Ronaldo: The Reindeer Flying Academy – Book Review & Author Interview!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year again! We are reading all of our favorite Christmas books and introducing some new ones as well. We had the pleasure of reading Ronaldo: The Reindeer Flying Academy over the last few days and I have our official review for you and an interview with the author as well!

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Ronaldo: The Reindeer Flying Academy

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Blurb:

Ronaldo is the top flying cadet at the prestigious Reindeer Flying Academy. He dreams of getting his flying license, just like his hero, Vixen.
In this first exciting chapter in the ‘Ronaldo’ series, our hero is faced with his toughest flying test ever – The Endurance Challenge!
Can Ronaldo triumph over mean bully, Dasher, and win the ‘Golden Wings’ medal? Spurred on by Rudi, his quirky, loyal best friend and with a belly full of his favourite carrot pancakes, Ronaldo takes on the challenge of his life!

My Thoughts:

This is the first book of three in the ‘Reindeer flying Academy’ series. I read this with my children in one sitting and we all enjoyed it very much.

Ronaldo is a reindeer who dreams of being just like his hero Vixen–part of the North Pole Reindeer Team. Only the best reindeer will be chosen by Santa for the team. When it comes time for the Endurance Challenge during Saturday’s Flying School, Ronaldo dreams to win. He remembers his grandad’s advice,

“Don’t just think it! Imagine! See it, feel it, believe it!”

Will Ronaldo win the challenge and receive the Golden Wings?

Ronaldo has strong family support and a best friend named Rudi who became one of four favorite characters. Everyone could use a friend like Rudi! Ronaldo is nearly reluctant to heed his families advice at times, but may learn that they’re smarter than he thinks!

I thought this book was very inspiring and appreciated all the important lessons that influence young readers about standing up for yourself, trusting your loved ones, following your dreams, and believing in yourself. The story is well written, cute, and comical. The illustrations are perfect and offer breaks in the reading. When paired with the short chapters, this makes it an easy read for early chapter book readers.

Overall, I personally found this to be an encouraging book for all ages that my children adored. We’re looking forward to reading the other two books including the full-color illustrated edition. 4****

4-stars

 


 

  • Print Length: 109 pages
  • Publisher: Maxine Sylvester; 1 edition (December 16, 2015)
  • Publication Date: December 16, 2015
  • Ages: 5-10
  • Grades: 2-5

You can find this book on Amazon and Goodreads.

If you have Kindle Unlimited, you can read this book for free!


 

Author Interview with Maxine Sylvester

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Q: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

A: I wrote my first book in the Ronaldo series, The Reindeer Flying Academy, three years ago. I followed up with The Phantom Carrot Snatcher one year later, and self-published Rudi’s Birthday Extravaganza a few months ago. Some reviewers for the first book commented that they would have preferred colour illustrations. I liked the suggestion so recently published a second edition of The Reindeer Flying Academy in glorious colour. I think children will love the colour illustrations. The book is a perfect Christmas read.

(Click the covers to find these on Amazon)

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Q: What made you decide to write children’s books?

A: I’m still a child myself! I get as excited as a five-year-old every time a new Disney film comes out. My illustrations are inspired by animation. My niece says I am in touch with my inner child. I think it’s an advantage as I naturally write for children.

Q: What are some of your favorite childhood books? (or one favorite)

A: My first reading books were Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne, and Paddington by Michael Bond. As I grew up I read anything by Enid Blyton, The Famous Five and Secret Seven books. I also loved The Railway Children by E. Nesbitt.

Q: What influenced you to write Ronaldo: The Reindeer Flying Academy, and are any of your books influenced by your childhood?

A: I have to admit, I stole an idea from A.A. Milne! He wrote about the toys in Christopher Robin’s playroom. I wanted a reason to illustrate so decided to write a short story. I looked around my bedroom, and my favourite toy was a plush reindeer. I took it from there. Some incidents in the book were inspired by my childhood. Ronaldo has a different name to all the other reindeer and gets teased because of it. I was teased about my name. He also has to wear a hideous hat. I had one of those as well. Furry and with pom poms!

Q: How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

A: I have written three Ronaldo adventures, but there are four books. Two editions of The Reindeer Flying Academy are available, one has colour illustrations, the other has black and white.

I think my favourite book is the last one, Rudi’s Birthday Extravaganza. The characters are well-developed now, and I had a lot of fun with them. The book still makes me laugh even though I know what’s going to happen. I also have a soft spot for the ending of The Reindeer Flying Academy.

Q: What do you think makes a great children’s book?

A: I think values should be in there, but it’s important not to preach. Children are smart; you never want to talk down to them. I try to get a message across in a fun way. Ronaldo is a good role moral for children. He’s kind, conscientious and brave, but never boring. He also has to overcome adversity and I think it’s good for children to see how he handles things. Needless to say, the stories need to be entertaining with lots of laughs and fun illustrations. The Ronaldo books have heart and I hope that children feel they are picking up a friend in a Ronaldo book. You never know what is going on in a child’s life, and books can provide comfort and inspiration.

Q: Do you create all of your own illustrations?

A: Yes, they take longer than the actual writing of the story. I trained in “cartoon art’ and was mentored by British cartoonist/, caricaturist, Steve Chadburn. I did further studies in children’s book illustration with talented artist/illustrator, Jan Nesbitt.

Q: What’s the publishing process been like for you and how do you market your books?

A: As a self-published author on Amazon, it was quite easy; especially as my partner Mark does most of the technical stuff! I am hopeless. He say’s Facebook and Twitter are great tools for reaching people. We have had varying success with promotions. A lot of it is trial and error, seeing what works and what doesn’t.

Q: Do you like to read a lot? If so, who are some of your favorite authors and are there any that heavily influence your writing?

A: I read every night before going to sleep. I read all sorts! I’ve read all of Sidney Sheldon’s books and most of Lee Childs, Jack Reacher series. If ever I feel anxious or wracked with self-doubt, I read Dr. Wayne Dyer. His gentle words always encourage me. I think he’s a must for anyone in this industry!

I loved the Harry Potter books; they were like picking up old friends. I have so much respect for J.K. Rowling. The whole world waited with baited breath for her books and she never disappointed.

I am a total Disney geek and have just finished a book on Walt Disney. What a visionary! Walt Disney has always been my biggest inspiration. I think my stories come from a lifetime of watching Disney movies.

Q: Are you working on anything now and do you have any future projects planned?

A: I have just started writing the fourth book in the Ronaldo series – The Vixen Pederson Workshop. It will be ready by Christmas 2018.

Q: Can we expect more books in this children’s series?

A: Absolutely. I find as one book evolves, ideas for another book come to the surface. Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is limitless!”

I’d like to thank Maxine Sylvester for participating in this interview.

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Continue reading “Ronaldo: The Reindeer Flying Academy – Book Review & Author Interview!”

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen – Book Review

The Wife Between Us

by Greer Hendricks, and Sarah Pekkanen

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Blurb:

A novel of suspense that explores the complexities of marriage and the dangerous truths we ignore in the name of love. 

When you read this book, you will make many assumptions.
You will assume you are reading about a jealous wife and her obsession with her replacement.
You will assume you are reading about a woman about to enter a new marriage with the man she loves.
You will assume the first wife was a disaster and that the husband was well rid of her.
You will assume you know the motives, the history, the anatomy of the relationships.
Assume nothing.

Discover the next blockbuster novel of suspense, and get ready for the read of your life.


My Thoughts:

Vanessa has problems. Now that she’s divorced from Richard, she can’t stand the fact that Richard has moved on. Not only is he his usual thriving self, but now he’s getting married to someone new–someone young and beautiful. It just so happens that this new woman reminds Vanessa of someone she used to be.

What is it about Richard? Was he a perfect husband? Is he truly a knight in shining armor? Was Vanessa a psycho and mentally unstable wife? Who’s to blame for the marriage ending and what role do the others have in this story?

I went in to this book super excited after reading multiple rave reviews about it from friends on Goodreads. It seemed like everyone was loving it, so I went straight to NetGalley and put in my request. After I started reading it, I didn’t want to put it down. I thought for sure I knew where the story was going. It felt slow to me, but I hung on until nearly halfway through when the first major twist was introduced. I was shocked! I was so very surprised and befuddled thinking that I’d skipped something or that I was lost. It seemed unique and interesting, but as time went on, I became disentranced and my mind began to wonder away from the story. The characters became confusing to me and the plot felt all over the place. It was like I wanted to get to the ending to see how things would unfold, but there simply wasn’t anything going on to captivate me. At times, I felt like there was too much information and in other places, simply not enough. I didn’t feel like it was horribly predictable as there were plenty of twists and a strange reveal at the end, but even with all the crazy twists, this just ended up being an okay read for me and it just didn’t feel like a thriller.

I did still enjoy it and feel like this is going to be a favorite for many people! I will still recommend this because I know many will love it. The title, cover, and blurb fit the story perfectly!

Thanks to Netgalley for this ARC of The Wife Between Us.

3 stars

3-stars


 

Find this book on Amazon and Goodreads

  • 352 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin’s Press (January 9, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250130921
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250130921

Continue reading “The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen – Book Review”

Blog Tour: Watching Glass Shatter by James J. Cudney – Book Review & Author Interview

I had the pleasure of reading James J. Cudney’s debut novel Watching Glass Shatter last week and what a treat it was! You can read my review of the book below and also check out my interview with this incredible author. You’ll learn more about James J. Cudney as a reader and writer as we discuss the book and also his plans for the future.

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I’ve come to know James over this past year through our blog communications and he quickly became an inspiration to me as well as a friend. I follow his blog @ thisismytruthnow and enjoy every post I read from his book reviews to the 365-day challenge and I can’t forget his dog Ryder’s Monday posts. He’s such a wonderful writer and I was so excited to learn that he was publishing his first novel. It seems to have happened so quickly and I’m just so proud of Jay and ecstatic to be part of the blog tour! I hope you’ll enjoy reading this post about his new book.

Watching Glass Shatter

by James J. Cudney

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Blurb: The wealthy Glass family lost its patriarch, Benjamin Glass, sooner than expected. Benjamin’s widow, Olivia, and her 5 sons each react to his death in their own way while preparing for the reading of his will. Olivia receives a very unexpected confession from her late husband about one of their sons that could shatter the whole family.

