Welcome to Cookie's Book Club! If you're new here, you may want to SUBSCRIBE TO MY RSS FEED to be the first to learn about new book reviews, interviews, book buying tips, and giveaways! You can learn all about Cookie's Book Club and its proprietor here: About Cookie's Book Club. Thanks for stopping by! Grab a book from the shelf, pull up a comfy chair and rest a while, won't you?

Friday, December 30, 2011

Guest post: Deborah Bryan

PLUS a giveaway of Deborah's new book The Monster's Daughter.

Today, I'm excited to feature Deborah Bryan, one of my blogging buddies from the mommy blogging world, and author of The Monster's Daughter (The Glass Ball Trilogy). Deborah has been my guest previously on Cookie's Chronicles, my personal blog. She wrote a beautiful piece entitled Mother, Child, Mother that I highly recommend you read if you are or intend becoming a mother.

Today, Deborah is here with a most appropriate end of year guest post.

Stay tuned following Deborah's guest post to enter the giveaway for her new novel, The Monster's Daughter.

Every single blessed rung
by Deborah Bryan
Books were the magic of my youth. No matter how rocky the waters outside their pages, I could always find the solace of hope within them.

Books whispered to me, "What's to come needn't be a continuation of what is."

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Happy New Year!
Giveaway Hop

It's time to ring in the new year, and what better way to do it than with a giveaway! I'm teaming up with I am a Reader Not a Writer and Babs Book Bistro to bring you some incredibly good reads.

Several authors have generously offered to give away copies of their books. This blog hop is open from December 30 to Jan 3. Hundreds of bloggers are participating, so there's something for everyone!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Good Things Come in Small Packages
Guest Post from Patricia Sierra

PLUS a giveaway you don't want to miss!

Today, I welcome Patricia Sierra to Cookie's Book Club, co-author, with John Philpin, of The Prettiest Feathers and Tunnel of Night. Sierra has written many other books including J.D. The Plot to Steal J.D. Salinger's Manuscripts, which I enjoyed and reviewed earlier this year. Click here to read my review and interview with Patricia Sierra and co-author John Philpin.

Stay tuned following Sierra's guest post for a fabulous giveaway. The winner will receive three books: The Prettiest Feathers, Tunnel of Night AND a bonus book. Read on to discover which one!

Good Things Come in Small Packages
Thoughts on the short story
from Patricia Sierra
     There’s a saying that good things come in small packages, but as a child I was always more excited about the big boxes under the Christmas tree—those wrapped in red foil or green paper and tied with a huge bow.
     The year I turned ten there was one box too large to fit under the tree. It was half as tall as I, and three times as wide. I remember how excited I felt, tearing off the wrapping and lifting the lid. But inside all I saw was yet another box.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Guest Post: André Jute on Dalziel & Pascoe

PLUS a Giveaway of one of my favourite books of the year: IDITAROD A Novel of the Greatest Race on Earth by André Jute

Got a gift card burning a hole in your pocket? Check out today's recommendation from guest blogger André Jute!

And stay tuned following André's guest post for a giveaway of his book, IDITAROD a novel of The Greatest Race on Earth. Click here to read my review of IDITAROD and interview with André.

Fat & Thin, in Yorkshire, how likely is that for the best detective series in English?
André Jute on Dalziel & Pascoe

 Image source: bbc.co.uk
The chief policeman in the series is a fat slob with all of the sensitivity and none of the timing of a cuckoo clock. He is a bully, he is sexist, he scratches his backside in public, he belches, he farts.

His sidekick is a fast-track graduate with a stalled career. Mind you, he isn’t much more sensitive. When he shoots someone dead, he knocks up his estranged wife, the pinko bleeding-heart, to tell her he feels good, that this is what he was made for. And then he is surprised when she takes his child and runs off to America with another man.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Review of STIEG LARSSON Man, Myth & Mistress by guest Matt Posner

PLUS A Giveaway!

Today, I welcome author Matt Posner, author of the School of the Ages series, to Cookie's Book Club with his review of STIEG LARSSON Man, Myth & Mistress by Andre Jute and Andrew McCoy.

