Friday, October 24, 2014

Book spotlight~ "Andy Smithson: Disgrace of the Unicorn's Honor" by L.R.W. Lee

Andy, now twelve, discovers more than he bargained for when his parents reveal his mom’s past and he realizes she will die when he breaks the curse unless he intervenes.

Andy returns to Oomaldee to find its citizens on edge after many have been turned into vulture-people. Against this background, Andy and his company embark upon the next quest, to retrieve the horn of a unicorn. But not long into it, a seductive voice calls to Andy, tempting him to surrender the next ingredient in exchange for a promise to preserve his mom. Will he be able to stop the transformation of Oomaldee’s citizens? Will he jeopardize his ability to end the curse to save Mom?

Praise for this book!
"Andy Smithson will take on any problem that comes his way. The scenes and dialog in this book come alive on the page. I felt Andy’s emotions and victories, and I was with him for his pain and recovery. This is an amazing adventure that I have been impatiently waiting to read since book two!" - Rena Marthaler, Rena Writes (Rena is 10) 

"Sometimes, I just let the 5 star rating speak for itself. I can add nothing more." - Wayne Walker, Home School Book Review

"A long-lasting story that is part of one of my favorite series."
- Erik Weibel, This Kid Reviews Books Blog (Erik is 13)

“I loved reading Disgrace of the Unicorn's Honor as much as I enjoyed the first two in the series. New life changing truths are revealed, Andy and friends go on high adventures, meet new characters and continue to battle evil. I was not ready for the book to end. As usual, L.R.W. Lee leaves Andy in an interesting spot and the reader longing for the story to go on. Can't wait for Book 4!” – Maggie T. Amazon Reviewer


This is a third book in a series.  I have read the first book and I thought it was wonderful.   The opening paragraph of my review of  Blast of the Dragon's Fury is below.  I loved it so much that I requested my local library purchase a copy for all children to enjoy.  I was the first to check it out!

Andy Smithson:Blast of the Dragon's Furyis a wonderful story for kids from middle grade to the tween years to read on their own. It is great for younger children who have an adult who will read it to them.

Digital copies of Blast of the Dragon's Fury are currently FREE!

Links for Book 2 ~ Venom of the Serpents Cunning

All Three books can be purchased together on Kindle and Nook. for $8.99

L. R. W. Lee writes to teach her readers principles that can transform their lives – overcoming frustration, impatience, fear and more. She also shows why responsibility, diligence and dignity are the keys to true success in life. L. R. W. Lee lives in scenic Austin, TX with her husband, daughter and son.

Connect with L. R. W. at: Twitter *  Website *   Facebook

Book Review ~ "A is for Abstinence" by Kelly Oram

A is for Abstinence (V is for Virgin #2)A is for Abstinence by Kelly Oram
Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Received to Review
Genre: New Adult Romance

Book Description:  Six-time Grammy Award-winning musician Kyle Hamilton has it all—money, fame, talent, good looks, and a job he loves. His only regret in life: walking away from a certain notorious virgin because he was too prideful, stubborn, and even afraid to give her the only thing she asked of him—his abstinence.

Four years and a broken heart later, Kyle realizes that sex isn’t everything, and he suddenly can’t stop thinking about the girl that got away. Virgin Val Jensen got under his skin like no one else ever has. He wasn’t ready for her then, but things are different now. He’s grown up, he’s learned a few things, and he’s finally figured out exactly what he wants, or, rather, who he wants.

Kyle Hamilton wants a do-over, and this time he’s willing to do—or not do—whatever it takes.

My thoughts: The events in this book take place four years after V is for Virgin. In order to fully comprehend this story you need to read the first book.

Kyle and Valerie are the characters in the book. They have a history that is rocky at best. Valerie started a campaign in high school promoting waiting until marriage until having sex. If someone didn't wait, they could take the A is for Abstinence pledge. Kyle was very opposed to the idea, he had a thing for Valerie and wanted the physical relationship. As a rock star, he could have any girl he wanted, so why pin his future on Valerie?