Prior to revealing the secret to her children, Olivia must figure out which boy Ben refers to in the confession he left her in his will. While the family attorney searches for the mysterious Rowena Hector whom Ben says holds the answers, Olivia asks her sons to each spend a week with her as she isn’t ready to let go of the past. When Olivia visits her sons, she quickly learns that each one has been keeping his own secret from her. Olivia never expected her remaining years would be so complex and life-altering, but she will not rest until her family is reunited after Ben’s untimely death.

We all need family. We all want to fit in. We’re all a mix of quirky personalities. Will Olivia be able to fix them or will the whole family implode? What will she do when she discovers the son behind Ben’s secret? Check out this ensemble cast where each family member’s perspective is center stage, discovering along the way who might feel the biggest impact from all the secrets. Welcome to being an honorary member of the Glass family.

My Review:

 

Watching Glass Shatter by James J. Cudney is one of the best books I’ve read in 2017. It’s a debut novel about a family with secrets. These secrets have the potential to tear the family apart.

The matriarch of the family is Olivia. Her husband Ben, the patriarch, has just died unexpectedly and she is left with their five grown sons, their families, and her sister Diane. She’s also left with a secret from Ben regarding one of their sons. Olivia decides to take some time to spend which each of the boys and in doing so, she discovers that each and every one of them has their own little secrets they’ve been hiding.

I was sucked into this story as soon as I started reading it. A worry that I had was that with all the characters in the book, I would get confused and lost because each of the sons have their own family members as well, but not once did I have an issue with it. The characters are so well detailed and described. After reading about each one, I felt that I knew this family and they all felt so realistic to me. I think overall my favorite character was Diane, but as the story moved on, it became Olivia. In the beginning, I almost couldn’t stand Olivia, but she begins to change. As she discovers so many new things about her sons and their spouses, she starts to realize that she’s too much of a control freak and needs to let people make their own decisions. I loved this transformation, although it may not have been complete, she becomes more understanding, more kind, and less judgemental which I admired. The boys…where can I start? Each one is unique in their own way. I loved all of them, but my favorite son was Ethan. I had issues with Zach and a certain situation between him, Teddy and his wife, but it came together in the end which was unexpected. I couldn’t wait to find out whether the Glass family would heal or simply fall apart. I was literally astonished by this book because it has many twists and turns. You just won’t know unless you read it from beginning to end.

I follow Jay’s blog and conversate with him from time to time, so I already knew he was a good writer, but this writing to me is even more delightful, the plot was so unique and the book was put together perfectly. Readers know that it takes more than just a good writer to offer a great book and everyone has their own opinions on this. Some say they need to be captivated and that the characters need good development. Others say they really want to ‘think’ or be taken on an adventure, but a good book to me is one that makes you feel, and this book did that for me. I had a myriad of emotions. I laughed, became shocked, cried, jumped for joy, and got angry at times throughout the book. It’s truly heart-wrenching at times! I can’t remember the last time I was this emotionally involved with characters. It’s definitely been a while!

As far as the end, I liked it, but I expected something different. I wasn’t sure if I was happy with Olivia’s choices, or Rowena’s choice for that matter, but it turned out that I was pleased with it.

Overall, I loved this book and I’d recommend this book to anyone. What a ride. I can’t wait for the next book! Every star for Watching Glass Shatter!

5 Sterne

 


You can find this book on Amazon and Goodreads

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (October 24, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1978233434
  • ISBN-13: 978-1978233430

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Continue reading “Blog Tour: Watching Glass Shatter by James J. Cudney – Book Review & Author Interview”

Sweet Bean Paste by Durian Sukegawa Book Review – Plus How to Make Dorayaki!

Earlier this year I came across a book on Goodreads titled Sweet Bean Paste which was recently translated into English. I added it right away and then received a tip from a Goodreads friend and fellow book blogger Evelina@ Avalinahsbooks that it was available on Edelweiss. Luckily, I was approved for it, because it turned out to be one of my favorite books of the year.

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Sweet Bean Paste

by Durian SukegawaAlison Watts

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The story begins with Sentaro, a man who was previously in jail and is now working in a little confectionary shop to pay off some debt. He makes a Japanese sweet called ‘dorayaki’ every day but puts no heart into it at all. He works in a depressed part of town and feels quite depressed himself. He doesn’t have much appreciation for life while spending most evenings drowning his sorrows with alcohol. He’s always wanted to be a writer, but just doesn’t know what his purpose in life is at this point.

One day, he puts an ad out for a helper. A little old lady named Tokue comes to visit Sentaro and begins to chat about his red bean paste. She wants the job, but Sentaro is hesitant to hire her because there are differences in Tokue’s appearance which make her different than other people. Her fingers are disfigured, but after Sentaro tastes some of her sweet bean paste, he begins to question in his mind how he can hire her without offending customers because her sweet, rich bean paste is like nothing he’s ever tasted, and he has to learn how to make it. As time moves on, Tokue becomes part of the shop and enjoys meeting with some of the customers, until a rumor starts and people become afraid of something they don’t truly understand.

I loved the characters and cherished Tokue’s wisdom. Besides teaching Sentaro how to make the best bean paste, she helps him on his journey of self-discovery and teaches him how to truly listen and to be patient.

“We were born in order to see and listen to the world.”

Reading about Tokue’s harrowing past was difficult, yet the unlikely friendships formed between this small group of people is heartwarming. Each of them has something to give one another and as they connect, Sentaro finally begins to see the light from Tokue’s teachings.

After reading the book, I sat for awhile and reflected on Tokue’s suggestions to Sentaro and found the book very educational because of it–from her messages about listening and seeing to also learning about Hansen’s disease in Japanese history. I absolutely adored reading this wonderful book and appreciated the author’s note at the end which explains the author’s experience with Hansen’s disease and the inspiration for this story. This is a book anyone can enjoy and I highly recommend it. My rating is 5*****

I’d like to thank Edelweiss, the publisher, and the author for sharing a copy of this book with me in exchange for an honest review.

5 Sterne

Find this book on Amazon and Goodreads

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Oneworld Publications (November 14, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1786071959
  • ISBN-13: 978-1786071958

I was so excited to learn that this book has been adapted to film and it’s available on Netflix. I haven’t watched it yet, but plan to this weekend and I’ll share my thoughts after. Here’s the trailer…


All this reading about Dorayaki and sweet bean paste really sparked my interest. I’d never had dorayaki or even heard of it. I went straight to Amazon and ordered some adzuki beans so that I could experience this Japanese treat with my family.

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What is dorayaki?

Dorayaki (どら焼き, どらやき, 銅鑼焼き, ドラ焼き) is a type of Japanese confection, а red-bean pancake which consists of two small pancake-like patties made from castella wrapped around a filling of sweet Azuki red bean paste.


Making Dorayaki

The first thing I did was soak the beans. I put about a cup of adzuki beans in a jar with water and let them soak overnight. I rinsed them once before and then again in the morning.

 

I decided to make the paste first. I started by putting the beans in the pan with water to cover and brought them to a boil and boiled them for a few minutes. Then I rinsed them completely. I put them back in the pan again with plenty of water to cover and brought them to a boil again. This time, I let them simmer for about an hour until they were soft.

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Once they were soft, I drained the water and blended them up in my Vitamix.

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I blended them until fairly smooth.

Next, I added the paste back to the pan with a heaping half cup of sugar. I stirred it and cooked this down for about five minutes on low heat.

 

I ended up with a nice smooth paste that was thick and not runny.

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Continue reading “Sweet Bean Paste by Durian Sukegawa Book Review – Plus How to Make Dorayaki!”

Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book – Hippocrates Soup – Watching Glass Shatter by James J. Cudney

Happy Wednesday everyone! Today I have a special healthy recipe for you and a new book!

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I had a hearty soup planned for last Wednesday, but we’ve been so busy with the puppies and I haven’t had much time to post like I’d like to. I’m hoping to share some amazing recipes throughout November and December!

In the fall and winter, I eat soup nearly every day. I love it first thing in the morning. This just happens to be a staple from Dr. Gerson that I hope you will try.

This soup (Hippocrates soup) comes from The Gerson diet. Some of you may have heard of Dr. Gerson–he treated cancer with many unconventional treatments until his death in 1959. When I went through my healing process of trying to stop my body from attacking itself, I started on the Gerson diet while supplementing with smoothies and juices. This is just one of the things I did to help myself.

What I do is make the soup on the weekend. The yield I aim for is about six quarts and I refrigerate them, using one per day, throughout the week. Some of you might be thinking that soup isn’t a good breakfast food, but the truth is, breakfast is whatever you want it to be and this recipe is a very healthy way to start the day. It’s a delicious hot drink for any time of year! I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with it. You don’t have to be sick to have this soup either. It’s an overall healthy start to the day or any time of the day for that matter.

Healing the Gerson Way: Defeating Cancer and Other Chronic Diseases

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Here’s how I make it…

Hippocrates Soup

Ingredients:

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I like to get about six quarts, so I usually double the recipe. Also be sure to use organic whenever possible.

I bunch of celery

1 bunch of parsley

1-2 pounds of potatoes. I’m using Japanese sweet potatoes. They are so delicious!

1-2 pounds of tomatoes

2 large onion

2 leeks

About 6-8 cloves of garlic

Directions:

Chop it all up into a pan. I like to peel the potatoes and garlic.

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For the leeks, you really need to chop up any green that you use and then rinse. There’s always dirt in the layers. This is personal preference, but you never know what’s in the layers if you don’t chop them first. You can see all the dirt in these organic leeks below.

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Just give the chopped up leek a good spray. I like to use most of the leek, but I do cut off about 1/3 of the green ends.

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Fill up your pan until everything is chopped.

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Then add water just to cover the vegetables. I ended up adding a garnet yam that needed to be used.

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As soon as it boils, turn it down and simmer it for about 1 1/2 hours.

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Let it cool a bit. Then you can transfer it to your blender and blend it in batches.

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Blend it up until smooth. What’s nice about the Vitamix is that you can put it in hot if you want to. It can handle super hot liquids!

