Saturday, June 23, 2018

RI Author Month: Graphic Novel Review of Common Ground: A Frontier Fantasy by Ryan Pancoast

Welcome to the RI Author Month

Synopsis: "One late afternoon, Summer Meadow hears a faint cry in the distance and slips away from her village unnoticed. What she finds stirs her adventurous spirit, leading her on a journey that will challenge the old beliefs of her family and tribe."

My Review: I just happened to stumble across this book recently while browsing Kickstarter, the support period had ended for this one but I was so fascinated that I had to order a copy for myself, and I do not regret that one bit!  This is a mostly wordless book that depicts a young girl and her courage in helping a youngster of another species find its family.  The illustrations in this book are stunning and they convey the story beautifully!  I really hope we see more from Ryan Pancoast in the future, in the mean time I plan to follow his art.

My Rating: I cannot believe my luck in stumbling across this gem! I can't help but give this a rating of Four Paws and a Stump Wag!!

You can find out more about Ryan Pancoast and this book and his art on his Website.

As of right now I think you can only obtain this book directly from him through his website, it is worth every penny and the added benefit is that you can get it signed too!

This was a great lesson for me to look outside the normal 'bookish' community sites, places and events for amazing local books!

Friday, June 22, 2018

RI Author Month: Bedtime Story: Sunny by Theresa MacInnis Schimmel

Welcome to the RI Author Month

Synopsis: "Sunny was written to help young foster children explore and understand their own emotions, as well as expand awareness of foster families to all its readers. It's the story of Mandy, a foster child, who is given a puppy. Struggling with her own emotions of loss and belonging, she tries to return the puppy to its mother, only to discover with the help of her kindly neighbor, Mr. Johnson, that sometimes puppies, just like people, can find love, care, and belonging with a foster parent. At the end of the book, there are questions and answers to facilitate discussion about foster care, as well as contact information for the National Foster Parent Association For each book purchased, $1 will be donated to the National Foster Parent Association. For further information contact the author's website:"

My Review: I picked this book up quite some time ago but am glad I finally took the time to read it. This is a beautiful story about a young girl adjusting to a foster home. There is a lot of comfort in both the story and the images. It is also a great conversation starter whether you have foster children in your life or not, Munchkin and I had some really great discussions on the different types of family, love and what exactly does make a family.

My Rating: We really enjoyed this book and I love the subtle and comforting approach it has. We definitely give this book a solid Four Paws!

You can find out more about Theresa Schimmel and more of her books on her Website.

You can also obtain your own copy of Sunny in print format from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or ask your favorite bookstore to order it for you.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

RI Author Month: Interview with Marie Force and Giveaway

Welcome to the RI Author Month

Yesterday I posted the full series (to date) review of the Green Mountain and Butler Vermont series by Marie Force.  I was fortunate to have met Marie Force at the RI Author Expo last December and listen to her talk about her writing and publishing journey. She kindly agreed to an interview with me for the RI Author Month!  So please join me in thanking her for taking the time out of her very busy schedule full of new releases and the recent Gansett Island Reader Getaway!

  Marie Force is the New York Times bestselling author of more than 50 contemporary romances, including the Gansett Island Series, which has sold more than 2.3 million books, and the Fatal Series from Harlequin Books, which has sold more than 1.2 million books. In addition, she is the author of the Green Mountain Series as well as the erotic romance Quantum Series, written under the slightly modified name of M.S. Force. All together, her books have sold more than 5 million copies worldwide!

Her goals in life are simple—to finish raising two happy, healthy, productive young adults, to keep writing books for as long as she possibly can and to never be on a flight that makes the news. 

Ang: I just recently finished (at least to the latest release) the Green Mountain/ Butler Vermont series and loved the small town setting. What do you think makes Small Town Romances so appealing and popular with readers?

