Category Archives: Book reviews by me

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Book Review ♦ Tutankhamen Speaks ♦ by Cheryl Carpinello

Tutankhamen SpeaksTUTANKHAMEN SPEAKS
by Cheryl Carpinello   ★★★★

Hundreds of years ago, scrolls that would alter the view of Ancient Egypt’s most famous pharaoh were lost. Rumors through the ages said the scrolls told of a time that the Pharaoh Tutankhamen spoke from beyond the grave. No one who heard of these scrolls believed that the scrolls had ever existed.

Then following the Arab Spring in 2011, S. L. Wood, an Egyptian scholar, made an amazing discovery in the basement of the Cairo Museum.

Read the story from the lost scrolls that recorded the Boy King’s words from beyond the grave. (Goodreads)


My Review

This was quite a surprising read. It’s a short read that has a very clever premise, in which the author has cleverly made herself part of the story.

It seems that Ms Carpinello has been lucky enough to gain access to some long lost scrolls, which are said to contain actual recollections from Tutankhamen himself.  The novella is an interpretation of the mysterious scrolls which were written long ago, but had been missing until recently.

The words are said to be from the actual spirit of the deceased Pharaoh. What I liked about this book was that it gives a glimpse into the everyday life of Tut, before and after his rise to Pharaoh. It was like a fly on the wall peek at his life without it just being part of a much larger plot. I think it’s a great way to get to know a character and there were plenty of interesting facts and cool snippets of information in there as well.

My guess is that this is a wonderful strategy by the author to familiarise readers with Tut before a full-on book is released.

Am I right? Time will tell?

My bottom line: I really enjoyed this one and I look forward to the ‘predicted’ Tut book.

Note: I don’t claim to be a pro-reviewer, I am a reader. My reviews are based on my personal thoughts around the story that the book is trying to tell. I try to focus on the story (which is the reason I read) rather than  dissect the book and pass comment on typos, writing style or structure.

A free copy of this book was provided to me by the author for a fair and honest review.


Want to know more?
 Check out Cheryl’s website HERE

Here’s a little bonus for you. I’ve tracked down some extra King Tut information about his ‘unwrapping’ for you to watch.

While you’re here, please check out my edge-of-your-seat time-travel adventure series  by clicking the pic below.Q1 Q2 Q3

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Book Review ♦ The Red Pyramid (Kane Chronicles #1) ♦ by Rick Riordan


The Red PyramidTHE RED PYRAMID
(KANE CHRONICLES #1)

by Rick Riordan     ★★★★

Since their mother’s death, Carter and Sadie have become near strangers. While Sadie has lived with her grandparents in London, her brother has traveled the world with their father, the brilliant Egyptologist, Dr. Julius Kane.

One night, Dr. Kane brings the siblings together for a “research experiment” at the British Museum, where he hopes to set things right for his family. Instead, he unleashes the Egyptian god Set, who banishes him to oblivion and forces the children to flee for their lives.

Soon, Sadie and Carter discover that the gods of Egypt are waking, and the worst of them —Set— has his sights on the Kanes. To stop him, the siblings embark on a dangerous journey across the globe – a quest that brings them ever closer to the truth about their family and their links to a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs.


My Review

An entertaining book, with plenty of trademark PJ style mythology.

This is a series that I’ve avoided reading, due to my own Egyptian themed MG adventure books. I didn’t want to be influenced as my own series progressed. In saying that, I have finally given in to the temptation and read this first book.

So, in a nutshell, here’s the main thrust of the story. Sadie and Carter have spent much of their life on opposite sides of the world, so they aren’t your typical brother and sister. Each one thinks the other has a better life. They go on a day out with their dad and he releases ancient Egyptian gods into the present day. Everything goes terribly wrong and he ends up getting swallowed up by the floor of the British Museum. A bad day all round, for him and the kids.

Then, Sadie and Carter find out that they are descendants of the pharaohs and that’s where their real adventures begin. As the story progresses one of the most important things they learn is that they need each other, and they need to work together.

I have to say that although I knew this book contained Egyptian mythology, it was quite a bit heavier on the mythology and more Percy Jackson-like than I had expected (I’m a PJ fan). There’s a lot of back story to take in and I have to admit that I may not have caught on to every detail that was revealed. In some parts I thought that the kids seemed a lot older and wiser than their actual age, but this is fiction, so it’s allowed :) . One thing I noticed though, was that I never really knew who to trust and found myself constantly changing my mind about some characters throughout the story.

So, by the end of the book the journey ahead is revealed. Their ultimate destiny is to reunite the gods and magicians to stop chaos from rearing its ugly head. The journey, which includes finding other descendants of the pharaohs to help their cause, will continue in subsequent books.

My bottom line: I liked that it kept me engaged. Overall I liked the book and will read the others in the series. This book has way more mythology bound into the plot than my books.

Note: I don’t claim to be a pro-reviewer, I am a reader. My reviews are based on my personal thoughts around the story that the book is trying to tell. I try to focus on the story (which is the reason I read) rather than dissect the book and pass comment on typos, writing style or structure.


Here is The Red Pyramid (Kane Chronicles #1) book trailer.


Want to know more?
Click below to check out more information about
The Kane Chronicles series.

Kane Chronicles


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Book Review ♦ Zoe & Zak and the Ghost Leopard ♦ by Lars Guignard


Zoe and Zak 1ZOE & ZAK AND THE GHOST LEOPARD
(ZOE & ZAK ADVENTURES #1)
by Lars Guignard ★★★★

Imagine you’re totally lost in a strange city with no idea where you are and no way home. Now imagine that elephants and snake charmers start telling you that you’ve been chosen to save the world.

Would you even believe them?  What would you do?

Zoe Guire isn’t sure. Having that elephant talk to her was really weird, and, as a rule, Zoe doesn’t do weird. Except the thing is, when Zoe goes along on her mom’s business trip to India, things get very weird, very quickly. Soon after she arrives, Zoe finds herself tagging alongside a kid named Zak, lost in a crazy city, with no money and no way home.

And those are the least of Zoe’s troubles. Because if she’s to believe the scary-looking snake charmer guy sitting in the corner, she and Zak have been chosen — chosen to protect some kind of mythical animal called the Ghost Leopard from who knows what.

Now, the further they get into the mountains, the more crazily impossible things get. Carpets fly and statues talk and if either Zoe or Zak want to make it back to their parents, or the sixth grade, or anything even close to normal, they’re going to have to make some new friends, learn some new tricks, and listen, really listen to that talking elephant. Because if they don’t, the world will never be the same again.

Join Zoe and Zak as they journey high into the Himalayas to a place few have been and even fewer have returned to tell about it.

Live life beyond the edge. [Goodreads]


My Review

A journey that’s full of legend and magic.

The Ghost Leopard is a story that is set in exotic India and is packed with a colorful assortment of cultural legends and customs. Zoe and Zak are a couple of teens who know each other, but have never really been close friends. Zoe is the clever, dependable one, and Zak is the carefree guy who loves a good laugh.

Early on in the story our pair of budding heroes accompany their parents on a business trip to India. I realize that the plot needed the kids to ditch the parents somehow so their adventure could begin, but as a parent I struggled with the chosen scenario (sorry Mr Guignard :^). I just couldn’t understand how a parent would take a kid to a far away place, then have to go somewhere else and leave them in the care of a nanny who was a complete stranger to parent and child. I know it’s fiction, and I soon realized that I had to let go of my own concerns and let the story flow. After that realization, I opened my mind and became engaged in the story.

It seems that Zoe has some very special abilities, which have resulted in her being ’chosen’ to embark on a journey to protect the legendary Ghost Leopard from being destroyed by its arch-enemy. She has a tough enough time accepting the fact that she is special, let alone being thrilled about the quest itself. All she really wants is a photo of something great so she can win a photo contest. But, it seems that Zak has a knack for getting them both into something up to their necks, without even trying.

It’s not long before they find themselves trapped, and ultimately stranded in a mysterious distant place. Both have very different goals … Zoe wants to return to the safety and cleanliness of their hotel before her mom finds out they’re missing, but Zak wants to track down a mysterious legend that very few have seen, and that no-one has ever photographed.

As the story evolves, the pair are mysteriously guided along on an action-packed journey by a couple of helpful allies. It turns into the adventure of a lifetime, as they search the Himalayas for the mysterious Ghost Leopard. All the while, the pair are being pursued by an army of cranky monkeys and ’humans’ who are in cahoots with the evil Monkey Man (the baddie). Our heroes bravely face plenty of danger and obstacles along the way, and prove to be formidable opponents to the Monkey Man and his dodgy mates.

