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Showing posts from June, 2012
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Once Upon a Toad

Cat Starr just turned 12, but she wasn't able to celebrate this birthday the way she would have liked - on a special trip with her mother. Her mom is an astronaut and she was sent, last minute to the International Space Station for 3 months. Cat spent her birthday with her best friend, AJ and his family, but then she was on an airplane to spend the next three months with her dad and step-mom. Her step-mom Iz, is really pretty awesome for a step-mom, her half-brother Geoffrey is also pretty great (even with his terrible car-sickness). But her step-sister Olivia is not someone that Cat can get along with at all. Olivia is kind of the popular type, you know the ones, they think they are amazing and pretty much look down on everyone else. Cat knows in the car on the way to her dad's house that things for the next three months are not going to be pretty. Especially when Olivia and all of her snobby, popular friends call her "Catbox." She calls her mom that night and tells…

Sweet Misfortune

Sophie Jones is a very pessimistic young woman, she's the kind of girl who carries her umbrella in Seattle even if the forecast says that it's going to be a nice sunny day. She has her reasons though, as a girl of 9, her parents and grandmother were killed in a car crash on her birthday, a crash that even now, 20 years later, she still blames herself for. Then just 11 months ago, her fiance, Garrett, broke off their wedding plans with no explanation just one week before they were supposed to be married. Sophie's used her heartbreak well though, she made her very best-selling chocolate after the breakup. Sophie's Misfortune Cookies, a fortune cookie dipped in unsweetened chocolate with a dreary misfortune inside, have become very popular with people wanting to read the misfortunes. It's Sophie's birthday and her foster sister, Evalynn has a big surprise for her. The surprise turns out to be her ex-fiance, insisting that she go on a date with him so that he can t…

Home for the Holidays

The Mother Daughter Book Club girls are now Sophomores in high school and they're still great friends and enjoying the books they read for their book club. Christmas is coming, but none of the girls are really planning on being home for the holidays. Megan and Becca are going on a cruise, Jess is going to Switzerland with a friend from her school, Cassidy's family is going to California, leaving Emma feeling a little left out, being that she'll be the only one home. The books that they are reading for their book club this year are the Betsy-Tacy books, books that even Emma and her librarian mother have never read. Cassidy isn't sure that she wants to read these books, there are 10 books in the series and the club plans to read them all by New Years Eve when they will have their big reveal for their annual Secret Santa. But nothing is going as planned for any of the girls, and even their Secret Santa gifts seem...well, off. None of the girls are sure what's up with …

Divergent

Beatrice is a 16 year old girl, living in a dystopian society. In this society everyone who is sixteen is given an aptitude test to find out which of the 5 factions they should belong to. Ultimately the choice is up to them and the choice determines everything for them, where they live, their clothes and hair, friends and even if they are able to associate with their family or not. The factions are Candor, they tend to be truthful; Abnegation, they tend to be selfless; Amity, they are kind and peaceful; Dauntless, they are courageous; and Erudite, they enjoy learning and study. There are also those that are factionless, they live a life almost like the homeless that we see on the street corners now. Beatrice and her brother Caleb, because of birth dates are scheduled to take the test the same day. The test is something that has been a carefully guarded secret, so none of those taking it know what will happen. The test is a bit different than Beatrice imagines, and when she receives he…

Daisy

Daisy is a hard-working mother of two, her youngest daughter, Stormy is a senior in high school and Daisy is looking forward to being free to have her own schedule in nine months. She and her husband of 3 years, Paul, are looking forward to an empty-nester life of travel and leisure. There are times when her life with Stormy is just that, especially when Stormy finds out that Paul's almost 16 year old daughter is going to be getting a car for her birthday, when Stormy, 17, doesn't have a car on her horizon, yet.  One day as she's running a simple errand to a bookstore she runs into Ruby, a woman who wants to start a new book club. Daisy decides that with all of the craziness in her life she needs to do something for herself, so she goes and meets some wonderful women, Paige, Athena and Olivia. But little does she know that these women that she barely knows will help her get through some of the hardest trials of her life. This book is the second book in the Newport Ladies B…