This book is told from Kyle's point of view. Four years have passed and he is not living a happy and fulfilling life. His life is shallow, his relationships lack meaning. He begins to see the logic and meaning behind Valerie's pledges and hopes that it's not too late to win her back.

This whole book revolves around Kyle's thought process of sex. The meaning of sex, the beauty of having a committed relationship before sex, etc. There are not explicit scenes in the book, but it is the theme of the book. As such, I wouldn't recommend this book to a teenager who is not struggling with this subject. It might be good for teens who feel pressured into premature sexual relationships.

I enjoyed the dialogue between characters. There is a lot of sarcastic humor. The bantering and bargaining between characters was fun to read. The book also contains mild swearing.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Book Review ~ "An October Bride" by Katie Ganshert

An October Bride (A Year of Weddings, #11)An October Bride by Katie Ganshert
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: Netgalley - to review
Genre: Clean Romance

Book Description: A year's worth of novellas from twelve inspirational romance authors. Happily ever after guaranteed.
She wants to make her father's dream come true. She doesn't realize her own dream has been in front of her the whole time.
Emma Tate isn't a risk taker, so everyone in her small Midwest town is surprised when she suddenly becomes engaged to lifelong friend Jake Sawyer. No one but Jake and Emma know the true reason they're getting married---so Emma's dying father can walk her down the aisle.
While Jake and Emma plan an autumn wedding together, it becomes clear that their agreement has a few complications---the biggest being their true feelings for each other.
In this novella by award-winning author Katie Ganshert, a young woman must reconcile her dying father's dreams with her own dreams for love and for her future.

My thoughts: Cute, fun, hopeful, clean, and  love are adjectives that can be used to describe this book. I loved the story and the characters. This is unusual in a novella for me. It usually takes me a while to connect with the characters and feel invested in their story.

Emma loves her father. She would do anything for him. When she finds his bucket list and discovers his desire to walk her down the aisle, she wants nothing more than to fulfill that wish. He is battling cancer and only has a short time left to live.

Jake just happens to be at her home and volunteers to be the groom. He doesn't want her to have a life of regrets. He is a childhood friend and the object of her high school crush. She agrees to the plan with reservations, but as time progresses, the idea of marriage to Jake becomes more desirable.

The characters are friends first. There is a genuine love and respect for each other. There are many misunderstandings as well. I loved to read how they were able to come to a very happy conclusion.

This book is part of a series of novella's that are each a stand alone book. They are all clean! An October Bride is a great addition to the series and one of my favorites.

Book Review ~ "Marriage of Mercy" by Carla Kelly

Marriage of MercyMarriage of Mercy by Carla Kelly
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Source; Purchased by me
Genre: Historical Romantic Fiction

Book Description: From riches to rags, Grace has had to swallow her pride and get a job as a baker. But everything changes when she's the beneficiary of a surprise inheritance.Her benefactor's deal comes with a catch: give up her life of toil and live in luxury only if she marries his illegitimate son, a prisoner of war. It's an offer she can't afford to refuse. But her husband-to-be is dying, and he begs her to take one of his men instead—to marry purely out of mercy….

A marriage of convenience with a complete stranger… Could this arrangement ever work?

My thoughts: This book is different than I thought it would be. The synopsis and title made think it would e a different story. I enjoyed the book, just wondering who wrote the synopsis and came up with the title?

Grace went from riches to rags. She was forced to leave her home after her father's death, with no family to turn to and nowhere to go. She showed her fortitude and ingenuity when she offered to work for a baker whom her father owed money.

Ten years pass, she did well with her life and made friends by her friendliness and kindness. This paid off when she received an inheritance, 30 pound a year and life in a dowager house. The only catch was that she had to take care of the illegitimate son of her benefactor. He would be released as a prisoner of war into her custody. The problem when she went to get him, he was dying. He begged her to take another prisoner in his stead.

