters were not entirely human which does help.  I give it a rating of Three Paws.
 
 
I had the pleasure of meeting this young teen author at an author event last spring.  It is always impressive to find someone so young publishing a book. I am sure with continued work and experience her books will improve with each step.  You can find out more about Jenna O'del and her work on her Goodreads Page or Website.
 
You can also obtain your own copy of this first book in the Hidden Strength Series in either print or digital format from Amazon.
 
 
 
 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Monday Reading List




Its Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Shelia at Book Journey. Share what books you have finished in the last week, are currently reading and what might be coming up next!




Reviews Posted Last Week:
Links will take you to my review

Calen the Emerald by Rich Feitelberg
Fables and Fiction by Rich Feitelberg
Monster Trucks by Anika Denise (Bedtime Story)
Mad Tales by Joseph Mazzenga
 
 Books Finished Last Week:
Reviews will be posted at a later date

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Pups Save the Bunnies
The Garden that We Grew

 
Currently Reading:
 
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas - Print - on page 280 of 626
Keeper by Ellen Jensen Abbott - Audio - 86%
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - Print - on page 114 of 552




 Books to be Read Soon:

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
The Sculptor

 

Pages Read/ Time Listened
91:45 Hours Listened (none listened this week)
17,660 Pages Read (918 this week)

Books Added to Shelves This Month
Beauty and the Beast by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by JK Rowling
Samurai Rising by Pamela Turner
The Mating by BJ Cunningham & Misty Clark
Hold Your Breath by Katie Ruggle
Fan the Flames by Katie Ruggle
Keeper by Ellen Jensen Abbott
Love and Muddy Puddles by Cecily Paterson
Dawn Study by Maria V. Snyder
Irish Rising by Marie Rose Dufour
The Sculptor by Scott McCloud
Huck: Book 1- All American by Mark Millar

Books Read From My Shelves
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix


Interesting Tidbits on the Web:


 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Well I didn't get nearly as much reading done as I had hoped this last week.  It was a little chaotic around here.  Hubby has worked every single day for the past 3 weeks, and finally got some time off Saturday and Sunday, so I have been holding the fort down, catching mice, spring cleaning and Easter prep on my own lately. I think all the additional work has really caught up to me because I have been exhausted and barely able to keep my eyes open for reading at the end of the day.

Munchkin did have his first Tball practice this last week and seemed to really have fun (even though one of the boys was already picking on him). He has another practice this week and then opening day and his first game on Saturday! He is going to have a big cheering squad with the whole family on Hubby's side there plus some additional friends too!
 
I hope you all had a great Easter (those of you who celebrate) and that you have a great week this week!
 

Saturday, April 15, 2017

RI Author Feature: Mad Tales by Joseph Mazzenga

 
 
Synopsis: "Join in four compelling tales as nature, time, and space all collide to bring you from the teetering edge of reality to the darkest hours of the night…

Pepperell:
Spike wanted power and control. He and his gang, Bonnie, Moose and Skink, found it in the form of the sleepy town called Pepperell. But this town has a secret…a secret they want to keep forever.

Invasion of Blood:
The human race had come to an end. That much was certain. Centuries of culture, ingenuity, and bloodshed were all gone. Erased. A mere fabrication of universal imagination.

This was the final campaign for V’ry Captain M’Tal and his crew. A definitive conquering point to his celebrated career. What he didn’t count on was the last stand from a band of beings left on a sloppy little planet called Earth.

M’Tal hated humans. They should have been eradicated by the V’ry onslaught. He would make these humans pay for surviving the V’ry genocide.
There was just one troubling aspect…the survivors weren’t human.

When the Music Dies:
Dana is single, beautiful, professional law enforcement officer and deeply disturbed. With her body losing life slowly, her demons are in the playground of her mind intent on torturing her last days. Her friends and family are temporary salves to her inner wounds but in the end, only Dana can save herself. She’s looking for a fight and the battleground is in her mind.

Bloody Depths:
Maren’s home was the ocean that she loved. An oceanographer, she lived her dream of being one with the sea until the day an ill fog rolled in to change her life forever.

She lost everything she knew - her family, her friends and her humanity.
All that remains is her love of the sea, and a fading hope that the humanity within her can be saved by the caretakers of the ocean that no one knew existed.


Plus all new epilogues...the maddening story continues….."