The Road to Grace

Alan Christofferson is a man with a mission. He's walking clear across the country from Seattle to Key West, Florida. What is the cause of his decision to walk across country? The death of his beloved wife, she was thrown from her horse and died from complications within a couple of months. It was devastating to Alan, but it was made even worse by his business partner in his advertising business, bankrupting his business and taking all his clients. In this book, the third installment of The Walk Series, Alan finds himself in desolate Custer, South Dakota. He's trying to enjoy the sights in the area as he walks through, Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse, when he runs into someone he never in a million years thought that he would run into: his mother-in-law. She finds him as he's leaving his motel in Custer, and he wants nothing to do with her. Pamela had left his wife McHale when she was a young girl, never to be seen again by her. Pamela is on a mission, she's been search…

Kingdom Keepers IV: Power Play

The Kingdom Keepers are just getting back to normal after the last threat by the Overtakers. But then strange things start happening again. The roller coaster simulator ride goes crazy when it should have just been showing a mild ride and the person that the clues point to is one of their own friends, Charlene. Charlene is acting pretty strange too, she's questioning all kinds of things when she's usually just a go with the flow type of girl. So when Philby gets a video chat from Wayne at school, pretty much an impossibility due to the school's security system, warning the Keepers of a traitor in their midst, they know things are getting serious again. But what could the Overtakers be after this time? They could always be after their two leaders who had been captured and imprisoned by the Disney Imagineers. That's what the Kingdom Keepers figure is happening and they know that they must be extra vigilant about crossing over at night. None of the kids want to be in SBS …

Forgive My Fins

It's pretty hard to be a regular high school girl when you are really a mermaid. Lily has already discovered that. She has to keep an awful lot of secrets from an awful lot of people, especially her best friend Shannen and her huge mega crush Brody Bennett. There's also the pesky boy next door, Quince Fletcher. Quince has convinced her that just asking Brody out is not going to get her crush to be her man, and she's convinced, especially after he turns her down for the big dance in front of the entire student body at lunch! But she's not really sure that Quince's way will work either. Oh well, just one way to find out. She waits in the library for Brody to come, just as Quince claims he will. She's enjoying a wonderfully romantic kiss with who she figures is Brody when she finds out that it's really Quince, who came to make sure that she was okay. This opens up a whole can of worms though, because she's a mermaid. Any man who kisses a mermaid will becom…

Edenbrooke

Miss Marianne Daventry is getting pretty sick of living in Bath, England with her aunt and grandmother and don't even mention her the older man who keeps trying to court her, Mr Whittles! She misses her twin sister, Cecily, and her father. Her dear mother died just over a year ago and ever since, her father has been in Paris by himself, and her sister has been in London having her season. Marianne had no desire to go to London, but would rather stay in her beloved countryside. Luckily for her, her sister Cecily is going to be staying with a friend at an estate called Edenbrooke and she's invited Marianne to meet her there and stay for awhile. It's just the escape Marianne has been looking for. Her grandmother grants her request to go, but with the stipulation that Marianne learn how to behave as a lady, or else her grandmother will bring her back to Bath and take away the inheritance she plans to leave her. But on the way to Edenbrooke, the carriage that Marianne and her m…

The Alloy of Law

Waxillium Ladrian, Wax, is just a normal Twinborn. He uses Alloymancy to Push on metals. I'm not really sure what that means, except that he can kind of shoot off of nails and things. He works as basically a policeman in the Rough. He's been forced to move back to the city and become Lord Ladrian because his uncle has been killed, and he's still getting over the fact that he killed the woman he loved when a maniacal killer moved her at just the wrong second. The House of Ladrian needs more cash, he's found out that his uncle was not very good at managing the books in the time that he was the Lord and the house still has to take care of many people by paying them wages. Wax must find a woman willing to marry him...a rich woman. But none of those women are willing to even talk to him, because he is most definitely still rough around the edges from all of his years of living as a lawman in the Rough. Finally, after a lot of hard work, he's able to catch the eye of Ste…

