Sunday, April 30, 2017

Crimes Against a Book Club Kindle Edition by @Kathy_Cooperman #LakeUnionPublishing #FirstLine #MMBBR

Best friends Annie and Sarah need cash—fast. Sarah, a beautiful, successful lawyer, wants nothing more than to have a baby.  But balancing IVF treatments with a grueling eighty-hour workweek is no walk in the park.  Meanwhile, Annie, a Harvard-grad chemist recently transplanted to Southern California, is cutting coupons to afford her young autistic son’s expensive therapy.
Desperate, the two friends come up with a brilliant plan: they’ll combine Sarah’s looks and Annie’s brains to sell a “luxury” antiaging face cream to the wealthy, fading beauties in Annie’s La Jolla book club. The scheme seems innocent enough, until Annie decides to add a special—and oh-so-illegal—ingredient that could bring their whole operation crashing to the ground.
Hilarious, intelligent, and warm, Crimes Against a Book Club is a delightful look at the lengths women will go to fend for their families and for one another.

#FirstLine ~ That summer, everyone had an opinion on the Baker case.  

This book was a very fun and engaging read.  It had twists and turns I did not expect.  There were characters who made me laugh and marvel at the ends they would go to change their personal circumstances.  I also loved see the friendship and determination throughout the novel.  It was really fun to read.  Crimes Against a Book Club is one of those reads that you need to talk to with somebody else because there was so much to discuss.  This is one of those reads that is like peeling an onion...there is more depth and more layers than first assumed.  I love that it tackles the topics we all think or feel (or wish we could pull off) and writes in a way that brings heart, warmth and life into focus.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I know you all will too!  Fun for spring or your book club!!!

Kathy CoopermanKathy Cooperman spent four years performing improvisational comedy, then decided to do something less fun with her life. After graduating from Yale Law School, she went into criminal law, defending “innocent” (rich) clients. These days, she lives in Del Mar, California, with her husband and four challenging young children. Crimes Against a Book Club is her first novel. Follow her on Twitter @Kathy_Cooperman.


#MMBBR #Reviews #Pets #Cats #PetRescue @NatGeo @NGKids

125 Pet Rescues, From Pound to Palace: Homeless Pets Made Happy (ages 8-12, $12.99) is a collection of laugh-out-loud and heartwarming stories of animals in need who went on to become pampered pets. Just like the pit bulls featured on pages 16 & 17, though, don’t judge this book by its cover. The 125 vignettes of pets that have been rescued provides eye-opening insight into the power of compassion and kindness and  the amazingly positive impact that rescuing a dog, cat, pig, horse or even a goat can have on the humans that open their hearts and their homes to them.  125 Pet Rescues has been created in cooperation with the Best Friends Animal Society whose mission is to bring about a time when there are no more homeless pets.  Featuring a forward by Best Friends CEO Gregory Castle and tips and advice from animal rescue experts, kids can learn how they can make a difference and become a rescue ambassador.

MY REVIEW:  This book is pure love.  I just went to the local shelter yesterday to pet dogs, so reading a book about how dogs and pets from shelters get a loving home made my heart swell with love.  In this book you will get to read about 125 pet rescues, with large colorful pictures and inspiration galore.  You will be smiling ear-to-ear from the start to finish and then you will turn back to page one and start again.  Plus, there are animals facts with the humorous and heartwarming stories that will melt your heart.  Knowing that all these abandoned animals got a second change and found their forever home, will make your heart smile for hours, days and weeks after you finish!!!  A new favorite of our whole family!!!!

Cat Tales:  True Stories of Kindness and Companionship with Kitties (all ages, $12.99) features cats from around the world, each one with an amazing story to tell about their compassion, ingenuity and bravery. “Ask an Expert” sections throughout the book offer insight into understanding the curious world of cat behavior, ways to keep your favorite feline happy both mentally and physically and even the trick to taking great cat photos (because the internet does not have nearly enough!:)). And are you curious as to why we love those cute cat videos? Page 57 explains the science behind the obsession.