Stieg Larsson: Man, Myth, and Mistress by Andre Jute and Andrew McCoy was my introduction to an entertaining, tough-minded, and courageous man with a world of fascinating life experiences. No, not Stieg, though this might be said of him also, perhaps -- but I mean Andre Jute. Clearly, Andre Jute is not one to steer away from a conflict where truth and integrity are concerned. He was certainly not afraid to take on legions of Stieg Larsson fans in this book. The cliche that truth is a harsh mistress is demonstrated in this volume, which I read in its Kindle edition shortly after finishing Larsson's three books. I read them with great relish, appreciating the quirks and peculiarities of Larsson's style (digressions into Swedish history, Lizbeth Salander's grocery lists) and driven by the fascinatingly suspenseful narrative, and then I came across Jute and McCoy's analytical book and thought it was just the thing to help me appreciate the adventures of Lizbeth and Mikael even more.

Best of 2011 Giveaway Hop!

I'm very excited today to review my Best of 2011 Indie Author Recommendations! Once again, I am participating in a multi-blogger, multi-prize giveaway, hosted by I am a Reader Not a Writer.

Several authors have generously offered to give away copies of their books. This blog hop is open from December 27-31. Hundreds of bloggers are participating, so there's definitely something for everyone!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Essay:
Guest Post from Christopher Bunn

I have another wonderful guest post for you today on the topic of Christmas from Christopher Bunn, the author of The Tormay Trilogy. I have so far interviewed Christopher Bunn twice about this series. You can read my reviews and interviews here:
The Shadow at the Gate - guest post for Kindle Obsessed

Christopher is visiting today with a guest post and to offer his short story, The Christmas Caper, to three lucky readers.

Be sure to enter the giveaway following Christopher's essay.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Weeks Before Christmas:
Guest Post from Lin Pardey

Today, I am pleased to announce that Lin Pardey has returned to Cookie's Book Club! Lin is the author of Bull Canyon: A Boatbuilder, A Writer and Other Wildlife.

Earlier this year, I reviewed Bull Canyon and spoke with Lin. You can read the review and interview here.

Lin is here today with a special guest post, AND to award two lucky readers hard copies of her fabulous book! Typically my giveaways are for electronic copies of books, but in this case, the hard copy is a must for it's gorgeous photos.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Mid-Winter's Eve Blog Hop!

I am thrilled to be participating in the Mid-Winter's Eve Blog Hop hosted by I am a Reader Not a Writer and Oasis for YA.

Several authors have generously offered to give away copies of their books. This blog hop is open from December 21-27. Hundreds of bloggers are participating, so there's definitely something for everyone!

Coming Soon on Cookie's Book Club

I am excited to announce a number of very cool things that are going to be happening at Cookie's Book Club over the next month.

I have a number of authors coming by to guest post and loads of great books to giveaway!

Be sure to subscribe to my RSS feed so you don't miss a thing!

Here are some of the authors who will visit Cookie's Book Club this month:

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Introducing Dakota Franklin
PLUS a giveaway:
Be one of the first to read Le Mans!

For the past several months, I have been involved as a co-editor of a new series of books by first-time author Dakota Franklin.

Today I am proud to have Dakota as my guest and to announce the release of the first in her Ruthless to Win series, Le Mans.

‘In the lower classes some auto racers are jumped-up mechanics. But in Mallory's class you need to be a near-genius. It is not just reflexes. Great intelligence and will-power are the minimum prerequisites, and a certain disdain for the lives of others. Most of them do not believe they are mortal, that they can die. To be a champion, a racer needs to be a near-sociopath’
“On the track a racer has no friends”

Mallory is a crashed-out, half-dead, never-has-been auto racer. Triple Le Mans winner Charlie Cartwright gives this human wreck an engineering job at Cartwright-Armitage because nobody can take an MIT degree away from her. Now, Mallory is on her way up. As an engineer, as an executive, as a driver — in a winning car! She has a man in her life.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Celebrating Christmas Through
the Magic of Storytelling

Guest blogging at Spanish4Kiddos


The proprietor, Barbara, has asked me to share a favourite story that my family reads together to celebrate Christmas. We have so many Christmas favourites it was hard to choose just one... so I didn't!

