Monday, April 30, 2012

Stroganov by Ty Hutchinson

Book 2 with Darby Stansfield--- Another GREAT BOOK!! This time we get to deal with the Russian Mob! Once again Darby takes us on an adventure--we get to travel to Russia. Now Darby is on the high roller floor in his company, but this doesn't stop his old boss from trying to figure out how Darby is maintain his high roller status. He believes that Darby is doing something illegal and is determined to figure out what that is. However-once you are dealing with the Mob-problems have a way of disappearing. This book keeps you interested all the way to the end! I'm looking forward to the next book with Darby!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Chop Suey by Ty Hutchinson

This book is the first in the Darby Stansfield Thiller series. Darby is a sales persons for a communications company and is job it to find people/companies to use their equipment. Darby is in a low level position with the company but " is only 1 sale away" from the high rollers level in the company. To advance in the company-Darby decided to go after a small and unsuccessful branch of the Chinese Mob. Darby becomes the telecommunication representative to the Mob. This leaves Darby into a bunch of adventures including a serial murderer to find, trips to China, and the new love of his life---all while a pesky manager at the office is trying to figure out how Darby has suddenly become a heavy hitter. This is a wonderful book that keeps you guessing all the way to the end. Ty Hutchinson has become an author that I'm going to look for with his Darby Stansfield books. His next book is Stroganov and I'm off to read it. Happy reading!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Teen Hoot YouTube Contest



I was on YouTube yesterday and I saw some entries for this. I figured I'd share, and any aspiring singers could enter! Leave me your link in the comments below and I might "like" it for you! :) 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Doxology Guest Post


This guest post was brought to you by Doxology! 


FREE One Day Only: An Engaging and Haunting Southern Tale

Fathers, sons and brothers reconnect over tragedy in this blue-collar Southern tale of love, loss and the healing power of community and family.

Read the first chapter here >> http://brianholers.com/books/doxology-chapter-1/

Doxology does for small town Louisiana men what Steel Magnolias did for small-town Louisiana women, exposing flaws while showcasing their inner strengths. It is a tale of grandfathers, fathers, sons and brothers, and recreates family dynamics and memories in a way that forms a doxology, a song of praise for the male family bond, the emotional ties men conceal from the world and each other.

About Doxology

After a lifetime of abuse and loss--from fights with other boys staged for his father's entertainment, to the death of his only son-- sixty one year old Vernon Davidson is angry. He's ready to get back at God, his paper mill coworkers, and everyone else in his north Louisiana town. Constantly drunk to numb his pain, the normally cautious Vernon spirals into recklessness; drinking on the job, facing down a younger man at work over a parking spot, scandalizing his former fellow Baptists with displays of his nakedness. Meanwhile Jody Davidson, Vernon's estranged nephew, struggles to survive a similarly tragic past by self-imposed exile, inserting himself into a new, seemingly different family a thousand miles away. The two men are reunited when Vernon agrees to retrieve Jody for his dying brother so they can say goodbye-and that's when they each embark on a journey that will ultimately change their lives.

Brian Holers’ Doxology examines an impossibly difficult question: how does a man go about forgiving a God he has grown to despise after the tragedies and endless disappointments he has faced?

Follow Vernon and Jody on their road from loss to healing in this deep and moving book that will challenge and surprise you, as it takes you deep into the backwaters of rural Louisiana.


The Reviews Are In

" An Engaging and Haunting Southern Tale" ~Alle Wells, Southern Writer

“The story of fathers and sons, brothers and cousins, had me laughing out loud one minute and bawling like a baby the next.” ~A. Chambers, Book Blogger

“The author shapes his characters with love and respect. In writing of the Southern world in which these men reside, he avoids the use of dialect. Instead, he skillfully builds the cadence of life particular to the rural South with words pictures of that slower lifestyle. His characters meander through the telling of slow, roundabout tales, always interrupted with side forays to detail the family connections of everyone in that story. Friends, as well as strangers, visit through the open window of dusty pickups, lean on a broom or shovel throughout a conversation because the work will still be there after all the local news is exchanged. The reader longs to be sipping the sweet iced tea in the afternoon heat, to smell the smoke from the local barbeque pit before diving into a plate of tender ribs, or to taste the yeasty beer or sharp slide of whiskey across the tongue after the sun goes down.” ~Suzanne G, Author

“Call me a feminist, but I have never read anything so `emotional' written by a man. No offense to all the other male writers, but somewhere down the line, I find that they are usually unable to tap into emotions as well as the female authors do. But Brian Holers has managed to break through that and has captured the true essence of emotional ties/bonds that make a family.” ~Book Blogger


Read the first chapter here >> http://brianholers.com/books/doxology-chapter-1/
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No eReader or Kindle? No problem. Get free apps for your Web Browser, PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry, or Android Phone.

Here's the link to use:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html/ref=dig_arl_box?ie=UTF8&docId=1000493771

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Super Spies and The Cat Lady Killer

The Super Spies and the Cat Lady Killer

Title:
The Super Spies and The Cat Lady Killer

Author:
Lisa Orchard

About the Author: (Amazon - From The Author)
Hello! Thank you for taking the time to consider my book! I enjoyed writing it because it took me back to my own teen years and brought back many happy memories.  
In my younger years I too, wanted to be a detective just like the lead character Sarah. In fact, my friends and I formed our own detective squad! I must say thinking back on those days bring back some of my best memories. While reminiscing , I came up with the idea of the Super Spies series and the first book, "The Super Spies and the Cat Lady Killer" was born.
I've just finished writing the second book in this series and I'm now going through the editing process. I'm really excited about the second one and it stars the same quirky teens. 
Keep me on your radar because there's more to come!

Summary: (Amazon)
In a small town in Michigan, fifteen-year-old Sarah Cole is stuck spending the summer at her Aunt and Uncle’s with her sister, Lacey. She’s not happy with the situation until she befriends a girl named Jackie. The three girls stumble upon the ruthless murder of a reclusive neighborhood woman and what's worse? One of the officers investigating the crime believes the girls are responsible for her death.
Fearing that this officer will frame them for the murder, the girls organize their own detective squad. They become the Super Spies and start their own investigation. The Super Spies can’t understand why anyone would want to murder the “Cat Lady” until they start digging into her past and discover a horrible crime that happened thirty years ago. They uncover a connection between the two crimes and attempt to bring this information to the police, only to be reprimanded for meddling in the investigation. Not only are the girls upset by the admonition, but they also struggle with the fact that their exuberant investigating could provide a legal loophole allowing the killer to go free. Frustrated by this turn of events, the Super Spies realize it’s up to them to snare the Cat Lady killer.
Or die trying...

