Thursday, December 31, 2015

Review:Santa, Is It Really You? by Marilyn Harkrider/Illustrated by Hannah Newsom

If you have ever wondered why there are so many men dressed up like Santa in stores and malls, then you have found your explanation in this story.
It all began long ago with a discussion between Mrs. Claus and Santa and a surprise meeting with a little boy named Ben. As you magically travel through the years with Santa, you will find the answer to the question you will never have to ask again.
My review:
This book is a cute explanation of how Santa gained some help and made children all over the world happy. I loved how the book went through a whole process leading up to other men dressing up to represent Santa himself, even though children know there is only one Santa.

This is not a picture book but one for children who can read well or a book for a bit older children to be read to. The story is well thought out and a book that certainly could easily become a family favorite read year after year.

I loved the illustrations that went along with the book. They are muted in Christmas colors and have a semi-Norman Rockwell feel to them. The illustrations add to an already great book that gives the reader a cozy feel and also answers questions that all children have about Santa.

Great book and 5 stars from me.
Bonus Points for the author: A portion of the profits from this book goes to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital. That is a double win for the book!

Disclosure: This book was given to me in exchange for my open and honest opinion. The views expressed here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~Naila Moon

Where to find the author:

Review: How the Grandmas and Grandpas Saved Christmas by Richard J. Gausselin

What happens when the Elves come down with colds am week before Christmas? Santa Claus call on special helpers to work his magic! Can the grandpas and grandmas from around the world save Christmas? Join Santa and his friends on this incredible journey to find out.

My review:
"Toys are to be made with hands and hearts." This is the whole summation of the book and how some grandparents saved the day because they love their grandchildren. This book took a long time to get to the meat of the story. In fact, it was almost not until the end before it did. It is not that the writing was bad because it wasn't, just in my mind it could have been much shorter and to the point faster. 

I did think this book, at first was a picture book, but then I discovered it is a book more for children who can read pretty well or at very least, be read too. This would not be a book for a very young child because attention span would not be kept.

The illustrations were cute but I was not overly impressed either. To me they looked like color book-ish and really not well done. That is rather sad because the illustrations could have lent so much more to the story.

I have seen that this book is a first in a series, I do hope the second book is much better because it does have potential.

I give this book, 3 stars for the story only.

Disclosure: I was sent this book in exchange for my open and honest opinion. The views here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~Naila Moon

Where to find the author:

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Michael Phillip Cash's, "The History Major" #giveaway: $200 Amazon GC and Signed Copy of Book! #MichaelPhillipCash @michaelpcash

Michael Phillip Cash is at it again with his newest novella and 12th book, The History MajorMichael Phillip Cash is an award-winning screenwriter and novelist. He's written the best-selling Brood X, Stillwell, The Flip, The After House, The Hanging Tree, Witches Protection Program, Pokergeist, Monsterland and Battle for Darracia series.

About "The History Major":

After a vicious fight with her boyfriend followed by a night of heavy partying, college freshman Amanda Greene wakes up in her dorm room to find things are not the same as they were yesterday. She can't quite put her finger on it. She's sharing her room with a peculiar stranger. Amanda discovers she's registered for classes she would never choose with people that are oddly familiar. An ominous shadow is stalking her. Uncomfortable memories are bubbling dangerously close to her fracturing world, propelling her to an inevitable collision between fantasy and reality. Is this the mother of all hangovers or is something bigger happening?

To introduce his book, "The History Major", Michael Phillip Cash is generously giving away a signed copy of his new book along with a $200 Amazon gift card to one reader.
Enter in the Rafflecopter below for your chance. 

Connect with Michael on:

Disclosure: This giveaway was arranged on behalf of  Michael Phillip Cash by Away We Go Media. Reading Authors was asked to promote this giveaway and received compensation for the post.
The giveaway begins at Midnight, CST on December 28, 2015 and ends Midnight CST on January 12, 2016.  The giveaway is open to U.S. only.
There will be only winner for a signed copy of above book and $200 Amazon gift card. Winner will be chosen at random by All entries will be verified.  Winner must respond to an email sent within 48 hours or forfeit prize and an alternate will be drawn.
NOTE: Prize may take up to 4-6 weeks to receive.

