Sunday, March 24, 2019

On vacation until March 31st

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I will be away from my computer on a family vacation....

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...but I will be doing lots of reading while sitting on the beach! 

Reviews will be back on April 1st!

Friday, March 22, 2019

#MMBBR #Review #FirstLine #TheLibraryofLostandFound by @phaedrapatrick via #partner @HarperCollins who provided a #free #reviewcopy #NewRelease


A librarian's discovery of a mysterious book sparks the journey of a lifetime in the delightful new novel from the international bestselling author of The Curious Charms of Arthur PepperLibrarian Martha Storm has always found it easier to connect with books than people--though not for lack of trying. She keeps careful lists of how to help others in her superhero-themed notebook. And yet, sometimes it feels like she's invisible.All of that changes when a book of fairy tales arrives on her doorstep. Inside, Martha finds a dedication written to her by her best friend--her grandmother Zelda--who died under mysterious circumstances years earlier. When Martha discovers a clue within the book that her grandmother may still be alive, she becomes determined to discover the truth. As she delves deeper into Zelda's past, she unwittingly reveals a family secret that will change her life forever.Filled with Phaedra Patrick's signature charm and vivid characters, The Library of Lost and Found is a heartwarming and poignant tale of how one woman must take control of her destiny to write her own happy ending.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

#FirstLine ~ As always, Martha Storm was primed for action.

The Library of Lost and Found was one of those reads that makes your heart happy. It was tender and sweet with a bit a mystery mixed in. It was character driven without being overdone. It was a story where you cannot help but cheer for the main character because they seem so very real and multi-layered. I loved that the story build upon itself slowly. It was paced perfectly. Such a perfect book to curl up and read (maybe in one sitting) when the weather outside urges you to stay in!

Phaedra Patrick

Phaedra Patrick's debut novel, The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper, is set to be translated into over twenty languages worldwide and film rights have been optioned in the US. 

She originally studied art and marketing and has worked as a stained glass artist, film festival organiser and communications manager. 

An award-winning short story writer, she now writes full time. She lives in Saddleworth, UK, with her husband and son. 

To find out more, please visit:
Twitter @phaedrapatrick

Thursday, March 21, 2019

#MMBBR #Review #FirstLine #TheCliffHouse by @raeannethayne via #partner #LittleBirdPublicity and @HarlequinBooks who provided a #free #reviewcopy #NewRelease


Three women—two sisters and their aunt—and the cliff house on the northern California coast that served as a beacon to them all…

After the death of their mother, sisters Daisy and Beatriz Davenport found a home with their aunt Stella in the beautiful and welcoming town of Cape Sanctuary. They never knew all the dreams that Stella sacrificed to ensure they had everything they’d ever need. Now, with Daisy and Bea grown, it’s time for Stella to reveal the secret she’s been keeping from them—a secret that will change their family forever. 

Bea thought she’d sown all her wild oats when she got pregnant far too young. The marriage that followed was rocky and not destined to last, but it gave Bea her wonderful, mature, now eleven-year-old daughter, Marisol. But just as she’s beginning to pursue a new love with an old friend, Bea’s ex-husband resurfaces and turns their lives completely upside down. 

Then there’s Daisy—sensible, rational, financially prudent Daisy. She’s never taken a risk in her life—until she meets a man who makes her question everything she thought she knew about life, love and the power of taking chances.

In this heartwarming story, Stella, Bea and Daisy will discover that the path to true happiness is filled with twists and turns, but love always leads them back home.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

#FirstLine ~ A man was staring at her in the oral care aisle.

I love books that follow multiple characters because you get to really explore numerous lives concurrency. The Cliff House provided the reader a story filled with characters that have to travel their own path to find what happiness really means to them. They are forced to confront their past to be able to fully live their futures free of those past burdens. Each of the characters in this book had their own struggles and realized that the path with the twist and turns is the one that lead them to where they needed to end up. You will find yourself delighted by the ending of this heartwarming story. 