Here is where the book differs from the book description, marriage was not a stipulation. It was straight forward, she would watch over the prisoner,she would have a place to live, and an income.

Marriage was a large part of the book. Grace felt bad that she never had the opportunity to marry. She could no longer marry a member of the gentry, and a commoner would think her too elevated to be worth marrying. Rob, the prisoner, let her know that in America, she would have a better chance of finding a husband.

I did enjoy the characters. There is far more to many of them than appears on the surface.

This book does not fit in the mold of the other Carla Kelly books I have read. I look forward to reading her books because I usually get a good, clean romance. This book does not fit into the clean category. There is detailed intimate relations between the characters.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Blog Tour ~ "Sweet Unrest" by Lisa Maxwell + giveaway

Sweet UnrestSweet Unrest by Lisa Maxwell
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Source: Netgalley (to review)
Genre: YA Ghost Story

Book Description:  A world where souls walk free and dreams become portals to the past…

Lucy Aimes has always been practical. But even her rational mind can't explain her dark and familiar dreams of a time long ago, filled with people she shouldn't know, but does. When her family moves to New Orleans, Lucy's dreams suddenly become more intense. Reluctantly drawn into the old city's mystical undercurrent, she searches for answers about the nighttime visions that haunt her.

What Lucy finds is Alex, a mysterious boy who behaves as if they've known each other forever. They've only just met, and she shouldn't be drawn to him, but she is. As she tries to unlock Alex's secrets, a killer strikes close to home and a century-old vendetta unspools, putting Lucy and everyone she loves in mortal danger.

My thoughts:  This book was great to read during the month of October. It has a spooky atmosphere and story line.

Lucy reluctantly moves to New Orleans with her family. Her father's work takes them to a plantation that has secrets. Her dreams are gradually unlocking the secrets and taking her down a dangerous path.  For her, the past and present collide.

Alex is a strange addition to Lucy's life. The moment she sees him, he becomes her focus. It doesn't take long for him to enter her dreams, as she sees events that occurred on the plantation 150 years ago.

This is a haunting love story. The characters are not what they seem. Lisa Maxwell does a great job at revealing the secrets a little at a time, making the story interesting. I liked the aspect of adding voodoo to the story. It's not a subject that I am very familiar with. Some of the voodoo added to spooky aspect of the story.

This book contains violence and  kissing.

Purchase Links:

About the Author:  Lisa Maxwell is the author of Sweet Unrest   (Flux, Fall 2014) and Heartless Things (Simon Pulse, Spring 2016). She has a PhD in English, and when she's not writing books, she’s a professor at a local college. She lives near DC with her very patient husband and two not-so patient boys.

Enter the Tour Giveaway!

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Book Review ~ "Gabriel Finley and the Raven's Riddle" by George Hagenn

Gabriel Finley and the Raven's RiddleGabriel Finley and the Raven's Riddle by George Hagen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Source; Netgalley (received to review)
Genre: Middle Grade Adventure

Book Description: How can twelve-year-old Gabriel find his missing father, who seems to have vanished without a trace? With the help of Paladin—a young raven with whom he has a magical bond that enables them to become one creature—he flies to the foreboding land of Aviopolis, where he must face a series of difficult challenges and unanswerable riddles that could lead to his father... or to his death.

My thoughts: Riddles, ravens, black magic, ancient legends, a dancing desk, and unlikely friends are aspects to look forward to when reading Gabriel Finley and the Raven's Riddle.

At the beginning of the book Gabriel is turning 12. He is a very intelligent boy who lives with his aunt. His father disappeared three years ago leaving him in the custody of his aunt. He is a master at riddles and has an affinity for ravens.

Gabriel has to figure out a riddle in order to save his father, save the world from black magic, and help out his friends. It was refreshing to read about a young boy using his mind more than his brawn.

This book is fun for middle grade readers. I love the child characters. Many of the adults were not fun characters to read about. The book illustrates the value of choices and the consequences of bad choices.