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Saturday, December 19, 2015

#Review: Santa's Time Off by Santa on behalf of Bill Maynard/Illustrated by Tom Browning Guest Review!

My daughter, Natasha. is guest posting for this review. The review opinions are completely her own and yes, this is her first book review and yes, she is funny!

Have you ever wondered what Santa does when he's all finished checking his list and delivering toys? Perhaps, like most people, he needs a little rest and relaxation. Of course he does, and now you can see just what Santa is up to once his annual duties are done. The well-rounded Santa is off with his elves, making merry on beaches and boats and on fairways and slopes. 

Natasha's review:

Sorry. I rate the book a 5. The stars in the galaxy came down to me as I was reading and offered inside voices to fill my head. I think it was from Pluto, but it could of been Neptune also. Anyway, they told me Santa is called Atnas there and gave me a full insight I couldn't see before. I also liked that the book was short poems, but could read as a whole book as well. That was until Knarf, voice number two, told me that I should of read it in every other page format. Anyway, I give it a 5.

The long and short of it, I loved that it was full of short poems, but yet all tied together and could be read as a whole book and still made sense.

Where to find the author:

#Review: The Knights Before Christmas by Joan Holub/Illustrated by Scott Magoon

This parody of Clement Clarke Moore's well-known poem 'Twas the Night Before Christmas is kid-friendly, clever, and just plain silly―sure to become a holiday classic of a different kind.

My review:
I have given no secret to the fact that I adore this author and her books. This little gem just gave me a good chuckle. She has taken the traditional telling of "The Night Before Christmas" and turned it with a poetic twist of laughter.

The three very good Knights with funny names defend the castle, that also has a funny name, from the likes of an invader. Who would this invader with the "dragons" be? Well, I am sure you might guess.  Their fight to defend is downright hilarious with the sugar plums, and other things flying back and forth. Oh, how I wish I could tell you, but that would ruin it for you if I did. 

I also loved seeing the cartoon-ish pop up bubbles that tell what each knight is thinking. Of course these little bits are Christmas sayings or song related.

The author is so good at what she does and obviously can see a good bit of humor in everything. She manages to get the feel of what children would think is funny in every book she writes. This book is no exception!

The illustrator was also able to envision what the author was going for. His large, somewhat exaggerated characters enhanced what was already a great book. The colors are muted to give the feel of medieval times and yet has spots of Christmas colors that you would expect from such a book.

You would be amiss if you did not get a copy of this book. 5 stars and a HO HO HO!

Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my open and honest opinion. The views expressed here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~Naila Moon

Where to find the author:

Joan Holub

Amazon | Goodreads | Facebook

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Review: Can You See What I See? Night Before Christmas by Walter Wick #Scholastic #ISpyBooks

Scenes from Clement Moore's 'Twas the Night Before Christmas inspire twelve elegant and fascinating compositions where readers search for dozens of intriguing hidden objects.

The first photograph, "The Night Before Christmas," features a gingerbread house, Christmas cookies, candles, bulbs, and more. "Visions of Sugarplums" is an abstract composition of Christmas confections; and "Such a Clatter!" is a dynamic explosion of objects. In "It Must Be Saint Nick," Santa is shown in shadow; and in "A Bundle of Toys," the presents in Santa's sack are revealed as a magnificent jumble. The final photograph, "Happy Christmas to All" is a beautiful, pastoral landscape, lustrous under new-fallen snow. 

My review:
As I do with all the book reviews I do, I look up the author to see what makes him/her tick and what other books he/she may have written. In this case, I found out that the author has photographed and collaborated with another author  on everyone of the "I Spy" books there are out there. That in itself is awesome.

This book takes the traditional telling of "The Night Before Christmas" and breaks it into pages of fun-filled toys and games to look for. The objects on each page are cleverly arranged so that the reader has to go on a "hunt" of sorts. This is no surprise if you have read any other "I Spy" books. 

