Tuesday, October 18, 2016

KID LIT BLOG HOP-October 2016 #KLBH #KidLitBlogHop

We want to welcome you to the October 2016 Kid Lit Blog Hop. Fall is here and Halloween is in a mere two weeks...WOW! There are some really great Halloween and Autumn books out there for children. We have seen some listed already. How about you share some of those on our monthly hop or for that matter, any great kid's literature. We love it all!

Have you seen the Kid Lit Blog Hopper Facebook fan page. This page has all the news and information related to the hop plus ongoing posts, giveaways, news articles, etc. related to Kid's Lit. Check it out and of course, please like the page.

This monthly hop, is designed to engage a 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!

So for our hop, please make sure that your posts are related to Children’s literature only 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 one or 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. Note: Make sure you have the newest badge as the old one goes to the wrong page.

We would also be grateful if you tweet and/or posted on Facebook about the blog hop. Let’s grow this wonderful community.

Our next hop will be January 18, 2017. We will be taking a break for November and December. Happy Holidays to all of you and thank you for coming back month after month.

Thanks for sharing your great children's books with all of us! The hostess will be around to see you.

Happy Hopping!

Reading Authors, Host

The Bookshelf Gargoyle


Cheryl Carpinello

Pragmatic Mom

The Logonauts

Spark and Pook

Monday, October 17, 2016

Review: A-Z Mysteries: The Haunted House by Ron Roy #Halloween #KidMysteries #series

H is for Haunted . . . There s a ghost in Green Lawn! Strange sounds and even stranger sights are terrifying guests at the Shangri-la Hotel. More and more people are being scared away. Will Green Lawn turn into a ghost town? Or can Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose stop this spook?

My review:
This is a cute chapter book that tells the tale of three children who set out to find a mysterious ghost that is haunting their towns hotel. Although this is supposed to be a spooky book for this age group, I thought it might be too mild. Kids do like to be spooked even at a young age. The book is a bit predictable but it is targeted toward 2nd-3rd graders so, that is forgivable.

Overall, I think the book is okay and does remove the gore factor which I would not like, but still needs a little more boo.

This book is part of an alphabet mystery series of stand along books. I would like to read some more from this author.

3 stars.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Masking for Trouble by Diane Vallere #Halloween #CozyMystery

Halloween conjures up big business for Margo Tamblyn’s costume shop, Disguise DeLimit, but this year, the holiday comes knocking with serious trouble. Venture capitalist Paul Haverford plans to rezone historic downtown into a glitzy commercial area which would push out local business. Margo is set on saving her family’s store, especially after a nasty run-in with the chain-store tycoon, but after Haverford’s body is discovered during a spooky party at the derelict Alexandria Hotel, Margo finds herself dressed as the police’s prime suspect.
Anxious to clear her name, Margo begins hunting down anyone who might have wanted Haverford dead. Between all of his malicious maneuverings, the murdered mogul had buckets of people anxious to see him gone. Now, Margo will have to use every trick in the book to find a cloaked killer—before someone else winds up wearing a death shroud...

My review:
I was interested in this book for a two-fold reason. The first of which it was marked as a Halloween book which the title being a play on word. Secondly, it was a mystery book minus all of the gore that I so hate.

I enjoyed the character, Margo, who was quirky with her daily costume changes. This was not only because she owned a costume shop but because it was her mere personality. She was in essence a part of Halloween and Halloween was a part of her. This made her very likable in my mind. As the story moved along though, I felt she should have been in a detective outfit most of the story. She would have passed for one much more than the actual detective in the story.

I liked the ending but was a bit bogged down to get there. Her so-called romance with one of the characters seemed to stretch out too far for me and I was a bit disappointed it did not speed up. However, her ignorance of the matter did not make sense to the rest of her investigative style. Maybe the term, "love is blind" fit in this case.

Getting back to the ending, I personally would have liked to see a little bit more hint to whom it was but then, it might have ruined the story.

At the end of the book were Halloween recipes and costume ideas that could be found throughout the book. This was a nice addition!

Overall, I give this a 4 star and look forward to reading more from this author.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the author for free. The review here is 100% my own opinion and may differ from yours.
This review is also part of the Great Escapes Book Tours.
~M.M. aka Naila Moon

Where to find the author:


Friday, October 7, 2016

Review: Broom Mates by Margie Palatini/ Illustrated by Howard Fine #Halloween 7/31

Preparing for the big Monster Mash can be tiring, and Gritch the Witch needs her shut-eye. No sooner does she shoo away the bedbugs and curl up for a good night's sleep than there's a knock at the door. Its Mag the Hag, her bossy big sister, come a day early for the party. Can they survive being broom mates for an entire day?

