Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Review: Run For Your Life by Silvana Gandolfi

by Silvana Gandolfi
Translated by Lynne Sharon Schwartz
Restless Books
Middle Grade Suspense
288 pages

A talented young runner, Santino lives in Palermo, Sicily—a beautiful region of Italy that’s dominated by the Mafia. With Santino’s first communion approaching, his father and grandfather carry out a theft to pay for the party—but they steal from the wrong people. A young, cocky Mafioso summons them to a meeting, and they bring the boy. As Santino wanders off into the old abandoned neighborhood, he hears shots and runs back to see two armed men and his father and grandfather slumped over in the car. The boy barely escapes with his life. Now, he’s left with a choice: cooperate with police and be a “rat,” or maintain Omertà: the code of silence.

Twelve-year-old Lucio lives in the northern Italian city of Livorno and dreams of sailing when not taking care of his his young sister, Ilaria, and his sick mother, who is convinced that a witch has cursed her. One day, Lucio’s mother goes missing and he receives a mysterious text: “Come to Palermo. Mamma is dying.” Panicked, Lucio grabs Ilaria and rushes to Sicily, where Lucio’s and Santino’s stories converge with explosive results.

Inspired by a real-life Mafia episode, Silvana Gandolfi’s Run for Your Life is a powerful survival story of young people finding the courage to do the right thing when faced with the cruel realities of the adult world.


This book was originally published in Italy in 2010 and involves a real life mafia event in Sicily.

Santino starts as a six-year-old boy in Palermo, who quickly learns that his father has a bit of a dark side. During a trip with his father and grandfather, Santino witnesses their murder and finds the gun then turned on him. He does the only thing he can—runs for his life. At the same time, Lucio lives in Livorno and cares for his little sister thanks to his mother's health issues. When his mother goes missing, he receives a letter to rush to Palmero. There the two boys' fates collide.

This book starts out written from both Santino's and Lucio's perspectives, their stories very different, at first. It was a bit confusing to bounce between the two, but after understanding how the author wove things, there were no problems sinking into the tale. Not only is this a fast paced story with some very unexpected twists and turns, but being based on real events makes it even more intriguing. Especially boys will enjoy this one. The two characters are easy to sympathize with, and their decisions are simple to understand. There is quite a bit of tension mixed in with the murder and heart-stopping moments. And yes, there is some violence as well. So, more sensitive readers will need to be aware of this.

 It's definitely an exciting read, which will keep readers on the edge of their seats. The ending also rounds things up nicely and satisfies completely.

Review: Search the Castle by Jill Howarth

by Jill Howarth
Chronicle Books
Board Book / Novelty
10 pages
ages 3 to 6

Lift the flaps to discover the secrets inside this magnificent castle! When the royal crown goes missing, the princess needs all the help she can get to search every room, from the portrait gallery to the banquet hall. Lively rhyming text invites the reader to explore this castle-shaped book, which features pages that open out from the middle to reveal enchanting double-page scenes. With adorable artwork and appealing lift-the-flaps throughout, this second volume in the Double Booked series is a royally satisfying read.

• Book that tours a castle with each turn of the page
• Affordable eye catching book that offers a magical reading experience
• Smart charming novelty book for kids

Fans of 1-2-3, You Love MeLove from the Little Engine That Could, and Jingle Bells will love this book.

This book is perfect for:
• Parents, grandparents, and family members
• Kids who love fantasy, castle and princess books
• Fans of lift-the-flap books


Simple but fun, this is a great book for kids to peek into and search for all sorts of things.

In the shape of a simple castle, this book opens up from the middle with pages on each side. It's written in rhyme and holds about four lines of text on each page and works well as a read-aloud. The text alone is entertaining as it describes the activities a princess might have during her day and some of the things happening in a castle. Next to this, the princess is in search of her crown and needs the reader/listener to help her find it by peeking under various flaps to discover what's under a bed, in a cabinet or even under a hat.

It's always a treat to be able to open up doors and discover something while flipping through a book and this one takes on a well-liked theme at the same time. The princess has lost her crown and needs help...which is a worthy endeavor young princess want-to-bes will sympathize with. It's fun to explore everything from kitchens to libraries to knights and such. The objects found are simple and easily recognizable. Some will even bring a giggle or two. The princess is always happy (until the end before the nice ending) and comes across as a friendly, gentle and kind royal. It's an entire castle full of wonderful characters, though.