I'd Recommend to...
Middle Schoolers

My Rating:
4.7/5

My Thoughts:
Sarah and Lacey are at their aunt's for the summer while their parents are on vacation. Sarah befriends a girl named Jackie and the next day they meet up. They play truth or dare and on a dare, Sarah goes to ring the bell of the town witch. She finds it strange the door is open and no one appears to be home. Upon further investigation, she finds out that the woman is dead. The police come and the girls hide because they are scared. Lacey falls while trying to hide and gets blood on her, leaving bloody footprints that the police follow. They take them to the station, but after questioning find out they are innocent. One police officer insists they are guilty. In an effort to find the real suspect before the corrupted officer can blame them, the girls, along with Scott, Lacey's friend, get themselves into illegal, life-threatening danger. Will they make it out alive? Will the bring the true murderer to justice? I guess you'll have to read it to find out.
This was a good book. The author definitely put work into making sure that everything she wrote was descriptive enough for the reader to easily visualize it, which is something every author should aspire to do. I've been reading mysteries all my life. Like the author, I grew up where Nancy Drew was like my life. So, I picked up on some of the foreshadowing easily, and its nice to see it go along and see that you're right, or be like "oh, it got me there!". So yeah. It was a nice read. I'd totally recommend it to like middle schoolers and lazy high schoolers.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Lorax: Movie Review


The Lorax The Movie
By Dr. Seuss

Rating: 3/5

*spoiler alert*

For those who have never read The Lorax book, it's about pollution and taking care of the earth. The book's message is much like the one in Disney's WALL-E, but this movie is not as cute and endearing. The movie is the story of a boy named Ted who goes to hear the Once-ler's tale, how Ted got to the Once-ler in the first place, and what Ted does after hearing the Once-ler's story.

Ted has a crush on one of his neighbors named Audrey. In Thneed-Ville, where they live, every tree and shrub is made of plastic or metal. So when she mentions that she'd love to see a real tree, of course Ted risks life and limb to find one. Directed by Ted's grandmother's eerie tale of the Once-ler, he leaves town (which no one ever does) in search of the Once-ler on the barren landscape outside the city walls. The Once-ler spins his story over several days while Ted tries to outsmart Mr. O'Hare who owns the air bottling company that supplies fresh, clean air to the town. If trees started growing again Mr. O'Hare would be out of business because trees make clean air for free. So O'Hare is determined to stop Ted. That's the setup.

The Once-ler's story, which is what the original book is about, is shown in flashbacks. The Once-ler is weird and the Lorax is even weirder. Their relationship did not work for me. I couldn't figure out if they were enemies or friends or what. And then Ted comes along years later to undo what the Once-ler did, and all for a girl. But somehow the Lorax comes back at the end and credits the Once-ler for fixing the tree problem when it was really Ted who did it. Over the years, couldn't the Once-ler have planted the seed? What did I miss?

I didn't really see Ted as a hero either. I didn't see Ted as invested in the tree outcome as he was about getting Audrey to like him. Well, he wasn't until the very end. I don't know. I didn't get the same wonderful feeling from this movie that I did with Horton Hears a Who. When I looked it up on Wikipedia, I found that Horton was produced by Blue Sky Studios and The Lorax by Illumination Entertainment who also put out Despicable Me and Hop. Those movies were not very good story-wise either. Illumination needs better screenwriters.

To sum up, The Lorax's graphics and color were beautiful. The landscapes: imaginative. The cliched little bears: cute. But Ted's story, which was not in the original Dr. Seuss book, was weak. Ted and Mr. O'Hare's characters and conflict were not well developed.

Although I had read the book and knew where it was going, anything with a twist in Ted's story would've been welcomed. It was too predictable. I could have even predicted Ted's grandmother being "feisty" and agile enough to keep up with the kids on a motor-scooter. The movie visuals I give 4 stars but the story gets a 2. So that averages out to 3 of 5 stars.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Review: Shane's Rib Shack


We went to the Shane's Rib Shack in Locust Grove, GA on family dine out night on Wednesday. It was around 5 or 6 pm and it was not very busy. But more people ordered carry-out than sat in so it was moderately busy. This was my second time ordering and my first time eating in. We had half a chicken last time and it tasted alright.

It is a casual atmosphere that reminds me of a roadside restaurant or barn-themed restaurant. They did have an area that looked like a barn inside the dining room and the bathrooms were labeled as "Outhouses." There was a flat screen televisions mounted on the wall.

We ordered the food from a huge menu taking up almost an entire wall near the entrance. I ordered BBQ chicken plate with okra and macaroni and cheese. My husband had a Shack Sampler meal with pulled chicken, 1/4 rack of ribs, and two chicken tenders with okra and Brunswick stew. My daughter had a kid's plate with macaroni and baked beans. I shared my chicken with her. They were also running a special on Wednesday: buy one order of wings and get the second order free (20 wings for $6.99). We ordered the wings to-go.

The area is set up to self-serve drinks and condiments. The food is brought to your table in baskets. They call out your name and then bring it to you. Meals are served with Texas toast which just looked like a piece of white bread. I stopped eating white bread back in 1996. I was shocked at how...well, white it was. I wonder about it having any nutritional value.
The sides are put in Styrofoam containers and the meat is just put on wax-like paper in the bottom of the basket. I guess this is more like a picnic-theme type dining experience.

The food was just OK. The sauce is usually what makes any barbecue good. There was nothing special about this sauce or chicken. I give it 3 out of 5 for fast, friendly service, ease of ordering, clean and relaxed atmosphere. So if you like community, family type picnics, you'll like Shane's.

Rating: 3/5

Location: 4980 Bill Gardner Parkway, Locust Grove, GA 30248 Phone: (678) 583-8186, Parking lot kind of cramped, but most people order to-go.

Value: $ Not very pricey. Good for the price and good amount of food. We had to take some home.

Atmosphere: Relaxed.

Lisa Orchard Interview!

I got the chance to interview Lisa Orchard, author of Super spies and the Cat Lady Killer!! Check it out, below! 


1)      How old are you? 
 Oh….the tough question right off the bat! J I’m 48. J

2)      What is the “Super Spies and the Cat Lady Killer about”?
  It’s about three friends who stumble upon the dead body of a reclusive neighborhood woman, and then are caught at the crime scene by the police. The lead detective believes they killed “the Cat Lady,” so the girls form their own detective squad to clear their names.

