Archives for October 2015

Story Time with Sara: The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything

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The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything 
written by Linda Williams
published by Harper Collins, 2002

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, AmazonBook Depository, Goodreads

Did I enjoy this book: This book became an instant favorite in my house. As a matter of fact, we leave it out year-round despite the fact that it’s a Halloween book! It reminds me of the Dr. Suess book What Was I Scared Of? about pale green pants with nobody inside them. Since that is one of my all-time favorites, it makes sense that I like this one, too! I think the BEST part of this book for me (and the kids) is watching my little ones act out how each of the disembodied clothing items Clomp, Shake, Wiggle, Nod, Clap, and BOO as the refrain grows with each new item. The repetition of the refrain is catchy and fun and doesn’t have the drudgery some books with refrains tend to have.

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Would I recommend it: Yes, I would. It’s a lovely Halloween book for your littles. It’s not too scary, but scary enough. We were given this book from my boy’s Nana Ruthie when she upgraded her classroom library from 1st to 6th grade and we LOVE it!

I asked my three-year-old what he thought of this book and if he thought other people should read it too, and his reply is as follows (SPOILER ALERT):
“Yes, they should! It has a lot of cool clothes outside of houses and one scary pumpkin head at the end that says, ‘BOO!'”
Well, there you have it folks . . . pick up this book! What more could you ask for other than cool clothes outside and a scary pumpkin head? Happy Halloween!

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About the book – from Goodreads: Once upon a time, there was a little old lady who was not afraid of anything! But one autumn night, while walking in the woods, the little old lady heard . . . clomp, clomp, shake, shake, clap, clap. And the little old lady who was not afraid of anything had the scare of her life!

 

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Gina’s Review: The Shining by Stephen King

The ShiningThe Shining
written by Stephen King
published by Hodder & Stoughton, 1977

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Book Depository, Goodreads

Did I enjoy this book: 
All I could think about when I started this novel was “Here’s Johnny!” This is one of the rare cases that I’ve watched the movie before reading the novel. The novel did win out once again. Stephen King is an author that I’ve never read before but I am so glad that I chose this novel to start the love affair. I loved how scared I got just reading about topiaries attacking people. However, I don’t think I’ll ever be comfortable around them again and will be grasping a hacksaw if I do. I also have to say that a mother’s love is strong in this book. I think if you aren’t a fan of Wendy in the beginning, you will be in the end. She’s a mom protecting her baby from a possessed hotel. I know I’d do some of the same things she did if it meant my kids were safe. I would also be just as terrified.

GOLDEN LINE

“Sometimes human places, create inhuman monsters.”

 

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Would I recommend it: YES! This is what nightmares are made of.

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About the book – from Goodreads: Danny was only five years old but in the words of old Mr Halloran he was a ‘shiner’, aglow with psychic voltage. When his father became caretaker of the Overlook Hotel his visions grew frighteningly out of control.

As winter closed in and blizzards cut them off, the hotel seemed to develop a life of its own. It was meant to be empty, but who was the lady in Room 217, and who were the masked guests going up and down in the elevator? And why did the hedges shaped like animals seem so alive?

Somewhere, somehow there was an evil force in the hotel – and that too had begun to shine…

 

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Chrissy’s Review: Lost in Paris by Cindy Callaghan

Lost in ParisLost in Paris
written by Cindy Callaghan
published by Mix – Simon & Schuster – Aladdin, 2015

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Book Depository, Goodreads

Did I enjoy this book: 
This was another fun read from Ms. Callaghan. I enjoyed it, and I hope my daughter will enjoy it when she gets older as well.

Lost in Paris is a fun read about Gwen who is in Paris for her brothers’ lacrosse tournament. She gets to go on an adventure of a lifetime while there. It is quite amazing, and I couldn’t imagine being in her position. Are some parts of her adventure unbelievable? Yes. Are some parts unrealistic? Yes. But this is a book for tweens; you need the unbelievable and the unrealistic that seem believable. And the circumstances are believable-ish. I love the “sister” and pet sitter, Brigitte. I’d love to see her van in person! And Henri is a sweet “interest” for Gwen. All in all, a great tween read.

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Would I recommend it: Of course! I can’t wait for my daughter to read it.

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About the book – from Goodreads: 
Ooh la la! Gwen ends up on a Parisian scavenger hunt—with a cute French ami—in this M!X novel from the author of Lost in London.

Gwen Russell is thrilled to hear she will be heading to Paris with her family. Even though the main reason for the trip is to see her three older brothers play lacrosse, Gwen and her Mom have plans to tour the city when they can.

