Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Ten Tiny Breaths by K A Tucker - REVIEW

(The above is the cover of the book I read and the  lower right right cover is the CURRENT COVER - Publishers - always changing!)


Kacey Cleary’s whole life imploded four years ago in a drunk-driving accident. Now she’s working hard to bury the pieces left behind—all but one. Her little sister, Livie. Kacey can swallow the constant disapproval from her born-again aunt Darla over her self-destructive lifestyle; she can stop herself from going kick-boxer crazy on Uncle Raymond when he loses the girls’ college funds at a blackjack table. She just needs to keep it together until Livie is no longer a minor, and then they can get the hell out of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

But when Uncle Raymond slides into bed next to Livie one night, Kacey decides it’s time to run. Armed with two bus tickets and dreams of living near the coast, Kacey and Livie start their new lives in a Miami apartment complex, complete with a grumpy landlord, a pervert upstairs, and a neighbor with a stage name perfectly matched to her chosen “profession.” But Kacey’s not worried. She can handle all of them. What she can’t handle is Trent Emerson in apartment 1D.

Kacey doesn’t want to feel. She doesn’t. It’s safer that way. For everyone. But sexy Trent finds a way into her numb heart, reigniting her ability to love again. She starts to believe that maybe she can leave the past where it belongs and start over. Maybe she’s not beyond repair.

But Kacey isn’t the only one who’s broken. Seemingly perfect Trent has an unforgiveable past of his own; one that, when discovered, will shatter Kacey’s newly constructed life and send her back into suffocating darkness.

"Touching, gorgeous read. It made me laugh, cry and swoon!"--Cora Carmack

"I loved it!! A MUST READ! I won't say any more. The shock value from the very start to the very end must be experienced blindly for full impact. Just know I think you should read it."--Maryse's Book Blog

"This is one of the best contemporary novels to hit shelves this year, and a must-read for those who love realistic stories about strong females."--Jen, Hypable.com
5 Stars!
New Adult Contemporary Romance - Ages 18+ due to sexual situations.
Perhaps what you learn about this book, if you are a parent, can be explained to your teenagers, if you have them. This is one book that has a powerful lesson to be learned.
This novel tackles drunk driving, but also the aftermath of the survivors it leaves behind. They are just as much the victims, but 'living' victims. Everyone NEEDS to read this book. It's incredible! 
Kacey lost her boyfriend, her best friend, her mother and father in a drunk driving accident, but it was the driver in the other vehicle that was drunk, not Kacey and Livie's father who was driving. Now she's hardened and really screwed up inside, unable to forgive anything about that accident, mad, angry, depressed, but determined to make her way in life, and no one will get in her way.
After the accident they were living in Michigan with her Aunt and Uncle, but something terrible happens which makes them flee as fast as they can. Geeze, one thing after another for these girls! Kacey decides upon Miami and off they go on a bus.
Kacey's mother had always always told her to stop and take ten tiny breaths.  She keeps trying to understand what she meant by that, and struggles throughout this story to figure it out. 
"Why ten tiny breaths? Seize them, feel them, love them, she said. Why not deep breaths?" she asks in the book. At times Kacey feels like she is drowning.
When they get to Miami, they find a 'cheap-as-cheap' as you can get apartment. Kacey gets Livie enrolled into High School, as the plan is to get her into Princeton. Now Kacey needs to get a good paying job to make that happen. 
Among all of the hats Kacey wears, she goes downstairs into the basement to do the laundry, where she meets one of her first neighbors, Trent. Boy oh boy, is he HOT! That scene was HOT, but the second one is even hotter, like many in this book! Be prepared to be swooned throughout this book!
Then Kacey meets another neighbor, Storm, who has a little girl named Mia. Livie takes right to her, offering to babysit and just spend time with her.
Storm helps Kacey get a job as a bartender where she works, and Kacey is surprised to find out where Storm works. Storm tells her the money and tips are beyond great, and it is. Kacey tries it out, and Storm is right on about the money. Kacey continues to work there.
It's a good thing Kacey knows how to take care of herself physically, because a lot of these men don't know how to keep their hands to themselves. 
Kacey is one person not to be messed with. She works out every day in a boxing gym doing kick-boxing with guys, mostly out of anger because of what happened to her years ago. She is still stuck with all this anger, and it still hasn't gone away. She feels alive when she is working out and getting all her frustration out because when she is not working out, she does not feel.
One night Kacey sees her neighbor, Trent, sitting near the bar watching her. This is the beginning of their relationship, of Kacey starting to feel again. They both want each other as much as the other does. Now the flirting dance starts. One circumstance leads to another, and another, and another. Their relationship turns HOT! It stays that way for quite awhile, and it makes you tingle! Ahhhh! Their relationship continues and continues, and we really cannot get enough of them, until, one day . . . a shocking secret is revealed, and everything starts to crumble and shatter until it destroys people.
I never saw this coming, nor did I see the other twists and turns yet to come. Wow! 
Can Kacey and Trent's relationship be salvaged after everyone learns about the secrets they all held in? 
Mostly, can Kacey ever find it in her heart to forgive? 
Even if you don't drink and drive, what happened in this book CAN HAPPEN TO ANYONE, even if you are not drinking. Like I said above, this book is about the aftermath of the surviving victims.
Katherine Tucker has penned one heck of a great book! I loved what she had to say in the back of the book as to why she wrote this book! You'll have to read it!
This novel was compelling to read. She had me glued to the pages, and I didn't really stop reading until I was done. I didn't even know how much time flew by! I remember this story like I just read it yesterday. It's one you will not forget - ever.
I'll even bet you'll want to read it again! You are going to sing it's praises to everyone you know! I guarantee it! I have! 
I received this book as a digital ARC for FREE through Atria Books via NetGalley in exchange to read and write a review about it. It is NOT required for this review to be either positive or negative, but of my own honest opinion. "Free" means I was provided with ZERO MONIES to read this book nor to write this review, but to enjoy the pure pleasure of reading it. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