3)      Who is your role model? 
 Oh, that’s a tough one.  I would have to say Dr. Dyer. I like the message that he delivers to people.

4)  What inspires you to write?
 I was inspired at a very young age to write. When I was in 5th grade I loved the “Bobbsey Twins” and the “Nancy Drew” series. I knew I wanted to be a writer of mysteries after I read those books. Now, what inspires me are my two boys. J

5)  Who do you like to write for the most? (Who is your audience most of the time?)
 I would have to say young girls between the ages of 12 and 18. Although, I’ve had many adults buy my book and they have really enjoyed it. I like to write for this age group, because I enjoyed reading in my teen years so much, and I’d like to bring that same sense of anticipation, adventure, and happiness to others in that age group.

6)      What is your favorite television show?
 You’re going to laugh, but I’m going to have to say “The Killing” on AMC. It’s a murder mystery and it is a great show. J I really like real life drama.

7)      Do you prefer Harry Potter, Twilight, or the Hunger Games? (books not movies)
  I haven’t read the Harry Potter books or Twilight. I’m not really interested in vampires, and the Harry Potter series… I’ve watched the movies with my kids so there was no need to read the books. However, I have read the first Hunger Games book and I loved it! It was a great story.

8)      What is your favorite breakfast food?
 I would have to say an Egg Sandwich. My husband makes them most Saturday mornings and they are scrumptious! J It’s an English muffin with egg, ham, and cheese.

9)      What is your all time favorite book?
 Without a doubt, it would be “To Kill a Mockingbird”. I loved that story and still do!

10)  Thank you! Is there anything else you’d like to say?
 I’d like to thank everyone who has purchased my book. I’ve received tremendous feedback on it and some awesome reviews. Everyone’s kind words are greatly appreciated. J I’ve also just sent the sequel to my publisher and my beta readers liked the second one better! J  So, stay tuned there’s more to come from the Super Spies! J

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Crashing Eden



Title:
Crashing Eden

Author:
Michael Sussman

About the Author: (MichaelSussmanBooks.com)

I’m originally from Lexington, Massachusetts, the historic site of the shot heard ’round the world. The middle son of two microbiologists, I grew up in a wonderful community called Five Fields, my lost Eden. I loved reading, sports, music and photography, and tried my hand at writing poetry and song lyrics.I attended Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, but dropped out after catching mononucleosis. Over the next six years I lived in a commune in Paradise, Nova Scotia, joined a spiritual cult, traveled to Israel, Hawaii, and Mexico, checked into a psychiatric ward more than once, worked as a dishwasher, waiter, wallet salesman, greenhouse laborer, landscaper, day-care teacher, and street musician. Eventually I returned to school, majoring in music performance and composition at Hampshire College in Amherst.My B.A. in Music opened many doors. Unfortunately they were all doors to restaurants, where I returned to waiting tables. Meanwhile, I started a band with a friend named Steve O’Hearn. He went on to found Squonk Opera, a music and performance ensemble that has traveled the world and appeared on “America’s Got Talent.”I might have become a Squonker myself, but instead went to grad school, earning my doctorate in clinical psychology. After spending a year as a postdoc at the Menninger Foundation, I proceeded to work in hospitals, counseling centers, private practice, and as a clinical instructor at Harvard University.My first book—A Curious Calling: Unconscious Motivations for Practicing Psychotherapy—was a main selection for America’s largest psychotherapy-related book club. I edited and contributed to the follow-up volume, A Perilous Calling: The Hazards of Psychotherapy Practice. These two books have recently been translated into Chinese by the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences Press.My life changed forever in October of 1998, with the birth of my son. Ollie is a remarkable fellow, and he single-handedly jump-started my creativity. When he was five, I started writing picture books, and in 2009 I published Otto Grows Down, illustrated by Scott Magoon.As Ollie aged, I started writing for an older audience. The result—Crashing Eden—is my first novel, an urban fantasy for young adults and savvy not-so-young adults. Ollie was my muse, my collaborator, and my most astute critic. I’m forever grateful to my son. Now, if I could just get him to clear his dishes …

Summary: (MichaelSussmanBooks.com)

For one boy and his friends, the path to Paradise comes at a cost—one they may not be prepared to pay.When a biking accident leaves 17-year-old Joss Kazdan with the ability to hear things others can’t, reality as he knows it begins to unravel.A world of legends exists beyond the ordinary life he’s always known, and he is transported to the same Paradise he’s studying in World Mythology. But the strange gets even stranger when his new friends build a device that delivers people through the gates of the Garden of Eden.Now Samael, the Creator God, is furious. As Samael rains down his apocalyptic devastation on the ecstasy-seeking teens, Joss and his companions must find a way to appease Samael—or the world will be destroyed forever.

I'd Recommend to...
High Schoolers looking for a fun read

My Rating:
4.3/5

My Thoguhts:
Joss is a wreck. His brother, Eli, committed suicide a year before (WHICH IS NEVER THE ANSWER!!!!) and has just been released from Juvenal Detention Centre. He was sent there for burning down a house of Eli's tormentors after Eli's death. On his way home from school that day, he gets into a bike accident and is sent to the hospital with a concussion. When we awakens, he hears a strange noise in his ears, and the noise is later discovered to be the Shankman Frequency, the sound that all humans could originally hear, but now only people up to age 6 can hear. It brings bliss and happiness to all who hear it and all is right in the world.
When Shakti, the person who caused the accident, comes to apologize, Joss tells her of the sound and discovers some interesting information. Later, he is receiving and giving out PVDs, or Primordial Vibration Devices which allows anyone who wears it to be in total bliss. Unfortunately, this makes Samael, the Gnostic Blind god, angry, and the original 9 plagues start to reoccur. Callie, Joss's Sister, receives a message from the PVD with how to save the world,  but her mother takes away her PVD and forbids her from wearing one. Can Joss and his friends convince his mother to let Callie wear one? Will they save the world? I guess you'll just have to read Crashing Eden to find out!
This was an interesting story. I did like it, though I didn't like some of the religious aspects of it, being how it was based on a Gnostic religion, not a Christian religion. But that didn't stop me from reading it and enjoying it. Even when I wasn't reading it, I was thinking about what would happen next in the book; it was full of - not so much suspense, but more just the feeling you get when you don't want to put it down. I often spent a few nights staying up later to read more of it and was disappointed when I had to put it down to go to sleep.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

I Love Whale Sharks: Georgia Aquarium Review







I went to the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, GA for the first time at the end of March 2012. The aquarium has been open since 2005. It is easy to get to if you know how to navigate those one-way streets and such in Atlanta. I went as a chaperone for my daughter’s field trip. On the way from the parking garage, there is a covered pathway and speakers align it. Deepo speaks to you as you walk toward the aquarium. Deepo is a fish that looks like Finding Nemo, except he’s all orange. On the sidewalk are dolphin fin imprints and signatures from celebrity dolphins such as The Olsen Fins and Dolly Partfin.


