Children’s Book Review “Delilah Dusticle’s Transylvanian Adventure” A.J. York

Delilah Dusticle Trans Adv Cover

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“Delilah Dusticle blends whimsy and wonder into a story that will appeal to both young adults and the young at heart. It’s a lively, ebullient adventure through and through! Also highly recommended is the spooky sequel, “Delilah Dusticle’s Transylvanian Adventure”, in which Delilah and the Dustbusters are invited to Transylvania, to cater for the Hallow Eve Ball – but events take a dramatic turn when Count Dracula has a unique request!”
Midwest Book Review, Small Press Bookwatch, April 2015

Delilah Dusticle is back with an action packed mission. In this illustrated instalment, Delilah and the Dustbusters are invited to Transylvania, to cater for the Hallow Eve Ball. All is not what it seems and Count Dracula has a very unusual request. Get ready to join the fun and experience the magic!

This is the second book in an original and quirky fantasy series for middle grade readers. A heart-warming, witty tale that appeals to the young and the young heart. Notably, all the books deal with the themes of friendship and share wonderful lessons about accepting and being yourself.


I really enjoyed this book. It was a perfect second book in this series. This book, like the first, had some great messages for kids. Mainly, be true to yourself.

That’s one of the best messages we can give our children. 

The story is fun and unique. Magic and whimsy abound. Each character brings a special piece to the story. 

I really enjoyed getting to know more about Delilah’s dust abilities. You won’t be dissapointed! Who knew dust could be such a butt kicking weapon? I was also very surprised to find that some of the other characters are hiding secret identities! 

What an adventurous life Delilah and her companions have!

The grumpy sponge is my favorite character. I’ll admit it. I like him. He’s a cool dude.

York tells this story with wit and piles of imagination. The world building was great. The characters are wonderfully written. The pacing is perfect! 

York has done another fantastic job with this book. It’s a great story that will be great for your kiddo to read. I enjoyed it as an adult. It’s all around family fun.

I give this book 5 stars!

5 stars

Click Here To Buy!


 

The Technical Data:

Title: Delilah Dusticle’s Transylvanian Adventure | Author(s): A. J. York |

Publisher: Nova Sky Books / Publication Date: 1-15-2014 |Pages: 124 (paperback) | ISBN: 9781497512054 | Genre(s): Children’s Fantasy / Magic  |Language: English | Rating: 5 out of 5 |  Date Read: 1-30-2016 | Source: Copy from author

Book Review “Fairest: The Lunar Chronicles” Marissa Meyer

Fairest Book Cover

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In this stunning bridge book between Cress and Winter in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles, Queen Levana’s story is finally told.

Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who is the fairest of them all?

Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now.

Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes full-color art and an excerpt from Winter, the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series.


This book starts off with a horrible dream/memory of Levana’s. Right off the bat, the author yanks on your heart strings and makes you fall in love with this character. Not for long though. Before you know it, you will hate her and lover her and then hate her all over again.

This book is emotional as well as entertaining. 

The world building in this book just hits on the surface. I haven’t read any of the other books in the series so I am assuming there is better world building in those. This book just barely scratches the surface of all the questions I have about this world. I will definitely rent the others from the library.

Levana is a beautiful name. It rolls off the tongue nicely. Her character is expertly written. After the finishing the book I felt like I knew her very well.

The secondary characters in this book are also very well done. I feel like, as a reader, I was given just the right amount of information about all of them.

This book has complexity that many in this genre lack. There are many different angles at play here and I thoroughly enjoyed exploring each of them.

This book is a twist on the classic Snow White tale. The author did a great job of making this story unique and interesting. I was very impressed.

I grant this book 5 stars.

5 stars

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The Technical Data:

Title: Fairest : Levana’s Story (The Lunar Chronicles) | Author(s): Marissa Meyer |

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends  / Publication Date: 1-27-2015 |Pages: 272 (Print) | ISBN: 9781250060556  | Genre(s): Fairy Tales/Folklore/Fantasy |Language:English | Rating: 5 out of 5 |  Date Read: 1-28-2016 |Source: Copy from Library

TBR List This Week

This is my week in books! 

