Monday, December 30, 2013

Resolving To Read in 2014

Obviously, it is not secret I like to read. I always prefer the printed word but sometimes that is just impossible so, I own a Kindle too.

This past year I challenged myself to read a mere 12 books. I thought I would do good to finish that.  As it turns out, I read that in about...oh...a couple of months. I ended up logging 32. I know I read more than that!

As I am approaching the new year, I am asking myself what do I want to do this coming year to challenge myself. I turned to Goodreads first because that is where I took on the challenge this past year.  My eyes fell upon several people who were offering book challenges. Oh my, what to choose!

I have decided to do this:

1. I have challenged myself to read 52 books. If you have not already figured it out, that is a book a week.
    This can be from any genre I choose.

2. I am going to do a challenge to read 12 children's books written by Latina authors and/or feature Latina
    characters or themes.

3. I am going to do a challenge to read 6 children's books written by African American authors.

4. I am going to do a challenge to read 6 children's books written by Native American authors.

5. I am going to do a challenge to read 6 children's books written about various special needs.

All the books read can be crossed over to my over all 52. In addition, I will review each book as I always do here on my blog as well as crossposted to Goodreads and Amazon.

This should be some fun!  If you wish to join me then great, otherwise, wish me luck!

~Naila Moon

2014 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Review of No. 3 World Facts & No. 4 World Facts by The Brothers Publishing

The Brothers Publishing is a two fathers who have come together to produce books that answer the questions of their children. They have written a series of World Fact books that is like none other.

The two books that I have been privileged to read this time are volumes 3 & 4 in the series. Each book is aimed at children 4-10 years of age. The younger child would enjoy the simplified pictures while the older child could read the words.

Book 3 opens with two small girls running a three-legged race.  Each page is filled with a quick question or item and then a "did you know" fact about the subject on the page. All the subjects in this book have to do with the number three that is highlighted on each page.

This is a not so subtle way for children to learn about a number but also to learn about the things and places around them and in the world. Some things in book three could be a little harder to grasp for the young child like the idea of living in a three dimensional world but that does not distract from the book as a whole. In fact, I believe it helps a child to imagine and for the older child a prompt to explore more.

Book 4 like the previous book, fills pages of photos and words together to interest the curious child. This time the book opens with the number four itself and follows each page with something about four.
As with the previous book the pictures will entice a youngster while encourage the older child to read and maybe research more of their curiosity.

The Brothers Publishing has done a great job of researching out facts to go with each book. I enjoyed finding out certain things I did not know. Each fact is clearly written but some of the photos do not point out that clarity.

The only issue I have with the books is that I think the facts in each book are too advanced for young kids to grasp but having the age up to 10 covers that issue as well. These books are great for the curious child of which I would have loved when I was a kid.

Way to go Brothers Publishing. Your books get 4 stars from me.
~Naila Moon

Sunday, December 22, 2013

It's All About A #Blueberry Bubblegum #Giveaway

Blueberry Bubble Gumis an adorable book that has a lesson to be learned. You can read my review HERE What happens when kids lie and don't do as their parents have told them to do? Well, it is possible that they just might be transported to Blueberry Bubblegum World! You say, you don't know where that is? Well, then, I suggest you read the book and find out.

 Get ready for adventure! School’s out, and Max is gearing up for a summer of baseball with his friends. He’s expecting fun in the sun and long, lazy days. But to his surprise, he finds himself transported to a strange and wonderful world after chewing magical blueberry bubble gum—bubble gum his parents warned him not to chew! Join Max in his adventures through Blueberry Bubble Gum World and meet the fascinating creatures who live there—the Blueberry Boy, King Erudition, and the lumpy, moldy green evil Waywards. Will Max learn his lesson and find his way home? Find out in this thrilling journey!

Elfa books is giving away a signed copy of Blueberry Bubble Gum, along with a 18 pack of 5 piece blueberry bubblegum! Doesn't that sound delightfully delicious?!