The illustrations are bright, detailed and make the search entertaining. Life abounds in the castle and this is brought across clearly. The bring the text to life and let each scene flow with energy. It's simply cute and is sure to grab the interest of princess fans.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Bottle Toss by Howard Odentz with Giveaway

Bottle Toss 
by Howard Odentz 
YA Horror, Thriller, Suspense 
Bell Bridge Books 
 October 29, 2019

A beer bottle thrown carelessly at the windshield of a passing car sends the vehicle careening off the road, and the lives of high school seniors Denny Ford, his foster sister Jen McKnatt, and her sometimes boyfriend Brody Erwin, spinning out of control. 

Over the next several days as the three experience increasingly bizarre, frightening, and seemingly unrelated events, they are forced to examine the ramifications of their actions and how their lives have been irrevocably altered. 

What they've done can never be undone. 

After all, it only takes one bottle toss to turn their world cockeyed forever. 

Praise for Howard Odentz 

“A simmering psychological thriller bolstered by a dynamic narrative voice and a few unexpected twists.” —Kirkus Reviews on What We Kill 

“This author has a real knack for the weird and the wonderful.” —TheMostSublime.com 

Author and playwright Howard Odentz is a lifelong resident of the gray area between Western Massachusetts and North Central Connecticut. His love of the region is evident in his writing as he often incorporates the foothills of the Berkshires and the small towns of the Bay and Nutmeg states into his work. 

In addition to The Dead (A Lot) Series, he has written the horror novel Bloody Bloody Apple, the short story collection Little Killers A to Z, and a couple of horror-themed, musical comedies produced for the stage. 

Amazon gift card 
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Review: A to Z Menagerie by Suzy Ultman

by Suzy Ultman
Chronicle Books
Board Book
28 pages
 ages 1 to 4

Step right up to Suzy Ultman's alphabet menagerie! This unique multisensory reading experience features a die-cut letter to trace and a satisfying pull-tab reveal for each letter of the alphabet. In addition, Suzy Ultman fills each page with a diverse and colorful collection of illustrated first words to find and identify. An alphabet book unlike any other, this feast for the eyes and the imagination teaches young readers hand-eye coordination, prediction skills, and rich vocabulary. Learning from A to Z has never been this charming!


Simple yet oh-so-many words, this is a fun collection of words to help learn the alphabet.

A little larger than some board books, every page holds a letter of the alphabet and then presents over a dozen objects/animals/things, which start with that letter. Each word is accompanied by a simple and clear illustration. To add to the fun, the letter itself is presented as a cut-out in the middle of the page. When the tab on the side is pulled, the letter is filled with a colorful illustration.

I love the size of this one. It's big, sturdy and packs tons of things to look at as well as a bit of play. Each letter gets it's page. While I personally would have rather seen them filled with a color instead of white (to be more clear), the pull-tab idea is a real treat. Which kid doesn't like to 'do' something in a book? the tabs are fairly sturdy and easy to use, making it fine for young fingers.

Each page holds a bunch of various plants, objects, animals or whatever else can be depicted in accordance to the presented letter. The illustrations for each word are artistic but are still (for the most part) easy to recognize. The variety of words is vast, holding everything from hippo to water lily to gnome to umbrella bird. Some will be already known, where others offer something new to learn about.

It's a cute collection, which young readers and gaze through again and again.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Review: The Cafeteria Club by R.A. Douthitt

by R.A. Douthitt
Middle Grade Fiction 
164 pages

Toby and her friends start a club to combat bullying in middle school but when their club grows in popularity and fame, the cafeteria tables are turned. Will Toby become what she despises most...A bully?


School drama, fears and a perfect pinch of humor make this to a well-paced read, which kids can identify with.

Toby is ready. Well, maybe not completely, but middle school begins. She and her friends are no longer a part of the little kids, but they aren't embraced by the older kids yet either. Stuck in between, they weave their way through the first days. But the cafeteria gives them trouble. The eighth graders are blocking the tables, and Toby is going to have to figure out a way to handle the bullying. Hopefully, she doesn't fall into the role herself.

