Monday, December 21, 2009

Emeralds & Espionage by Lynn Gardner

Title: Emeralds & Espionage
Author: Lynn Gardner
Reviewer: Karen
Genre: Mystery/LDS Fiction
Rating: Fabulous
Alerts/Warnings: Some violence related to international espionage
Premise: Allison Alexander, home in California on a brief vacation from her work at the United Nations, is shot at and pursued by mysterious intruders who have taken over the estate on which she and her mother have lives as caretakers since Allison was a child. Thus beings a terror-filled week during which she discovers that nearly everyone she loves is involved in some way with an international espionage ring--but are they the good guys or the bad guys? Is Bart, the man she has loved since they played together as children, a secret government agent--or does he answer to an underworld crime boss? If she doesn't go along with his unbelievable scheme, will it cost them their lives? Does he really love her, or is he just using her?
Opinions: Emerald & Espionage is the first in a series of mystery novels written by author Lynn Gardner that focuses around United Nations interpreter Allison Alexander, and all of them are focused around jewels and international intrigue. This was the second time I have read this book, and I enjoyed it so much that I could not put it down...finishing it in under a day. I LOVE books with strong female characters who do not wait for a man to save the day. Allison is a brilliant, intelligent character, plagued by fears of past abandonment having to deal with family and friends that suddenly return into her life after years of absence. Allison has to deal with the turmoil of emotions that arise as a result, the whole time that she is dodging bullets, saving a pair of royal hostages, traveling across the world in order to save loved ones and to find out the truth about herself and her family. This book is an amazing read that will keep you on the edge of your seat all the way to the end and on to the remainder of the series. Please, please read this book.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Moon--Spinners by Mary Stewart

Title: The Moon-Spinners
Author: Mary Stewart
Reviewer: Karen
Genre: Mystery/Romance
Rating: Love
Alerts/Warnings: None
Premise: The Greek isle of Crete is the setting for the final sale of a fortune in stolen emeralds by a ruthless, desperate thief. However, two youthful sleuths, an English girl on holiday with her aunt and a young man wrongly accused of the crime, set out to expose the criminal, and are drawn into a death-defying adventure. (Provo Library)
Opinions: This was the first book that I read by Mary Stewart for an English class back in junior high. I was immediately hooked on her ability to spin a good tale of mystery with a hint of romance in it. Nicola Ferris, a junior secretary at the British Embassy in Athens, arrives in the Cretan village of Agios Gerogios a day early to spend her Easter vacation. As her aunt isn't expected to arrive for another day, this impetuous young woman decides to stow her luggage in a nearby ravine and enjoy a day of exploring the mountains of Crete. While enjoying a brief respite at a nearby water source Nicola finds herself ambushed by a Greek man, Lambis, who threatens her life. She soon discovers that Lambis is only protecting Mark Langley, another English tourist, who has been wounded when he and his brother Colin, stumbled upon a murder. Mark was shot and Colin kidnapped. After helping Mark survive through another restless night while Lambis returns to their boat for medical supplies and food, Nicola attempts to do as the men wish and return to the village and her vacation as if nothing ever happened. Unfortunately, Nicola finds herself thrust deeper into the mystery and right into the unsuspecting hands of the murderers themselves.

Written in 1962 it is a wonderful story that shows the strength and Independence of a woman even when thrown into unsuspecting circumstances. I love that Nicola will not willingly standby to let an injustice occur, nor leave someone wounded without leaping into help, this story reminds me in many ways of the tale of the Good Samaritan from the bible (the story actually makes several references to the same affect). Though not severely deep or maybe book club worthy, this book is a great tale of mystery and the strength of the individual, and an overall blast to read.

On a side note, I know that a few years after this book's release, Disney made this book into a movie staring Hayley Mills which is a fun movie, but definitely does not do justice to this book and changes a good portion of the characterization and story line. So if you have to choose one, definitely read the book rather than see the movie.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Giveaway Ends

Our Fabulous Giveaway has ended! Thanks to all who entered. I know you just want to know who won. So, the winner is........

who said "I love playing the piano, but I've always wanted to play the flute."

Congratulations Emily!!

We only have one winner this time, so the other book will be given away at a later time. Check back to find out which one you still have a chance to win. Cause I'm not telling you yet! :) We also have a couple more signed books for giveaways next year, and let me tell you. They are AWESOME!!!

