Tuesday, September 29, 2015

#Review: The Bullet Catch: An Eli Marks Mystery by John Gaspard #Mystery #Adult #YA




Summary:
Newly-single magician Eli Marks reluctantly attends his high school reunion against his better judgment, only to become entangled in two deadly encounters with his former classmates. The first is the fatal mugging of an old crush’s husband, followed by the suspicious deaths of the victim’s business associates.
At the same time, Eli also comes to the aid of a classmate-turned-movie-star who fears that attempting The Bullet Catch in an upcoming movie may be his last performance. As the bodies begin to pile up, Eli comes to the realization that juggling these murderous situations -- while saving his own neck -- may be the greatest trick he’s ever performed.
My review:
Believe it or not, in my past history, I have been an amateur magician along with my Dad. So, it is with that and liking a good mystery that I approached this book. Here we have it all. Two murders, one attempted murder and a who-done-it that should be of epic proportions.

 But it wasn't.

This is where I thought the author might have failed because I was able to figure our the mystery part of the book way to soon. Then again, the author did have a bit of a twist to the killer which caught me off guard but only a little as the book pretty much said "here, I am but how did I do it?"

Now, as for the magic part of the book, that was kind of fun except the plot of it ran on way too long. The character could have figured out what to do within a few minutes as he-the character- was a professional magician. He did not need a whole book to get an alternative to the problem nor figure out who was about to kill off his actor.  It was sort of nice to see the author put into the book things that have happened in real life, including "The Magician's Code".

My Dad believed in that code and so do I. I also believe in not telling the twist or the ending of a book so, that my friends, you will have to look up yourself.

Overall, not too bad but would have liked to have seen more mystery, twist, and more character development too.

This book gets three stars from me. 

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book as a gift. The views expressed here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~Naila Moon

Where to find the author:


Amazon
Facebook

Sunday, September 27, 2015

#Review: Moon Sisters by Therese Walsh #Adult #YA

Summary:
This mesmerizing coming-of-age novel, with its sheen of near-magical realism, is a moving tale of family and the power of stories. 
   After their mother's probable suicide, sisters Olivia and Jazz take steps to move on with their lives. Jazz, logical and forward-thinking, decides to get a new job, but spirited, strong-willed Olivia--who can see sounds, taste words, and smell sights--is determined to travel to the remote setting of their mother's unfinished novel to lay her spirit properly to rest.
   Already resentful of Olivia's foolish quest and her family's insistence upon her involvement, Jazz is further aggravated when they run into trouble along the way and Olivia latches to a worldly train-hopper who warns he shouldn't be trusted. As they near their destination, the tension builds between the two sisters, each hiding something from the other, until they are finally forced to face everything between them and decide what is really important.

My review:
This book was a bit difficult for me to read. It was not because it was not easy to read, no, in fact because it hit so close to home. I felt like the author had plucked my life and put it into a book.

I simply substituted the Mother in the book for my Dad. Although he did not commit suicide, he did manage to pass away when nobody but myself was with him. It was and is a still painful experience to this day.  He left so many unanswered questions, memories, and I cannot help to believe but maybe false hope or even hope to some.

So, the book...well, it pretty much runs the gamet of what I just spoke about. The three people left in the wake of it all had to do some soul searching and memory searching to come to terms with it all.
Through some letters that were left by the Mom the girls put together the hopes and then dashed dreams of being with her own Dad again.

The book runs all the stages of grief with many tears to be shed throughout and peace to be found within.

Ironically for me, I read the last chapters of this book on my Dad's birthday which was September 21st. There was a "letter" addressed to the Mom character's Dad on Sept. 21. 2011. That would have been 3 months after my Dad passed away and as I said, ironically, the first page I read.

As I began this review, I said the book was difficult for me to read, which indeed it was but it also was healing in a strange sort of way which in many ways, it was meant to be.  Thanks you for that.

The book is certainly of merit and gets four stars.

Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book as a gift. The view expressed here are 100% my own and may be different from yours.~Naila Moon

Where to find the author:

Amazon
Facebook

Thursday, September 24, 2015

#Review: FireSong (LeGarde Mysteries Book 3) by Aaron Paul Lazar #YA #Adult



Summary:
What would you do if your country church was hit by a rogue tornado during services? What if wild winds unearthed the bones of a missing parishioner in a nearby wheat field? Now add the discovery of heroin in your elderly minister's bloodstream. The Genesee Valley is in chaos. A new batch of drugs is on the street, endangering local students. The local salt mine collapses due to illegal mining practices. Watering holes turn to brine. Crops are dying. Tempers are short. To top it off, the new salt mine lies directly over ancient Indian burial grounds, bringing anguish to local tribes and inciting riots. When Gus LeGarde is thrown into the middle of the mess, he knows life has finally gone berserk in East Goodland. Join Gus as he's lured into a bizarre network of underground tunnels where he discovers the shock of his life and potential links to the Underground Railroad.

My review:
I really enjoyed this book. It was a nice step-away from the books I usually read and review.
The author painted a lovely scene of the Genesee Valley and its people. The way he pictured it you wanted to step right in and meet all of these interesting characters. In fact, I would have loved to been invited over to Gus's house for one of his Sunday dinners.

The things that happen to this family and neighbors is quite over the top for one Summer but even so, it could happen, just not likely in this area of the country and all at once. However, that, my readers, is called author prerogative and it made for a great story!

Being a historian by nature, I loved the not-so-underlying story of the Underground Railroad. This has always been a fascination for me and seeing in print, albeit fictional in this case, made the book just that much more exciting. It is obvious to me that the author did his homework on this subject and some other subjects, like the salt mines. Excellent!

I look forward to reading more books from this author. 5 stars!

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for my open and honest opinion. The views expressed here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~Naila Moon


Where to find the author:


Friday, September 18, 2015

Review: It Wasn't My Fault by Helen Lester/ Illustrated by Lynn Munsinger



Summary:
When accidents happen to Murdley Gurdson, they are usually his own fault, but when a bird lays an egg on Murdley's head one day, he tries hard to find someone else to blame.

My review:
Having young kids around, they always want to say that something is not their fault. The character Murdley is always having things happen to him that are usually his fault.  One day when a large egg hits his head, he sets out to find out whose fault it is. Hilarity ensues and the characters involved are truly funny. This is an adorable little book.

Kids will relate to goofy things happening in the book and find them to be a laugh out loud adventure of discovery. I loved everything about this book including its cartoonish, over-the-top characters.
The read was easy for kids that are learning to read.

This is a 5 star-not-my-fault book for sure!

Disclosure: I purchased a copy of this book for my own collections. The views expressed here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~Naila Moon

Where to find the author:

Helen Lester has published The Wizard, the Fairy, and the Magic Chicken in 1983, in collabroation with Lynn Munsinger. They have also worked together on the hilarious Tacky the Penguin series and many other wildly funny and popular titles, including the award-winning Hooway for Wodney Wat. Helen Lester is a full-time writer who makes her home in Pawling, New York.

Amazon

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Kid Lit Blog Hop #KLBH

Welcome to the 66th Kid Lit Blog Hop where we continue to develop a dynamic and engaged community of children's books bloggers, authors, publishers, and publicists. So, you are always more than welcome to join us by popping in a post and hopping around to meet some of your fellow Kid Lit bloggers and authors!

Hostesses:

Mother Daughter Book Reviews

Julie Grasso, Author/ Blogger

Cheryl Carpinello, Author / Blogger

Stacking Books

BeachBoundBooks

Music Teaching and Parenting

Pragmatic Mom

Reading Authors

The Logonauts

Spark and Pook

Happy Hopping everyone and enjoy the Hop!

Kid Lit Blog Hop
 

Kid Lit Blog Hop Rules *Please Read*

1. Link up any Kid Lit related post in the Kid Lit Blog Hop. This can be a link to a children’s book review, a discussion about children’s literature/literacy, or a post on a recently-read children’s book or one that you love from your childhood.