My review:
This is a humorous book with a ton of play on words and jokes. The title alone sets the mood for the entire book.
The writing was simply fantastic and very clever. I never have had sisters but my brothers and I often fussed. The things these sisters compete about is hilarious.

What is really fantastic about this book is the large, over-the-top, illustrations that are down right side splitting. The illustrator and author matched perfectly together. I particularly liked the pages with the dust bunnies and them sharing the bed...funny! Also, the characterization of these two were a hoot as well. If opposites could be related, these two are that!

No doubt that kids would love to read this over and over.
This book gets 5 stars from me.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Review: Ghost Fever Mal de Fantasma by Joe Hayes #DiversityBooks #Halloween #ghost #MiddleGrade #ChapterBooks

This tells the story of a haunted house in a poor little town in Arizona. Even when the landlord offers free rent, nobody moves in because they know a ghost lives there. That is, until Elena’s father rents it.
He doesn’t believe in ghosts. Lucky for Elena that her grandmother knows all about the ways of ghosts. She helps her solve the mystery of the “ghost on the roof” while Elena learns a very important lesson about life.

My review:

This is to me, a classic paranormal story. A house has been haunted and its inhabitants are a bit scared. In this case, the ghostly presence of a girl, speaks to the living and makes her understand why she died.

I have watched many a paranormal show where the ghost have been pushed out of a house without trying to find out why the are in limbo to begin with. I enjoyed that the daughter, Elena, in this book, not only helped this girl move on but she set things up so that another could live a good life.

This chapter book was written in English and Spanish which not only spoke to the authors style of writing but also the diversity of the characters in the book which were Hispanic. Some Spanish is intertwined within the English in order to make a strong point. That to me was interesting.

There are few illustrations, as again, this is a chapter book, but the ones that are in the book help give the spooky vibe that the book was meant to be.

I love this story and since the author is actually a story teller by trade, I would love to hear his verbal telling. This story deserves a 5 star.

Do no believe me? This book won the  Texas Bluebonnet Award for 2007.

Review: Trick or Treat Smell My Feet by Diane de Groat #Halloween 5/31

Gilbert's little sister, Lola, wants to do everything her little brother does. She wants to go to school. She wants to march in the Halloween parade. She even wants to dress up just like Gilbert --as a Martian Space Pilot.
But Gilbert doesn want Lola tagging along. And he definitely doesn't want anyone else to copy his costume idea. He's determined to have the most unusual outfit in the entire school.
My review:
Having younger brothers, I can understand what it means to have a sibling that wants to copy everything you do. I can also understand that sometimes things can get really mixed up and that you want to be an individual aside from your siblings.

I thought this was a fun book to see how Gilbert, the main character, treated his sister, which was with kindness and understand except when it came to going to school. There he wanted to be independent and known for someone who created something special but he finds out that maybe that is not so, that others may have same ideas.  In the end, by chance, it is his sister that helps he be that individual he so craves.

I loved the total interaction of the both of them and his love and respect in the end for his sister. The term of "Trick or Treat Smell My Feat" was secondary to what the actual book was about. Very clever!

4 stars

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Book Blast! Audio Book: Murder Strikes A Pose by Tracy Weber #CozyMysteries #MurderMysteries

Book Blast - Murder Strikes a Pose: A Downward Dog Mystery - Now on Audio book for the First Time! I was asked to post this new audio book on behalf of the author. I received no compensation for the post. ~Naila Moon

g-gif-update-book-blast new-murder-strikes-a-pose-book-blast-large-banner640

Murder Strikes A Pose by Tracy Weber Audio Edition

Written by: Tracy Weber
Narrated by: Anne James
Length: 8 hrs and 18 mins

Publisher's Summary

Seattle yoga instructor Kate Davidson often acts more like a champion fighting rooster than the Dalai Lama. When she's not teaching yoga, she spends her time hiding from her creepy landlord and dodging her best friend's relentless matchmaking attempts. Even though her father was a cop, Kate has zero crime fighting aspirations. She has enough trouble keeping her struggling yoga business afloat while trying to live up to yoga's Zen-like expectations.
Then she stumbles over a body in the studio's parking lot.
The police dismiss the murder as drug-related street crime, but Kate knows that George - a homeless alcoholic she had befriended-was no drug dealer. And if the police won't take his murder seriously, she'll just have to solve the crime herself. After all, "Drunk Dies in Drug Deal Gone Bad at Yoga Studio" isn't exactly the free publicity she's been hoping for.
Kate stretches herself and takes on two new challenges. First, solve George's murder. Second, find someone-anyone-willing to adopt his intimidating, horse-sized German shepherd, Bella, before Animal Control sends her to the big dog park in the sky.
But with Bella's time almost up and the murderer hot on her trail, Kate will have to work fast. Or the next time she practices Corpse Pose, it may be for real.
©2014 Midnight Ink (P)2016 Tracy Weber