Enter today because just like bubblegum flavor, it won't last long!

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: This giveaway is being coordinated by Away We Go Media on behalf of Elfa Books. Elfa Books is responsible for prize shipment. Naila Moon of Once Upon A Time was compensated for this post. This giveaway runs from Dec. 22, 2013-Jan. 6, 2014. Winner must respond to an email sent to them within 48 hours or forfeit said prize and another winner will be drawn. This giveaway is not affiliated with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or any other social media outlet. US only.

Review: Four Season of Patrick by Susan Hughes

It's the start of winter, and Patrick is beginning to feel crowded out of his own family. His father's friend, Linda, and her seven-year-old daughter, Claire, are coming for dinner again. By the time spring arrives, not only is Patrick's father planning to marry Linda, but she and Claire will be coming to live with them at the summer's end. That just won’t do. So Patrick comes up with a big idea. He'll build a tree house where he can stretch out his arms and breathe. But wait. Will his father allow it? Where will he find the perfect tree? Who will give him a hand with the construction? And, most importantly, will his own tree house really be the hideaway he hopes for, especially from the irritating Claire?

As the autumn season arrives, Patrick discovers some surprising answers to these questions – and learns a little about the meaning of family.

My review:
The story starts off as Patrick is running out to play in the first day of snow with his best friend. He is not happy that his father's friend Linda is coming over because her 7 year old, Claire, is nothing but a pest to him. She seems to always get into his things and take precious time from his Dad and brother, Trevor.

Additionally, he does not like Linda because, although he cannot remember times when his mother wasn't sick, he does not want anyone to take her place. He needs room to breathe and have space of his own. 

As the seasons change, Patrick finds out that his best friend is going to have a baby sister or brother soon and  is all too happy to be a big brother. Patrick does not understand this at all. 
His best friend agrees to help him build a treehouse on land that is a neighbors, right as his Father begins to make room for Claire.

Claire and Linda's arrival does not help his feelings on the whole matter and he runs to the treehouse for solace when he can, leaving Claire behind. She begins to change too as they move in with Patrick and his family.

As Winter comes around again, Patrick finds out that maybe he and Claire are not so different after all and that acceptance and love is the answer.

Will Patrick ever allow Claire in the treehouse? Will Patrick be able to have better relationship with his Father post Linda and Claire? Will the seasons change again in better understanding of others?

Ah, well, you know, then you must read the book to find out.
Four Seasons of Patrick can be easily read within a couple of hours as it is a short novel.
This chapter book aimed at 6-10 year olds is just right for the child who is learning to cope with others being introduced into his/her lives. It is also perfect to help children to understand that they can have their feelings but to try to understand that others may just be having the same feelings. This book points out that talking to someone about how you feel is often better than being destructive or at best using anger to create something positive.

This book also included at the end a question guide that could be used for additional resources. The questions are poignant and of course refer back to the book itself which might be nice for homeschooling parents.

I give this book 4 stars.

Where you can find the author, Susan Hughes:

Friday, December 20, 2013

Review of Snowmen At Christmas and Video of Me Reading It

This is a sweet little book about Snowpeople who celebrate Christmas in their own way. They dance, sing and decorate the town's Christmas tree. They even have icy treats. At the end, everyone goes home with their snow hearts filled with joy.

The book is written in the "Night Before Christmas" kind of meter but I do not think that takes away from the book at all. The illustrations are done by the author's husband and are bright and colorful. They enhance the book quite well which adds to the enjoyment of reading it.

This gets 5 stars without a doubt.

I read the book on video below, I still encourage you to buy your own copy if you are inclined to do so.

Disclosure: I purchased a copy of this book. The opinions expressed here are 100% my own.
~Naila Moon

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

#Giveaway: $50 #Paypal and Signed book of #Schism by Michael Phillip Cash

Michael Phillip Cash has done it again with his new Sci-fi book. Have you read it yet? I have and you can find my review HERE. It is incredible!