* Don't link directly to your blog, it must be a specific post.*

* For Authors, we prefer you to link to your blog if you have one. Please link unique posts each time ~ no repeats please. *

* Make sure you include an image relevant to the POST (e.g., book cover), not your blog button or photo of yourself.*

* Feel free to link more than one post.*

2. Please visit AT LEAST the TWO LINKS from the Kid Lit Blog Hop directly ahead of your own and leave them some love in the form of a comment. We are trying to build a community of bloggers, readers, parents, authors, and others who are as passionate about children’s literature as we are so please CONNECT and follow any or all of the blogs that interest you! 3. If you like, grab the button above and put it somewhere on your blog, preferably the post you're linking up. If you'd prefer, you can just add a text link back to this Hop so that others can find it and check out all these great book links! 4. It would really help us get the word out about the Kid Lit Blog Hop if you would be so kind as to tweet, share, and spread the word about the Hop!

Happy Hopping!

 

KID LIT BLOG HOP

Friday, September 11, 2015

#Review: Dying To Tell Me by Sherryl Clark #kidsbooks #middlegrade

Summary:
Sasha doesn't really mind moving. It's not like there was any reason to stay in her old life, after all the trouble. But Manna Creek is strange. And when, after a pretty nasty fall, she starts hearing and seeing things that haven't happened yet, or happened a very long time ago, it gets even stranger. Maybe King, their new retired police dog, can help solve the mysteries. He thinks he can. He told Sasha he could. And she heard him.

My review:
This is the story of a young girl with telepathic abilities. She covers her abilities up from everyone including her Dad and brother. She does not want to be "the freak". She can also telepathically talk to her dog.  Eventually, she uses the "gift" to help her family and to solve a 100 year old mystery.

That is essentially the book although, there is a lot of fluff that leads up to it. I read the entire book but it took forever to get to the point. I had hoped that conclusion would be at least a nice wrap up in a pretty bow. Instead it just ended, no real conclusion but speculations of an ending. I guess if the ending had been a cliff hanger that would have even been better. but no, It just fell flat.

I think I would have liked to have seen Sasha work with her abilities and hone them. This might have appealed to kids that have the real ability of telepathy.

Did I hate this book entirely? Well, actually no. The author writes  fairly well but to me the story overall just fell short. I do think that middle grade kids would like this book and maybe older elementary but I certainly would not call this a YA book.

Overall, I will give it a 3.

Disclosure: I earned a copy of this book for free from Usborne books. The views expressed here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~Naila Moon

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

#Review: Is It Just Me? Or Is It Nuts Out There? by Whoopi Goldberg #AdultBooks



Summary:
Have you noticed people aren't as polite as they once were or that rudeness is no longer an exception but a lifestyle? Sure you have. All you need to do is set foot outside your door to see that bad manners are taking over everywhere. Just look and you'll see:

  • People yak on cell phones in restaurants, and even at church.
  • Folks in carpools wear enough cologne to make your eyes bleed.
  • Family outings to the ballpark are ruined by rowdy drunks.
  • People talk in movie theaters like they are in their living rooms.

Well, Whoopi Goldberg has noticed all this and more and asked herself, "Is it just me?" Unleashing her trademark irreverence and humor, her book of observations takes a funny and excruciatingly honest look at how a loss of civility is messing with the quality of life for all of us.

My review:
I will start by saying, I like Whoopi Goldberg, I think she is funny, I had read another book by her and...it was funny. This one on the other hand is simply not funny; although, I think she may have meant it to be.

What this book is however, is her thoughts on everyday life. (Given, this book was published in 2010) How our society has become a bit crazy to live in. It seems nobody cares or wants to talk about it but she does and did in this book.  I get it. I understand where she is coming from! Why no humor though? sigh...it was her chance to put her unique spin on the oh, so obvious that no one wants to say.

Still she wrote it, it is out there and upon reading it you cannot help but  think, yeah, why is that?

Overall, I suppose I like the book but just wished the Whoopi style had been upon the pages.
3 stars.

Disclosure: I purchased a copy of this book for my own collections. The views expressed here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~Naila Moon

Where to find the author:


Amazon
Facebook


Saturday, September 5, 2015

#Review and #Giveaway: The Treasure of Snake Island: A Captain No Beard Story by Carole P. Roman #Kidsbooks #caroleproman


Summary:
After a fierce battle with a storm, the crew goes in search of treasure. Alexander, that is, Captain No Beard uses a map to locate it on the ominous sounding Snake Island. Bravely they dig until they find the best treasure ever!

