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Showing posts from March, 2017

My Little Cities... by Jennifer Adams

Genre: Toddler Board Books
Publisher: Chronicle Kids
Release Date: April 11, 2017



There are two books in the My Little Cities... board book collection that reached my desk and both are wonderful. My Little Cities London and My Little Cities New York take youngsters to two of the most popular cities for tourists.



First, head overseas to London where you'll visit the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, Piccadilly Circus and more. The book is easy to read with lines like, "Building Old. Building New." At the end of the book, however, is an in-depth look at each attraction that's more challenging for a new reader.

Second, you'll visit New York City with your toddler. Again, lines are simple, but the breakdown of the attractions at the end is harder to read. This is a cute set of books, and I hope other cities will follow in the footsteps of these travel guides of sorts for the very young crowd.

Mists of the Serengeti by Leylah Attar

Setting: Africa
Genre: Women's Fiction Publisher: Pitch73 Publishing Release Date: January 29, 2017

Wow.  I wish I could give it more stars.  6 STARS!  I'm not the only one who thinks this should be made into a movie.  I can totally see it already and what a movie it would be!  Two broken people, bound by a tragic event, come together to help save a group of albino Tanzanian children and in the process save each other.

Jack and Rodel are two characters you won't soon forget.  Set in the Tanzanian countryside, you can see Mount Kilimanjaro in the background, feel the hot air on your face and feel the African wind in your hair.  Jack has lost his precious daughter in a bomb blast in town.  Helpless to save her, he has retreated to his coffee farm where he exists only to visit her grave in the midst of storms.  Rodel has lost her sister in the same blast, but she never got to say goodbye, only hearing her sister's desperate last voicemail to tell her it would be alright …

A River by Marc Martin

Genre: Children's Picture Book
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Release Date: March 7, 2017



Join a young child on a very imaginative journey down the river that passes by the family home. In the imaginary silver boat, the child travels past busy cities, factories, jungles, and ends up in the ocean before returning to the very place that matters the most.

The illustrations in A River are created in shades of blues and greens that captures the outdoorsy feel you'd expect to find while journeying along the river. Splashes of orange, white, yellow, and red draw the eye to certain aspects, but you quickly find yourself mesmerized by both pages of illustrations. It's the art that really made this book special.

The story isn't hard to read, so beginning readers will have few problems with the sentence length or vocabulary used. Each page only has a few words, which I feel really makes it a great book for younger readers.


Balderdash! by Michelle Markel and Nancy Carpenter

Genre: Children's Picture Book
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Release Date: April 4, 2017



Balderdash shares the story of young John Newbery, man for whom the Newbery Medal pays tribute. Newbery grew up in a world where children's books were frowned upon unless they taught a some form of educational lesson. His passion for storytelling and the world around him led to children's books as we know them today.

I quickly became fascinated by a story I didn't know. My daughter, a graphic design student, found the book appealing because of its varied uses of fonts, sizing, and other design aspects. Both of us quickly said the book was a keeper.

Keeping that in mind, I did question how a younger child would feel. The illustrations are impressive, the sentence structure and vocabulary are excellent for and advancing reader, but the subject matter (a biography and history of children's books) may not be as appealing. It's a book where I feel parents will be mesmerized, but ch…

Falling Hard: A Colorado High Country Novel by Pamela Clare

Setting: Colorado
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Release Date: February 18, 2017

Reviewed by Jennifer Jones



Jesse and Ellie are two people who are trying to move forward after difficult tragedies in their past.  Ellie lost her husband three years ago.  Jesse, a former Army Ranger and now a ski patroller and part of the Rescue Team in Colorado, has issues with his own experiences in Iraq.  He unknowingly has been helping Ellie for the past few years by taking care of little things around her house.  When they finally meet, he realizes that he may have known her husband, who had been a Blackhawk pilot.
Ellie has two small twins to raise, and she's been doing everything by herself, but when Jesse comes along and helps her out in a dire time of need, she's more than grateful.  Sparks fly between them, but it takes a while for them to really open up.  She still is torn about her feelings regarding a new relationship and Jesse is still fi…

The Night Mark by Tiffany Reisz

Setting: South Carolina
Genre: Time Travel/Romance
Publisher: MIRA
Release Date: March 28, 2017



Still mourning the loss of the husband she loved dearly and painful miscarriages, Faye Barlow needs to get away. Her second marriage was more for convenience than for love, and that marriage is over. She takes a job that brings her to the coast of South Carolina where she spends her time photographing lighthouses.