“Weber’s debut, which launches the Downward Dog series, should appeal to anyone who likes canines, yoga, and a determined sleuth. ... Cozy fans will eagerly await the next installment.” Publishers Weekly
“Weber’s debut fits into that newest of intriguing niches, what I call “extreme cozies.” While the yoga and the animal rescue (and a potential romance, of course) neatly fit the amateur sleuth mold, Weber breaks new ground with her protagonist’s desire to remedy a social ill, in this case, urban homelessness. The series has tremendous potential, particularly with Kate’s BFF’s humorous help, and some seriously good yoga tips.” Terry Jacobsen Library Journal
“What a treat! A charming heroine, a cantankerous pooch, and a clever page-turner of a mystery make for delightfully original entertainment. You don’t need to love yoga to love this series—its good karma makes it an instant winner.” Hank Phillippi Ryan THE WRONG GIRL (Forge)
“Make room on the cozy mystery bandwagon—there’s a new dog in town! Cozy mystery readers will love the soft-hearted, self-deprecating yoga teacher and her German shepherd sidekick in Tracy Weber’s debut, Murder Strikes a Pose.” Lucy Burdette TOPPED CHEF (Signet)
“Weber’s debut novel is a yogalicious romp. She mixes yoga with sleuthing and the perils of second-time-around dating into a compelling, inviting read.” Maggie Toussaint DIME IF I KNOW (Five Star/Cengage)
“Kate Davidson’s pluck, humor, and determination make her a welcome addition to the ranks of amateur sleuths. Reading Murder Strikes a Pose made me want to study yoga. It also left me hoping for a sequel so that I can visit with Kate and Bella again.” Laurien Berensen GONE WITH THE WOOF (Kensington)
Murder Strikes a Pose, by Tracy Weber, is a delightful debut novel featuring Kate Davison, a caring but feisty yoga teacher who’s recently opened her own business, Serenity Yoga. When Kate meets a homeless man named George and his loud but loving German shepherd Bella, life in her colorful Seattle neighborhood turns upside down (or dare I say Downward Dog...). Namaste to Weber and her fresh, new heroine!” Penny Warner HOW TO DINE ON KILLER WINE (Obsidian/Penguin)
“When a good dog seems to go bad, a yoga teacher comes to the rescue in this charming debut mystery. Murder Strikes a Pose pieces together a skillful collage of mystery, yoga, and plenty of dog stories against the unique backdrop of Seattle characters and neighborhoods. The delightful start of a promising new series. I couldn’t put it down!” Waverly Fitzgerald DIAL C FOR CHIHUAHUA (Kensington)
“We hope to see more Downward Dog Mysteries. Our judges thoroughly enjoyed reading this murder/mystery/suspense manuscript. The writing is fresh, the story is relevant on several levels, and the suspense keeps the pages turning. A hands down winner!” Chanticleer Book Reviews
“Three woofs for Tracy Weber’s first Downward Dog Mystery, Murder Strikes a Pose. Great characters, keep-you-guessing plot, plenty of laughs, and dogs—what more could we want? Ah, yes – the next book!” Sheila Webster Boneham DROP DEAD ON RECALL (Midnight Ink)

Tracy Weber Small HeadshotAbout Tracy Weber:

Tracy Weber is the author of the award-winning Downward Dog Mysteries series. The first book in the series, Murder Strikes a Pose, won the Maxwell Award for Fiction and was nominated for the Agatha award for Best First Novel.
A certified yoga therapist, Tracy is the owner of Whole Life Yoga, a Seattle yoga studio, as well as the creator and director of Whole Life Yoga’s teacher training program. She loves sharing her passion for yoga and animals in any way possible.
Tracy and her husband Marc live in Seattle with their crazy new German shepherd pup, Ana. When she’s not writing, Tracy spends her time teaching yoga, trying to corral Ana, and sipping Blackthorn cider at her favorite ale house.
For more information on Tracy and the Downward Dog Mysteries, visit her author website: http://TracyWeberAuthor.com/
Buy Your Copy Today! Amazon

Blast Participants

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Review: Behind the Mask by Yangsooki Choi #Halloween #diversebooks 4/31

Halloween is coming. “What are you going to be?” the children ask one another. Kimin says he will be his grandfather. “Going as an old man is not very scary,” they tease. What the children don’t know is that Kimin’s grandfather was a Korean mask dancer. And Kimin doesn’t know that the mask holds a secret for him.