Toby and her friends are a delightful bunch, who face school and their problems in believable ways. Their troubles are easy to relate to and will have readers shaking their heads as they see themselves in some of the very same positions. The school relationships come across naturally and the dialogue is a treat. A few facts about the school made me and my kids wonder, since they didn't reflect the school life or definitions as we know them, but we're sure that this won't be true for all readers.

The lessons are understandable and never preachy. Toby is a bundle of energy and her friends quite creative. It's this spunk and desire to fit in which make this an enjoyable read which never comes across as preachy. Readers ages eight to twelve will surely enjoy diving into these hallways and joining this fun bunch as they tackle troubles many kids face.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Review: The Casket of Time by Andri Snaer Magnason

by Andri Snaer Magnason
Translated by Bjoerg Arnadottir
Andrew Cauthery
Restless Books
Middle Grade Fantasy / Science Fiction  Retelling
259 pages
ages 10 and up

The Casket of Time is a fantastical tale of time travel and environmental calamity.

Teenage Sigrun is sick of all the apocalyptic news about the “situation” and, worse, her parents’ obsession with it. Sigrun’s family—along with everyone else—decides to hibernate in their TimeBoxes®, hoping for someone else to fix the world’s problems . But when Sigrun’s TimeBox® opens too early, she discovers an abandoned city overrun by wilderness and joins a band of kids who are helping a researcher named Grace solve the “situation.”

The world, according to Grace, is under an ancient curse. There once was a princess named Obsidiana, who was trapped in time by the greedy king of Pangea. To protect Obsidiana from dark and gloomy days, the king put her in a crystal casket made of spider silk woven so tightly that time itself couldn’t penetrate. The king’s greed for power doomed his kingdom and the trapped princess. Sigrun sees eerie parallels between the tale of Obsidiana and the present-day crisis, and realizes it’s up to her and her friends to break the ancient curse and fix the world.


As a story within a story, this is an intriguing adventure with a message very fitting for today.

Everyone is concerned about the end of the world, but nobody knows how to 'fix' Earth and all of the messes humans made. Sigrun's family, like everyone else, decides to enter their Timebox and simply wait things out. Sigrun, however, accidentally wakes up early and ventures out to find the world in an unexpected state. Taken in by an elderly woman, Grace, Sigrun hears the tales of Obsidiana and a princess. And these tales make her realize what needs to be done.

I was excited to get this book...not only coming from a wonderful author, but translated as well...and was looking forward to diving in. Firstly, the blurb does not represent the story. So, anyone hoping to delve into a middle grade adventure is going to be disappointed. As was I. Because of this, the first chapters are rocky, and I found myself wanting to put the book aside. First, when I read the other reviews, did I pick it back up and give it another go. With the more accurate story line in mind, the book flowed much better. However, this is still a mistake, which will cause issues for the intended audience.

The story is intriguing and packed with messages fitting to today's society. Sigrun is easy to like as are the characters of the 'retelling' part of the tale. The entire thing reads like two very different books, one being more science fiction and the other fantasy. It's a strange marriage that doesn't quite click perfectly, but the retelling was interesting enough to hold my interest. Luckily, the retelling takes up most of the tale as the character Grace spends much of the time reciting it to Sigrun. Sigrun then takes the messages from the fairy tale and uses them in her world for an interesting end. The end is very satisfying.

All in all, it's an interesting read and anyone interested in the environment or world-saving issues is sure to enjoy this book quite a bit.

Review: Monsters and Mythical Creatures by Heather Frigiola

From Around the World
by Heather Frigiola
Illustrated by Sky Cybele
Schiffer Publishing
Non-Fiction Myth and Folklore
224 pages
ages 10 and up

Mythical creatures are cultural artifacts--creations of the human imagination from all around the world. From terrifying monsters to sacred mystical beasts, weird-looking humanoids, magical birds, and many other fantastic beings, the mythological creatures in this book are sure to enchant and amaze! Discover myths and legends spanning from ancient times to modern day from every corner of the globe. Learn the cultural origins of 240 different mythical creatures, captured in ten chapters and 100 colorful illustrations. You will find terrifying bogey monsters as well as benevolent guardians. Meet creatures that symbolize obstacles to overcome, ones that explain the occurrence of disease, some that ward away evil, and others that were created simply for amusement. Explore mythology from the Middle East, Africa, India, Japan, Mexico, Europe, Polynesia, and beyond. This guide is a ticket to travel the world and discover its strangest magical beasts from the safety of your own home.