***NOW THE GREAT PART! This author has written a sequel! Yes! The sequel is about Livie, Kacey's sister, going off to Princeton! It is called "One Tiny Lie", and is due out on June 11th, 2013! SOON! You can pre-order it NOW! I did! Enjoy! I can't wait!

Here are the links to BOTH books. I put the link to the PRINT copy of the book. If you want the ebook version, click on the word KINDLE in the Yellow balloon, and it will take you directly there. When you Pre-Order either book, it either ships out on the release date, or downloads onto your Kindle on the release date! Those of us with the Kindle luck out by a few days because we get it sooner than the people who buy the print book! They have to wait to receive it in the mail! We get our ebook version 'that day'!
Ten Tiny Breaths: A Novel by K A Tucker
Print Book: $9.70
Ebook:       $7.59

One Tiny Lie: A Novel by K A Tucker - due out June 11th - PRE-ORDER NOW!
Print Book: $10.98
Ebook:       $ 7.59

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The NYT Top 15 Best Sellers in FICTION Print and Ebook for the week ending 5-26-13

I would like to take this opportunity to THANK ALL OF OUR SERVICE PEOPLE who have helped ALL of US stay safe! To those who have been injured or lost your lives for us, I thank you, and I SALUTE YOU, as you were doing this for me and the rest of us here in America.
There is not a day that goes by I do not think about you, who have lost their lives for us.
To the people reading this today, if you have lost a friend or loved one in the Services protecting us, my heart goes out to you. I think about you, too.
Let's go about the rest of this Memorial Day thinking and thanking those people who are our Heroes.

Be careful ordering your books Amazon. I have noticed lately when you look up a book, it seems it is automatically going directly to the KINDLE version now, and NOT the paperback OR hardcover, even if you click the BOOKS Department on the left. Before purchasing your books, make SURE YOUR BOOK IS THE PHYSICAL BOOK if that is what you want! It's a little deceiving the way it is set up now. If you want to ebook it seems as if you'll get it no matter what, so watch what you click on to buy.

On to the books which are posted by NOON every Sunday!

FICTION: Combined Print and Ebook:

1. Dead Ever After: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel (Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood) by Charlaine Harris.
Print Book: $15.18
Ebook:       $12.99


2. Silken Prey by John Sanford
Print Book: $15.99
Ebook:       $12.99


3. The Hit by David Baldacci
Print Book: $16.78
Ebook:       $  8.99


4. 12th of Never (Women's Murder Club) by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
Print Book: $15.98
Ebook:       $  0.00  - This ebook is NOT FREE. ONLY so many chapters, then you must purchase the rest of the book, and I don't see what that price would be.


