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I thought you guys might be interested to know what upcoming reviews you could see, so I’ll start to show you at the end of every week the books I got in the mail.  This week it was:

Straight from the Horse’s Heart by R.T. Fitch
Girls Inc. Presents: You’re Amazing! by Claire Mysko

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Quilter’s Kitchen by Jennifer Chiverini
Savvy Girl by Lynn Messina

From now until February 15 the first Ranger’s Apprentice book, The Ruins of Gorlan, is available for anybody to read for free!  How amazing is that?!?  This is an awesome series, I love it, and I would reccomend it to everybody!  So head on over to the Ranger’s Apprentice free e-book and read it!

Author: Dorothy Hearst

Review:

Promise of the Wolves
by Dororthy Hearst is mainly about a young wolf named Kaala and her struggle at becoming pack.  The rest of her littermates are killed and she is left alone to convince the wolf leader Ruuqo that she is worthy to be a part of his pack.

I didn’t really like Promise of the Wolves.  I felt that it moved to slowly and that I had read it all before.  Something I did like about it was all of the wolves had a different personality that you could instantly recognize.  All the author had to do was describe the wolf, and you would know which one she was talking about.

Being Written by William ConescuWith the holidays I did not have an author interview for the month of December, but here is one for January!  This month’s author is William Conescu author of Being Written (www.williamconescu.com).  If you have an author you would like to see interviewed, or if you have a question you think I should ask, e-mail me at penguinqueen@hotmail.com

Where did you get the amazing idea for Being Written?
I thought this would be a fun story to write and to read.  It’s actually a combination of two ideas.  First, I was interested in writing about artistically-minded people in their 20s and 30s struggling to figure out how best to live their lives.  And I also had this playful idea about a man who has made the disheartening discovery that he’s only a minor character in the imagination of an author.  Daniel’s basically the literary equivalent of an extra in a movie.  He fills out crowd scenes in other people’s books.  But he wants to be something more.

 

So I combined the two ideas:  Daniel hears a story being written about these artsy 20/30-something-year-olds, and he works his way into their lives and their story, and ultimately he hijacks their book.

 

 
What are you currently reading?
I’m reading another first novel from Harper Perennial:  CAPTAIN FREEDOM by G. Xavier Robillard.  It’s hilarious.

 

 
What is one book that you wish you could have written?
Hmm… Maybe DESPAIR by Vladimir Nabokov. 

 

Have you ever tried to write anything other than books (i.e. poems, songs, etc.)?
Well, I’ve written fiction of various lengths.  Does that count?  And I’m curious about scriptwriting.

Do you think it’s important for an author to write every day?  Why or why not?
I don’t think there’s a magic schedule that works for everyone.  But if you’re committed to writing something, I think it’s helpful to set goals for yourself and to schedule time to write.

 

 
Have you ever met any famous authors?  If so, who was your favorite?
Oh, I’ve met many terrific authors.  I couldn’t begin to name a favorite.  And I’m looking forward to meeting others when I’m at the SC Book Festival, February 27 – March 1, 2009.  (
http://www.scbookfestival.org/)

 

 

Do you have any advice for people who would like to be an author?
Revise, revise, revise.  Be receptive to constructive criticism, and think of revision as a creative process, not something limited to moving commas and changing the occasional word.  Also, if you want to learn more about the writing process, there are lots of great books out there.  One of my favorites is Anne Lamott’s BIRD BY BIRD.

 

What do you think of penguins taking over the world?
Fantastic!  I think they’d make it a priority to address global warming, don’ t you?

I am posting contest information in a new way.  If you will look to the right of my blog under pages you will see a link that says Contests.  From now on I will be posting all contests on that page.  Check back often, there will be lots of contests!

Well look no further!  Henry over at Self-Publishing Review has compiled a list of blogs that review self-published books.  Some of these blogs also review non-self-published books, so maybe you’ll find another really cool book review blog!  Just head on over to http://selfpublishingreview.com/2008/12/27/self-publishing-review-blogs/ and check out the list!  Henry is also looking for more people to review self-published books, so if you’d like to give reviewing books a shot, or you already do, then consider writing reviews for this site!  There are a few requirements for the reviews, they must be over 350 words, and they can’t be identical to another review that you have written.  And don’t forget to browse the rest of the site while your there!

  Ok, so I know it has been forever since I’ve been on here and I apolagize for that.  With the holidays, English papers, the flu, etc. things have been a little crazy, but I’m coming back (oficially) with a bang!  There shouldn’t be anymore prolonged abscences from me (at least I hope not, sometimes things are out of your control).  So without further ado, I present to you, reviews!

  Author: Claudia Chandler (http://claudiascustomcreations.com/)

Review:

  Ralphina, the Roly-Poly by Claudia Chandler is a wonderful children’s book.  Children will learn many facts about Roly-Polies as they read this book.  Children will also learn about the power of friendship.  Claudia Chandler, as well as being the author, is also the illustrator of this book.  She has filled this book with wonderful, colorful pictures that will catch the eyes of little ones everywhere.  This book should be available for all pre-schoolers and early readers to enjoy.