Come on over and see what we are reading this holiday season!

Comments are off here. Please stop by Spanish 4 Kiddos and share your favourite Christmas stories!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Jakarta Pandemic
Book Review and Interview
with Steve Konkoly


I’m pleased today to bring you a review of The Jakarta Pandemic and interview with the author, Steve Konkoly. Stay tuned following the interview for an excerpt from his newest book, Black Flagged.

Steve has also graciously offered to give away two sets of his books, The Jakarta Pandemic and Black Flagged to two lucky winners!

Description (Amazon.com):

In the late fall of 2013, a lethal pandemic virus emerges from the Islamic Republic of Indonesia and rages unchecked across every continent. When the Jakarta Flu threatens his picture perfect Maine neighborhood, Alex Fletcher, Iraq War veteran, is ready to do whatever it takes to keep his family safe. As a seasoned sales representative for Biosphere Pharmaceuticals, makers of a leading flu virus treatment, Alex understands what a deadly pandemic means for all of them. He particularly knows that strict isolation is the only guaranteed way to protect his family from the new disease.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Nate Rocks the World
Book Review and Interview with Karen Pokras Toz


Today, I am pleased to welcome children's author Karen Pokras Toz to Cookie's Book Club, along with a special guest reviewer and interviewer, my nephew J!

Karen is the creator of the popular character, Nate Rocks.

So, who is Nate Rocks?

From Karen's website, http://www.karentoz.com:
Nate Rocks: Part Super-Hero, Part All-Star Athlete, Part Rock-Star… Part Fourth-Grader?

Ten-year-old Nathan Rockledge cannot catch a break. After all, life as a fourth-grader can be hazardous - what with science projects to deal with and recess football games to avoid. Everyone, including his best friend Tommy, seems to have bad luck when hanging around Nathan. Throw in an older sister who is a royal pain, a dad who is stuck in the past, and a mom who keeps trying to poison him with her awful cooking, and poor Nathan’s life as a fourth-grader appears to be completely doomed.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Interview with Donna Fasano
author of The Merry-Go-Round, Mountain Laurel, and An Accidental Family


I'm pleased to welcome back Donna Fasano to Cookie's Book Club. The last time Donna was here, while I was on vacation, quite a little party broke out! Let's see what happens this time.

Donna is a bestselling, award-winning author of over thirty romance and women's fiction (aka 'chick lit') novels. I have now read three of Donna’s books: The Merry-Go-Round, Mountain Laurel, and An Accidental Family. All three of these books were fun reads.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Golden Sky Blogfest

Recently, I spoke to you about EC Stilson's new book The Golden Sky, and gave away two copies of the book to two lucky winners! Click here to view that post which includes an excerpt from the book as well as Elisabeth's words on why she wrote The Golden Sky.

Today, Elisabeth hosts The Golden Sky Blogfest!

EC Writes

It's an opportunity for bloggers to come together and show their support as they speak about their own experiences of loss. You can read my submission, Remembering 'G', at Cookie's Book Club.

Check out some of the other submissions: The Golden Sky Blogfest is here!

And enter to win an iPad 2:

The Golden Sky Book Launch and iPad2 Giveaway

Friday, November 11, 2011

Two advance copies of The Golden Sky
by EC Stilson

On November 18th, EC Stilson will release her new memoir, The Golden Sky.

This story is as real as it gets! Elisabeth Stilson tells the story of her journey through the pregnancy, birth and loss of her son Zeke. The text of the book is taken directly from Stilson's journals. We learn of the raw emotions and very real outcomes that follow the tragic loss of a child. It's a fascinating and touching read.