RaeAnne Thayne

I'm not one of those people who knew from birth she was destined to become a writer. I always loved to read and throughout my childhood I could usually be found with a book in my hands. To the disgust of my friends, I even enjoyed creative writing assignments that made them all groan. But I had other dreams besides writing. I wanted to be an actress or a teacher or a lawyer.

Life took a different turn for me, though, when my mother made me take a journalism elective in high school (thanks, Mom!). I knew the first day that this was where I belonged.

After I graduated from college in journalism, I took a job at the local daily newspaper and I reveled in the challenge and the diversity of it. One day I could be interviewing the latest country music star, the next day I was writing about local motorcycle gangs or interviewing an award-winning scientist.

Through it all -- through the natural progression of my career from reporter to editor -- I wrote stories in my head. Not just any stories, either, but romances, the kind of books I have devoured since junior high school, with tales about real people going through the trials and tribulations of life until they find deep and lasting love.

I had no idea how to put these people on paper, but knew I had to try -- their stories were too compelling for me to ignore. I sold my first book in 1995 and now, more than 30 books later, I've come to love everything about writing, from the click of the computer keys under my fingers to the "that's-it!" feeling I get when a story is flowing.

I write full-time now (well, as full-time as I can manage juggling my kids!) amid the raw beauty of the northern Utah mountains.

Even though I might not have dreamed of being a writer when I was younger, now I simply can't imagine my life any other way.

I love to hear from readers. You can reach me at my email address,

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

#MMBBR #Review #TheSongOfSpring by #HendrikJonas via #partner @mediamastersbks and @Prestel_US who provided a #free #reviewcopy #FirstDayOfSpring #ChildrensBooks #animals



It’s spring and everywhere birds are calling out to each other in The Song of Spring by Hendrik Jonas (ISBN: 978-3-7913-7379-9; March 2019; Ages 2-5; Hardcover $12.95; 52 pages). But one bird has forgotten which sound to make. He tries “Woof,” and meets a dog, who encourages him to try “Oink,” with the expected result. Moo, Hee-Haw, Meh, Meow—each successive call adds another animal friend to the page. Will the young bird find another bird friend? As young readers are introduced to each type of animal and their sounds, Hendrik Jonas’ clever illustrations grow increasingly crowded. The result is a beautiful celebration of friendship that will delight young children everywhere. 

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book is ADORABLE! I loved it cover to cover and I cannot wait to share it in my classes. The illustrations are darling and the story is funny and sweet. Kids are going to get transfixed by the
animal characters because each of them has a distinct personality. Kids will love watching to see if little bird can figure out the song of spring with the help of some new friends! A super beautiful book both in story and illustrations!

HENDRIK JONAS is a Berlin-based illustrator whose work has appeared in The Times and The Guardian. This is his third book for children.

#MMBBR #Feature #FirstLine #TheAntidote by @ShelleySackier via #partner @HarperCollins ‏who provided a #free #reviewcopy


#FirstLine ~ The fine hair across her forearms prickled beneath the soft satin of her sleeves. 

Magic is not allowed, under any circumstances — even if it could save someone’s life. Instead, there are herbal remedies and traditional techniques that have been painstakingly recorded in lieu of using the mystical arts. Fee knows this, so she keeps her magic a secret.

Except her best friend, Xavi, is deathly ill. He’s also the crown prince. Saving him is important, not only for her, but for the entire kingdom.

Fee’s desperation to save her friend means she can barely contain the magic inside her. And after the tiniest of slips, Fee is thrust into a dark and secretive world that is as alluring as it is dangerous.

If she gives in, it could mean she can save Xavi. But it also means that those who wish to snuff out magic might just snuff her out in the process.

Shelley Sackier

Shelley Sackier grew up in a small farming community in Northern Wisconsin continually searching for ways to grow warm. Realizing she would never be able to enjoy ice cream like real people should, she left the state and lived the blissful life of a traveling musician. Discovering her stories needed more space than two verses a bridge and a chorus could provide, she began storytelling in earnest. And then in Virginia. Which is where she lives now and continues to write. 

