Thursday, January 31, 2019

Review: Body in the Woods

* Book 1 in a duology *
Alexis, Nick, and Ruby couldn't be more different - but the one thing they have in common is they're all members of the same search and rescue team. When a call goes out, they meet to help search the woods for a missing hiker.

Instead, they find the body of a girl. Going through the discovery together and not being able to talk about it with people helps cement a relationship between them. The more they talk about it, the more they want to help solve the case. Could there be something the police are missing?
My Thoughts: I really liked this book, it's been one I've been wanting to read for ages. I'm glad I finally did. I really liked the three different perspectives and what they each brought to the book. I liked learning more about search and rescue teams. I liked how they kept researching and looking into ideas even though the police gave them the brush off.  I'm looking forward to reading the second book.

Cover Thoughts: Love it
Source: My Library
Library Recommendation: A great read for your mystery/thriller readers.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Picture Book Review: Giraffe Problems


Giraffe feels self-conscious about his long neck.  He tries to hide it in hope of becoming normal. But his neck isn't easily hidden. But a new friends helps him understand the powers of having a long neck.

A sweet book about how everyone's different and unique - and how that's a good thing. I love the power of friendship and how it makes you reevaluate your own ideas. The illustrations are fun too.

Library Recommendation: Perfect for school and public libraries.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Recent Additions to my TBR

This week's topic is the most recent additions to my TBR list. This
is an easy one to stop at 10.

Warrior of the WildBlood Will Tell (Point Last Seen, #2)Live and Let Pie (A Bakeshop Mystery, #9)The Claiming of the Shrew (The Survivors, #5)Find Momo across Europe: Another Hide and Seek Photography Book
Princess in Practice (The Rosewood Chronicle #2)The Vanderbeekers to the Rescue (The Vanderbeekers #3)The Legend of GregStargazingThe Marriage Clock

And there you have it, a mix of Kids, YA, and adult books. It's a pretty accurate reflection of my reading habits these days.

Have you read any of these?

Monday, January 28, 2019

Author Spotlight: April Henry

PictureAbout April Henry: 
I write mysteries and thrillers. I live in Portland, Oregon with my family.

If you've read one of my books, I would love to hear from you. Hearing from readers makes me eager to keep writing.

When I was 12, I sent a short story about a six-foot tall frog who loved peanut butter to Roald Dahl, the author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He liked it so much he arranged to have it published in an international children's magazine.

My dream of writing went dormant until I was in my 30s, working at a corporate job, and started writing books on the side. Those first few years are now thankfully a blur. Now I'm very lucky to make a living doing what I love. I have written 20 novels for adults and teens, with more on the way. My books have gotten starred reviews, been picked for Booksense, translated into six languages, been named to state reading lists, and won the Oregon Book Award. 

PictureNewest Book: A killer is on the loose, and only one girl has the power to find him. But in this genre-bending YA thriller, she must first manage to avoid becoming a target herself.

For Adele, the dead aren’t really dead. She can see them and even talk to them. But she’s spent years denying her gift. When she encounters her ex best friend Tori in a shallow grave in the woods and realizes that Tori is actually dead -- that gift turns into a curse. Without an alibi, Adele becomes the prime suspect in Tori’s murder. She must work with Tori’s ghost to find the real killer. But what if the killer finds Adele first?

This book comes out tomorrow!

Author Research:
What would you do for research? April Henry takes a hands on approach to her research.
Here are just some of things she's done for her books:
  • Taken out everything from under the kitchen sink and crawled under it to prove to the copy editor that you could so fit a dead body under there.  
  • Taken a knife throwing class
  • Taken a knife fighting class
  • Taken a class on how to respond to an active shooter situation. 
  • Taken classes with Multnomah County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue. 
  • Was the first novelist to attend the Urban Escape and Evasion class, where I learned how to get out of duct tape, rope, zip ties and handcuffs as well as a million other useful things. 
  • Spent a day with Portland police criminologists.  
That's dedication to your craft!

She comes from a long line of criminals - check out the family stories here.

Up Next: I'm already looking forward to her next book coming out August 2019. Check out the tagline: What if the high-stakes drama of Die Hard met the varied cast of Breakfast Club? Doesn't that sound good?

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Cozy Review: Another One Bites the Crust

* Book 7 in the Bakeshop Mystery series *
Jules just returned from a week aboard a cruise ship - and her old life. Since she's been gone, things have taken a turn for her best friend Lance. The Shakespeare Festival is about to open and he's convinced the board wants to fire him.

Lance's lead actor seems to be wooing the board in his favor. Lance can't believe the gall of the man, after Lance took a chance on him. When Lance stumbles across the lead actor's body after a party, things go from bad to worse. He's the number one suspect.

He needs Jules now more than ever to help clear his name.
My Thoughts: I really love this series - for several reasons. I love the description of the bakery goodies; this series always makes me want to bake. I love the comradery of the bakery employees. I love the small town charm and the characters in town. I enjoyed a bigger glimpse into the theater world and the behind the scenes snapshots. I loved the ending and I can't wait to read the next book to discover how that plays out. 

Cover Thoughts: Delicious
Source: My Library
Library Recommendation: A highly recommended series for your cozy mystery sections.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Romance Review: The Proposal

Nik would rather be anywhere but at a baseball game with her boyfriend of five months. She's stunned when he forces her to look at the screen - asking her to marry him. He's never said he loves her. He spells her name wrong. They've never talked about marriage. It's no wonder that she's horrified. She tries to gently turn him down, but he's having none of that. He storms out leaving her there.