The book takes the reader on a journey that’s full of legend and magic, mixed in with a decent dose of action. All of these key ingredients result in an exciting adventure for kids to feast upon. It’s a rich tale filled with exotic traditions that even teaches the reader a thing or two about Indian culture, as well.

My bottom line: Lars Guignard has done a great job in blending Indian legend and tradition into a modern adventure that kids will love.

PS: I won this book in a blog giveaway (yay me!)

Note: I don’t claim to be a pro-reviewer, I am a reader. My reviews are based on my personal thoughts around the story that the book is trying to tell. I try to focus on the story (which is the reason I read) rather than dissect the book and pass comment on typos, writing style or structure.


This is where I normally try to link into a book or film trailer that relates to the book I’ve reviewed. Unfortunately I couldn’t locate one for this book :(  Much of this story is set in the beautiful countryside of India, and more precisely, the Himalayas. So, I thought I’d try to find something that would show off the book’s setting. 

Here is a clip that shows some amazing scenery (I can’t say which parts of it are the Himalayas, but I’m sure they’re featured in the first half). Please grab a coffee, relax and take a break from the chaos you endure everyday. It’s time to sit down and watch this awesome video by Robert Revol, and try to imagine Zak and Zoe racing through the mountains on their Ghost Leopard adventure.


Want to know more?
Click the books below to check out Lars Guignard’s website.

Zoe and Zak 3 books


While you’re here, please check out my edge-of-your-seat adventure series
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Book Review ♦ The Maze Runner (Book #1) ♦ by James Dashner


The Maze RunnerTHE MAZE RUNNER (BOOK #1)
by James Dashner ★★★★★

When the doors of the lift crank open, the only thing Thomas remembers is his first name. But he’s not alone. He’s surrounded by boys who welcome him to the Glade – a walled encampment at the centre of a bizarre and terrible stone maze.

Like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they came to be there – or what’s happened to the world outside.  [Goodreads]


My Review

This book has great mystery, plenty of action, and likable characters.

I first became aware of this series when I won an autographed copy of the first Infinity Ring book (WooHoo), which was written by James Dashner. Then, once I heard that The Maze Runner was to hit the big screen I was reminded that it was floundering somewhere in my to-read list. So, finally after much delay I brought it.

When I first started reading it I was reminded of a book from my school days, Lord of the Flies. I was a tad concerned that it was going to be along the same lines because it was ’required reading’ at school rather than ’my choice’, I wasn’t really keen on the thought (even though I can’t really remember the specifics of LOTF).

But, I’m pleased to say that after the first few chapters I became captivated by the story and its characters. Thomas is our main guy, he’s sort of been mysteriously embedded into a settlement (The Glade) populated by other boys his own age. He has no memory of who he is or where he came, which he soon finds is common for all ’greenies’ that arrive in the Glade.

The Glade is a sanctuary of sorts, which is at the centre of a huge maze that changes its shape every day. We follow Thomas as he works through the many struggles of adapting to his new life and learns about the ways of the Glade. He finds that every kid has a role, and every role is just as important as the next. Life in the Glade can be quite tough, but the Gladers have created a society that has rules and runs well.

Every day, a team of Runners enter the maze to try to find a way back to the real world. But, the maze is full of hidden dangers and all runners must return to the Glade before the huge doors close at the end of each day. Anyone unlucky enough to be trapped in the maze overnight is in big trouble.

Soon, the arrival of another mysterious ’greenie’ sets the wheels in motion for Thomas and the other Gladers to go for broke, and try and find the answers they all long for. Who are they? Where are they from? How do they escape? Who can they trust?

There’ll be no more details on the plot from me. I’ll just say that this is an exciting book, so I suggest that you grab a copy and read it for yourself.

My bottom line: This book has great mystery, action, and likable characters. I can honestly say that this is a series that I’m keen to keep reading. I’m looking forward to getting into the next book …. and the movie too.
PS: I’d put this book and movie in the YA category rather than MG.

Note: I don’t claim to be a pro-reviewer, I am a reader. My reviews are based on my personal thoughts around the story that the book is trying to tell. I try to focus on the story (which is the reason I read) rather than dissect the book and pass comment on typos, writing style or structure.


Here is The Maze Runner (Book #1) book trailer.

Here is The Maze Runner movie trailer.
It’s due for release in September 2014.

The Maze Runner cast 2 The Maze Runner cast 3 The Maze Runner cast

 If you want to take a peek at a few more and learn about the cast, click here and jump over to IMDB.


Want to know more?
 Click below to check out James Dashner’s great website.
James Dashner

But before you go, please check out my edge-of-your-seat adventure series by clicking the pic below.Q1 Q2 Q3


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Book Review ♦ Janitors (Janitors #1) ♦ by Tyler Whitesides


Janitors #1JANITORS (JANITORS #1)
by Tyler Whitesides ★★★★

The magical, secretive society of JANITORS swept the country in the fall of 2011. Have you ever fallen asleep during math class? Are you easily distracted while listening to your English teacher? Do you find yourself completely uninterested in geography?

Well, it may not be your fault. The janitors at Welcher Elementary know a secret, and it s draining all the smarts out of the kids. twelve-year old Spencer Zumbro, with the help of his classmate Daisy Gullible Gates, must fight with and against a secret, janitorial society that wields wizard-like powers. Who can Spencer and Daisy trust and how will they protect their school and possibly the world? Janitors is book 1 in a new children s fantasy series by debut novelist Tyler Whitesides.

You ll never look at a mop the same way again.  [Goodreads]


My Review

Janitors is original and entertaining.

The first thing that attracted me to this book, and (in due course) the others in the series, was the cover. I think it’s awesome, and it successfully grabbed my interest in the ocean of books that circle the globe. Janitors is a story that I find very original. It takes an occupation that we all know exists, that we don’t take much notice of, that we all take for granted, and turns it on its head and presents it in a way that I would never have imagined.

Armed with some quite traditional cleaning tools, three teens (Spencer, Daisy, Dez) become embroiled in a bitter battle between two opposing teams of Janitors at their school. One side trying to ensure the kids have the best chance of learning, and the other trying its best to stop them from learning.

Each of the main kid characters are unique, they have their own set of struggles to deal with from day-to-day. None of them are friends with each other – quite the opposite, actually. They are brought together following Spencer’s discovery of some rather creepy critters that inhabit the school, sapping the thoughts from the kids.

Notice to parents: This book reveals the truth behind why many kids don’t learn to their full potential. Parents who read this will learn something – it’s not the kids being lazy at all, it’s actually invisible pests called Toxites (Rubbish, Filth, Grime) that are the problem. I bet that until now, you all thought it was the kids’ fault.

Who ever thought that the humble school Janitor could actually be a magical wizard who is protecting our kids from harm. This book reveals that Janitors are actually like silent superheroes that linger in the background stopping the baddies. Sadly, it also demonstrates that they never get any credit for their heroics against the Toxites (it must be hard to be taken for granted). This is the very original and amusing concept of this book.

The plot has a few twists that may catch lazy readers out if they aren’t paying attention, but there’s plenty of action to keep the reader engaged. Some unanswered questions will undoubtedly be expanded upon in plots for subsequent books for the series.

My bottom line: I enjoyed the originality of the story. Never before have I read about (or even contemplated) janitors having such amazing powers. I’ll never look at a janitor in the same way, I’ll always be wondering which side they’re on.

Note: I don’t claim to be a pro-reviewer, I am a reader. My reviews are based on my personal thoughts around the story that the book is trying to tell. I try to focus on the story (which is the reason I read) rather than dissect the book and pass comment on typos, writing style or structure.


Here is the Janitors (Janitors #1) trailer.


Want to know more?
Click below to check out this great website for the Janitors series.

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Book Review ♦ Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban ♦ by J.K. Rowling ★★★★★

HP3
Click the book to add it to your Goodreads list

HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN
by J.K. Rowling ★★★★★

Harry Potter is lucky to reach the age of thirteen, since he has already survived the murderous attacks of the feared Dark Lord on more than one occasion. But his hopes for a quiet term concentrating on Quidditch are dashed when a maniacal mass-murderer escapes from Azkaban, pursued by the soul-sucking Dementors who guard the prison.

It’s assumed that Hogwarts is the safest place for Harry to be. But is it a coincidence that he can feel eyes watching him in the dark, and should he be taking Professor Trelawney’s ghoulish predictions seriously?

[Goodreads]


My Review

Azkaban is one of my favorite HP books.

After another tough summer with the horrible Dursleys, the looming return to Hogwarts is at the forefront of Harry’s mind. He can’t wait to escape and see his friends again.