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Continue reading “Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book – Hippocrates Soup – Watching Glass Shatter by James J. Cudney”

The Roses of May by Dot Hutchison – Book Review

The Roses of May (The Collector #2)

by Dot Hutchison

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Blurb: Four months after the explosion at the Garden, a place where young women known as the Butterflies were kept captive, FBI agents Brandon Eddison, Victor Hanoverian, and Mercedes Ramirez are still entrenched in the aftermath, helping survivors in the process of adjusting to life on the outside. With winter coming to an end, the Butterflies have longer, warmer days of healing ahead. But for the agents, the impending thaw means one gruesome thing: a chilling guarantee that somewhere in the country, another young woman will turn up dead in a church with her throat slit and her body surrounded by flowers.

Priya Sravasti’s sister fell victim to the killer years ago. Now she and her mother move every few months, hoping for a new beginning. But when she ends up in the madman’s crosshairs, the hunt takes on new urgency. Only with Priya’s help can the killer be found—but will her desperate hope for closure compel her to put her very life on the line?


My Review:

I read The Butterfly Garden in 2016 and it was truly a captivating thriller. When I saw that the second book was out, I requested it from NetGalley right away. The problem was that I was too late getting to it and ended up having to purchase the book. I didn’t mind because I expected that I would love this one as much as the first.

The story follows Priya, a girl who lost her sister Chavi four years ago after she was murdered. Priya and her mother are still very upset about the loss of Chavi and relocate frequently as they are working hard to move on with their lives and to keep low. Chavi’s killer has murdered multiple girls and he’s still out there. Maybe closer than anyone thinks and possibly right under Priya’s nose.

Meanwhile, the detectives are still working to help the surviving butterflies (previous book) now that they’re back in the world and trying to adjust to real life again. Many are struggling to adapt and it’s possible that Priya might be able to help them. Eventually, the detectives work together alongside Priya to try to locate Chavi’s killer and lock him up once and for all.

I’m not an expert, but If I were to rate this book on the writing alone, I’d give it five stars. The truth is that the story didn’t captivate or thrill me like I expected it to and the pacing is fairly slow for my taste. I think what threw me off the most is that this book is nothing like the first and takes place about four months after the end of The Butterfly Garden with not much focus on the first book at all. I had issues connecting with the characters, but I did enjoy the relationship between them and I did still enjoy the book, especially the ending. I’m looking forward to the final book in the trilogy. I’ll rate this one 3.5 stars.

Thanks to NetGalley, the publisher, and the author for allowing me to preview this book for an honest review.

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You can find this book on Goodreads and Amazon

  • Series: The Collector Trilogy (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (May 23, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1503939502
  • ISBN-13: 978-1503939509

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Continue reading “The Roses of May by Dot Hutchison – Book Review”

The Little Red Wolf by Amélie Fléchais – Children’s Book Review

The Little Red Wolf

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Blurb: Lose yourself in in the dark forests of Amelie Flechais’ spectacular artwork. A young wolf, on a journey to bring his grandmother a rabbit, is charmed by the nice little girl who offers to help him… but nice is not the same as good. A haunting fairy tale for children and adults alike.

My Review:

I found this book on Edelweiss and became instantly intrigued. I love fairy tale retellings and the beautiful cover and title were all I needed. I was lucky to get approved for it, then after reading the ebook I went straight to Amazon and bought a copy.

This is similar to Little Red Riding Hood, but the roles are switched. The story follows a little wolf pup in a red coat who’s heading to Grandma’s to deliver a rabbit. Grandma’s lost her teeth and can no longer hunt. Before Little Red Wolf sets out on his journey, his mother warns him.

“Be careful to avoid the forest of dead wood where the hunter and his daughter live. They are vile and cruel and hate wolves! I don’t want anything bad to happen to you, so make sure to stay away from there!”

Little Red Wolf is carefree and sings along his journey. As he walks he finds interesting things like a little beetle, a little mouse, and a cloud of pollen. He strays from the trail and becomes lost. At first, he isn’t scared and tells himself,

“I am a wolf, the forest is my home, I’m sure I can find my way on my own, even without the dumb trail!”

What will Little Red Wolf do? Will he find his way to grandmother’s house and what other encounters will he experience?

I absolutely loved this book. It reminds me of Grimm’s Fairy Tales with beautiful atmospheric artwork. The messages conveyed here are strong ones–never judge without knowing the truth, and never trust someone based on how they look. I think this is a stunningly beautiful book that will help children learn both of these lessons. People of any age will enjoy this twisted tale, especially those who love fairy tales and retellings.

Thanks to Edelweiss, the publisher, and the author for allowing me to preview this book in exchange for a review.

5 Sterne


You can find this book on Goodreads and Amazon as well as other retailers.

  • Age Range: 4 – 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool – 3
  • Hardcover: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Lion Forge (October 3, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1941302459
  • ISBN-13: 978-1941302453

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Continue reading “The Little Red Wolf by Amélie Fléchais – Children’s Book Review”

Throwback Thursday – November 2nd – Before I Say Goodbye

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme created by Renee @ It’s Book Talk. This meme is an awesome way to share old favorites that were published over a year ago or even books that you’re finally reading after much time has passed. I have plenty of those to share! If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, and you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic as well. Please link back to her@It’s Book Talk.

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This Week’s Pick:

Before I Say Goodbye

by Ruth PicardieMatt Seaton (Foreword by)

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Blurb: By turns humorous and heart-rending, an unforgettable account of a young woman’s spiritual triumphs over breast cancer in the last year of her life

Ruth Picardie was only thirty-three when she died, a month after her twins’ second birthday and just under a year after she was first diagnosed with breast cancer. For Ruth, a journalist, it seemed natural to write about her illness. She published only five columns for Observer Life magazine before she became too sick to continue, but her moving, funny, and very human account drew a huge response from readers all over England.

Before I Say Goodbye juxtaposes these columns with correspondence from readers, e-mails to her friends, letters to her children, and reflections by her husband and her sister. The result is a courageous and moving book, entirely devoid of self-pity, that celebrates the triumph of a brave and wonderful woman’s spirit. An international bestseller in England, Picardie’s sobering yet ultimately life-affirming book is destined to become a classic.

My Thoughts:

I picked this up from a library book sale years ago and read it in just a few hours. It’s a book about a woman named Ruth Picardie who was diagnosed with breast cancer in her early 30’s just after giving birth to her twins. She was an amazing journalist and her sister influenced her to write about her condition.

I was surprised by the format as pretty much the entire book contains personal email correspondence to and from friends and colleagues. It’s also interlaced with thoughts from family and the five columns Ruth wrote about her condition.

Letter from Jenny Dee, 18 September 1997
Dearest Ruthie,

You are my best friend and I am so reluctant to let you go. I’ve been putting off thinking about you dying because I just don’t know how my life will be without you. We have done so many hugely important and amazingly trivial things together – you are the diary that I never kept. The language of love and loss seems so inept at the moment. All I can say is that I will miss you forever, you are my best friend forever and I love you forever.

Even though Ruth was a very brave soul, the book still made me bawl my eyes out. By the time I got halfway through the book, I realized that Ruth was somebody I wish I would’ve known in my life. She was so courageous, positive, and kind. I couldn’t imagine being in her shoes and she handled everything which such strength all the way up until the end. This is a book I’ll always keep and my rating on it is 5*****.


 

You can find this book on Goodreads and Amazon

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Holt Paperbacks; First Edition edition (September 14, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805066128
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805066128

Continue reading “Throwback Thursday – November 2nd – Before I Say Goodbye”

Halloween Reads for Children – Happy Halloween!

When I first started posting about our favorite children’s Halloween reads, I had big plans to share as many as possible. Last week we were so busy and things didn’t go as planned. So, I missed out on a few posts. Today I thought I’d share a bunch of our favorite Halloween reads for this season!

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First, let’s start with the board books. Of course, this was hard to pick just a few Halloween board books because there are so many adorable board books for toddlers, but we chose these two.

The Best Classic Halloween Stories – Board Book Collection

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We picked up this set from Costco last month. It contains eight different favorite Halloween stories in board book format for toddlers. You get all of these stories:

  • Little Blue Truck’s Halloween
  • Hooray for Halloween
  • Five Little Monkeys
  • Halloween Mice!
  • Ollie’s Halloween
  • Sheep Trick or Treat
  • Trick or Treat
  • Boo, Bunny!

It’s a very nice collection for your little ones. The books are good quality and have gorgeous illustrations!

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B is for BOO – A Halloween Alphabet

by Greg Paprocki

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A great introduction to the alphabet for babies and toddlers. The illustrations are perfect and have a vintage children’s book feel. There are twenty-six different illustrations throughout the book to teach all about Halloween to our little ones while they visualize the alphabet and learn the sounds as you read. A perfect addition to the Halloween shelf that I plan on keeping even when my little ones are grown!


Halloween Cats

by Jean Marzollo and Hans Wilhelm

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This is a super simple rhyming read for young readers with beautiful, colorful illustrations. It’s all about trick-or-treating cats causing trouble. There isn’t much of a story, but we still enjoy reading this one every year.


The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin
by Joe Troiano, Susan Banta (Illustrator)

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Spookley was different than all the other pumpkins. He was square, and the other pumpkins made fun of him and thought that he was worthless. Spookley finally gets the chance to prove that he’s just as good as all the others. Will he prevail?

This one is certainly a keeper. It’s a cute story that sends a strong message to children about the importance of kindness and that it’s not right to make fun of others. A cute story with colorful illustrations! The movie is also a family favorite.


 

I Like Pumpkins

by Jerry Smath (Illustrations)

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A cute Halloween story about the different sizes of pumpkins. Some are big, some are small, some are scary, some aren’t at all. The story shows many different ways we use pumpkins during the Halloween season. Easy to read for young ones and the end of the book has a few seek and finds.


We’re Going on a Spooky Ghost Hunt (A StoryPlay Book)

by Ken Geist
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This is a new Halloween book that I purchased from Scholastic. It’s our first Story Play book yet. The story can be read to the song “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.” The story contains little questions along the way that inspire young readers to count and answer questions about the story. It really gets them thinking about the story. The illustrations are detailed and interesting. I’m happy with this one and I think it’s best for preschoolers.

