Wednesday, July 31, 2013

"Swift as a shadow, short as any dream...": A Midsummer Night's Scream by R.L. Stine

Hi there!
Welcome back to the place that let's you be you no matter how quirky, off beat, or out of step you might be....Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.  After all, if we WERE all the same....can you IMAGINE how boring the world would be? ~shudders~

Today, we are saying goodbye to July...and sending it off with a SCREAM!  Come with me as we step inside the Young Adult genre with a writer known the world over for his literary scare tactics and skill while revisiting a story of yesterday with a modern day twist.  As the curtain rises on today's book of choice we discover it to be....


by
ISBN:  978-1-250-02434-3
Feiwel & Friends

About the book...
In R.L. Stine's A Midsummer Night's Scream, the Master of Horror takes on the Master of Theatre!

Oh, what fools these actors be!

It was a horror movie that turned into real horror--three young actors lost their lives while the camera rolled. Production stopped, and people claimed that the movie was cursed.
Sixty years later, new actors are venturing onto the haunted set. In a desperate attempt to revive their failing studio, Claire's dad has green-lit a remake of Mayhem Manor—and Claire and her friends are dying to be involved.
At first, Claire laughs at Jake’s talk of ghosts and curses. He’s been too busy crushing on her best friend Delia to notice that she’s practically been throwing herself at him. What does he know? And anyway, this is her big chance to be a star!
When shooting starts, though, the set is plagued by a series of horrible accidents—could history be repeating itself?




First off, that cover!  Definitely eye catching and uber creepy.  I mean the drama mask is spooky enough but add the limp and BLOODY hand to the mix and well we pretty much know we're not about to stroll down the yellow brick road.

Second....I LOVE the original play/story A MidSummer Night's Dream by the Bard himself.  I was forced to read it in 7th grade English (though forced is merely used here because it was assigned not chosen) and though the language can trip your tongue and the meanings allude you at first glance, it is a classic for a reason.  There are so many layers to peel back when examining the story let alone the actual plot line that....that would take another post.  Today however focuses on the modern day counterpart we see here.  How does it stack up?  Well....

After the initial appeal of both original story, cover and of course the author himself (surprisingly, I've never actually READ his other works...just know of them as his name's always been synonymous with a good scare), that's about where the bright-shiny-new-toy aspect wore off for me.  I couldn't connect with the characters (and it was not the age difference between us, trust me) and their lack of depth was slightly infuriating.  The run-spot-run formula that the plot line followed was WAY too predictable and when it wasn't....just simply odd.  There wasn't enough theatrics in this reproduction for me, perhaps making it a better fit for those that simply know of the original, but haven't read it yet.  I will definitely grant Mr. Stine mad props for his death scenes.  Though some were too much to believe, others were memorable enough to set the hairs on the back of your neck on end.

Overall, I wasn't as impressed as I imagined I might be; so that was definitely a downer.  However, for those just becoming acquainted with the original story, those that don't mind the impossible being granted possible with an edge of absurdity, it will hit the mark in abundance.  Go into it with both eyes open, even for the gory scenes (yes, the author definitely lives up to his name in a nausea inducing scene or two) and you'll see sights you hadn't anticipated as well as some you might not wish to see again...like ever.  Think Mikey Myers in hairy garden gnome form.  *blink*  Yeah....that about sums that up.

Recommended read for teens of all ages and older; the content isn't blush worthy in the least but those more impressionable or prone to the power of suggestion may be sleeping with a light on for a while....and avoiding creepy butt houses where death seemed to wait upon the stoop for any to pass by.

ARC for review received courtesy of Ksenia at Macmillan Children's Publishing Group.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title as well as their ever expanding catalog of bookish wonders, be sure to stop by their official site, catch up on their blog, friend them on Pinterest, like them on Facebook, or follow along on Twitter.  This title was released via Feiwel & Friends just this month and should be available on a bookstore shelf near you.

Until next time...I bid thee fair thoughts and wondrous dreams...and of course, happy reading!


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

BLOG TOUR: From this Moment On by Bella Andre

Hi guys!
Welcome back to another week here at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

Today, we are saying goodbye to July (well, almost) with a blog tour starring two people who are just as busy (or perhaps BUSIER) as I...who end up getting "busy" with life, lust and the possibility of love. Will it end in happily ever after?  Not if they can have anything to say about it, but I digress.  Let's properly greet today's  book of choice and blog tour guest....


by
Bella Andre
Harlequin/MIRA
ISBN-13:  978-0-7783-1557-5

About the book...
Just one night…
Marcus Sullivan has always been the responsible older brother, stepping in to take care of his seven siblings when their father died. But when the perfectly ordered future he's planned turns out to be a lie, Marcus needs one reckless night to shake free from it all.
Known throughout the world by only one name—Nico—pop songstress Nicola Harding is seen as the ultimate sex kitten. But it's all a lie. After a terrible betrayal she refuses to let anyone else close enough to find out who she really is…or to hurt her again. Especially the gorgeous stranger at the bar.
One night is all Nicola and Marcus agree to share with each other. But instead, a deeper connection than either of them could have anticipated begins….




In keeping with the style I began for this series back in my post for book 1, let's go with a quick pros and cons list, shall we?


Personal Pros

1.  Once again, the author gets the story just right!  The reality of the events actually happening?  Okay, a LITTLE bit of a stretch, but what isn't when you're dealing with Hollywood stars or music sensations?  Still, it gave us a bit of the fairy tale aspect of love that we all crave (oh just admit it, you know it's true) with a definite grown up twist.  More on that in the OTHER section...
2.  Like emotional connection with your story?  Your wish is her direct delivery.  Another successful story told while engaging readers emotionally, intellectually and even morally.  Don't believe me?  Well, it's certainly not looking for the answers to the heaviest of questions, it will bring to mind your thoughts on age and status in a relationship.  Didn't think it would MAKE you think now did ya?
3.  Characters characters characters!  The Sullivan clan is equally lovable (and LOVELY...HANDSOME...STUNNING...*ahem*) and just as inviting as they were the first time we met them.  Marcus is a joy to get to know, his brotherly ways are heart warming while his attitude towards love is soul melting.  She stays true to those she's built while continuing to further expand our intimate knowledge of them.  You can't help but feel like a member of the family...and that's not such a bad place to be.  Can't wait to see what she does with the next story....