This is a book that is engaging and would be fun for middle grade kids to read. For me, it all wrapped up a little too neatly. It appears that there may be another adventure planned for Gabriel. It would be interesting to see what adventures await him and his friends.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Wonderfully Wicked Read-A-Thon Goals!! #WWReadathon

I almost forgot that today was the start of the Wonderfully Wicked Read-a-Thon!

OK ~ My goals!!!

1.  This time I want to visit more of the other participants in the read-a-thon.  I plan on visiting and commenting on at least 15 posts.  Doesn't seem like much, but I'm not that great at visiting.  I am usually running around taking my kids from place to place. :)

2. Read a total of 7 books.!!  I have Sweet Unrest scheduled for review.  I knew this time of the year was tough for me, so I cut  back on tours.

Here are some of the books that I will for sure read, the rest will be bonus determined on my mood.  Sometimes I get in the mood to read something that suddenly appeals to me. :)

Ok - there they are.  Each of the pictures are linked to the goodreads book page.

Interesting in Signing Up?  YOU  can do so at this link.

I will be updating my progress at the bottom of this post.  I'll put the cute graphic in my sidebar linked to this post.


Books completed for read-a-thon.

1. Gabriel Finley and the Raven's Riddle on 10/18
2. Sweat Unrest on 10/20
I also visited and commented on 5 participating blogs. :)
3. Marriage of Mercy on 10/22
4. An October Bride on 10/22
5. A is for Abstinence 10/23

Book blast~ "Hot Pursuit" by Susan Dayley + giveaway

Hot Pursuit

Kennady thought she’d found the perfect summer escape—working at a resort in Jackson Hole. But then Atticus comes to town, an international conference threatens world finances, and a Mexican cartel shows up to stop the conspirators. When Kennady’s friend Chelo gets entangled with a handsome and possibly dangerous man, her own life is threatened. From eco-terrorism and kidnappings, to gunshots and an earthquake, Jackson was not an escape after all. BONUS: Hot Pursuit offers two storylines with two different endings for each. Also includes links to images, music, information about location, and other fun details that relate to the story.