The Pumpkin Smasher

Anita Benarde
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It’s October, and the people of Cranbury are getting reading for Halloween. Scarecrows, big black cats, ghosts, and jack-o-lanterns adorn the town, until Halloween comes and a pumpkin smasher smashes all of the beautiful pumpkins. Who would do such a thing?
Next year, signs are posted and police are on the lookout. Unfortunately, the pumpkin smasher strikes again. The people of Cranbury are ready to cancel Halloween. They come up with a plan, but will Halloween be ruined again?
Our copy of this one is very old. It’s from 1972 and falling apart, but it’s still a favorite. The illustrations are black and white with a bit of orange for color.

Love Monster and the Scary Something (Love Monster)

by Rachel Bright

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Love Monster just can’t sleep and the night becomes spookier. Is something out there to get him? Love Monster must be brave. Follow along to see if he can overcome his fears.

Although this isn’t technically a Halloween book, we love this one for this time of year. The best illustrations!


Franklin’s Halloween

by Paulette Bourgeois, Brenda Clark (Illustrations)
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Franklin has always been a favorite show in our house and my kids would watch it on PBS all the time. In this book, Franklin dresses up as Frankenstein for Halloween and prepares for a Halloween party, parade, haunted house and games. It’s a cute book for Franklin fans complete with a wonderful story and detailed illustrations.

Happy Halloween, Snoopy!

by Charles M. Schulz, Jack C. Harris, Art Ellis, Kim Ellis
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Better than candy, “Happy Halloween, Great Pumpkin!” is a great gift-giving opportunity, coinciding as it does with the Great Pumpkin TV special, the most popular of the Peanuts cartoon specials. Full color.


There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Bat!

by Lucille Colandro, Jared Lee (Illustrator)
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What won’t this old lady swallow? This time around, a bat, an owl, a cat, a ghost, a goblin, some bones, and a wizard are all on the menu! This Halloween-themed twist on the classic “little old lady” books will delight and entertain all brave readers who dare to read it!

Room on the Broom

by Julia Donaldson, Axel Scheffler
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The witch and her cat are happily flying through the sky on a broomstick when the wind picks up and blows away the witch’s hat, then her bow, and then her wand!  Luckily, three helpful animals find the missing items, and all they want in return is a ride on the broom.  But is there room on the broom for so many friends?  And when disaster strikes, will they be able to save the witch from a hungry dragon.

Gus And The Baby Ghost (Gus the Ghost)

by Jane Thayer, Seymour Fleishman (Illustrator)
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Gus, Cora the cat, a mouse named Mouse, and Mr. Frizzle all live in the Historical Museum. They have a fairly symbiotic relationship, until the arrival of this baby ghost that is left on the doorstep. Frizzle who has a terrible temper and is reminiscent of most bad-tempered excessively rigid old men overreacts a number of times in most theatrical and entertaining ways before the mild-mannered Gus stands his ground, puts Frizzle in his place, and restores order to the emotional state of the household.

 


It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

by Charles M. Schulz

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We read this book every year and even when it’s not Halloween. Ours is a 1972 printing and a Charles Schulz favorite all about Linus and his belief in the Great Pumpkin. He gives up trick-or-treating to wait for the Great Pumpkin on Halloween night and just about the only person who believes he might be on to something is Sally.

“Dear Great Pumpkin, I am looking forward to your arrival on Halloween Night. ” – Linus

Will the Great Pumpkin bring toys and visit Linus this year? Follow along to find out!


Continue reading “Halloween Reads for Children – Happy Halloween!”

Shabby Sunday: Time Life – The Enchanted World Series – Ghosts 1984

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Shabby Sunday Meme

I have a lot of old vintage books and one of my plans when I first started blogging was to do a post every week or so that shared one of my cherished vintage books. Then I thought that maybe there might be other book bloggers out there that have some vintage books, heirlooms, or maybe some old books from childhood that they might want to share. I decided to start a weekly meme titled ‘Shabby Sunday’ for those who would like to participate and share some of their old vintage books. Do you have some shabby books you’d like to share? Please feel free to participate. Feel free to use the picture I’ve provided if you’d like to. If you decide to do this meme, please consider linking back to me so that I can see the book you’re sharing.


Today’s shabby share is:

Ghosts (The Enchanted World)

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Blurb: Presents tales and examines varieties of beliefs about death and hauntings, characteristics and habits of ghosts, exorcism rites, and haunted places.

I chose this book because it’s one of my favorites in the series and perfect for this time of year. This volume is from 1984 and although the cover has some heavy wear, the pages are in excellent crisp condition.

My Thoughts:

I’ve been working to complete my collection of The Enchanted World Series throughout this year and this has to be one of my favorite volumes yet. The volume titled Ghosts is packed full of ghost stories dating from the 1800’s up to the 1980’s. Some are hauntings and exorcisms, while others cover haunted places. Some of the stories include banshees, nightwalkers, ravens, poltergeists, ghost children, and the Ankou (skeletal monsters). A few of my favorites in this volume are “Glam’s Tale” and “Song of the Sorrowing Harp”, but my absolute favorite is a story about a woman and her detaching head from the English county of Lancashire titled “A Meeting on the Road Home” which is creepy and comical.

These books contain stunning works of art and they always steal the show. You can locate the artists in the back of the book and learn about where all these tales originated in the bibliography. I like the way this volume was put together as it contains multiple stories from around the world. The artwork in this volume isn’t as explicit as the others, and the tales are interesting, but I probably wouldn’t recommend this one to young children as some of the stories are very eerie and involve killings. 4.5 ****


You can find this book on Goodreads and Amazon

  • Series: Enchanted World
  • Hardcover: 143 pages
  • Publisher: Time Life Education; 1st edition (September 1, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809452162
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809452163

With shipping, you can probably find this volume on eBay and Amazon for under $9

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Some of the gold letters on the title are wearing off. The fabric cover is a bit faded as well.

 

 

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Glam’s Tale

 

 

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To see the banshee, said the Irish, meant to foresee one’s own death. This sad harbinger often appeared as a pale young woman, washing graveclothes in lonely streams.

 

 

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Song of the Sorrowing Harp

Continue reading “Shabby Sunday: Time Life – The Enchanted World Series – Ghosts 1984”

The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld – Book Review

The Child Finder

by Rene Denfeld

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Blurb: Three years ago, Madison Culver disappeared when her family was choosing a Christmas tree in Oregon’s Skookum National Forest. She would be eight years old now—if she has survived. Desperate to find their beloved daughter, certain someone took her, the Culvers turn to Naomi, a private investigator with an uncanny talent for locating the lost and missing. Known to the police and a select group of parents as The Child Finder, Naomi is their last hope.

Naomi’s methodical search takes her deep into the icy, mysterious forest in the Pacific Northwest, and into her own fragmented past. She understands children like Madison because once upon a time, she was a lost girl too.

As Naomi relentlessly pursues and slowly uncovers the truth behind Madison’s disappearance, shards of a dark dream pierce the defenses that have protected her, reminding her of a terrible loss she feels but cannot remember. If she finds Madison, will Naomi ultimately unlock the secrets of her own life?


 

My Review:

After witnessing many friends rate and review this book so highly, I had to read it! I was lucky enough to be the first in line for it at my library.

The story begins with Madison, a young girl who is in search for the perfect Christmas tree alongside her parents in Oregon’s Skookum National Forest. She’s only five-years-old and suddenly disappears. Her parents are distraught and search teams have come up with nothing. Madison’s parents find Naomi,  a private investigator with an interest in child finding. It’s been three years and Madison is now eight-years-old if she’s still out there. Her parents are desperate, having trouble in their marriage, and cannot move on until they know what happened to Madison and whether or not she’s still alive.

Madison Culver is a five-year-old girl. Her parents say she likes reading, writing, and going for nature walks. She was excited to get a Christmas tree. 

As Naomi begins to search, her own past comes into light and readers learn that Naomi was once a lost child too. The book flips back and forth between Naomi’s past and the present search for Madison and also another case, a missing baby.

In the dream it was night and she was again a naked child running across a dark field. She was ageless, shedding her name and false self the way she had shed her clothes. The fields were wet and black and sticky. her feet were churning, her naked knees rising, and she could feel the wind in her hair, on her cheek, and around her helpless, clutching hands. 

It took me forever to get into this book and I just couldn’t get used to the format and writing. When I first started reading it, I thought it was going to be so awesome. I liked all of the characters, but I wasn’t sure about how I felt about the story switching back to Naomi’s past.  Learning about Naomi’s foster mom and the love she instilled in her after she’d been found was heartwarming and fills you with hope, but I just couldn’t connect with it, and for some odd reason it felt out of place and seemed like the details were lacking. I felt the same with her relationship with Jerome. I liked the interaction between Naomi, Detective Winfield, and Ranger Dave, but it felt a tad underdeveloped to me as well, although I still enjoyed it.

As the story continued, I found it moving and even poetic. This book was definitely haunting and hard to read at times, but for me, this wasn’t a thriller until page 240. At that point, it was a race to the end. I’m really hoping for a second book to see if Naomi will solve her own mysteries and I’m definitely looking forward to reading more from this author.

I did enjoy this and my rating on it is 4 stars.

4-stars


Find this book on Amazon and Goodreads

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (September 5, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062659057
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062659057

Continue reading “The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld – Book Review”

The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne – Book Review

The Heart’s Invisible Furies

by John Boyne

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Blurb: From the beloved New York Times bestselling author of The Boy In the Striped Pajamas, a sweeping, heartfelt saga about the course of one man’s life, beginning and ending in post-war Ireland

Cyril Avery is not a real Avery — or at least, that’s what his adoptive parents tell him. And he never will be. But if he isn’t a real Avery, then who is he?

Born out of wedlock to a teenage girl cast out from her rural Irish community and adopted by a well-to-do if eccentric Dublin couple via the intervention of a hunchbacked Redemptorist nun, Cyril is adrift in the world, anchored only tenuously by his heartfelt friendship with the infinitely more glamourous and dangerous Julian Woodbead. At the mercy of fortune and coincidence, he will spend a lifetime coming to know himself and where he came from and over his many years will struggle to discover an identity, a home, a country, and much more.

In this, Boyne’s most transcendent work to date, we are shown the story of Ireland from the 1940s to today through the eyes of one ordinary man. The Heart’s Invisible Furies is a novel to make you laugh and cry while reminding us all of the redemptive power of the human spirit.