My Review: I picked up this book at a local RI Author event, I am not normally a suspense or horror reader but I figured a collection of short stories was a great way to try out a new genre and author. All of the stories were very engrossing and while they were short, the stories were still completely satisfying to read, I didn't feel like I was left short changed. I really enjoyed the Bloody Depth's story, it was fascinating and a very interesting take on what goes on in the depths of the ocean. I also found the Pepperell story to be really intriguing, it keeps you in suspense and then sends shivers down your spine when you figure out what is going on. This was a really great collection of short stories, they were all cohesive and yet unique in their own ways.
 
My Rating: While I don't normally enjoy horror or suspense books this collection of short stories was an enjoyable trip into the genre.  I like that they are short but they are still complete stories, it was also nice that I knew the ending (even if a little creepy) and didn't end up with nightmares.  I give this book a rating of Four Paws.
 
 
You can learn more about Joseph Mazzenga and his work on his Goodread Page or Website.
 
 
You can also obtain your own copy of Mad Tales in digital or print format from Amazon or see if your local bookseller can order a copy for you.
 

Friday, April 14, 2017

RI Author Feature: Bedtime Story: Monster Trucks by Anika Denise

 
Synopsis: "Readers will delight in this lively read-aloud story with a clever and surprising twist at the end—perfect for Halloween and year round!

Ready, set, go! The monster truck race is on in this frightfully delightful picture book. On a spooky speedway, Monster Trucks moan! Monster Trucks grumble! Monster Trucks groan!

Join Frankentruck, Zombie Truck, Ghost Truck, and more as they race to the finish line. But one of these trucks isn’t quite who you think."


My Review: I love supporting local authors but when a local author comes out with a book that is perfect for Munchkin I have to get it! This book was fun and a unique take on Monster Trucks. Munchkin loved each of these trucks and while this book is more appropriate for Halloween time, we read it throughout the year. It has a fun rhyme that makes it easy and enjoyable to read.
 
My Rating: This is definitely one of Munchkin's favorites and I find myself reading it with him rather often.  I would love to see more with these characters.  We give it a rating of Four Paws!
 
 
You can learn more about Anika Denise and her work on her Goodreads Page and Website.
 
 
You can also get your own copy of Monster Trucks in print format from Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
 

Thursday, April 13, 2017

RI Author Feature: Fables and Fiction by Rich Feitelberg


 
Synopsis: "Fables and Fiction collects several general fiction short stories, fables, and fairy tales. In this volume:
The Witch and the Farmer -- A farmer steals from a local witch and suffers the consequences.
The Monster -- Mother and Father are having their first child; Madame Mercury says it will be a monster and to destroy it. They can't and must deal with the results.
The Karma Fairy -- Russell steals content from the Internet illegally, damaging his karma. He has only one chance, to delete the content and hope he finds the one thing he really wants: true love.
English Major -- Rich is struggling in his freshman English class and lies to get through it hoping at last he'll have proof he doesn't belong in college. But his lies are convincing and he does not see what consequence they will have.
Fairy Dust -- Eugene conceives a plan to collect fairy dust to change the world. However, the fairies who must adhere to this scheme have other ideas.
Quantum -- Doug discovers the equation physicists have been longing for; a unified field theory. Only it gives him the Power of God and he can't control it. Suddenly other universes threaten to invade his own.
The Mouse with Cold Feet -- Henry must find a way to live in a house with a man and a hunting cat and still provide food for his wife, who is expecting a litter soon.
Getting Even -- Stan kills his partner, Steve. Some say it is PTSD, others think he's anti-social. Ultimately it is up to a jury to decide.
Sex Contracts -- Tim's film agent, Sally, is exposed for requiring sex as a condition for representing them. Tim tries to avoid getting involved, but he receives a summons and must testify hoping it does not affect his career as well."
 
 
My Rating: In the past I haven't always been the biggest fan of short story collections, but now I have read a few by Rich Feitelberg and found a new appreciation for them.  This is an interesting collection of short stories, they range from fiction to a little bit of fantasy and a couple have the feel of classic fables.  I really enjoyed these stories and it is fun to read one or two a night, some of them are only a few pages long.  I think my favorites might be the Witch and the Farmer and The Mouse with Cold Feet, they just happen to be the ones that are more like classic fables.  The other stories were great too and it allows you the opportunity to try slightly different sub-genres in fiction literature.
 
My Rating: Not all the stories were quite to my liking but as a whole I really enjoyed this collection.  I give it a rating of Four Paws.
 
You can find out more about Rich Feitelberg and his work on his Goodreads Page or Website.
 
I purchased my print copy at the RI Author Expo but you can obtain a copy in digital format from Amazon.  If you really want it in print, I bet you could contact Rich directly to purchase a copy (I promise he is very nice and will be helpful). 
 