After the success of his first three books, Brood X, Stillwell, and The Hanging Tree, Michael Phillip Cash is fulfilling his dream of creating his own fantasy world. Introducing his newest book, Schism: The Battle for Darracia (Book 1)

"On the planet Darracia, an ever-widening social gap between its inhabitants is causing turmoil that is fracturing a once peaceful world. Struggling with his identity, nineteen year old Prince V'sair must harness the power of the elusive Fireblade, the secret to a warrior's heart, in order to overcome his uncle Staf Nuen's lust for supremacy. Will the energy of the Elements guide the young prince to his true destiny or will Staf Nuen conquer Darracia?" 

Michael Phillip Cash is celebrating this new release with a giveaway. He is offering $50 Paypal Cash (US and Canada only) and a signed copy of his book. Enter today to find out about the world of Darracia and a chance to win $50 Paypal cash!

Disclosure: This giveaway is sponsored by Michael Phillip Cash and is being coordinated by Away We Go Media. Naila Moon of Once Upon A Time was asked to help promote this giveaway and is not responsible for prize shipment. Winner will be chosen at random by Rafflecopter. Winner has 48 hours to respond to an email sent to them or an alternate winner will be chosen.
Giveaway is open to US and Canada. This giveaway is in no way affiliated with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest,YouTube or any other social media site. Giveaway ends January 2, 2014. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, December 13, 2013

Review: Schism:The Battle for Darracia (Book 1) by Michael Phillip Cash

On the planet Darracia, an ever-widening social gap between its inhabitants is causing turmoil that is fracturing a once peaceful world. Struggling with his identity, nineteen year old Prince V'sair must harness the power of the elusive Fireblade, the secret to a warrior's heart, in order to overcome his uncle Staf Nuen's lust for supremacy. Will the energy of the Elements guide the young prince to his true destiny or will Staf Nuen conquer Darracia? 

My Review:
I recently had the opportunity to read another book by Michael Phillip Cash. I have been rather enthralled with his thriller books and could not wait for his book Schism to come out. 

I was particularly interested in this book because I am somewhat of a Sci-fi buff.  Michael Cash had changed genres with this book to be Sci-fi so, my interest was peaked. A risky venture for Mr. Cash for sure, but I was not disappointed in the least.

The book tells of a world, Darracia that has three levels of distinct social order. The top ruling group literally lives in the clouds and rides great winged horses. They are warriors and use the power of the Fireblade, a multi-glowing sword, as their strength.

Prince V'sair is the next in line for the throne but is frustrated that his parents have not allowed him to have taken on the power of the Fireblade but have favored education instead. On a journey to a lower level of Darracia, with a servant girl, he finds the secrets to the Fireblade as well as love and the strength of family. Additionally, he finds out that not all things or people are what they seem and that working together may just be the key.

These ideals are what his father, the King, has tried to instill in him but he will only begin to learn these things when his Uncle, Staf Nuen, organizes a coup and tries to have him and the King killed. Through his new found identity, the Prince faces warfare and inner conflict.
I of course cannot give the complete details of this first book in the series away. I can say that the book will keep you on the edge of your seat, only as Michael Phillip Cash can do.
I was happy that this book did not leave me hanging at the end to wait for the next book. I really hate that!
However, there is so much more to know about Darracia, the people, and if  Prince V'sair will be able to lead his people. That I will indeed have to wait until book two.

For now, I recommend you read this first book and be thrilled like I was. You will not be disappointed.

This gets a 4 out of 5 stars!
~Naila Moon

Disclosure: I downloaded this book on Kindle and received no compensation for this post.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Review of The Colourblind Chameleon

I was recently given the chance to read the debut children's book, The Colourblind Chameleon by author, Laura Kantor and illustrator, Sarah Ray.