Friends of fantasy, myth and folklore will love diving into this book and find all sorts of creatures they probably have never even heard about before.

Every culture around the globe has a wealth on amazing monsters and creatures in their traditions and folklore. Divided into geographical areas, this book introduces a vast number of monsters and other mythical creatures found in tales, writings and beliefs. Each section is alphabetically organized, and there is a glossary at the end. The monsters/creatures are described along with the more curious aspects surrounding them. Many are accompanied by illustrations to help the imagination take flight.

These pages held all I had hoped for and more. Broken down by mostly continent (but not only), it's fun to flip through the various creatures found in the different myths around the world. Not only well-known creatures are presented, but also lesser familiar ones and some I'd never heard of. Each description is concise, mentions the basic and main aspects of the creature, and gives a quick example of where the creature is found in mythology. The writing is interesting and easy to understand. Many of the creatures are accompanied by a colorful illustration. Of course, I would have enjoyed having every single one depicted, but the amount of creatures presented makes this impossible.

The bounty of monsters is amazing and a real treat to flip through. The myths themselves aren't given, only in short details as needed, but it's exactly what this book is about. Anyone who has a love for myths, folklore and tales is going to thoroughly enjoy this book. It's wonderful not only as a quick guide to already known creatures, but surprises on the amount of lesser known ones. While not necessarily intended for the younger audiences, it's also suitable for younger readers (ages ten and up).

I'm adding this one to my shelves and will definitely have it in hand repeatedly for many years.

And here they are...

The Author...
Author Heather Frigiola is a creative researcher with a master's degree in cultural anthropology. Originally from the suburbs of Washington, DC, her life adventures have taken her all across the United States. She has been teaching assistant and a guest lecturer at different universities, specializing in topics such as human animal interaction, ancient civilizations, and comparative mythology.

The Illustrator...
Illustrator Sky Cybele is the creator of the Mythical Creatures Oracle. She lives in an enchanted world full of magical beasts and also sells unique hand-beaded necklaces and likes to dance.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Review: The Cracking of Monday Egg by B.T. Higgins

by B.T. Higgins
Emerald House Group
Middle Grade Fantasy
206 pages
ages 8 to 12

The Maker created Monday Egg for a very important reason. Monday just doesn’t understand it yet. Being an egg with arms and legs has its advantages. Monday can run like the wind and climb trees easily, but he is an egg. What happens when he cracks?

The Cracking of Monday Egg is the story of a cranky crow, a sick little girl, a kind squirrel and Monday’s struggle to deal with his own crackability.


While this tale first appears to surround the adventure of a fragile egg, who is afraid to crack, it soon becomes clear that it's about so much more than that.

I'll admit, I was a bit skeptical to read a middle grade novel with an egg as the main character, but this is an egg worth reading about. The egg's fears mold into messages, which run much deeper than that, as he discovers friends, faces new troubles, and even learns that his creator might be kinder than first thought. The egg might discover he's not as fragile as he first thought.

The story itself is nicely written. The tale flows well and fits the intended age group. While some moments pulled along a bit better than others, the egg was fun to follow, and it wasn't hard to sympathize with its plight. It's a wholesome read with some great messages.

I received a complimentary copy and enjoyed the tale enough to want to leave my honest thoughts.

Review: Make Trouble by Cecile Richards

by Cecile Richards with 
Lauren Peterson
Adapted by Ruby Shamir
Margaret K. McElderry Books
ages 10 and up
256 pages

From former Planned Parenthood president and activist Cecile Richards comes the young readers edition of her New York Times bestselling memoir, which Hillary Rodham Clinton called an “inspiration for aspiring leaders everywhere.”

To make change, you have to make trouble.

Cecile Richards has been fighting for what she believes in ever since she was taken to the principal’s office in seventh grade for wearing an armband in protest of the Vietnam War. She had an extraordinary childhood in ultra-conservative Texas, where her father, a civil rights attorney, and her mother, an avid activist and the first female governor of Texas, taught their kids to be troublemakers.

