Kindred…by Steve Robinson

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Jefferson Tayte, an American genealogist, is on the hunt for this birth parents. His search leads him to Germany where he must untangle his family tree by delving into the horrors of WWII.
I have no idea why everyone doesn’t know what a fantastic author Steve Robinson is. He has an uncanny talent for describing scenes that paint such a detailed picture in my mind that I feel as if I can reach out and touch the characters. I first discovered Robinson’s works when he was a self published author. Now he has become quiet popular. I recently found copies of this books at my local library here in Florida.IMG_0415

I was first intrigued by the description of his first book ‘In the Blood’ as a genealogy mystery.  All the books in the series revolve around genealogist Jefferson Tayte researching someone’s family history.The novels take place in Europe but Tayte is from America. To me this is brilliant because it allows readers on both sides of the pond to identify with the novel.

Kindred is the fifth book in the series. It is fast paced and multilayered . This novel focuses on Tayte researching his own family history (he was adopted under mysterious circumstances as an infant). The story line did remind me a little of Jodi Picoult’s book ‘The Storyteller’ but this novel focuses on Tayte exploring his mysteries family past. 

Kindred was a five star read for me. Robinson always keeps me eagerly anticipating the next Jefferson Tayte novel. I recommend all five of Steve Robinson’s books (‘To The Grave’ being my favorite’).
I was given a copy of this book via netgalley in exchange for a honest review.

Rating:📖📖📖📖📖
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Jordan and Justine’s Weekend Adventures for Wildlife Alliance…Tanille Edwards-Book Tour Review

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Title: Jordan and Justine’s Weekend Adventures for Wildlife Alliance
Author: Tanille Edwards
Genre: Children’s Book

Synopsis:
Jordan & Justine’s Weekend Adventures® for Wildlife Alliance brings children right into the center of animal life at a wildlife conservation center. Jordan and Justine use their magical powers to explore the world of dolphins, to find out how laws can protect wildlife, and to learn what it means to be a mammal. Perfect for children ages 7 to 9. By Tanille Edwards and Latoya Edwards.

2016 is the year to take a stand for Wildlife!
There are animals that need our help. Author, Tanille Edwards and publishing company, Fire Flies Entertainment have partnered with the national organization Wildlife Alliance to share 50% of the proceeds from each Wildlife book from the Jordan & Justine’s Weekend Adventures series sold to the organization.

Review:
I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

When I heard about this book, I jumped at the chance to review it. My kids will be attending field trips to our local animal conservation center in our area, so this book came at a perfect time.
I love books that introduce children to situations or places that they will be encountering. One thing that I noticed right away, is that the animals are in a conservation center and not a zoo. This book teaches children that animals are in the center for their protection and not just our own enjoyment (as they would be in a zoo or circus). Respecting animals is the central theme of this book, which is something I rarely seem to see in  other children’s books.
The dialogue was easy to understand and the illustrations were wonderful. My children especially loved the illustration of the Koala and the Koala’s unique foot. This is a perfect Earth Day read. I would recommend for children 7 and up and would be a great follow up to animal related field trip or family outing. 

Author Bio:
Tanille is the co-author and creator of the children’s green book series “Jordan & Justine’s Weekend Adventures.” She is also the author of the new media young adult novels with music “Cameo by Tanille,” and “Broken by Tanille.”

The Undercover Starlet Journal is a title Tanille created to inspire young women and has extended Undercover Starlet into brand extensions that appear throughout her novels.

Tanille has been writing music and books since age 16. She earned an MBA at 21 and graduated magna cum laude.

Readers of her latest young adult romance novel “Broken by Tanille” get free music downloads of her new Pop R&B hits “All of Me,” “Feel It,” “Baby Comeback to Me,” “It’s Not Okay,” and “What’s a Girl to Do” all written, performed and co-produced by Tanille.

The Undercover Starlet Reading Project is a new project we’ve launched, tasked with inspiring young teens in urban communities to reads and express themselves. We are committed to going above and beyond to reach youth with inspiring messages.

Buy Cameo by Tanille on  Amazon now.
Buy Broken  by Tanille on   Amazon now.

www.Tanille.com
Twitter:@MilanParkAve
www.facebook.com/BrokenbyTanille

Links for this title

Website Link: www.jordangogreen.com

Blog: http://gogreenkids2.blogspot.com/

Twitter: @JordanGoGreen1

Find this title on: Amazon now.

Enter the giveaway for a $25 Amazon gift card here.