5. Whiskey Beach by Nora Roberts
Print Book: $15.43
Ebook:       $  9.99


6. The Bet by Rachel Van Dyken - Indie Author who self-published! Looks like a publisher has picked her up, so GRAB these copies TODAY before they are gone! It always takes a few months to get the Publisher's copies, so . . . !
Print Book: $8.09
Ebook:       $  .99


7. A Step of Faith: A Novel (Walk) by Richard Paul Evans
Print Book: $12.45
Ebook:       $ 9.68


8. The Oracle Glass by Judith Merkle Riley
Print Book: $12.68
Ebook:       $10.09

9. A Delicate Truth: A Novel by John le Carre
Print Book: $16.25
Ebook:       $12.99


10. Gone Girl: A Novel by Gillian Flynn
Print Book:  $16.25
Ebook:        $12.99


11. Don't Say A Word by Barbara Freethy Indie Author - Self Published!
Print Book: $11.69
Ebook:       $  3.99


12. The Silver Linings Playbook [movie tie-in  edition]: A Novel by Matthew Quick
Print Book: $11.51
Ebook:       $  4.99


13. Ender's Game (Ender, Book 1) by Orson Scott Card
Print Book: $4.82
Ebook:       $4.39


14. Down London Road by Samantha Young 
Print Book: $8.99
Ebook:       $7.99


15. The Magician's Assistant by Ann Patchett
Print Book: $12.45
Ebook:       $  2.99


There we have our books! '2' Independent Authors who have self-published! CONGRATULATIONS!!! This is SUCH AN ACCOMPLISHMENT to write your OWN book, publish it, and then it make this NYT Top 15 Best Seller list!! Wow!! Congrats, again, authors!!!
Want to see the rest of the books up to #25? Click HERE!
Have a GREAT weekend!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Go the F**K to Sleep by Adam Mansbach - REVIEW

I saw this book when it first came out and made a mental note I HAD to get this book. I finally decided to buy it, and I enjoyed the heck out of this book!
Thankfully my difficulties with children NOT going to sleep are 'somewhat' memories now as they are grown, (see below!) but at the time, I was pulling my hair out! I had a daughter who would NOT go to bed and SLEEP, or she would play that game of going to bed, and the next thing I knew I heard that pitter-patter of her feet! There she was! UGH! It just about drove me to the crazy-farm! LOL!
There is nothing more frustrating than a child who will NOT sleep! Or, one child will not sleep, so that makes the younger one not sleep, too! You have had a long day with them, playing, cleaning, doing all the normal things parents would do, but . . . then your child will not go to sleep. Frustration, frustration, frustration! It can become anger sometimes, and then you just give up ANY thoughts of relaxation OR of getting ANY sleep for yourself! This part used to drive me crazy because I kind of felt as if I deserved a 'little' time to myself! NOT!
So I read this book silently to myself. It was good, but didn't hit the spot.
So then I read this book out loud with every feeling and emotion I had in my body from ALL those years of pent of emotions that easily came flooding back! I FELT it! I remembered EVERY detail of those nights! I related completely! It felt GREAT!
So I read it a second time! I LOVED it! The more I read it, the more humor I got out of the book! Yes, I started laughing and it felt great!
My consensus is: parents, if you are able to, or can go someplace where no children are around, read this book out loud several times, and you will vent ALL those emotions or of YEARS of pent up frustrations! I guarantee it! I promise it!
Excellent bedtime story for adults!
Okay - here is my 'see below': My son is 15 now. He is over on the weekends. Do you know I STILL have nights like this where he will NOT GO TO SLEEP? At about 3:00am when I can NO LONGER keep my eyes open, this book is on my Kindle Fire HD, so I get this book out and read it to myself, and I'll just look up at him and smile! LOL!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

BOOK BLAST GIVEAWAY! "The Trouble with Toads" by Danyelle Leafty! $50 Amazon GC OR PayPal CASH!

trouble with toadsThe Trouble with Toads

Once upon a time a young girl wanted revenge. But first, she wanted to be beautiful.

Twelve-year-old Bettony has read enough stories that begin with ‘Once upon a time’ to know what happens to the ugly stepsisters at the end, and she’s determined to escape that fate by any means necessary—even by magic.

Unfortunately, when it comes to magic, there is no place for regret, refunds, or exchanges. Even if you accidentally turn your older sister into a toad.

If Bettony wants her Happily Ever After to end well, she’s going to have to find a way to turn her sister back into a person before their mother finds out she’s been dabbling with magic and grounds her for life.

Tracking down the family magic turns out to be surprisingly easy. Now, if only it came with directions . . .

THE TROUBLE WITH TOADS (45,000 words) is the first book in a new upper MG series The Secret Stepsister Society. The second book will be released Summer 2013.

danyelleAuthor Danyelle Leafty

Danyelle Leafty writes upper MG and YA fantasy, and is the author of THE FAIRY GODMOTHER DILEMMA series. Danyelle has always loved fairy tales, and prefers stories where someone gets eaten, or at the very least, transmogrified. Much of her inspiration has come from fairy tales, because as G.K. Chesterton so aptly states, "Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten."