As soon as they land, Gwen is swept up in the city she has always wanted to see, and even meets a très cute boy named Henri. If that wasn’t enough excitement, Gwen finds out that her all-time favorite band is playing a one-night only concert in Paris—and there are tickets available to the sold-old show for three lucky people. The catch? Fans who want a golden ticket have to work for it via a scavenger hunt around the City of Light.

Through cryptic clues blasted out every day through a special website, Gwen and her new friends find themselves in a race against time—and against other die-hard fans—as they scramble to landmarks throughout Paris. And it turns out the concert tickets might not even be the biggest prize…

 

 

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Boost It Tuesday! – October 27, 2015

boost-it-TuesdayEFC

Have you noticed that despite ALL of your Facebook “Likes” you are only “reaching” a very small portion of those followers? Does that bother you? It bothers us, and we want to boost each other up. Link up with Every Free ChanceCandace’s Book Blog, & If These Books Could Talk for  Boost It Tuesday!

 

What is Boost It Tuesday, you ask? Well, we want to help each other out. We are a great community of bloggers and authors, and we should be supporting each other. Share your Facebook address below, then visit the Facebook pages, like 3-5 posts, share or comment on 1 or 2 posts. That’s it. You don’t have to “like” the page if you don’t want to, just “like” some posts. Let’s help expand each other’s page reach. Who knows! You may find a new blog or author to follow along the away. Please be aware that any non-Facebook links will be deleted.

 

Here are some tips for Boosting. A big thanks to Kate at If These Books Could Talk for the image!

Boost It Poster

 

As an added bonus, Candace, Kate, and I will be hosting a giveaway each week just to say thanks for the boost!

 

For this week’s giveaway, head over to the Every Free Chance Facebook page and answer the question in the Boost It post!

 

If you would like to host the giveaway on your Facebook page one week, please fill out the form below. Be sure to notice the rules.

Click Here to Sign Up to Host the Giveaway

I have put those of you who have signed up already on our rotation schedule. Be looking for your emails with your assigned dates this week!!! For those who sign up this week and in future weeks, I will add you to the schedule as well!! 

 

Remember: Like, comment, and share!  Let’s all give each other a boost!


 if these books could talk
 

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Chrissy’s Review: Wendy Darling: Volume One Stars by Colleen Oakes

Wendy DarlingWendy Darling: Volume One Stars (Wendy Darling #1)
written by Colleen Oakes
published by SparkPress, 2015

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Book Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange  for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book: 
I did enjoy Stars, volume one in Ms. Oakes’s new Wendy Darling series.

I can’t remember if I ever read Peter Pan when I was younger, but I’m interested in reading it now. This was an interesting take on Peter Pan. I loved that it was from Wendy’s point of view. It had action and adventure. It had fun and excitement. It also had some very scary and depressing moments. And there were definitely parts that made me want to cry. Peter Pan isn’t the happy-go-lucky boy that never grows up. He runs an interesting operation in Neverland. There’s a heirarchy to the lost boys–from pips to generals to those given the gift of flight from Peter. Tinker Bell is in this book, and she isn’t very nice at all. I’d love to know how she became the last fairy in Neverland. That would be a great story. (We’re big Tinker Bell fans in our house. They are great movies!!) Anyway . . .

Michael and the rest of the pips really broke my heart. They clearly missed their mothers. It made me want to cry. My boys are around the pips’ ages, and I couldn’t imagine. John was a complete jerk–both before Neverland and while in Neverland he got worse. I couldn’t believe he could hate his sister so much. Peter isn’t very nice at all. He showed some very dark sides throughout the book. We didn’t see too much of Captain Hook. And I was saddened by the deaths that occurred.

This is not a book for kids. It is dark, and a bit twisted. But I will say that once I got about halfway into the book, I was hooked and wanted to see how it ended. I can’t wait to read the next installment.

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Would I recommend it: If you like retellings classic children’s books, then yes, check out this book.

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About the book – from Goodreads: 
From the Best-Selling Author of Queen of Hearts comes a dark and mesmerizing twist on the beloved Children’s Classic, Peter Pan.

Wendy Darling has a perfectly agreeable life with her parents and brothers in wealthy London, as well as a budding romance with Booth, the neighborhood bookseller’s son. But while their parents are at a ball, the charmingly beautiful Peter Pan comes to the Darling children’s nursery and—dazzled by this flying boy with god-like powers—they follow him out of the window and straight on to morning, to Neverland, a intoxicating island of feral freedom.