From the time Richards was a girl, she had a front row seat to observe the rise of women in American politics. And by sharing her story with young readers, she shines a light on the people and lessons that have gotten her though good times and bad, and encourages her audience to take risks, make mistakes, and make trouble along the way.


When I opened this one, I wasn't sure what to expect, and it went in a direction I honestly didn't see coming.

Cecile Richards was born to activist and liberal parents in a very conservative area. Her parents taught her early on to let her voice be heard and push what she saw as correct, even if it wasn't what many would like her to do. This life theory followed her all through school and into her her adult years, where she continued to fight for her ideologies. Sometimes, she found trouble and others, gave her success. And this is her tale.

This book has been adapted from her same titled book for adults. It slips quickly over her childhood, in the first chapter, and launches into her life mission to stand up for women's rights and later, the ideologies of Planned Parenthood. While it does dive into a bit about her personal life, most of the book centers on the important moments of her activist efforts and the obstacles she faced. The book is well written and does grab the reader. The pace holds steady throughout the read, making sure there is never a boring moment, while it brings across the important times of her life. It's always clear what she's doing and her reasons behind her actions. For readers who are interested in her life, it's definitely an interesting read. And there is the message that one should stand up and never give up for what they believe in.

While I found this book well-written, I'm not sure it quite fits the advertised audience and would suggest it more for girls ages 13 and up. Not only are there a few scenes parents might want to be aware of before handing this to more sensitive readers, but the writing itself isn't quite right for the younger readers and is more suitable for a slightly older audience.

And here she is...
Cecile Richards is a nationally respected leader in the field of women’s health, reproductive rights, and social change. She began her career helping garment workers, hotel workers, and nursing home aides fight for better wages and working conditions. After years in the labor movement, she moved back home to Texas to help elect the state’s first Democratic woman governor: her mother, Ann Richards. She went on to start her own grassroots organizations, and later served as deputy chief of staff to House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. In 2011 and 2012, she was named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. For over ten years, Richards served as president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. She is a frequent speaker and commentator on issues related to women’s rights and activism. Richards serves on the board of the Ford Foundation. She and her husband, Kirk Adams, have three children and reside in New York City.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Review: One More Hug by Megan Alexander

by Megan Alexander
Illustrated by Hiroe Nakata
Picture Book
40 pages
ages 4 to 8

From Inside Edition’s national correspondent Megan Alexander comes a heartwarming picture book in the tradition of The Wonderful Things You Will Be that shows us there’s always time for one more hug as a young boy starts his day and his journey through life.

A tree branch tapping on a window, a pretend sword breaking in two, the skreeeetch of a school bus door: one more hug by mom is always needed to comfort and reassure a young boy that he has the inner confidence to carry on. As time passes, and he outgrows his childhood fears, he returns the favor by giving his mother one more hug as he goes on his way.

This timeless tale of unconditional love and comfort for an anxious young boy as he leaves the nest and starts his journey through life is a perfect story for mothers to share with their sons to show them that it’s okay to have fears and needs—even as they get older—and it’s okay to share those feelings with the people who love them.


A mother's love is always there, and that message comes across in a beautiful way in these pages.

A young boy gets a hug, a kiss, or even a squeeze from his mother, but when something scary or painful comes along, sometimes one caring moment is not enough. The boy grows, but the love doesn't change. And at one point, even an extra hug for the mother can be a wonderful thing.

Hugs warm, comfort,  offer love and give security, and this book lets that theme shine especially when it comes to a mother and her child. The text is simple and the scenes, especially in the beginning, are one young listeners will easily identify with. That the mother is always there, ready to offer her comfort one more time, leaves a warm, fuzzy atmosphere. As the boy grows, this love never leaves even when the boy is old enough to head out on his own. And while young listeners may or may not connect as well with this later part, they'll still feel the love and recognize the message that the feeling never changes.

The illustrations are light, sweet and allow the story and scenes to unfold where the text ends. Every moment gains familiarity and hits home as young listeners can watch what happens to the boy and how he grows. The allow the beauty of the book to blossom in so many ways.