Read an Excerpt

The car barely hummed as it moved rapidly through the increasing dusk. They were heading out of the Jackson area, but Chelo had lost track of the direction. “Where are we going?” “It’s a piece of property my father owns,” Xavier replied. “Most summers since I turned fifteen, I spent a month here.” “So my father contacted your father because he had property around here?” Chelo watched out the window, hoping to memorize landmarks. But the closing darkness only allowed her to see the occasional mile markers that whipped past much too often. “Not exactly. Our fathers are cousins, and family helps family. Our cabin and my knowledge of the area were a bonus.” They roared down the narrow highway, well over the speed limit. When they passed other cars, Chelo held her breath in fear, her nails digging into the door handle. Any moment the car could blow a tire, causing them to spin out of control and plummet over the side of the mountain. Chelo realized she had only herself to depend on. Nobody knew she’d left with Xavier. She had to stay calm and think her way out of this. “So everything has been a lie.” “No.” He eased back behind a car rather than pass on a curve. “I had no idea how beautiful you would be, or how much I’d enjoy our time together. That is real.” She stared ahead, avoiding his eyes. He turned down a lane that cut through thick lodgepole pines. A rail fence lined the road on either side. “Why are you bringing me here?” she asked. After a hundred yards Xavier stopped before a closed gate. “Your father would like to talk to you, but first I’ve got to open this. Now I can drag you out there with me so you don’t run away, or you can wait until I get back and I’ll drive you to where you can talk to him.” Chelo suddenly felt excited. She hadn’t seen her papa in over a year. She missed the cigar smell that clung to his clothes, and how his eyes lit up when he saw her. “I’ll wait,” she told Xavier. The gate, made of logs, swung on large iron hinges. Xavier came back to the car and drove through, leaving the entrance open. The final light from the setting sun had gone, and they drove down a dark lane. At the end, the trees opened to a clearing with a stable to the left and a log-framed house to the right. A waning moon lit the space and flashed silver through the trees from where it reflected off a body of water. At the edge of the headlights, a long rope hung from a high branch, with a tire tied on the end of it. For a moment, Chelo pictured Xavier as a lean, tall youth, swinging recklessly over the roof of the cabin, then plunging earthward again, laughing and letting go with one hand. “Chelo? Come inside.” He had gotten out of the car and walked around to get her door. She stepped out into the chilly air. Over the chorus of crickets, she could hear the sound of a rushing river. Above, in a space between the treetops, three bright stars shone in the sky. She hoped her father would come out and meet her here. Xavier took her elbow and guided her toward the front porch. The door didn’t open to welcoming arms. Why is the place so dark? The headlights on his car faded, but Xavier slipped a key into the lock on the heavy cabin door and opened it quickly. He flipped a light switch, and the magic of moonlight and stars vanished with the realization of an empty room. “I thought you said my father was here,” Chelo growled, assessing the wood-paneled space filled with rustic leather furniture and plaid wool blankets. “I said he wanted to talk to you. Have a seat and I’ll get us a Coke.” “Where is my dad?” she yelled. “I only said that you’d get to talk to him.” The shock hit her like a blow to the gut. “You’re a bully, Xavier—a mean, low-class thug.” Her voice came out scratchy with fear. Without her father there to help her, she felt unprotected. Xavier only laughed. “Don’t get all worked up. You’ll talk to him soon.” Xavier went into an adjoining room and turned on another light. Chelo looked about for a weapon. Over a rock fireplace, a heavy beam served as a mantle. A brass clock noisily ticked off the seconds. Xavier returned and handed her an open can. She turned away. “You are a liar. You do not care about me.” “It’s just a Coke,” he coaxed. She snatched the can from him and took a short drink. Despite her growing panic, a jolt of caffeine might help her carry through with an escape. Behind him, the clock on the mantle looked heavy enough to knock him out, but too large to conceal behind her back. And the sharp edges might cut his skull. I’ve never been good around blood. She drank again. The pop tasted good. Next to the clock sat a basket filled with dusty eucalyptus leaves and dried berries. She took another drink. “So your dad is my dad’s cousin? Then you are my uncle? No, that’s not right.” Her mind had trouble making sense. Maybe she could go outside and get some fresh air. Her head began to ache. “Sit down,” he said. “You don’t look too good.” He tugged at her elbow and she mechanically moved toward a sofa, but the motion made her dizzy. She let her knees bend until she sank into the leather cushion. She raised her head and tried to focus. Next to the basket on the mantle, just before a series of framed pictures, three white wooden candlesticks with white candles on them offered another choice. The candlesticks had smooth bulging curves. One of them would be perfect. “Here, have another drink—it’ll clear your head,” he said, easing her elbow upward. What he said made no sense, but she drank anyway. Nothing is making sense. I need to get to the candlesticks. She tried to think of something to say to distract Xavier. “When do I talk to my father? Is he on his way?” Chelo tried to stand up so she could walk casually toward the fireplace. “Some friends are bringing a satellite phone. We’ll call him then.” Xavier spoke right next to her. Why was the fireplace still across the room? She realized she hadn’t stood up yet. And then she looked at the picture closest to the candlesticks. She recognized Xavier, though he looked about fifteen. He held a gun casually across his chest. It wasn’t a hunting rifle. She’d seen that type of gun all her life back home. He reached out and took the soda can from her just before she slumped backward. A thought hovered around her slipping consciousness, like smoke from her father’s cigars, then drifted away before the words could form. He drugged me.



Author Susan Dayley Susan writes constantly, gardens in rich earth, hikes where the sky brushes the mountains, loves without restraint, reads in between, and shovels snow in serpentine patterns. She is the author of Cold Pursuit, and Redemption, the story of Jonah.

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