Shortly before Harry is due to return to Hogwarts, news spreads across Muggle land that there’s a dangerous escapee on the loose. Little does Harry know that he’s in grave danger. It seems that he’s actually the target of the escapee.

During a visit from horrible Aunt Marge, her nasty comments set off a chain of events that end with an angry Harry fleeing Privet Drive into the darkened night. With nowhere to go, Harry seems doomed and alone. Then, out of the blue, comes The Knight Bus which picks him up and whisks him away to the safety of The Leaky Cauldron. Much to his relief, he’s also reunited with his friends for the trip back to Hogwarts.

Throughout this book there is the lingering danger that Harry is being stalked by the mad escapee, Sirius Black.  It’s also in this book that we witness the dreadful powers of the Dementors. Much to Dumbledore’s disgust, they are stationed at Hogwarts to catch Black if he dares to show his face. Harry becomes aware of the danger and is horrified when he learns of the Black’s back story. The teachers rally around, determined to protect Harry from certain death, although they don’t realise that he actually knows of the danger.

Meanwhile, Hermione has taken on extra classes. This extra study, along with the ongoing feud between her cat (Crookshanks) and Ron’s rat (Scabbers) cause her stress levels to slowly build to breaking point. After the main confrontation and revelations in the plot have occurred, her secret is revealed. And it just so happens that it’s what’s needed to set everything straight. For me, Hermione’s secret was one of the highlights (I’m a huge fan of ’her secret’ and I loved its role in the story).

In this book J.K. reveals plenty of snippets of information about Harry’s family and it’s past. And of course, there’s the introduction of Sirius Black, who  goes on to play such a pivotal role in Harry’s life.

The first time I read this book I found some of the twists of the plot were quite complex, and each time I’ve read it I’ve enjoyed it even more.

My bottom line: Azkaban is one of my favorite HP books. It was so good to get back to Hogwarts, catch up with everyone and learn more (again) about that fateful day in Harry’s life when he first encountered Voldemort.

Note: I don’t claim to be a pro-reviewer, I am a reader. My reviews are based on my personal thoughts around the story that the book is trying to tell. I try to focus on the story (which is the reason I read) rather than dissect the book and pass comment on typos, writing style or structure.




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Book Review ♦ The Cuckoo’s Calling ♦ by Robert Galbraith (J.K.Rowling)


THE CUCKOO’S CALLING
by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling) ★★★★★

The Cuckoo's Calling

When a troubled model falls to her death from a snow-covered Mayfair balcony, it is assumed that she has committed suicide. However, her brother has his doubts, and calls in private investigator Cormoran Strike to look into the case.

A war veteran, wounded both physically and psychologically, Strike’s life is in disarray. The case gives him a financial lifeline, but it comes at a personal cost: the more he delves into the young model’s complex world, the darker things get – and the closer he gets to terrible danger . . .

A gripping, elegant mystery steeped in the atmosphere of London – from the hushed streets of Mayfair, to the backstreet pubs of the East End, to the bustle of Soho - The Cuckoo’s Calling is a remarkable debut. Introducing Cormoran Strike, it is a classic crime novel unlike any other book you will read this year. [Goodreads]


My Review

This is another great book by J.K. (aka Robert Galbraith).

When I first heard about this book I was very keen to read it as soon as possible. If the secret author (J.K. Rowling) hadn’t been revealed by the wife of someone in the know, then I’m sure that it wouldn’t have crossed my radar. Thanks so much to the lady that spilled the beans, and let the secret out of the bag. It meant that I got to read it.

The story starts with the tragic death (by suicide) of a famous supermodel, which sets London abuzz, grabs the headlines and fills the scandal-driven magazines and newspapers. Apparently living the high life and rolling in money wasn’t enough for the beautiful Lula Landry.

Cormoran Strike is a private investigator who has led quite a full and varied life. His life is at a crossroad as he finds himself in the throes of a personal crisis. To top it off, his business isn’t going so well and he’s having a bit of trouble paying his bills.

Months after the death of Lula Landry has faded from the headlines, a new client (who has a link to Strike’s past) arrives at his office with a request to investigate the mysterious death of the supermodel. After a bit of convincing, Strike decides to take on the case, after all, he has a load of bills to pay. And so the biggest case in Strike’s career begins.

We follow the case as Strike searches for clues and motive that had been missed or discounted by police months earlier. My impression of Strike was one of an unkept, untidy character, who was very clever and methodical. The story isn’t full of action scenes or alternate worlds, or exotic settings. It’s very character driven and I really loved going through the journey with Strike (as if I was sitting on his shoulder) and watching him wind his way through the investigation. He seemed to me like a modern day Mrs Marple.

I thought that Robin, Strike’s temporary secretary, was a great character as well. She was super efficient and had always dreamed of somehow being involved in the work of a private investigator. We saw her loyalty to Strike grow throughout the story, along with some hidden talents that proved very helpful. There were a couple of scenes that involved Robin, which I thought were great. One being in the dress shop change room, and the other when she attempted an Australian accent. As an Aussie (I don’t have an accent – it’s the rest of the world that has accents), J.K’s spelling of an Aussie accent made me laugh out loud (oy’m = I’m, shiz not here = she’s not here, my nem’s Annabel = my name’s Annabel) … so funny.

This book also provides a glimpse into the lives of the rich and famous. It shows the pressures of constant attention from the paparazzi, and also highlights the excesses that become normal to many celebrities. Many of us dream of being rich and famous, even though we constantly see the dark side of it in the news. Fame is like a moth to a flame – some who go there get burnt.

There were so many possibilities along the way, that I found myself constantly switching my suspicions from one character to another throughout the book. Once the story begins to wrap up, all of the clues along the way start to fall into place. For those of you who have kept reading my whole review, I’ve got one thing to say. At the end we found out that … read it yourself :)

My bottom line: This was another great book by J.K. (aka Robert Galbraith). She has shown again that she can write great character driven stories that engage the reader, even without a fantastic alternate world such as that of the HP books.

PS. Here’s a tip – This book is for an adult audience.

Note: I don’t claim to be a pro-reviewer, I am a reader. My reviews are based on my personal thoughts around the story that the book is trying to tell. I try to focus on the story (which is the reason I read) rather than dissect the book and pass comment on typos, writing style or structure.


While you’re here, please check out my edge-of-your-seat adventure series
by clicking the pic below.Q1 Q2 Q3


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Blog Tour ♦ Sir Princess Petra’s Talent ♦ by Diane Mae Robinson


I’m very pleased to be involved in another great Blog Tour hosted by Kid Lit Reviews
Thanks for dropping by, I hope that you find my review helpful.

Sir Princess Petra's Talent Blog Tour


Sir Princess Petra’s Talent
by Diane Mae Robinson ★★★★

Sir Princess Petras Talent
Sir Princess Petra’s Talent – The Pen Pieyu Adventures (Book 2)

Sir Princess Petra has already proven she is a kind and noble knight. This, however, does not please the king and queen—they want her to behave like a princess and forget this silly knight nonsense of hers!

But when the king writes a new rule in the royal rule book that requires her to attend Talent School and acquire a princess talent certificate or suffer the spell of the royal magician, Petra, reluctantly, agrees to go. But who could have guessed what Sir Princess Petra’s Talent would be?

2 20.1 6

Sir Princess Petra – The Pen Pieyu Adventures (Book 1)

Princess Petra’s unusual birthday request sends the royal court into a frenzy, but when she agrees to undertake a knight’s quest they can’t stop her. Armed with a cake knife and outfitted in the best royal pots and pans, Petra sets off to face a dragon and win her real armor before encountering a bog witch, and an army of the kingdom’s worst enemies. Will Petra’s kindness and acceptance prove to be more valuable than weapons and armor?


My Review

Sir Princess Petra’s Talent is original, kinda quirky and plenty of fun.

The first thing I have to say about this book is that it looks awesome. I loved the fantastic illustrations scattered throughout, and title/chapter fonts and the typeface. They all look brilliant and work so well together. The book’s styling is definitely spot on.

The next thing I want to say about this book is that it was awesome. I’m not normally a Princessy story kinda guy, but I have to say that this one was rather cool.

Princess Petra has happily settled into her chosen life of Knight status (achieved in book 1 I believe) rather than a life of all things Princessy. But, just as she thinks all is cool, her dad (the King) decides to write a new rule in the kingdom’s rule book. It seems that all of a sudden it’s imperative that she do a little bit of off-site training to achieve a talent. Well, the training choices available are very Princessy, rather than Knighty, which prove to be a challenge for Petra’s personal preferences.