The photographs are clear and concise. Each page has large photographs with traditional Christmas colors in the background. I had a bit of a hard time finding items but the fun of this book is looking at it over and over.  The pages are two spread with one giving clues as to what to look for. 

Finally, the end pages have the story of the "Night Before Christmas" which to me is a nice touch.
The weirdest thing I found about this book is that some pages are upside down until I got about half way through the book. I am not sure if this was intentional or accidental, either way, it makes the book that much more fun!

Oh, and one more thing, this book is from Scholastic books, so I can be reassured it is worth children to look at and read.

5 Stars!

Disclosure: I purchased a copy of this book for my own collections. The views expressed here are 100% my own and may not reflect yours. ~Naila Moon

Where to find the author:


Monday, December 14, 2015

KID LIT BLOG HOP-December 2015 #KLBH #KidLitHop

Hello! Welcome to the December 2015 Kid Lit Blog Hop. This exciting, now monthly hop,  is where we develop an engaged group of people who love everything that has to do with children's literature. Everyone is welcome to join us: bloggers, authors, publicist, and publishers!

Simply make a post and add it to the linky. (Please make sure to add your direct post only) If you are an author, feel free just to link to your blog.
Once you are done, then hop around to visit others. Please follow the co-host and visit at least the two people above your link. Please leave a comment when you do visit, we all like those.
Also, it would be appreciated if you grab the Kid Lit Blog Hop Badge and display it on your blog and/or your post.

We want to welcome a new co-host to the blog hop, Ann from Hits and Misses. Welcome, Ann, it is great to have you on board! 
Our next hop will be January, 20, 2016. The hostess will be around to see you. Happy Hopping!

Reading Authors, Hostess

Julie Grasso, Author 

Cheryl Carpinello, Author 


Pragmatic Mom

The Logonauts

A Book Long Enough

Spark and Pook

Hits and Misses

***This time around I am featuring a cute little book all about a snow family. Review HERE.
Enjoy the holidays wherever you may be. Stop back by again for a few more reviews through the end of December. Thanks for being here. ***

Saturday, December 12, 2015

#Review: The Snowbelly Family of Chillyville Inn by Cheryl Hawkinson/Illustrator Mike Esberg #HallmarkBooks

"It's holiday time at the Chillyville Inn, and the Snowbelly family is in quite a spin..." Every year the Snowbelly family open their inn to frosty holiday travelers. This spirited story tells how their bustling preparations this season go a little differently than planned...

My review:
This is a cute little rhyming book that tells the tale of a snowman family. Who doesn't like a snowman tale after all? I love how they are doing what many families do when getting ready for the holidays. This family is also getting ready to greet guest as they are the owners of an inn.

I found it humorous to see what the Snowbelly children and their pets get into when they go to help Grandma. Of course, I cannot tell you that or it would give most of the book away. Trust me, it is what ends up making this book cute.

The rhyming in the book is ok, but the illustrations are awesome. With colorful pinks and blues, and of Christmas-y colors throughout, this makes for the perfect companion to a cold night and a cup of hot chocolate.

Oh, and one more thing, this book is from the Hallmark series of books, so you and I can be assured it is a book that is wholesome enough for the whole family to enjoy.

I give the book 4 stars and a brrrr.

Disclosure: I bought a copy of this book for my own collections. The views here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~Naila Moon

Where to find the author:

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Special Post-Inquisitive Mind Wants To Know

,If you have not figured out by now, I have a great love of reading and writing too. I was wondering what kinds of books do you like to read?  Comment below daily with either the book name or a link to the book. No links to blogs please.
All I ask is that if you do comment daily to leave a different book each day. ~Naila Moon


Thursday, November 26, 2015

#Review: Milly and the Macy's Parade by Shana Corey/ Illustrated by Brett Helquist #Thanksgiving #kidsbooks

It's 1924 and the holidays are approaching. Milly lives in NYC with her Polish family and frolics daily in holiday displays at the Macy's store under the watchful eye of Mr. Macy. But Milly's family misses their homeland and traditions. In an effort to cheer people up, Milly convinces Mr. Macy to combine old country traditions with new American heritage in a celebration for all to enjoy. Everyone agrees that the resulting parade will become a wonderful new tradition. This heartwarming story beautifully captures the creation of a uniquely American event.