In her spare time, she collects dragons, talking frogs, and fairy godmothers. She also collects books, and one day hopes to make a house out of them. She enjoys learning languages, fiddling with her harp, and perfecting the fine art of mothering. (It's a lot like trying to herd chickens during a lightning storm while a goat stampede is going on.)

One of her heroes is Albert Einstein, particularly for the following quote: "Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The most important thing is not to stop questioning."

Book Blast Giveaway
$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 6/10/13

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. Prize value $50 US.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

The NYT Top 15 Best Sellers for the week ending Sunday, May 18, 2013.

Hello everyone! It's that time again!
This week I want to talk about TRILOGIES! Also, I want to talk about books that are Novellas, and have 7 or 8, or MORE in the series. What do YOU think about these? (I am NOT singling the two authors who I happen to mention out. I am only using them as an example. They have published their books as a series of Novellas, and even the reviews on Amazon complain about what I am going to complain about. Again, I am ONLY using their names because they have published a series of Novellas the way they have.)
Trilogies - Why? Almost every book I come across seems to be a Trilogy. Unless there is a certain reason for a trilogy, then okay. There is a favorite author of mine who has a trilogy out, but she kind of planned it that way after her fans went crazy over her first book! There are a lot of authors I have read that are planning on taking that first book they wrote and turning it into a trilogy automatically. They do not have it planned out, but they are going to write one. Why? If you don't have it planned out already, what is the draw of writing a trilogy? I don't understand why? Why can't one book be a stand-alone? Why not write a stand-alone? Besides that one favorite author of mine, does it seem ALL authors want to write trilogies? I don't understand? Do they want to keep their readers?
I have another favorite author who has never written a trilogy. She has written ALL stand-alones. She does QUITE WELL! Why don't we have MORE authors like her?
I'm just not into trilogies. I LOVE a good stand-alone book. I prefer stand-alones just about. Some books SCREAM trilogies, but not ALL of them.
Now the 'series' of books: I just wrote a review on a HUGE author who has just done a 6 book series, Wanda E. Brunstetter, The Discovery Series, about the Amish. Also, a LOT of Independent Authors are doing this, too. H M Ward and others are doing this. I've read the reviews on most of those books, and what I am getting is that "I" am NOT THE ONLY ONE who is disappointed with this type of publishing. We get about 76 pages of the story, then we have to wait for the next Novella to be published. Why? Why not write ONE book?
Back to that Amish series of books I mentioned. I was VERY disappointed with the series. (I am NOT singling out these 2 authors, either, again. It just so happened I read the reviews on H M Ward's books today, and I wrote a review on Wanda E Brunstetter this week.) I read most of the Amish series so far. It recapped what happened in the previous book IN the next book people will pay for when it started! The stories are SO SHORT! The endings are abrupt. By the time you PAY FOR ALL THE BOOKS, you have spent almost $20 to $30! Outrageous, I say! Thankfully I got the Amish series of books from NetGalley, so it was not money out of my pocket, but I did NOT like them. I do NOT like this new Novella 'thing'. Why?
Why reread a recap, the story having it end at 76%, and then in some authors' books, in the back, have ALL advertisements of the other books she has written? Yes, the rest was advertising for her other books! CRAZY!
May I ask what is the point of doing this is to us? Money? Grabbing other Readers' attention with ONE book, then sucking them into the entire series? I don't get it? I really do NOT want to see 'this trend' continue. I want a full novel, not novellas.
I hope the authors get wind of this. Not the one's I mentioned intentionally, as I said that is NOT my intention at all, and I am not singling them out, but they ARE published that way. I'm talking about ALL authors. I don't want to see ALL authors get into this trend of writing Novellas. They are not satisfying. I feel like I am being milked for money, and the read, I know, is going to end abruptly. I don't like that. Anyway . . . this is to ALL AUTHORS. I HOPE you do NOT follow this current 'trend' of Novellas. Please don't! Same goes for Trilogies, unless the characters are SCREAMING to say more, and the author can really pull it off!
That's my beef for the week. What do YOU think? Comments are welcome!!

On to the books!


1. Dead Ever After: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel (Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood) By Charlain Harris
Print Book: $15.33
Ebook:       $12.99


2. Silken Prey by John Sanford
Print Book: $15.99
Ebook:       $12.99


3. The Hit by David Baldacci
Print Book: $16.20  
Ebook:       $   .00 BE CAREFUL! ONLY the first so many chapters are FREE. After that, you must pay the FULL asking price, and that price is NOT LISTED.

4. 12th of Never (Women's Murder Club) by James Patterson AND Maxine Paetro
Print Book: $15.98
Ebook:       $   .00 AGAIN, BE CAREFUL - The price for the ebook is NOT LISTED. You only get so many chapters for FREE, then you have to pay the FULL ebook price!

