Tuesday, April 30, 2013

0 The Fragile Things

Two girls on the road to self-destruction.
A village upon the brink of collapse.
A past which refuses to die.

The beginning of an epic four-part horror serial.

At seventeen-years-old, Jennifer should have the world at her feet. Instead, she’s an ex-heroin addict living in a council estate with Tony, her boyfriend and former dealer. Shunned by her family and friends, she dreams of something greater than she’s been given.

Beautiful and strange, Ebony has moved in across the street. She’s just lost the one person in her lonely existence to cancer. She’s also a centuries-old vampire, struggling to cope with murderous outbursts and the desire to be something more.

When these two lost souls meet, an unusual friendship begins.

But with the news of Morris, Tony’s sadistic best friend and drug-dealing partner, being released from prison, Jennifer knows it’s only a matter of time before his path of vengeance leads to her and Ebony, too.

With a cast of memorable characters, a village full of secrets, and a gripping story, The Fragile Things is a layered tale of friendship, hope, survival and what it truly means to be human.

Part I of The Fragile Things is available on Amazon from 30th April, 2013. And will be FREE 30th April – 2nd May.

Author Bio: V. Shaw is the author of short fiction collection, The Lady of Chains and Other Stories. Having reviewed horror films for FatallyYours.com, she now focuses on creating her own monsters.

Monday, April 29, 2013

0 Q&A with Emily Craven

1. Please tell our readers about your novel, The Grand Adventures of Madeline Cain, Photographer Extraordinaire.

The Grand Adventures of Madeline Cain’ is a comedy told through Facebook status updates, comments, private messages and notes. In this first book
Madeline has just achieved her dream, acceptance into world famous photographer, Jason I’Anson’s, exclusive college in New York. Like many people of her generation who travel overseas, she turns to Facebook as a medium to pass on news and keep in touch with her family and friends. But her move from the sleepy Australian town of Adelaide to New York City doesn’t exactly turn out as she expected. There is no denying Madeline is a Chaos Magnet. From her first meeting with her chain smoking, club crazy house mate and his superhero Mexican Chameleon, Duncan (who can move from one side of the room to the other in a blink of eye), she knew she was in for an interesting time. Add an umbrella rigged by her brother to yell abuse at surrounding pedestrians when it rains, pizza deliveries to porn sets and being pulled in by the FBI for questioning after an explorative stint into spy photography, and things move from the interesting to the ridiculous.

Egged on by her Australian Facebook friends, Madeline tries to find her feet in the big city. But this may be harder for her to achieve than first thought, after she accidentally blackmails a famous model cheating on her boyfriend. In a world of status updates, blogs and photographic file sharing, where everyone who adds you can follow your every move, Madeline has to get herself out of the hole she's dug.

However, the story doesn’t stay on the page. Taking advantage of the age of social media, readers can now interact with the main characters from Madeline Cain on Facebook. Each character has their own page where readers will find the characters interacting and posting additional pictures, videos and more.

2. So, why tell the story through Facebook?

Facebook is a conversation! It is how you tell your friends stories about your life, and it is a perfect way to tell a story. There are updates and comments, notes and private messages. Anything you want to say you can say it to the world or in private, either way it is great for a traveller like Madeline, who doesn't want to worry about writing and sending individual emails. Facebook has been a part of young adult life for over a decade now, young readers understand there is a creative element to how you present yourself, why wouldn't you make use of something young adults intimately connect with? I also know a LOT of kooky people on Facebook who make me laugh, their real personalities come out in ways I don't expect, I wanted that energy to come through. You can tell a lot about friends from what they like on facebook, what groups they join and what they believe is important enough to post.