So, she sets off with her trusty dragon, Snarls, for Talent School. Along the way she meets a chap (a pink Knight) who happens to be a Prince, who (unknown to her) has actually been betrothed to her in marriage. Well, the weird thing is, Prince Duce Crablips of the Kingdom of Crablips is trying to stop her from gaining a talent, which would result in their instant engagement. Neither of them want to be engaged. In a twist, the Prince decides to accompany Petra to Talent School, so he can fulfill his ambition to learn how to crochet.

Well, that’s all I’ll reveal. As you can see, this plot is original, kinda quirky and plenty of fun. I loved the humorous tone of the story and think the author has done a great job.

My bottom line: Sir Princess Petra’s Talent is a clever and fun adventure. I love the styling, I love the humor, and I’m sure that my daughter will love it too when I pass the book on to her.

Note: I don’t claim to be a pro-reviewer, I am a reader. My reviews are based on my personal thoughts around the story that the book is trying to tell. I try to focus on the story (which is the reason I read) rather than dissect the book and pass comment on typos, writing style or structure.

A free copy of this book was provided to me by the author for a fair and honest review.


All about Diane Mae Robinson

Diane has a journalism diploma from the Schools of Montreal and an advanced diploma from the Institute of Children’s Literature. The author teaches acrylic and watercolor art to children, and is a tutor at the Creative Writing Institute. She also works full time at a dental office.

The author’s first book in this series, Sir Princess Petra – The Pen Pieyu Adventures, has won two prestigious awards: Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Emerging Artist Award (literary arts) and a Purple Dragonfly Book Award. The book has been short-listed for two other awards.

2012-07-13 08.57.08Websitehttp://www.dragonsbook.com
Bloghttp://dianemaerobinson.com
Tate Publishinghttp://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/book.php?w=9781625106827
Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/pages/Diane-Mae-Robinson/265979866785967
Twitter - @DianeMaeRobinson
LinkedInhttp://ca.linkedin.com/pub/diane-m-robinson/46/844/19b
Goodreadshttp://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18136476-sir-princess-petra-s-talent—the-pen-pieyu-adventures
Amazon Author Pagehttp://amzn.to/1584kko
B&Nhttp://bit.ly/1e2PvFL


Sir Princess Petra’s Talent Blog Tour Schedule

September 24th
http://ericasnook.blogspot.com/ (Erica) review http://thebookelfsnook.blogspot.com/
http://nikki-bennett.com/blog1 (Nikki) interview

September 25th
http://insatiablereaders.blogspot.com (Gina) review
http://nayusreadingcorner.blogspot.co.uk (Jessica) review & giveaway

September 26th
http://motherdaughterbookreviews.com (Renee) review
http://mydevotionalthoughts.net (Ruth) review
http://mommynificent.com (Tina) review

September 27th
http://whenigrowupiwannawriteakidsbook.blogspot.com/
(Author Julie Grasso) review
http://talesofabookworm.com (Brittany) review

September 28th
Mrsbbooks2011.blogspot.co.uk (Sam) review
http://mrsmommybooknerd.blogspot.com (Emily) interview

September 29th
http://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/ (Chris) Book Blast / Meet the Author
http://kid-lit-reviews.com (Sue) interview

September 30th
http://shareessentiments.blogspot.com/ (Sharee) review
http://www.melindatfalgoust.doodlekit.com (Melinda) review

October 1st
http://acsreadershaven.blogspot.com/ (Vera) review
http://www.bookwormforkids.blogspot.ca (Tonja) review & giveaway

October 2nd
http://lovablelobo.wordpress.com (Author C.L. Murphy) interview
http://alibrarymama.wordpress.com (Katy) review

October 3rd
http://thatartsyreadergirl.blogspot.com (Jana) review
http://www.gabriellemazurbooks.com (Gabrielle) review

October 4th
http://dianeestrella.com/ (Diane) review
http://literarycreature.wordpress.com (Jade) review

October 5th
http://thiskidreviewsbooks.com/ (Erik – review & giveaway)
http://swlothian.com/ (Author Steve Lothian) review

October 6th
www.bound4escape.com (Dawn Heslin review & giveaway)
http://kid-lit-reviews.com (Sue) review

October 7th
http://whenigrowupiwannawriteakidsbook.blogspot.com/ (Author Julie Grasso) interview
http://allisonsbookbag.wordpress.com/ (Allison) review

October 8th
http://themysteryofnidavalley.com (Author Elaine Ouston) review
http://kid-lit-reviews.com (Sue – Special Post for Tour Sites)

October 9th
http://www.dianemaerobinson.com/ (Author Diane Robinson – for Tour Sites)


While you’re here please take a peek at my edge-of-your-seat adventure series.
Just click the pic below.

Q1 Q2 Q3


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Blog Tour ♦ The Princelings of the East ♦ by Jemima Pett


It’s a pleasure to be involved in another great Blog Tour hosted by Mother Daughter Book Reviews.
Thanks for dropping by, I hope that you find my review helpful.

The Princelings of the East Blog TourHere’s a bit of a tip for you…

The blog tour includes a shared Rafflecopter
for a print copy of The Princelings of the East Trilogy
+ a $25 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash, open worldwide.

amazon-25-dollar-gift-cardLook out for it below (after the review)


The Princelings of the East
by Jemima Pett ★★★★

The Princelings of the East

The Princelings of the East is the first of a trilogy telling of the adventures of Fred and George.

When the King’s Birthday feast is ruined by an unnatural power drain, our Princeling heroes leave their scientific experiments to set out in search of answers. They encounter the enigmatic businessman Hugo, the impressive Prince of Buckmore, the wise Lady Nimrod, the irrepressible barkeep Victor, but find themselves threatened by those with vested interests.

The scene shifts from a rural, feudal setting to the towers and heights of the curious Isle of Hattan, but where, or when, are they? Time is of the essence in solving this puzzle, and our heroes must keep their wits sharp and their heads clear if they are to survive.

Suitable for ages 8 and over, The Princelings of the East is a fantasy adventure with the charm of the Wind in the Willows in a complete world reminiscent of Anne MacCaffrey’s Pern. [Goodreads]


My Review

 A classical tale that is reminiscent of Beatrix Potter and Wind in the Willows.

This book introduces us to an interesting mix of quirky and lovable characters. One of the things that you’ll need to know from the start is that they’re all guinea pigs. It’s a cool concept, and as you get further into the story you soon forget that they’re all plump little critters with short stubby legs. It’s their engaging personalities that shine through and have you fully believing in their abilities and adventures.

The world that has been created by the author includes some great settings, each with its own castle full of interesting characters. Castle Marsh is from where our main characters hail. Fred is a thinker, and George is an inventor. Both are a couple of Princelings who find themselves tasked with an important mission.

A mysterious energy drain is making life in the castle and surrounds rather difficult. It’s up to George and Fred to find the cause and fix it. In a twist of events they stumble upon a secret passage within the castle that opens up a whole new world. It’s a world where time-travel is possible. What they find and where they go is an entertaining recipe for a great tale. It’s not long before they find that there are many other places beyond the confines of Castle Marsh, where the same mysterious energy drain is occurring. And so the mystery deepens.

In many ways this book reminded me of Beatrix Potter and Wind in the Willows. Childhood memories of the illustrations, characters and style of those books helped me to visualize the Princelings as they shuffled through their adventure. The complexities of time-travel also rears its head, and it’s obvious that there has been considerable thought and theorizing by the author on the subject. As we all know, time-travel is rather complicated to fully comprehend. Logic verses ideas verses reality verses theory verses fantasy. The author does a sterling job in explaining her spin on the implications of time-travel on the plot and the characters. I know there are more books in the series and they’re definitely on my to-read list. I’ve actually already read (and also enjoyed) book four, which was like a prequel to this first book.

My bottom line: The Princelings of the East reminds me of those classical tales from Beatrix Potter. I think that the characters are charming and engaging and the underlying plot is original.

Note: I don’t claim to be a pro-reviewer, I am a reader. My reviews are based on my personal thoughts around the story that the book is trying to tell. I try to focus on the story (which is the reason I read) rather than dissect the book and pass comment on typos, writing style or structure.

A free copy of this book was provided to me by the author for a fair and honest review.


All about Jemima Pett

Jemima Pett (+friend) I’ve been writing since I was about 8 years old. When my mum died in 2003, I found a small booklet in her box of treasures, written in a very childish hand, entitled The Little Stream. I’ve been writing articles and reports for newsletters and magazines ever since, but I couldn’t find interesting characters and plot for a novel!

I worked in business for many years. I wrote manuals, reports, science papers, blogs, journals, anything and everything that kept the words flowing. Finally the characters jumped into my head with stories that needed to be told, and THE PRINCELINGS OF THE EAST was born.