So you reach the front entrance and to me it’s not really impressive. They have some dolphin sculptures decorated in various themes. You line up to get your tickets or if you ordered online you can go directly to security to be scanned for prohibits items, have your bags searched, and your mug shot taken—I mean your souvenir picture can be taken for pickup inside—or you can just enter the “lobby” or main area. It’s huge too, like a mall. (Do people still go to malls?) You can see the entrances to all the exhibits and they’re clearly marked with large exciting-looking glowing signage. There is a second-level balcony where some of the exhibits’ exits are located as well as tables and seating. Around the main level are gift kiosks, a cafeteria, and easy to locate bathrooms and areas to sit and rest or eat. There is a large gift shop which is strategically located so you have to walk through it to exit the aquarium.

We visited the following exhibits: Cold Water Quest (penguins), Tropical Diver (tropical fish and coral reef), Ocean Voyager (whale sharks and manta rays), River Scout (alligators), Dolphin Tales (live musical dolphin show), Georgia Explorer (two-story jungle gym-like structure and giant whale-shaped slide). There is also a Frogs exhibit we didn’t see and a 4D Theater show with Deepo and friends. This aquarium has a lot of different animals including otters, Beluga whales, spider crabs, jellyfish, lionfish, starfish, and sting rays. There are several exhibits where you can touch the animals (with two fingers only). You can pay extra to have more in-depth encounters with animals like the dolphins.

The Georgia Aquarium is a very kid-friendly, family-friendly place. There are interactive shows with Deepo. The Dolphin Tales show was great. It looked big and more exciting on TV, but that’s what TV is: the lure. However, I was not disappointed and the kids were amazed.
The food court had everything you could want from a fully stocked, self-service salad bar to a burger and fries, and pastries that looked like they were from a four-star restaurant. To give you an idea on the prices, I paid $13 for a bottle of water, chicken tenders and fries.
My only compliant was that in the Georgia Explorer indoor jungle gym thingy, there was like two inches of dust and lint on the metal safety guard grill and railings on the second floor. But there were plenty of hand sanitizer stations throughout the building.

It was a great visit. The children even got to see divers inside the tanks cleaning them. They thought that was cool. I’ve been to the Tennessee Aquarium and I liked it a lot. The Georgia Aquarium may have bigger animals, but the Tennessee Aquarium has more diversity—more types of jellyfish and sea horse for example. I think, however, that they are evenly matched for wonder and entertainment. You can’t go wrong with either one. I just wanted to see a real whale shark at the Georgia Aquarium. That was my big thing. They were 33 feet long.

Rating: 4.5/5

Price: $34.95 adult $29.95 child admission on Friday. Prices vary by season and day of the week. Parking $10 or $9 if ordered online.

Value: Worth the money when you see how big it is and the maintenance involved in feeding and housing these animals safely in this gigantic facility.

Best time to visit: Sunday-Thursday

Favorite Exhibit: Ocean Voyager with the moving conveyor walkway that takes you right underneath the football field-sized tank where the whale sharks swim.

Recommend: For all ages. Families. Wheel-chair and stroller accessible. I also recommend getting a City Pass so you can visit many 5 exhibits in Atlanta (Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola, Atlanta Zoo, etc) for one low price: $69 adult and $49 for child (3-12). The World of Coca Cola is right next to the Georgia Aquarium and you could go from one to the other without moving your car.

Location: Convenient. 225 Baker Street NW, Atlanta, GA 30313. 404-581-4000. I-85/75 from North Exit 249C. I-85/75 from South Exit 248C. From East or West on I-20 Exit 56B.


*I took that picture in one of the exhibits.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Great Minds Think Aloud Guest Post

gGuest Post brought to you by Great Minds Think Aloud!


NEW TO GREAT MINDS THINK ALOUD INDEPENDENT PUBLISHING
THE NECRO DEVICE
BY
M.T. DISMUKE
To be released on April 21st on Amazon.com & Createspace

SYNOPSIS:

A page-turner of darkest depths, betrayal, fear, and layers of hidden agendas all play parts in this intense, pulse-pounding thriller." The story of The Necro Device begins several decades in the past with the Mandiev brothers. They were extreme circus performers and traveled the world with an amazing, yet daring, show. Their stepfather - Vince Stevens trained them in the arts and taught them everything they knew, but it was for another reason, one that will later haunt and control the community for years to come. Vince built a device that required elemental energy, human energy, to power it. It required four types total, and like a combination, depending on the four elements used, it produced a specific result. In the case of the Mandiev brothers, each of them was trained in a specific element: Marcus was trained in the arts of physical endurance and regeneration - Body. Phillip was trained to master telepathic and mental abilities - Mind. Christopher was trained to withstand extremely cold temperatures - Ice. Ryan was the master of hell itself - Fire. The combination of elemental energy determined the machines output. If every requirement was met and it was designed correctly, it could then be powered up and operated one time before it would ultimately destroy itself. The device was never meant to be built. After constructing the machine, Vince later meets an untimely death, and somebody begins charging it. The
Mandiev brothers are killed, and the machine is primed. 30 years later, Mary and John Hilt are hired to restore the Mandiev estate and begin to unravel decades of betrayal and a diabolical plot. Something has gone wrong with the machine, and it has been operating for years. What is it? What does it do? Who's operating it? These questions and more will be answered as Mary discovers her fate and the secret behind The Necro Device. It has a purpose... Extended Description: The Necro Device at its core is about a machine, control, and betrayal. The author M. T. Dismuke enjoys writing about technology and wrapping it up inside a darker world where it then becomes malefic and deadly. He then creates plots filled with twists and subplots which is exactly what The Necro Device is from the very moment the novel is cracked open to the very end. The story itself is an intricate web of betrayal and secrets cast over an entire community in order to maintain control over the machine... Discover its purpose.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Michael T. Dismuke is an American Thriller Author born in Vicenza, Italy. He's lived in Colorado for over 35 years and has studied Electronics, Software and Industrial Engineering. He began writing at a very young age which included interactive stories, computer games, campfire tales, and short stories. After receiving his college degree, he focused more on writing.
In 2003 he wrote his first novel The Necro Device which later would become his first published novel in 2011. He is one of few authors that write in the present tense and does it extremely well. He offers his readers an action first environment that's not only thrilling and exciting, but is also intricately layered with subplots and complex story mechanics. He uses his knowledge in technology to drive his stories and push them to their limits.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Royally Fabulous Contest Information Post

Are you Royally Fabulous? Let us know!
Starting now, we will hold a contest 4 times a year. This contest will be the Royally Fabulous contest. There will be one for Spring, one for Summer, one for Fall, and one for Winter (based on the seasons in the United States of America). This contest will be for the Spring page. You will have from now until May 5th to enter.

