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review 2018-02-20 06:13
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Very Hungry Catepillar 8c CD Na: For B& n - Eric Carle

AR: 2.9

Grade Level: PreK-1st

Summary: The Very Hungry Caterpillar is all about how a very hungry caterpillar transformed into a not so hungry butterfly! This book is excellent for teaching numbers and the cycle of the butterfly. 

Idea: I will most definitely be using this book to teach a science lesson on the life cycle of a butterfly. This would be beneficial for my younger students because it is fun and educational! This is also an opportunity to incorporate math into my lesson. 

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review 2018-02-16 01:49
ARC Review: Wolf And The Holly (Rowan Harbor Circle #2) by Sam Burns
Wolf and the Holly (The Rowan Harbor Cycle Book 2) - Sam Burns

In this 2nd book in her new series, Sam Burns gives us Jesse Hunter, brother to Wade, childhood friend to Devon, reluctant would-be Alpha wolf, who came back to Rowan Harbor five years ago after dropping out of college for reasons not entirely clear and has been sort of drifting along aimlessly ever since. He's the accountant for many of the business owners in town, still lives with his parents and doesn't want to take his mother's place on the town council.

The night before his 30th birthday, which is where the book opens, we find Jesse in the bar with friends, trying out one of Cassidy's new concoctions and generally feeling a little sorry for himself. The evening is interrupted when a rogue vampire named Sol enters the bar. He's known to both Cassidy and Max and warned immediately to not feed from humans, but register with the bloodbank. 

Jesse has a bad feeling about the new vamp - he smells wrong, and Jesse's wolfy nose is still perfectly functional, no matter how much he tries to deny the wolf inside. 

As Jesse leaves the bar and walks home, he smells blood in an alley way. Thinking the rogue vamp may have struck, he investigates and find his childhood friend Isla slumped at the end of the alley, unconscious and bleeding from a head wound. 

Thus the author has set the scene for what follows, and Jesse can no longer deny his instincts - the wolf wants free to protect his family and friends. 

This is billed as a paranormal romance, and there is a romance inside as Jesse finds his mate in Sean Anderson, who recently returned to take over the flower shop in town (a unique place, you'll see). The romance however takes a backseat as the paranormal and suspense parts of the plot unfold. 

The whole story is told from Jesse's POV. Sinister forces may be at work, and Jesse must use his wits and overcome his reluctance to figure out what is going on and how to stop it and who's behind it all. I still had questions at the end, and can barely contain my excitement at the prospect of book 3.

Most of the world-building was taken care of in the first book, and these cannot be read as standalones - don't even try. A lot of the background information provided in book 1 is needed to understand the dynamics and the events in this book, and I expect that the subsequent books will be no different. The author calls this a trilogy of trilogies so these must be read in order as well. There is also no HEA for Jesse and Sean in this book, only a HFN, which made sense to me because they have only JUST found each other. I also like very much that while there is a mating pull at work, the couples aren't automatically in love - they still need to learn about each other and forge a relationship. 

This book is alternatively edge of your seat intense and giggly fun (such as when Jesse gets zapped by Sean, as I knew he would), but there are also parts that really showcased the author's talent in creating fully fleshed-out characters, who are flawed and complex and don't always have their act together. Jesse's self-doubts, his fears, and the reason he's denied his wolf for so long - there were moments when I wanted to either shake him to pull his head out of his rear end or hug him and tell him that yes, he could become what he was meant to be. 

None of these characters are perfect, not Devon whose anger can make buildings shake, nor Wade who can be a bit grumpy, nor Isla who has been running for years for reasons explained within, nor Jesse, the wolf who left to find his place in the world, only to realize that his rightful place is home in Rowan Harbor, doing what he was born to do. 

The townsfolk have interesting dynamics. Some made me laugh and some made me think - especially since not all is as it seems at first. So well done.

At the very end, the author cleverly sets up the events to come in book 3 - I cannot wait. Is it March yet?

** I received a free copy of this book as part of a review tour, in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. **

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review 2018-02-11 00:59
ARC Review: Blackbird In The Reeds by Sam Burns
Blackbird in the Reeds (The Rowan Harbor Cycle Book 1) - Sam Burns

This, ladies and gents, this is how you write the first book in a new series. The world-building and character development in this book are absolutely fabulous. There is absolutely no info dump. Each piece of new information is revealed via the plot progression, and while I still had no idea what was actually going on at about 30% in, I couldn't wait to find out.

Devon Murphy, from whose 3rd person POV the story is told, rushes home to Rowan Harbor, Oregon, at the request of his grandmother. Who never asks for anything. Some years ago, Devon fled his hometown because everyone knew everyone, and everyone had their nose in everyone else's business. But now Gran needs him, and Devon rushes home. He's in such a rush that he gets into a car accident not far from town and comes face to face with a massive wolf. 

I'm not going to give away the plot - you should read this book yourself to find out what happens within. I will however tell you that this series is planned for 9 books, and I cannot wait to devour each one. This author mixes a suspenseful whodunit with a paranormal romance, and it all fit exceptionally well together. I was on the edge of my seat more often than not, and grinned and giggled when Devon gets zapped by Wade Hunter, and then comes to terms with what that means. 

Supernatural politics? A town council? The Knit Nights? Devon being treated like the town's long lost son, without having any idea why? Each step forward in unraveling the mystery surrounding this small coastal town only poses more questions, with some hinting at things to come in future books.

