Monday, October 17, 2016

Monday Review by the Book Dragon: A Fun & Poignant Love Story!

Though the Book Dragon rarely reads contemporary fiction and even more rarely reads romance, he still gives this fun, quirky, and surprisingly deep story Pride and Butterflies by Franky A. Brown 5 claws!
(Maybe it has something to do with the immediate appearance of SCALES in the story, because Book Dragon also wishes he could give this story a special award, something like:
Here's my 5 star review: "This is a laugh-out-loud, fun and funny romantic comedy that also has deeper, more poignant layers. When I first started reading, the first person present tense was almost too much to handle because the main character sounded so hyper and flaky. But actually it worked perfectly for this story and the many zany circumstances. I love the butterfly images, both literal and figurative, throughout this book, and the lovely cover perfectly captures the mood of the story. I'm so glad I bought the paperback so I can admire the artwork again and again. Oh, I almost forgot! This author deserves an award for Best Use of Turtles in a work of fiction! Highly recommended."

Friday, October 14, 2016

Evening with the Authors

I've got to work up an elevator pitch for my books ASAP. This event is coming up soon! At least I did make some push cards, for I and several other authors will have a chance to meet teachers, librarians, and other book lovers in San Antonio on November 4th and participate in a "round robin" pitch session, going from table to table and talking about our books. After that we'll have an autograph session. I know it will be fun once I get there, but I haven't done one of these events in a long time, so wish me luck!
Push card front
Push card back

And here's a video that the organizer put together:

Monday, October 10, 2016

Monday Review by the Book Dragon: Clean contemporary YA takes on serious issues

Although the Book Dragon rarely reads contemporary anything, he can whole-heartedly recommend these two well-written books in the Bird Face series by Cynthia T. Toney and gives them 5 claws!
My 5 star review of 8 Notes to a Nobody: This is a stellar debut novel with a captivating voice by a talented writer. The main character, Wendy, is realistic and sympathetically portrayed, so much so that the book drew me in and transported me back in time to the end of eighth grade with all those up-and-down emotions, from joy to angst. The author holds nothing back in dealing with the serious problems affecting today's youth: anorexia, depression, divorce, alcoholism, and suicide, yet all are portrayed in a sensitive, caring manner, and the main character grows in wonderful and sometimes unexpected ways. Highly recommended for ages 13 and up!

My 4.5 star review of 10 Steps to Girlfriend Status: Having read 8 Notes to a Nobody, I was eager to continue Wendy's story, and this book does not disappoint. The author has managed to reconnect with her 14 year old emotions. They all ring true! As with the first book, this story goes beyond the problems of being a girlfriend and tackles realistic, serious problems that many young people will face: blended families, effects of divorce, family tragedy, and serious illness. I give this installment 4.5 stars only because there were a few scenes I thought ended too abruptly, but younger readers probably won't mind the shorter scenes and snappy pacing. There are some great discussion questions at the end which keep the reader thinking long after the last satisfying page of the story is read!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Monday Review by the Book Dragon: Much more than a coloring book!

The Book Dragon recommends Annie Douglass Lima's new book with coloring pages and activities all related to Bible verses and gives it a resounding 5 claws!
Here's my 5 star review: "This is so much more than just an 'adult coloring book.' There are fun pages with Scriptures to color which can then be removed and framed or given away, but there are also many word searches, crosswords, word scrambles, 'find a quote' and, a new one for me, 'letterdrop' puzzles, all using verses of Scripture! I love that not only is the book useful and fun, but that proceeds will be donated to translate the Bible for people who don't yet have Bibles in their own language! Buy one to keep and one (or more) to give away as gifts!"

At $8.99 for 144 pages of coloring and activities (plus an answer key in back), these books really would make great Christmas or birthday gifts. Actually, you would be giving a double gift with each purchase, knowing your money is going toward a good cause!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Monday Review by the Book Dragon: A Christmas steampunk story

The Book Dragon says DON'T wait until Christmas to read this delightful novelette in H. L. Burke's Nyssa Glass series. He gives Nyssa Glass Clockwork Christmas five claws and wants to remind you that you can read it AGAIN when Christmas gets here. It's that good!
Here's my 5 star review: "When I first began to read this book, I thought it was just going to be a sweet Christmas story about some of my new favorite characters, similar to O. Henry's The Gift of the Magi, but there was surprising depth and tension. In some places I laughed out loud and in others tears sprang to my eyes. If you like the Nyssa Glass series, you will LOVE this story. If you haven't read any of the other books yet, I highly recommend them! You can read this story without having read the others, but it will be even more satisfying to understand all the references. Nyssa and Ellis are two of the best-drawn fictional characters, so well done I no longer think of them as fictional."
Be sure to check out the rest of the series, which Book Dragon recommended here.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Monday Review by the Book Dragon: A Literary Masterpiece of Historical Fiction

The Book Dragon highly recommends the award-winning The Shadow of the Hawk by K. S. Jones and gives it a roaring five claws!

My 5 star review: "Superb historical fiction; move over, John Steinbeck!

"This is a superb debut historical novel that reads like the finest of literary fiction. The details of the setting are richly drawn without distracting from the characters or plot and make you want to savor them, and yet the reader can't linger too long because the situation presses upon the characters with increasing urgency until you have to find out what happens to the narrator, Sooze, who is engaged to the wrong man because she wants to help her family, and to her family member who is falsely accused of murder. I feel like I've traveled back in time to 1932 Arkansas and experienced a poignant slice of a family's struggles to survive with dignity. I look forward to reading more from this author!"

Monday, September 12, 2016

Monday Review by the Book Dragon: A Terrific Time Travel Trilogy

The Book Dragon recommends this award-winning, mind-bending time travel trilogy, The Call to Search Everywhen by Chess Desalls, and gives them an overall rating of 5 claws!

My 5 star review for Travel Glasses: "This is a tightly-written, compelling and suspenseful time travel story. Even though the unique concept stretched my brain at times, I was never "lost" as some travelers in this universe can become. TRAVEL GLASSES runs the gamut of emotion, from profound sadness and loneliness to nail-biting action and even some humor. The only thing I didn't like about this book is that it didn't have a real ending; this is the first of a series, and I've already eagerly jumped into book 2. Highly recommended!"

My 5 star review for Insight Kindling: "This second installment in Desall's time travel series was quite different from the first story, but even though the reader is not chasing through time and space as often, there are plenty of interesting and mind-twisting events going on to keep heart and mind fully engaged. Many questions from book one are answered, not only about the mechanics of time travel but about the characters and their relationships. But just as many new questions pop up, leaving this reader breathlessly awaiting book three!" 

My 4 star review for Time for the Lost: "Having read the first two in this fascinating time travel series, I was anxious to finish the journey with Calla and Valcas. And the cover is one of the most beautiful I've ever seen! After a slow beginning, things became more interesting, and then I couldn't put the story down. I love the mind-bending concepts of time and the depth of the entire cast of characters. I especially liked the new guy and his very visual world. If you like time travel, you definitely need to read this trilogy, in order!"