The Insect Hotel Cover

Thoughts:

So far I LOVE it! It’s an adorable story!

Smashing Book Cover

Thoughts: Haven’t read enough to have an opinion yet.

Delilah Dusticle Trans Adv Cover

Thoughts: Great! Really enjoying continuing my adventure with Delilah!

 

That’s it folks! Are any on your list?

 

5 Star “The Three Graces” by Michele Wolfe

The Three Graces Cover

Summary

College juniors Jessie, Isabel and Sara are linked in an unlikely friendship by visits to hidden places only they can see. Together on a trip to Hearst Castle in California an earth-shaking encounter with a stunning statue in the gardens binds them to the spirits of the Three Graces; Brilliance, Joy and Bloom.

Under the weight of school and family problems, Sara, Jessie and Isabel grow to be fast friends as they struggle with who they are and what will become of them. Until the fateful trip where they are gifted three magical pendants. Through these gifts the girls must find a way to unlock a centuries old curse and free the graces from their stone grave.

Will Brilliance, Joy and Bloom find freedom through the girls or will they forever be entombed in the statue of The Three Graces?

The Three Graces is a deep and beautiful story of discovery, of admitting to truths that have been buried, and of letting go of a past that hinders the present.

Buy it HERE!


This book has been personally reviewed by AlliesOpinions! We LOVED it! To see the review, click the title below.

The Three Graces


 

Review Stats

Amazon: 4.8 star average!

Barnes and Noble: 5 star average!

Goodreads: 4.5 star average! 

Purchase Links

AMAZON – 3.99 (Kindle) 12.99 (Paperback)

Barnes and Noble – 3.99 (Nook)


About The Author

Michele Wolfe Author Pic

Growing up between the Rocky Mountains and the city of Denver in Colorado, gave me a life-long love of both the scenic and the cosmopolitan. Soon after finishing college and becoming a teacher, I decided I wanted to explore the world. I took long road trips, spent time at Martha’s Vineyard, and fell in love with the ocean and California, which eventually became my home.

My marriage of twenty-three years and my two amazing sons have been an inspiration and my greatest support. To read an article published in the LA Times about us, go to: http://www.latimes.com/home/la-hm-affairs-20160102-story.html

Because being a busy teacher, mother and wife made finding time to write a challenge, I had to write whenever and wherever I could, even at the kitchen table. The first draft was conceived there next to my kids doing homework. Eventually I reworked it with a writing mentor and in writers’ groups.

I do a lot of research about historical times, places and people. Then I let the story and characters come to me in their own time, in their own way. I am inspired by music and art, which often influence a scene or a conversation. I hope my writing inspires others and makes people think and feel. And of course be entertained.

Sneak Peeks!

Michele is working on her next novel, Atoms of Memory, also about a work of art, this time a painting at the Museum of Modern Art in Rome.


This book has the AlliesOpinions official stamp of approval. We recommend this book!

dino stamp of approval

Stop Making The Title Of Your Book 46264926 Words Long!

Attention Authors:

Stop making the title of your book 4735835768 words long. Just Stahp.

download (5)

When I see a book whose title is literally a synopsis of the story…..

Disgusted

I can’t…..I just can’t. 

I mean, honestly, if your title is 15 words long….we have a problem. Title’s are supposed to be short and sweet yet descriptive. They are supposed to be just as eye catching as the cover image.

Don’t fail me on this. Books are my life…..just….don’t ….screw it up with your “hey my title is the longest in known history” crap.

NOOO

I see how this can come across as harsh…..but….this is a real issue in my life that I need solved. 

sorry not sorry1

So, handle it people. Please.

Beer of the Week

ovila-abbey-quad-plums1

Behold! The beer of the week.

From the website: Our Ovila® Abbey Ales series is a collaboration with the monks of the Abbey of New Clairvaux in Vina, CA. Each beer is a modern twist on a traditional Belgian-style abbey ale—monastic inspiration and American innovation. These rotating Ovila Abbey Ales highlight, when possible, local ingredients grown and harvested by the monks on their nearly 600-acre working farm.