What do you win?
You will receive your own page, not just a post, a whole PAGE, on PrincessReviews, dedicated to you. It will include your picture, some information about you, and your winning entry.

So how do you win?
Simply send an email to princessreviews (at) inbox (dot) com with a subject of Royally Fabulous. Include or attach a picture of yourself and any information you would want on your page. Also include or attach an essay explaining how you are Royally Fabulous.

What is considered Royally Fabulous?
There are many ways you can be royally fabulous! Have you done something worthwhile that took a lot of courage? Have you done some wonderful community service or environmental help? Maybe you were the first in your family to do something. Whatever you have done that you think is amazing, that should be something to write about in your Royally Fabulous essay.
Please do not make up anything, as there is most likely someone out there who has indeed gone through whatever it is your making up.

Any requirements?
Follow PrincessReviews!! There is no age requirement and you don't have to live in a certain country. Just follow and be fabulous! :)

If I don't win this season, can I enter again?
Of course you can! We hope to receive a lot of entries so don't be discouraged if you don't win, just enter again for the next season!

If you have any other questions, feel free to leave a comment below or email me.

Thanks!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Beauty Queen and The School Nerd


Title:
The Beauty Queen and the School Nerd

Author:
Vanessa Lee

About the Author: (Amazon)
Vanessa is a resident of Georgia and loves to read, write, watch films, and act. Reflecting on her high school experience, she loosely based the events and characters in this book on those years.

Summary: (Amazon)
Did you ever wonder what would happen if a beauty queen and a school nerd had something in common? No one would have ever guessed that seniors Jessica Richardson and Amanda Shaw could ever have anything in common. The two girls attend the ultra-exclusive Porter Academy in Atlanta. Jessica is a beauty queen with a glamorous life and tons of money, clothes, and make-up. Amanda comes from a lower class home and is the "school nerd" at Porter. Well, we're about to find out what happens when the two girls meet and their secret past is revealed to the world!

I'd Recommend to...
Middle Schoolers

My Rating:
3.8/5

My Thoughts:
Jessica Richardson is the most popular girl in school. She is a beauty queen and has won many beauty pageants. Amanda Shaw is the school nerd. Everyone makes fun of her and she attends Porter on an academic scholarship. But one fateful day, Amanda and her mother go to Jessica's house on a cleaning job where they find Nathan, Amanda and Jessica's father. They discover they are twins!
Amanda's life starts to look up as Jessica accepts her and her senior year becomes the memorable year it is supposed to be.
Vanessa Lee never seems to disappoint when it comes to writing books with morals! That is absolutely one of the things I enjoy most about her work.  The life lesson in this was that what goes around comes around, karma sucks, and people can change. Three good lessons everyone should learn. But how do you come to these conclusions? Well, I suppose you're just going to have to read the book to find out.
I hope my senior year goes as well for me as it went for Amanda and Jessica.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

When You Come Back To Me Again

When You Come Back To Me Again
Title:
When You Come Back To Me Again

Author:
Jaimie Hope

About the Author: (Amazon)
Jaimie Hope was born November 3, 1976 in New York. It wasn't until high school, where she joined the newspaper staff, that she decided she wanted to be a writer.After graduation, writing was put aside for a while. The author went to college and received an Associates degree in 1999. Then she moved to Florida where she was an active volunteer in the local historical society and remained active in the arts. This is Jaimie Hope's seventh book, and the first to be listed as a Paranormal Romance. Other books released include: Three are installments in the Baby Jaimie Children books series, two Romance novels, and an Autobiography.

Summary: (Amazon)
It has been three years since Sara Rhea lost her beloved, James. Many changes have gone on around her, yet she seems unable to move forward. Finally, in an effort to help Becca invites her on her annual trip to Salem, Massachusetts. Sara is skeptical, but agrees to go along figuring she could at least satisfy the history buff in her by seeing the place the Salem Witch Trials took place if nothing else should happen. Still, she can't help hoping she'll find the answers she seeks while worrying she's in over her head. Only time will tell.

I'd Recommend to...
People who've lost loved ones

My Rating:
4.8/5

My Thoughts:
Sara is still obsessing over her beloved James, who is sadly deceased. He has no longer been living for 3 years. She goes on a trip to Salem to try to contact James. The psychic does not disappoint, but still, Sara wants more. She decides to get an Ouija board to try to contact him. She does not heed to her friends warnings and instead of talking to James, though she is certain she is, she is talking to a spirit who tries to kill her. On her way to her death bed, the real ghost of James shows up and defeats the impostor. He tells her to live a happy life and once she awakens in the hospital, that is exactly what she plans to do.
This book had a good message to live your life to the fullest, no matter what hardships you may come by. Though life will never return back to normal once you lose a loved one, try to become okay with it and don't ever try doing anything too desperate. Like James told Sara, be happy. It's better than being sad all the time.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Sinful Colors Professional Oasis Nail Enamel


My friend gave me this nail polish for Christmas and I love it! It stays on a long time and doesn't chip that much. The color, Oasis # 942, (the lovely shade of pink you see above) is definitely a wonderful, calming, yet energizing, color. It's sort of a Barbie pink. It's definitely a hot pink, but a cute hot pink. It's a color that I love. It's so me! But Sinful Colors Professional has tons and tons of colors to choose from, so everyone should be able to find a color that suits them best! You can experiment with colors and designs to come up with a cute nail! This nail polish is long-lasting, great looking, and definitely pleasing. I totally recommend Sinful Colors Professional Nail Enamel to everyone! :)  

Book Review: Him, Known as Awakened: Book Two of the Sulexian Chronicles



Him, Known as Awakened: Book Two of the Sulexian Chronicles

By Aubrey Williams

Book Review

Rating: 3/5 or 6/10

*spoiler alert if you haven’t read Book One

Him, Known as Awakened: Book Two of the Sulexian Chronicles continues the story of Daniel and Emma who found out that they were mages in The Knight in Shining Armor (Book One). At the end of Book One, Daniel and Emma lose their powers and are forced to leave Sulex for their own safety. Him, Known as Awakened picks up the story a few months later. Daniel has returned to his childhood home in Earth Realm with his brother Derrick posing as his uncle, and a rumor that Daniel’s sister and parents died in an accident. In reality, Emma is across the country living with her sister Emily who is also posing as Emma’s guardian.