Marie: I think the readers respond to the sense of community in small-town romances, that feeling of belonging in a place where everyone knows your name, knows your family, remembers you as a kid. As an author, it’s fun to dig into those long-standing relationships for story. In the Green Mountain/Butler Series, there are examples of this throughout the series of people who grew up together. For example, the brother of one sister’s late husband becomes a love interest for another sister. I find those relationships very interesting to write—and read. 

Ang: You currently have 6 series in progress and a few standalone novels too.  With so many ongoing series with large casts of characters do you have any routines or rituals to get you into the mind set for writing in a particular series?

Marie: I don’t have routines or rituals beyond working every day to get words on the page. I try to do at least 2,000 words a day, seven days a week, which keeps things moving forward all the time. I rely on Excel spreadsheets to track the series details as well as frequent re-reads of past books to make sure the continuity is intact from one book to another. It’s a lot of work, no doubt, but it’s also the most fun I’ve ever had doing anything. 

That is definitely dedication to your work! I tried to create a family tree for the Abbott/Coleman clan but quickly ran out of space on the page!

Ang: Do you find any character type easiest to write? Do those witty characters just take over the page, do you have to coax the shy characters to life?

Marie: I don’t have a lot of “shy” characters in my books, especially in the series that feature big, boisterous families. My favorite character to write is Sam Holland, the heroine of the Fatal Series. She’s a DC homicide detective married to a politician, and she’s a take-no-prisoners kind of woman, who is endlessly amusing to write. I’m writing the 14th book in that series, so I’ve been writing her for more than 10 years. We’re like old friends at this point.

Ang: What is your favorite place to write? And what about favorite place to read?

Marie: I write in bed—and I read there, too! I joke about being a romance author who does her best work in bed. ;-)

Ang: Go to snack and/or beverage while writing and editing?

Marie: I’m not a big snacker, but I do love chocolate at all stages of the writing process.

Ang: Can you give us so of your favorite beach read recommendations?

Marie: Well, I hope readers are taking the Gansett Island Series to the beach, especially this summer when the mass-market paperbacks are in print for the first time. Romance is a great genre to take to the beach. One thing you can always count on from a romance is a happy ending, and who doesn’t love that?

I have definitely started downloading the audio books for any beach escapes I get this summer!

Ang: What is your favorite local place to visit?  What about your favorite place to eat?

Marie: My favorite place in Rhode Island is the deck of the National Hotel in Block Island, which is also a great place to eat!

Ang: Do you have any quirky or odd Rhode Island facts to share?

Marie:  I’m drawing a complete blank on this. I might need more coffee.

Or maybe some Coffee Milk?! Coffee Syrup added to milk was definitely one of the weirdest things I have seen since moving to Rhode Island!

Ang: Have you found there to be any advantages or disadvantages to being an author in Rhode Island as opposed to one of the bigger cities? 

Marie: The advantage is that there aren’t TONS of other books about Rhode Island, so setting my books here makes them unique in that way.

There is certainly a lot of inspiration in Rhode Island, and you really couldn't ask for a better setting!

Ang: What new releases do we have to look forward to in the second half of the year?

Marie: Aug. 14: Outrageous, Quantum Series Book 7
Oct. 9: Five Years Gone, a standalone contemporary romance
Nov. 27: Fatal Invasion, Fatal Series Book 13
Jan. 29: Duchess by Deception, Gilded Series Book 1
March 26: Fatal Reckoning, Fatal Series Book 14

That’s what I know so far, but there’s more coming.

I can't believe the pace you manage to keep, but I am happy there aren't long waits for new books from you!  I am excited to see a new series starting as well!

Thank you so much Marie for taking the time to stop by for the interview!  I hope all of you have found out a little bit more about one of our treasured authors! You can find out more about Marie Force and her books on her Goodreads Page or Website.  You can also follow her on social media on FacebookInstagramYoutube and Twitter.  You can also follower her on the newer Romance Reader/Author platform Book + Main.

Now how about a giveaway?!   I would love to share some of Marie's books with you, and I am happy to let you choose the series that would interest you most, or if you have already started reading one to continue the series.  So I will be giving away 3 Kindle Ebooks by Marie Force of your choice. 