I now live in Norfolk with my guinea pigs, the first of whom, Fred, George, Victor and Hugo, provided the inspiration for my stories. And the picture is me with Fred. That’s Princeling Fred, of course!

Book Website: http://princelings.co.uk/
Author Website: http://jemimapett.com/
Twitter: @Jemima_Pett
Facebook: The Princelings of the East
Pinterest: Jemima Pett
Google+: Jemima Pett
Goodreads: Jemima Pett


The Princelings of the East Blog Tour Schedule (2013)

September 23
Mother Daughter Book Reviews (Launch)
Black Words – White Pages Kids (Review)

September 24
Brooke Blogs (Review)
Reviews by Karen (Review)

September 25
Fiona Ingram (Review)
Stitch Says (Author Interview)

September 26
Amanda’s Books and More (Review)

September 27
Reading List (Review)

September 28
swlothian | author (Review)
Create With Joy (Author Interview)

September 29
Christy’s Cozy Corners (Review)

September 30
Black Words – White Pages Kids (Author Interview)
Fantasy Fun With Kirstin Pulioff (Review)

October 1
Houseful of Chaos (Character Interview)
Published Bestsellers (Review)

October 2
Fiona Ingram (Author Interview)
Stitch Says (Review)
Deal Sharing Aunt (Review)

October 3
Donna L. Sadd (Author Interview)

October 4
Magical Middle-Grade Literature (Review)

October 5
Every Free Chance Book Reviews (Spotlight With Excerpt)

October 6
Tales of a Bookworm (Review)
Mommasez (Character Interview)

October 7
My Devotional Thoughts (Review)
The Ninja Librarian (Author Interview)


*** The Princelings of the East Blog Tour Giveaway ***

As part of the Blog Tour here is a great Rafflecopter giveaway with a prize of
a print copy of The Princelings of the East Trilogy

The Princelings of the East Trilogy by Jemima Pett

and a $25 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash. 

amazon-25-dollar-gift-card

Contest runs: September 23 to October 7, 2013
Open: Worldwide

Click the button below to jump over to Rafflecopter to enter.

ENTER-NOW

Terms and Conditions: A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. If you have any additional questions – feel free to contact Renee at Mother Daughter Book Reviews.


While you’re here, please check out my edge-of-your-seat adventure series
by clicking the pic below.Q1 Q2 Q3


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Blog Tour ♦ The Adventures of Tomato and Pea (A Bad Idea) ♦ by Erik Weibel


I’m very pleased to be involved in a great Blog Tour to celebrate the launch of a new Middle Grade book.
The thing that sets this book apart from others is that it has been written by a very talented
and inspiring young eleven-year-old, Erik Weibel.

Eleven-year-old Erik plans to eventually take over the world. Right now he’s a bit too young, so he is spending time as a sixth grade student, book review blogger and hopeful writer.

Tomato and Pea Blog Tour Banner
Thanks for dropping by, I hope that you find my review helpful.


Tomato and Pea

THE ADVENTURES OF TOMATO AND PEA (A Bad Idea)
by Erik Weibel ★★★★

Published August 8, 2013 by CreateSpace
72 pages – ages 5-10

For years the evil villain Wintergreen had tried to destroy super crime-stopper, Tomato and his sidekick, Pea, and take over planet Oarg. In a plan gone wrong, Wintergreen traps himself along with his arch-nemesis in a runaway rocket ship that crashes on a strange planet called “EAR-TH”.

Now these perennial enemies must learn to work together to survive the dangers on this strange world. Hungry birds, enormous snakes and the giant inhabitants of EAR-TH stand between this brawling bunch of aliens and finding a way home.


My Review

This story is about a group of characters who definitely aren’t the best of friends. Wintergreen is a bad guy. Tomato is a good guy. Both are Smidges (small critters who are only 3 inches tall), who live on the planet Oarg. These two have been rivals for ages, and Wintergreen has come up with a scathingly brilliant plan that will get Tomato out of the way – once and for all.

Needless to say, all doesn’t go as expected and Wintergreen’s devious plan takes a turn for the worse. The result – they both find themselves in a strange place (Ear-th) where their old rivalries seem insignificant. They, and their posse of sidekick friends, have to learn how to put aside those differences and work together. After-all, their survival depends upon it.

The Adventures of Tomato and Pea – A Bad Idea is the first book of the series. It does a good job at setting up the characters, and the underlying story. I expect that there will be plenty of future adventures exploring Ear-th while they try to find a way home. I really liked the range of different characters and look forward to learning more about them in the future. It’d also be great to see some illustrations of what they actually look like. I loved the humor that was injected throughout the book, especially Poppy’s fast and furious fact attacks. They provided an amusing balance to the book’s action.

My bottom line: Well done on creating a story that kept me engaged from beginning to end. It’s so inspiring to see someone of Erik’s young age dedicated enough to take the plunge and write his first book. Keep on writing.

Note: I don’t claim to be a pro-reviewer, I am a reader. My reviews are based on my personal thoughts around the story that the book is trying to tell. I try to focus on the story (which is the reason I read) rather than dissect the book and pass comment on typos, writing style or structure.

A free copy of this book was provided to me by the author for a fair and honest review.


The Adventures of Tomato and Pea (A Bad Idea) is for sale at
Amazon
(kindle and paperback) and CreateSpace (paperback)

Here are the links to buy the ebook:
Amazon USA
Amazon Canada
Amazon UK

or

Paperback at CreateSpace


All about Erik Weibel

Erik1 erik3Erik is an eleven-year-old sixth grader that loves to read. He started his blog, This Kid Reviews Books when he was nine. Erik writes a monthly book review column for a local free newspaper.

He has a black belt in TaeKwon-Do and in his spare time enjoys building things out of LEGOs. He hopes to be an inventor and a published author when he grows up.


The Adventures of Tomato and Pea (A Bad Idea) Blog Tour Schedule (2013)

September 8th – This Kid Reviews Books - cover reveal and launch
September 9th – Michelle Isenhoff - Review
September 10th – KidLit Reviews - Review
September  11th - Mother Daughter Book Reviews – Review, The Story Reading Ape – Guest post by Erik
September 12th – Catherine Johnson – Review
September 13th - When I Grow Up I Wanna Write a Kids Book - Review, By Word of Beth – Book review and giveaway
September 14th - The Patient Dreamer – Book review
September  15th - Picture Books Help Kids Soar – Review
September 16th - Susanna Leonard Hill – Interview – Q&A with Commenters and giveaway
September 17th - Reading with Rhythm - ReviewSeptember 18th - Julie Rowan-Zoch – Interview
September 19th - Dr. Nana Plum’s (AKA Dr. Niamh Clune)  – Review in rhyme :D
September 20th - swlothian  |  author  – Review


While you’re here, please check out my edge-of-your-seat adventure series  by clicking the pic below.Q1 Q2 Q3

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Blog Tour ♦ Young Knights of the Round Table (The King’s Ransom) ♦ by Cheryl Carpinello


It’s a pleasure to be involved in a great Blog Tour hosted by Mother Daughter Book Reviews.
Thanks for dropping by, I hope that you find my review helpful.

Young Knights Blog Tour Button

Great news! As part of the Blog Tour there is a great Rafflecopter giveaway with a prize
consisting of a $25 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash.

amazon-25-dollar-gift-card
Look out for it below (after the review)


Young Knights - Book Cover

YOUNG KNIGHTS OF THE ROUND TABLE (The King’s Ransom)
by Cheryl Carpinello ★★★★

In medieval Wales, eleven-year-old Prince Gavin, thirteen-year-old orphan Philip, and fifteen-year-old blacksmith’s apprentice Bryan are brought together in friendship by one they call the Wild Man. When an advisor to the king is killed and a jewelled medallion is stolen from the king’s treasury, the Wild Man is accused of the theft and murder.

Filled with disbelief at the arrest of the Wild Man, the three friends embark upon a knight’s quest to save their friend’s life. To succeed, the three must confront their fears and insecurities, and one of them will have to disclose the biggest secret of all.

Join Gavin, Philip, and Bryan on their quest and share the adventures that await them in the land of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. [Goodreads]


Awards

2013 EVVY Finalist and EVVY Merit Award for
Juvenile/Young Adult from Colorado Independent Publishers Assoc.

2013 Ariana Cover Finalist

2012 Silver Award Recipient for YA Fiction from
Children’s Literary Classics and the CLC’s 2012 Seal of Approval.

2012 Finalist E-Book Children from USA 2012 Best Book Awards


My Review

An engaging adventure in a historical setting, with likable characters.