My review:
I admittedly adore this author and her series of books. There is always a lesson to be learned with the Captain No Beard crew. This time the crew indeed faces a mighty storm but that storm they all face is fear. Each of the crew has a fear or something they dislike and choose to head straight into it.

Along the way they find a treasure that is so delightful that I could do nothing but smile. This treasure, at least I think, is one that the author has given her grandchildren many times over. Ah, but you will have to read the book my mateys to find out what that is.

The illustrations, as I have come to expect, are bold and colorful. The expressions of each character is fun and engaging.

Do not miss out on this awesome book! 5 stars!
------------
Would you like to win a copy of this book? Just enter in the Rafflecopter below.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my open and honest opinion. The views expressed here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. 

NOTE:The giveaway begins Sept. 6, 2015  and ends Sept.  CST. It is open internationally but if the winner is outside of the US, only a Kindle copy will be given. The winner has 24 hours to respond to an email or an alternate winner will be drawn.  All entries will be verified. The winner will be chosen at random by Rafflecopter.com
~Naila Moon

Where to find the author:



Amazon Facebook a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, September 3, 2015

#Review: Zero the Hero by Joan Holub/ Illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld #kidsbooks



Summary:
Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada. That's what all the other numbers think of Zero. He doesn't add anything in addition. He's of no use in division. And don't even ask what he does in multiplication. (Hint: Poof!) But Zero knows he's worth a lot, and when the other numbers get into trouble, he swoops in to prove that his talents are innumerable.

My review:
I admittedly hate math with a passion. So, it was with pure reluctance that I even read this book. However, I like the author and so I gave it a go. I was not disappointed.

Zero simply gets a bad rap through the entire book. No one likes him. He thinks himself a hero from the very first pages, this includes the cape and mask and is only out to prove himself. What is a hero to do. Well...nothing?

That is where the book gets to be fun! I loved that each number had a different personality and is illustrated in cartoon form. This was brilliant on the part of the illustrator and the genius of the author.

Of course math does play into this book but in a subtle way that the reader gets it but is not bogged down with it. Win! Does Zero save the day? Read the book and find out.

I give this book 5+Zero the SUPER Hero stars!

Disclosure: I received this book in exchange for my open and honest opinion. The views expressed here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~Naila Moon

Where to find the author:


Joan Holub is co-author of the best-selling Goddess Girls series, the Grimmtastic Girls series, and the Heroes in Training series. Her picture book Little Red Writing received three starred reviews and has been named to many Best-of lists. Her mighty cool dad inspired the creation of the picture book, Mighty Dads

 Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Kid Lit Blog Hop...Episode 65 #KidLitHop #KLBH

 Kid Lit Blog Hop

Welcome to the 65th Kid Lit Blog Hop where we continue to develop a dynamic and engaged community of children's books bloggers, authors, publishers, and publicists. So, you are always more than welcome to join us by popping in a post and hopping around to meet some of your fellow Kid Lit bloggers and authors! *** Please note that we are back to 2 Hops per month. The Hops will take place on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month.

*** Hello all my fellow literary hoppers! This time around I am featuring a "career" series from Wigu. Just the other day I reviewed one of their books which you can find HERE.  You can find two different ones, HERE  and HERE. Check them out!

Also, please come back at least Monday-Friday to my blog as I have taken up the challenge to review a different book those days through September.

Happy Reading! ~Naila Moon***


Hostesses:

Mother Daughter Book Reviews

Julie Grasso, Author/ Blogger

Cheryl Carpinello, Author / Blogger

Stacking Books

BeachBoundBooks

Music Teaching and Parenting

Pragmatic Mom

Reading Authors

The Logonauts

Spark and Pook

Happy Hopping everyone and enjoy the Hop!