As time passes in Neverland, Wendy realizes that this Lost Boy’s paradise of turquoise seas, mermaids, and pirates holds terrible secrets rooted in blood and greed. As Peter’s grasp on her heart tightens, she struggles to remember where she came from—and begins to suspect that this island of dreams, and the boy who desires her—have the potential to transform into an everlasting nightmare.

 

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Story Time with Sara: Revolutionary War on Wednesday by Mary Pope Osborne

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Revolutionary War on WednesdayRevolutionary War on Wednesday (Magic Tree House #22)
written by Mary Pope Osborne
published by Random House Books for Young Readers, June 2010

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Book Depository, Goodreads

Did I enjoy this book: 
I was a little concerned at first. We are big fans of the Magic Tree House series. My three-year-old just can’t get enough of them. When he picked this one out at the library, however, I was a little nervous. How exactly does one broach the subject of war with a preschooler? Osborne did an amazing job of bringing the Revolutionary War down to a child’s level without making it a scary scarring experience, or bringing up any awkward questions.

In fact, we actually had some great questions and discussions because of the book. My favorite was when we were talking about how General Washington became our first president. I asked my three-year-old if he knew who our current president was . . . his response . . . “President Business, of course, Mom . . .” Oy . . . we may watch too much Lego Movie . . .
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Would I recommend it: Yes, I really would! We still really adore the Magic Tree House series as a whole, and this book did not disappoint. I like how the first couple stories in the (now) 52-book series started with fun topics that many children are interested in like dinosaurs, knights, astronauts, mummies, and pirates. Once the children are hooked, she starts sprinkling in some really awesome historical fiction like the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, the sinking of the Titanic, the Civil and Revolutionary Wars, and she does it all while still engaging children and fostering a love of not only reading but history as well.

In short, pick these books up! Even if your child is too young to read them alone, these make really great read-aloud books, and sharing and discussing them as a family is one of our favorite parts!

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About the book – from Goodreads: It is a dark and snowy night when the Magic Tree House whisks Jack and Annie back to colonial times. General George Washington is about to lead his army in a sneak attack against their enemy. But now a terrible weather is making the great general question his plans. Can Jack and Annie keep history on track? The fate of the country rests in their hands!

 

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Fall Reading Challenge: The Legacy of Us by Kristin Contino (Chrissy’s review)

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The Legacy of UsThe Legacy of Us
written by Kristin Contino
published by SparkPress, 2015

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Book Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange  for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book:

I’m am currently reading this book, and I am really enjoying it. It grabbed from the very beginning. I can’t wait to see where it goes. Stay tuned for my review!

Would I recommend it: 
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About the book: Liz Moretti thought she knew almost everything about her grandmother, Ella, from her love of “The Golden Girls” to the perfect pound cake recipe. But when Ella passes away and Liz finds a cameo locket with a marriage proposal engraved inside (from a man who was not her grandfather), she realizes that sometimes a person’s secrets are discovered only after they’re gone.

On top of losing Ella, Liz’s career as a jewelry designer is stagnant and her love life lacks sparkle, too. When she reconnects with the one who got away, Liz thinks maybe things are finally starting to look up. But after a few drinks and a trip down a flight of stairs, Liz wakes up to realize the cameo is gone. Her ex offers to look for it, but so does Justin, the intriguing new guy in her apartment building.

While dealing with her feelings for two very different men and generally trying to reinvent her mess of a life, Liz finds answers and solace in Ella’s diary. The story of the cameo, and the relationship between her grandmother and great-grandmother, an outspoken socialite from Italy, inspires Liz to grow up and accept responsibility for her missteps. Eventually she must choose between the life she thought she wanted and the promise of something better.

 

About the author: Kristin Contino grew up in a world of writing and reading, which evolved into a career as a freelance writer, editor, and women’s fiction reviewer. Kristin enjoys spending time with her family and loves travel, photography and dreams of moving to her favorite city, London. The Legacy of Us is her debut novel.

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Book Club Recap: Family Pictures by Jane Green

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It was another great night for my neighborhood book club. It was a bit chilly, but we sat on my patio with heater going and had a great time talking, laughing, and discussing Family Pictures. It was relaxing and, as usual, a lot of fun.

We all enjoyed Family Pictures. Many of us thought the embezzlement and fraud was a throwaway and not really needed for the story. We also felt bad for Maggie and Sylvie, but for different reasons. Family Pictures also brought up a few discussions about Facebook, privacy, and how to carry on after an unexpected disruption to your life. (Yes, I’m being vague there so as not to spoil the book.) It also had us discussing eating disorders and how to spot them and what to do.