New to Book Two of the Sulexian Chronicles is Bert, a school friend of Daniel’s who recently met his father for the first time and lost him all in three weeks due to a car crash. Although Bert comes out of it with minor scrapes, his father is fatally wounded. On his deathbed, Bert’s father reveals to him a family folk tale that foretells of events that will change Bert’s life.

As the story progresses, Bert meets with Daniel and rekindles their friendship, but dark forces from Sulex intervene to try to end Bert’s life because he is the Awakened One as told of in Sulex prophecy. As the Awakened One, he has great but unstable powers which can be used for good or evil. Bert’s inner struggle dominates his character in the book. With Emma’s help, Daniel is able to flee back to Sulex with Bert in tow. In Book One, Daniel was very self-conscious and had not much confidence in himself. Book Two develops him into a leader as he, Emma, and Bert are reunited with many of their friends and some enemies from Book One, all while preparing to face a new threat: Lurion, the Destroyer.

Because Daniel and Emma as The Knight in Shining Armor and the Grand Summoner respectively, defeated the great evil Amethyst (in Book One), they have upset the balance of good and evil in Sulex and lost their powers. Now Daniel, Emma and the rest of their old (and some new) friends must help Bert as the Awakened One, to pass trials so that he can restore the Knight and the Summoner powers. They must also succeed in these trials to receive the prophecy that will aid them in restoring the balance of good and evil and bring Sulex back to peace. But again, it all depends on Bert and if he will give in to the evil side of his powers.

With sequels, it’s the author’s job to help the reader remember all the characters from previous books, especially if it’s been a while since the first book was released. (It has been a year since I read Book One.) The author does allude to Book One a great deal. Although I could have done with a more detailed refresher of the characters, their powers and relationship dynamics, it did not take away from my enjoyment of Book Two.

Book Two of the Sulexian Chronicles moves along quickly, although it seemed a bit choppy and didn’t flow as well as Book One. There are places where I got lost as to what is going on, mostly during pop-up fight scenes. The flow does get better as the plot unfolds, but transitions are a bit weak. Again, there is a huge cast of characters and they have an array of personalities and talents that make them unique. But there are still a lot of them. The author breaks this down somewhat by only having a few characters go on certain missions throughout the book. Still, I forgot about a few characters because we had not heard from them for thirty or so pages.

The imagination and creativity is still pretty cool as it was in Book One. The creatures, the magic, and the history of Sulex and its many gods and goddesses still made me say wow. The trials that Bert had to face were creative as well. We’re shown early on through Bert’s error that his has great power as the Awakened One, but as the plot continues we find that it’s dangerous for him to use this power and instead he must rely on his mage abilities. This was an excellent device because Bert must find inner strength and his own skills and knowledge to accomplish his goals rather than relying on this unstable yet awesome power within him.

The ending, although exciting, just ended for me with minimal work on the part of our heroes. But it was done in such a way as to lead in to Book Three. I was left with some questions about the villain and Bert’s father, but I’m sure they will be answered in the next book.

I gave this a 3 out of 5 stars or 6 out of 10. I received this book as an advanced reader copy.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Hottie Handbook


My great-aunt got me this Hottie Handbook for Christmas this past year. It is a black spiral notebook with flames on it. Inside, each page is filled with a questionnaire and rating chart. It even has a place for a photo. You fill out the "hottie"'s Name, Age, Birthday, Address, Phone #, Cell Phone #, E-Mail, Where you met, Best features, First date, first kiss, most memorable moment, and what makes him a hottie. On the rating chart, you rate him from 1-4 (1 being mild, 2 medium, 3 hot, and 4 very hot) in the categories of Hair, Eyes, Lips, Body, Fashion Style, Athletic, Personality, Car, Popularity, Intelligence, Sense of Humor, and Kissability. Then you add your ratings to calculate the total score. "0-25 = Hottie? Not! 26-25 = Better than nothing. 26-44 = Warm enough to toast my buns. 45+ = He's so hot, I'm on fire!"
I think that this is a good book for middle schoolers to judge peoples and be middle schoolers. Sort of like a boy diary. They should totally keep it in a safe spot so no one can find it and use any information provided against anyone. 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Use and Complexity of Sex Magic Giveaway

Nobody entered The Use and Complexity of Sex Magic giveaway, so it will be held for another week or two!
Ten winners!
Must be 18 or older!

Simply follow PrincessReviews and leave a comment with your birthday and email!

Check out the original giveaway post here!

The Haunted House of Riddles

The Haunted House of Riddles
Title:
The Haunted House of Riddles

Author:
Vanessa Rose Lee

Illustrator:
Rosemarie Gillen

About the Author:
Vanessa Rose Lee enjoys writing for children and young adults. Vanessa wrote "The Haunted House of Riddles" as a Halloween tale. She hopes readers enjoy the story and the pictures!

About the Illustrator:
Rosemarie Gillen has been a professional illustrator of children's picture books since 2005. She has won several awards for her illustration work. She is a selftaught artist who is happiest when painting.

Summary: (Amazon)
The clock is ticking. It is Halloween. What is something fun for friends to do in the town of Riddles? Jake tells his friends about a fun haunted house-The Haunted House of Riddles! Come inside! Meet the fun people living here. But wait! They need your help! Join the friends to solve the riddles or rhymes. Riddles readers-you are in for "ghoul" or good times! This Halloween tale is written in English and Spanish (Inglés y Español).