Elisabeth Stilson on writing "The Golden Sky":

    "One of my best friends inspired me to reread my journal several years ago. The whole experience seemed so far away, almost like it didn't happen. It was painful at first, but I made myself read everything I'd written from that time. After revising my original journal, I finally feel at peace with Zeke's death. Thank God I wrote everything down!
    It is interesting, looking back at my past and seeing things through new eyes. Cade (my husband) has read my journal, as well, and we've had many late night discussions regarding our memories and the lessons displayed there.
    I love all of my children, and Zeke will never be forgotten. My time with him has been pushed into a special place in my heart. Nothing can take that away, and those memories will always be here to keep me strong and help me be the person I know Zeke would want me to be."

An excerpt from The Golden Sky by EC Stilson:

    Ruby asked if we could go to the store today. She begged and begged until I said "yes." She wanted a balloon, for crying out loud. After we made it to the store, and she finally dragged me to the balloon area, she got so picky I couldn't believe it. Before I could contain myself, I said, "Just pick one, Ruby. Please! Mommy has had it!"

    Her perfect little hand grabbed a blue balloon, and she eyed it suspiciously, like it was the lead suspect in a crime, or something.

    "This one, Mama! This one," she yelled, because apparently it was innocent.

    "Okay, Honey, calm down." I took a deep breath and paid for the balloon.

    The minute we got outside, Ruby let go and waved "bye-bye," as the costly thing floated into the sky. "Ruby!" I groaned, but she didn't look at me, and kept waving to her helium friend. "Ruby! Why did you do that?" 

    She looked at me seriously, and in a toddler accent no one understands except me, she said, "Are there bawoons in heaven, Mama?"

    "I don't know, Honey." The anger vanished from my voice.

    "I don't think there are, so I gave my bawoon to Zeke." She smiled up at me, the beautiful smile of innocence.

    "Oh, Honey," I sobbed, and hugged her. "Zeke loves balloons."

    She put her hands on her hips then, and said, "Mama, don't get mad unwess you know the whole story, k?"

    "Okay! I promise," I said, and we shook on it. 

About the Author:

     EC Stilson (Elisa Hirsch) has her degree through the University of Phoenix. Her particular degree has a counseling emphasis and she finds it very useful when leading grief counseling groups for parents who have lost children. 
    Elisa plays six instruments; the violin, piano, drums, alto sax, tenor sax and the clarinet. Her husband is also a musician. They love to play at weddings, funerals, coffee shops and restaurants. 
    She also enjoys speaking publicly and meeting new people. She has spoken at M.O.P.S., been Juliet in the local play and made it to the final three for the Salt Lake Story Tellers contest in 2001. She hopes to continue being asked to speak at functions and counsel people who need help overcoming grief.
    Her husband and four beautiful children are a blessing. She is so proud to have them in her life especially since one of her little boys passed away. He was born with birth defects and he changed her life. Since his death, writing has become an even stronger passion of Elisa's. She always wrote, even finishing a ninety page manuscript at the age of ten, but now writing is one of her best driving forces. She tries to write for at least two hours each morning and is in a writing critic group as well as the Writers League of Utah.  

To enter the giveaway, click Click Here/Click for Instructions and then click I DID THIS! once you have completed each entry. There is the potential for anywhere from 1 to 5 entries per person.

Thank-you for participating! Good luck!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
This giveaway is listed on:
The Giveaway Gallery Maple Leaf Mommy's Blog Post Your Giveaway Linky's

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Free Writing Books

Just had to let you all know about a few books on writing that are being offered as free e-books today at Amazon.com.

This one I  own in paperback:

How to Be a Writer: Building Your Creative Skills Through Practice and Play - Barbara Baig