The message is clear in these pages, but it never feels preachy. Rather, it's like a warm homecoming. I see this one being maybe even more meaningful for the mom's or caretakers that read it than the listeners, but it will ring true and encourage the young listeners too. There supposedly is the message that boys are allowed to show their feelings as they grow, but this doesn't come across clearly. Rather it molds into the message that even older 'kids' should still allow themselves to be loved and give love to their parents. And this is a great message alone.

And here they are...

The Author...
Megan Alexander is a national news correspondent, host, emcee, speaker, producer, and actress. She can be seen every evening as a correspondent on the top-rated national news magazine television show Inside Edition. She was born and raised in Seattle, Washington, and graduated from Westmont College. Megan splits time between New York City and Nashville, Tennessee. She and her husband have two young sons.

The Illustrator...

Hirne Nakata  has influenced numerous picture books including Lucky Pennies and Hot Chocolate; Duck Skates, Duck; Shoe Bop!; and One More Hug. She currently lives and works in New York City.

Happy Book Birthday, Stealing the Throne by Quirah Casey with Giveaway!

Stealing The Throne
by Quirah Casey
Upper YA Reverse Harem, Urban Fantasy

The people who burned down my old life will regret walking through the ashes.
As far as the citizens of Caelumine are concerned, Princess Amelia Deightyn died with the rest of her family in the burning of the Deightyn Kingdom. Roxanna Delamontee couldn’t agree more. The day her family was betrayed by the people they trusted most, her innocence went up in flames, and her identity as Amelia burned with it. She rose from the ashes as Roxanna, and she’s going to show the people who killed her family how it feels to burn. She’s spent years plotting her revenge, and no one can stop her. Or so she believes until she meets four of her enemies, men who are determined to steal her heart while she’s stealing the throne.


“I’m here to compete, obviously.” My words may have come out sounding strong and confident, even a little snarky, but on the inside I’m panicking. My heart is pounding, my stomach is twisting, and I feel like I’m about to break out in beads of sweat.
Calm your fucking self down.
All the years of preparation and hard work, and yet my nerves still won’t settle, even though I know I went over little every requirement and know I’m allowed to be here. Shit, I thought being a woman would bring a lot of attention in an all men’s event, but I know the rule book like the back of my hand.
I can be here. Not even Prince Elyjah can change that, so there’s no reason to worry. If I start to panic and anyone notices, they’ll pick me out to be a weak person, and I’m anything but that, especially when it comes to fighting. I had the best trainers who could kick anyone’s ass no matter the realm, and they taught me all they know. One of them trained with the Valkyries for goodness sake, which in and of itself lets me know that I can make it here.
My heartbeat starts to slow down and I hope none of the royals pick up on it with their sensitive hearing.
I find myself meeting Prince Elyjah’s eyes with arrogance.
The prince’s lips turn down, but amusement appears in his eyes for a brief moment before disappearing. “This is no place for a pretty girl like yourself.” He turns to look at the royal guards standing by the entrance with their hands on their swords and I tense up. “Escort the lady out, I’m afraid she’s in the wrong place.”
Like hell I am.
“I deserve to be here, and I can be here, there is nothing in the rule books that says otherwise”
The prince lets out what must be the most pretentious snort I’ve ever heard in my life, holding a hand out to instruct the approaching guards to stop walking. “I am sure the rules forbid a woman from competing in The Calling, and plus, you are without a doubt underage. What are you? Sixteen?” His words are clipped and reek of sarcasm.
It lights a fire under my ass.

And here she is...
Quirah is still a new author, but not new to writing. She has been writing since the first grade, and has been winning awards since kindergarten, when she told her teacher about her trip to Chicago. Her teacher wrote down the story for her and she won the young authors contest at 5 years old! Quirah plans on working hard in the next couple of years to publish as many books as possible from her chöąts world. 