My review:
I think one of the most interesting things about this book is its diversity. This told the story of a child who is afraid to be himself but in the end is celebrated because of it.

I love that he embraces his culture by dressing as his Grandfather who was a Korean folk dancer. The masks his Grandfather used helped him to be accepted for Halloween but also helped him learn who he truly was.

The best thing about the book was the total acceptance from all the children and wanting to know about the mask and about Grandfather. To me, that is what diversity is all about!
4 stars.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Review: Lizzie Borden: Zombie Hunter by C.A. Verstraete #HalloweenBooks #AdultBooks #Horror

Every family has its secrets…

One hot August morning in 1892, Lizzie Borden picked up an axe and murdered her father and stepmother. Newspapers claim she did it for the oldest of reasons: family conflicts, jealousy and greed. But what if her parents were already dead? What if Lizzie slaughtered them because they’d become zombies?

Thrust into a horrific world where the walking dead are part of a shocking conspiracy to infect not only Fall River, Massachusetts, but also the world beyond, Lizzie battles to protect her sister, Emma, and her hometown from nightmarish ghouls and the evil forces controlling them.

My review:
This is not my usual genre of books. I generally will read something semi-spooky or paranormal but not horror. However, I was intrigued by the book title. Who hasn't heard the story of Lizzie Borden who reportedly killed her parents? I know I have which makes this book intriguing giving a twist on the story, but still, horror!

One of the things I liked about this book is how each chapter began with a set of questions or sentences taken from the newspaper at the time. The questions were directed at the real Lizzie Borden in her trial. These questions and news articles set up the entire chapter to be read and is a different take from what I have seen before.

As I mentioned before, this was a bit of difficult read for me as I do not care for the genre, however, I think the author did a pretty good job at setting up the scenes from a real event to make it look like the zombie book she was going for. Blood, gore, and lies told are completely throughout the book and ironically, makes it more plausible than the real story.

The author included at the end of the book: sources and briefly, the real story.

This book has earned 4 stars from me.
This review is also part of the Bewitching Blog Tours.

Where to find the author:


Sunday, October 2, 2016

Review: The Pumpkin Blanket by Deborah Turney Zagwyn

Sparkling with rich autumn watercolors and magical detail, this book introduces little Clee and her blanket, a true and trusted friend. But when her father's shivering pumpkin patch needs help to survive the frost, Clee understands that it needs her blanket more than she does.

My review:
This is the story of a little girl who gives up her most loved possession, her blanket, that she has had since she was first born. I was a bit saddened by this book.   It seemed odd to me that the blanket is what saves the pumpkins but they were not to eat but for decorations.

Also, was the story meant to be a sharing story? A growing up story? I was a bit confused on what the aim of the book was for. I am sure children would think it was a story of sharing but then again, I do not know.

The book ended rather abruptly for me too. I thought there should be more. The last page featured the little girl looking out her door and all the pumpkins that had now been carved. She is holding just a shred of her loved blanket. Again, sad.

A real plus for this book was the illustrations. They were all in fall colors of oranges, yellows, browns, and some reds. The pictures were large and cute. The overall feel of the illustrations matched the book.

Although the story did end abruptly, it was written in mind of an emergent reader. The writing was boxed off by itself and only a couple of sentence but still large to see and understand the story.

Over all, this book was ok for me and for that reason, I give it 3 stars.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Review: Wiley & Grampa's Creature Feature: Grampa's Zombie BBQ by Kirk Scroggs

Grampa's annual barbecue is crashed by hundreds of rotting residents from Eternal Naps cemetery. Soon, Wiley accidentally bakes Grampa's foot to a crisp, Merle the cat battled zombified bugs, and Vera the world's worst lunch lady whips up her secret side dish.

My review:
I am zombie friendly. They humor me and in this book the whole cast of zombies, grandpa, and neighbors humored me. 
I could not imagine being invited to the best BBQ in the county only to have zombies show up that want to eat me. Essentially, that is what happens in this book and the ensuing way to get rid of them is a riot.
I found the ingenuity genius!

This book was like one big cartoon from a newspaper with colorful scenery and outrageous characters to make this chapter book fun. Kids will love to see what happens next with every flip turn and will get a chuckle or two along the way. I sure did!

This is a terrific book for the early reader who is interested in zombies and wants a good laugh.
4 stars.