Her first novel, DEAR OPL (Sourcebooks 2015), is a tale about a snarky, overweight thirteen-year old, who suffers from loss everywhere in her life except on her body. 
Her next novel, The Freemason's Daughter (HarperCollins, 2017) is a story about a 16 yr old Scottish girl living in 1715 who's raised entirely by six burly Scotsman--and they're all smugglers. The Antidote (HarperCollins February 2019) is a YA novel about magic and medicine, and the witches who wield them both. 

To learn more about Shelley, visit 
where she blogs weekly about living on a small farm atop a mountain in the Blue Ridge and how it’s easiest to handle most of it with home grown food, a breathless adoration for tractors, and a large dose of single malt scotch.
You can also find her on Twitter @ShelleySackier, Instagram, and Facebook.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

#MMBBR #Review #FirstLine #TheFalconsFeather #ExplorerAcademy #BookTwo by @truditrueit via #partner #NatGeoKidsBooks @NatGeo who #provided a #free #reviewcopy

The Falcon's Feather

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

#FirstLine ~ A head popped around the doorway of cabin 202, a thick hazelnut ponytail swinging from the top.

This book is so great for kids. It is a wild and action-packed adventure that kids (and parents) will love. I adore that The Falcon's Feather is book two of seven to be released in this series. My son fell in love with the first book and has been totally engrossed in the second. The book is based on real-life science, exploration and mission of the National Geographic Society. This is what sets Nat Geo apart from all the others. With the action packed adventure, code breaking and exploration this group of students will attend the Explorers Academy and get to really dive into a thrilling quest. All kids will be able to relate to the characters, will get immersed in the science and will love traveling the world. This series will be a hit and we cannot wait to continue on the adventures.

Monday, March 18, 2019

#MMBBR #Feature #FirstLine #TheBookOfDelights by #RossGay via #partner @AlgonquinBooks who provided a #free #reviewcopy


#FirstLine ~ One day last July, feeling delighted and compelled to both wonder about and share that delight, I decided that it might feel nice, even useful, to write a daily essay about something delightful.

Ross Gay’s The Book of Delights is a genre-defying book of essays—some as short as a paragraph; some as long as five pages—that record the small joys that occurred in one year, from birthday to birthday, and that we often overlook in our busy lives. His is a meditation on delight that takes a clear-eyed view of the complexities, even the terrors, in his life, including living in America as a black man; the ecological and psychic violence of our consumer culture; the loss of those he loves. Among Gay’s funny, poetic, philosophical delights: the way Botan Rice Candy wrappers melt in your mouth, the volunteer crossing guard with a pronounced tremor whom he imagines as a kind of boat-woman escorting pedestrians across the River Styx, a friend’s unabashed use of air quotes, pickup basketball games, the silent nod of acknowledgment between black people. And more than any other subject, Gay celebrates the beauty of the natural world—his garden, the flowers in the sidewalk, the birds, the bees, the mushrooms, the trees.

This is not a book of how-to or inspiration, though it could be read that way. Fans of Roxane Gay, Maggie Nelson, and Kiese Laymon will revel in Gay’s voice, and his insights. The Book of Delights is about our connection to the world, to each other, and the rewards that come from a life closely observed. Gay’s pieces serve as a powerful and necessary reminder that we can, and should, stake out a space in our lives for delight. 

Photo of Ross Gay

Ross Gay is the author of three books of poetry: Against Which; Bringing the Shovel Down; and Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2016 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. His collection of essays,The Book of Delights, was released by Algonquin Books in 2019. 
Ross is the also the co-author, with Aimee Nezhukumatathil, of the chapbook "Lace and Pyrite: Letters from Two Gardens," in addition to being co-author, with Richard Wehrenberg, Jr., of the chapbook, "River."  He is a founding editor, with Karissa Chen and Patrick Rosal, of the online sports magazine Some Call it Ballin'in addition to being an editor with the chapbook presses Q Avenue and Ledge Mule Press.  Ross is a founding board member of the Bloomington Community Orchard, a non-profit, free-fruit-for-all food justice and joy project. He has received fellowships from Cave Canem, the Bread Loaf Writer's Conference, and the Guggenheim Foundation. Ross teaches at Indiana University.  
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