MY REVIEW:  If you love cats this book is for you.  Any curiosity questions you have about cats will be answered here.  From birth to death, the life of a cat is fascinating.   From how they track, to how they find there way around to how they bond with their owners this book is jam packed with just "fur" fun facts, pictures and stories of love, dedication and inspiration.  I was completely engaged while reading about all 23 cats featured in this book.  A delight for any cat lover!!!!


#MMBBR #Review CARTOZIA TALES 1-4 @Cartozia

SERIES REVIEW:  These comics are amazing.  There is adventure, great characters and a very creative world the readers get to escape into.  I loved the mix between the black and white and color drawings.  I have never read comics and I feel like these are so fun to read.  It is a fun and interactive reading experience.  There is adventure, humor and such depth in creativity which really captured my attention!  My boys are planning on reading these this summer and I cannot wait to see how I can incorporate writing and drawing prompts to go with the comics.  If you want to be introduced to comic these are amazing and if you are already a comics fan you will get lost in these comics.  


Our first issue, revised and expanded: 52 pages, featuring stories by all seven core cartoonists, plus a couple of really charming stories by our guests Jon Lewis and Dylan Horrocks. The first issue also features a full-color map of Cartozia, some short pieces about mapmaking (which you can preview here on the website), and a variety of one-page stories, pin-ups, and activities designed by an amazing roster of indie-comics fans and guests.
The cartoonists who joined us for this reprint edition, to make Cartozia just that much more fun: Graham Annable, Zander Cannon, Tom Kaczynski, Roger Langridge, Caitlin Lehman, Dylan Meconis, Chris Schweizer, and Spike Trotman. 

Our second issue has 40 pages of internal material, including color-and-cut clothes for a pair of glossy cardstock paper dolls (Reshii and Sylvia) that ship with every issue. Our guests in this issue, James Kochalka and Adam Koford, introduce us to new characters and at least one location (the Observatory) that will be important in later issues. Plus: mask bears, Upside-Town, Smithereens, and a drawing by Eric Orchard.


Our third issue is 44 pages, including stories by our guests Evan Dahm (who introduces us to the forgotten country of Oublia) and Kevin Cannon (who takes Taco and Wick onto a ship filled with Thimble Pirates) — plus a maze-map of the China Labyrinth, a text-maze about the Two Old Men of Kwantafapayo, and one-page guest strips by Carol Lay, Caitlin Lehman, and Victoria Grace Elliott.

Our fourth issue has 44 page of stories, including pieces by Jon Chad (who shows us what happens when a Derk picks up an enchanted spoon) and Chris Wright (who takes us into the weird adventurous past of Cyrus and Zin). Plus: snowmen, secrets, sea serpents, and heron-riders in the Shrinking Swamp.


Friday, April 28, 2017

#BlogTourHost #MMBBR THE SHADOW SISTER: Book Three by @lucindariley @AtriaBooks


“Riley’s engaging and mesmerizing story of self-discovery and love, while making the complex tale of the Seven Sisterssufficiently clear, can be perfectly read as a stand-alone… This book will appeal to readers of Edwardian novels and Jane Austen-style fiction. Fans of the series will undoubtedly be pleased with this latest installment in the ‘Seven Sisters’ saga.”
Library Journal (Starred Reviw)

The frame story structure serves this installment well—the past and present narratives are equally engaging... Another pleasant jaunt down a genealogical rabbit hole.”
Kirkus Reviews

“I’ve loved the Seven Sisters series from the start and this is my favourite so far. Riley’s trademark lavish detail, glamorous settings and wonderful characters are all present in this treat of a novel. The perfect curl-up-in-an-armchair read.”
– Daily Mail (UK)

The Shadow Sister really is Lucinda’s best yet. The scope of this series is breathtaking and each book is more captivating than thelast.”
– Iona Grey, author of Letters to the Lost