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The Silent Twin…by Caroline Mitchell

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One twins goes missing on a desolate country farm. The other twin stays silent about what happened to her sister. Police officer Jennifer Knight is sent to the home as a family liaison officer. The twins parents both seem as if they could be responsible. Knight uses her police skills and sixth sense to try to find the girl in time.
The book was not as spooky as the cover and title led me to believe. (Although there were a few spooky scenes).I found the plot of this book to be somewhat fast paced.  It kept me questioning who did it. Just when I thought I had the mystery of the kidnaper figured out, the storyline would twist and turn.

I liked the character of Jennifer Knight and how she is not a  perfect person but is excellent at her job. The conclusion reminded me a little of ‘Dark Places’ because it had a double twist. I found the novel a wonderful ‘who done’ it. It did lag a bit in the middle, for me, but definitely picked up quickly. I also did get a little confused in the police terms and ranks since this book is based in the UK and I am used to American police structure but I easily remedied this googling the terms.

I may read the other DC Knight books. I  would recommend for any crime and thriller lovers out there. I give it four stars.

 

Rating:📖📖📖📖

Library Book Sale – Alachua County Friends of The Library

IMG_0371When I was about ten or twelve, I remember going to a huge library sale and being so excited to browse and buy so many books at a super low price. So recently I’ve been looking at the http://www.booksalefinder.com website for such a sale in my area. Although there are a few small library sales, in the Central Florida area, there was nothing that was really as amazing as I remember. Then I noticed that the sale for Alachua county (Gainesville) said HUGE next to it on the book sale sight.

The Friends of the Library of Alachua County have it’s book sale twice and year, in the spring and fall. Since the spring sale, this year, happened to be on my birthday, I decided I had to make the 2 1/2 hour trip.

I talked my mom in to going with me since my husband had to stay home with the kids. My mom and I decided to get there near the beginning, as I absolutely hate the idea of not getting first dibs . We ended up getting there about fifteen minutes after the sale started. Let me tell you that those people who think physical books are a thing of the past,never saw this book sale.

Gainesville is home to the University of Florida, so it’s basically a college town. On a Saturday morning the streets were pretty vacant until we got close to the book sale. There were people and cars everywhere. My mom ended up having to drop me off while she looked for a parking space.

The sale has it’s own warehouse space that they use for the sale. The rest of the year they store and sort the books there. By 9:15 it was packed full of people and by packed I mean Walt Disney World on New Years packed.

Everything was amazing well organized. Trade fiction, mass market fiction, mystery, young adult, classics, and children were all separate. Non-fiction was divided up by very specific categories. They also have DVD’s, games, comics, art, and puzzles. The busiest sections were classics and young adult.  Also ,the DVD section was crazy but since I didn’t have much interest in DVD’s, I stayed away from that section.FullSizeRender-5.jpg

The sale is run entirely by volunteers. As books are  snapped up volunteers restock from categorized boxes. I figured this must be because they don’t have space to fit all the books on the shelves at the beginning.

Within each category books seemed to be more of less randomly ordered. However, each authors books were grouped together and popular author’s books were in trays under the book tables. This made it easier for me to look for some Clive Cussler books for my dad. In trade fiction and hardcover fiction female authors were on one side with male authors on the other. They do say that as the sale goes on that the books become  less and less organized.IMG_0397IMG_0403.JPGwell FullSizeRender-3.jpg

When my mother and I got around to getting in line the line was looped around the building. It  took less then 20 minutes to get through the line though. It was super efficient at check out.

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My mom and I decided to have lunch and come back later after the initial crowds died down. When we can back around eleven it was much easier to get a parking space and it was a lot less crowded (even though young adult was still packed). I  found more books but soon realized that the really really desirable books were pretty much gone.

All totaled I ended up getting three huge bags of books for under $80.00 (my arm hurt for days afterward from carrying them around). I would say I got close to 100 books, almost entirely fiction. I bought everything from brand new releases  to vintage books from the 1930’s- 1980’s.

 

I wanted to point a few things out and give tips to anyone going for the first time..

-You need to bring your own boxes or bags. We found large bags work much better as boxes get awkward.

-Expect to have to look for a parking space for awhile. Police are there to direct traffic but it’s still tough to find a spot Saturday morning.

-It says no kids under 12. We followed this rule but there were still kids there. I personally would not bring my kids to the first day of the sale. It’s impossible for them to browse and they will be shoved, pushed, etc.

-Get there early if you want the very desirable books. If you just want to browse, go later when the crowds die down.

-Make a list ahead of time, it’s hard to remember while your there what books you already might have.

-They only take cash/checks and you must have ID for a check.

-There are no strollers or carts allowed on the first day.

-Most books are color coded for .25,.50,.75, and 1.00. They have signs with the color codes and the codes are also on the back of the volunteer’s shirts (brilliant). New release hardcover can be a bit more $1.00-$3.00  but they are marked with the price.   The rare books in the collector’s corner and books on CD are also higher but marked.

