Thursday, June 25, 2015

Monday, June 22, 2015

Review: "The Place We Went To Yesterday" by Lisa Mauro

About the Author:

Lisa Mauro is a novelist and blogger. When she’s not breaking pivot tables during her day job in the
pharmaceutical industry, you can find her watching The Office on repeat. She lives near Boston, MA with her better half, Brian Sfinas. 

Lisa is a Corporate Cubicle Girl, perpetually crunching lines of data like a kid with an endless supply of rock candy.  When she's not breaking pivot tables, she writes.  And she draws.  And she takes and edit photos.  She's even been known to sing along.

She's a Jane of all trades and a Mistress of some.

She appreciates tattoos and collects them as souvenirs. She provides gut-wrenching brutal honesty, but she’ll smile when she's delivering it so you won’t feel as bad hearing it.  She's a narcissistic muse.  Flattery will get you everywhere, as will red velvet cupcakes.

You can visit her at

About the Book:

Surrounded by abject poverty in Manhattan's housing projects, Ella Santia is abused and manipulated by her family until she is placed into foster care. When that experience also sours, she makes the decision to move into a group home. 

On her walks along the High Line with fellow resident Lara, she begins to open herself up to new experiences. When things come to a head at the group home, Ella realizes that it is time for her to fend for herself. 

The Place We Went to Yesterday chronicles Ella's journey from passive punching bag to assertive young woman.

Kim's Musing Review:

Sad but Good. I loved the story line and Ella's character; although, I couldn't  understand why Ella turned a blind eye to some of the things she felt were happening to others. I've never been in her situation so I can't judge, understanding the saying "until you walk in my shoes." I don't know how I would react in a similar situation.

This is such a sad story. If I hadn't read that it was fiction, I would've thought it was a true story. I still believe it's based on someone's life. It is so detailed and true to life. All of the characters were well-drawn and lifelike. Working with people who work with teens in similar situations, I know how hard the teens lives can be and how hard it can be for those who try to help to get through to them due to trust issues. I have recommended this book to those who work in this field.

The reason I'm giving this book four stars rather than five stars. It moved a bit slow for me in a few places although the writing was mostly flawless. The flow became bogged down in the details. Then there's the ending which I felt should've taken us a bit further into Ella's life for a more satisfying end.

Get your copy of The Place We Went to Yesterday here. You will be glad you did.

Next up on my TBR list is Silent Night Violent Night (A Cory Goodwin Mystery) by C J Verberg.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Review: "Finding Liam: Prossers Bay Series" by Cheryl Phipps

About the Author:

As a young mother with three small children, Cheryl Phipps escaped the daily chaos of motherhood through her beloved romance novels. She loved being whisked away from nappies and wiping noses to exotic locations filled with suave heroes and feisty heroines, and wonderful small towns with heart-warming tales of strong family ties and life-affirming true love.

Her bookshelves still hold those favorite authors - Nora Roberts, Marian Keyes and Cathy Kelly - plus new-found favorites who write stories that echo Cheryl's own values: family always comes first and life's struggles and challenges are always surmountable through love. 

Cheryl's three children have now grown up and have families of their own, leaving her free to pursue her dreams of writing novels. She lives in a quiet suburb of New Zealand's largest city, Auckland, with her wonderful husband, who she married the moment she left school (yes, they were high school sweethearts), and their turtles Rose and Jade. She enjoys taking walks with her husband, dinner out with friends, and, of course, weaving sensual stories that celebrate the joy of love, family and resilience.

About the Book:

Driven apart by tragedy 
Max has been in love with Abby forever and marrying his childhood sweetheart was a dream come true. But a series of devastating life events have driven a wedge between them and their marriage has gone from passionate togetherness, to leading separate lives. 

Rekindling their romance 
Abby fears her she can never be the wife that Max deserves, but when a Christmas miracle happens, she’s offered the chance at creating the family she’s always wanted. Is it too late for their marriage, or will these two wounded souls have a second chance at happily ever after?

Kim's Musing Review:

A wonderfully touching story that was at times heart-wrenching about a couple who lost their closeness but found their way back to love and intimacy again. The need of one small boy brought them back together causing them to re-evaluate their feelings. I really enjoyed this story about a love that was almost lost being found again before it was too late. I laughed and I cried, but overall I loved this story and can hardly wait to read the next story in this series
Get your copy of Finding Liam: Prossers Bay Series here. You will be glad you did.
Next up my TBR list is The Place We Went to Yesterday by Lisa Mauro.