Author:  J Lou McCartney

Review:

  De Marco Empire by J Lou McCartney, set in London, England, is a book filled with drama, love, malice, corrumption, and many other exciting things.  Katie Saunders and Lucy Carmichael get jobs at the hottest new club, Club La Pregheira.  Little do they know that working at there will change their lives.  The owners of the club, the de Marco brothers, live a life of crime, and soon, Katie and Lucy are entangled in their events.
  I found this book exciting, but not really very appropriate for me.  There was some language and some suggestive content that I did not feel entirely comfortable with reading.  Other than that, I found this to be a good book and I wish this author all the best!

 

Author:  Tim ‘Dr. Hope’ Anders (www.thestrengthofasparrow.com)


Review:

  The Strength of a Sparrow by Tim ‘Dr. Hope’ Anders is based on the true story of his mother and father.  Bouvette Sherwood, a successful producer and actress of New York Broadway, meets Hughie Hewitt, a Catholic priest.  The two soon fall madly in love.  There is just one problem though, Hughie, due to him being a Catholic priest, is unable to marry and start a family.  Will Huighie and Bouvette be able to work things out?
  This is a wonderful book.  I enjoyed it immensly.  The true story of the author’s parents pulls you in and makes you wonder what will happen next.  This book is inspiring, it sends the message that you should never give up on what you want the most.  Included in the back of this book are pictures of his mother and father.  The pictures really help you connect with the story.

 

  I have two reviews for you!  Yes, two!  Since I’ve been so busy and haven’t had time to get on and post reviews for you guys, I though I owed y’all more than just one, and I only have time for two, but I promise to try and get on again tomorrow and post two more!  So here we go, I hope you enjoy them!

CAUTION: ONE OF MORE OF THESE REVIEWS MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!

Reforming the Potter’s Clay review

 

Once again it’s another book about the common discussion in many households across America, should we allow our children to read Harry Potter or should we keep it away from them?  In Reforming the Potter’s Clay by Donald James Parker, the Morales family is divided.  There are two positive votes for Harry Potter and one against it.  Much to EJ and Pedro’s, the two kids of the family, dismay, only Sal’s, the father, vote counts.  Sal is afraid that Harry Potter will teach his two children bad things.  What will the Morales family decide?  You’ll have to read the book for yourself!
  I never really got into this book.  The Morales family decides that Harry Potter is bad.  I really enjoy the Harry Potter books, and as a reader, it’s frusturating to me to see all the books that only mention the bad about Harry Potter.  I find nothing wrong with the Harry Potter books, but sorry, this isn’t about me and my rant on that.  If your divided about the Harry Potter books, then you  may want to read this book, but just remember, you may want to inform yourself about the GOOD points in Harry Potter, before you make a definate decision!

The Bulldog Compact review

  In Madison, South Dakota, the Bulldogs always produce a losing basketball team.  Bambi decides that he is going to change that.  He puts together a contract which he names, The Bulldog Contract.  Bambi gives this contract to everybody on the 8th grade basketball team and encourages everybody to sign it.  ONce they sign it though, they have to commit to conditioning themselves for their highschool years so that they can win the State Championship!  This book is full of hard work, determination, and great spirit!  The Bulldog Compact by Donald James Parker is a good book for everyone!
  This book is well written and it gives great examples of hard work, determination, and great spirit, something we all need more of!  Whether you need more confidence, or your just looking for a good read, this is the book for you!

 

To learn more about Donald James Parker and his books visit his website at www.DonaldJamesParker.com!

Author: Joshua Doder

Review:

Tim and his dog Grk leave their home in London, England to go on a holiday in New York City with his friends Natascha and Max.  They visit the Empire State Building, ride the Staten Island Ferry, and view the Golden Dachshund statue at the National Museum.  Then, the billion-dollar statue disappears, and the police need help.  Max goes down to the station to tell the police everything he knows, but Tim soon discovers that Max is giving the police false information.  Tim decides that it’s up to him to find the criminal, problem is, the only clue they have is a trail of hot dogs.

I found Grk and the Hot Dog Trail very amusing.  Even though it’s a book meant for little kids, I greatly enjoyed it.  Joushua Doder is coming out with another Grk book in January 2009, Grk: Operation Tortoise.  I hope I have the chance to read it.

Overall I would give it 5 stars.

  As long as I have books to review I will try and post reviews on Mondays and Thursdays from now on.  I was just doing Tuesdays, but I think that this will be better.  Enjoy!

Author: Carole Boston Weatherford

Review:

Becoming Billie Holiday
is a collection of poems written by Carole Boston Weatherford.  Eleanora Holiday, who later changed her name to Billie after her favorite actress Billie Dove, had a hard life growing up.  Her mother was never there for very long, and her father only came to see her a couple times, and he never stayed long.  She was often left in the care of her mother’s friends or relatives.  When she was around 11-years-old she played hooky from school and got into trouble with the authorities.  She was sent to live one year at the House of the Good Shepherd for Colored Girls.  As she grew older she learned that she had a voice made for singing.  She sang at many clubs and tried to work her way up in life.  After many hardships, she became one of the most famous jazz singers!

This book was amazing!  I found it very informing about Bille Holiday’s life.  I didn’t think that it would be a very good book, but boy was I wrong.  The illustrations were really good; they really brought the poems to life.  This will be a book that I will go back and read several times over.

Overall I would give it 5 stars!