Have a Fabulous Holiday Season and we wish you FabulousReading!

Stephanie and Karen

Friday, December 11, 2009

This Rough Magic by Mary Stewart

Go here to enter our Fabulous Giveaway!

Title: This Rough Magic
Author: Mary Stewart
Reviewer: Karen
Genre: Mystery
Rating: Fabulous
Alerts/Warnings: None
Premise: British actress Lucy Waring believes there is no finer place to be "at liberty" than the sun-drenched isle of Corfu, the alleged locale for Shakespeare's The Tempest. Even the suspicious actions of the handsome, arrogant son of a famous actor cannot dampen her enthusiasm for this wonderland in the Ionian Sea. (King County Library System)
Opinions: Originally written in 1964, this is book is one of my all-time favorite books (and definitely my all-time favorite Mary Stewart book). I started reading Mary Stewart novels when I was a teenager and loved books with mystery, strong female characters, and a touch of romance. This book has all of those aspects as well as a fantastic locale (the Greek isle of Corfu), history, and even a dolphin.

Lucy Waring decides to take a break, after the play she was staring in folds, to visit her pregnant sister at her villa on the Isle of Corfu in Greece. Hoping for a few weeks of relaxing vacation to recover from her disappointment at the plays short run, Lucy instead finds herself immersed into a mystery as the Corfoite family that works for her sister is informed of the death of their son and brother, Spiro, who was accidentally thrown overboard while on a sailing trip with Godfrey Manning (the photographer that he is working for) during a midnight photography trip. Things quickly spiral out of control as Lucy finds herself being shot at by a silenced rifle while swimming with a dolphin in the Villa's private bay, and then later discovers another body washed ashore nearby. Lucy has to decide who she can trust, and as she takes matters into her own hands to help solve the occurrences that turn her restful vacation into a nightmare.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Great and Only Barnum by Candace Fleming

Our Fabulous Giveaway is half over. Go here for all the ways to enter.

Title: The Great and Only Barnum: The Tremendous, Stupendous Life of Showman P.T. Barnum
Author: Candace Fleming
Reviewer: Stephanie
Genre: Biography
Rating: Love
Alerts/Warnings: None
Premise: Biography of P.T. Barnum, showman and founder of the Barnum & Bailey Circus. Readers can visit Barnum's American Museum; meet Tom Thumb, the miniature man (only 39 in. tall) and his tinier bride (32 in.); experience the thrill Barnum must have felt when, at age 60, he joined the circus; and discover Barnum's legacy. (King County Library System)

Opinions: Okay, so I admit that I am not a huge fan of non-fiction. Mostly I enjoy fiction. However, I came across this book when looking at the current Newbery canidates and thought I would give it a try. I'm so glad that I did! P.T. Barnum led a fascinating life full of curiosity and fun. He was not above stretching the truth and pulling pranks. He learned at a young age that everyone enjoyed a good prank and didn't mind being on the receiving end of the prank. I loved this book for it's quick pace and interesting facts. I didn't want to put it down. I loved reading about Tom Thumb, the Feejee Mermaid and Jumbo. Barnum was surrounded by the most fascinating people and Candace Fleming allows us as a reader to enter this world for a brief moment with photos and beautiful writing.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan

Our giveaway is half over! Go here for all the ways to enter!

Title: Esperanza Rising
Author: Pam Munoz Ryan
Reviewer: Stephanie
Genre: Historical Fiction
Rating: Love
Alerts/Warnings: None
Premise: Esperanza and her mother are forced to leave their life of wealth and privilege in Mexico to go work in the labor camps of Southern California, where they must adapt to the harsh circumstances facing Mexican farm workers on the eve of the Great Depression. (King County Library System)

Opinions: Esperanza had a cushy life full of beauty, privledge and love. Yet when several unexpected events happen she ends up having to leave her beautiful and privledged life in Mexico behind for a chance to maintain the love in her life with her mother. So they go to California where Esperanza now has to work for the first time in her life. She learns menial tasks that were beneath her in Mexico. As Esperanza rises like a phoenix out of the ashes of her old life she becomes stronger and a better person.