 This is a colourful and imaginative tale of a chameleon who doesn't fit in with the rest. He realises that it's not just good to be different... it's a lot more fun!

My Review:
This is the story of a chameleon who lives deep in the Amazon among other chameleons. His only problem is he is not like any other chameleons and gets made fun of. When other chameleons have turned green to hide from predators he instead turns purple and yellow. When others have turned black and hiding in the darkness of night, he turns bright colors and is like a beacon. What is he to do?

He decides to set off on a journey and discovers something that has been lost by humans that allows him to be different. In the process of it, he learns to have a good time and his friends learn that it is nice to be different sometimes too!
This adorable 32 page book is mostly a picture book but can be easily read by the emerging reader.
A few pages are arranged in such a way that early readers may get confused as to where to look next on the page for words. So, I do recommend a parent or other good reader be available for guidance if necessary.
The illustrations are muted in color but are perfect for a different kind of chameleon who is trying hard to fit in.
Recommendations for the book is ages 2-7 years old and this book fits well for that age range.
This book gets 4 stars from me.

About the author and illustrator:

 Laura Kantor up in Coventry, England,  has spent the last few years living overseas in Canada, Australia and now Singapore. In her free time she loves to travel, bake and write (of course). With a job in marketing, project management and a love for writing lists, Laura decided to self publish her own stories, and set up Squidgy Face Books in 2013  teaming up with Sarah Ray who was the perfect illustrator to bring her stories to life.

Sarah Ray grew up in the Herefordshire countryside where she gathered lots of inspiration for her drawings. Animals feature frequently in her work and she enjoys giving them human attributes. This is Sarah’s first children’s book, after working with a variety of clients on commissioned illustration. She also has her own range of award winning greeting cards which she sells across the UK.  

Where to find:
Squidgy Face Books
Sarah Ray's Cards

This blog is also part of the Mother, Daughter & Son Book Blast.

#Giveaway: $50 Amazon or Paypal Cash on behalf of author Laura Kantor

Sponsored by author, Laura Kantor

Contest runs: December 12, 2013 to January 10, 11:59 pm, 2014
Open: Internationally
How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Laura Kantor and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions - feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

MDBR Book Promotion Services

Disclosure: I received no compensation for this post other than a link on the Rafflecopter.

Monday, December 9, 2013

#Giveaway: $500 #Paypal #Cash...Sponsored by Michael Phillip Cash & Carole P. Roman

Welcome to the $500 Cash Giveaway!

Seriously, who does not need some cash right now during the holidays? I know I do! This is an awesome giveaway team up. Do not hesitate to enter because it is going to be a hot one!

Sponsored by Michael Phillip Cash and Carole P. Roman.Coordinated by Giveaway Promote.
Authors Michael Phillip Cash and Carole P. Roman have teamed up to offer readers everywhere the chance to win a great Christmas gift. One lucky reader will win $500 USD PayPal cash!

Carole P. Roman

Named to Kirkus Reviews' Best of 2012 for her first book, award winning author Carole P. Roman started writing as a dare from one of her sons. Using an imaginary game she played with her grandson as a base, Captain No Beard was born.
"Captain No Beard - An Imaginary Tale of a Pirate's Life" has not only been named to Kirkus Best of 2012, it received the Star of Remarkable Merit, and won the Pinnacle Award for 2012. "Pepper Parrot's Problem with Patience" Book 2 in the series, received 5 Stars from The ForeWord Review The Clarion Review. It has followed with six more books to the series. Motivated by her love of yoga, Roman has written a book that not only teaches four poses, but shows how easy and accessible yoga can be.
Her new non fiction series, "If You Were Me and Lived in..." combines her teaching past with her love of exploration and interest in the world around us. The debut book in the series, "If You Were Me and Lived in...Mexico" has won the Pinnacle Award for Best in Children's Non Fiction 2012. France, South Korea, Norway, Kenya and Turkey. They will be followed with India and Australia.
She plans to do Portugal, Greece, and Argentina next year. Writing for children has opened up a whole second act for her. While she is still working in her family business, this has enabled her to share her sense of humor as well as love for history and culture with the audience she adores. Roman lives on Long Island with her husband and near her children.