“Wonderful! Absolutely impossible to put down! The Seven Sisters books just keep getting better and better.”
– Tracy Rees, author of Amy Snow

“A deliciously twisting plot with clues cleverly paced along the way. I could hardly wait to solve the mystery of Star's origins. Thoroughly addictive storytelling with a moving, emotional heart.”
– Dinah Jefferies, author of The Tea Planter’s Wife

The Seven Sisters series is proving to be a remarkable reading phenomenon.”
– Lancashire Post (UK)

This is my first book by Riley and it was a delight.  It was very well plotted and I felt that I had a great reading experience even though I did not read the other books in the series.  Riley really was able to capture setting, characters and plot and blend them together beautifully.  I think this is a perfect read for a spring read and one that will make the rainy days fly by!  

Star D’Apli├Ęse is at a crossroads in her life after the sudden death of her beloved father—the elusive billionaire, affectionately called Pa Salt by his six daughters, all adopted from across the four corners of the world. He has left each of them a clue to her true heritage, and Star nervously decides to follow hers, which leads her to an antiquarian bookshop in London, and the start of a whole new world.

A hundred years earlier, headstrong and independent Flora MacNichol vows she will never marry. She is happy and secure in her home in England’s picturesque Lake District—just a stone’s throw away from the residence of her childhood idol, Beatrix Potter—when machinations lead her to London, and the home of one of Edwardian society’s most notorious society hostesses, Alice Keppel. Flora is torn between passionate love and her duty to her family, but finds herself a pawn in a larger game. That is, until a meeting with a mysterious gentleman unveils the answers that Flora has been searching for her whole life...

The Seven Sisters series has been optioned to be adapted for television by Raffaella de Laurentiis’s company Raffaella Productions. Daughter of legendary filmmaker Dino de Laurentiis, Raffaella has worked as a producer and studio executive in film and television for decades, including well-known projects like Conan the Barbarian and Conan the Destroyer starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, The Forbidden Kingdom starring Jackie Chan, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, and Dragonheart and its sequels.

Lucinda Riley
Photo credit Boris Breuer
Lucinda Riley is the #1 internationally bestselling author of sixteen novels, including The Seven Sisters and The Storm Sister. Her books have sold more than eight million copies in thirty four languages. Lucinda lives with her husband and four children on theNorth Norfolk coast in England and West Cork, Ireland. Visit her online at and facebook

Twitter: @lucindariley


THE SHADOW SISTER: Book Three by Lucinda Riley
Atria Hardcover | ISBN: 9781476759944| On sale: April 18, 2017 | 512 pages | $26.00
eBook: Atria | ISBN: 9781476759951| On sale: April 18, 2017 | 512 pages | $13.99

Thursday, April 27, 2017

MMBBR #ReviewRoundup #STEM #TantanPublishing

Hands work for us in all sorts of ways—washing, picking things up, playing, pointing and much, much more. Explore the functions of your incredible hands as you use them to turn the pages of this book and learn about the many things they can do! Informational spreads are illustrated with vignettes both practical and lively, giving kids an opportunity for some serious hands-on fun.


Hands are amazing things and can do amazing things!  This book is interactive and educational and fun for kids of all ages.  We don't always think about the miraculous things that our hands do on a daily basis, but this book allows us to take a closer look at the grabbing, pressing, scratching, measuring, playing, creating and many other ways our hands allow us to engage with out environment!  This book will allow kids to really explore and have fun with their hands.  With text and drawing this book is sure to engage all readers.

When fifteen mice living in a warehouse receive a threatening letter from the Farmer’s cat, they gather together to decide how to protect themselves. The mice brainstorm for solutions and vote on different ideas to create a plan that will prevent the cat from attacking them. Through intricate, quirky illustrations, readers will learn how to sort items and create bar graphs to organize ideas. Activities and questions will engage readers as they measure quantities, create bar graphs and evaluate the information within this exciting story.