I love this book. It is beautifully written. The prose is moving and the characters are very well developed. The symbolism throughout the book was moving and powerful. I love the way the story is divided into fruit and vegetable seasons instead of chapters. Not only do you have a beautifully organic feel to the book, you have a connection to the characters and the location. Added bonus you get a true feel for what it would have been like for the workers during the Great Depression.

This is a fabulous book and I hope you love it as much as I do each time I read it.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A Crooked Kind of Perfect by Linda Urban

Have you entered our Giveaway yet? You haven't? Well, go here for all the ways to do so.

Title: A Crooked Kind of Perfect
Author: Linda Urban
Reviewer: Stephanie
Genre: YA Fiction
Rating: Love
Alerts/Warnings: none
Premise: Ten-year-old Zoe Elias, who longs to play the piano but must resign herself to learning the organ, instead, finds that her musicianship has a positive impact on her workaholic mother, her jittery father, and her school social life. (King County Library System)
Opinions: Okay, I admit it. I picked up this book to read because of the cover. (So embarrassed I judged a book by it's cover.) HOWEVER, I am deeply in love with this book. Zoe has dreams or performing the piano in Carnagie Hall, but reality sets in when her father gets her an organ instead of a piano. Everything in Zoe's life is just slightly crooked from where she wants it to be, but she grows to learn that perfection is sometimes better when it is slightly crooked. (Okay, I stole that last little blip from the book jacket, but it was just so well worded and I haven't had a lot of sleep this week.)

This book is a quick read and highly entertaining with a beautiful message. It was on my list of books that I thought should have/could have one a Newbery but didn't. This is a must read in my opinions. (And hey that's what I'm giving today.)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith

Don't forget to enter our Giveaway to win this or another book. And if more than 25 different people enter we will give away BOTH FabulousReads.

Title: No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency
Author: Alexander McCall Smith
Reviewer: Stephanie
Genre: Mystery
Rating: Adore
Alerts/Warnings: Some sexual content and violence
Premise: This first novel in Alexander McCall Smith's widely acclaimed The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series tells the story of the delightfully cunning and enormously engaging sleuth Precious Ramotswe, who goes against tradition and starts her own detective agency business - drawn to her profession to "help people with the problems in their lives."
Immediately upon setting up shop in contemporary Botswana, in a small storefront in Gaborone, she is in the thick of several perplexing cases. Hired to track down a missing husband, uncover a con man, and follow a wayward daughter, the case that tugs at her heart, and lands her in danger, is that of a missing eleven-year-old boy, who may have been snatched by witch doctors. (King County Library System)
Opinions: This book was really popular when it first came out. I was working in a bookstore and we had a hard time keeping it on the shelves. We would sell out so quickly. Finally I decided to read it and see what I thought about it. Well, it was not at all what I expected and much better than I had hoped. First off, I have only read the first book in this series. The other books are on my too read list (which is quite long) and someday I will get to them. So I am ONLY reviewing the first book.

Precious Ramotswe is one of the most engaging and realistically bold characters I have ever read. She is straight forward and realistic. She goes through a bunch of not so hot stuff (see alerts) but comes through it with a better understanding of human kind. This book not only has this bold and beautiful character, but it also gives you a look into the country of Botswana. This mix of character and location makes this book a gem to read.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tis the Season to Give

So we are doing our last Fabulous Giveaway this year. Not only are we giving away a FabulousRead, we are giving you a choice between TWO FabulousReads! (I know!)

The contest starts now and goes until Midnight PST December 14th. Then I will assign each entry a number and using a random number generator will select the winner.

Here's the caveat. If more than 25 different people (not entries but people) enter our contest we will give away both books!

So I bet you are wondering what the books are.

No. 1 Ladies Dectective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith



A Crooked Kind of Perfect by Linda Urban

Ways to Enter:

1. Leave a comment on this or any other post until the 14th telling us the instument you wish you could play or your favorite instrument. (1 entry)
2. Follow our blog (3 entries)
3. Post a link to our blog on your blog. Please leave a link to your blog (5 entries)
4. Blog about our blog or giveaway on your blog. Again please leave a link (10 entries)
5. Write a review for us. (5 entries per review) There is no limit to the number of reviews you write for us. Please use our format. (Below) Email us your reviews at Also if you would like us to link to your blog, please give us your blog address.

