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review 2017-08-18 22:27
Mercy Blade / Faith Hunter
Mercy Blade - Faith Hunter

Things are heating up in the Big Easy. Weres have announced their existence to the world, and revived the bitter tensions that run between them and their old enemies: vampires.

As a trusted employee of Leo Pellissier, Blood Master of the City, Jane finds herself caught in the cross fire. When Jane is attacked by a pack of marauding werewolves, she is thankful for the help of a mysterious stranger named Girrard. He explains that he used to be Leo's 'Mercy Blade,' a sacred position charged with killing vampires who have gone insane.

What Jane doesn't know is why this powerful assassin left New Orleans--or, more troubling, why he's now returned. It's definitely not to make Jane's life easier...

 

I enjoyed this installment of Jane Yellowrock in spite of myself!  It’s only book three, and already Hunter has introduced werewolves to the mix.  Not that I mind them too much, just that I like vampires so much better.  Jane runs into them by accident—or was it an accident?  Can she know how much vampire master Leo is manipulating her life?

 

One of the reasons that I like Jane so much is that she bestows nicknames on the people around her.  That’s one of my bad habits—giving names to those people who I see frequently, but don’t really know.  I guess I’m glad to know that other people do the same thing.

 

If one thing troubles me, it’s that Jane is such a doormat when it comes to the men in her life.  However, she is so ultra-competent in her professional life that she would be positively Mary-Sue-ish if she didn’t have a major flaw, and this is it.  And really, who hasn’t been torn from time to time, wondering if you’ve chosen the right guy?  Jane has the added complication of Beast to deal with—trying to please two strong female personalities is a tough job for one guy.  She may need two or three!

 

A fun series and I will definitely continue on.

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text 2017-08-17 13:50
20 Desserts Inspired by Your Favorite Children’s Books [Infographic], and how to find more Kid Lit

WARNING! A mouth-watering post.

 

Reading goes well with sweets. Do you wonder what kind of snack fits the book the most? The following graphics from Shari's Berries is an excellent guide for book AND dessert pairing. You know what it means? Books and chocolate = heaven!

 

And what's you favorite reading time snack?

 

Scroll down to find 6 children's books from BookLikes bloggers bookshelves.

kids book and dessert pairingInfographic via www.berries.com

 

6 Kid lit picks from your bookshelves

 

If you're wondering what Children books book bloggers are reading, go to the Book Catalog page (menu -> Book Catalog: http://booklikes.com/catalog), select the Children category of the left and scroll down for Recently read section:

 

 

Gracefully Grayson - Ami Polonsky Gracefully Grayson - Ami Polonsky  


Grayson Sender has been holding onto a secret for what seems like forever: "he" is a girl on the inside, stuck in the wrong gender's body. The weight of this secret is crushing, but sharing it would mean facing ridicule, scorn, rejection, or worse. Despite the risks, Grayson's true self itches to break free. Will new strength from an unexpected friendship and a caring teacher's wisdom be enough to help Grayson step into the spotlight she was born to inhabit?

 

The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly - Kim Chi-Young,Sun-mi Hwang,Nomoco The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly - Kim Chi-Young,Sun-mi Hwang,Nomoco  

This is the story of a hen named Sprout. No longer content to lay eggs on command only to have them carted off to the market, she glimpses her future every morning through the barn doors, where the other animals roam free, and comes up with a plan to escape into the wild—and to hatch an egg of her own. An anthem for individuality and motherhood, The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly has captivated millions of readers in Korea, where it is a contemporary classic.

 

A Dragon's Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans - Joanne Ryder,Laurence Yep A Dragon's Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans - Joanne Ryder,Laurence Yep  

Crusty dragon Miss Drake has a new pet human, precocious Winnie. Oddly enough, Winnie seems to think Miss Drake is her pet—a ridiculous notion! Unknown to most of its inhabitants, the City by the Bay is home to many mysterious and fantastic creatures, hidden beneath the parks, among the clouds, and even in plain sight. And Winnie wants to draw every new creature she encounters: the good, the bad, and the ugly. But Winnie’s sketchbook is not what it seems.

 

 

I Am Pusheen the Cat - Claire Belton I Am Pusheen the Cat - Claire Belton  

This collection of oh-so-cute kitty comics—an online cult phenomenon, now for the first time in an adorable gift book—Pusheen combines the online reach of The Oatmeal’s How to Tell if Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You with the super-sweet appeal of Hello Kitty. I Am Pusheen the Cat features some of the most popular comics from the website, including Reasons I Love Fall, Career Options for Your Cat, and Christmas To Do List, as well as a healthy serving (at least 25 percent) of never-before-seen material that is sure to delight Pusheen’s many dedicated fans.

 

A Whole New Ballgame - Phil Bildner A Whole New Ballgame - Phil Bildner  

Rip and Red are best friends whose fifth-grade year is nothing like what they expected. They have a crazy new tattooed teacher named Mr. Acevedo, who doesn't believe in tests or homework and who likes off-the-wall projects, the more "off" the better. And guess who's also their new basketball coach? Mr. Acevedo! Easy-going Rip is knocked completely out of his comfort zone. And for Red, who has autism and really needs things to be exactly a certain way, the changes are even more of a struggle. But together these two make a great duo who know how to help each other--and find ways to make a difference--in the classroom and on the court.