 

The plums are just barely detectable but are delicious none the less. Add this to my list of beers I freaking love right after pretty much any German beer.

German beer is my favorite.

This beer is darker than last weeks and has more of a bite. Coming in at 10.2% alcohol within each brown tinted bottle a few of these and light weights such as myself are warm and buzzed.

One is enough for me though. I’m here for taste not so much to get drunk.

This weeks beer leaves less of a nasty after taste than last weeks too. 

Nobody likes those pesky after tastes.

It’s definitely bitter but not mouth puckeringly so.

One thing I dislike is the thickness of the bottle. Consrvation-wise it seems irresponsible.

Other than that, very tasty beer indeed.

Check it out and let me know what you think in the comments!

 

 

 

Book Review “The Three Graces” by Michele Wolfe

The Three Graces Cover

Click Here To Buy!

College juniors Jessie, Isabel and Sara are linked in an unlikely friendship by visits to hidden places only they can see. Together on a trip to Hearst Castle in California an earth-shaking encounter with a stunning statue in the gardens binds them to the spirits of the Three Graces; Brilliance, Joy and Bloom.

Under the weight of school and family problems; Sara, Jessie and Isabel grow to be fast friends as they struggle with who they are and what will become of them. Until the fateful trip where they are gifted three magical pendants. Through these gifts the girls must find a way to unlock a centuries old curse and free the graces from their stone grave.

Will Brilliance, Joy and Bloom find freedom through the girls or will they forever be entombed in the statue of The Three Graces?

The Three Graces is a deep and beautiful story of discovery, of admitting to truths that have been buried, and of letting go of a past that hinders the present.


I want to start off by saying this is one of the best covers I have ever seen. It is beautiful and eye catching! 

I really enjoyed this story. Each character is written so well that they form easily and become concrete in your mind. I love when that happens.

Michele Wolfe does a fantastic job with character description in this novel. We as the reader get right inside the minds and feelings of each person as we read from their perspective. I like alternating narrative’s. There are always different sides to every story and I enjoy getting to see each person’s unique experience. 

The premise is interesting. Who hasn’t read about the myriad of Greek goddesses and handmaidens and wondered about them at length. The statue was a brilliant way to mix fact with fiction and cultivate an adoration for art in the reader. 

I love that even though Isabel, Sara and Jesse are very different people they find companionship and deep love from each other. I am a firm believer that having relationships with people far different from yourself helps to grow and expand your understanding of the world. Their friendship is beautiful and I enjoyed watching it mature and deeper. 

There are some heady topics in this novel. One being a woman coming out to the world and herself as gay. That is no easy task and it is made more difficult by the taboos society pushes on us. I think the author did a great job of taking the reader through these complex and difficult emotions. It felt very realistic.

The pacing is a bit slow in this novel but I think the character building in this novel makes up for that.

In conclusion, I enjoyed the novel. It was expertly written. It has a great ending and I felt completely satisfied after finishing it.

I give this novel 5 stars.

5 stars

This book is available to purchase through Amazon. Click the title below

The Three Graces


The Technical Data:

Title: The Three Graces | Author(s): Michele Wolfe |

Publisher: The Three Graces / Publication Date: 6-6-2014 |Pages: 280 (Print) | ISBN: 978-1941668023  | Genre(s): Science Fiction |Language:English | Rating: 5 out of 5 |  Date Read: 1-25-2016 |Source: Copy from Author

Beer of the Week

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My husband and I have been trying out different beers. The liquor store in town has a whole wall of beer from around the world. 

We were curious…so we bought some beer from Germany. We were thinking Oktoberfest. German’s surely make great beer. Plus, the name of the beer just looks cool. We googled how to say it….and…well….we still can’t say it. 

We were not disappointed. We bought a six pack. Its delicious.

It has this fancy foil on top. I felt like this was the beer you need to drink with your pinky out. PINKY OUT.

I didn’t…..but I felt like I should.