If you are under the age or 18 you must have a parent or legal guardian give consent if you win.
We have also in the past have had people have problems with our comment section. If you have a problem, you can email us your entry at

Reviews for these books will be up in the next day or two. If we get more than 25 people entered the first person will get to choose their desired book and the second winner will get the other book. But both of these are such FabulousReads we hope this is amenable to all. Good Luck all!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Top 100 Favorite Books

In honor of our 100th blog post, Stephanie and I have created a combined list of 100 of our favorite books (in alphabetical order). Since there are several series that we liked we included the series name in parentheses, but only listed the first book in the series. So if you see parentheses, then we highly recommend that you read the entire series by that author.

Also, in case you hadn't noticed, we decided to update the look of our blog. Plus we added a search button on the side for you to search our blog. Let us know what you think.

We have already posted reviews for several of the books on our list in the past. For those books we have included the link to our reviews. If we haven't written a review for a book on this list yet, we will strive to accomplish that over the next year. Please take time to check out this list and hopefully we can add a few of our favorites to your personal favorite list. Happy Reading!!!

A Crooked Kind of Perfect by Linda Urban
A Door in the Woods (The Jimmy Fincher saga) by James Dashner
A Girl Who Could Fly by Victoria Forester
A Thousand Never Evers by Shana Burg
A Woman's Place: A Novel by Lynn Austin
Airhead (Airhead series) by Meg Cabot
Airs Above the Ground by Mary Stewart
Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko
Amaranth Enchantment by Julie Barry
Among the Hidden (Shadow Children series) by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale
Born to Fly by Michael Ferrari
Boy (and "Going Solo") by Roald Dahl
Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis
Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink
Christy by Catherine Marshall
Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Dave at Night by Gail Carson Levine
Dragon Slippers (Dragon series) by Jessica Day George
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
Emeralds and Espionage (Jewel series) by Lynn Gardner
Enthusiasm by Polly Shulman
Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan
Eye of the World (Wheel of Time series) by Robert Jordan
Fablehaven (Fablehaven series) by Brandon Mull
Fearless Pregnancy: Wisdom and Reassurance from a Doctor, a Midwife and a Mom by Victoria Clayton
Five People You Meet in Heaven Mitch Albom
Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanan
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Frindle by Andrew Clements
Guilt-Free Motherhood: How to Raise Kids and Have Fun Doing It by Joni Hilton
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter series) by J.K. Rowling
Hattie Big Sky by Kerby Larsen
Holes by Louis Sachar
Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter
Invitation to the Game by Monica Hughes
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Journal of Curious Letters (13th Reality series) by James Dashner
Just Take My Heart: A Novel by Mary Higgins Clark
Lee Pike Ridge by N.D. Wilson
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Magyk (Septimus Heap series) by Angie Sage
Matilda by Roald Dahl
Midnight for Charlie Bone (Children of the Red King series) by Jenny Nimmo
My Brother Michael by Mary Stewart
My Fair Godmother by Janette Rallison
Penny From Heaven by Jennifer Holm
Peter & The Starcatchers (Starcatchers series) Dave Barry
Prada and Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Princess Academy by Shannon Hale
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
Savvy by Ingrid Law
Secret of the Sirens (The Quartet Companion series) by Julia Golding
Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George
Tale of Desperaux by Kate DiCamillo
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
The Beekeeper's Apprentice (Mary Russell series) by Laurie R. King
The Beggar King and the Secret of Happiness: A True Story by Joel Ben Izzy
The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley
The Bonemender (Bonemender series) by Holly Bennett
The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
The Bridesmaid by Hailey Abbott
The Brooklyn Nine by Alan Gratz
The Candy Shop Wars by Brandon Mull
The Chosen by Chiam Potok
The Fairy-Tale Detectives (The Sisters Grimm series) by Michael Buckley
The Farwalker's Quest by Joni Sensel
The Giver by Lois Lowry
The Gollywhopper Games by Jody Feldman
The Goose Girl (The Books of Bayern series) by Shannon Hale
The Hobbit: Or There and Back Again (Hobbit/Lord of the Rings series) by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Hollow Kingdom (The Hollow Kingdom Triology) by Clare B. Dunkle
The Hound of the Baskervilles (Sherlock Holmes series) by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Hunger Games (Hunger Games Trilogy) by Suzanne Collins
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznik
The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians series) by Rick Riordan
The Loud Silence of Francine Green by Karen Cushman
The Maze of Bones (39 Clues series written by various authors) by Rick Riordan
The Moonspinners by Mary Stewart
The Mysterious Benedict Society (The Mysterious Benedict Society series) by Trenton Lee Stewart
The President's Lady: A Novel about Rachel and Andrew Jackson by Irving Stone
The Princess and the Hound by Mette Ivie Harrison
The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy
The Squire's Tale (The Squire's Tales series) by Gerald Morris
The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
The Wishing Moon by Michael O. Tunnell
There's A Boy in the Girls' Bathroom by Louis Sachar
Things Not Seen (Things series) by Andrew Clements
This Rough Magic by Mary Stewart
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Uglies (Uglies series) by Scott Westerfeld
Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
Water Keep (Farworld series) by J. Scott Savage
While My Pretty One Sleeps by Mary Higgins Clark
Wings (Wings series) by Aprilynne Pike
Wren to the Rescue (Wren series) by Sherwood Smith