 
Also don't forget to enter my giveaway for an ebook of your choice by Rich Feitelberg!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

RI Author Feature: Rich Feitelberg, Author of the Aglaril Cycle - Excerpt & Giveaway

Hello and welcome back, I have a special treat for you today.  I posted a review yesterday of a book called Calen the Emerald by Rich Feitelberg, the fourth book in his Aglaril Cycle series.  If you have been following me for a while you know I have been avidly following this series and I would love to share more with you.  Mr. Feitelberg was so kind as to allow me to share a little excerpt with you from this series, and maybe you will see why I am so engrossed in the series.  After the Excerpt (from the first book in the series so no worries about spoilers) I will have a little giveaway for you!
 
 
 You can find out more about Rich and his works on Goodreads Page or Website.
 
 
Rich Feitelberg is a poet and novelist. In addition to the books in his popular fantasy series, the Aglaril Cycle, Rich has several collections of short stories and poems, available from this web site and fine booksellers worldwide.
Rich has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Worcester State College. His Master of Arts in Technical Communication was received at Bowling Green State University. Currently, Rich is working on the Aglaril Cycle and writing more poems and short stories.

 
You can also contact and follow Rich Feitelberg on Twitter @Feitelberg or on Facebook.
 
 
 
 
Excerpt from Aure the Topaz, Book One of the Aglaril Cycle:
 
Chapter 1
Audience with His Grace
The audience hall in Wrightwood Manor was large and stately.White marble with red veins covered the floor and a narrow redcarpet ran down the middle of the chamber from the large double doors at the back, to the dais at the front.
The doors opened and Father Evan Pierce, a priest of the Order of St. Michael and a demon hunter, strode into the room followed by one hundred Michaeline knights. Each knight wore a breastplate of polished metal emblazoned with a silver sword. The group clanked and clanged across the hall until they reached the end of the carpet.
At the foot of the dais, Evan knelt on one knee and bowed his head. The knights behind him did the same.
“Your Grace,” said Evan.
Seated atop the dais in an elegantly carved chair of bone and ivory, His Grace, Duke Wrightwood looked at the others in the hall dispassionately. He gestured with one hand. “Arise and report. How fared you in the Mirean ruins?”
Evan stood and smiled. “Very well, Your Grace. We captured two necromancers and killed two others. The pentagram they were preparing was cleansed and destroyed, thereby thwarting any plans they had for using it.”
His Grace pursed his lips. “And what of their leader, Jormundan? Captured or killed?”
The Michaeline priest sighed and frowned. “Neither, I’m afraid. He escaped, vanishing like a ghost at the end of a difficult battle that almost killed Sir Ahlan and me.”
Duke Wrightwood’s jaw tensed a little at this news and his blue eyes flashed with a fire Evan knew well. "Then we have no clues as tohis plans for stealing magic jewelry of great power.”
“Not exactly, Your Grace. Because we forced him to flee, he left behind his horse. Inside one of the saddlebags, we found a message to him.” Evan drew out a scroll from behind his belt and handed the parchment to a nearby page, who presented it to Duke Wrightwood.
His Grace snatched up the document. He unrolled the scroll and read the message.
Jormundan,
I believe I have found what we have been seeking these many
months. If the stories I’ve heard are true, the prize is in the port
town of C. I am sailing there now and should arrive in a few days
to confirm. I will rendezvous with you at the standard location
outside the town of S.
Signed,
Ebalin,
Sailor’s Guild
Duke Wrightwood lowered the parchment and looked blankly at Evan. “This would seem to confirm the intelligence I’ve already received. Jormundan is in league with thieves.”
“Yes, and they plan to steal something soon,” noted the demon hunter.
“We just don’t know what,” observed His Grace. “Based on earlier reports, it could be magic jewelry or a magic gem.”
“We also don’t know where the theft will be,” added Evan.
His Grace raised an eyebrow. “Does it matter? I can think of several towns of C and they are all too far away and not within the Duchy. So even if you could arrive in time to stop the theft, you’d have no jurisdiction.”
“What about Clearbrook? I know it’s unlikely, but it is worth investigating.”
Duke Wrightwood sighed. “All right. It is worth being certain. Take your men and head out immediately.”
Evan paused and His Grace sensed the priest had something else on his mind. “Is there something more?”
“Only a small indulgence, Your Grace.”
“Go on.”
“The people of Clearbrook are gentle folk. Marching into town with one hundred men will cause quite a commotion, possibly to the point of dissuading the thief from acting. Since our only hope of finding Jormundan now is to capture the thief, I suggest I go to Clearbrook myself, under the presumption that I’m there to rest.”
Duke Wrightwood briefly considered this idea and then shook his head. “No. You’ll need the support of a few knights — Sir Ahlan, Sir Ambrose, and Sir Geoffrey at the very least.”
“While they are all fine knights, I’m certain I can get the support I need from the town guard. A lieutenant in the guard there is an old friend of mine. I can also travel faster alone.”
His Grace rubbed his chin, considering Evan’s words. “You’ll be taking a big risk. But, as you say, it is doubtful they would go to such a sleepy and quiet town. Very well. Go to Clearbrook alone and investigate any unusual activities there. If the thief does show up, apprehend him and keep him from stealing the magic item he wants.”
Evan bowed. “Thank you, Your Grace. I’ll leave at once.”
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
 