Personal Cons

1.  It seems like a cop out but I have to say that this one fell to the same cons as book 1 for me.  Way to many "encounters" especially since her novels tend to take place (initially at least) over the course of a week) and definitely too many details.  Again, personal opinion!  Word to the wise though...not all of these scenes are purely "vanilla" this time around.
2.  The female character sharing the lead spotlight this time around is Nicola, and she falls prey to the TOO MUCH ACTION without enough COMMUNICATION bug that can fall the best romances.  Her internalization's were somewhat understandable but not to the level they occurred especially for someone her age...sorry but usually they talk TOO much not too little.  In the end, I respected her decisions in regards to Marcus, but just wish she would have expressed herself as well in words as she did under the covers.  *ahem*



So, final thoughts?  Once again, I do NOT regret the read and enjoyed the story itself cover to cover.  I have but one wish.  I wish that this author and either a newbie or well known Women's Fiction author could get together and release an edition that turns the focus less on the sexual acts and more on the story behind it all.  I'm not a prude, I'm okay with some things in my lit reads; I just prefer less of a detailed-step-by-step guide and more of a story to follow word-for-word.  Just my thoughts, nothing more.

Recommended read for ADULT readers.  If you've yet to meet the Sullivans, it's high time you did.  Chase and Chloe were great the first time around, adding Marcus and Nicola to the group just enhances the family values/bond even more.

ARC for review courtesy of Liz at Meryl L. Moss Media Relations, Inc.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title as well as their other promotions, be sure to check out their official site, visit them over on BookTrib or follow along on Twitter.  This title was first released in print format just this month via Harlequin MIRA and should be available on a bookstore shelf near you.  Don't forget!  Book 1, The Look of Love, is out now as well and book 3, Can't Help Falling in Love, is on its way next month!

Until next time...happy reading!


Sunday, July 28, 2013

It's a bird. It's a plane. No, it's....Ben Banana Saves the Day by Dustin Ross!

Hi guys!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers...the place to be when the need to read comes knocking and you know you just HAVE to let it inside.  ^_^

Today, we're shining a bright YELLOW spotlight on a new hombre to enter the Children's ebook arena.  His name is...Ben Banana.  That's right.  He'll give back guys the slip while making sure you get enough potassium to be healthy and strong, all while living in a town that celebrates the likes of him...and his tasty produce brethern.  Ready to say hello to this Chiquita favored dude?  Today's book of choice is...


by
Dustin Ross
Illustrated by
Rafa Mir

About the book...
Ben Banana of Bananaville is the local superhero who takes out the bad guys and keep the town safe. Take a peek inside his exciting life full of banana burgers, banana splits and banana sunglasses. Is there anything that’s not made out of bananas?! Ride along with Ben for a super fun time as he hops into his Bananamobile to fight some crime!



In answer to the question of anything not being made of bananas, the answer would be pretty much no.  It actually provides another fun focal point for the wee ones to spot along the way as we become acquainted with Ben Banana and his hometown of Bananaville.

To keep things to the point, the rhyming stretches things a time or two and there was an instance or so of missing words, but the story's fun creative side still wins out.  I mean really, whoever thought of a super hero banana driving around in a bananamobile while encouraging kids to eat the yellow fruits at the same time?  I know I didn't but apparently, Mr. Ross did and more potassium power to him.  From my vantage point, I can see little kiddos imagination taking flight with Ben and giggles erupting when all the bananas are factored in in such a variety of ways.  I think the purpose of the story makes itself clear and acts as a reassurance to little ones fearing the dark of night that the bright yellow....sun will always rise in the morning to bring a new day as secure as the last.

In conclusion, a rhyming adventure with a super hero that owns the color yellow like nobodies busy and
promises that whether in the light of day or dead of night, everything will indeed be alright.  He also possibly might be trying to tell you that the adage of an "apple a day" should actually be "a banana a day"...but we'll let you short that one out on your own.

Review copy courtesy of author Dustin Ross.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title as well as the adventures forthcoming, be sure to check out his collective works on his Amazon page, pay a visit to his official site, like him on Facebook, or follow along on Twitter.

Until next time...happy reading!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Truthy Ruthy by Sari Barel

Hi there!
Welcome back to the site that aims to please readers of all ages...at one point or another...Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.  

Today, we are taking a look at a new eBook aimed at getting children acquainted with morals and values while giving them a lead character they can identify with and a parental figure that definitely thinks outside the box. It doesn't berate little ones for choosing the wrong way, but rather celebrates when they get things right and the faith they had in them all along.  Ready to meet today's choice cover to face?  Here we go!  Today's ebook of choice is...


by
Sari Barel
Illustrated by
Neda Fuchedzhieva

About the book...
What can we do with a cute little girl, who does not always tell the truth?
Ruthy is a sweet 5 year old girl, who has gotten used to not telling the truth.
She breaks the rules and says, "It wasn't me!".
Nothing helps until Dad comes up with an idea that changes the rules of the game.
Now Ruthy is "Truthy Ruthy". Bravo, Daddy!
How does Dad change the rules? Read our humorous, fun story to find out!