The underlying theme that I got from this story was one of honour, loyalty and putting others first. It has some good lessons for young readers. We have three friends as the main characters, each of them quite different. Phillip, who had endured horrible tragedy and made the most of what little he had. Bryan, who was sent by his family to learn the craft of a blacksmith, whilst dreaming of a life as a Knight. Gavin, a young Prince, who wanted to be worthy of one day bravely leading his father’s army into battle.

One day there is a terrible crime committed and the main suspect is a mysterious friend of the three, known as the Wild Man. And so the three friends join forces and the quest begins to prove the innocence of their friend. Each of our heroes has their own important part to play in the journey. Failure would mean that the Wild Man would be put to death.

It was nice to see the characters acting selflessly. Their only driver was to do what was right, and to save someone from a terrible injustice. I would have liked to have known more about the part of the story, where they convinced the King to offer a helping hand, as it was happening. I felt this part was too brief and needed more detail. It could be a great way to add some extra tension and suspense on the way to the climax. The story moved along at a pace that kept me engaged and I was keen to see how it all panned out. There were definitely some surprising twists along the way (particularly towards the end) that added an extra layer to the story that I didn’t expect.

The only way that you’ll know what the twists are is by reading the book yourself. I will say one thing though – in the end, everyone gets what they deserve. It brings to mind something that I’ve often said, and tried to teach to my own kids as they’ve grown – good brings good, bad brings bad.

My bottom line: This is a good story with some lessons for young readers aged 9-14. It has an engaging adventure in a good setting, and characters that I suspect would be quite relatable to its target audience.

Note: I don’t claim to be a pro-reviewer, I am a reader. My reviews are based on my personal thoughts around the story that the book is trying to tell. I try to focus on the story (which is the reason I read) rather than dissect the book and pass comment on typos, writing style or structure.

A free copy of this book was provided to me by the author for a fair and honest review.


All about Cheryl Carpinello

Cheryl Carpinello

Although a retired teacher, Cheryl Carpinello still has a passion for working with kids. She regularly conducts Medieval Writing Workshops for local elementary/middle schools and the Colorado Girl Scouts. She is not the only one who loves Medieval Times and the King Arthur Legend. The kids thoroughly enjoy writing their own medieval stories complete with dragons, wizards, unicorns and knights!

She loves to travel and her other job is with a major airline. Her favorite trip was a two week visit to Egypt with her husband that included traveling by local train from one end of Egypt to the other.

Some of her favorite books include The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Once and Future King, and any by the duo Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.

Author Site: http://www.beyondtodayeducator.com/

Author Blog: http://carpinelloswritingpages.blogspot.com

Facebook page: Author Cheryl Carpinello

Goodreads author page: Cheryl Carpinello

Twitter: @CCarpinello

Google+: Cheryl Carpinello

Young Knights of the Round Table Blog Tour Schedule (2013)

September 9
Mother Daughter Book Reviews (Launch)
Victoria Simcox (Review)

September 10
The Wise Owl Factory Book A Day (Review + Supplement)

September 11
Fiona Ingram (Review)

September 12
Mary Sutton (Author Interview)

September 13
Tales of a Bookworm (Review)
Kid Lit Reviews (Review)

September 14
Jemima Pett (Review)
Create With Joy (Review)

September 15
S.W. Lothian (Review)

September 16
Sher A Hart (Review)

September 17
Mother Daughter Book Reviews (Review)
Stitch Says (Author Interview)

September 18
Fiona Ingram (Author Interview)

September 19
Mommynificent (Review)

September 20
Nik’s Picks Book Reviews (Guest Post)

September 21
Black Words – White Pages Kids (Review)

September 22
WhenIgrowupIwannawriteakidsbook (Review)

September 23
Fantasy Fun With Kirsten Pulioff (Review)
Published Bestsellers (Review)

September 24
Stitch Says (Review)

September 25
Bookworm for Kids (Review)

September 26
Inkspired: A Blog (Review)

September 27
R.K. Grow- reading.writing.blogging. (Guest Post)

September 28
Mel’s Shelves (Review)

September 29
Magical Middle-Grade Literature (Review)

September 30
Le Vanity Victorienne (Review)


Great news!
As part of the Blog Tour here is a great Rafflecopter giveaway with a prize consisting of
$25 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash. 

amazon-25-dollar-gift-card

Contest runs: September 9 to October 6, 11:59 pm, 2013

Open: Worldwide

Click the button below to jump over to Rafflecopter to enter.

ENTER-NOW

Terms and Conditions: A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. If you have any additional questions – feel free to contact Renee at Mother Daughter Book Reviews.


While you’re here, please check out my edge-of-your-seat adventure series
by clicking the pic below.Q1 Q2 Q3


Best of Summer 2013 Blog Hop + More + Giveaway

Best of Summer 2013 Kid Lit Giveaway Hop - Button

It’s a pleasure to be involved in the Best of Summer 2013 Kid Lit Giveaway Blog Hop.
There’s no better excuse to share great children’s books with everyone. 
The hop is hosted by the world-famous Mother Daughter Book Reviews and Youth Literature Reviews .


I’ve decided to share with you a pile of reviews on children’s books that I’ve done over recent months. I hope that you find some gems, or maybe you are reminded of a book that you want to read, but forgot about.

To thank you for your visit I’m also hosting a Rafflecopter giveaway of an ebook of each of my released books. These are books 1 to 3 of the Quest series, which has proven to be very popular with a wide age range of readers. It’s not just for kids. Parents and teachers love them too. This series is an exciting time-travel adventure with some great endearing characters that keep you on the edge-of your-seat.

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If you want to enter to win an ebook copy of my 3 books (shown above),  then click the button below and I’ll personally escort you through time to Rafflecopter-land.

ENTER-NOW


Time Square  |  The Shift

Coming Soon!

Also, you may like to check out my next book. I currently have my head down as I write the first book of a new and exciting series called Time Square. This new series is actually a spin-off from part of book 3 in The Quest Series. It’s another exciting adventure that will get your imagination going and there will be plenty of fun and humour crammed in there as well.

The first book of the series will be called Time Square  |  The Shift.

Time Square button


Now it’s time to take a look at some of my reviews from
Summer 2013
(Northern Hemisphere)
Winter 2013 (Southern Hemisphere)

Just click the book cover to see the full review.

The Lost HeroThe Lost Hero (Heroes of Olympus #1) ♦ by Rick Riordan

“This is another great story by Rick Riordan. It’s totally hooked me for the series, cemented me as a fan and definitely further inspired me as a writer.

We have some new heroes in Jason, Piper and Leo, along with some old favorites dropping in for the ride. The familiarity on Camp Half Blood eases us into the dawn of a new quest that will span the new series. …..”


The Titan's Curse (Percy Jackson & The Olympians #3)

The Titan’s Curse (Percy Jackson #3) by Rick Riordan

“This was a great book; I enjoyed this one more than Sea of Monsters. As usual, I’ll try not to include any spoilers in my comments. This book has been reviewed a bazillion times so I’m sure that anyone reading this will have read plenty of other reviews already. …….”

.


The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson & the Olympians #4)The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson #4) by Rick Riordan

“Each new book that I read in this series is better than the last one.  This is probably because I’m getting to know the characters a little more each time, and I have some back stories about them to reflect on from the previous books.

As usual I’ll try to keep my thoughts spoiler free. ……”

.


Percy Jackson and The Last Olympian (#5)The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson #5) by Rick Riordan

“Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian is the final instalment in the great Percy Jackson series.  I have enjoyed this series a great deal and will no doubt read the other Rick Riordan series.

My feelings were that each book was better than the one before, I suspect that this could be due to my growing familiarity with the characters. …….”

.


Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's StoneHarry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

“Well …. this was a re-read and it was like catching up with old friends. It’s where it all began. Harry’s discovery that he was a wizard and his introduction to the wizarding world and all its danger and splendour. It has reinforced my love of these books, the settings and the characters. I remember why Hagrid is such a warm and gentle soul, why McGonagall is strict but motherly, why Dumbledore is … well, Dumbledore, why Malfoy is smug and horrible, and how Snape is mean and multi-layered. …….”


Harry Potter and the Chamber of SecretsHarry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

“The HP series is crammed full of magic and lessons. Each book casts an enduring spell over me every time I read it.

I think this is the fourth time I’ve read this book and I still make little discoveries along the way. Small things that I’ve missed (or forgotten) that trigger memories of characters or plots that will happen in later books. …….”

.


Return to Cardamom - coverReturn to Cardamom by Julie Anne Grasso

“Caramel and her friends return to our bookshelves in another great adventure that’s dotted with mouth-watering treats.