My Review:

I picked this up on Netgalley as soon as I saw it and I was luckily approved. I read The Boy in the Striped Pajamas years ago with my oldest son and couldn’t wait to read this after I read a few reviews on Goodreads from some close friends. The book wasn’t what I expected and due to the myriad of feelings I have about it, I’ve been struggling to write a review on it for a few weeks now. There might be spoilers here.

The story begins with a teenage girl named Catherine who is pregnant and not accepted by her family or church any longer. It’s the 1940’s in Ireland and she’s exiled and expected to start a new life elsewhere, which she does. After her baby is born, she gives him up and he’s adopted by a couple named Charles and Maude Avery. They name him Cyril and he loves his adoptive parents very much, but he doesn’t receive the love he deserves from them and he’s consistently told, “You’re not a real Avery.”

As Cyril grows older, he begins questioning why he doesn’t seem to have an interest in girls and seems to have an attraction to only boys. At the age of 7, he discovers after meeting a boy named Julian, that he loves him and eventually they become best friends into adulthood. Julian is attractive and always interested in new women, but Cyril won’t be accepted for who he is and must live in secret by hiding behind his true self due to his sexual identity. From that moment on, he continues to act as though he has an interest in women while keeping the truth a secret because it’s not accepted by anyone and can be flat-out dangerous if someone finds out. Being gay wasn’t accepted and people who were suspected to be gay were beaten up and called names like ‘nanny boys’ and ‘queers’. Cyril loved Julian from the moment they meet, but even his best friend won’t accept the truth when he finds out that he is gay and becomes very upset with him because he didn’t tell the truth from the beginning.

As time moves forward, many different events take place. Cyril get’s married, he moves away and starts a new life, wonders where his real mother is and who he really is. Will Cyril ever find the love he deserves and will it last?

-There were parts of the story that were slow, but something would happen to pull me right back in again.

-I had many emotions when reading this book and even laughed and cried a few times. I found it sad, shocking, comical, and scary.

-I was angry with how Cyril and others were treated and parts of the story were very difficult to read. From the beginning of Cyril’s life, it seemed as though he had to live as an outsider and wasn’t accepted.

-I had a little bit of a hard time connecting with the characters at first even though they are unique, interesting, and unforgettable.

-I loved the way characters came in and out of the story as the book is written in intervals of about 7 years from the 1940’s to the present.

-The ending was exactly what I wanted. Even though I found it sad, I was happy and surprised by it. Everything I wanted to find out about was there, especially in the end.

-I was very pleased with the epilogue and glad that it was included.

I seriously want to just list out everything that happened in this book and express every emotion I had, but I’m not going to. I’m going to say that it’s a good book, written well, and I enjoyed it. At nearly 600 pages, even with the slower parts in the story, there was always something new happening and I had to finish it. I’m giving it a rating of 4 stars.

Thanks to NetGalley, the publisher, and the author for sharing this book with me in exchange for an honest review.

4-stars


 Find this book on Goodreads and Amazon

  • Hardcover: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Hogarth; 1st Edition edition (August 22, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1524760781
  • ISBN-13: 978-1524760786

Continue reading “The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne – Book Review”

Halloween Reads for Children #5 – Octavius Grimwood’s Graveyard Guide by Rod Green

Every day or so, until Halloween, I’ll post one of our favorite children’s reads for the fall and Halloween season which will end with a grand finale on Halloween!

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Today’s pick is:

Octavius Grimwood’s Graveyard Guide

by Rod Green

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Blurb: Boys and girls who relish scary stories and macabre movies will love this coffin-shaped book. It’s an illustrated collection of short articles that present thumbnail descriptions of vampire bats, the Frankenstein monster, the spooky tunnels beneath the streets of Paris, the Dracula legend, and much more. Each two-page spread is devoted to a separate category of factual or fictitious creature, such as Vampires, Skeletons, Werewolves, Zombies, and others. Kids will also find fact lists of descriptive details about terrifying beings, and even ghoulish jokes, such as: ” Why doesn’t Dracula have any friends? Because he’s a pain in the neck. ” The color illustrations on every page are comically creepy.


My Thoughts:

Leave it to Rod Green to come up with the coolest children’s books. We already have a few Christmas books written by him that are forever favorites. This one is for Halloween and it’s titled Octavius Grimwood’s Graveyard Guide. It’s shaped like a coffin! So cool.

The book starts with an introduction of Octavius Grimwood, an investigator of the supernatural, spooky, and weird. Octavius Grimwood is the guide as he takes readers on an exploration retelling stories about ghosts, witches, skeletons, werewolves, vampires, mummies, and zombies. Each page contains true facts and some events as well. It even covers some fairly spooky legends and places like a few different haunted houses, Highgate Cemetery, and Borley Rectory in England to name a few.

“Borley Rectory was one of the most famous haunted houses in England. It was built near the ruins of Borley Hall, once home to the wealthy Waldegrave family. Its most famous ghost was a nun, and she was the figure I met there one chilly night in 1939. The specter told me she ran away to marry one of the Waldegrave sons. However, her fiance killed her in a violent argument. The rectory burned down shortly after my visit, and the bones of a young woman were discovered.”

The book finishes with an explanation of Halloween and how it all got started. It may not seem like it, but it’s actually quite educational. I even learned a few things myself about safety coffins and the story of “Stingy Jack.” Overall, it’s fun and we love the format. The illustrations are both creepy and interesting. We look forward to pulling it off the Halloween shelf every year!

5 Sterne

  • Age Range: 8 – 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 – 7
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Barron’s Educational Series (August 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764163779
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764163777

Find this book on Goodreads and Amazon


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Continue reading “Halloween Reads for Children #5 – Octavius Grimwood’s Graveyard Guide by Rod Green”

Shabby Sunday: The Nature Doctor by Dr. H.C.A. Vogel – 1991

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Shabby Sunday Meme

I have a lot of old vintage books and one of my plans when I first started blogging was to do a post every week or so that shared one of my cherished vintage books. Then I thought that maybe there might be other book bloggers out there that have some vintage books, heirlooms, or maybe some old books from childhood that they might want to share. I decided to start a weekly meme titled ‘Shabby Sunday’ for those who would like to participate and share some of their old vintage books. Do you have some shabby books you’d like to share? Please feel free to participate. Feel free to use the picture I’ve provided if you’d like to. If you decide to do this meme, please consider linking back to me so that I can see the book you’re sharing.


Today’s shabby share is:

The Nature Doctor

by Alfred Vogel (Dr. H.C.A. Vogel)

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Blurb: The first British edition of this worldwide bestseller, The Nature Doctor, fully revised and updated, comes complete with comprehensive appendices, offering the reader easy access to a wealth of information from the ‘father’ of natural healing.

Dr. H. C. A. Vogel comes from a Swiss family where the secrets of herbalism were known and practiced. From early childhood he was eager to learn about the healing powers of plants and bit by bit he collected and expanded the traditional and empirical knowledge of European folk-medicine. Since 1929 he has reported his experiences and observations as a nature practitioner, nutritionist, researcher of medicinal plants and discoverer of natural healing powers, in his monthly periodical Gesundheit-Nachrichten (A. Vogel’s Health News).

First published in 1952, The Nature Doctor has become a recognized standard publication even among medical doctors and scientists.

I chose this book because it’s one of my favorite health book finds of all time and from 1991. I found this book at a rummage sale years ago and I’ve used it so much and it’s fairly shabby. My copy has scratches, a bent cover and pages, and heavy wear to the binding.


My Thoughts:

Ever since I found this book, I’ve discovered so many natural cures and reliable remedies that have helped me in so many ways. I’m not always a fan of self-help/health books, but this one is a favorite.

There are treatments for multiple conditions including wounds, burns, colds, diseases, and many other ailments. There are diet recommendations for prevention which teaches us how we can keep ourselves clean and free from disease before it strikes. Prevention is better than cure! It contains multiple sections of information on how to care for our bodies from our hair to our feet and stay connected to the earth. One of my favorite paragraphs in the book discusses walking barefoot.

Walking barefoot is increasingly becoming a thing of the past. In fact, nowadays many people associate it with poverty or excentricity — they look down on it. Just try it and dare to go for a long walk without your shoes and watch how many glances of surprise, pity, and even contempt you will attract. What does this indicate? That the onlookers have all but forgotten or never learned the benefits of walking. They know nothing of the peculiar, mysterious power it can convey, or else they would not react the way they do. If you go for an early morning walk on dewy grass you will soon notice that going barefoot makes you feel really good, generating new strength when you have been feeling tired and worn out. It is like recharging one’s batteries, so to speak, recharging your run-down nerves with energy. It seems as if Mother Earth is giving off energy that improves glandular functions. This is why I consider it rather strange that, although overtired and worn-out, we do not take full advantage of this simple regenerative treatment, which is able to stimulate our endocrine glands to increase their activity. 

I noticed that only a few of the actual medicines may be out of date, but most of the book offers a plethora of natural medicine treatments from plants (herbs, fruits, and vegetables). It answers simple questions about calcium, what type of rice to eat, and even cancer causes and what to do about it. There’s so much we can control by just eating the right foods that are available to us and The Nature Doctor reminds us that everything we need to stay healthy is right here on Earth and within our grasp! Readers will also be inspired by simple measures such as taking a brisk walk outside and breathing in deeply.

I recommend this book for anyone who has an interest in natural medicine, wants to stay healthy, or those that suffer from sickness, common ailments, or disease.

5 Sterne

Find this book on Goodreads and Amazon

  • Paperback: 678 pages
  • Publisher: Keats Pub; Rev Sub edition (November 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879835591
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879835590

 

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Continue reading “Shabby Sunday: The Nature Doctor by Dr. H.C.A. Vogel – 1991”

Tag: The End of the Year Book Tag

I was tagged by Alex@Coffeelovingbookoholic for The End of the Year Book Tag last month. I’d like to thank Alex for the tag and please check out her blog! She has many book reviews, tags, awards, beautiful Bookstagram photos, and more!

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Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?

Yes. I need to finish The Cottingley Secret. I picked this book up and started reading it, but I lost interest. It didn’t have anything to do with the book, I think I just picked it up at the wrong time. I still plan on having it read by the end of the year.

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Do you have an autumnal book to transition into the end of the year?

Well, these aren’t really autumnal, but I am reading the Harry Potter series which will take me to the end of the year or longer to read. I’m listening on Audible, but I may transition into some of the physical books. I really want to read the new illustrated editions too.