This is a short and sweet story aimed at reminding children (of all ages) why telling the truth is not only something mommy and daddy want for them to do but a best practice to last their whole life through.  Ruthy is an adorable little girl, befitting that old song of a child with a curl in the center of her forehead (ahem), and much like the girl in that rhyme, she could be very good as well as horr...the opposite. ^_^  A bad habit is started with a desire for sweets before dinner and continues into antics of painting on walls, taking toys from her sister and annoying the family dog, all with the excuse of "It wasn't me."  (Anyone else flashing back to that Shaggy song?  Oh good, I'm not the only one. )  Ruthy comes to realize with the help of her tricky (but in a good way) parents that saying what you mean and meaning what you say are a very important part of being able to trust someone and so a lesson learned is born and shared.

Along the way, our eyes are greeted with impish pictures of young Ruthy as well as a few of her Dad as he ponders things out for himself.  The bright colors used and the little details such as candy wrappers sticking out of her pockets, or his nose going all Pinocchio when he's not telling the truth serve as visual points to ponder but also go into making the moral of the story that much clearer.  I mean come on, we all know your nose GROWS when you tell a lie....

Recommended read for all ages but especially for those with little ones in their lives.  Ruthy and her family will brighten your day in a big BIG way but also leave you with something relevant to your every day life.  A great combo indeed.

PDF for review courtesy of author Sari Barel.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title as well as the author behind the work, be sure to stop by the official site.  To find out more about Ruthy, take a gander at the book trailer or click on over to Amazon to score your copy now.  Oh, and if you're quick about it, you might even grab one for FREE - a promotion that runs today and tomorrow (July 27-28)!

Until next time...happy reading!






Friday, July 26, 2013

Taking Flight by Sarah Solmonson

Hi there!
Welcome back to the place that aims to please the reader in you, no matter the genre you choose, Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

Today, we're featuring a non-fiction title that not only serves as a memorial of sorts to a father lost all too soon, but as a means of finding one's way after tragedy changes the rules of the game and refuses to share how to play.  It's not a tear jerker in the traditional sense but it will play on the strings of your heart.  Without further ado, today's book of choice is....


by
97814801218782

About the book...
For the next thirty minutes I was untouchable in my joy. The sky was clear, the sun already tempting me to spend another day at the beach. I had my best friend by my side and a boy who loved me. It was about this same time that you were inching down the runway, lifting off the ground for one of the hundreds of take-offs the FAA required your experimental aircraft to make before you could expand the distance you were permitted to fly.
It was about this time that everything changed...
David Norton lived for two things: family and flying. With the help of his wife, Jan (self appointed parts manager) and teenage daughter, Sarah (lifelong co-pilot), David worked for six years building his very own airplane in his basement workshop. His dream became a reality in the spring of 2000 when N256DN took its first flight.
Three months later, David was performing a routine take-off when a fluke change in wind brought his plane down. David was killed instantly. Jan and Sarah were thrown into a whirlwind of grief and depression that nearly destroyed the family David so dearly loved.
I was unhealthy in every way a person could be, intensified by the fact that I kept pretending to be fine. Or doing my best to pretend, to fit into who I was before. I cared about nothing but went through the daily motions of school, homework, and hanging out with friends, as though these were still the most important parts of my life. I felt like I was outside of my own body most of the time, watching from the sidelines as Sarah smiled.
Now a grown woman with a family and dreams of her own, Sarah looks back on the depression and darkness of teenage grief and the unthinkable transformation of her family following her father's death. Taking Flight is a journey through loss, a story of love, and a lesson in following your dreams - no matter what the cost. 



Though the book as a whole takes place in the past (as most memoirs/bio's do), it flips between events as they unfolded that fateful day and those that were to follow both expected and non.  The reactions of family members was heart breaking and not simply because they had all lost someone near and dear to them.  No, the fact that the father's "blood" relatives basically cut his daughter and wife out when they needed their support the most was atrociously.  I know every deals with grief differently but it usually passes after a time and is selective in the members it affects.  Here, not so much.  I wanted to reach out my hand in a show of support or my arms for a comforting hug just for them to get some sort of compassion, some understanding that it's a change that affects the rest of their lives and is not something so easily gotten over...nor was it their fault.  I never did understand the blame that some families place on each other in instances such as this.  Is it not enough that the person is gone?  Is it not enough that hearts are breaking and in need of love to bind them instead of hatred to shatter them further?  *sigh*  Anywho...

Ms. Solmonson does a wonderful job in letting us in behind the curtain of what's presented to the public to see just how she felt going through these tragic times.  Young or old, there is never a good time to lose someone but being a teen certainly didn't help matters.  You've got enough going on in your own life that any additional pain or pressure can be the straw that broke the camel's back.  According to her account, she did hit rock bottom a view times, losing most everyone that she cared about or for by some means or another but she came out stronger for it in the end.  No, she's not miss-sunshine-and-roses able to see rainbows where only rain clouds seem present, but she can revisit the events with an open heart, less blame to place, less negative feelings to take away from the memory of a father she cherished and more love to share with those that really matter in her here and now.

Recommended read for fans of the Non-Fiction genre as well as those dealing with grief (in its many forms), but perhaps especially those teenagers that have been touched by tragedies such as this.  It shows that things will be alright in the end even when the in-between seems so far off the charts.  This is one co-pilot that set her course for brighter skies and though it took time and support, she found her way.  You will too...just believe. After all, as her father said..."Everybody should have a dream."




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About the author...

Sarah Solmonson was raised in Lake Sherwood, Missouri, forty miles away from civilization. She spent her early years writing books in crayon and fondly considers “My Daddy’s Airplane” (1991) to be her first draft of her debut novel, Taking Flight.

Sarah moved to Minnesota in 1994 where she has had ample opportunity to read and write during the long winter months. She graduated with honors from Augsburg College in 2010 with her B.A. in English Literature, Language and Theory. Sarah writes memoirs, self-help books and fiction novels.

When Sarah isn’t writing or reading she can be found getting her groove on in the dance studio, nannying for two brilliant children, enthusiastically eating quesadillas, and watching scary movies with her husband and two dogs.





