Monthly Archives: September 2009

Book Review: Tidings of Great Boys by Shelley Adina


Tidings of Great Boys (All About Us, #5)

“Some people are born with the gift of friendship. Some achieve it. And then you have people like me, who have friendship thrust upon them.”

This is my first experience with the All About Us series and it was thoroughly enjoyable! You meet a close knit group of teenage girls from the exclusive Spencer Academy at the end of their fall term. Tidings of Great Boys is the fifth book in the series and focuses on Lady Lindsay Margaret Eithne MacPhail, a.k.a. “Mac”, the daughter of a Scottish earl and an heiress, with 500 year old family castle. Mac invites her closest friends to spend Christmas in Scotland. They all come. Her best friend Carly Aragon, with an eye for fashion and the captain of the crew team as her boyfriend, turns down an invite to her mother’s second wedding to be there. New York loudmouth Gillian Chang is fashion plate with a photographic memory, a stellar academic record and a natural musical ability. Lissa Mansfield, daughter of world renowned film producer, is a laid back Santa Barbara girl, except when she’s ferociously protective of her friends. Shani is longtime family friend and former betrothed of Prince Rashid al Amir, Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Yasir. Mac’s excited about this chance to show her friends the Scotland she loves – and she has a secret plan to bring her parents back together.

Tidings of Great Boys is a fun read! Not only are each of the young characters well fleshed out but you can clearly feel the warmth and affection that they have for each other. The book isn’t limited to banter, there is plenty of action and humor woven in. Each chapter brings you closer and closer to the crazy ending. You’ll finish the book both satisfied and looking forward to the next in the series.

Publisher: FaithWords (September 8, 2009), 256 pages.
Courtesy to the publisher.

Thanks so much to Miriam and Hatchette Book Group for this opportunity!

Book Review of Close Encounters of the Third-Grade Kind: Thoughts on Teacherhood by Phillip Done


Synopsis:

An elementary school teacher for over 20 years, Phillip Done takes us through a funny and adventure packed year in the classroom. Beginning with the back-to-school sales and preparations in August and going through each month’s lessons and highlights, Phillip Done shares the delights and laughs that have kept him satisfied in his job. He’s taken trick-or-treating by students, taught children to trap leprechauns, showed them how to master cursive and compose letters, and taught long division – all the while being a beloved force in the kids’ lives.

Review:

Even if you think that you’re not that fond of kids, this book will make you laugh. It might even encourage you to spend time with your nieces and nephews. If you have kids or love kids, I have no doubt that you’ll love this book.

Phillip Done tells these stories of classroom antics so well, that not only do you feel that you’re right there, you wish that you could follow him around. He reminds me of my favorite teachers and why I loved school. But the best part of the book are the children who come alive and the love that they show each other and their teacher. Read about Done’s pistol assessments to determine which children to watch out for, how “pillow student” Rebecca was able to catch up with her classmates, how Done handles the tooth fairy and Halloween, and the different reading strategies that children have developed. Then enjoy the deep and uncomplicated laughs that burst out!

Publisher: Center Street (September 4, 2009), 336 pages.
Courtesy of the publisher.

About the Author, courtesy of his website:

Phillip Done knows it is a childโ€™s birthday without looking at the calendar, that broken candy canes do not taste as good as unbroken ones, that peanut M&Ms spark in the microwave (Peeps do not), and that measuring the diameter of an Oreo cookie is more fun than measuring the diameter of a coffee can lid. After pumping up his 500th red rubber ball, he decided it was time to write it all down. Hence, 32 Third Graders and One Class Bunny and Close Encounters of the Third-Grade Kind: Thoughts on Teacherhood were born.

A veteran of twenty-plus years in the classroom, Done is a five-time champion of the staff watermelon-eating contest and was nominated for the Disney Teacher of the Year Award. He took a pie in the face at this yearโ€™s school talent show and was honored as a Teacher of the Year in California. When not searching for envelopes for newly pulled teeth or making rain parkas out of Hefty bags on rainy field trips, Phil accepted the prestigious Charles Schwab Distinguished Teacher Award from Charles Schwab himself. (He refrained from asking Mr. Schwab if Intel was a good buy.)