Product Description (source: Amazon.com)
Athletes practice. Musicians practice. As a writer you need to do the same. Whether you have dreams of writing a novel or a memoir or a collection of poems, or you simply want to improve your everyday writing, this innovative book will show you how to build your skills by way of practice. Through playful and purposeful exercises, you'll develop your natural aptitude for communication, strengthening your ability to come up with things to say, and your ability to get those things into the minds (and the hearts) of readers. You'll learn to: 1. Train and develop your writer's powers—creativity, memory, observation, imagination, curiosity, and the subconscious2. Understand the true nature of the relationship between you and your readers 3. Find your writer's voice4. Get required writing projects done so you have more time for the writing you want to do5. And much moreEmpowering and down-to-earth, How to Be a Writer gives you the tools you need, and tells you what (and how) to practice so that you can become the writer you want to be.Praise for How to Be a WriterThis is a wise, humane and practical book for anyone who wants to write; it guides the novice and re-awakens the veteran to processes and practices which can bring out the best writing in all of us.—Emma Darwin, author of A Secret Alchemy

About the Author (source: Amazon.com)
Writer and self-described "maverick educator" Barbara Baig has been helping adults and college students learn how to write since 1984. Barbara's real-world writing experience, combined with her passion for teaching, has enabled her to develop an approach that is innovative, practical, and empowering, helpful to amateur and professional writers alike.

Getting the Words Right - Theodore Cheney

Product Description (source: Amazon.com)
The Secret to Good WritingWhen asked by the Paris Review what compelled him to rewrite the ending of A Farewell to Arms 39 times, Ernest Hemingway replied, "Getting the words right." His answer echoes what every successful writer knows: The secret to all good writing is revision.For more than twenty years, Getting the Words Right has helped writers from all professions rewrite, revise, and refine their writing. In this new edition, author Theodore Cheney offers 39 targeted ways you can improve your writing, including how to:create smooth transitions between paragraphscorrect the invisible faults of inconsistency, incoherence, and imbalanceovercome problems of shifting point of view and styleexpress your ideas clearly by trimming away weak or extra wordsYou'll strengthen existing pieces and every future work by applying the three simple principles—reduce, rearrange, and reword. Once the secrets of revision are yours, you'll be able to follow Hemingway's lead—and get the words right!

About the Author (source: Amazon.com)
A longtime University professor, Theodore A Rees Cheney is also the author of Writing Creative Nonfiction.

The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing: Everything You Need to Know to Write, Publish, Promote and Sell Your Own Book - Marilyn Ross

Product Description (source: Amazon.com)
Take Control of Your Destiny!Bottom line: You want to get published. You want to control the future of your manuscript and your writing career.Best-selling author Marilyn Ross and publishing expert Sue Collier show you how to make your own success—whether you're a published author, entrepreneur, corporation, professional, or absolute newcomer to writing. In this expanded and completely revised 5th edition of the "bible" of self-publishing (over 100,000 copies sold), they empower you to publish your own work with minimal risk and maximum profits. You'll find:Complete step-by-step guidance on publishing and marketing a bookWays to leverage social media marketing to build your platform and make yourself stand out from the crowd A thorough explanation of the difference between POD self-publishing, subsidy publishing, and true self-publishing—and how to decide which is the best option for youPractical advice on making the decision between offset printing and print-on-demandHow to leverage the Internet to create "buzz" and promote your book with killer PRThe latest information on e-publishing A detailed marketing plan and timetable to keep you on trackProven marketing strategies to get free publicity, reach nontraditional buyers, and sell booksInformation-packed appendices with marketing contacts, organizations, and vendors, complete with names, addresses, and websitesValuable case studies and examples of how other publishers excelAn in-depth discussion of exclusive distributors, plus coverage of the most recent changes in bookstores and the book-selling industryThirty-one creative ideas for generating capital to launch your publishing companyThe Complete Guide to Self-Publishing is the one book you need to take control of your writing career. Read it. Believe it. Do it. Your future depends on it.

About the Author (source: Amazon.com)
Marilyn Ross is an internationally acclaimed self-publishing authority who has helped thousands of authors sell millions of books. She has been quoted in a multitude of magazines including Publishers Weekly and Newsweek, and has appeared on scores of radio and TV shows, including NPR's All Things Considered. Sue Collier has an extensive background in writing and editing having ghost-written a half-dozen books and edited hundreds more. The two have been collaborating for the past 15 years on a myriad of projects, but most recently focused their efforts on Self-Publishing Resources, a writing, marketing, and publishing consulting firm that assists authors in surpassing their personal and professional publishing goals.