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Signed review copy courtesy of author Sarah Solmonson.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title as well as the author's current undertakings, family and more, feel free to visit her site, like her on Facebook, or follow along on Twitter.

Until next time...happy reading!


Thursday, July 25, 2013

BLOG TOUR: Pretty Is As Pretty Does by Debby Mayne

Hi guys!
Welcome back to the place that acts as an escape from my "lovely" life (said VERY sarcastically) and helps me share my love of books with all of you....Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.


Seriously, life sometimes....ugh!  You ever have one (or more) of those moments when you simply want to grab a pillow or a vacant room and scream at the top of your lungs?  Yeah...SO been there recently and lucky for me, so have the characters in today's featured title.  It comes to us via the great folks at Abingdon Fiction courtesy of Pump Up Your Book promotions and stars a Fiction title that would easily work for older teen readers as well as those that favor the Christian Fiction section.  No worries guys; it's light on the holiness with a bigger focus on morals and the grand scheme of things.  Ready to meet today's featured guest?  Here we go!  Today's book of choice is....


by

About the book....
Priscilla Slater goes to her 10-year high school reunion as a successful business woman. Even though she got rid of her mousy brown hair, swapped out her discount store wardrobe for designer clothes, and now has perfectly straight teeth, she can't get past feeling like the ugly duckling. Her parents' disapproval for her choice of careers—running a chain of hair salons—deepens her self-doubt. She experiences self-discovery and learns that things aren't always as they seem.

During the reunion, one woman passes out after starving herself for the event. The class beauty queen appears to have more self-confidence than ever until her ex shows up with his new wife. The reunion organizer has taken her responsibilities to a whole new level that makes the Marines look like Boy Scouts, while her husband drinks too much and makes a fool of himself. The man she always dreamed about being with finally gives her some attention, but when she finds out more about him, she realizes he's not worth her time. These realizations boost her self-confidence, but now she has to deal with her best friend Tim's new feelings for her.



So many things to love about this one, I'm not even certain I know where to begin!

Coming from the perspective of someone who has never attended a high school reunion (trust me, if even invited, no one would remember little old me...I was the quiet studious one in the background), this was a look into a life ritual for many I'd not actually seen and yet was both surprised and not surprised by.  The not surprised by factored in when seeing how little some had changed and how insecurities from 10+ years ago are dredged up once again.  Sorry guys, for those that say high school is the best time of your life, you're probably in the minority...not a bad place to be, just remember all of us "others".

The surprised by part was how much people that were actually successful whether monetarily or in some other way, fretted about what everyone else would think of them.  I mean I suppose I can see it happening, it even happens between old friends who haven't seen each other in a long time, but I guess I didn't realize how it would affect even those crowned cream of the crop.  Eye opening, reassuring in some ways, and yet dealt not with vindication but with a softer hand that reminds us we are all human....we all suffer the same things in life just in our own way.  We also all deserve a chance to feel important in our own right and have others respect us for that place we've created for ourselves.  So many lessons learned and shared....so many friendships made.

From the characters we grow to know and love for better or worse, to the endings (for now...yes, there is a book 2 coming soon!) that tie things up but only just and not with the assumed close out.  That's actually one of the things I loved the most though it took me a few moments to process I was not getting the exact happy-ever-after I was reaching for; that almost ending felt more real and true to the character.  I loved Prissy in all her I-will-help-all-and-make-them-feel-beautiful-doing-it attitude.  Laura held much power with her organizational skills but four kids and an self absorbed husband would test anyone's skills.  Trudy is the beauty queen who can't let go of the imagine and yet would present a better picture by showing her true self than the over the top persona that gets sent to the hospital.  Tim was the voice of reason among them all and even he still needs a boost to his confidence if he ever intends on securing his in with his dream girl.  Then again there is something to be said for being a bit meek because those that were and get a taste of what the other end of the spectrum is like, sometimes can't put it in perspective, creating a bit of a monster (*cough* Celeste *cough*) that needs a few good friends to knock 'em down a peg or two back to reality.

To summarize, I definitely can't wait to find out what awaits this group at their 15 year reunion...and thanks to the publisher, I won't have long to wait! (hehe...gotta love ARCs!)  No worries guys, I'll share when the timing is right.  ^_^  It's a multi-perspective (done well with alternating chapters!) look at life ten years after the BIG EVENT that will bring some back to their hey days and others remembering the shells they broke free of but by book's end, you'll have a crew of new literary friends to reminisce with and more memories to look forward too.



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About the author....
Debby Mayne has published more than 30 books and novellas, 400 print short stories and articles, more than 1,000 web articles, and a slew of devotions for women. She has also worked as managing editor of a national health magazine, product information writer for HSN, a creative writing instructor for Long Ridge Writers Group, and a copy editor and proofreader for several book publishers. For the past eight years, she has judged the Writers Digest Annual Competition, Short-Short Contest, and Self-Published Book Competition. Three of Debby’s books have been top ten favorites by the Heartsong Presents book club. Love Finds You in Treasure Island, Florida received 4-1/2 stars from Romantic Times Magazine, and was named a Top Pick for the month of July 2009.

Her latest book is Pretty Is As Pretty Does.




SITE    |    TWITTER    |    FACEBOOK




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Review copy courtesy of Abingdon Fiction and Pump Up Your Book.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title as well as their full catalog, seek out the publisher online.  To discover more about this tour as well as those forthcoming from the promotion side of things, seek out their site, like them on Facebook, or follow along on Twitter.  This is book one in the Class Reunion Series and should be available now on a bookstore shelf near you....need some help locating it in the mean time?  No worries!  Here's a few online options to get you started before you make the run to your local store...Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Abingdom.

Oh!  Also, if you like the sound of this one and are eager to get on board with the next, Bless Her Heart (book 2) is slated to hit shelves August 5th!  Got your wish list handy?  Good.  It totally deserves a place.