My review:
I have watched the Macy's Day parade since I was a child. I wait all year long to watch the parade, just like I waited all year long to review this book. Oh, yes, I did! What better time than on parade day itself.

The book begins before the parade was created with the main character, Milly, an immigrant, whose father works for Mr. Macy. She enjoys everything about Macy's department store as the first couple of pages attest to when she 'reviews' the store for the reader. The book carries through the first parade which is an idea made up by Milly to celebrate the holidays as her family and friends did in their old countries.

In the back of the book, the author notes the similarities and differences within the book and real life. Notably, that no one knows who actually gave the idea for starting the parade, but it was made up of Macy's immigrant workers. The parade ended at the Macy's department store.

Mr. Macy was never involved in any of the parades as he died prior to the first parade ever taking place. However, since it was the employees that created the parade and were loyal to the Macy's store, they named it after him. Of course, we know today that the name stuck and the rest is history!

The book is written on one side and a large picture that sprawls over two pages. The pictures are bold with darker browns, tans, and a splotch or two of muted colors.

To say that I love this book is an actually an understatement. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, this book and it will be a family go to for a long time. 5 Stars!

Disclosure: I purchased this book for my own collections. The views expressed here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~Naila Moon

Where to find the author:


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Review: A Plump and Perky Turkey by Teresa Bateman/ Illustrated by Jeff Shelly #Thanksgiving #kidsbooks

Turkeys around Squawk Valley just don't jump into pots anymore -- they are way too smart for that. So the townspeople hatch a clever plan. They host a turkey-themed arts and crafts fair and lure a vain bird into town by advertising for an artist's model. Peter the Turkey, proud of his well-stuffed form, takes the bait but doesn't fall for the trap.

My review:

What is a town to do when they can't find a turkey to eat? Well, hire or trick one. The only problem is, turkeys are clever and so is this book!

I had a little chuckle watching the town's folk do a bunch of art using the model of one very smart turkey. I had hoped that the turkey would win out but did he? Well, that my friends are to be determined when you read the book.

The rhyming was well done by the author while the illustrations were great. All the pictures were done in "Thanksgiving-y" and Fall colors. They were large and humorous. On the first couple of pages the turkeys were cleverly hidden within the picture, a fun hide and seek.

A cute book that would make any family around the Thanksgiving dinner table chuckle.
5 stars!

Disclosure: I purchased this book for my own collections. The views here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~Naila Moon

Where to find the author:

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Book Tour #Spotlight and #Giveaway: The Talented 2 by Desy Smith #ParanormalRomance #YA

I am spotlighting this book on my blog on behalf of Bewitching Blog Tours and the author. I have not read this book or series but hope to in the future. Enjoy!

Book Description:
Carmel’s time at the H.O.T hasn’t been all that pleasant. She’s gotten drugged, captured, and had to endure her painful change. When Carmel finally starts to enjoy her life at the H.O.T with her friends and her boyfriend Devon; Queen Ice, her annoying past life, contacts her. Queen Ice not only tells her about the impending battle between the good angels and the evil angels, she also continues to pop up in Carmel’s mind, showing her images from her life in the past. Now, Carmel, her friends along with her boyfriend, race to find a sword that they believe will give them leverage in the battle to come. Unfortunately it isn’t as easy as it seems. There are others who are aware of the sword, and they’ll do anything to retrieve it before Carmel does. In addition, Carmel can’t use her Water or Ice Talent to help in the battle and she doesn’t know why! On top of that, there’s one or more people in Carmel's group who aren’t whom they say they are. Can Carmel find the sword? Will she be able to figure out why her Talents aren’t working? Can she discover who in the group is lying to her and the others about who they really are?
Be sure to read the second series of The Talented by Author Desy Smith to see how the story unfolds!
Available at Amazon and 

Giveaway (below): If you would like a chance a winning 1 of 2 Amazon cards, enter below. I am not responsible for this giveaway, have not received compensation for this post, or responsible for distribution of prize. Good luck!