Hooked: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers at Page One & Never Lets Them Go - Les Edgerton

Product Description (source: Amazon.com)
The road to rejection is paved with bad beginnings. Agents and editors agree: Improper story beginnings are the single biggest barrier to publication. Why? If a novel or short story has a bad beginning, then no one will keep reading. It's just that simple.In Hooked, author Les Edgerton draws on his experience as a successful fiction writer and teacher to help you overcome the weak openings that lead to instant rejection by showing you how to successfully use the ten core components inherent to any great beginning. You'll find:Detailed instruction on how to develop your inciting incidentKeys for creating a cohesive story-worthy problemTips on how to avoid common opening gaffes like overusing backstoryA rundown on basics such as opening scene length and transitionsA comprehensive analysis of more than twenty great opening lines from novels and short storiesPlus, you'll discover exclusive insider advice from agents and acquiring editors on what they look for in a strong opening. With Hooked, you'll have all the information you need to craft a compelling beginning that lays the foundation for an irresistible story!

About the Author (source: Amazon.com)
Les Edgerton (MFA, Vermont College) is a novelist and author of Finding Your Voice. His short fiction has appeared in Best American Mystery Stories 2001, Kansas Quarterly, Arkansas Review, North Atlantic Review, Chiron Review, and many others. His honors include a Pushcart Prize nomination, Edgar Allan Poe Award nomination, and an Indiana Arts Commission Fellowship.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Spanish for Young Readers
Guest post by Barbara Mascareno-Shaw

I am pleased to have Barbara Mascareno-Shaw visiting Cookie’s Book Club today. I’ve asked her to tell us about a few books for young Spanish learners.

“What’s in a Bilingual Book?”

Is it possible to find just one book that can help all bilingual readers or beginners in Spanish? Could there be books that can give young readers an easy access to new Spanish words?

A Spanish bilingual young reader is one that is learning how to read, write, and eventually speak Spanish. Usually when young readers are starting to learn to read, they start to sound out words and syllables. This is helpful in letter recognition and phonemic awareness.

For a bilingual young reader, it is even more important to distinguish between the vocal sounds in English and Spanish. In this way, books that have easy to read fonts and pictures are essential for young bilingual readers. 

One particular series of books is Tupi by Merce Aranega

Here, the author establishes the relation between Spanish words with the pictures in the book. It links the notion of the visual understanding between the words and words in context by using different pictures. The young or beginner reader must sound out the picture word in the sentence to continue reading. This book series incorporates basic daily tasks such as bathing, playing music, fieldtrips to parks and farms, and storytelling and uses easy to recognize pictures to complete the sentence in the story.

Another good example of easy to understand bilingual books is the Wordbook (Libros de Palabras) series by Mary Berendes

The author also uses pictures as a visual tool to build a relation between words and meaning. In this case, the words are not just stand-alone concepts as in a dictionary but are part of a complete scenario. For instance, in learning about seasons, winter could be portrayed as a winter wonderland with ice-skating, snow, snowmen, cold weather, and many more examples of winter. The best part of this series is that the reader can build the story as they pronounce the words in the picture since the words are all related to that topic in that specific scenario.

In learning Spanish, there are many different bilingual tools but it’s always fun to build vocabulary with easy to read picture books.

Barbara Mascareno-Shaw has a dual degree in Biochemistry and Chemistry and has taught K-12 children under the No-Child-Left-Behind program. The students in this program are struggling in school and are about to repeat a grade unless there’s parent/teacher intervention. Barbara is a native Spanish speaker from Argentina that’s lived in the United States most of her life. She believes in promoting reading skills at any age level whether bilingual or not. She encourages her daughter, Savanna, to learn Spanish through books, songs, projects, and of course Science lessons. Barbara currently lives in Las Vegas, NV with her wonderful husband and daughter Savanna. She also is a Science, Math, and Spanish tutor. You can learn more about her by visiting her at her blog, Spanish4Kiddos - The Spanish Science Corner. You can also follow her on Twitter and visit her Facebook page.