The Intergalactic Council is being courted by a dastardly scoundrel, who claims to have the key to their power needs. If he were to succeed with his plan, it would remove everyone’s reliance on Cardamom for energy.  …….”

.


A Mutiny in Time (Infinity Ring #1)A Mutiny in Time (Infinity Ring #1) by James Dashner

“WOW! …. This was a great read. I love time-travel books and they are proving to be very popular with readers at the moment (look out vampires and zombies).

This is the first book in a new series and I’m totally hooked, and will definitely be reading the others.  ……”

.


Divide and Conquer (Infinity Ring 2)Divide and Conquer (Infinity Ring #2) by Carrie Ryan

“Divide and Conquer (Infinity Ring #2) is a great story that I liked even better than book 1.  Our heroes, Dak, Sera and Riq return in a great adventure that is full of action, heroics and suspense.

In this instalment the gang find themselves in Paris in 885 at the very time that the Vikings are invading.  Their old foes the SQ are also back again, …….”

.


TimeRiders (Book #1)TimeRiders (Book #1) ♦ by Alex Scarrow
(More suited to teens+)
“The TimeRiders is a great book that has hooked me for the rest of the series. The blurb for this book is brilliant. How can you not be intrigued by this?

” Liam O’Connor should have died at sea in 1912.
Maddy Carter should have died on a plane in 2010.
Sal Vikram should have died in a fire in 2026.
Yet moments before death, someone mysteriously appeared and said, ‘Take my hand …’ “ ……..”


TimeRiders 2Day of the Predator (TimeRiders #2) by Alex Scarrow
(More suited to teens+)
“Alex Scarrow has followed book one with a cracker. Day of the Predator is just as exciting and addictive as book one. Liam, Maddy and Sal have settled into their own groundhog day (time cycles) as members of a highly secretive time agency. Their task? … looking out for ripples in time in New York City. Bob, the super strong half robot/half human support unit had a rough time at the end of book one ……”

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The Last Timekeepers

The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis by Sharon Ledwith
(More suited to upper MG to teens)
“This is a cool book that leads readers through a medieval adventure with an unlikely group of teens. In a nutshell, The Arch of Atlantis is a story of a group of opposing teens thrown together into a thrilling time-travel adventure. The group are involved in a food fight at school which ends in them all receiving detention together (you could say the situation is reminiscent of The Breakfast Club). …….”


Gasparilla's TreasureGasparilla’s Treasure by Scott Clements

“Gasparilla’s Treasure is a worthy adventure read for middle-graders. I’ll try to offer some useful comments without letting out any spoilers. 

The three central characters are your typical kids. The main character, Trip, provides the link to the background story that leads to the adventure. Josh is his goofy friend, and Sarah is a newbie to their school. ……….”


The Forgotten SecretThe Forgotten Secret by Scott Clements

“This is another great story from Scott Clements.
The tale picks up a few months after Gasparilla’s Treasure, and Trip, Josh and Sarah have been riding on the wave of their discovery. Then, along comes the very rich, Juan Gonzalez, a lifelong treasure hunter searching for the elusive El León Sagrado de Fuerza, The Sacred Lion of Strength. …….”

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That Pet Finder Kid - CatnappedThat Pet Finder Kid – Catnapped by Scott Clements

“Chet is a kid who’s on a journey that can be tough to take.  He’s not part of the ‘in’ crowd and he’s not a great ‘talent’ in sport either.  He’s bullied by kids who are shallow (I hate bullies) and he doesn’t have the confidence to stand up to them. Chet’s best friends are his pets. They love him unconditionally. …….”

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Diary of a Penguin-napperDiary of a Penguin-napper by Sally Harris

“This is a funny, entertaining tale of two boys, a girl, and a penguin that made me laugh plenty of times.

The first thing that grabbed me about this book was the awesome cover. My hat is off to the illustrator/designer. The second thing that grabbed me about this book was the great story. My hat is off to the author. …….”

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Want to see some more blogs in the
Best of Summer 2013 Kid Lit Giveaway Blog Hop?

Just click the link below to join and/or check out the list of other blogs that are involved in this awesome blog hop. They’re also having great giveaways. Please take time to visit and enjoy them, you may find that you’re a winner.

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Book Review ♦ Day of the Predator (TimeRiders #2) ♦ by Alex Scarrow


 TimeRiders 2DAY OF THE PREDATOR (TIMERIDERS #2)
by Alex Scarrow ★★★★★

Liam O’Connor should have died at sea in 1912.
Maddy Carter should have died on a plane in 2010.
Sal Vikram should have died in a fire in 2029.

But all three have been given a second chance—to work for an agency that no-one knows exists. Its purpose—to prevent time travel destroying history . . .

When Maddy mistakenly opens a time window where and when she shouldn’t have, Liam is marooned sixty-five million years ago in the hunting ground of a deadly—and until now—undiscovered species of predator.

Can Liam make contact with Maddy and Sal before he’s torn to pieces by dinosaurs—and without endangering history so much that the world is overtaken by a terrifying new reality? [Goodreads]


My Review

Alex Scarrow has followed book one with a cracker.
Day of the Predator is just as exciting and addictive as book one.


Liam, Maddy and Sal have settled into their own groundhog day (time cycles) as members of a highly secretive time agency. Their task? … looking out for ripples in time in New York City. Bob, the super strong half robot/half human support unit had a rough time at the end of book one and his AI has taken up residence in the main computer. It’s time for a new Bob, so the gang create a new one after locating the necessary ingredients in an olden day bank vault. But, here’s a tip … the new Bob is a little different to the first one. We also find out about Sal’s original rescue from certain death by Foster, which resulted in her arrival on the time travel scene.

One day an unexpected message arrives, which signals the start of a new mission. Things don’t go quite as expected, and an unfortunate turn of events results in Liam and the new Bob heading way way back in time. That’s not all of the bad news though. Our pair of time traveling heroes have a number of unexpected guests to contend with. The worst being some mysterious and deadly creatures that seem to have all of the nasty attributes that dwell in our nightmares.

Maddy and Sal are devastated at the unexpected loss of their colleagues in the endless realm of time. The race is on for those in the past to somehow get in contact with those in the future. All the while there is the constant threat of the nasty critters that pursue Liam and his companions. Will Liam and the new Bob find a way to contact Maddy and Sal while avoiding the dangers of dinosaur times? It’s another edge-of-your-seat adventure where the constant danger of contaminating the past threatens the future.

As with the first book, this one is aimed at YA. For any of my usual Middle Grade followers, here’s a tip. There are some rather nasty species in this who aren’t really a good fit for Middle Grade readers. But those ’older’ MG genre readers (I know you’re out there) who love suspense, mystery, creepy critters and thrills should love it.

My bottom line: This is another awesome book. I’m so keen to move on to book 3 as soon as my to-be-read pile allows it. My thanks go out to Alex Scarrow for such a great adventure. No wonder I get the feeling that his fan-base is very strong and loyal.

Note: I don’t claim to be a pro-reviewer, I am a reader. My reviews are based on my personal thoughts around the story that the book is trying to tell. I try to focus on the story (which is the reason I read) rather than dissect the book and pass comment on typos, writing style or structure.

Check out my previous review of Alex Scarrow’s talent below:

TimeRiders – Book 1


Here is the Day of the Predator (TimeRiders #2) trailer from when
the book’s launch was looming.


Want to hear from the man himself? … then check out this intro to the TimeRiders series


While you’re here, please check out my edge-of-your-seat adventure series
by clicking the pic below.Q1 Q2 Q3


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Book Review ♦ The Lost Hero (Heroes of Olympus #1) ♦ by Rick Riordan


The Lost HeroTHE LOST HERO (HEROES OF OLYMPUS #1)
by Rick Riordan ★★★★★

Jason has a problem. He doesn’t remember anything before waking up on a school bus holding hands with a girl. Apparently he has a girlfriend named Piper. His best friend is a kid named Leo, and they’re all students in the Wilderness School, a boarding school for “bad kids”, as Leo puts it. What he did to end up here, Jason has no idea — except that everything seems very wrong.

Piper has a secret. Her father, a famous actor, has been missing for three days, and her vivid nightmares reveal that he’s in terrible danger. Now her boyfriend doesn’t recognize her, and when a freak storm and strange creatures attack during a school field trip, she, Jason, and Leo are whisked away to someplace called Camp Half-Blood. What is going on?