This book is such a cleaver way to teach math concepts.  I love how the story helps guide the reader through the problem while teaching brainstorming, creating bar graphs, measure quantities and learning to evaluate and sort!  The pictures are fun and zany and it is so fun watching the mice figure out how to work together and protect themselves.  The text boxes help the reader further their understanding of the concepts and decision making that happens in the story.  They also act as a guide to create dialogue with the reader as to their thoughts regarding how the story unfolds.  It is a great educational book with fun illustrations and a problem that is fun to follow along with.  A must for the classroom!!!

The Queen of Bread tries to teach her three daughters how to cook her famous dish. But the three princesses are busy with other things, and they don’t want to learn how to bake bread. When the Queen of Bread falls ill, the princesses don’t know what to do! Can they learn to bake bread to save the kingdom and heal their mother? Readers will learn the importance of measuring in this whimsical story. Activities and questions will engage readers as they measure quantities and evaluate the information within the story.


Kids don't always take the time to focus on what is considered  to be not so fun.  Many of these things are very important and necessary.  Doing things the easy way is not always the best or most efficient way to deal with things.  These princesses learn that it is important to measure and be mindful when baking the bread to save their mother.  The story is a great way to teach measuring as a math concept.  The text boxes help the reader further their understanding of the concepts in the story.  They also act as a guide to create dialogue with the reader as to their thoughts regarding how the story unfolds.  The questions and activities also add to the interactive and engaging book.  This is a great educational book with fun illustrations and a problem instantly engages.  A must for the classroom!!!

A young girl realizes how important electricity is in her life when she discovers how many electrical items she uses every day. Through vivid illustrations and easy-to-understand text, readers will learn how electricity travels from the power plant to the electric appliances in their homes. Readers will learn how to conserve electricity to prevent blackouts and save energy.


Electricity is all around you.  It is important to learn all the ways that electricity is used on a daily basis in order to make good decisions when it comes to conserving it.  With the lively illustrations and text that is large and relatively simple this book will be a great addition when teaching the concept of electricity and conservation at home or in school.

It’s the Zhongqiu Festival in Korea, and Shao Ming is given the responsibility of bringing her mother’s favorite wok to her uncle’s house for a feast that night. Along the way, Shao Ming stops to watch the festive dragon dance—and soon realizes that she has lost the wok! How will she find it again? Engaging, lively text introduces older readers to the wonderful and varied cuisines of China—including Szechuan, Shanghai, Guangdong, and Beijing—and includes a hands-on activity for making Shrimp Dim Sum.


Step right into Chinese culture and indulge in all the cuisine.  Shao Ming gets caught up in all the sights and sounds around her and loses his mother's wok on the way to her uncle's house.  You get to step inside all the majestic sites in China.  With the additional informational text boxes in the book you get to expand your understanding beyond that included in the story, which was both interesting and fun!  The illustrations are colorful and you can really get lost in their beauty.  I think new or beginning readers will be transported while looking at the pictures while the parent or teacher reads the beautiful story.  There is also a recipe for making Shrimp Dim Sum, which allows you to bring the story alive in your kitchen.

Juan lives in Mexico, where his family owns a taco restaurant. When Juan goes to the Cinco de Mayo festival, he meets a tourist family that speaks another language. Juan takes the tourists to his family’s restaurant and spends the day with them. Readers will learn about Mexican culture and cuisine as Juan shows the tourists the best attractions and offers them the tastiest food.  


Step right into Mexico's culture and indulge in all the cuisine.  This book is a great story that allows the reader to see how people, who don't speak the same language, can share and experience great attractions and great food together.   It is a beautiful story about food, culture and kindness with strangers who become friends.  With the additional informational text boxes in the book you get to expand your understanding beyond that included in the story, which was both interesting and fun!  Plus, the added text in the back was a delight!  The illustrations are colorful and you can really get lost in their beauty.  I think new or beginning readers will be transported while looking at the pictures while the parent or teacher reads the beautiful story.