About the Author:

Desiree “Desy” Smith was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. As an avid reader, Desy read several books until she ran out of things to read. Having nothing else to read, at the age of thirteen, she decided to write her own book. Her love for reading soon turned into a passion for writing. She self­published her first book, The Talented, under Floebe Publishing, which she started to give a voice to new and aspiring authors. Desy writes to inspire and to provide an escape for anyone who wants to live in a fantasy world without worrying about the challenges of everyday life. The Talented is part one of a five part series, with the second installment arriving finally here. Currently, Desy is hard at work on her third novel, Supernatural Resident Advisor with an expected release date of October 2015. Desy’s genre of choice is fantasy romance fiction. Aside from reading and writing Desy enjoys various types of food, especially dessert. When she’s not reading she can probably be found eating a cupcake or two.

Web  Facebook Goodreads Instagram

Giveaway: 1 of 2 Amazon Cards

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Monday, November 16, 2015

KID LIT BLOG HOP-November 2015 #KidLitHop, #KLBH

Hello! Welcome to the Kid Lit Blog Hop. This exciting, now monthly hop,  is where we develop an engaged group of people who love everything that has to do with children's literature. Everyone is welcome to join us: bloggers, authors, publicist, and publishers!

Simply make a post and add it to the linky. (Please make sure to add your direct post only) 
Once you are done, then hop around to visit others. Please visit at least the two people above your link. Please leave a comment when you do visit, we all like those.
Also, it would be appreciated if you grab the Kid Lit Blog Hop Badge and display it on your blog and/or your post.

The hostess will be around to see you. It would be nice if you followed all of them. Happy Hopping!

Reading Authors, Hostess

Cheryl Carpinello, Author / Blogger


Pragmatic Mom

The Logonauts

A Book Long Enough

Spark and Pook


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Book #Spotlight & #Giveaway: We Had A Job To Do #adultnonfiction #history #WWII #veteran

In light of Veteran's Day yesterday, I am spotlighting a book as part of the iRead Book Tours. I honor our veterans and thankful for what all the women and men have done for our country. I have not read the book as of yet and look forward to doing so in the near future.

If you would like to win one of 9 gift sets which include: a copy of this book, an American flag (3x5) and a gently used Glen Miller CD, scroll to the bottom of this post and enter.

Description for We Had a Job to Do:

This heartfelt tribute to World War II veterans is history that reads like fiction.

Follow a soldier who fought in Patton’s Third Army and who landed on Omaha Beach at 9 a.m. on D-Day; a female Army Air Forces nurse who made helping veterans her life’s work; a fighter pilot who flew with the African-American unit known as the Tuskegee Airmen and who was on one of the teams that won the first Top Gun meet after the war; a guard in a top-secret intelligence base outside of Washington, D.C. where top German weapons scientists were interrogated; a female aircraft mechanic who served in the Navy and is still active in veterans affairs seventy years later; a gunner on a B-17 heavy bomber who was shot down and spent fourteen months in German prison camps; an airman in General Curtis LeMay’s 20th Air Force, the unit that dropped the atomic bombs, and more.

Get to know some of the patriots who served in World War II.

Author's Bio:

The author is a graduate of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, B.A. (English Literature and Philosophy) and M.A. (Philosophy) and Harvard Law School, J.D. Her mother served in World War II in the U.S. Army, her father served in the U.S. Navy, her maternal uncle served in the war in the British Marines Commandos and fought in Normandy on D-Day, and another maternal uncle was killed in a training accident in Texas while serving in the U.S. Army. Her grandfather was wounded fighting for Britain in World War I.

Connect with the author:   Website    Facebook
Buy the book:    Amazon

Disclosure: Naila Moon of Reading Authors is not responsible for this giveaway and received no compensation for this post.