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 Is there a new release you’re still waiting for?

I was waiting for The Wife Between Us, but then I got approved for it on NetGalley.

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What are three books you want to read before the end of the year?

Hmm, only three? Okay, Little Fires Everywhere, The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding, and The Glass Castle.

 

Is there a book you think could still shock you and become your favorite book of the year?

I’ll say White Fur. I have to start this soon and have a good feeling about it after seeing a few friends reviews.

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Have you already started making reading plans for 2018?

Oh yeah, big plans for 2018. First, I plan to have better control of my TBR which has now just surpassed 10,000. There’s no way I can read all of those. I try to add books I genuinely want to read, but that’s just way too many. I also plan to have better control of my reading schedule. I tried working with lists, but find that I’m much happier just picking up a book when I want to and reading it when I feel like it. I also plan to control my ARC requesting. I requested too many this year and I’ll be lucky to have them all read and reviewed by the end of the year.

Continue reading “Tag: The End of the Year Book Tag”

Throwback Thursday: Paw Tracks in the Moonlight by Denis O’Connor

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme created by Renee @ It’s Book Talk. This meme is an awesome way to share old favorites that were published over a year ago or even books that you’re finally reading after much time has passed. I have plenty of those to share! If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, and you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic as well. Please link back to her@It’s Book Talk.

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This Week’s Pick:

Paw Tracks in the Moonlight

(Paw Tracks #1)

by Denis O’Connor

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Blurb: The heart-warming story of one man and his cat

When Denis O’Connor rescues a three-week-old kitten from certain death during a snowstorm, little does he know how this tiny creature will change his life forever. Against all odds the kitten – who he names Toby Jug – survives and forms an unusually strong bond with his rescuer.

Set against the rural splendour of Northumberland, “Paw Tracks in the Moonlight” charmingly chronicles the adventures of one man and his Maine Coone cat. From an invasion of bees at Owl Cottage to the case of the disappearing tomatoes, life with Toby Jug – who believes himself to be human – is never dull. Nevertheless, it is only when Denis and Toby Jug embark on a summer camping trip on horseback in the Cheviot Hills that a new world opens up for them both.

Cover illustration: Richard Morris

My Thoughts:

I first noticed this book after my friend Leila was reading it on Goodreads and then I noticed that Luis Carlos Montalvan had rated it highly and reviewed it as well. I got online and ordered a copy and was pleasantly surprised to obtain a signed copy. I’m so happy to have found this gem of a book! It’s one of the best cat stories I’ve read.

This book is the true story of Toby Jug, a Maine Coone kitten rescued at the age of three weeks old from the barren winter by the author, Denis O’Connor. The book highlights the author’s experience with trying to save Toby Jug with limited resources and knowledge. Denis O’Connor shares the story of the relationship they build together over the course of a year and beyond.

Toby Jug proved to be a unique cat who was both curious and adventurous but remained loyal to Denis throughout his life. I loved reading about their adventures together, including car rides and walks through the garden. It reminded me of my own cats and the time that we spend together outside when I come out into their world and the unique relationship we can have with animals if we only let them lead the way. Not only that, I admired the way the author describes the countryside in Northumberland, England, and at their place of residence, Owl Cottage. It’s quite fascinating and I began to reflect on how much I appreciate the seasons as each season from Toby Jug’s first winter, spring, summer, and fall is described in beautiful detail. All of their adventures together from an infiltration of bees into Owl Cottage, to riding horseback through the countryside are described in this book. When reading, parts of the book seemed boring, but they really aren’t if you take the time to appreciate the beautiful prose. The ending of Toby Jug’s life is saved for the epilogue and can be skipped entirely if desired.

I do plan on reading the next two books in the series. My rating on this book is 5-stars.

Continue reading “Throwback Thursday: Paw Tracks in the Moonlight by Denis O’Connor”

Halloween Reads for Children #4 – Happy Troll-o-ween! by Mary Man-Kong – Random House

Every day until Halloween I’ll post one of our favorite children’s reads for the fall and Halloween season which will end with a grand finale on Halloween!

 

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Today’s pick is:

Happy Troll-o-ween! (DreamWorks Trolls)

by Mary Man-Kong –  Random House

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Blurb: Trolls—the most magical creatures with the wildest hair—go on a hair-raising adventure just in time for Halloween.

Poppy and Branch and their Bergen friends King Gristle and Bridget from DreamWorks Trolls have a scary good time when they learn about things that go bump in the dark forest. Boys and girls ages 3 to 7 will love this adventure-filled book that comes just in time for Halloween!

My Thoughts:

This book really doesn’t have much of a story, but for kids who love Trolls, this will be one of their favorite Halloween books. Branch tells readers all about how they used to be scared of the Bergens, but now they’re not. There are plenty of spooky things that live in the dark forest though, like Tarantapuffs (spiders) and other creatures.

It comes with a few pages of stickers and a Poppy and Branch pop out mask. It’s a cute book at a good price that Troll fans will enjoy.

4-stars

  • Age Range: 3 – 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool – 2
  • Series: Pictureback(R)
  • Paperback: 16 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers; Stk edition (July 25, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1524769584
  • ISBN-13: 978-1524769581

Find it on Amazon and Goodreads


 

 

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Pop-out Poppy and Branch Masks

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Continue reading “Halloween Reads for Children #4 – Happy Troll-o-ween! by Mary Man-Kong – Random House”

Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book – Rice Pudding Smoothie – The Child Finder – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Happy Wednesday everyone! I’m back this week with a new recipe and two books that I’m reading. I hope you enjoy!

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Rice Pudding Smoothie

Ingredients:

1/2 cup almond milk

1 Frozen banana (substitute ice for the banana if you’d like)

1 TB Vanilla

1 heaping tsp of raw honey

1 stevia packet

1/2 cup white rice (cooked and cooled)

1/4 to a 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Pinch of nutmeg

Directions:

Add everything into the blender in the order specified omitting the rice. Blend it smooth, then add in the rice and pulse a few times for 5 seconds or so. If you blend the smoothie too much, it will get very thick and hard to drink.

Here are some of the spice brands I like to use. I buy all of these from Costco.

 

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Ground cinnamon

 

 

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Pure Vanilla

 

 

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Sweetener made from stevia

 

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I buy whole nutmeg locally and store it in a jar.

 

I like to use a microplane to grind down my nutmeg and other whole spices. It’s so easy and fresh spices really make a difference.

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I ended up doubling the recipe to make a few servings. The key is to stick with the exact amount of ingredients. If you add to much rice, it will ruin the smoothie. Stick to the ratio in the recipe above and it’ll be perfect.

 

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I think it’s best with a little less cinnamon! I went with the full half tsp. Start with 1/4 tsp and then add more to taste.

 

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Continue reading “Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book – Rice Pudding Smoothie – The Child Finder – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”

Halloween Reads for Children #3 – Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman and S.D. Schindler

Every day until Halloween I’ll post one of our favorite children’s reads for the fall and Halloween season which will end with a grand finale on Halloween!

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Today’s pick is:

Big Pumpkin

by Erica SilvermanS.D. Schindler (Illustrator)

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Blurb: The witch has grown the biggest pumpkin ever, and now she wants to make herself a pumpkin pie for Halloween. But the pumpkin is so big she can’t get it off the vine.

It’s so big the ghost can’t move it, either. Neither can the vampire, nor the mummy. It looks as if there’ll be no pumpkin pie for Halloween, until along comes the bat with an idea to save the day.

How can the tiny bat succeed where bigger and strong spooky creatures have failed? You’ll be surprised!

Book Details:

Format: Paperback Publication Date: 9/1/1995 Pages: 32 Reading Level: Age 4 and Up

  • Age Range: 4 – 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool – 3
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Aladdin; Reprint edition (September 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689801297
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689801297

Find on Amazon and Goodreads


My Thoughts:

As soon as we saw this on the Halloween table at Barnes and Noble, we had to grab it. It a book about a witch who grows a giant pumpkin! She plants the seed and watches it grow with plans to make a pumpkin pie, but the pumpkin is so gigantic, she can’t even remove it from the vine. The ghost thinks he can help, then the vampire, then the mummy, but not one of them is strong enough. Will a little bat be the answer? Follow along in the story to see if they can devise a plan as a team and finally enjoy some delicious pumpkin pie and good company.

We loved the story and colorful illustrations which aren’t scary at all. It has the perfect amount of text per page for young readers. It’s great with or without the audio and if you’d like, you can see and hear the book on YouTube. The ending is a wonderful surprise.

My rating on this one is 4****

4-stars


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Continue reading “Halloween Reads for Children #3 – Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman and S.D. Schindler”

Shabby Sunday: Witch Poems by Daisy Wallace and Trina Schart Hyman – 1976

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To see all the Shabby Sunday books that I’ve chosen, please click on ‘Shabby Sunday’ under categories.


Shabby Sunday Meme

I have a lot of old vintage books and one of my plans when I first started blogging was to do a post every week or so that shared one of my cherished vintage books. Then, I thought that maybe there might be other book bloggers out there that have some vintage books, heirlooms, or maybe some old books from childhood that they might want to share. I decided to start a weekly meme titled ‘Shabby Sunday’ for those who would like to participate and share some of their old vintage books. Do you have some shabby books you’d like to share? Please feel free to participate. Feel free to use the picture I’ve provided if you’d like to. If you decide to do this meme, please consider linking back to me so that I can see the book you’re sharing.


Today’s shabby share is:

Witch Poems

by Daisy Wallace (Editor)Trina Schart Hyman (Illustrator)

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Blurb: Small, tall, nasty, nice, old, and young witches by prominent poets. Eighteen poems about witches by L. Frank Baum, E.E. Cummings, Eleanor Farjeon, and others.

I chose this book because it’s a childhood favorite from 1976 and definitely in shabby shape. My edition is very worn and a previous library book with stickers and markings. This is another book that my dog Winston got to when he was a puppy. He ate the corner and I had to do a duct tape repair on it.


My Thoughts:

This book is one of our favorites to read around Halloween time. There are witch poems from multiple poets including Shakespeare, L.Frank Baum, Myra Cohn Livingston and a few anonymous.

One of our favorites is written by Myra Cohn Livingston. It’s titled “Lazy Witch.”