I also love the element of realism it gives to the characters, after all in Facebook we always know there is some real on the other end of the profile…

3. Madeline has an 'interesting' time since moving to New York. What is your favorite scene in this book?

By far my favourite scene was when Madeline meets her new and 'improved' umbrella, Laani. Basically her brother is an evil mastermind, and adds a mechanical voice box to the umbrella so it shouts abuse at the people around Madeline when it rains. Coming up with rain related insults was hilarious and some of the best fun I have ever had writing. "I stop rain, not stupidity", "It's raining, its pouring, you're positively boring" and "A bird crapped on my head... you owe me big time." are some of my favourites. I actually named the umbrella after my sister (at her request) and convinced her to do some voice recordings of the insults. They're going to go up on my website for people to download as message tones in a couple of weeks!

4. Is any of this book based on real-life events?

A lot of the travel related episodes are mine, the plane ride there, doing the touristy stuff around town. Can't say I've ever blackmailed someone, or been picked up by the FBI for being too photographically creative! Many of the status updates though are adaptations of status updates my friends have put up. You can decide which ones are from my real-life friends...

5. What's next for Madeline?

Madeline is coming to the end of her twelve months in NYC and she's in trouble. She may have snagged a boyfriend, but her hours have been cut at work and after talking with a group of Pro-photographers at the charity ball she realises she has no idea what type of photography she's going to specialise in. Her classmates have their paths figured out, but she better decide fast, after twelve months is up she needs a portfolio of impressive photographs to match theirs or it's back to Australia, and being one of a thousand unknown photographers just trying to get by. But Madeline can never do things the normal way and in her race to make money and find her dream job she finds herself dealing with potential marfia members, fashion tycoons, crazed children, paparazzi, her boyfriend's Japanese Game Show antics and a zombie or two. Nothing Madeline can't handle on her quest from semi-pro to photographic superstar.

This or That?
1. Coffee or tea? Tea! Particularly Green tea :)
2. Romance or Suspense? Romance, Suspense is great in movies but drives me crazy in books!
3. Cat or dog? Dogs, though cats love me, probably because I ignore them.
4. Chips or ice-cream? Ice-cream
5. Beach or mountains? Mountains, I LOVE hiking.

To find out more about Emily Craven, check out her websiteThe Grand Adventures of Madeline Cain: Photographer Extraordinaire is available at Amazon.

Friday, April 26, 2013

0 Review: The Black Mile

Title:The Black Mile
Author:  Mark Dawson
Publisher: Black Dog Publishing
Published: March 18, 2012
ASIN: B007M9UM14
Genre: Mystery/Crime
Source: Author

Goodreads Summary:
London, 1940: the beginning of the Blitz, an era defined in blacks and greys. Prostitution. Police corruption. Gangland intrigue. Henry Irving is a disgraced hack on a Fleet Street scandal rag. Detective sergeant Charlie Strange is a fresh face in the Met, hunting corrupt coppers but blinkered by ambition. Detective inspector Frank Murphy mourns his dead daughter with booze and gambling. When a serial killer preys on Soho prostitutes, the three men are caught in a spiral, a nightmare that tests loyalty and courage, offers no mercy, allows for no survivors.

My thoughts:

The place, London.  The year, 1940.  Air raid sirens and German bombs blast through skies for fifty-seven straight  nights.  Houses, businesses, and street are blown completely off the maps.
Sinister doings from the darkness of the black-outs claim his victims with his sharpened knife.  He has been named the Black- out Ripper.  His brutality has left terror in his wake.  Who was he?  Was anyone safe from his reign of terror?
Henry Irving is a reporter from The Fleet Street scandal rag.  He has embellished his articles with his own brand of truth, leaving his employer no choice to  publicly fire  and disgrace him with the truth of his actions.
Charlie Murphy is a Detective Sergeant and new to the Metropolitan Police.  His job is to hunt down the corruption in the Police Department.  He has lived in the shadows of the spotlight of his brother.
Frank Murphy, a decorated and highly thought of Detective Inspector has a love, hate relationship with his brother.  He is pushy and somewhat of a bully when it comes police procedure.  He is also a husband and father, who's daughter has run away after a verbal disagreement exploded one evening.  His efforts now are to find her before the Black-out Ripper can take her as his next victim.
While investigating, these three men discover the Ripper's handiwork is flawed with questions.  Conspiracies  begin to form pointing fingers at both sides of the law.
This book is great!!  A real page turner.  Mark Dawson has made his characters jump off the page as they are that believable.  The constant squabbling between the brothers.  The jealousy that sends them into rages.  
Charlie wants to solve this case to have his own spotlight.  Frank wants this case solved to end the killings before his daughter becomes a victim. Henry wants to solve this case to show that his reporting skills are truthful and he will be back on top as a true reporter.I really liked this book.  The furry to find this allusive killer brought sweat even to my brow..  I liked the fact the author brought me right into the pages and kept me there  as I scoured the pages sleuthing out  the bad guys. All characters felt real, and in my opinion that's what makes a great book. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