-There is a 20 books and under express register.

-You must pay for things sold in the collector’s corner there and not at  the main line.

-The comic books and art are outside in tents and you also pay there for these items.

-Really large orders of five boxes or more can be held for you outside but you must sign in and bring your own boxes

-There is a pick up area because books are very heavy.

The sale usually lasts for five days. Saturday, Sunday, and Monday are full price. Tuesday is 1/2 price and Wednesday everything left is .10. We never made  to subsequent days because of the drive but we might try it in the fall.

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These photos at the bottom are  the stack of my books that I purchased for myself. They are waiting for there new Container Store bookshelf. These are minus the books I bought for my parents, husband, and kids. I also show the covers of some of my favorites.

The Friends of the Alachua County Library website is  http://folacld.org.

It sounds crazy and it was super crowded but I had so much fun. For me there is a thrill in the hunt. I plan on going to as many sales as I can. I already have the fall Sale in October on the calendar.

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My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry…by Fredrik Backman

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Elsa is a seven year old girl who is teased for being different at school. Her greatest weapon is her Grandmother. Granny is a wildly excentric and imaginative former doctor. She creates a whole world for Elsa in their fairytale stories. When Granny dies, Elsa feels alone and isolated until she is enlisted by Granny (in a note) to complete a mission to tell those that Granny offended, that she is sorry.
I previously had read Fredrik Backman’s book, ‘A Man Called Ove’. Ove is one of my all time favorite books and characters. Beckman’s ability to create lovable older people is absolutely amazing. Elsa, is very cute in  this story. I did love her as a character. Having two seven year olds myself, I did find her overly precociousness and her worldly knowledge rather unbelievable for a seven year old. To me Elsa’s personality is more of a quirky thirty year old.
   I didn’t quite find this to be a page turner. It lagged quite a bit in the middle and had many long drawn out descriptions of Granny and Elsa’s fairyland. I did find the story cute and endearing and had a strong message about communities and families. I also loved the cast of characters . They were all unique and lovable. In the end I came to really love Granny and how she was not a perfect person but more of a perfect character. 

 Overall a good read. I would recommend for anyone that loves a nice feel good book. Overall four stars.

Rating:📖📖📖📖

The One-In-A-Million Boy…by Monica Wood

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I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

A boy scout dies suddenly. His absentee father decides to take on his scout project, assisting a 104 year old women with chores around her home. The elderly woman, Ona, is a  somewhat grumpy but lovable Lithuanian immigrant. Throughout the book, pieces of her life come to the surface . The characters in the novel soon embark on a quest to set Ona up as the Guinness Book of World’s Record’s oldest living driver.

   I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It is a charming and bitter sweet story. The odd but gentle boy and Ona form an amazing friendship. The characters were very well developed and likable. I almost expected Ona to be sitting beside me when I looked up from the book. 

 The novel begins sadly. It lets us know from the beginning that the young boy has died unexpectedly. It then takes on the stories of how the remaining characters move on with their lives. It also incorporates flash backs for the boy’s visits to Ona.

This novel uses a combination of scenes from the present, scenes from the past, world record holders stats, and snippets of Ona’s recording of her life story. The tape recordings, especially, added great amount of humor to the book. It tells us only Ona’s answers but not the questions asked. As a result we are left to interpret her answers. I found these recordings especially hilarious and touching.

This book is not action packed thriller.It is just a wonderful story of love and relationships.’The One-In a-Million Boy’ reminded me of ‘A Man Named Ove ‘. If you loved  Ove  you will most likely love Ona too.

I alternated between four and five stars for this novel. I finally settled on five stars. I gave it the higher rating because I think it sends a really beautiful message. We should spend more time listing and spending time with the elderly of our society. They have so much to give us. 

Rating: 📖📖📖📖📖

Ninja and Bunny’s Great Adventure…by Kara S. Tyler and Illustrated by Sarah Pacetti

Welcome to the Ninja and Bunny Tour

Author Kara S Tyler and Illustrator Sarah Pacetti

Today I’m hosting this stunning Children’s Picture Book about two sisters. It’s appropriate for all ages, boys and girls, and will delight parents as well with it’s great message and gorgeous illustrations. Check out my review below and make sure to enter the great giveaway at the end of this post with special prizes that fit the themes of adventure, fantasy, and heroism included in this book.

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 I read ‘Ninja and Bunny’s Great Adventure’ with my girls and we loved it. My nine year old daughter decided to read it again to her younger sister.
I love that it had fairies and magical elements but still put the characters in roles that are not stereotypical  for girls. They loved the ninja and how she was tough and not afraid.
We will definitely be reading more in the series. We give it five stars.