Carlos sees what's happening to this poor girl and then moments later spots a camera crew making their ways towards her. He and his sister leap up to help Nik. After rescuing her, they drop her off at a bar with her friends. They end up having a drink together. They meet up a few times as friends and wind up becoming something just a little bit more...
My Thoughts: Another great romance from Jasmine Guillory. Once again, I loved how this couple met. I love that they talk over food - there's so much food in this book. I loved Nik's group of friends and how they joined that class at the gym. It sounds like such a fun class - I'd even like to take it. I loved the secondary romance plot. I loved the cupcake shop. I loved the easy banter between Carlos and Nik. And I Really Loved the moments with the ex-boyfriend and how that turned out. I enjoyed the connections with The Wedding Date and seeing favorite characters pop in for a quick visit. A fantastic feminist romance

Cover Thoughts: Cute
Source: My Library
Library Recommendation: A must have for public libraries.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Review: Lost in the Antarctic

Lost in the Antarctic: The Doomed Voyage of the Endurance

About the Book:
 There wasn’t a thing Ernest Shackleton could do. He stood on the ice-bound Weddell Sea, watching the giant blocks of frozen saltwater squeeze his ship to death. The ship’s name seemed ironic now: the Endurance. But she had lasted nine months in this condition, stuck on the ice in the frigid Antarctic winter. So had Shackleton and his crew of 28 men, trying to become the first expedition ever to cross the entire continent.

Now, in October 1915, as he watched his ship break into pieces, Shackleton gave up on that goal. He ordered his men to abandon ship. From here on, their new goal would be to focus on only one thing: survival.
  - summary from the publisher

My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this narrative nonfiction - those men went through the ringer. I'm sure that I wouldn't have survived a tenth of the horrors they went through. While this book isn't graphic, it does touch on some gruesome parts. I felt terrible for the animals in this book  - their treatment made me tear up. I felt heartsick for the men for all the horrors they went through, it seemed like one horror after another. Which kept me turning the pages because I needed to see how everything turned out. I liked the additions of the photographs and the maps, they added to the story. Perfect for readers who like survival and/or adventure stories. 

About the Author:
Tod Olson is the author of the historical fiction series How to Get Rich and the four books in the Lost series--Lost in the Pacific, 1942; Lost in Outer Space;  Lost in the Amazon; and Lost in the Antarctic. He has written for national magazines on the Columbine school shooting, homeless teens, the murder of Matthew Shepard, and many other stories of interest to children and young adults. Tod holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and lives in Vermont with his family, his mountain bike, and his electric reclining chair. To learn more, and to download free teaching resources, visit his website:

Praise for previous titles in the Lost series

★"A riveting, completely engrossing true survival story." —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Engaging... A great choice for collections." —School Library Journal

Doesn't this sound good?

You can win a copy! 
One lucky winner will receive Lost in the Antarctic, courtesy of Scholastic, Inc. (U.S. addresses).

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Picture Book Review: Mustafa


Mustafa and his family moves to a new country - but he feels lost, alone, and invisible. 

A sweet story about a boy exploring his new home and finally feeling welcome after making new friends. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Ten Top Tuesday: 2018 Books

This week's topic is 2018 books I still want to read. 
Confession: I have more than 10. 
I didn't get to read lots of books I wanted to this year, it seems to be a theme with me. There's simply never enough time to read everything. 

Little White Lies (Debutantes, #1)Archenemies (Renegades, #2)FlashbackThe Divided Earth (The Nameless City, #3)The Storm Runner (The Storm Runner, #1)
Little Dreamers: Visionary Women Around the WorldOne Day in DecemberThe Other Miss Bridgerton (Rokesbys, #3)How the Dukes Stole ChristmasHow We Roll

Monday, January 21, 2019

Review: Fire & Heist

Fire & Heist
Sky's family is different from other families - she's a wyvern (a human capable of turning into a dragon). Sky used to have the perfect life, but that was before. Now her mom's missing, her Dad isn't talking, and her family's become outcasts. Her boyfriend and her friends all dropped her.

It doesn't help that her mom was stealing from her ex-boyfriend's family. In the wyvern world, stealing isn't a crime. It's celebrated. Unless you get caught.

Sky isn't about to let this go. She needs to know what happened to her mother. When her ex-boyfriend shares some information, she eagerly starts putting together a crew of her own. It's time for her first heist and to find out the truth - or die trying.
My Thoughts: First I love this author. But she had me at heist and again at dragon. I loved how Sky was determined to uncover the truth about her mom's disappearance. I admired how she put together her crew - even after her family rejected her idea. I loved learning about their wyvern history. I enjoyed the moments between Sky and her brothers - both the banter and their sibling bonding moments. I love Gabriela. I loved the twists that I didn't see coming.

Cover Thoughts: Fun
Source: ARC sent for review

Sunday, January 20, 2019

In My Shop

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, I have some new Valentine Cards and jewelry for your sweetheart or your Galentine. 

Here's just a small sample:

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Thursday, January 17, 2019

On Your Radar (20)

Title: A Curse So Dark and Lonely (Book 1)

Author:  Brigid Kemmerer
A Curse So Dark and Lonely

Publisher:  Bloomsbury
Publication Date: January 29

Why it Should be on Your Radar:
* Beauty and the Beast Retelling 
* Grey
* Fierce Heroine
* Banter
* The Curse
* Character with cerebral palsy
* Becoming a Princess
* Spreading Kindness 
* Learning how to throw a knife
* Family
* Friendship
* Hope

* Highly recommended - give this to readers of Sarah J Maas a Court of Thorns and Roses
** The only bad part about this book is waiting until next year for more of the story.