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Thursday, October 22, 2015

#Review: Fright Club by Ethan Long #kidsbooks #Halloween #Scholastic

Each year, on Halloween eve, Fright Club meets to go over their plan: Operation Kiddie Scare. Only the scariest of monsters can join Fright Club-Vladimir the Vampire, Fran K. Stein, Sandy Witch, and Virginia Wolf have all made the cut. They've been practicing their ghoulish faces, their scary moves, and their chilling sounds. But when a band of cute little critters comes along asking to join in the fun, the members of Fright Club will find out who really is the scariest of all!
This clever, rollicking read-aloud text and delightfully spooky illustrations will have young readers laughing, cheering, and begging to be the newest members of Fright Club.

My review:

My granddaughter and I read this book together. She loved making scary faces and loud noises along with the book. I am sure she was bucking to get into the Fright Club too. I think she has a pretty good chance. *wink*

This book was just a pure delight. The dark pages and cartoonish characters gave homage to the book supposedly being scary but yet not so scary. A nice little juxtapose. The book was written in a large photo comic book style.

The humor of the book was throughout from the monsters themselves not quite up to par, to the cute animals that try to join the club. There were even a few funny twist just to make this a laugh out loud book that kids and adults would love. Did I happen to mention my husband and daughter-in-law where listening to me read the book too? *wink*

Great book and a good one to have in any Halloween collection of books. 5 stars!

Disclosure: I purchased this book for my own collections. The views expressed here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~Naila Moon

Where to find the author:

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Kid Lit Hop #68 #KidLitHop #KLBH

Kid Lit Blog HopWelcome to the 68th Kid Lit Blog Hop where we continue to develop a dynamic and engaged community of children's books bloggers, authors, publishers, and publicists. So, you are always more than welcome to join us by popping in a post and hopping around to meet some of your fellow Kid Lit bloggers and authors!

*** Before I get started on my review, I wanted to announce that Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews, who began the blog hop, is leaving. She may not have wanted this announced, but I wanted to recognize her contribution to spotlighting kid's literature. Thank you for all you have done and I hope we all make you proud as we move forward. I still look forward to your highlighting great books and all the reviews you and your children do.

Having said that, I will be taking over in Renee's place as the main hostess but the majority of all the wonderful co-hostess we have will remain too. My hope is you will continue to join us. There will be some changes, but very few to keep things going smoothly. One big change will be that the hops will only be once a month instead of twice a month. This will begin in November, so stay tuned.

Now, on to my own kid lit books. This time, I want to feature an author whose book I just read. He is not only an author but illustrator too. The series looks fantastic. Introducing: Troy Cummings. Enjoy the review.  ~Naila Moon***

Please follow our Hostesses:

Mother Daughter Book Reviews

Julie Grasso, Author/ Blogger

           Cheryl Carpinello, Author / Blog


  Pragmatic Mom

    Reading Authors

  The Logonauts

     Spark and Pook

            Music Teaching and Parenting

Happy Hopping everyone and enjoy the Hop!

Kid Lit Blog Hop Rules *Please Read*

1. Link up any Kid Lit related post in the Kid Lit Blog Hop. This can be a link to a children’s book review, a discussion about children’s literature/literacy, or a post on a recently-read children’s book or one that you love from your childhood.
* Don't link directly to your blog, it must be a specific post.*
* For Authors, we prefer you to link to your blog if you have one. Please link unique posts each time ~ no repeats please. *
* Make sure you include an image relevant to the POST (e.g., book cover), not your blog button or photo of yourself.*
* Feel free to link more than one post.*
2. Please visit AT LEAST the TWO LINKS from the Kid Lit Blog Hop directly ahead of your own and leave them some love in the form of a comment. We are trying to build a community of bloggers, readers, parents, authors, and others who are as passionate about children’s literature as we are so please CONNECT and follow any or all of the blogs that interest you! 3. If you like, grab the button above and put it somewhere on your blog, preferably the post you're linking up. If you'd prefer, you can just add a text link back to this Hop so that others can find it and check out all these great book links! 4. It would really help us get the word out about the Kid Lit Blog Hop if you would be so kind as to tweet, share, and spread the word about the Hop!

Happy Hopping!