 

Kid Lit Blog Hop Rules *Please Read*

1. Link up any Kid Lit related post in the Kid Lit Blog Hop. This can be a link to a children’s book review, a discussion about children’s literature/literacy, or a post on a recently-read children’s book or one that you love from your childhood.
* Don't link directly to your blog, it must be a specific post.*
* For Authors, we prefer you to link to your blog if you have one. Please link unique posts each time ~ no repeats please. *
* Make sure you include an image relevant to the POST (e.g., book cover), not your blog button or photo of yourself.*
* Feel free to link more than one post.*
2. Please visit AT LEAST the TWO LINKS from the Kid Lit Blog Hop directly ahead of your own and leave them some love in the form of a comment. We are trying to build a community of bloggers, readers, parents, authors, and others who are as passionate about children’s literature as we are so please CONNECT and follow any or all of the blogs that interest you! 3. If you like, grab the button above and put it somewhere on your blog, preferably the post you're linking up. If you'd prefer, you can just add a text link back to this Hop so that others can find it and check out all these great book links! 4. It would really help us get the word out about the Kid Lit Blog Hop if you would be so kind as to tweet, share, and spread the word about the Hop!

Happy Hopping!

 

KID LIT BLOG HOP

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

#Review: A Cat Named Mouse by Patti Tingen/Mary Erikson Washam #Kidsbooks




Summary:
A Cat Named Mouse is an amusing tale of teasing and mixed-up names. With help from his quirky new friend Cheese, Mouse overcomes his nemesis, the nasty dog next door. Acceptance and friendship win out in the end!

My Review:
This is a sweet little story about, well, a cat named Mouse! In fact, there are a few more animal characters with some odd names. That is the whole point of the book, for children to discover no matter who they are, or what their name might be, they are still special and have some to offer.

Even though this book is 32 pages long, it is mostly a picture book. I would have actually have liked to have seen some more story line. I thought this would be a great opportunity to address the issue of bullying and maybe what the "friends" did after they finally go over themselves. Is that in a second book perhaps? I did feel it ended abruptly.

The illustrations were very cute, large, and colorful. I enjoyed them and thought they were great for the book as a whole.

I look forward to some more children's books from this author. This was her first in this genre.
I cannot give the book 5 stars for the reason I think above but it still is a good enough book to receive the 4 stars I am giving it!

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for my open and honest opinion. The views expressed here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~Naila Moon

Where to find the author:

#Review: When I Grow Up I Want To Be...in the U.S. Army!: Jake Learns about the U.S. Army #Kidsbooks



Summary:
When Jake’s teacher assigns a “career” project, Jake decides he wants to be a soldier in the United States Army. Jake and his father visit an Army surplus store to find items he can use to present his project. As they search the store, each item makes the history and proud spirit of the U.S. Army come to life for Jake and readers alike. Through Jake’s discoveries, readers are introduced to the history of the U.S. Army, what soldiers’ duties include, and the equipment they use.
 My Review:
I am happy to have received the opportunity to review another book from Wigu. Two of my brothers have been in the Army, one is currently serving. I have had other family members that served in the Army as well. It is with great pride that they have and I am glad that Wigu is show casing this branch as they have with the other branches.

I liked the fact that Jake was taken to a Army Surplus store to learn about the different insignia, uniforms, and jobs. It was nice for me to learn terminology because I do not always have a clue when my brother uses certain terms.  The author included a glossary in the back which is also very helpful.

I would have liked to have seen some Army base photos but maybe for security reasons, that was not possible. Still, the real life photos that were presented in the book was a nice juxtapose to the cartoon characters. I really do not like the drawings for the most part but as I have said before, I can overlook that aspect since this is a children's book.

There was a little history interspersed among the pages and even the "Soldier's Creed" was in the front of the book.  I enjoyed seeing that information, it is what makes the U.S. Army great! The overall theme of the book is that it takes thousand of men and women to protect our country. They are brave, as are all military personnel, they keep us safe, and we should be grateful for their service.

I recommend for 8+
5 Stars!
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Side note: Wigu worked directly with the U.S. Army and retired Army soldiers to give correct information for this book.They noted the "Wounded Warriors Project" and I ask you to support their effort if you can do so.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my open and honest opinion. The views expressed here are 100% my own and may differ with yours. ~Naila Moon


Where to find the author:

KID LIT BLOG HOP-June 2017

Hello, welcome back to another month of terrific children's literature. We welcome you to the June 2017 Kid Lit Blog Hop. This ...