5. Whiskey Beach by Nora Roberts
Print Book: $15.43
Ebook:       $  9.99


6. The Bet by Rachel Van Dyken - Independent Author who Self Published! Congrats!!
Print Book: $7.93
Ebook:       $ .99


7. A Step of Faith: A Novel (Walk) by Richard Paul Evans
Print Book: $12.21
Ebook:       $ 9.68


8. The Oracle Glass by Judith Merkle Riley
Print Book: $11.97
Ebook:       $10.09


9. A Delicate Truth: A Novel by John le Carre
Print Book: $16.25
Ebook:       $12.99


10. Gone Girl: A Novel by Gillian Flynn
Print Book: $16.25
Ebook:       $12.99


11. Don't Say A Word by Barbara Freethy - This book is self-published. Usually she has a publisher. Hmmmm? This IS a NEW book, too, just so you know.
Print Book:  $11.69
Ebook:        $   .99


12. The Silver Linings Playbook [movie tie-in edition]: A Novel by Matthew Quick
Print Book: $10.18
Ebook:       $  4.99


13. Ender's Game (Ender, Book 1) by Orson Scott Card
Print Book: $5.24
Ebook:       $4.00


14. Down London Road by Samantha Young
Print Book: $8.99
Ebook:       $7.99


15. The Magician's Assistant by Ann Patchett
Print Book: $12.37
Ebook:       $  2.37 - This book is reprinted from 1997.

These are the books for this week! Only '1' Indie Author who self-published this week in the Top 15, which is odd as of late. If you would like to see the rest, up
to #25, you can find them at THIS LINK ! It is unusual this week. Usually the New York Times goes up to #40 in their Best Sellers. This week they ONLY go up to #25. They changed it. Hmmm? Happy Sunday!

The Amazing Adventures of Paddy Platypus by Tom de Paolo - REVIEW


By Tom dePaolo Illustrated by Tom Swimm Can sudden fame and fortune replace the love and connection we have of our home? What is a platypus and what makes these creatures so unique in the animal kingdom? These questions and more are answered in this heartwarming story about a platypus that discovers that home is truly where the heart is. “The Amazing Adventure of Paddy Platypus” is the story of Paddy, the fastest swimmer on the island of Tasmania. He is so fast that Sir Hugh Tidybrooke, the head of the Department of Waterways, Foreign Affairs and Underground Railways convinces Paddy that he should go with him to the United States and enter the swimming championships in Los Angeles. Paddy wins all the races he enters but is frustrated with the hubbub of activity in the big city. He doesn’t enjoy his sudden fame - reporters harass him, bellboys try to take his traveling kit, and his life is turned upside down. In the final championship ocean race, he surprises everyone when he keeps on going and swims all the way home to Tasmania and peace.

My Take:
5 Stars!
This is a great starter Chapter Book for your children to read, or for you to share together. The chapters are short, younger children can understand them, and this story is just the cutest thing!
This is about a platypus called Paddy. He lives on an island just off of Australia called Tasmania. He can swim so fast! He is the fastest there is on Tasmania! 
 I had to laugh when Sir Hugh Tidybrooke comes to find Paddy Platypus because he is pictured as a man wearing many hats! Well, he has many titles, as we all do today, and that is depicted in this book, giving me a good laugh! This is why I feel this book to be just as enjoyable for adults to read to their children as well as just the child reading it.
So Sir Tidybrooke sees how fast Paddy can swim! Wow! He IS the fastest there is! He wants Paddy the Platypus to swim in California, in the United States, as he is sure he will win all of the races and be the fastest platypus there is! It's a long ways away from Tasmania. Paddy agrees to go, but he starts having second thoughts about doing so after he does compete! Oh, no! Sir Tidybrooke is worried! Paddy does show up for the last race, but he has other thoughts on his mind! He races in the race, but keeps on going! What? Yes! He swam ALL the way back home to Tasmania so he could be home! He is happiest at home, as we all are! This story proves that. Home is where the heart is, and Tasmania is Paddy's happy home!
Again, this is a wonderful book for children to read! They will love this book! The illustrations are drawn and colorful, and cute. It is very much well worth the read, and well worth having in your home library for the kids, either in book format or even as the Kindle version. Both would be a great addition for your children! Now  this is a book that should be winning the awards out there! HIGHLY recommended!
There are also "2" sequels! They are: "Paddy the Platypus and the Ring Tail Squatteroo" and "Paddy Platypus Saves Beverly Bandicoot"! Grab those, too! ALL of these should be in your children's library!
I received this book for FREE directly from the author in exchange to read and write a review about it. It is NOT required for this review to be either positive or negative, but of my own honest opinion. "Free" means I was provided with ZERO MONIES to read this book nor to write this review, but to enjoy the pure pleasure of reading it. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html
Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

The Amazing Adventure of Paddy Platypus (Volume 1) by Tom de Paolo Illustrated by Tom Swimm
Print Book: $15.99 
AND THE KINDLE EDITION IS BELOW - You cannot reach the Kindle version from this page. It's on a separate page and the link is below!