Artemis Fowl #1 and 2

Disney/Hyperion books are releasing the newest Artemis Fowl Book The Last Guardian on July 10th. To celebrate the release they have been allowing bloggers to download galleys from NetGalley of the previous books. Each galley comes with two books. Artemis Fowl is not your normal 12 year old. He's a genius. His father is missing, and his mother isn't handling that well, so he's kind of been on his own. She hasn't even been concerned about him going to school or not. Artemis is concerned about his missing father, but he's even more concerned about the Fowl families vanishing fortune. In his first adventure he's come up with a way to pad the family's coffers again. His brilliant idea: kidnapping a leprechaun. Little does he know when he kidnaps Holly, a Captain in LEP that she's really a pixie and the horror and terror he will be unleashing on himself, his bodyguard Butler and Butler's sister Julia. In Artemis' second adventure, he's just learne…

As Sisters in Zion

I know that I've read several books lately about the handcart pioneers, I've just kind of been interested about that lately. This little book is about the LDS Hymn, As Sisters in Zion. It was written by Emily Hill Woodmansee about her and her sister, Julia's, trip from England to Zion as members of the Willie Handcart company. These remarkable young women were baptized in England when they were 16 and 19 years old. They were immediately ostracized from their family and left for America within just a few years. I am amazed at the maturity they showed for their young years. They worked all on their own to pay their way to come to America, and booked passage on the ship, and came here without the help of any of their family. They also knew there was very little possibility of seeing any of the members of their family again, just because of the ocean and distance between them, yet they had the faith to come by handcart, even helping a single mother with her eight children alon…

It's a Mall World After All

Charlotte is a senior in high school, she works after school in Bloomingdale's as a perfume sales woman. This comes in handy, because you never know what you're going to see in the mall. One afternoon, Charlotte is selling perfume as normal when she sees her best friend's boyfriend, with another girl. It seems to be far to friendly to be a casual thing, and so she confronts Brianna as to the fact that Bryant is cheating on her. Thinking that she'll make sure Brianna is okay the next morning in school, she arrives at Brianna's locker expecting to find her devastated and in tears. But no, Brianna is just fine and not at all happy with Charlotte, she feels that Charlotte has accused her boyfriend unfairly, when he did nothing wrong. Brianna even lets Charlotte know that she doesn't want to choose between her and Bryant, code for she'll choose Bryant over Charlotte any day. Charlotte knows that something's up with Bryant and she's willing to go almost a…

The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection

Precious Ramotswe is a standard woman living in Botswana, she's traditionally built and loves her bush tea. She, along with her assistant detective, Grace Makutsi, have been working in The Ladies Detective Agency for quite a while. They've seen many cases and solved them all with the book, the Principles of Private Detection by Clovis Anderson. One night, Precious has a dream, she dreams that she sees a stranger underneath an tree. She and Mma Makutsi puzzle over the meaning of their dream. As they are puzzling, their friend Mma Potokwane comes to discuss her troubles with them. Mma Potokwane is the matron at the orphan farm. She has worked tirelessly for years to take care of the orphans and their needs. But now, she's being usurped by the board of the orphan farm. They want to build a big building to be used in the feeding of the orphans, instead of allowing them to eat in small family units, to save money. The family units allow the orphans a feeling of belonging to a f…

Miss Delacourt Has Her Day

Ginny Delacourt is so in love and ready to be married to the man who has been courting her for just a few weeks, Sir Anthony. She can't wait! But it appears that she must wait a bit longer, for Sir Anthony, at the unexpected death of his cousin becomes heir to his uncle, the Duke of Marcross. Unfortunately, this uncle doesn't approve of Sir Anthony marrying Ginny, as she's just the daughter of a lowly vicar. The cross old uncle seems determined to make both Anthony and Ginny jump through every hoop he can find. Meanwhile, Anthony's mother also decides that she needs to get in on the fun. She makes catty remarks to Ginny every time she can find a chance. It's enough to make Anthony's grandmama and Ginny's grandaunt, Regina Crenshaw, crazy. Will Anthony be able to jump through enough hoops to satisfy his uncle and make Ginny's big day happen? I didn't realize that this book is a sequel to Miss Delecourt Speaks Her Mind. I haven't read that one, an…

Olivia

Olivia has known something is wrong with her marriage for a few years. But the final straw is when her husband of 18 years doesn't show up for their anniversary dinner that she worked so hard on. He not only doesn't show up, but he doesn't apologize or even recognize their anniversary in any way. Olivia recognizes that she's been putting everyone but herself first, her husband, her kids. So Olivia decides that it's time she does something for herself and when she's walking late at night by herself in the business district of her town she discovers a little bookstore with a note on the door about a book club that's about to start and she decides on a whim to join. This only pushes her husband, Nick, further from her, which alienates their children. But Olivia is able to realize that she is an important, valuable person, not just because of the work that she does in their home or the charitable things she does for others, but just because she is. I enjoyed th…