Until next time...happy reading!









Wednesday, July 24, 2013

BOOK BLAST: Siding with Plato by Michelle Manning + Giveaway!

Why hello there!
Welcome back to the place that revels in the bookish side of life without any reservations....Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

Today, we're playing host to a Book Blast making its way through the blogosphere via Pump Up Your Book.  It stars a novel that walks the line between the Fiction worlds of Adult and Young Adult, promising a good time to be had by all.  Ready to read all about it?

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by
Michelle Manning

Brooke Aarons can’t get to college fast enough. Leaving behind her small town life, she intends to transform herself into a brilliant psychologist with no distractions along the way. But when she finds herself on a double date with the school’s star football player – and worse, enjoying it – Brooke has to wonder if she’s the one who needs her head examined. James Cartwright’s easy life, endless bucks, and long line of willing girls should make him a non-starter for Brooke, but as she learns, the psychology behind a bad crush is a whole lot messier of a subject. Maybe Plato was right. Maybe love is a serious mental disease. If so, Brooke doesn’t have long to find a cure before James’ attention proves to be a terminal condition.





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About the author...


Michelle Manning was born and raised in Valencia, CA, attended Arizona State University, and graduated with a degree in journalism. After bouncing between New York and Los Angeles working in the entertainment industry, Michelle is releasing her debut novel, Siding With Plato.
Visit her website at www.michellemanningwrites.com.


TWITTER   |   FACEBOOK   |   GOODREADS



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Like what you see?
Great!
This title is available now so seek thee out a copy at an online retailer or bookstore near you.


Now, as a BONUS for stopping by today and celebrating this title, YOU get the chance to win!  Up for grabs?  A $25 Amazon Gift Card/Paypal Cash.  Cool, right?  Thought you might agree.  Enter HERE for your chance to win and be sure to stop by the other sites on the blast tour to gain more entries!  It all draws to an end 07/26/13.

Special thanks to Pump Up Your Book for the chance to participate in this promotion.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this tour as well as those forthcoming, be sure to stop by their official site, like them on Facebook, or follow along on Twitter.

Until next time...happy reading!


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Diva Pearl the Pekingese: Life After Show Biz by Miss Pearl and Vicki Gattuso

Hi there!
Welcome back to the place that aims to please the reader in you every day of the week, Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

Today, we are featuring two of my favorite things....books (of course) and puppies!  Or to be more precise, one pup and a former show girl at that.  Grab the fine china and open a can of Iam's, it's time to meet our four legged author and her human friend.  Today's book of choice is...  


Diva Pearl the Pekingese: 
by
Miss Pearl and Vicki Gattuso
9781470118006 
Createspace

I gotta say it...the overall package is quite adorable.  I mean really, how can you say anything else to that sweet face?!

The pup that graces the cover is Miss Diva Pearl, former show dog and now lifelong friend to Ms Vicki, as well as a puppy parent.  That's right, she has "kids", one of which (Shoko) happens to be a member of her immediate family.  Pretty cool, right?  Well, it is actually and due to this fact, we learn a few interesting facts about the pekingese breed, an unexpected bonus.  But I digress...

Within these pages, you will be touched by Diva Pearl's story, chuckle at her hi-jinx and smile yourself silly as you gaze at each picture that is cuter than the last.  Follow her career from start up to prize winner and everything in between, while getting acquainted with her team of two legged friends and best buds along the way.  Aside from her owner, she has an obvious affection for Miss Jacquelyn, her mom away from mom, her neighbor, Miss Odesa, thanks to a close call, and her "brother" Oshi, a Japanese Chin who calls her "dad" Dad.  We learn just what it takes to be "the best" and take away a few "pearls of wisdom" from her years of experience while agreeing that at least for Miss Diva Pearl, pink is the new black.

Overall, an easy read for fans of the breed, as well as little ones simply "oohing" at the adorable cover.  My only downside to report would be the disorganization of the "story".  We bounce all over her life line and end up repeating some things a few times over because of it.  It doesn't ruin the read completely and it's doubtful that wee ones would even notice, but it is something to be aware of.  It makes it more dependent on the picture aspect of the book than the actual content.  Oh, but I have to say the disc included in my review pack which contained Miss Pearl's Song, Miss Pearl's Lullaby and her video was TOO cute.  I mean at first glance I thought okay, what gives but once you give it a shot, you can't help but smile.  I can definitely see why Miss Pearl would be a fan and appreciate her sharing them with all of us.

Review copy and song/video courtesy of authors Miss Pearl and Vicki Gattuso...via the folks at Bostick Communications.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title as well as their other promotions, be sure to stop by their site.  To read more about Miss Pearl's story, be sure to check out her official web page, or like her on Facebook.  This book is available now no be on the look out for it on a bookstore shelf or online retailer near you.

One more thing before we close, for those looking to "do good" with their purchases, a portion of the book's proceeds will support the American Heart Association, Pekingese Rescue Network, the Humane Society of Greater Akron and Pet Helpers (Charleston, SC).  Definitely a bonus point in my book.

Until next time...happy reading!


Monday, July 22, 2013

Show your true colors with...Blucy by Julia Dweck

Hi guys!
Welcome back to another week here at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers...the place where reviews are written while often listening to Pandora and shared with a smile in my heart.

Today, we're exploring an upcoming ebook release from a Children's author we've featured here a few times over.  This time around,  she's letting things go to the cats, or rather one particular kitten whose coat is a peculiarly pretty shade of...blue.  Ready to read all about it?  Today's ebook of choice is...


by
Illustrated by

The tale begins with a little girl named Mandy on a special mission.  She's at the pound and ready to bring one lucky little fur baby with her to their new forever home; a happy feeling indeed.  However....the kitty chosen is no ordinary cat.  No really!  When the newly named Blucy feels happy, sad, mad, or in-between, her fur changes color to match her mood,  leading to a blue tinged adventure filled with mischief, exploration and finally understanding as two hearts from different worlds come together to form a bond of love that will only grow.