So what do you think? Might want to give it a try? There are currently 4 books out in this 8 book series (and I may have heard some murmurs that the next book may be out before the end of the year). So if you think you might want to pick up one of Rich's books, I have a perfect giveaway for you!
 
I will be giving away an ebook copy one of Rich's books, your choice as to which one (in case you already have one or two, he also has several short story collections (one will be featured tomorrow) and poetry books).
 
 
Of course with anything else we have rules
~You must be 18 or older to enter (though there is nothing adult included)
~Enter the giveaway via the below Rafflecopter methods
 ~This is open internationally too
~Giveaway ends midnight on the 16th, winners will be announced the next day (I will be contacting you via email after the announcement for your selection and delivery)
 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

RI Author Feature: Calen the Emerald by Rich Feitelberg

 
Reviews of the Previous Books:
 
Synopsis: "Sir Ahlan and his companions discover a troop of dead gnomes. A message found among them identifies the deceased party as couriers carrying a map that leads to the next Aglari. The gnomes appear to have been killed by wolves until Brashani finds an arrowhead in the ground. Realizing bandits are involved, Ahlan considers tracking them but dismisses the idea as impractical. It is only after Nancy and Iriel fail to return to camp, while collecting firewood, that the knight is forced to pursue the thieves, unlocking an adventure through the Gods' Home forest-and a nearby swamp in a race to the magic gem."

My Review: I have been avidly following this series since the beginning and I am always looking forward to reading the next book. This book seems like a little bit of transition book but it didn't drag things down like a transition book normally does, which is such a relief. This book seems to focus more on the internal turmoil that the characters are facing as well as building upon the interactions and relationships between them. We also get a glimpse into the other side of the quest, those that our characters have been trying to beat in this quest for the gems. I really enjoyed this look into the other side, it gives the storyline a little more of a sense of urgency than it had in previous books. The characters are also really starting to push themselves and each other to test their limitations and push beyond them, it is really great to see them all developing as the series continues. I am very excited that we are now halfway through the series and the momentum seems to be building, I can't wait to read the next book!
 
My Rating: I really enjoyed this book and what it added to the series. The integration of the evil side's storyline really added to the story and the urgency to get to the end.  I give this one a rating of Four Paws!
 
 
You can find out more about Rich Feitelberg and his work on his Goodreads Page or Website.
 
You can also obtain your own copy of this and the rest of the books in the series (so far) in print or digital formats from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or contact your local book supplier (or stick around over the next couple of days for a giveaway).
 
 
 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Monday Reading List




Its Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Shelia at Book Journey. Share what books you have finished in the last week, are currently reading and what might be coming up next!




Reviews Posted Last Week:
Links will take you to my review

How My Dorky Dad Became a Hero by Steve Hague
A Grocery List and Other Poems by Adele M. Bourne
Maid for Love by Marie Force
Cody the Cloud by Kevin Mulhern (Bedtime Story)
A Cricket's Thanksgiving by Leo C. Frisk, Jr.
 