Born in San Jose, California, he grew up in Sunnyvale, attended Fremont High School, and studied music and education at San Jose State University. He currently lives in Mountain View, California. His passions are teaching, old movies, and garage sales. His writing has also appeared in Real Simple, Instructor, Parent and Child, and NEA Today. Learn more about Phillip Done and his books on Phillip Done’s website at http://www.phillipdone.org.php5-12.websitetestlink.com/

Thanks so much to Anna and Hatchette Book Group for this opportunity!

Book Review: Tidings of Great Boys by Shelley Adina


Tidings of Great Boys (All About Us, #5)

“Some people are born with the gift of friendship. Some achieve it. And then you have people like me, who have friendship thrust upon them.”

This is my first experience with the All About Us series and it was thoroughly enjoyable! You meet a close knit group of teenage girls from the exclusive Spencer Academy at the end of their fall term. Tidings of Great Boys is the fifth book in the series and focuses on Lady Lindsay Margaret Eithne MacPhail, a.k.a. “Mac”, the daughter of a Scottish earl and an heiress, with 500 year old family castle. Mac invites her closest friends to spend Christmas in Scotland. They all come. Her best friend Carly Aragon, with an eye for fashion and the captain of the crew team as her boyfriend, turns down an invite to her mother’s second wedding to be there. New York loudmouth Gillian Chang is fashion plate with a photographic memory, a stellar academic record and a natural musical ability. Lissa Mansfield, daughter of world renowned film producer, is a laid back Santa Barbara girl, except when she’s ferociously protective of her friends. Shani is longtime family friend and former betrothed of Prince Rashid al Amir, Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Yasir. Mac’s excited about this chance to show her friends the Scotland she loves – and she has a secret plan to bring her parents back together.

Tidings of Great Boys is a fun read! Not only are each of the young characters well fleshed out but you can clearly feel the warmth and affection that they have for each other. The book isn’t limited to banter, there is plenty of action and humor woven in. Each chapter brings you closer and closer to the crazy ending. You’ll finish the book both satisfied and looking forward to the next in the series.

Publisher: FaithWords (September 8, 2009), 256 pages.
Courtesy to the publisher.

Thanks so much to Miriam and Hatchette Book Group for this opportunity!

Cym Lowell’s Book Review Blog Party + $25 Amazon GC


CymLowell

I met Cym Lowell at ThrillerFest – he’s an author, a blogger, and internationally recognized tax attorney. But aside from being accomplished and quite impressive, he’s a genuinely nice guy. He’s hosting a Book Review Blog Party this week and offering a $25 gift certificate from Amazon as a prize.

The Book Review Blog Party is open to old and new reviews of any genre. Interested? Here are the rules:

Link up any (old or new, any genre) book review that you have written to the below Mr. Linky at Cym Lowell’s blog. Then follow these rules:

1. Add a permalink to your specific post, not the main page of your blog.
2. List the name of your blog and then in parenthesis include a little information about your book review (title and/or author, genre etc.) Be sure to use spaces and limit characters to 75. For example, Gaby @ Starting Fresh (The Riddle of Berlin by Cym Lowell, Thriller).
3. Link to the party from your post so everyone can get in on the fun. You can add the Book Review Blog Party Badge at the end of your post for easier linking.

4. Visit the other Links and leave comments ๐Ÿ™‚

That’s it- I’m off to link my review of William Kamkwamba‘s The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind. I just came from his talk and book signing at Barnes & Noble Tribeca. I was there early and had a chance to speak to him, his mentor Tom Reilly, and his co-author Bryan Mealer which was wonderful. It was amazing to actually meet William and to hear him, Tom and Bryan share the details of William’s story. More about William Kamkwamba and The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind shortly!

So, to join Cym Lowell’s Book Review Blog Party, just head on over to http://cymlowell.blogspot.com/2009/09/book-review-party-wednesday.html

Cym Lowell’s Book Review Blog Party + $25 Amazon GC


CymLowell

I met Cym Lowell at ThrillerFest – he’s an author, a blogger, and internationally recognized tax attorney. But aside from being accomplished and quite impressive, he’s a genuinely nice guy. He’s hosting a Book Review Blog Party this week and offering a $25 gift certificate from Amazon as a prize.