Known for her talent in rhyming tales for little ones, author Julia Dweck hits the nail on the head once again with Blucy.  The rhymes are spot on and though the combinations at times are surprising, (but in a good way) it allows the story to come across loud and clear.  Let us not forget the amazing illustrations!  The color palette is rich, the blues varied as need be to fit the events transpiring, and the texture will make you want to stroke Blucy's fur right on the e-page.  You'll get lost with Blucy as she hides among the forget-me-nots, shake off the pool water when she dives in for an impromptu swim, and gasp in mock horror (okay, somewhat mock) when she has an encounter with the curtains (which I don't truly think she intended, but still!), all on a quest to find a place where she truly belongs.  Little does she know it, it's closer than she thinks....good girl, Mandy.

ARC ebook for review courtesy of author Julia Dweck.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title as well as her growing catalog of ebook wonders for readers of all ages, be sure to stop by her official site, like her on Facebook, or follow along on Twitter.  To discover the world of illustrator Erika LeBarre, click on over to her official site.  This title will be available for download beginning August 13th via Xist Publishing, however you can pre-order it now via this link for easy access on release day.  You can even plan a blue themed party to celebrate Blucy's arrival; how cool would THAT be?!


Until next time...happy reading!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

"X" Marks the Spot: SILVER by Andrew Motion - GIVEAWAY!

Hi guys!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers...the place where we like to get CRAZY sometimes and cut loose....bookishly of course!  ^_^


This marks the second post of the day and the post that will more than likely occupy Sunday's place as well.  Why did I force it into commission today?  Simple!  The date worked wonders with the posts intent.  How so?  Oh, you'll see.  If you frequent the site, you know I love nothing better (okay, well it's high on my list at the very least) than to tie a post into a major holiday, random celebrated event, or historical factoid.  Today's giveaway is no different.

Thanks to Danielle over at Crown, Broadway, and Hogarth, part of the Random House, Inc collection, we are joining the celebration for a title I reviewed once upon a time that is now in paperback form.  It was a grand adventure on the high seas and starred some of the characters many of you will remember from the novel that inspired it all.  Curious?  Here...a bit to appease that bookish appetite....



by

Almost forty years following the events of Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, Jim Hawkins and Long John Silver have seemingly put their maritime adventures to rest. Jim has settled on the English coast with his son Jim, and Silver has returned to rural England with his daughter Natty. While their escapades may have ended, for Jim and Natty the adventure is only just beginning.     
      One night, Natty approaches young Jim with a proposition: return to Treasure Island and find the remaining treasure that their fathers left behind. As they set sail in their fathers' footsteps, Jim and Natty cannot imagine what awaits them. Murderous pirates, long-held grudges, noxious greed, and wily deception lurk wickedly in the high seas, and disembarking onto Treasure Island only proves more perilous. Their search for buried treasure leaves every last wit tested and ounce of courage spent. And the adventure doesn't end there, since they still have to make their way home...




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Sound good?
Oh but it was!
In fact, for a closer look, feel free to check out my review as seen right here on the site several moons ago.




--- waits for you to click, read and return ---





Done?
Good.
Let's continue our adventure....


Robert Louis Stevenson
According to Wikipedia (which may not always be right, but at least tries fairly hard), July 20th (today's date....whoa!) was actually an obscure part of the novel when trying to pin down exactly when things played out.  Here's the excerpt....


Stevenson's map of Treasure Island includes the annotations Treasure Island Aug 1 1750 J.F. and Given by above J.F. to Mr W. Bones Maste of ye Walrus Savannah this twenty July 1754 W B. The first of these two dates is likely the date at which Flint left his treasure at the island; the second, just prior to Flint's death. As Flint is reliably reported to have died at least three years before the events of the novel (the length of time that Ben Gunn was marooned), it cannot take place earlier than 1757 and still be consistent with the map.



.....see?
It's actually penned on the TREASURE MAP in the original story!
How cool.
Well, even MORE so in a second....



Thanks to the generosity of the folks over at Random House, Inc, YOU now have the chance to win a copy of this novel to call your own!  To enter, we're going to take you on a little treasure hunt of your own.


Author Andrew Motion has many credits to his name between his works of literature, his poetic endeavors and the many roles/titles he's held through his life.  One thing in his biography I found curious was that he was "knighted for his services to literature".  Your golden doubloon for entry?  Tell me what YEAR this happened.


SUBMIT YOUR ANSWER along with your contact info via the form below and you're in it to win it!  Of course, if you desire extra entries, who am I to stop you?  ^_^  Entries accepted through midnight CST, July 27, 2013.  Open to US Residents only, no PO Boxes please.





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Special thanks to Danielle for the chance to host this contest.  (THANKS!) For more information on this title as well as their full catalog, be sure to stop by their official site, pin them on Pinterest, like them on Facebook, friend them on Google+, or follow along on Twitter.  This title was released in paperback this past May, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf near you.

Until next time....GOOD LUCK...and happy reading!



Not Stanley, nor Suzie, not even Betsy Joe. Simply....Bob by Simon Beck

Hi there!
Welcome back to the Saturday edition of Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers....where you can always count on the reading being fresh and the genres being varied; variety IS the spice of life after all.



Yesterday, we stepped into the Fiction field with a Women's Lit title that debuted over the pond originally but finally made its way to our shores.  Today, we're swimming back over the pond to feature another UK author that specializes in Children's Picture Books, both the writing and the illustrating.  Ambitious?  Maybe.  Worth checking out? Definitely!  Let's jump right in, shall we?  Today's book of choice is...


by
Simon Beck

Short title for an equally short story but full of sweet quirkiness and an obvious desire to have one little goldfish truly live out loud.