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan

Title: The Eye of the World (Wheel of Time Series)
Author: Robert Jordan
Reviewer: Karen
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: Love
Alerts/Warnings: Violence
Premise: In the Third Age, an age of prophecy when the world and time themselves hang in the balance, the Dark One, imprisoned by the Creator, is stirring in Shayol Ghul. (King County Library System)
Opinions: My husband introduced me to the Wheel of Time series as soon as we were married as we took turns reading allowed to each other. There is so much to discuss about this book and its series that is daunting to try and sum it up into one or two paragraphs. The books may at first seem daunting, but once you become immersed in their world, it is hard to not want to know more. I was fascinated by Robert Jordan's world and characters - especially his strong female characters such as Moiraine the Aes Sedai who seeks out Rand al'Thor and his friends to determine if one of them might be the Dragon Reborn. I also enjoyed Egwene, the innkeeper's daughter, and Nynaeve, the village Wisdom, and how each characters' journey intertwines one with another. The magic that is learned over the series, both for bad and good, is intriguing and Robert Jordan's descriptions of his Trollocs, Myrddrall, the Forsaken, as well as many others who serve the Dark One, keep the balance of good and evil constantly tugging at one another, keeping the reader wanting more.

I'm impressed at how Mr. Jordan was able to keep all of his characters and locations straight. Even though Mr. Jordan past away a few years ago, his work is being carried out by Brandon Sanderson, who was specifically chosen by Mr. Jordan's wife, Harriet. Book twelve of this series was just released this fall and the final two novels of the series will be released each fall for the next two years.

Al Capone Does My Shirts By Gennifer Choldenko

Title: Al Capone Does My Shirts
Author: Gennifer Choldenko
Reviewer: Stephanie
Genre: YA Fiction
Rating: Love
Alerts/Warnings: None
Premise: A twelve-year-old boy named Moose moves to Alcatraz Island in 1935 when guards' families were housed there, and has to contend with his extraordinary new environment in addition to life with his autistic sister. (King County Library System)
Opinions: I picked up this book several years ago and I have read it many times since. This is a beautiful story of a young boy living on Alcatraz while his father is a guard there. Not only do you have this very interesting premise of what would a young boy do while living on Alcatraz, you throw in his autistic sister, Natalie, and it makes for a complex and interesting tale. This book addresses the issues of mental health in during the 1930's, parental and sibling struggles and a young boy wanting to still be a kid but having to grow up.

I love this book. After the many times I have read it, I still get goose bumps. You know those "That was such an amazing book!" goosebumps. Without fail, the last sentence ALWAYS gives me those goosebumps. (But don't peek ahead! And even if you do, it doesn't make sense until you read the whole book.)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Enthusiasm by Polly Shulman

Title: Enthusiasm
Author: Polly Shulman
Reviewer: Stephanie
Genre: YA Fiction
Rating: Worship
Alerts/Warnings: None
Premise: Julie and Ashleigh, high school sophomores and Jane Austen fans, seem to fall for the same Mr. Darcy-like boy and struggle to hide their true feelings from one another while rehearsing for a school musical. (King County Library System)
Opinions: I am Enthusiastic about Enthusiasm. Ashleigh is an enthusiast that goes through phases where she becomes obsessed about certain topics, like balloon animals, military strategm or Pride and Prejudice. Julie has always loved Jane Austen and when Ashleigh reads Pride and Prejudice for the first time it becomes her new Enthusiasm. Thus leading Ashleigh and Julie in a quest to find their Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley.