 Books Finished Last Week:
Reviews will be posted at a later date

A Court of Thorns and Roses
Riders
More than Peaches
Fire Engine No. 9
Irish Rising

 
Currently Reading:
 

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - Print - on page 603 of 870
Keeper by Ellen Jensen Abbott - Audio - 52%
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - Print - on page 34 of 552




 Books to be Read Soon:

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
The Sculptor
A Court of Mist and Fury
 

Pages Read/ Time Listened
91:45 Hours Listened (none listened this week)
16,742 Pages Read (1,172 this week)

Books Added to Shelves This Month
Beauty and the Beast by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by JK Rowling
Samurai Rising by Pamela Turner
The Mating by BJ Cunningham & Misty Clark
Hold Your Breath by Katie Ruggle
Fan the Flames by Katie Ruggle
Keeper by Ellen Jensen Abbott
Love and Muddy Puddles by Cecily Paterson
Dawn Study by Maria V. Snyder
Irish Rising by Marie Rose Dufour
The Sculptor by Scott McCloud
Huck: Book 1- All American by Mark Millar

Books Read From My Shelves
A Court of Thorns and Roses
Riders
More Than Peaches


Interesting Tidbits on the Web:


 

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It was another pretty darn good reading week last week, though it wasn't quite as great as I had hoped, I wanted to finish all my current reads before I started the Tome Topple Readathon over the weekend. Oh well, I don't mind reading multiple books at one time and I don't think I will have any problem finishing my TBR for the readathon this time around.

I must admit though, I almost slipped into a reading slump last week. I know, it is crazy, that NEVER happens to me but I was kind of bored with the books I was reading and nothing I picked up really appealed to me.  Well that is until I started reading ACOTAR! I get it now! I totally get what everyone has been raving about! I am sorry it took me so long to start this series, but after being very disappointed in the Throne of Glass series I had a hard time convincing myself to pick this one up.  Granted I am kind of glad I only have a short wait for the final book in the series. And you will all have to wait for my complete series review for my full thoughts (or you can always visit my Goodreads).


Anyway, we have another busy week this week. Munchkin starts TBall practices this week. Hubby is working a ridiculous amount and I am holding the fort down and tackling my Tome pile!

Hope you are all enjoying my RI Author month so far, and will stay tuned for some of my upcoming features (including a giveaway)!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Tome Topple Readathon Sign Up & Updates

It seems like it has been forever since I last participated in a Readathon.
 
I found the Tome Topple Readathon when it took place last fall but I wasn't able to participate that time, so I am really glad I am able to join this time around.  I discovered the Tome Topple Challenge through Sam at Thoughts on Tomes on Youtube and the Readathon is hosted as a Goodreads Group.
 
The goal for this challenge is to tackle the Tomes on your shelf, books over 500 pages.  There are a few challenges to help you along, but are not a requirement.  Those challenges are A) read 2 or more tomes, B) read a Graphic Novel, C) buddy read a tome, D) read a tome that is part of a series, and E) read an adult tome. The readathon takes place from April 7th at midnight until April 20th.  I will be updating at the bottom of this page with my progress every few days.
 
 
 
So here is my Tower of Tomes to be Toppled:
 
 
 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - 652 pages
The Book Thief - 552 pages
A Court of Mist and Fury - 626 pages
The Sculptor - 496 pages (I know a couple pages shy but I already read Blankets)

I also have a couple others for backup:
Outlander - 896 pages
The Kingmaking - 574 pages




Are you participating in the Tome Topple? If yes what are you reading? If not what would be your tome choice? What chunky book do you find intimidating?
 

Saturday, April 8, 2017

RI Author Feature: A Cricket's Thanksgiving: Thanks We Are Giving by Leo C. Frisk, Jr.

 
Synopsis: "The greatest song making cricket in all of Rhode Island, Song Maker, and his insect friends, Long Green, Big Daddy, Slimy, Father Ant, Mother Ant, Cousin Red and Mantis encounter what they consider to be a family of scary looking beetles. Will they fight and try to hurt one another because they are different looking? When Big Daddy is caught by a hummingbird will he end up being lunch or can his friends save him? Will friendship create a special day in the lives of our insect friends and the burying beetles?"

My Review: I picked this book at the local RI Author Expo, it was a pleasure meeting and chatting with the author. This is a cute book that is great for kids who are just starting to read chapter books. There are plenty of pictures and the text is large, with fairly easy sentences and words. Kids who are really into the creepy crawlies will really like all the characters, which is a fun cast, each a unique insect. They have quite the set of adventures throughout the book. I love the different take on Thanksgiving and the story of friendship, even though each one is a different species.
 
My Rating: This is a cute book that really has a lot of personality and is so unique. Young readers who like bugs will have a lot of fun reading this book. This is part of a series and the other books are mentioned but it isn't necessary to read them first.  I give it a rating of Three Paws.
 
 
Leo Frisk does not appear to have a website or a Goodreads page but if I do find something in my continued research I will be sure to add a link so you can check him out.
 
You can however obtain A Cricket's Thanksgiving in print from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or from Stillwater River Publications (and you can find all 3 books in the set there too).