Thanks Barbara! These look great. I think I'll pick up a couple of them as Christmas gifts for my four-year-old. (He loves Dora and Diego and wants me to send him to a Spanish school!) 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Bull Canyon, a Boatbuilder, a Writer and other Wildlife.

Book Review and Interview with Lin Pardey

In the tradition of Under the Tuscan Sun and A Year in Provence, Pardey takes readers on a voyage – landlocked, but a voyage nonetheless – of the heart, sharing candidly and with great humor the four years she and her determined husband spent in Bull Canyon. From the Thanksgiving when they had to hang the turkey from a ceiling hook to keep it safe from invading animals, to their constant companion, Dog (who is actually a cat), to Lin’s run-in with a couple of drunk hunters, to Larry’s careful coaxing of rough-sawn timber into the beautiful boat, Taleisin, their story, related in the warm, personal voice of the fireside storyteller, is a funny, tender, and engrossing tale. Bull Canyon is the story of two “dreamers and schemers” who have taken life by the horns – and bring the reader along for the wild and joyous ride. ~ www.lindpardey.com
You can read an excerpt from the book at www.linpardey.com
Bull Canyon by Lin Pardey was a terrific read. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this non-fictional account of "a Boatbuilder, a Writer and other Wildlife", but I was enticed right away by the image of the happy couple on the front cover. As I read, I came to admire and respect this couple, and I am grateful to Lin for having written this entertaining and uplifting story.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Tips for Finding Reasonably Priced and Free E-Books

Scenario: You have recently acquired an Amazon Kindle (congratulations!) and you want to buy your first e-book, but you launch Amazon.com and see that the book you want is $14.99. The Kindle version is more expensive than the paperback!

Today I'd like to share some tips on navigating the e-book purchasing terrain. There are a number of ways to locate reasonably priced and even free e-books. You just have to know where to look!

First, with respect to the opening scenario, lets look at how to get you that best seller you want without paying the best seller price. One method is to watch the price at ereaderiq.com until it drops. Here you can enter your email address and the book information (you'll find the ASIN under Product Details at Amazon.com) and set a notification threshold. When the book price drops by at least this amount, you'll receive a notice via email. Return to this page at any time to view your list of watched books and their current prices. Just enter your email address and click the "View Items You Are Currently Watching" button. Also, be sure to sign up for ereaderiq's free book email alert (big red button, top right corner).

For more expensive books that you might not be inclined to buy for yourself, consider adding them to your wish list on Amazon.com - while you're at it add an Amazon.com gift card too - and send family and friends a link to your wish list. Christmas is just around the corner!

Every day, Amazon.com lists one book at a significantly reduced price here: Amazon Kindle Daily Deal

For free public domain books, check out Gutenberg and Free Kindle E-books.

Other sources of free books are Bean and the Kindle Freebies search page.

If you're looking for cheap or free books by independent authors, you can often find them at Smashwords before they are offered on Amazon.com. 

Visit these other sites for links to book bargains and free books:
Pixel of Ink
Daily Cheap Reads
Books on The Knob
AddAll Ebooks
Many of these sites allow you to sign up for newsletters so that you can receive notices of deals and free books in your inbox.

InkMesh is a great tool for locating specific books or books within a price range.

As an aside, FictFact is a great site for tracking a fiction series.  Can't remember which book is next in a series? Enter the series name or the name of a book in the series at FictFact and you'll find your answer.

If you like science fiction, sign up for the Phoenix Pick monthly newsletter. Just email coupon@arcmanor.com with the subject Please send me the monthly free ebook code. Each month they offer one title for free. Often these are award nominated or award winning books. If there are sequels to the book, they are often offered at a significant discount. You'll also be entered in their monthly contest. August's prize was a $50 Amazon.com gift certificate. September's prize is your choice of any seven ebooks they publish.

If you like romance novels, visit Carina Press for deals and to sign up for their newsletter.