This is a highly entertaining book. It was funny and full of life. It is one of my favorite reads of this year. I loved all of the characters and the situations were so funny. I laughed out loud when I was reading this book, and it is at the top of my wish list this year. :)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

And the Winner Is......

The winner for the autographed copy of The 13th Reality: Journal of Curious Letters by James Dashner is . . . . . Mary A. Congratulations Mary!!! Please email us at with your address and we will mail your book to you as soon as possible.

Look forward in the next week or two as we celebrate our 100th post with a list of our Top 100 favorite books/series.

Keep on reading and let us know if you read something fabulous that you would like us to promote on our blog.


Saturday, October 31, 2009

Last Day of 13th Reality Giveaway

Today's the last day of the James Dashner giveaway. If you haven't signed up for it yet, please do as the contest will be up at midnight. For rules and regulations please see the October 8th post by clicking here.

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Title: The Maze Runner
Author: James Dashner
Reviewer: Karen Pellett
Genre: Young Adult Sci-Fi
Rating: Love
Premise: Sixteen-year-old Thomas wakes up with no memory in the middle of a maze and realizes he must work with the community in which he finds himself if he is to escape. (King County Library System)
Opinions: Every month for two years the "Glade" has received a new teenage boy. Every time a new boy arrives, they arrive with their mind completely wiped clean of the past. All they know is that, like everyone else in the glade, they must work together to survive and to find a way out of the maze that they live in. Whether coincidence or not, once Thomas arrives things go all askew and a difficult life becomes even more dangerous. The very next day everyone is surprised that another visitor arrives...this time a girl. Before she passes out she brings one message to all in the glade - Everything is about to change.

The more of James Dashner's books that I read, I can definitely see his progression as a writer. His plot is intriguing, the characters interesting, and yet he still retains that one something in all his books that makes it hard to put the book down until you have read the very last word on the last page. I am definitely looking forward to where this series is headed and can't wait for the next installment.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

War of the Black Curtain by James Dashner

Title: War of the Black Curtain
Author: James Dashner
Reviewer: Karen Pellett
Genre: Mid-Grade Fantasy
Rating: Love
Alerts/Warnings: None (though I cried)
Premise: When the Black Curtain rips open, evil Stompers and Shadow Ka swarm across the land and the Black Coma plunges the world into a grim nightmare. If Jimmy Fincher can solve the riddle of the Red Disk, find the Dream Warden, and receive the Fourth Gift, perhaps he can save the world from its horrible fate--but he will be forced to face the truth behind his enemy's true nature. (Pleasant Grove Library System)
Opinions: The fourth and final book in the Jimmy Fincher series did not disappoint. With each book the plot and the writing grew better and better. While the inhabitants of earth fall one by one into the Black Coma, Jimmy must continue his search for the Fourth Gift. With time running out Jimmy faces a truth that, even I didn't see coming. I must warn you that when I read the ending I cried. I still love the strength of family that James displays throughout the entire tail and how love and sacrifice make a world of difference.

I loved this entire series and am also really glad to have gotten to know James since then as he has motivated me in my own efforts to get published. I'm impressed with his writing and love everything that he has written. Please read the Jimmy Fincher Saga as well as James' other series' The 13th Reality and the new series The Maze Runner.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Tower of Air by James Dashner

This is the last week for the James Dashner book giveaway. Don't forget to check out the rules here. The contest will run until end Saturday at midnight and the winner will receive a signed copy of The 13th Reality: The Journal of Curious Letters. We only have four entries at this time so please spread the word to your friends and family and have them join in for this great giveaway.

Title: The Tower of Air (Book 3 of the Jimmy Fincher Series)
Author: James Dashner
Reviewer: Karen Pellett
Genre: Mid-Grade Fantasy
Rating: Love
Alerts/Warnings: None

Premise: Jimmy Fincher sets off on a dangerous journey under the ocean and across the desert to find the second gift from the Givers that will help him stop the evil Stompers from destroying the Earth. (King County Library System)
Opinions: The third book in the series does a fabulous job highlighting the growing strengths of James Dashenr as an author. The plot is more compelling, the characters more intriguing, and the strength of the family more enduring. Jimmy works to find the Givers' third gift that will lead him all over the globe and beyond, while the Stompers are openly attacking the world and the Shadow Ka are evolving. While the world looks to Jimmy to save them, Jimmy must look within himself to find the strength to accept his role to save humanity as well as to redeem his father from a terrible fate.