Michael Phillip Cash

Michael Phillip Cash's first book "Brood X - A Firsthand Account of the Great Cicada Invasion" is presently under consideration for a film adaptation. His well received second novel, "Stillwell - A Haunting on Long Island", has stayed on the top of Amazon's "100 Best Seller" in it's genre since its release earlier this year.
He recently released "The Hanging Tree", his first novella. Michael is currently working on a new book, Schism, which will be available soon on Amazon. Michael lives on Long Island with his wife and children.

We wish our readers Happy Holidays and warm wishes.
Good luck to all and to all a good night!

Enter to win $500 Cash via PayPal

Complete the tasks below to earn entries into this giveaway.
Refer your friends using your unique link at the top of the Rafflecopter for even more chances to win.
One winner will be chosen at random from all valid entries.
Open Worldwide.
Ends at 11:59pm EST on December 22nd, 2013.
a Rafflecopter giveaway Disclosure: I was given links on the Rafflecopter for this post.

Review of Alexis Tappendorf And The Search For Beale's Treasure


Alexis Tappendorf is about to be abandoned in Virginia for the summer by her parens, George and Jenny. They're leaving for a mysterious job they can't tell anyone about. What is even worst is that they are dropping Alexis off with Great Aunt Mae, a woman in her 70's that Alexis has never met!

Upon arriving in Virginia, Alexis discovers that for the last hundred years the townspeople of Summervale and Bedford County have been searching for a lost treasure buried somewhere in the area by a man named Thomas J. Beale. The only clues to finding the fortune are in the form of cryptograms, codes that, when properly translated, tell the exact location of the treasure.

Their biggest problem...the Woodmores!

My review:

Great Aunt Mae receives Alexis with open arms in to her quirky home and is a comfort and stability Alexis needs in her life. She gently encourages Alexis to use her own curiosity to solve something that seems totally improbable.

Alexis is joined by her new found friend Olivia on a journey that will not only seal their friendship forever but also change their families lives permanently.  Alexis and Olivia use the "Command Center" also known as Alexis' bedroom to figure out clues left by Thomas Beale.

Olivia's father, a treasure hunter in his own right, will also be a key to helping the two young treasure seekers.

Working together they begin to find the cryptograms and piece together the mystery. Their biggest issue is the Woodmores who have for years laid claim to the treasure. They will stop at nothing to find the treasure, even so far as falsely putting Alexis and Olivia in jail and more!


Will Alexis and Olivia manage to find the treasure before the Woodmores or will the treasure be lost forever?   Will their families be spared the hardships they are currently enduring? What about Alexis' parents and their mysterious trip?

All these questions and more  are answered in this book.

Author Becca Smith, brilliantly weaves quite a tale of mystery and intrigue. She layers the book in such a way that the reader does not even want to put the book down and simply gets engrossed in the accounts. 
All of the characters are believable and readers cannot help but get caught up in their personalities.

Who does not want to have a Great Aunt Mae?

This middle grade book is everything budding curiosity seekers are looking for. As an adult, I could read this book over and over again. 

This book is a hands down win and deserves 5 stars!

About the author:

Becca C. Smith received her Film degree from Full Sail University and has worked in the Film and Television industry for most of her adult life. In 2010 Becca published her first novel, Riser followed by the sequel, Reaper, in 2011, and the finale, Ripper in 2013. In 2012 Becca wrote the children's novel Alexis Tappendorf and the Search for Beale's Treasure. She is also the co-author of the teen graphic novel Ghost Whisperer: The Haunted. Becca currently lives in Los Angeles, CA with her husband, Stephan and their two cats Jack and Duke.

Where to find the author:


This review is also part of:
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