Leo has a way with tools. His new cabin at Camp Half-Blood is filled with them. Seriously, the place beats Wilderness School hands down, with its weapons training, monsters, and fine-looking girls. What’s troubling is the curse everyone keeps talking about, and that a camper’s gone missing. Weirdest of all, his bunkmates insist they are all—including Leo—related to a god. [Goodreads]


My Review

This is another great story by Rick Riordan. It’s totally hooked me for the series, cemented me as a fan and definitely further inspired me as a writer.

We have some new heroes in Jason, Piper and Leo, along with some old favorites dropping in for the ride. The familiarity on Camp Half Blood eases us into the dawn of a new quest that will span the new series. It’s a clever idea to give us a new hero, Jason, who has no memories of where he is from or what he has done. As the story unfolds, we learn about him at the same time that he learns about himself. Piper and Leo are a couple of teens with troubled pasts, who find themselves thrown together with other wayward teens at Wilderness School. Jason drops in, somehow, and he is mysteriously embedded in their memories, as if he’d been best friends with them for months. And so the tale of this trio starts.

Enemies soon surface and in all the mayhem, they are whisked off to a strange, distant place – Camp Half Blood. They learn that they are different from normal teens and that they are in fact, Demigods. It’s certainly a lot for them to take in. So, the storyline develops (I’m not going into detail – I don’t want to spoil anything for those of you who haven’t read the series) and they find themselves embarking on a dangerous quest. They each have different qualities and talents, but there are also hidden secrets. It was interesting to watch the characters develop, and see how they reacted to situations, given their secrets. As friendship and bonds grow stronger throughout the journey, it causes plenty of angst, confusion and personal conflicts with their hidden agendas.

If there was anything in the book that troubled me, it was the gang’s uncanny knack of stumbling onto each place that they needed, although they didn’t really know where they were going. But, given that this is fiction, anything is possible, and that’s why I read – to escape reality, and believe in the extraordinary.

My bottom line: This is a great start to another series. I’m already engaged with the characters and I’m keen to see what they get up to next. I recommend this book to anyone who loves adventure laced with the magic of mythology and modern day settings. Rick Riordan fans won’t be disappointed.

Note: I don’t claim to be a pro-reviewer, I am a reader. My reviews are based on my personal thoughts around the story that the book is trying to tell. I try to focus on the story (which is the reason I read) rather than dissect the book and pass comment on typos, writing style or structure.

Check out my other reviews of Rick Riordan books below:

The Titan’s Curse (Percy Jackson #3)

The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson #4)

The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson #5)


Want to hear from the man himself? … then check out this book trailer

Also, here’s a bonus for all of you fans of the Percy Jackson books …
keep an eye out, this one’s in cinemas this year.

 


While you’re here, please check out my edge-of-your-seat adventure series
by clicking the pic below.Q1 Q2 Q3


Book Review Banner 2

Book Review ♦ Return to Cardamom ♦ (Julie Anne Grasso)


Return to Cardamom - coverReturn to Cardamom
(Caramel Cardamom Trilogy, Book #2)

Author: Julie Anne Grasso
Publisher: Independent
Publication Date: July 17, 2013
Pages: 136 (Paperback)
Recommended Age: 9+

Summary: Life is sweet for Caramel and things are finally getting back to normal. Well, as normal as it can be for a telepathic elf who can train trees and control computers, but she soon finds life on Cardamom is not all cupcakes and apple cider. A saboteur is hiding in the rainforest canopy, and the elves’ precious cardamom export has been wiped out. Caramel is certain it’s another trick of Alexander222 and her Aunt Isabel, but no one will believe her, and the clock is ticking.

She must expose the saboteur in time to save the crop or the Elves of Cardamom will lose their livelihood. Caramel won’t rest until her theory is proven. While she is on the hunt, she makes a shocking discovery, one that will change everything.

Grab yourself a copy from

Amazon (US)  |  Amazon (UK)   |  Amazon (Canada)


My Review – ★★★★★

Caramel and her friends return to our bookshelves in another great adventure that’s dotted with mouth-watering treats. The Intergalactic Council is being courted by a dastardly scoundrel, who claims to have the key to their power needs. If he were to succeed with his plan, it would remove everyone’s reliance on Cardamom for energy. Given that our mind-reading heroine’s home planet grows the Cardamom crop, it would spell disaster to lose the trade.  Out of nowhere, planet Cardamom’s crops fail, and the call goes out for all elves to return home to repair the damage, and raise and harvest a new crop in record time.

Caramel suspects that her old foes (Alexander222 and her Aunt Isabel) are behind it, but not everyone is convinced of her theory. She needs to take control of the situation and find the proof. As the story unfolds, Caramel holds onto her beliefs, follows her intuition and proves her resilience. Teaching young readers that they should never give up on things that they believe in. The plot has some exciting twists and turns that entertain and keep the reader engaged. A major event in the latter part of the first half (that I didn’t see coming) cranks up the adventure, which rolls along to an exciting and surprising outcome. To see what happens for yourself, you’ll need to read it :)

This was a great follow up the first book, Escape from the Forbidden Planet.  Caramel’s skills are growing and her character is building. I look forward to the next adventure.

My bottom line: Julie Grasso has delivered a sound follow-up to her first book. I’m confident that fans of book 1 will relish the new adventures and character growth of their heroine, Caramel.

Note: I don’t claim to be a pro-reviewer, I am a reader. My reviews are based on my personal thoughts around the story that the book is trying to tell. I try to focus on the story (which is the reason I read) rather than dissect the book and pass comment on typos, writing style or structure.


Here’s a Special Offer to celebrate the launch of Return to Cardamom
Get your FREE COPY of the first book of the trilogy
Escape From the Forbidden Planet‘  by Julie Anne Grasso
July 17 to 21, 2013. Available for 99 cents after July 21, 2013
.
Also, you can check out my review of Book 1
Escape From the Forbidden Planet here.

All about Julie Anne Grasso

Julie GrassoJulie Anne Grasso is an Australian author with a background in paediatric nursing. She spent many years literally wrapping children in cotton wool. Every day she witnessed great courage and resilience from the tiny people she cared for, which inspired her to write stories about a little girl elf just like them. Add in some very funky technology, her love of science fiction and desire to impart great values through her little girl elf named Caramel and there you have it, the Adventures of Caramel Cardamom Trilogy was the result.

Julie lives in Melbourne with her husband Danny and their little elf Giselle. Most days she can be found sipping chai lattes, chasing a toddler, and dreaming up wonderful worlds that often involve consumption of cupcakes.

Book Website: http://www.julieannegrassobooks.com/
Author Blog: WhenIgrowupIwannawriteakidsbook
Facebook page: Julie Anne Grasso Books
Twitter: @Jujuberry37
Goodreads Author: Julie Anne Grasso


Return to Cardamom Blog Tour Giveaway

Return to Cardamom - coverAmazon $50 Gift Card

Prize: One winner will receive a copy (print in U.S./Canada & e-copy interntionally) + a $50 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash

Contest runs: July 17th to August 7th, 11:59 pm, 2013

Open: Worldwide

How to enter: Enter using the Rafflecopter link below.

Terms and Conditions: A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send us an email!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Return to Cardamom Blog Tour Button 2013 Return to Cardamom Blog Tour Schedule (2013)
July 17
Mother Daughter Book Reviews (Launch & Review)
The Wise Owl Factory Book a Day (Review)
Jemima Pett (Review)
July 18
Amanda’s Books and More (Review)
Tales of a Bookworm (Review)
InkSpired: A Blog (Review)
July 19
SherA-Hart (Review)
This Kid Reviews Books (Review)
July 20
Fiona Ingram (Review)
swlothian | author (Review)
A Library Mama (Review)
July 21
Imagineer – ing (Book Spotlight)
Stanley and Katrina (Review)
July 22
Published Bestsellers (Author Interview)
The Jenny Evolution (Review)
July 23
Word Spelunking (Guest Post)
Stitch Says (Author Interview)
July 24
Nik’s Picks Book Reviews (Review)
R.K. Grow – reading.writing.blogging (Author Interview)
Diane Estrella @ That’s What I’m Here For … (Review)
July 25
Guiltless Reading (Review)
July 26
Kid Lit Reviews (Review)
BeachBoundBooks (Review)
July 27
Mel’s Shelves (Review)
Learning and Growing the Piwi Way (Review)
July 28
My Devotional Thoughts (Author Interview)
Daisha Korth Books (Review)
July 29
Fiona Ingram (Author Interview)
Published Bestsellers (Review)
Bookworm for Kids (Review)
July 30
Nayu’s Reading Corner (Guest Post)
Stitch Says (Review)
July 31
Cheryl Carpinello’s Writing Pages (Guest Post)
Nayu’s Reading Corner (Review)
Barbara Ann Mojica’s Blog (Review)