Once again, I could not put this book down. James did a fantastic job. Just wait until you read the fourth, and last, book in the series.

Friday, October 23, 2009

A Gift of Ice by James Dashner

Title: A Gift of Ice (Book 2 of the Jimmy Fincher Series)
Author: James Dashner
Reviewer: Karen Pellett
Genre: Mid-Grade Fantasy
Rating: Love
Alerts/Warnings: None
Premise: In Japan, fourteen-year-old Jimmy Fincher adds another gift to the arsenal of weapons he can use in his mission to prevent the evil Stompers from destroying Earth, much to the dismay of the Bosu Zoku, agents of the Shadow Ka. (King County Library System)
Opinions:Jimmy and his family have followed a set of clues for the second of the four gifts to the island of Japan. When an evil gang leader Bosa Zuka smashes into his hotel room leaving behind the sounding rod - the one weapon that can break through Jimmy's protective barrier. Working with the Alliance, Jimmy fights the Shadow Ka to reach the second gift first, while trying to save his family at the same time.
One of my favorite aspects of this author's writing is the strength the main character finds in his family. I love the relationships and the suspense. This is an easy read, but one that I couldn't put down. Definitely read this book, but don't stop there. You HAVE to read the whole series. It is worth it.

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Door In the Woods by James Dashner

Hello One and All -

The month of October continues as we celebrate the writings of author James Dashner. Don't forget to look here for the rules for this month's giveaway to win a hardback autographed copy of Jame's book The 13th Reality: The Journal of Curious Letters.

For today's book review we are switching over to James' first series of books known as the Jimmy Fincher Saga. The first book in the series, A Door In the Woods, was previously reviewed on this site last year. So rather than duplicating the review please click here to see what was previously written.

We do hope that you spread the word to one and all to come check out our blog and to participate in the giveaway. We love promoting the works of our favorite authors so the more people we can the better. We hope you having a great October and don't forget to read a good book this week.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Hunt for Dark Infinity by James Dashner

The James Dashner book giveaway continues. Don't forget to check out the rules here. The contest will run until the end of the month and the winner will receive a signed copy of The 13th Reality: The Journal of Curious Letters. Please spread the word to your friends and family.

Title: The Hunt for Dark Infinity (Book 2 of the The 13th Reality Series)
Author: James Dashner
Reviewer: Karen Pellett
Genre: Mid-Grade/Teen Sci-Fi
Rating: Love
Alerts/Warnings: Some Tense Scenes
Premise: After being kidnapped by Mr. Chu, Atticus "Tick" Higginbottom and his friends Paul and Sofia must survive a series of tests in several different Realities. (King County Library System)
Opinions: I was lucky enough to win this book as an advance reader copy (ARC) through a contest that James held on his blog. I was so in love with all of James' other books that I couldn't wait for the actual release to start reading. Though I have to admit that the book starts at a slow pace, I love the fact that it starts with Sophia and Paul are visiting with Tick and his family. I also really love getting to know Sato and his story better. Things quickly picked up and I soon discovered that I couldn't put the book down. The author has the great ability of throwing in twist and turns that cause you to do a double take, but then fully explains them in a satisfying manner. I really loved Tick's family in the first book and wished to see them a lot more in this one. Though I was disappointed that they weren't in there as much as I hoped I was so ecstatic by a wonderful twist concerning Tick's mom that you will have to find out for yourself at the end of the book. Overall, this is a fantastic read, that I highly recommend to all - young and old.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The 13th Reality Giveaway

It's October and it is time for a new Fabulous Giveaway!! Over the last year I have had the opportunity to meet, on several occasions, the author James Dashner. In honor of The Maze Runner which was released on October 6th we will be giving away a signed copy of The 13th Reality: The Journal of Curious Letters which James has also written (for a review of The Journal of Curious Letters please click here)This giveaway starts now and ends at Midnight PST on October 31, 2009.