Meet Bob.  That's him.  Right there on the cover.  Cute, right?  Totally.  For such a basic illustration, he's pretty expressive too.  Lots of eye rolling and bubble "thoughts" but it just goes to show you that unending babble does not make a lead character endearing.  It's how much you feel for them, or in the case of picture books how much you feel a part of the story and trust me, you and the little ones in your life will be joining right along on this adventure.

This particular book serves as the official "meet and greet" with Bob before we check out the rest of his stories.  Here, we join his young ownere on a quest to provide Bob with the BEST living environment possible because hey, if you were in the same locale 24/7, you'd want something to look at, swim through, or entertain yourself with too!  We start with actual living quarters, travel the globe to Russia and finally settle somewhere around home with the help of dear old Mom, but through it all we discover what a great pal we have in Bob and how close we've become in such a short time.

Final thoughts....Bubble bubble BUBBLE bUbBlE!  Oh, sorry, I was speaking to Bob.  *ahem*  Highly recommended for the little ones as well as the childlike wonder in you.  There's really no age limit on Picture Books as long as you can appreciate beauty/fun in imagery and still have use of your imagination.  I know I do, how about you?  From this adventure we have titles that lead us to explore Bob's life during the holidays, Bob getting active, Bob making friends and Bob on vacation.  Who knew a little goldfish got around so much?  (^_^)  Suffice it to say that if you fall in love with Bob (as I surely have), there's lots of fun available in your reading future.

Review copy courtesy of author Simon Beck.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title as well as his growing number of works, be sure to stop by his official site, check out his 'About Me' page, or like him on Facebook.  To pick up a copy of Bob to call your own (or any of this other titles), stop by Lulu.com where they are currently available exclusively but can be shipped worldwide.


Oh, one last thing!  If you haven't had enough of Bob or simply want to experience it in an interactive way until your copy wings its way to you, check out "Bob: The Motion Picture" .  Two words...too cute.

Until next time....happy reading!






Friday, July 19, 2013

BLOG TOUR: Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe by Jenny Colgan - Review, Interview + Giveaway!

Hi guys!
Welcome back to the Friday edition of Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers...the place that offers a sweet treat every day of the week, just bookishly.  ^_^


So, we made it to the end of another week...woo-hoo!  In my neck of the woods, that's a feat right now. The job front is still proving a challenge, family wise is its usual roller coater of fun, and relationship side its....hey, wait a second.  If I just changed the locale to overseas and added a few colorful yet close friends, I'd be in today's story.  Huh.  Go figure.  ^_^  But seriously...today is National Raspberry Cake Day and it's time to celebrate!  How you ask?  Good question, considering this IS a book blog and all despite the cook decor.  Well my friends, it all plays into my grand scheme of things, I assure you, but first...

Today, we play host to a blog tour via Sourcebooks for a sweet title that looks like cotton candy fluff, reads like Bridget Jones and will fill your reading weekend with smiles, tears and guffaws.  Oh, and you'll definitely be jonesing for a cupcake or two.  Ready to meet today's guest?  Good!  The book of choice for today is...


by
ISBN:  9781402281808
Sourcebooks

About the book...
Issy Randall can bake. No, Issy can create stunning, mouthwateringly divine cakes. After a childhood spent in her beloved Grampa Joe's bakery, she has undoubtedly inherited his talent. She's much better at baking than she is a filing so when she's laid off from her desk job, Issy decides to open her own little café. But she soon learns that her piece-of-cake plan will take all of her courage and confectionary talent to avert disaster.
Funny and sharp, Meet Me at the Cupcake Café is about how life might not always taste like you expect, but there's always room for dessert!



Like the "about" says...it's a story about what happens when life is, well...life and reminds us that it;s what we do with the changes, twists and turns in the end that really matters.  Well, that and good friends, family, and a satisfyingly delicious piece of cake every now and then.  Aww, yes; a recipe for success indeed.

When we meet Issy, she's just like many of us...30+ years old, trying to find the silver lining in a life that's not quite measuring up to all we really want it to be and knowing that despite the possibility of gold at the end of our current rainbow, we really wish for something more.  Enter in a business shake up, a relationship wake up and a chance to chase a dream she didn't even know she had and you've got the ground work laid for a story that will keep many on their toes...but that's not even the half of it.  You see, it's not simply about the path her life is currently on or that which it turns into, but also about the relationships in her life for better or worse.

There's Graeme, the arse that is more metro than man and can't keep his head out of his bum long enough to see what's in front of him.  Yep, I said it....and yet like many a love blinded heart, Issy falls again and again for him.  Will this last time stick or will she finally stick it to HIM?  You'll have to read it to find out, but expect a few fireworks one way or the other.  Then we have Austin...her investment banker/loan officer/big brother extraordinare/potential love interest if they could simply communicate gosh darn it but words seem to fail this determined pair time after time.  Don't go looking for a sweet romantic comedy here folks....though there are aspects of it, it's not the point so any love story type angle plays second fiddle to all else....but it's so sweet regardless.  ^_^  Since we're on the male character train right now, on the other end of the spectrum is Issy's Gramps.  He is a sweet gentleman indeed but alas caught in the clutches of time so he has his good days and his bad, providing for many sweet moments and a few sad.  *sigh* Oh life, you are a cruel mistress sometimes.  Still on the male spectrum (what?  You didn't think there would be yet more male influences in a story pink as cotton candy and filled with cupcake delight?  Think again...), we have Ben, sometimes father sometimes "ghost", Doti the interested mailman, the ironmonger next door, the...well, the list continues but I'll sum it up by saying don't discount the lads in this one.  Everyone introduced is worth a nod...or a scowl.  (hehe)  Moving forward....