One particular lighthouse catches her eye. No one goes there, and some don't even know it exists. Bride Island Lighthouse draws her in and entices her to learn more about the legend behind the lighthouse keeper and his daughter, a young woman who ended up dying in the ocean. Little does Faye know that she's about to uncover the truth behind this lighthouse and its residents in a very unique way.

I couldn't put The Night Mark down. I was drawn into both times, present and the 1920s. Characters were vivid and felt like friends, while the setting appealed to me and made …

Just Fly Away by Andrew McCarthy

Setting: New Jersey and Maine
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Release Date: March 28, 2017



It's confession time. I've had a crush on Andrew McCarthy since Pretty in Pink, St. Elmo's Fire, and a selection of other '80's movies. Hearing he'd written his first young adult novel intrigued me. Just Fly Away isn't all I expected, but there were parts that tore me aup a little.

Fifteen-year-old Lucy Willows is stunned when she learns her father had an affair and that she has an eight-year-old brother living nearby. She's angry with her father for having the affair, her sister for not really seeming to care, and her mother for forgiving him. Lucy's friends don't seem as concerned with this news as she does, and her new boyfriend is also not quite as shocked as she'd want.

Needing to get away, Lucy runs off to Maine. Her grandfather's there and he may have some of the answers she wants to hear. It's in Maine tha…

Almost Missed You by Jessica Strawser

Genre: Women's Fiction
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: March 28, 2017



Violet and Finn have it all. They're parents to a three-year-old son. They have a strong relationship and marriage. At least that's what Violet believes. Her world comes crashing down when Finn takes her son back to their hotel room for nap time and then vanishes taking their son with him.

While Violet's desperate search for her son begins, Finn's best friend, also Violet's friend, is blackmailed into housing Finn in her in-law's lakeside cabin. Caitlin is torn between her desperate need to keep secrets buried and her understanding as a mother exactly what Violet is going through.

Almost Missed You takes the reader on a journey of love, loss, and much more. I had issues, however, as I really didn't like Caitlin's response at first. If my friend's husband came to me with blackmail, I'd immediately turn him in and trust in my husband to understand whatever pa…

Over and Under the Pond by Kate Messner

Genre: Children's Picture Book
Publisher: Chronicle Kids
Release Date: March 7, 2017




What's under the water? What's above it? This is what author Kate Messner explores in Over and Under the Pond. This magical children's picture book follows a young child and his mother as they travel around a pond in a canoe. From fish to turtles and birds to moose, the child sees many creatures in their natural habitat. Discover what the child discovers in this charming book.

At the end of the book is a glossary of the different animals and insects. Learn about dragonflies, otters, tadpoles, and more. While the vocabulary used in the main story is perfect for an advancing reader, the glossary section may be a little trickier, but it's also a fantastic resource for a child who wants to learn more about the animals and insects at a pond.


Crazy for You by Rachel Lacey

Setting: Haven, North Carolina
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Hatchette Book Group
Release Date: March 28, 2017



Set in the small mountain town of Haven, North Carolina, Crazy for You features Ryan Blake, a part-time bartender and aspiring entrepreneur with his outdoor sporting business with his two best friends.  The other best friend, Derek Rush, had been killed several years ago while fighting in the military.  So when he sees Derek's little sister, Emma, walk into the bar looking anything but little and a lot grown up, he knows he's in for some trouble.
Emma has always had a crush on Derek's best friend, Ryan.  The problem is that Ryan has always seen her as a pesky little sister.  Now that's she's grown up and working as a landscape designer, she wants to finally show Ryan how grown up she is.  He is one of those sexy bad boys, with good looks, tattoos and a motorcycle, and she wants to be bad for once in her life.  She has her work cut out…