The Lost Years

What if there was a document discovered that would shed light on just what Jesus Christ was doing in the years between the time he was 12 and the time of the New Testament? Would that document be important enough to kill over? Jonathon Lyons, a Biblical scholar has found such a document in his searching. He knows just how valuable it is, and wants to get the document back where it belongs. But before he can do anything about it, he's murdered at home, in his office. His wife, who is in the stages of Alzheimer's is found in the same room, in the closet, rocking back and forth and mumbling about the noise that it caused. Jonathon has not been faithful to his wife, and she knows it, and has shown a tendency to be violent about that fact. She also knows how to shoot, so she quickly becomes the prime suspect in the murder of her husband. Their daughter, Mariah, knows that there was no way that her mother could have or ever would have killed her father. The police don't feel the…

No Angel

Jonathon Stewart is happy in his job in Heaven. He knows there are all kinds of angels leaving Heaven to fulfill stints as guardian angels, but he really has no desire to do so. He'll happily man his post in the Heaven and Earth Bound Department just watching people come and go from Heaven for all eternity. The only problem is that all the post-mortal spirits are required to be guardian angels at least one time in the eternities and Celeste has chosen Jonathon to be hers. He must take the time to be her guardian angel or face the consequences. On his guardian angel application Jonathon requested a human with early-marked-death status (EMD) so that he wouldn't have to spend as much time on earth, his time as a human was something he'd rather forget, not repeat. But when he requested an EMD, he didn't realize that the spirit inhabiting those bodies has a choice as to when they die. He also didn't realize just how hated those spirits are by the followers of Satan, and…

The Water is Wide

Jemima, also known as Mima, is a young girl living in England, it's 1845 and she lives in a very small town called Wooden Box. Her very favorite thing is to sing in the parish choir with her friend Charlotte. But things are always changing in this life and for Mima that change brings things that she would rather not deal with. Mima's mother has decided to join a new religion, the Mormons. Their missionaries have been all over England and they've converted her mother. Mima is sure that her mother's decision won't affect her life, she can live as she always has and still sing in the parish choir. Unfortunately as soon as her mother's conversion is known things change rather quickly. Her mother is a seamstress and women are withdrawing their orders very quickly, and Charlotte doesn't treat Mima the same as she always has anymore. The choir members seem to stop talking as soon as Mima comes into the room. Since Mima's father is no longer living, there is re…

A Night of Blacker Darkness

Frederick Whithers is just a normal convict. He's in jail for defrauding people out of their money. The only problem is that he hasn't quite done it yet. He's in his jail cell, with his cellmate dead from Consumption, when his girlfriend, Gwen, comes to bring him the news, Harold Beard is dead. Frederick has been just waiting for Harold to die so that he can assume the identity of his nephew and gain the 90,000 pound inheritance that his nephew can claim. Unfortunately, he's stuck in jail, but seeing the gravedigger removing his dead cellmate gives him a great idea. Frederick just needs to get the gravedigger to say that he's died as well from the very contagious Consumption, then the gravedigger can carry out two bodies in coffins and Frederick can escape from the graveyard that evening, and no one will ever be the wiser. But things don't always work out the way you plan them, especially in the case of faking your own death! As he's escaping from the grave…

Whisper Hollow

Talitha Spencer has lived an idyllic life in a small hollow in the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee with her parents. Now though, the Civil War is raging across the land, forcing her father into hiding in a cave in what the family calls Whisper Hollow. He's able to come and help Tally and her mother with chores occasionally, like when he plowed the cornfield in the middle of the night. One pleasant day, a group of confederate soldiers appears on their property, demanding their only horse, food, chickens and anything else they can carry away. Tally and her mother really don't like the way that one of the soldiers is looking at her, it's downright scary, so when they finally leave, Tally goes to tell her father about it. Her father is concerned as well, and decides to spend the evening with Tally and her mother in their home. But while Tally is searching for the family's goat in the forest, she hears a horrible sound, a gunshot. She runs for home as fast as she can, but whe…