This was a darker beer with a bit of a bite. It does have some bitterness but Daniel and I both really like it.

Keep an eye out for our beer of the week posts!

 

Book Review “Life After the Undead” by Pembroke Sinclair

Life after the undead cover

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Seventeen-year-old Krista must quickly figure out how she’s going to survive in the zombie-destroyed world. The one advantage humans have is that the zombies hate humid environments, so they’re migrating west to escape its deteriorating effects. The survivors plan to construct a wall at North Platte to keep the undead out, and Krista has come to Nebraska to start a new life.

Zombies aren’t the only creatures she has to be cautious of—the other survivors have a dark side. Krista must fight not only to live but also to defend everything she holds dear—her country, her freedom, and ultimately, those she loves.

Join Krista in her quest to survive in this thrilling apocalyptic novel by Pembroke Sinclair.


This was a zombie book that wasn’t all about the zombies. This book has so many other elements and I’ll be the first to say it was refreshing. 

Zombie books are not usually my thing. I have a deep rooted fear of Zombies and reading about them is about as far as I go. I have watched a few movies on the subject but not many. They give me terrible nightmares. Even though I am frightened by zombies, the idea of their existence intrigues me.

There are far more elements to deal with in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse than just surviving.  Sadly, the zombies are not the only enemy. Often mankind will turn on each other in bouts of power hungry rage or to ration supplies in a only the strongest survive scenario. 

This book had many of those elements. I also have to admit that I much prefer reading about the slow shambling zombies than the fast super human strength ones. Although if i am being honest, I think if zombies were to appear they wouldn’t be slow.

This book was enjoyable. The world building was great and believable. The characters have the right amount of depth to make the reader feel a connection. There is an adequate number of characters. The premise was well done and the pacing was perfect.

Superb book. I look forward to reading the next one.

I give it 5 stars.

5 stars

This book is available for purchase through Amazon. Click the link below to buy.

Life After the Undead


 

The Technical Data:

Title: Life After the Undead | Author(s): Pembroke Sinclair |

Publisher: Booktrope Publishing / Publication Date: 10-27-2015 |Pages: 218 (Print) | ISBN: B0172HWSGW  | Genre(s): Dystopian / Science Fiction |Language:English | Rating: 5 out of 5 |  Date Read: 1-22-2016 |Source: Copy from Netgally

Children’s Book Review “Stick And Stone”By Beth Ferry & Tom Lichtenheld

Stick and Stone Cover

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When Stick rescues Stone from a prickly situation with a Pinecone, the pair becomes fast friends. But when Stick gets stuck, can Stone return the favor?
Author Beth Ferry makes a memorable debut with a warm, rhyming text that includes a subtle anti-bullying message even the youngest reader will understand. New York Times bestselling illustrator Tom Lichtenheld imbues Stick and Stone with energy, emotion, and personality to spare.
In this funny story about kindness and friendship, Stick and Stone join George and Martha, Frog and Toad, and Elephant and Piggie, as some of the best friend duos in children’s literature.


We have all heard the saying about sticks and stones. They are an iconic duo in every kids smart eleck repertoire. In this charming book the pair are back representing a much better subject. That subject would be friendship. Although, Pinecone does make an attempt to resurrect the fable in his attack on poor Stone. 

Good thing Stick is there to come to his rescue.  

As an adult I enjoyed this story. It was simple but had a good message behind it. 

My two year old son loved the story and seemed to grasp some of it’s meaning. He especially understood that being alone makes people sad.

I really liked the illustrations in the book too. They are simple, but do a great job of helping to tell the story.

Mason and I give this book 5 stars.

5 stars

This book is available for purchase through Amazon. Click the title below to buy.

Stick and Stone


The Technical Data:

Title: Stick and Stone | Author(s): Beth Ferry & Tom Lichtenheld |

Publisher: HMH Books For Young Readers / Publication Date: 4-7-2015 |Pages: 48 (Print) | ISBN: 9780544032569  | Genre(s): Childrens Book |Language:English | Rating: 5 out of 5 |  Date Read: 1-21-2016 |Source: Copy from Library