PLEASE NOTE: If you are under the age of 18 you must have parental permission sent to us if you win.

To enter this contest please leave a comment on this or any post before the end of the telling us the following:

- What was the most favorite Halloween Costume you have ever worn?

Want another entry? Try one (or all) of these:

2. Follow our blog.

3. Post a link to our blog from your blog.

4. Write a review for us to post. Email it to us at Then we will post it sometime in the next couple of weeks. You will get 5 ENTRIES for every review you submit and there is no limit to how many reviews you submit to us. If you would like us to link to your blog, please include your blog address.

I am really looking forward to motivating all of you to check out James' books. It will well be worth your time and effort.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

And we have a winner!

The winner of our Fabulous Giveaway is.....

She wrote: "I'd say Snow White. It feels like I'm always cleaning up after people. At least there aren't 7 men in my house!"

On another note. I was told that I needed to answer my own question by several people, so here goes.
I would be the beanstalk from Jack and the beanstalk. I always have little people climbing all over me and at the end of the day, I just fall down. :)

We have another giveaway planned soon! So keep checking back. There are also some changes coming to the site. I just need to get a few moments without kids. could be a little bit. :)

Stay Fabulous!

Giveaway ended

Our giveaway has ended. I've gathered all the entries and will pick a winner this afternoon when my kids are sleeping. :0)

Good Luck!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Our Fabulous Giveaway for a Signed copy of "Princess Academy" ends in a few short hours! Make sure you enter! Go here for all the ways to enter. Good luck! Winner will be posted and notified tommorrow.

Title: City of Bones
Author: Cassandra Clare
Guest Reviewer: Janelle
Genre: YA Fantasy
Rating: Adore
Alerts/Warnings: Some language, kissing, violence, etc.
Premise: Suddenly able to see demons and the Darkhunters who are dedicated to returning them to their own dimension, fifteen-year-old Clary Fray is drawn into this bizzare world when her mother disappears and Clary herself is almost killed by a monster. (King County Library System)

Opinions: The fantastical world opened in this book (the first of a series) is similar in feeling to Twilight or Harry Potter. A seemingly ordinary teenager is suddenly and intimately acquainted with a whole new side of life that she never imagined possible. I loved the rich characters and the fast-moving, intricate plot, with unexpected twists and turns that had my heart racing.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Giveaway ends Wednesday

Our Fabulous Giveaway ends this week. So here is a refresher for all the ways to enter.

One Fabulous Winner will win a Signed copy of "Princess Academy" by Shannon Hale. Go here for a review of this FABULOUS book!

This giveaway ends at Midnight PST on September 30th, 2009. (Which is this Wednesday!)

PLEASE NOTE: If you are under the age of 18 you must have parental permission sent to us if you win.

To enter leave a comment on this or any post before the end of the contest telling us the fairy tale or nursery rhyme character or item you most relate too.

Want another entry? Try one (or all) of these:
2. Follow our blog.
3. Post a link to our blog from your blog.
4. Write a review for us to post. Email it to us at Then we will post it sometime in the next couple of weeks. You will get 5 ENTRIES for every review you submit and there is no limit to how many reviews you submit to us. If you would like us to link to your blog, please include your blog address. Please follow our format. (BELOW)


PS I've had some people tell me that they have had problems leaving comments. If you can't leave a comment, email us at We will count all entries sent to us in email format as well. (Or we can help you figure out what is wrong)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Hester Browne books

Our Fabulous Giveaway has only a week left. Go here to enter.

Title: The Little Lady Agency; Little Lady, Big Apple; and The Little Lady Agency and the Prince
Author: Hester Browne
Guest Reviewer: Janelle
Genre: Fiction, Romantic comedy
Rating: Love
Alerts/Warnings: Some language and sensuality (mostly implied

Premise: In this captivating romantic comedy, a young woman goes from doormat to diva when she sets up shop as a sort of Mary Poppins of love. (King County Library System)

Opinions: While I usually read YA books, this series is for adults. Melissa Romney-Jones needs a new job when she becomes redundant in her boring desk job at an estate agency, so she starts a new business doing what she does best: dressing up and shaping up the scruffy, needy bachelors of London. Melissa is lovable, funny and witty. Her family and the various situations she finds herself in had me laughing out loud. While neither of the first two books leave you hanging, I thoroughly recommend all three.