Friday, February 21, 2014

Fairy Godmother

Maven Fairy Godmother: Through the Veil --Charlotte Henley Babb

Fiction, Fantasy
444 KB / 433 pages
3 Stars

I enjoyed reading a book with an older female protagonist, one I could relate to in many respects; however, if this is a YA book, I doubt many young adults will relate to Maven. They will, however, be able to relate to Tulip. Unfortunately, Tulip is not the primary character.

I found the book to be overly long, with no defined story arc. I would have enjoyed seeing a bit more about fixing the Veil and less flitting around. If this is the first in a series, where the characters will come back, perhaps each with her own book, then it is a good introduction.

The lack of editing and proof reading bothered me on several occasions. I found myself being thrown out of the story as I had to hunt for, and then supply, the missing words and or rearrange the tenses. (I'm guessing there was a lot of cutting and pasting and movement of paragraphs and sentences and when originally written they were fine;-)

The one-liners were quite enjoyable, but again, how many teenagers can relate to hot flashes? While this was a fun read, it was not a compelling read. A good bedtime read. There were no clear villains, no tension as to what would happen if the veil ripped asunder and disappeared forever. Maven was never in true danger, never had to work her way out of an evil spell—she had all the answers. She was not brought to Faery against her will, nor did she want to go back to Mundane—a built in tension right there.

Thursday, February 20, 2014


Dolphins: Fun Facts and Amazing Photos of Animals in Nature –by Emma Child

873 KB / 30 pages
5 Stars

I have read, I believe, all of Ms. Child's nature books, and while they are all very well done and interesting, for my tastes, this book is by far the best. I truly enjoyed reading about the different kinds of dolphins, and seeing the photos.

These are books for children, so they are not chockablock full of facts, but they certainly convey a great deal of information, often in a humorous fashion, geared to children—and the adults who may end up reading them to children more than once ;-)

The book is filled with fun facts that I think any budding marine biologist will love. I heartily recommend it for any child who might be interested in dolphins—and any adult who would like a quick introduction to them.

Well done, Ms. Child. Well done!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

How important is a name?

A Name of Her Own –by Jane Kirkpatrick

Fiction, Historical
402 pages / 1435 KB
5 Stars

Ms. Kirkpatrick has written an engaging novel about the life of an extraordinary woman and Ioway Indian, Marie Dorion.

The author is a master storyteller, and will pull you into the story as you follow along in the footsteps of this courageous woman, as she journeys first by river boat, then across land by horseback and walking, and eventually by canoe.

You will easily and effortlessly become involved in this woman’s story as told by Kirkpatrick.

Although this is a novel, Marie Dorion was a real woman, and I think she would be extremely pleased at having her story told by Jane Kirkpatrick

Disclaimer: I should tell you that Ms. Kirkpatrick was kind enough to endorse my book:  Madame Dorion - Her Journey to the Oregon Country.  

Thursday, February 13, 2014

10 Keys to ebook MARKETING SUCCESS –by Karen Baney

124 pages / 461 KB
10 Stars!

This book is a MUST HAVE for any author who is considering diving into the self-publishing end of the pool!

The book is presented in Keys, i.e., Key 1 – A Good Book. Many of us blithely consider a good book will be interesting, well written, and the readers will come. Not so fast, Mabel. You do need a well-written and interesting book, one free of editorial errors such as grammar glitches and poor structure. You also need a good title, and a strong cover. And you need a brand. Yes, a brand. And your brand must be consistent from book to book.

Key 2 is about identifying and knowing your target audience. Of course, we all want to sell a gazillion books, we all want our target audience to be the Pulitzer Prize Committee, but Mabel, let's get real here. Let's consider who our target audience really is, and let's consider how we are going to market to that audience.

The other keys cover everything you need to know about building an Internet Presence, how to determine Pricing, Distribution, Book Reviews, Guest Blogging, Reader Communities, Social Media, and Paid Advertising—everything you need to know but maybe didn't know you needed to know.

The book is available in ebook format, but I chose to buy the hard copy, and I'm very pleased I did. I can now keep it on my desk, within easy reach, to use as a ready reference as often as needed, and it's always charged, unlike my Kindle which does, now and then, need time at the feeding trough. (It's also easier to make margin notes on a paper copy;-)

Ms. Baney is a successful author, and shares her savvy with us all in this book. Thank you, Ms. Baney! Job well done!

Monday, February 10, 2014

It's Just Lola -- and Love

It's Just Lola –by Dixiane Hallaj

Fiction, Historical, based on a true story
1319 KB
5 Stars

This is a delightful story! I think I would be safe in stating it is, in reality, Creative Nonfiction, but it doesn't matter, it's just a great read.

The story is set, for the most part in Peru, in the early 1900s and filled with historical and societal facts that I found fascinating. 

Lola, the baby of the family grew up in luxury – until, in her naiveté and ignorance, found herself in a family way by a hired hand. So did her next oldest sister, and by the same man, who had promised to seek their hand in marriage from their Papa.

This story tells how they not only coped with being disowned and sent away by their father, but actually grew and thrived because of it. Lola eventually married, and had another child, and her father "re-owned" her and her two children.

I don't want to give the story away, but know there is a lot of sadness in Lola's life and heart, and a great deal of happiness. This is the story of Lola, her coming of age, and not just her survival, but also the reaching for, grabbing, and holding on to her dreams. She is a strong and educated woman who doesn't take guff from anyone!

This is a powerful story of love – love of family, love of self, love for others, but it is not what I would call a romance. Lola does not need, nor seek, to be rescued.

Do I recommend this story? Oh, absotively posolutely! Although it is probably considered "women's lit" I think even men will enjoy it.

Now, Ms. Hallaj, please write the story of Enriequetta, Concha, and Katie.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

How much does a world weigh? Will it fit in your pocket?

Weight of Worlds –by Alma Alexander

Fiction, Short Stories
828 KB
5 Stars

Ms. Alexander publishes several of her short stories in what she calls "triads" and this collection is a collection of some of those triads. They range from a god and his marbles to the world as seen through the point of view of a cat.

There is a feeling of old style fairy tales in this collection. Although none of the stories have a "happy ever after" ending (thank heavens!), they all have very satisfying endings, and none are particularly sad, they are the logical conclusions to the stories being told.

My biggest complaint was there just weren't enough of the stories!

Ms. Alexander is a marvelous writer, and definitely knows how to spin a yarn, and she knows just exactly the length it needs to be.

Some may find the introductions at the beginnings of each book and the stories a bit off-putting, but they are free to skip them and go right into the story proper. I, however, enjoyed them. (I also love Prologues and Prefaces and Epilogues. But, then, I also read foot notes.)

They are stories to be read again.