The Amazing Adventure of Paddy Platypus by Tom de Paolo, Illustrated by Tom Swimm - KINDLE EDITION
Ebook: $7.99

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Ella the Pink Elephant, Her Life, Love and Fame by Doris Rueger - REVIEW - 2013

Description (as given to me from the author):
Once upon a time, Ella, a baby elephant born in a zoo, was so cute that she was dressed in crowns, earrings, tutus, colorful shawls and fancy slippers. She got lots of attention. When she outgrew her baby costumes she was elegantly dressed for weddings and was still the center of attention. Yet as all creatures must do, Ella grew older. She grew tired of all the work it took to remain at the center of everyone's attention. After many years, Ella wanted to retire from the limelight. In this restful reserve, Ella was by herself for the first time, she looked at herself in the mirror, without makeup or fancy clothes. She saw an aging elephant with grey skin and wrinkles. Ella would find a new way to be happy. She would look in the mirror and realize that her kind heartedness and gentle and loving ways are what attracted people to her and made her the beloved elephant. Her life is filled with many wonderful memories which she will always treasure. These warm memories will serve her well as she enjoys the rest of her life.

My Thoughts:
3 Stars

Even though this book has almost a 5-star rating, and has won a Pinnacle Book Achievement Award, I don't know how it got there. The only way, in my opinion, this book got to such a high rating is from adults without the experience of reading bedtime stories to children, then they write the reviews. I honestly don't think children will like this book, and here's why.
I am a parent who has read her fair share of bedtime stories to my children.  My first issue is with the title. 'The "PINK" Elephant'. On the cover the elephant is pink, but inside when the baby elephant is born, the elephant is 'not pink'. She is grey, just like every other elephant. Explain that to a child when they are expecting the elephant to be pink. I can imagine hearing the children asking "Why, Mommy or Daddy? She's pink here", (on the cover). The only time the elephant is pink is when they put make-up all over her.
The baby elephant becomes the center of attraction because she gets dressed up in pink clothing. She loves pink. Then they paint make-up all over her body to make her look pink, then she IS pink. (Okay, now the elephant IS pink?)
There are 3 sets of 2 pages each with long, lengthy paragraphs and no pictures to allow the children's imagination to soar. Children LOVE pictures in books. Without them, they are going to be bored.
The first set of double pages without pictures talks about Ella growing up into a grown-up Lady Elephant. A Wedding Planner was looking for an elephant for weddings. Kids will be asking what is a Wedding Planner? Imagine the children's questions about why an elephant would be at a wedding? There is one culture, India, that uses elephants in weddings, however this book does not explain this. Not all parents may even know that Indian weddings use elephants for the grooms to ride in on, so they may be at a loss to explain this to their children. (I never knew elephants were used in Indian weddings until when I was working I had to go out of town to a conference, and where the busses pick us up, they could not get in because of an Indian wedding. The wedding DID take precedence over the busses! "I" learned something that day!) I feel the author should have explained things much more thoroughly than what she did.
The second set of double pages with no pictures has big words that kids may not understand such as main attraction, glamorous, embroidered garments. The third set of double pages with no pictures has words such as bygone, exceptional, admirers, and others on both of these sets of pages that most likely are very difficult for children to understand
Ella starts to get tired and wants to take naps. She wants to 'retire'. Do kids know what 'retire' means? Unless they've had Grandparents who retire, then they know, but not all children have them, nor understand what 'retire' means.
I just don't think this book is a 'child friendly' (or even parent friendly at times). The story is sketchy in many places, and needs to be explained more thoroughly.
The illustrations in this book are drawn out in crayon, which would appeal to children, and the entire book seems like it has an Indian feel to it from the scrollwork at the top and bottom of every page.
A German author who lives in the United States now for what seems to be for a long time now wrote this book. I don't know if she took for granted that everyone knows that elephants are used in Indian weddings? That would be the hardest part of all to explain to children and to get them to understand it.
The book ends very abruptly. It did not include "The End", as the story did include in the beginning "Once Upon A Time", so I guess I was assuming I would see a "The End".
I could see if some  changes were made to this book that it could do very well. One other thing I did not like about this book was the font that was used. The commas looked like periods, and at first it was difficult to read because I thought they were periods until I studied it more. Then I figured out they ARE commas. 
I received this book (the finished product) for FREE from directly from the author in exchange to read and write a review about it. It is NOT required for this review to be either positive or negative, but of my own honest opinion. "Free" means I was provided with ZERO MONIES to read this book nor to write this review, but to enjoy the pure pleasure of reading it. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, .http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html

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About the Author:
From the book: Born and raised in Germany, Doris Rueger attended college in the United States and graduated in journalism. After a thirty year career in the scientific community, she now pursues her love for literature by writing and illustrating children's books. Ms. Rueger lives in Bellport, New York. 