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

#MMBBR #Showcase #Q&A The Most Beautiful Woman in Florence @AlyssInWnderlnd @StMartinsPress

The Most Beautiful Woman in Florence: A Story of Botticelli by [Palombo, Alyssa]

Publishers Weekly acclaims that The Most Beautiful Woman in Florence is “strikingly feminist…a compelling narrative that is difficult to putdown.” 

About the Book A girl as beautiful as Simonetta Cattaneo never wants for marriage proposals in 15th Century Italy, but she jumps at the chance to marry Marco Vespucci. Marco is young, handsome and well-educated. Not to mention he is one of the powerful Medici family’s favored circle.

Even before her marriage with Marco is set, Simonetta is swept up into Lorenzo and Giuliano de’ Medici’s glittering circle of politicians, poets, artists, and philosophers. The men of Florence—most notably the rakish Giuliano de’ Medici—become enthralled with her beauty. That she is educated and an ardent reader of poetry makes her more desirable and fashionable still. But it is her acquaintance with a young painter, Sandro Botticelli, which strikes her heart most. Botticelli immediately invites Simonetta, newly proclaimed the most beautiful woman in Florence, to pose for him. As Simonetta learns to navigate her marriage, her place in Florentine society, and the politics of beauty and desire, she and Botticelli develop a passionate intimacy, one that leads to her immortalization in his masterpiece, The Birth of Venus.

Alyssa Palombo’s The Most Beautiful Woman in Florence vividly captures the dangerous allure of the artist and muse bond with candor and unforgettable passion.

Q. What inspires your writing?
I draw inspiration from many sources – history, of course, being the main one; historical people and places and time periods that interest me. As an artist myself, I’m also fascinated by the artistic process in all mediums, and that has of course been a theme in my first two novels. I’m also greatly inspired by the wonderful women in my life, who always compel me to continue creating real, vibrant, and resilient women on the page, and to depict the inner life of women as accurately as I can, even when I’m writing across time periods. Lastly, music is always a great source of inspiration for me: it can help get my brain working and even occasionally inspire scenes and help me resolve plot points as I listen to and interpret lyrics in different ways.

Q. What is your favorite thing about being a writer?
Honestly, I most love writing stories! Writing is truly my favorite thing in the world to do, and I love being able to escape into another world, another time and place – even if the things going on there aren’t always particularly pleasant! It’s the closest I’ll ever come to being able to visit another era, or to live another life, if only briefly.

Q. What is the toughest part of being a writer?
Writing is also hard work, at some times more than others. Pushing through those moments when the words aren’t flowing and the work is difficult and you’re doubting yourself is probably the toughest part. 

Q. If you could not be writer, what would you do/be?
It’s tough to imagine, because if I wasn’t a writer I’m not sure who I’d be! But I think I would have focused on my love of music instead and tried seriously for a career as a performer.

Q. What would the story of your life be entitled?
“The Girl Who Was Crushed by Her Books” – because I have so many that that is how I will no doubt die someday.

Q. What is your favorite book of all time?
The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory – it’s the book that really inspired me to write historical fiction as a teenager. The era comes completely to life, and the characters are so real and vivid that I feel like I know them, like they’re old friends. And I love how (as she does in many of her books) she resurrected a little known heroine (in this case Mary Boleyn) who managed to survive the cutthroat Tudor court and make her own way.

Q. Which character from ANY book are you most like?
This is a tough one! Maybe Alessandra Cecchi from The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant. She is passionate about pursuing her dreams and doesn’t let anything stop her, and I like to think I have similar focus and determination. She also loves to learn and doesn’t want her world to slip from the Rena

Alyssa PalomboAbout the Author
ALYSSA PALOMBO is also the author of The Violinist of Venice. She has published short fiction pieces in Black Lantern Magazine and The Great Lakes Review. She is a recent graduate of Canisius College with degrees in English and creative writing, respectively.  A passionate music lover, she is a classically trained musician as well as a big fan of heavy metal. The Violinist of Venice is her first novel. She lives in Buffalo, New York.

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