The Book Review Blog Party is open to old and new reviews of any genre. Interested? Here are the rules:

Link up any (old or new, any genre) book review that you have written to the below Mr. Linky at Cym Lowell’s blog. Then follow these rules:

1. Add a permalink to your specific post, not the main page of your blog.
2. List the name of your blog and then in parenthesis include a little information about your book review (title and/or author, genre etc.) Be sure to use spaces and limit characters to 75. For example, Gaby @ Starting Fresh (The Riddle of Berlin by Cym Lowell, Thriller).
3. Link to the party from your post so everyone can get in on the fun. You can add the Book Review Blog Party Badge at the end of your post for easier linking.

4. Visit the other Links and leave comments ๐Ÿ™‚

That’s it- I’m off to link my review of William Kamkwamba‘s The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind. I just came from his talk and book signing at Barnes & Noble Tribeca. I was there early and had a chance to speak to him, his mentor Tom Reilly, and his co-author Bryan Mealer which was wonderful. It was amazing to actually meet William and to hear him, Tom and Bryan share the details of William’s story. More about William Kamkwamba and The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind shortly!

So, to join Cym Lowell’s Book Review Blog Party, just head on over to http://cymlowell.blogspot.com/2009/09/book-review-party-wednesday.html

Book Giveaway: Tall, Dark and Fangsome by Michelle Rowen


Here’s another book giveaway, courtesy of Anna and Hatchette Book Group!

About the Book, courtesy of the publisher:

Sarah Dearly’s vampire life is not all B-positive cocktails. A curse made her a nightwalker, the most vicious vamp there is; the charm she wears to curb her deadly tendencies is losing its juice; and a hunter from hell is turning up the heat. Gideon Chase will kill the ones she loves most if she doesn’t obey his orders. That includes breaking up with master vampire Thierry and turning Gideon into an immortal vamp so he can escape a doom of eternal hellfire.

Making things worse are Sarah’s growing feelings for Gideon, a bad boy who keeps showing a vulnerable side . . . but is it for real? Will Sarah’s dark side take over? Or can she cure herself of the nightwalker curse in time to stop Gideon and finally live happily ever after with Thierry . . . forever?

About the Author:

Michelle Rowen is a full-time writer and self-confessed bibliophile living in Ontario, Canada. Her first young adult fantasy novel will be published in Fall 2009 from Walker Books for Young Readers. Under the pseudonym Michelle Maddox she has also written futuristic romantic suspense for Dorchester.

CONTEST DETAILS

To enter, describe your favorite hero or heroine with supernatural or magical powers.

Rules:
Please include your email address, so that I can contact you if you
win. No email address and answer, no entry. The contest is limited to
US and Canada only. No P.O. boxes. The contest ends at noon on October
31, 2009.

Thank you so much to Anna and Hatchette Book Group for sponsoring this giveaway!

Book Giveaway: Show No Fear by Marliss Melton


Thanks to Anna and Hatchette Books Group, we’re giving away 5 copies of Marliss Melton’s Show No Fear.

About the Book, courtesy of the publisher:

Lucy Donovan always gets her man. As a fiercely independent CIA agent, she’s survived hundreds of death-defying missions. But her latest may just get her killed. Weighed down with a secret she’s desperate to keep, the last thing Lucy needs is to be sent undercover with a man who brings out the best–and the worst–in her.

Navy SEAL Gus Atwater never turns down an assignment, even if it means working with the only woman he’s ever loved and lost. So with a volatile mix of desire and distrust, Lucy and Gus confront their tangled past. Pretending to be man and wife is risky enough, but now the clock is running out. As their mission escalates from desperate to deadly, will Lucy’s secret expose them both?

About the Author, courtesy of the publisher:

Marliss Melton enjoyed an exotic childhood growing up overseas where entertainment meant riding on elephants in Laos, visiting museums in Paris, and tracking tigers in northern Thailand. Her experiences traveling the world led to her love of language, music, and storytelling. She has taught English and Spanish at the high school level and linguistics at the College of William and Mary, her alma mater. A Golden Heart and RITA finalist, she has written ten books since first becoming published in 2002.

CONTEST DETAILS

To enter, share a recommendation for a good romance novel and/or thriller.

Rules:
Please include your email address, so that I can contact you if you
win. No email address and answer, no entry. The contest is limited to
US and Canada only. No P.O. boxes. The contest ends at noon on October 31, 2009.
31, 2009.

Thank you so much to Anna and Hatchette Book Group for sponsoring this giveaway!