I was not provided a photo except in the back of the book which would not have turned out well being scanned, I could not find a photo at Goodreads either, nor at Amazon.

Ella the Pink Elephant: Her Life, Love and Fame by Doris Rueger
Paperback only $9.13

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

This is a TEST. My blog disappeared/Won't allow me to sign in and everything is blank on my dashboard

Can anyone see this message?
I was typing a review when a message came up and said I've been logged out from a different location.
I tried to log back in and it will NOT allow me to.
What happened??
ANY help is appreciated!
I contacted Blogger showing everything is missing, but now I have to wait. I thought I would try and do a Post and see if it works???
Thank you!
Laurie Carlson
laurieisreading at gmail dot com

As SOON as I contacted Blogger - they fixed it in a matter of MINUTES!! YEAH!!!!!! Thank you, Blogger!!!

Sweet Mercy by Ann Tatlock - Review, Excerpt, and Giveaway!

Sweet Mercy

Stunning coming-of-age drama set during the Great Depression and Prohibition
When Eve Marryat's father is laid off from the Ford Motor Company in 1931, he is forced to support his family by leaving St. Paul, Minnesota, and moving back to his Ohio roots. Eve's uncle Cyrus has invited the family to live and work at his Marryat Island Ballroom and Lodge.
Eve can't wait to leave St. Paul, a notorious haven for gangsters. At seventeen, she considers her family to be "good people," not lawbreakers like so many in her neighborhood. Thrilled to be moving to a "safe haven," Eve soon forms an unlikely friendship with a strange young man named Link, blissfully unaware that her uncle's lodge is anything but what it seems.
When the reality of her situation finally becomes clear, Eve is faced with a dilemma. Does she dare risk everything by exposing the man whose love and generosity is keeping her family from ruin? And when things turn dangerous, can she trust Link in spite of appearances?

My Review:
5 Stars!
The book starts off with Eve taking her ten year old grandson to the Marryat Island Ballroom and Lodge. She sits down with her Grandson to tell him about her time there at the lodge back in 1931.
In 1931, and the Ford Motor Company in St Paul Minnesota just closed down, leaving her father out of work. Eve did not like where she lived anyway because there were to many gangsters and she witnessed a murder. They get a call from relative in Ohio who owns and runs the Marryat Island Ballroom and Lodge telling them if they want work to move there and they can work at the Lodge. The decision was made. Eve was very happy.
It is in Ohio that Eve, at seventeen, learns that what is right in life doesn't always follow the law. Her naive eyes are opened wide to a lot of things that happen, but life happens. People need to make money, and people come from many different backgrounds, too. Sometimes breaking the law, such as during this era of Prohibition is the only way for families to put food on their table. She knew there were bad things that went on, such as when they lived in St Paul, Minnesota, where she was so glad they moved away from but it was different here and she believed nothing like Minnesota. Although, here in Ohio she had her eyes opened by so many different types of things. 
Prohibition played a central role in Eve's story. At first what she thought was going to float down the river, like Castor Oil, was so strange until she finds out it was moonshine. She knew she could not report it to the authorities, yet she was challenged to, but did not or else her whole family would be broken up. This is where she starts learning that life and living life can be two separate things, but not necessarily wrong after all. Sometimes you have to do whatever you can to survive. Her naive eyes started to open.
This book was a very enjoyable Christian Historical Fiction story. You could relate to the characters very well. It depicted that era of time exactly as it was. (I happen to have photos of my own Grandfather, other family members, and friends drinking  moonshine and being drunker than a skunk. They are seen drinking out of the same, clear, large bottles without labels, and most of them were passed out every which way, some with their faces planted right on the floor.) Moonshine was the only way in which to put food on the table, or, when found, it was grabbed up because of the no liquor laws.) Were the men who had to do this proud? No, but it worked and they made a lot of money. It was something they 'had to do' and was not talked about because of the law. People turned their heads. Eve's family was not the only family doing it, either, little does she know. It was called survival and there was great demand for it.
I believe Eve would have come to understand the 'why' of things over the time of her naivety. 
I received this book for FREE from Bethany House Publisher in conjunction with Book Blast Promotions in exchange to read and write a review about it. It is NOT required for this review to be either positive or negative, but of my own honest opinion. "Free" means I was provided with ZERO MONIES to read this book nor to write this review, but to enjoy the pure pleasure of reading it. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html
Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.