 

Beagle in a Backpack - Ben M. Baglio Beagle in a Backpack - Ben M. Baglio  

Mandy and James are distracted from Halloween planning when local girl Amber Hutton runs away from home with a stolen beagle puppy. Clues left around a sheep farm lead the kids to believe that Amber is hiding out on the moors.  But even if the girl and dog are found, will they all be able to make it safely back over the moors that are riddled with jagged holes and underground caves.

Source: www.berries.com/blog/kids-books-and-desserts
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review 2017-08-11 01:02
Small Great Things
Small Great Things - Jodi Picoult,Audra McDonald

 

 

Ruth Jefferson has been a neonatal nurse for over 20 years, at a small hospital in New Haven, CT.  She is a great nurse who loves her job.  During a routine newborn check, she is startled when the baby boy's father, Turk Bauer, insists on speaking with Ruth's supervisor, who subsequently informs her she is not to care for or even touch this young patient again.  The Bauers are white supremacists, and Turk has requested that no one who "looks like" Ruth touch the baby.  Ruth is African-American..

 

After having worked a double shift, Ruth is asked to watch over the baby, Davis Bauer, who has just undergone a routine circumcision and needs to be observed.  Because an emergency c-section has pulled all other available personnel away, Ruth is the only left to do so.  When he goes into cardiac distress, she faces the impossible choice of complying orders by doing nothing or defying them to administer to him.

 

When there is a adverse event, Ruth becomes a target and faces serious criminal charges.  The public defender assigned to her case is Kennedy McQuarrie.  The book has as its three first-person, present-tense narrators Ruth, Kennedy, and Turk.  The audiobook has three separate narrators for these roles, which I found really effective.  The book takes on race issues in a way that honors and explores the complexities associated with it, as the characters all recount their perspectives, and they all go through their own complicated journeys.  This is my second Jodi Picoult novel, after Leaving Time, and she's definitely become a favorite author.  She has a way of writing books I want to climb into so I can shut out the outer world until I'm done.

 

I had some uncanny timing with this book.  I'd placed a hold on the downloadable audiobook from my library's site ages ago. Just when I needed to make my "reader's choice" selection for my library's summer-reading program, this book finally became available.  

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review 2017-08-09 20:14
The Shivering Sands / Victoria Holt
The Shivering Sands (Casablanca Classics) - Victoria Holt

***2017 Summer Lovin’ Reading List ***

In many ways, this is a very dated Gothic romance—after all, it was first published in 1969. I’m pretty sure that I read it as a teenager, but it must not have been part of my personal collection, because this reading felt like I was enjoying it for the first time. There are enough differences from Holt’s usual romance formula to make it feel a bit fresher plot-wise too.

A young widow, Caroline Verlaine, takes a position as music teacher at an estate close to excavated Roman ruins where her sister had been working as an archaeologist, only to disappear under mysterious circumstances. Concealing her relationship to the missing woman, Caroline tries to trace her missing sister. There are no poisonous distant relatives, exiling Caroline to a tedious life of uninspired pupils, penury, and living below stairs. She has freely chosen her position for a specific reason, she has an undeniable talent for music, and is therefore much less rebellious than other Holt heroines.

Of course, further disappearances occur and there are mysterious goings-on that lure Caroline into dangerous situations. If I have any complaints, it is that the ending was a bit abrupt and completely predictable. I felt the heroine’s choice should have been just a bit more difficult, requiring a just bit more agonizing than occurred. The book ends suddenly with Caroline’s choice, giving no insight into what happens to numerous other characters who formed an integral part of the story.


Still, in this genre, this was a very enjoyable novel.

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review 2017-08-08 20:05
Thunder Heights / Phyllis A. Whitney
Thunder Heights - Phyllis A. Whitney

When Camilla King's grandfather leaves her the family estate in his will, she is shocked. Before her summons to his deathbed, she had never met any of her late mother's relatives. Although the rest of the family clearly does not want her there, Camilla honors her grandfather's wish and becomes the mistress of the magnificent Thunder Heights.

But along with the grand house, Camilla has inherited a legacy of hatred and secrets. Not knowing who, if anyone, she can trust, Camilla searches for the truth about her mother's death. Soon she begins to suspect that it was no accident, but rather murder.

 

 

 

***2017 Summer Lovin’ Reading List***

A disappointment, as I had high hopes of Phyllis Whitney. So many gothic romances are set in England, at first I found it refreshing to read one set in New York instead. But I just couldn’t connect with the heroine, Camilla King, who seemed to be unrealistically naïve, especially for someone who had been through so much loss and was supporting herself through governessing.

The big party that happens close to the book’s ending would have been better placed in the middle or slightly before that, and to have introduced at least one other man into Camilla’s sphere of influence. As things stood, as a reader I knew she would have to end up with either the artist or the engineer/advisor. Whitney spent very little time letting Camilla form relationships with either one of them. As a result, when the choice was made at the end, I just couldn’t feel it was realistic—she barely knew the man she ended up with.

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