The romance itself was more subdued and doesn't really come to fruition until the latter part of the book, which made sense to me, considering the many things Devon has to explore and figure out. While there was some mating compulsion at play here, there was no insta-love, and while the book doesn't end on a cliffhanger, there's no HEA - obviously. I did believe though that Devon and Wade will get their happy ending, once the series runs its course, and I had no doubt whatsoever that they are truly in love, but still need to learn so much about each other. 

This author is quickly becoming one of my favorites. The first series, Wilde Love, was obviously very different from this one, but Sam Burns is an author to watch and I will gladly read anything they decide to publish. 

Fabulous, just fabulous. Go get yourself a copy, stat!



** I received a free copy of this book from its author. A positive review was not promised in return. **

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review 2018-02-09 19:07
Nicholas Sansbury Smith: Extinction Horizon
Extinction Horizon (The Extinction Cycle, #1) - Nicholas Sansbury Smith

Nicholas Sansbury Smith takes the readers on an action filled ride as the follow Team Ghost who about to face their most deadly enemy:

Master Sergeant Reed Beckham is the leader of the Delta Team, codename Ghost. He has lead them through every hell hole on this Earht and has never lost a man, but he is about to face the most deadly threat of all, a variant strain of Ebola. This virus has the ability to turn humans in to monsters and it has the ability to spread just as fast as Ebola does. Team Ghost is assigned to extricate and protect the only scientists that could figure out a way to stop the virus and save the human race. As cities fall around the country and world more pressure is put on team Ghost and Dr. Kate Lovato to live long enough to find a cure.

I'm really happy I found Sansbury last year, he has become one of my go too authors when I am wanting sci-fi. I am also happy that he writes series so I can get my fill on many different fronts within this genre. For this book Soldiers vs mutated humans is almost always a good read in my opinion, can gun power really overwhelm numbers is always the question (Ijust think of the Hordes on TWD).

This book does not have a calm second, you just need to hold on for the ride as this book is action packed and goes from one battle to the next, so to say that it is action packed is un understatement. It is also fairly gruesome and gory in the telling of the story, which I think needs to go hand in hand with zombie novels. I have yet to read a book about a nice zombie or where there is not some blood and guts spilling. Sansbury Smith does not hold back but at the same time you are not going to feel the need to lose your lunch. He has found a good balance there.

Beckham is a great main character he is fearless in danger, knows when his back is against the wall and would not put his men through anything that he would not do himself. In other words the type of leader that you would want to follow. I appreciate that none of the members of team Ghost are safe, even Master Sergeant himself. They get hurt and lets just say not all the team members are going to make it back.
I have started three series by Sansbury Smith now and I revel at his ability to have this many series and not have them the same. I am very excited to continue on with this series, as I really enjoyed this book.

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review 2018-02-07 21:09
Review of "Mob Rules" (Underworld Cycle #1) by Cameron Haley
Mob Rules (Underworld Cycle #1) - Cameron Haley

This reader's personal opinion, ©2018, all rights reserved, not to be quoted, clipped or used in any way by goodreads, Google Play, amazon.com or other commercial booksellers* 

Not completely sure what I think of this first in series or if I'll continue.  There were hints of unique and interesting worldbuilding and characters.  Some humor.  Read more gangbanger than mobster.  May just be first book-itis and rest of series a strong one.


I'm not sure the book knew what it wanted to be.  Lots of new stuff thrown in at end.  The mystery part did not progress well.  Some moralizing and some rationalizing; seemed not sure how gangsta to make her with whiffs of reform.  Sometimes I started to connect to the character but a lot of time I did not because she didn't connect well to others (well, okay, an otherworldly BFF and new roommate eventually tossed in -- not really explained why our "heroine" befriended this Otherworld one but enslaved another Otherworld ...).


It was well written, but kinda a mess.  If I hadn't accidentally library borrowed the next book mistaking series order, not sure how much I would have read.  It was a book/series that kept showing up on my radar so probably I would have finished at least this first book.

*©2018.  All rights reserved except permission is granted to author or publisher (except Penumbra Publishing) to reprint/quote in whole or in part. I may also have cross-posted on The Reading Room, Libib, LibraryThing, and other sites including retailers like kobo and Barnes and Noble. Posting on any site does not grant that site permission to share with any third parties or indicate release of copyright.  


Ratings scale used in absence of a booklikes suggested rating scale:

★★★★★ = All Time Favorite 
★★★★½ = Extraordinary Book. Really Loved It.
★★★★☆ = Loved It.
★★★½☆ = Really Liked.
★★★☆☆ = Liked.
★★½☆☆ = Liked parts; parts only okay. Would read more by author.
★★☆☆☆ = Average.   Okay. 
★½☆☆☆ = Disliked or meh? but kept reading in hopes would improve.
★☆☆☆☆ = Loathed It. Possibly DNF and a torturous read.
½☆☆☆☆ = So vile was a DNF or should have been. Cannot imagine anyone liking.  (Might also be just an "uploaded" word spew or collection that should not be dignified by calling itself a "published book." If author is going batshit crazy in the blogosphere over reviews -- I now know why they are getting bad reviews.  Or maybe author should take remedial classes for language written in until basic concepts like using sentences sink in. Is author even old enough to sign a publishing contract or do they need a legal guardian to sign for them?)

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