Lazy Witch

Lazy witch
What’s wrong with you?
Get up and stir your magic brew.
Here’s candlelight to chase the gloom.
Jump up and mount your flying broom
And muster up your charms and spells
And wicked grins and piercing yells.
It’s Halloween! There’s work to do!
Lazy witch,
What’s wrong with you?

–Myra Cohn Livingston

What makes this book so atmospheric are the illustrations. They’re all black and white and remind me of Pam Smy’s illustrations in Thornhill.

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It sets the mood and makes this a perfect book for Halloween. There is actually one semi-nude illustration in the beginning of the book, but the book is labeled for children ages 3 and up. We enjoy all eighteen poems.

My rating on this one is 5-stars.

5 Sterne


Add it on Goodreads or find this edition on Amazon

  • Age Range: 3 and up
  • Hardcover: 30 pages
  • Publisher: Holiday House; First Edition edition (December 1976)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0823402819
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823402816

 


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Continue reading “Shabby Sunday: Witch Poems by Daisy Wallace and Trina Schart Hyman – 1976”

Halloween Reads For Children #2 – Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark 1-3

Every day until Halloween I’ll post one of our favorite children’s reads for the fall and Halloween season which will end with a grand finale on Halloween!

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Today’s pick is:

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark:

Books 1-3

1- Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark: Collected from American Folklore (Scary Stories #1)

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Blurb: This spooky addition to Alvin Schwartz’s popular books on American folklore is filled with tales of eerie horror and dark revenge that will make you jump with fright.

There is a story here for everyone — skeletons with torn and tangled flesh who roam the earth; a ghost who takes revenge on her murderer; and a haunted house where every night a bloody head falls down the chimney.

Stephen Gammell’s splendidly creepy drawings perfectly capture the mood of more than two dozen scary stories — and even scary songs — all just right for reading alone or for telling aloud in the dark. If You Dare!

Find on Amazon and Goodreads

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Series: Scary Stories Scary Stories
  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: HarperColl; 1st edition (January 24, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0397319266
  • ISBN-13: 978-0397319268

My Thoughts:

This is a great collection of short scary stories for kids to enjoy. It’s a book that I enjoyed as a child and can now share with my own kids. Some of the stories are pretty scary and best for older readers, but a few of them can be read to younger readers as well. There are plenty of traditional ghost stories, retellings and folklore to enjoy. The black and white illustrations add even more eeriness!

A few of our favorites include The White Wolf, The Guests, The Wendigo, The Girl Who Stood on a Grave, and The Attic.

I really enjoyed reading the references in the back of the book which explain the tales and where they originated.

5 Sterne


2- More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (Scary Stories #2)

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Blurb: All those who enjoyed shuddering their way through Alvin Schwartz’s first volume of Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark will find a satisfyingly spooky sequel in this new collection of the macabre, the funny, and the fantastic.Is it possible to die — and not know it? What if a person is buried too soon? What happens to a thief foolish enough to rob a corpse, or to a murderer whose victim returns from the grave? Read about these terrifying predicaments as well as what happens when practical jokes produce gruesome consequences and initiations go awry.Stephen Gammell’s splendidly creepy drawings perfectly capture the mood of more than two dozen scary stories — and even a scary song — all just right for reading alone or for telling aloud in the dark. If You Dare!

Find on Amazon and Goodreads

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Series: Scary Stories Scary Stories
  • Library Binding: 112 pages
  • Publisher: HarperColl (August 21, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0397320825
  • ISBN-13: 978-0397320820

My Thoughts:

Here’s another scary story collection that’s perfect for this time of year. Some of these are downright horrifying, but so much fun.

A few of our favorites are: Something was Wrong, The Cat’s Paw, Ba-Rooom!, which includes the simple sheet music we enjoy playing on the piano, Wonderful Sausage, and One Sunday Morning.

One of my favorite sections in the book contains the sources which explain the tales, adaptations, retellings and even different variations. Some even have a little history with them which explains where these tales were heard and when. The illustrations by Stephen Gammell are perfect and never disappoint!

5 Sterne

Irish Washerman Tune – “Ba-Room”

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The Cat’s Paw

Continue reading “Halloween Reads For Children #2 – Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark 1-3”

Halloween Reads For Children #1 – Creepy Pair of Underwear!

Every day until Halloween I’ll post one of our favorite children’s reads for the fall and Halloween season which will end with a grand finale on Halloween!

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Today’s pick is:

Creepy Pair of Underwear!

by Aaron ReynoldsPeter Brown (Illustrator)

 

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Blurb: Jasper Rabbit is NOT a little bunny anymore. He’s not afraid of the dark, and he’s definitely not afraid of something as silly as underwear. But when the lights go out, suddenly his new big rabbit underwear glows in the dark. A ghoulish, greenish glow. If Jasper didn’t know any better he’d say his undies were a little, well, creepy. Jasper’s not scared obviously, he’s just done with creepy underwear. But after trying everything to get rid of them, they keep coming back!

My Thoughts:

We loved Creepy Carrots, so when we saw that Creepy Pair of Underwear came out, we couldn’t resist and had to grab it!

The story begins with Jasper Rabbit as he heads to the store with his mom to pick up some new underwear. He notices a new underwear section featuring creepy underwear and mom agrees that he can purchase them. He’s feeling so grown up and can’t wait to wear them to bed that night.

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When his mom shuts off the light, he notices that the underwear actually glows in the dark. He realizes that they are a little TOO creepy and becomes afraid! Jasper is a big rabbit and convinces himself that he’s not scared, or is he? He tries to hide the creepy underwear with the ghoulish glow in multiple places and even sends them to China, but they keep coming back.

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Follow along in the story and discover if Jasper can find a way to overcome his fear of the creepy pair of underwear.

We loved the illustrations and the story is adorable. Our rating on this one is 5-stars.

5 Sterne

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Continue reading “Halloween Reads For Children #1 – Creepy Pair of Underwear!”

Throwback Thursday: October 12th – The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme created by Renee @ It’s Book Talk. This meme is an awesome way to share old favorites that were published over a year ago or even books that you’re finally reading after much time has passed. I have plenty of those to share! If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, and you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic as well. Please link back to her@It’s Book Talk.

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This Week’s Pick

The Butterfly Garden (The Collector Book #1)

by Dot Hutchison

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Blurb: Near an isolated mansion lies a beautiful garden.

In this garden grow luscious flowers, shady trees…and a collection of precious “butterflies”—young women who have been kidnapped and intricately tattooed to resemble their namesakes. Overseeing it all is the Gardener, a brutal, twisted man obsessed with capturing and preserving his lovely specimens.

When the garden is discovered, a survivor is brought in for questioning. FBI agents Victor Hanoverian and Brandon Eddison are tasked with piecing together one of the most stomach-churning cases of their careers. But the girl, known only as Maya, proves to be a puzzle herself.

As her story twists and turns, slowly shedding light on life in the Butterfly Garden, Maya reveals old grudges, new saviors, and horrific tales of a man who’d go to any length to hold beauty captive. But the more she shares, the more the agents have to wonder what she’s still hiding…

My Thoughts:

The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison is a captivating thriller. The collector a.k.a. “The Gardner” begins collecting girls and tattooing them with beautiful designs.  His plan is to keep them until they reach a certain age and then make them permanent fixtures in his garden for all to see. The girls know their fate, but it’s a mystery exactly how and when it will come about. Maya is one of those girls, and the brave one. The Gardener sees something special in her and it might be more than he can handle as she devises a plan of her own.

I liked the characters and felt they had good development. Maya is tough and the main character throughout the story as she’s interrogated by the FBI while giving her side of the story. The Gardener isn’t completely understood, but what serial killer is? Here we have a man who’s living a separate life in his fantasy garden, and it works. When reading the book, I had flashbacks to some of my favorites like The Silence of the Lambs and Kiss The Girls. 

I wasn’t sure if I liked the format of the writing, but still remained fairly fascinated with the story. I found it difficult to read at times and even nightmarish, especially when Keely comes into the picture. It’s definitely not a book everyone will enjoy as it contains rape, kidnapping, and other sick and twisted events, although it seemed that some details were spared and it wasn’t overly gory. There were many twists and turns and it didn’t feel predictable at all.

There is a weird twist toward the end, but unfortunately, the ending was too abrupt and I wasn’t thoroughly satisfied with it. I still give this one 5-stars for captivation and a unique story.

This is one of my favorites for 2016.

Continue reading “Throwback Thursday: October 12th – The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison”

Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book – Sweet Golden Sun Juice – The Roses of May by Dot Hutchison

After last Wednesday’s Breakfast and Book, my week sort of fell apart. This week is much better and I hope everyone else is having a great week too. I’m back with a new book and recipe that I hope you will enjoy.

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Last week I mentioned that I was back to gluten-free again. It’s actually been close to a month now that I’ve not allowed myself to have any baked goods at all. I’m not supposed to have gluten, yet I’ve learned that a little bit won’t kill me, but my problem is moderation. Gluten causes me to have horrible sick feelings and headaches like you wouldn’t believe. So, I’ve pretty much stayed with salads, smoothies, and juices for the past four weeks or so and all is working out well. I’m still eating eggs and nuts too to help keep myself satisfied. My body is refreshed again and I’m feeling quite well.

One of the books I’ve been using is titled Healing Tonics, Juices, and Smoothies which I’ve already introduced to you in a previous Breakfast and a Book post featuring the Funky Monkey Smoothie. I have that smoothie nearly every day and love it so much. If you haven’t tried that smoothie yet, give it a chance because it’s my new favorite smoothie of the year!

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I thought I’d share one more favorite recipe from this book today as I’ll be reviewing it hopefully later today or tomorrow.


The juice recipe I’m sharing today is titled “Sweet Golden Sun” and it’s very delicious.

Here are the ingredients:

  • 1 inch of fresh turmeric (I’m using fresh dried turmeric)
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1/2 of a pineapple

That’s it! Three ingredients!

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Directions:

Wash and peel all produce. If you’re using fresh turmeric, start with that and juice everything after it. This allows the sweet potato and pineapple to push all that wonderful turmeric goodness out of the juicer and into your cup.

Why do I love this recipe so much? It’s packed full of nutrients and turmeric is a huge anti-inflammatory. This is a great start to your morning and a great cold/flu fighter.