Saturday, June 06, 2015

Review: "The Adventures of Joe Joe Nut and Biscuit Bill 3: The Case of the Missing Arch" by Renee Hand

About the Author:

Renee Hand is a multi award-winning author and requested speaker on the topic of using fun fiction to teach science, geography and history. Let her show librarians, educators, and parents how using her books can not only challenge readers and the way they think about problems in real life, but she creates high interest topics that suck the reader into her stories encouraging them into wanting to know more about the settings, science, history, culture and people. Skills like reading comprehension, reasoning, deduction and observation come together in a myriad of ways. 

In her Crypto-Caper Series children get to solve puzzles and cryptograms that are woven strategically inside of the story for the reader to find and solve inside of the books. Each book provides the reader with what they will need to solve the case, providing them with the knowledge and new skills that will help them succeed.

About the Book:

The elementary school at Acorn Valley holds an art fundraiser to help local animals whose homes were lost due to natural disasters. Four famous local artists--Claude Monet Mongoose, Georgia O'Giraffe, Vincent Van Goat and Pablo Picasso Peacock--have generously donated their weather-themed paintings for a charity auction. But a monkey wrench is thrown into the proceedings when distinguished Gila monster Dr. Ced E. Meant discovers, in a presentation at the Metropolitan Museum before the event, that his invaluable research has been stolen! His findings are so important that they cannot be leaked to the world at large! Meanwhile, more mysterious and fishy things are going on at the art auction, which Detectives Nut and Bill are determined to unravel. Geared for older children (and appealing enough for adults), this third entry in the series once again paints a delightful world of animal protagonists--teachers, scientists, etc.--using colorful illustrations with the lively black-and-white cartoons of Karwoski. Each of the animals--garbed like humans--has personality to spare, and they make amusing references to bills, hooves and tails. A genuinely crafty, complex mystery (including secret panels, art theft and characters who aren't as they appear) combines seamlessly with info about weather and art.

Kim's Musings Review:

Entertaining As Well As Educational
While mixing the subjects of science, art, history and weather, this story also entices the reader with a mystery and wonderful animal characters. It begins a theft of important research, and then another theft that ties into the first one.

I found this to be a very entertaining and educational read not only for children but for adults as well. Ms. Hand has done an excellent job of creating fun and lively characters. I loved the way she mixed up the different subjects that teaches the reader as well as entertains them. The end of the chapter information was a happy and welcoming surprise.

This is a well-written book with well-rounded characters and mysteriously suspenseful.

Get your copy of The Adventures of Joe Joe Nut and Biscuit Bill 3: The Case of the Missing Arch here. Your children will love you for it.

Next up my TBR list is Finding Liam by Cheryl A. Phillips and The Place We Went to Yesterday by Lisa Mauro.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Review: "Think Murder" by Cassidy Salem

About the Author:

Cassidy Salem has always been an avid reader. She is especially fond of mysteries (both cozy and traditional). Over the years, her favorite mystery authors have included Agatha Christie, Kathy Reichs, Mary Higgins Clark, and John Grisham. Cassidy also enjoys reading historical fiction focused on American and world history, as well as the classics. 

Cassidy has never met a dog she didn't like - a fact that influenced her decision to have the protagonist in "Think Murder" volunteer at a dog rescue center. When she's not reading, Cassidy enjoys singing in an a cappella ensemble. Most of all, Cassidy enjoys spending time with family and friends, and travels with her husband and son whenever possible. Her travels have taken her to destinations throughout the United States and Europe, as well as Scandinavia and the Middle East.

About the Book:

Adina Donati came to Washington D.C. to find excitement, not a dead body. When a friend is murdered, Adina is drawn into the middle of the police investigation. Tensions rise as the suspect list expands to include Adina, her friends, and colleagues at the prestigious think tank where she works. But every cloud has a silver lining. Between the nice detective, the hot new volunteer at the dog rescue center, and the newly available preppy ex-boyfriend, Adina’s dating dry spell appears near its end. That is, if she doesn’t become the next victim.

Kim's Musings Review:

5 Stars: I enjoyed “Think Murder” immensely. The Washington, DC setting was well done, so much I felt I was actually there. I recognized many of the places mentioned from when I visited during a work conference last August.

The characters were well described. I loved them all, even the bad guys. As for Adina’s love interests, I was pulling for Jonathan but thought she might choose Bruce. Not that he wasn’t a nice guy, but I don’t know, I just liked Jonathan best. I hope there is a sequel to this story. I would love to read it or anything else written by this author. Great first book.

Get your copy here.