Family Pictures is a great book club pick. There are a lot of issues that can be discussed, and everyone will have different opinions about the characters and their reactions. It was a wonderful pick!

chrissysig

Family PicturesFamily Pictures
written by Jane Green
published by St. Martin’s Press, 2013

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble (Nook) (print), Amazon, iBooks, Book Depository, Goodreads

Check out Chrissy’s 3.5-star review here.

About the book – from Goodreads: 
NY Times bestseller Jane Green delivers a riveting novel about two women whose lives intersect when a shocking secret is revealed.

From the author of Another Piece of My Heart comes the gripping story of two women who live on opposite coasts but whose lives are connected in ways they never could have imagined. Both women are wives and mothers to children who are about to leave the nest for school. They’re both in their forties and have husbands who travel more than either of them would like. They are both feeling an emptiness neither had expected. But when a shocking secret is exposed, their lives are blown apart. As dark truths from the past reveal themselves, will these two women be able to learn to forgive, for the sake of their children, if not for themselves?

 

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Gina’s Review: Intensity by Dean Koontz

Intensity

Intensity
written by Dean Koontz
published by Bantam, 1987

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Book Depository, Goodreads

Did I enjoy this book: This book raised my anxiety levels to extremes I haven’t encountered in a while. I did enjoy the feeling, but I’m okay with not reading this book again. The idea of reading a book about a serial psycho killer breaking into a house and killing or abducting someone for their own personal Saw-like games didn’t sound like something I should read before bed. So I did it in the midst of transitioning my son into a toddler bed. It probably wasn’t the best idea because the story crept into my nightmares . . .

The characters, though, were really well written. I was rooting for Chyna Shepard the whole time (just like Neve Campbell’s character in Scream). Yes, there are many parts that are predictable, but I was okay with it. I wanted to see how it ended. I wanted to know who lived and who died. It’s the fun of a horror movie as well as a book. This was my first Dean Koontz novel and I don’t think it will be my last.

 

GOLDEN LINES

“There are no explanations for human evil. Only excuses.”

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Would I recommend it: I think anyone looking for something to get their blood pumping should check it out.

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About the book – from Goodreads: Past midnight, Chyna Shepard, twenty-six, gazes out a moonlit window, unable to sleep on her first night in the Napa Valley home of her best friend’s family. Instinct proves reliable. A murderous sociopath, Edgler Foreman Vess, has entered the house, intent on killing everyone inside. A self-proclaimed “homicidal adventurer,” Vess lives only to satisfy all appetites as they arise, to immerse himself in sensation, to live without fear, remorse or limits, to live with “intensity.” Chyna is trapped in his deadly orbit.

Chyna is a survivor, toughened by a lifelong struggle for safety and self-respect. Now she will be tested as never before. At first her sole aim is to get out alive–until, by chance, she learns the identity of Vess’s next intended victim, a faraway innocent only she can save. Driven by a newly discovered thirst for meaning beyond mere self-preservation, Chyna musters every inner resource she has to save an endangered girl…as moment by moment, the terrifying threat of Edgler Foreman Vess intensifies.

 

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Boost It Tuesday! – October 20, 2015

boost-it-TuesdayEFC

Have you noticed that despite ALL of your Facebook “Likes” you are only “reaching” a very small portion of those followers? Does that bother you? It bothers us, and we want to boost each other up. Link up with Every Free ChanceCandace’s Book Blog, & If These Books Could Talk for  Boost It Tuesday!

 

What is Boost It Tuesday, you ask? Well, we want to help each other out. We are a great community of bloggers and authors, and we should be supporting each other. Share your Facebook address below, then visit the Facebook pages, like 3-5 posts, share or comment on 1 or 2 posts. That’s it. You don’t have to “like” the page if you don’t want to, just “like” some posts. Let’s help expand each other’s page reach. Who knows! You may find a new blog or author to follow along the away. Please be aware that any non-Facebook links will be deleted.

 

Here are some tips for Boosting. A big thanks to Kate at If These Books Could Talk for the image!

Boost It Poster

 

As an added bonus, Candace, Kate, and I will be hosting a giveaway each week just to say thanks for the boost!

 

For this week’s giveaway, head over to the If These Books Could Talk Facebook page and answer the question in the Boost It post!

 

If you want to host the giveaway on your Facebook page one week, please fill out the form below. Be sure to notice the rules.

Click Here to Sign Up to Host the Giveaway

For those who signed up, be on the lookout for an email from me later this week! Thank you!!

 

Remember: Like, comment, and share!  Let’s all give each other a boost!


 if these books could talk
 

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