Of course with anything else we have rules
~You must be 18 or older to enter (because of the adult content of the books)
~Enter the giveaway via the below Rafflecopter methods
 ~This is open internationally too (though will need to be able to download ebooks through
~Giveaway ends midnight on the 28th, winners will be announced the next day (I will be contacting you via email after the announcement for selection)

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

RI Author Month: Series Review of Green Mountain/ Butler, VT Series by Marie Force

Welcome to the RI Author Month:

I have been trying to figure out a way to share all these books I read with you but still include other non-review posts on the blog.  One method I have come up with was to share the reviews for an entire series (or pair) of books in one post.  I will do my absolute best to keep spoilers out of these posts in case you plan to read the books, but there is a slight chance that even the synopsis of a book can give away the result of the previous book. So if you don't want to know anything at all about the later books in a series that might giveaway something in the first book STOP READING NOW!

I have been dying to share this series with you guys, but have anxiously been awaiting RI Author Month to do it as Marie Force is a local author.  This is a long and on going series but is easy to read and each of the books are real page turners!  The series starts off as the Green Mountain series and then at book 7 it turns into the Butler, Vermont series due to a change in publisher.  Because this series is so long I will give you a brief synopsis of the series as a whole and then share the covers of each book with a link to my full review and then I will review the series as a whole at the end. 

Series Synopsis: The Green Mountain and Butler, Vermont series are set in a small town in Vermont and focus on the Green Mountain Country Store and the family that owns and operates the store. This large family, small town romance series contains a variety of characters from multiple generations seeking their happily ever after, or being hit over the head with it. With the wisdom and sometimes meddling of their elders (and sometimes Fred the moose), the Abbott siblings and their Coleman cousins will find joy, peace and love.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Green Mountain~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Full Review                                                Full Review   

Full Review                                           Full Review

   Full Review                                           Full Review

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Butler Vermont~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Full Review                                                 Full Review


Full Series Review: I have fallen absolutely head over heels for this series. It kicks right off with Cameron, a city girl through and through hitting a moose during mud season in Vermont and of course, Will, the man who comes to her rescue. From there we meet the rest of the large family all with very different personalities, managing to keep the family values and peace while working closely at the Green Mountain Country Store and living in the small town of Butler Vermont.  I have laughed, I have cried and I have enjoyed every page I have read. It hasn't quite been 2 months since I finished the most recent book in the series and I am already missing the family and setting.  For me this is definitely a Four Paw and a Stump Wag series, and if you love small town romances, and one with a great family to grow with the series, definitely pick this one up.

Come by tomorrow for an interview with Marie Force and a giveaway!  Until then, check out the Green Mountain page on Marie Force's website, it is full of extra goodies including a much needed family tree as well as the inspiration story for the series.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

RI Author Month: Bedtime Story: Tyler's Tall Tales: Chasing the Moon by Ashley Richer

Welcome to RI Author Month:

Synopsis: "Tyler's TALL Tales 'CHASING The MOON' is the first children's book of the series Tyler's TALL Tales. Original story written by author Ashley Richer and illustrated by Ryan Maguire. The story is about a boy and pet bassett hound who go on a nighttime adventure to catch the moon."

My Review: I have had this book sitting on the shelf for a little while now and Munchkin finally decided to pick it up. It is an entertaining story that features a lot of local sites in Rhode Island. It also had a story very similar to Going on a Bear Hunt, but Tyler is sent to various places to try to catch the moon, but it always seems just a little bit too far away. We did enjoy the story and it was easy enough for Munchkin to read some of it but the illustration style did not match our preferences, it was a little too loud and busy for a good bedtime story. It was also a little difficult to recognize some of the familiar spots in RI. It would be a fun book to have as a souvenir or to take on a road trip in the area.

My Rating: While the story was entertaining and it had that familiar tone of We Are Going on a Bear Hunt, art style is not really conducive to a bedtime story, the colors are bold and bright and the illustrations are busy.  We give it a rating of Two Paws and a Stump Wag.