Thursday, December 19, 2019

Review: Rhodes by Christina Bauer with Giveaway!


by Christina Bauer

Angelbound Offspring #4
Monster House Books
YA Fantasy, Paranormal

As dragon shifters, Rhodes and Zinnia should never have fallen in love. Why? Zin’s a princess while Rhodes is only the hired help. If the pair remain in the dragon realm, then age-old prejudices might tear them apart. But returning to Earth isn’t any better. In the human world, Rhodes and Zin are a musical sensation … and fame’s an even bigger relationship killer. Bottom line? Rhodes has huge decisions to make, both for himself and Zin.
Unfortunately, it isn’t clear what path—if any—will end with Rhodes and his love having a future together.
Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play

Firstly, if you haven't read at least the last book in the series before this one, Zinnia, you'll have to do that before hitting this one. This book builds where Zinnia leaves off...plus, the others are fun reads in and of themselves.

In this book, Zinnia is in her tower and doesn't see Rhodes as often as she'd like. He is, after all, in training. But of course, the two aren't going to let things stay that way, and neither are their friends. Soon, Zinnia has a plan, which leads to more adventure than she saw coming.

This book is a bit shorter than the rest and makes for a very quick read, but that's not only due to the length. At the turn of every corner, the two main characters and their friends are facing new challenges and decisions. There's never a boring moment as the action speeds along from beginning to end. Add the romance in with the magic, fight scenes, secrets, and fun, and it's quite the mix.

This book is told from various perspectives, which allows insight in the right direction exactly when it's needed. It keeps everything on its toes, but then, the characters are good at that themselves. Each one holds spunk and determination, and the snark keeps the humor high.

Fans of magic, teen romance, dragons, music bands, secrets, fight scenes and simply entertaining reads are sure to enjoy this one.

Angelbound Offspring
1. Maxon
2. Portia
3. Zinnia
4. Rhodes (December 2019)
5. Kaps (Summer 2020)
6. Huntress (Summer 2021) 
Don’t Miss These Series From Christina Bauer
– Fairy Tales of the Magicorum, a series of modern fairy tales with sass, action, and romance
– Beholder, where a medieval farm girl discovers necromancy and true love
– Dimension Drift, a dystopian adventure with science, snark, and hot aliens
Pixieland Diaries, about a sassy pixie Calla who falls for Dare, an icy elf prince
Get your FREE copy of Christina’s novella, BEVERLY HILLS VAMPIRE, when you sign up for her personal newsletter: https://tinyurl.com/bauersbooks***Not available in stores***

And here she is...
Christina Bauer thinks that fantasy books are like bacon: they just make life better. All of which is why she writes romance novels that feature demons, dragons, wizards, witches, elves, elementals, and a bunch of random stuff that she brainstorms while riding the Boston T. Oh, and she includes lots of humor and kick-ass chicks, too.
Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.
Be the first to know about new releases from Christina by signing up for her newsletter: http://tinyurl.com/CBupdates
Stalk Christina On Social Media – She Loves It!


Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Review: What Color Is Night? by Grant Snider

by Grant Snider
Chronicle Books
Picture Book
44 pages
ages 2 to 4

Look closer. Grant Snider's beautiful debut picture book explores the wonders—and colors—of nighttime. For night is not just black and white. Ending in colors yet unseen, and a night of sweet dreams, this lilting lullaby is sure to comfort those drifting off to sleep. With luminous art as spare and glowing as the moon, and lyrical text that reads like a friend leading the way through the wilderness, What Color Is Night? is a rich and timeless look at a topic of endless fascination, and a perfect bedtime read-aloud.


The dark of night gains a magical rainbow of surprises in a beautiful and poetic way, which is sure to invite dreams and ease to sleep.

Night is often compared to darkness with the stars and moon above. These colors might be referred to as simply black and white. But in these pages, young listeners are invited to look closer. Soon, the black sky isn't so black after all, and the lights of night offer so many more tones than simple white. 

This is such a gentle and enchanting book. It takes the wonder of night and quietly guides listeners through towns, over hills and to the stars above, making it perfect for a goodnight read. The scenes are calm as they illustrate familiar sights. House windows and car lights or even the eyes of passing animals...each holds more color than one might assume. 

The writing is almost like a lullaby, and the text is easy to understand. It reads smoothly and is short enough to make the point without steering out of a soothing tone.  While older readers might find it a bit simple, the intended audience, ages 2 to 4, will feel right at home. 

And here he is...

Grant Snider is an orthodontist by day and an author and artist of comics and picture books by night. He lives in Wichita, Kansas.