I'd Recommend to...
Children and people trying to learn either Spanish or English
during Halloween season

My Rating:
4.8/5

My Thoughts:
Christina and her friends want something new and fun to do on Halloween. They go to a haunted house. There they meet a genie, a witch, a ballerina, and a cheerleader who need help finding things. They help them find them. Before leaving, they all get their picture taken.
This was a cute story and I liked how the witch was a nice witch and not a mean witch. It was also in both Spanish and English, and I loved that. It's not only a children's book, but a beginners book for people trying to learn either Spanish or English. It was a good book. And the pictures were extremely good for being done by someone who was self-taught. 

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Hunger Games Movie

The Hunger Games Poster
Movie:
The Hunger Games

Release Date:
March 23, 2012

Rating:
PG-13

Genre:
Action, Drama, Sci-Fi

Starring:
Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth

Writers:
Gary Ross, Suzanne Collins

Director:
Gary Ross

Length:
142 Minutes

IMDb Summary:
Set in a future where the Capitol selects a boy and girl from the twelve districts to fight to the death on live television, Katniss Everdeen volunteers to take her younger sister's place for the latest match.

IMDb Rating:
7.7/10

My Rating:
6.5/10

My Thoughts:
Honestly, I didn't see what all the hype about this movie was. That being said, I do want to know what happens afterward. Even though I found it extremely disappointing, and, dare I say, boring, I must admit that I am very curious as to what happens next. I did not read the books, and I probably won't, so to find out what happens next, I will probably see the next movie.
In this movie, Katniss volunteers as a tribune into the Hunger Games in place of her sister, whose name was selected from a drawing that would decide who would be entered into the hunger games. The man chosen from her district was Peeta. Okay, let me fill you in on some background information first. So, every year, 24 children ages 12-18 are chosen to compete in the hunger games. 2 from each district; there are 12 districts. One is a boy and one is a girl. There may only be one final victorious winner, and the rest of the players die. The winner is the last player alive. These people that are in charge of the games can affect the games by setting the woods on fire and making huge carnivorous creatures appear. It's very dangerous and no one wants to be a part of it, for fear of dying, except for whoever comes from Districts 1 and 2. They spend their entire life training for it and volunteer to go into the hunger games and almost always end up winning.
So, anyway, back to this hunger game. Katniss needs to win for her mother and sister, and her boyfriend back home, Gale. (I really don't know how the author of the books came up with these names, I mean, seriously? Gale and Peeta as boy names? Those definitely sound like girl names to me...) Peeta is just scared to death, it appears, to be selected as the male participant from District 12, Katniss's district. Anything can happen. Peeta tells a blue oompa loompa talk show host that he's had a crush on Katniss for a long, long time, and by playing the role of "star-crossed lovers", Peeta and Katniss somehow get the game warden to rewrite the rules, stating that if the only two survivors left are both from the same district, they may both win the hunger games. So, do Peeta and Katniss win? I suppose you'll have to see the movie to find out. (If you want to know that bad, *SPOILER ALERT* Yes, they do win.) When the winners get back to celebrate, Katniss and Peeta are together, but Katniss and Gale are sort of together, too. So, that's why I want to know what happens next. I want to know whether Katniss ends up with Gale or with Peeta.
Also, I do believe that this movie was just of the first book, Mockingjay, but I want to know what the other books have in store for it to be such a large series, each with the same characters. And if this movie was more than just mockingjay, then will they still make another one? I don't know, and typing out this review has just made me a bit confused. Oh, well. Um, this isn't scheduled to post for a couple of days and in the morning, but right now it's 10:29 PM (as I'm typing this), so I'm just going to go to bed now.
You can either watch the movie, or not.
Oh, but while I was watching it, it did go from being in the dark woods to being in a bright office-like place quite a lot, which hurt my eyes severely and gave me a head ache. I think that it should have been less of a brightness change, especially as often as they did it. And, at the beginning of the movie, while Katniss was simply walking, no big deal, the camera was like bouncing and moving in ways I don't think it should have. It reminded me of the Degrassi episode where the kid is high off of meth and I don't think Katniss was high, so I'm not really sure why the camera was like that. Like I said, it didn't really fit that part of the movie. While she was running and in the woods and stuff, yes, that camera motion would have been, and was, fine, because she was in motion and you don't expect a camera to be still when it shouldn't be. Those two things really bugged me about the movie and that is no fault of the writers, but of the producer and/or director.
So, anyway, that's what I think of this movie, but you should be smart enough to make your own decisions and I'd love to hear them! Post your comments below on your favorites and least favorite moments of the movie!
I've also heard that people who've read the books were a lot more disappointed in it than those who haven't read the books. My friend Rachel loved the movie. Amanda liked it a lot. Drew was disappointed in it. My dad didn't understand what all the hype was about. Matt's friend said it was more of a chick flick. I agree with that. There wasn't any blood and gore or anything. There wasn't even any cussing. And you've obviously heard my opinion on it. So what's yours?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Legacy


Title:
The Legacy

Author:
Patricia Kiyono

About the Author: (ebook)
Patricia Kiyono is honored The Legacy is included in the Japan Relief Novella series. During her first career, she taught elementary music, junior high social studies, elementary classrooms, and junior high social studies. She now teaches part time at Grand Valley State University. 
She lives in southwest Michigan with her husband, not far from her children and grandchildren. Current interests, aside from writing, include sewing, crocheting, scrapbooking, and music. A love of travel and an interest in faraway people inspires her to create stories about different cultures. She has written elementary school plays and educational materials. The Legacy is her first work of fiction to be published.

Summary: (Goodreads)
When Andy Tanaka finds an old wooden chest in a storage shed on his family's flower farm, he can't wait to share his discovery with his best friend, Leigh Becker.
Inside the dusty lacquered chest are a pair of swords, some Japanese clothing, and a mysterious scroll, which could provide links to his samurai ancestor. They find someone to translate the scroll and then research the significance of the other items, intent on ensuring the legacy isn't forgotten.
In the process, they learn not only about samurai history, but also some surprising truths about themselves.