From Chapter 8:

Jones pushed his hat back a notch and looked over his shoulder after the two boats. “The Little Miami meets up with the Ohio River not too far from here,” he said. “That’s probably where they’re headed.”
“Funny that they’re taking a bunch of castor oil down the Ohio River.”
Jones turned again to look at me. I couldn’t see his eyes but somehow I sensed they held amusement. My suspicions were confirmed when he shook his head and laughed. “Castor oil, nothing,” he muttered. “They’re hauling moonshine.”
For a moment I was speechless. I frowned and wondered whether I had heard him right. “Moonshine?”
“Sure. People like them are up and down this river all the time.”
It can’t be, I thought. This was Ohio, after all, birthplace of the Temperance Movement. I knew; I had done the research; I had won first place in the essay contest. “Are you sure?”
“Of course I’m sure.”
“Don’t they know moonshine is illegal?”
Jones laughed again, louder this time. “You’re kidding, right?”
“I’m not kidding, Jones. I can’t believe they’re hauling that stuff right out here in the open. They could be arrested and go to prison. They should be arrested.”
“Yeah? And who’s going to turn them in? You?”

Ann Tatlock
Ann Tatlock is the author of the Christy-Award winning novel Promises to Keep. She has also won the Midwest Independent Publishers Association "Book of the Year" in fiction for both All the Way Home and I'll Watch the Moon. Her novel Things We Once Held Dear received a starred review from Library Journal and Publishers Weekly calls her "one of Christian fiction's better wordsmiths, and her lovely prose reminds readers why it is a joy to savor her stories." Ann lives with her husband and daughter in Asheville, North Carolina.

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1 winner will receive a copy of 3 of Ann's Books

Sweet Mercy, Travelers Rest and Promises to Keep

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Ends 5/21/13

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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

BOOK BLAST/BOOK SPOTLIGHT/GIVEAWAY!!! "The Storm Bottle" by Nick Green plus $25 Amazon GC or PayPal CASH Giveaway!

storm bottle tour

The Storm Bottle

Swimming with dolphins is said to be the number one thing to do before you die. For 12-year-old Michael, it very nearly is. A secret boat trip has gone tragically wrong, and now he lies unconscious in hospital.

But when Michael finally wakes up, he seems different. His step sister Bibi is soon convinced that he is not who he appears to be. Meanwhile, in the ocean beyond Bermuda’s reefs, a group of bottlenose dolphins are astonished to discover a stranger in their midst – a boy lost and desperate to return home.

Bermuda is a place of mysteries. Some believe its seas are enchanted, and the sun-drenched islands conceal a darker past, haunted with tales of lost ships. Now Bibi and Michael are finding themselves in the most extraordinary tale of all.

Book Trailer


'I loved it... An absolute winner.'
- LA Weatherly, author of the Angel Burn trilogy

'A writer who knows how to grip the imagination, make you sit on the edge of your chair, and make you laugh out loud.'
- Michelle Lovric, author of The Undrowned Child, The Mourning Emporium and The Book of Human Skin

'If you only ever buy one Kindle book in your life (although that sounds a bit unlikely, now that I stop and think) this has to be it.'
- The Bookwitch blog


I went to Michael’s room. He was propped up in bed. With his broken ribs he had to rest a lot. Music was playing, a choir all holy and echoey, with a boy’s solo voice soaring over it. Laura had been putting this CD on for him, hoping it would help. The soloist was Michael Brook.
            I turned the volume down. Michael’s eyes looked at me. I took a deep breath.
            ‘You’re not Michael, are you?’
            The bedclothes crinkled around him.
            ‘Are you… Were you…’ I made myself say it. ‘Are you a dolphin?’
            A huge sigh.
‘Yes. I’m a dolphin.’
‘But how –?’
‘A rainvoice,’ he added. ‘We call ourselves rainvoices.’
            It wasn’t top of my list of questions, but hey.

Author Nick Green

Nick Green is a UK children's and YA author, best known for his trilogy The Cat Kin, published in the UK by Strident Publishing and in Germany by Ravensburger, and also as a BBC audiobook. He has appeared on BBC radio talking about his books, and has been shortlisted for two UK children's book awards. He regularly does school visits and other children's literary events. The Storm Bottle is his first straight-to-Kindle novel.

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$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 5/26/13

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