  About the Book

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A children’s tale of imagination and play, of love and loyalty, and of courage and determination. Marian loves playing make-believe, but what if her big sister Ruthie’s fairies have been real all along? What if Princess Isla is truly in trouble and needs their help? Marian and Ruthie must visit Fairyland and transform into Ninja and Bunny! Will they be able to save the princess? Find out in this tale of love, loyalty, and imagination.

 

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the end and get a FREE Ninja & Bunny Activity Book!

 

About the Author

Kara headshot Ninja BunnyKara S Tyler is the real world name of  Pavarti K. Tyler. As Pav, her books have spanned genres and won many awards, however, they are geared toward an adult audience. Now that she’s writing children’s books, Kara has decided to use her real name. The Adventures of Ninja and Bunny first came about because of a fabulous conversation overheard between Kara’s two children during a very long car ride. The two young girls spent over two hours debating various aspects of Fae politics and social structure. Without realizing it, the girls were building a world so real, Ray Bradbury would be proud.Kara lives in Baltimore with her husband, two children and two terrible dogs. She is a full-time author and mother.

About the Prizes

The Tour has some fantastic prizes! You can win a $20 Amazon Gift Card, a

Fairyland book, Temporary Ninja Tattoos or a Stuffed Ninja Bunny. Enter the

Enter The RaffleCopter here

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If You Were Me and Lived in Egypt….by Carole P. Roman

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

 ‘If You Were Me and Lived in Egypt’ is part of a wonderful series of children’s books that teaches children about cultural diversity. It transports you to various cultures or periods in history and explains how children in that particular time or place live or lived.

I was super excited to read these books with my kids. I love learning about other cultures and wanted my kids to love doing the same. They enjoyed learning the Egyptian words for mom, dad, grandmother, and grandfather. They also loved learning about the different type of foods eaten in Egypt.  This series would also be a wonderful teaching tool when traveling to other countries as it shows children children what to they can expect while there.

I look forward to reading more of these wonderful books with my kids. I give this book five stars.

Rating:📖📖📖📖📖

Human: Finding Myself in The Autism Spectrum…by Warren Mayocchi

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I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

    I usually don’t read  much non-fiction (especially non-historical    non-fiction) but I was drawn to this book because I wanted to learn more about Aspergers and Autism Spectrum Disorder. This book is different from most books about Autism because it was actually written by an adult with the disorder. The information within the book was written from his personal knowledge and gained from real world experience. For me this makes this book totally different from books written by medical professionals .
   Warren Mayocchi knew he was different from most people his whole life but did not know why. He is constantly using energy to’fake it’ in the real world. As a result his relationships and job performance suffer. This book tells the story of his life with Autism.
I think this subject is important because our society concentrates a lot on children with Aspergers/Autism but what about these children when they become adults? What happens to them? Do they have jobs or families?They still have Autism but with a different set of problems. There was not a lot of talk of Autism thirty or so years ago so most in past generations were never diagnosed or treated. As a result many adults today push through life with these conditions without even knowing it.
I did enjoy this book .It read like a memoir. It sheds a lot of light on how people with Autism think and feel and how they may react around others.I  would recommend this book to anyone who has someone in their life with Aspergers/Autism or suspect someone in their life has it. I give it four stars.

 

Rating:📖📖📖📖

Top Ten Books Every Women Born in the 1970’s Should Read

  

This week I decided to take part in The Broke and Bookish Blog’s  top ten Tuesday because today’s topic seemed to be so flexible and fun. Today’s topic is Top Ten Books For Every X To Read. I decided to make mine,Top Ten Books Every Women Born in The 1970’s should read’ (because you know we’re awesome). I am going to make the summaries short and sweet.

1.The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult…This is just a wonderful book with so many layers. A women befriends a older man with a mysterious past.

 

2. Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt…A coming of age novel that takes place in the 1980’s and addresses the topic of HIV.

3. The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh…A wonderfully worded book that contrasts the beauty of flowers  with pain and loss.

4. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell… Again takes place in the 1980’s when we survived without cell phones and the internet.

5. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes… Women becomes a caregiver for a man that has become a quadriplegic.

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6.The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton… A mysterious garden and lots of secrets.

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7. The Nightingale by Kristian Hannah…Two sisters and their relationship in occupied Paris during WWII.

8. The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay… A silent girl with a mysterious past at a new school.

9.A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman…Grumpy but lovable old guy and his neighbors

10. A Dog’s Purpose by W.Bruce Cameron… A dog comes back again and again in many different lives.