The ladies are definitely a large group in this read as well and all worth their weight in salt, sugar, flour or eggs.  Issy, our leading lady, is a wonderful character and as you get to know her, you appreciate her quirks, ideals, and open heart to boot.  Helena, her besty and one hey of a nurse, provides the tough love Issy needs at times as well as the ribbing that only a close friend can truly provide.  They made a great pair whether joshing each other about their new love interest or coming to words over who's actually putting in the time for the other with life banging at their door.  Let's see, then we've got Pearl (with her sweet lad Louis) who is the spicy addition they needed to kick things into gear, Caroline, whom we never saw coming, even Jane, Austin's assistant, is a person worth notice and someone who plays a role in the story that helps it spin the proper way.  Like I said, nary a character to ignore and a point worth celebrating on behalf of the author.

So, if I had to sum things up, which I sorely don't wish to but must for fear of losing everyone to the rapidly growing length of my post (which you actually love, right?  *ahem*), this is a great read for fans of Women's Fiction who don't mind taking life by the hand...as long as the other can have a cupcake of choice and good company.  A wonderful addition to any weekend reading list and one that will also add to your shopping list because of the fab recipes included along the way.  That's right!  You can bake along with Issy and make your own batch of 'Best Ever Birthday Cake' or 'Orange Cupcakes with Marmalade Icing for a Grumpy Day'.  If the titles alone don't make you smile, the taste of baked good heaven passing your lips should do the trip.

Now, speaking of cakes, sweet treats and surprises, guess what?  I had the chance to pose a few questions to our esteemed author and the results are yours to devour....including a recipe!  Ready to meet our guest?  Here we go.  Join me in a BIG SFIR welcome to author Jenny Colgan!



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Interview:  Author Jenny Colgan


It's National Raspberry Cake Day in the US....exciting right?  ^_^  Have you ever had raspberry cake?  Think Issy could whip us up one?


Jenny: OOOH I love raspberries! Cor, yes she totally could. Here is a lovely and very easy Scottish (I’m Scottish) recipe called cranachan, which we had at our wedding.

Cranachan
Lightly toast 2 tspns of oatmeal (lightly, it burns really fast)
Mix in with one and a half cups heavy cream
2 cups raspberries
2 tspns honey
2 or 3 teaspoons whisky to taste (cough- I am Scottish).

Mix, and chill for one hour. Serve in shot glasses.




For my readers with a short attention span either by choice or by schedule (hey, life gets busy...I hear you!), DESCRIBE YOUR BOOK IN TEN WORDS....


Jenny: A funny, romantic, cinnamon- scented romp about following your heart.



According to your book, Issy believes any day can be made better by pastry.  A shared belief of yours?  If so, what's your "go to" baked good of choice and why?


Jenny: I find a pain au chocolat concentrates the mind wonderfully well.



Your biography shares that you're not the most talented in the kitchen.  *ahem* No worries, I tend to burn a lot of stuff too.  With that in mind though, why choose cooking as a central point for your story?


Jenny: Haha no I was absolutely awful. But then I had children and I really really wanted to cook for them. So I had to learn. I made every mistake you can possibly make, but I promise, I really am getting better all the time! So the books trace my learning curve really, although my heroines are really talented, whereas I am perhaps best described as enthusiastic.



If you could be crowned MASTER BAKER OF ...fill in the blank.... what would you fill in the blank with and why?


Jenny: Oh do you know what I’d love to be able to do? Those insane wedding cakes with the sugar roses. I can make a decent fruit cake, but I’m like a muppet when it comes to making neat icing and artistic designs. So, that.










Quid pro quo....
...favorite color?
Jenny: YELLOW. Alas, it does not suit me.


...favorite book of the moment?
Jenny: Life after Life by Kate Atkinson


...favorite past time other than reading or writing?
Jenny:  playing the piano really really badly and making stupid jokes on twitter (I’m @jennycolgan)


...if you weren't a writer, what would you be?
Jenny: a Doctor Who companion


...my advice to future writers out there...
Jenny: Get the words down. It doesn’t matter if they aren’t any good or in the wrong order; once you’ve got 80,000 of them down on paper, then the work starts and you can sort ‘em all out. Everything else you learned at primary school. So… what’s stopping you?




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About the author...

A former columnist for The Guardian, Jenny Colgan contributes regularly to national BBC radio and is the bestselling author of more than eleven novels, including Welcome To Rosie Hopkins’ Sweetshop of Dreams, which won the 2013 Romantic Novel of the Year award from the Romantic Novelists Association, and The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris, both international bestsellers. She is married with three children and lives in London and France. For more information, please visit http://www.jennycolgan.com/, follow her on Twitter, @JennyColgan, and Like her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jennycolganbooks.


Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe now available at these retailers....Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Indiebound, Chapters/Indigo...and on a bookstore shelf near you.





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How's THAT for a tasty treat?  Pretty good, right?  I thought you might agree.  Well, I've got an EXTRA SURPRISE for you, consider it the icing on the cake.  ^_^  How would you like a chance to win a copy of this book to call your own?  All you have to do is fill out the form below and spread the word and you're in it to win it.  Ready?  Set?  GO!
(Open to US residents only, no PO Boxes please. Entries accepted through midnight 07/26/13.)





ARC for review courtesy of Danielle at Sourcebooks.  (THANKS!)  Fore more information about this title as well as their full catalog, be sure to stop by their official site, like them on Facebook, or follow along on Twitter.  To discover more of Ms. Colgan's works, check her out online.  She's a slew of works already out in the UK with several planned to debut stateside in the near future.  In the mean time, this title is available now so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf near you.  

Until next time...GOOD LUCK...and happy reading!




Are you an avid reader looking for your next "fix"? Can't bear to be without some form of reading material in your spare time? Welcome to my world! Whether you are seeking a new book to "feed your need", or you are an author seeking an unbiased point of view on your own recent masterpiece, this is the place to be. With life as with books, you never know where the next step might take you...
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