*This can be adapted into a smoothie very easily. Just cook the sweet potato first, then blend everything in the blender. This is a great winter smoothie.*

Here’s what I did:

Wash, chop, and peel. I already had some pineapple in the refrigerator ready to go.

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I’m using some smaller size sweet potatoes. One garnet yam and two Japanese sweet potatoes. Japanese sweet potatoes are my absolute favorite and they’re so sweet.

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I’m using fresh dried turmeric that I dried. It’s so easy to do and I’ll do a post on that soon.

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Put the produce through the juicer alternating with pineapple and sweet potato. Save the dried turmeric for after the juice is complete.

Mix in about 3/4 tsp dried turmeric to your juice.

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Continue reading “Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book – Sweet Golden Sun Juice – The Roses of May by Dot Hutchison”

Shabby Sunday: Frankenstein by Ian Thorne – Monster Series 1977

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Today is my 8th Shabby Sunday! To see all the Shabby Sunday books that I’ve chosen, please click on ‘Shabby Sunday’ under categories.


Shabby Sunday Meme

I have a lot of old vintage books and one of my plans when I first started blogging was to do a post every week or so that shared one of my cherished vintage books. Then, I thought that maybe there might be other book bloggers out there that have some vintage books, heirlooms, or maybe some old books from childhood that they might want to share. I decided to start a weekly meme titled ‘Shabby Sunday’ for those who would like to participate and share some of their old vintage books. Do you have some shabby books you’d like to share? Please feel free to participate. Feel free to use the picture I’ve provided if you’d like to. If you decide to do this meme, please consider linking back to me so that I can see the book you’re sharing.


 

Today’s shabby share is:

Frankenstein (Monsters Series)

by Ian Thorne

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The cover on this one features Lon Chaney Jr. as the monster in “Ghost of Frankenstein.”
Blurb: Briefly discusses the origin of the Frankenstein legend and the portrayal of Dr. Frankenstein and his creation in films. Also presents a synopsis of the 1931 film starring Boris Karloff.

I chose this book because it’s a childhood favorite from 1977, my birth year. This entire series is actually quite rare and expensive to build. As of now, I only have two of the entire set which includes King Kong and this Frankenstein book featured here. I’m not even sure how many there are in the set, but so far, these are the titles I’ve located online.

The Blob
Frankenstein
Frankenstein meets wolfman
The Wolfman
King Kong
Mad Scientists
The Creature from the Black Lagoon
Dracula
The Mummy
The Deadly Mantis
It Came from Outer Space
The Murder in the Rue Morgue
The Invisible Man
Godzilla

My Thoughts:

The Frankenstein installment in the “Monsters Series” begins with a fairly complete summary of the very first “Frankenstein” movie from 1910. There are many photos from the original film with captions that explain what’s happening in the picture and also gives the character names. It even explains facts about the original creator of “Frankenstein” –  Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin aka Mary Shelley, and how the story came about.

As the story moves on, readers learn about subsequent Frankenstein movies, the actors who played the roles in the films, and even a little bit about “The Munsters” – one of my favorite shows when I was a kid. It ends with a synopsis of the 1974 TV version “Frankenstein: The True Story.”

Overall, I love this “Monsters Series” edition and I’m happy to have it. My edition is really shabby with markings and stickers as it was a previous library book that I picked up at a sale. I can still remember reading this series in grade school and we always called them “the orange monster books.” I hope to complete the entire set in the future. My rating for this edition is 5-stars.


Add it on Goodreads or find this edition on Amazon

  • Series: Monsters Series
  • Library Binding: 46 pages
  • Publisher: Crestwood House; Library Binding edition (June 1977)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0913940666
  • ISBN-13: 978-0913940662

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Continue reading “Shabby Sunday: Frankenstein by Ian Thorne – Monster Series 1977”

The Fall Book Tag!

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I’ve been seeing this tag everywhere and couldn’t wait to do it. This tag was created by Shanah from Bionic Book Worm. All of the graphics used belong to her. I’d like to thank her for creating such a wonderful tag! This is my favorite time of year and I really enjoyed this. Here are some of the blogs I’ve seen recently that have done this tag…

The Introverted Book Nerd

Kristin Kraves Books

Thrice Read

Book Chanted Blog


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The White Raven

by Carrie D. Miller

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I just read this last month and I loved it! It isn’t like any other book I’ve read this year and the story revolves around witches and magick. Perfect for this time of year!


 

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The Kind Worth Killing

by Peter Swanson

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This is a psychological thriller that I really couldn’t figure out until the end and I was fairly shocked by it! I listened to this on audible and it’s one of my favorite books for 2017. I was late on this one.


 

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The Bear and the Nightingale

by Katherine Arden

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I’m going to go with The Bear and the Nightingale. I read this one earlier in the year when it was still wintry outside and it was just perfect. I loved it. Sadly, I didn’t feel the same way with the second installment.


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The Pumpkin Cookbook

by Edith Stovel

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How about The Pumpkin Cookbook? I just bought this not to long ago and it’s one of my favorite cookbooks this year! It contains tons of recipes using pumpkin. Love Love Love!


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Dark Matter

by Blake Crouch

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It’s hard to pick just one book for this, but I’ll go with Dark Matter. For me, I just couldn’t put this book down and I raced to the finish. It was a pretty crazy ride!


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I definitely can’t just pick one! I have at least ten books that I’m highly anticipating, but I haven’t been able to get to them yet due to current reading responsibilities. These three are literally calling my name from my shelf and I look at them everyday.

Continue reading “The Fall Book Tag!”

Throwback Thursday – October 5th- Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme created by Renee @ It’s Book Talk. This meme is an awesome way to share favorites that were published over a year ago or even books that you’re finally reading after much time has passed. I have plenty of those to share! If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, and you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic as well. Please link back to her@It’s Book Talk.

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This Week’s Pick

Gone Girl

by Gillian Flynn

 

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Blurb: On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

My Thoughts:

Nick and Amy Dunne are preparing to celebrate their 5th wedding anniversary when suddenly, Amy disappears and as the investigation unfolds, it appears that the marriage wasn’t as perfect as it seemed. Others begin to wonder if Nick could be the perpetrator and the book will leave you wondering what really happened to Amy throughout.

I loved this book, and honestly, I couldn’t predict what was going to happen because the plot was completely twisted. I went in completely blind and that’s what I would recommend to everyone else. You will more than likely be shocked. It’s one of the best psychological thrillers I’ve read, slow at times, but the story picks up and then you’re in for the ride. To me, the characters were fairly unforgettable!

I admire the way Gillian Flynn writes and I’m looking forward to reading more from this author. I mixed the book and audible for this one and I did enjoy the narration.

My rating on this one is 4 stars.

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You can find this book on Amazon and Goodreads

  • Paperback: 422 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books; Reprint edition (April 22, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307588378
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307588371

Continue reading “Throwback Thursday – October 5th- Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn”

Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book – The Hearts Invisible Furies – Vitamin C Smoothie

Happy Wednesday everyone! I hope everyone is having a great week so far. Here’s a new recipe and book for this week!

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Last month I had to go back to strictly gluten free and have been making mainly juice and smoothie recipes. Last time I shared the ‘Funky Monkey‘ smoothie, and let me tell you, I’ve had that smoothie nearly every day since! I love it. I can’t say enough about the book where I found this recipe- Healing Tonics, Juices, and Smoothies. This is a five-star book for me and I’ll be reviewing it this week!

So, today’s recipe is one that I’ve made for years and thought I’d share it because some people don’t like banana in their smoothies and this one is bananaless! It’s chock-full of vitamin C which we could all use a hefty dose of this time of year as the colds and flu sweep in. I’ve already heard of a few cases of flu near my home state, so why not be prepared?

The Recipe: Vitamin C Smoothie

1 cup of milk of your choice – I’m using coconut, but almond works great too.
1 cup of strawberries (frozen preferred)
1 cup of pineapple
1 to 2 oranges (a few tbsp of orange juice concentrate work well as a sub)
1 slice of ginger
1 Tbsp of raw honey
Supplements of your choice* See below
1 cup of ice or a little less if you’re using frozen strawberries

Directions:

Put everything in the blender in the order listed. Ice is always last.

Here’s what I did

I didn’t have coconut milk, so I basically just add in dried coconut and water and make my own. I used about a 1/3 cup of coconut. This brand does not contain sulfites which is why I buy it.

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I added the coconut to about a cup of water. I’m not going to blend it yet and will add everything before blending.

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Add everything else in, ending with the frozen ingredients. The pineapple I chopped up includes the core. Don’t kick out the core! It’s a very healthy addition that can be blended. It contains the highest concentration of bromelain, which helps reduce pain and inflammation in the body. The Vitamix has no issues with shredding the core up.

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Use frozen strawberries for a nice thick smoothie. To freeze strawberries, just put them on a cookie tray so they’re all separated and freeze for about 6 hours or so. Then take them out and store them in a bag.

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Also, store the remaining pineapple in the fridge in a jar or other container. I like using glass whenever possible when it comes to storing cut produce.

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Peel the ginger and add.

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Add the honey. I love this Great Lakes brand honey I found at Costco. You know it’s raw when it won’t slip off the spoon.

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I added a few supplements: Lucuma powder, Maca Powder, and Bee Pollen – about a teaspoon each.

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Maca is a superfood and great for regulating hormones. Lucuma is also a superfood powder that’s great at removing inflammation from the body, helps maintain skin health, and promotes physical endurance.

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Bee Pollen – Some people are allergic to this, but I have severe seasonal allergies and I’ve never had any issues with it. It’s so close to being a perfect food as it has all the nutrients that humans need to survive. Here’s what Dr. Axe has to say about Bee Pollen…

“Bee pollen is wonderful for natural allergy relief and is responsible for the many health benefits of raw honey. It’s rich in vitamins, minerals, proteins, lipids and fatty acids, enzymes, carotenoids and bioflavonoids — making it an antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral agent that strengthens the capillaries, reduces inflammation, stimulates the immune system and lowers cholesterol levels naturally.”

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Blend it up!

You can click on the pictures below.

The smoothie is done in 40 seconds or less!

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This one is very sweet and has a tropical flavor. Delicious!

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Continue reading “Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book – The Hearts Invisible Furies – Vitamin C Smoothie”