I'd Recommend to...
people with an interest in japanese culture and/or samurai

My Rating:
4.7/5

My Thoughts:
Andy and Leigh are best friends. Andy finds a trunk full of old samurai family items in his shed. They take them to a family friend of Andy's, who tells them a story of Andy's ancestors. The swords and other items in the trunk rightfully now belong to Andy's grandfather, who refuses to take them, believing he is not enough of a samurai warrior. On the other hand, Leigh's stepfather is out of a job and is turning to alcohol to solve his problems. He is getting more drunk and more violent. What will happen to Leigh and/or her stepfather? Who will the swords go to? Will Andy and Leigh ever be more than friends? Read The Legacy to find out.
This is a sweet little love story. It's a novella, so it's a quick read. Patricia Kiyono definitely knows what she is talking about in it and definitely has some Japanese knowledge. I would totally read other books by her. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Alchemyst #1 Book Review


OK. So I've finished The Alchemyst #1 by Michael Scott. It is the story of brother and sister Josh and Sophie, fraternal twins who are quickly caught up in the world of magic and mythology and legend by Josh's employers Nick and Perry Fleming who turn out to be the Flamels, famed alchemyst and sorceress. Fortunately or unfortunately for the twins their destinies were foretold in an ancient book called the Codex and now they are irreversibly linked to a world where myths and legends have more than a grain of truth in them.
This first book of the series introduces Josh and Sophie and the dilemma facing a world the twins are destined to save or destroy because these two have extraordinary dormant magical powers. They must come into their own and learn to control these powers while being chased by a maniacal magician Dr. John Dee and his dark (evil? possibly) allies.
I thought this was a well-developed and well-researched book. The interconnectedness of each character with historical facts was very well done. For young readers, this book gives the opportunity to explore world history, literature, mythology and science without cracking a textbook. Although after reading it I'm sure they will want to look up some of these facts for themselves. I have not checked the facts for myself yet, but it could easily be done.
Although a great story, well paced and interesting, it does become predictable in parts for someone like me who has read many books about fantasy and magic and watched countless movies in the genre. There were places where the answers to a strange new character or place were obvious, yet Josh and Sophie seemed slow on realizing the truth. But for a young reader, this becomes a journey not only for entertainment but for knowledge as well. It will definitely peak the interest of the reader in many different areas including history, art, science and geography.
It was a very quick read for me on the reader on my phone even at over 369 pages. There was a considerable amount of "name dropping", like one of the characters knowing William Shakespeare. I didn't care for the characters seeming to know many of the famous people in history myself, but again is a great device to link the fiction to fact and continue to create that suspension of belief that allows us to enjoy reading books like this.
Good book for the target audience of young adults, exciting, very dark in some places, but on the whole entertaining. And that's why we read. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Dawn of the Hunter

Title:
Dawn of the Hunter

Author:
Bonnie Bernard

Series:
Midnight Hunter Trilogy

About the Author: (book)
Bonnie Bernard is an alter ego of a feisty redhead who lives in the Rocky Mountains with her husband, a dog, and two cats - one of which owns everybody and everything in the house. They share their old home with a ghost who likes to flip switches and throw power tools until he gets what he wants (bright, shiny objects to play with).
Bonnie spends her time writing, hiking and having fun with her friends. She enjoys planting obscure specimens in the backyard garden to see what pops up, and she's fascinated by unseen forces and creepy-crawly things.
Dawn of the Hunter is her second full-length fiction work.
Find out more at http://midnighthuntertrilogy.webs.com/

Summary: (Goodreads)
Donna is on the wrong end of a high-power assault rifle, with a 4000 year old demon’s trigger finger on the other. He’s promised to blow her brains out if she gets any closer. 
She takes a step…toward the monster. 
Until that day, Donna was enjoying her new life. Married to the man of her dreams, raising the child they had together, spending time with her best friend…what more could a girl want? 
How about a chance to save the world? 
The opportunity arrives when a strange, beautiful woman befriends Donna and then kidnaps her baby. To get her little girl back, Donna must do what’s humanly impossible...and maybe inhumanely impossible, too. 
With the help of a fallen Underworld goddess, a vengeful demon, and her own new-found strength, Donna must rescue her baby and the world.

I'd Recommend to...
anyone, really

My Rating:
4.9/5

My Thoughts:
Donna and Hunter are now married and their prophecy-holder daughter, Lucinda is 3 months old. While buying diapers for the kid, Donna runs into Jaquelina,  a minion for Michael St. James, the old mayor, and an ex of Hunter's. She sneaks into the house one night while the vampires are away and steals Lucinda. Alicia, goddess of Beauty in the Underworld, helps Donna go to Howie to get the girl back. Howie and Donna rescue Lucinda and Cassie, a records-keeper of the prophecy, from Stephen. But a war has started. With the help of her friends, Donna can help to stop it. But will it be truly over with?
Dawn of the Hunter picked up right around where Midnight Hunter left off. If you didn't read Midnight Hunter, you would not be lost by reading Dawn of the Hunter as you would be in some series. That is a majorly good thing. I really hate it when you go to read a book, not knowing its not the first in a series or even that its in a series at all, and you get mega confused because you don't know whats happening. In Dawn of the Hunter, that never happens. Bonnie Bernard did a fabulous job of making sure that the readers know what is going on at all times and I think that is a key point to any good piece of writing.
The plot was an easy one to read, and it didn't really have any boring parts that you would want to just leave the book alone. There wasn't really anything that you'd be like "Oh my goodness, I need to keep reading!" either, but it was a nice, easy read. I liked how it was a vampires vs. demons war, instead of the overly popular vampires vs. werewolves that most books, movies, and television shows nowadays seem to deal with. It was a nice way to change things up and I think it was definitely much needed.
I'd totally tell people to read this if they're into reading.

Monday, April 9, 2012

My Birthday is September Eleven and Other Short Stories Book Review


My Birthday is September Eleven and Other Short Stories by Nicole Weaver
This collection of short stories touches on many different subjects from dealing with tragedy to bullying to giving to self-sacrifice to adoption. Each story has a child main character or characters that have to deal with real-life situations that readers may have or will experience personally or through a friend sometime in their own lives. For those who never have to experience some of the tougher situations like a natural disaster, it offers the reader a glimpse of this tragedy on a more human level rather than just a list of faceless statistics of fatalities and damages.
Lessons learned from the stories are far-reaching. Such as that the way we begin our lives in not always how we are destined to lead them. These stories show how we are all socially connected to the world at large even though we may physically be far away. Sharing these stories with your children will open their minds and hearts to living and thinking beyond themselves.
By having the characters come from many different walks of life, this book will appeal to a wide variety of juvenile and older readers. As the U.S. has always been a diverse blend of peoples, cultures and languages, this book reflects that diversity showing that what we may consider different is actually familiar.
I gave the book 4 stars because some of the stories read a little like the biographies of famous people condensed for children to read in that they spanned many years or decades in a short period of time; and the main character goes beyond the childhood stage sometimes making it less relatable to the target audience, but an enjoyable read nonetheless.