This next resource is the one place for free books that I use that does not offer Kindle versions. These books can only be read via the Adobe Digital Editions software (I read them on my laptop, iPhone or iPad). Visit the University of Chicago Press Books online at http://www.press.uchicago.edu/books/freeEbook.html to download their free book of the month. You will be automatically added to their email list to receive notices of future free e-books. When you receive an email notice about the free book of the month, visit the site (often I have to view the email online in order for the Free E-Book link to work), scroll down to where it tells you to enter your email address and click Get E-Book. You'll be sent an email with instructions on how to download the free book.

I think I'll stop there. This is not an exhaustive list. I'm sure I'm forgetting some! There are many other sites that list cheap or free e-books, but these that I have listed are some of the more popular ones.

Know of another great site for locating e-books at good prices? Share it here!

I selected this post to be featured on Book Blogs. Please visit the site and vote for my blog!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

IDITAROD: a novel of The Greatest Race on Earth
Book Review and Interview with André Jute

I recently read IDITAROD a novel of The Greatest Race on Earth, a thoroughly gripping story. When I picked up this book I expected to learn something about the Iditarod, the Alaskan terrain and it's people. I was not disappointed there. What I was surprised to find inside was a beautiful tale of the natural human instinct to prevail and a budding love story to boot.

“Marchez! -- A race for survival

“When Rhodes Delaney challenged James Alderston Whitbury III to a grudge match she chose the most grueling of all tests — the Iditarod: a lethal dogsled race across the perilous wastelands of barren Alaska.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Book Reviews by YOU:
The Story of America’s Birthday
by Patricia A. Pingry

Today, I bring you a review by Abby of Mommy Moments with Abby. She runs a day home in addition to caring for her own two children. She always has great ideas for activities to do with kids, and today she is visiting Cookie's Book Club to share a children's book recommendation.

The Story of America's Birthday, written by Patricia A. Pingry and illustrated by Stacy Venturi-Pickett, offers "a simple introduction to the American Revolution, the writing of the Declaration of Independence, and the significance of the Fourth of July." ~ Google Books

Abby's Review:
This 24 page board book is great for all ages.  The content explains to young children America’s quest for freedom and the Revolutionary War.  The illustrations have clean lines and are well done with actions in the pictures complimenting the pages content.  I enjoyed that there are enough bright colors to draw in younger kids and enough written details of the events for the older kids to follow. 

The story itself is a simplistic outline of the events of the American Revolution.  It is a great book for younger kids or a great starter book for the older kids experiencing interest in America’s History.  The words used are basic so all ages can understand the storyline.   I enjoyed that there aren’t too many words per page so I can get 1½ year olds to stay focused, while allowing the older 3 and 4 year olds to be excited over the events taking place in the story.  Don’t discredit the books ability to teach about the Revolution because the words per page are digestible even to little ones. 

It offers an outline with the key words highlighted in red, blue, or green.  The addition of some words in colors opens them up for questioning as the older kids notice the colored words.  I enjoy this because they are new words or topics such as “tax” or “colonies” that may not have been seen before by the child.  They can be explored further by becoming flash card words or just plan vocabulary words for kids 4 and above.

The illustrations depictions of the events were good representations of what was being described.  The people were dressed in period clothing with soft coloring which fit well with a story that is outlining a historical event.  The detail of the illustrations wasn’t overly complex and resultantly, did not take away from the content.  That said, kids are kids and they enjoy some bright coloring and flash.  Some additional flare could have been added to the book with glitter on the fireworks or scratch and sniff added to the page talking about tea.  Maybe, some glittering on the flag on the last page could have ended it with a little more bang. 

While, I may have added some scratch and sniff or glitter, I enjoy this book and the kids enjoy it too!  I’m hoping that I can keep this book in good shape to save for my kids, but may need to get a back up to save for them.  I light up 4 ½ birthday candles out of 5 on this American Birthday cake, losing half a flame for one or two pages which could have been combined and maybe more historical content added. 
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The Story of America's Birthday, by Patricia A. Pingry, illustrated by Stacy Venturi-Pickett is available from Amazon.com and other booksellers.

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