You can find out more information about Tyler's Tall Tales on the Website.

If the art is more your style and it is a book you might enjoy you can obtain your own copy in print format from Amazon or Barnes and Noble

Monday, June 18, 2018

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

Red Racecar by Thom Ring
Dinosaur Racing by Thom Ring
Diapers, Daycare and Deadlines by Jan Cornell

 Books Finished Last Week:
Reviews will be posted at a later date

Three Shoeboxes
Daughter of the Siren Queen
An Ember in the Ashes

Currently Reading:

Pride's Spell by Matt Wallace - print/kindle - on page 87 of 230
American Panda by Gloria Cao - Audio - 86%
Grace of Kings by Ken Liu - Multiple Formats - 6%

Pages Read/ Time Listened
287:43 Hours Listened (9:15 listened this week)
20,620 Pages Read (739 this week)

Books Added to Shelves Recently: TBR
Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
We Have Always Lived in a Castle by Shirley Jackson
To the Sky Kingdom by Tang Qi
Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher
Dead Man's Walk by Larry McMurtry
Luck Love and Lemon Pie by Amy E. Reichert
Beartown by Fredrik Backman
Terrier by Tamora Pierce
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
Reflections of Yesterday by Debbie Macomber
Jedi Search by Kevin J. Anderson
Eko by Loren Walker
Caging the Merrow by Heather Rigney
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Opel
The Traveling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa
Greedy Pigs by Matt Wallace
Lustlocked by Matt Wallace
Black Powder War by Naomi Novik
Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik
The Scandalous MacKenzies by Jennifer Ashley
The Wicked Deeds of Daniel Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley
The Stolen Mackenzie Bride by Jennifer Ashley
Frankenstein Alive! Alive! Trio by Steve Niles
Frankenstein, Alive! Alive! #4 by Steve Niles
Hard to Serve by Laura Kaye
Mastering Her Senses by Laura Kaye
Theirs to Take by Laura Kaye
Nightblade's Vengeance by Ryan Kirk
Circe by Madeline Miller
Tomorrowland by Steven Kotler
The Wolf by Leo Carew
My Lady's Choosing by Kitty Curran & Larissa Zageris
Beyond the Darkened Shore by Jessica Leake
Defiant Heir by Melissa Caruso
True North by Marie Force
The Sorting Room by Angelina Singer
Lost Stars by Claudia Gray
Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire
Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day by Seanan McGuire
Frankenstein Dreams by Michael Sims
The Belgaraid by David Eddings
The Rhode Island Short Story Club presents The Club
Death Sworn by Leah Cypess
Sherlock Holmes and the Army of Dr. Moreau by Guy Adams
A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas
Prince of Persia by Jordan Mencher
Zenith by Sasha Alsberg & Lindsay Cummings
In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick
The Queen of Sorrow by Sarah Beth Durst
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
Cruel Prince by Holly Black
Onyx & Ivory by Mindee Arnett
Princesses Behaving Badly by Linda Rodriguez McRobbie
The Marriage Arrangement by Jennifer Probst
Fight for Everything by Laura Kaye
Catching Stars by Cayla Keenan
Light as Air by Mari Carr
Furyborn by Claire Legrand
Sweet Tea and Sympathy by Molly Harper
Half Drowned King by Linnea Hartsuyker
A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir


Ugh! Last week was an epic fail! I did not get much reading done at all throughout all the chaos of the week. It was a very full week that was thrown off by severe allergies and asthma, and a rude awakening from a faulty fire alarm and the following visit from the fire department.  But Munchkin graduated from Kindergarten on Friday and we had quite the celebration.  The busy week was capped off with a fully packed weekend. It is almost nice to get back to the office and be nearly back to normal.

I missed a couple of posts for the RI Author month, but I will be back on track this week with a full series review, an interview with an author and a giveaway! Hope you will all stick around for that!

Here's to hoping for a good week this week!