2 My Fantasy Faves

My Fantasy Faves
I have been reading a lot of fantasy books lately and thought it would be fun to pick out some of my favorite characters and let you know why they are my favorite. Please feel free to agree or disagree, tell me your faves and why or just leave me a comment in general. Without further adieu, here are some of my fantasy faves (books and movies). Now these may contain some spoilers for those who haven’t read the books discussed here.
Best animal or magical creature:
Smaug (The Hobbit)
Smaug is everything you expect from a dragon. He is evil and greedy. He is fierce and protective of his hoard. He is the epitome of what dragons were to become in fantasy.
Aslan (The Chronicles of Narnia)
 “Who's Aslan? Why, don't you know? He's the King—the King of the whole wood, and the Son of the great Emperor-beyond-the-Sea. He's wild, you know. If there's anyone who can appear before him without their knees knocking, they're either braver than most or else just silly. He isn't safe... But he is good. He'll often drop in, only you musn't press him to stay. He's not like a tame lion. Yes, Aslan is a lion—the Lion, the great Lion.” This quote from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe perfectly sums up why I love this character.
Best Wizard:
Gandalf (The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit) and Dumbledore (Harry Potter)
I am talking about them together because they are very similar. I’m not sure if J.K. Rowling had Gandalf in mind when she created Dumbledore, but they possess many of the same qualities. They are both very powerful wizards and as such have a bit of an air about them but they are both humble. They both are sympathetic and fatherly toward certain characters. They also care deeply and have a great capacity to love. Even the people playing them in the movie versions could be interchanged. I could see Ian McKellen as Dumbledore or Richard Harris or Michael Gambon as Gandalf.
Best god:
Poseidon (Percy Jackson and the Olympians)
I think I liked Poseidon because he shows more humanity than most of the other gods you see portrayed. It truly hurts him that he can’t be with Percy and his mother like a typical family. In the movie you see him kind of looking in on Percy at times. He really loves his son.

Nahadoth (The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms)
Nahadoth is what you get when you trap a god in a mortals body. Weirdly great scene when he and the main character “get together”. You have to read it to appreciate it.

Best under 18 male:
Percy Jackson (Percy Jackson and the Olympians)
I like Percy because he’s just a kid in school that thinks he has nothing to offer. He is dyslexic, ADD, and a bit socially awkward. Little does he know he is the son of a god.

Edmund Pevensie (The Chronicles of Narnia)
I love Edmund’s character. He is the stereotypical middle child. He fights with his older siblings and picks on his younger sister relentlessly. He even goes so far as to betray his family because he has his head filled with dreams of being the only child and having his every desire. He shows the brokenness of human nature and has to ask for and receives forgiveness.

Best under 18 female:
Arya Stark (A Game of Thrones)
I really think Arya is one of my all time faves from any category . She is pretty young but that doesn’t stop her from being strong. She is a tomboy and doesn’t like “girly” things. She is funny and charming in a way. She won’t put up with anyone’s bs.  I also like the casting of Maisie Williams as Arya in the HBO Game of Thrones series.
Hermione Granger (Harry Potter)
At first Hermione is one of the characters you don’t really like, but then her unbounded loyalty to her friends, Harry and Ron kicks in, and you can’t help but love her. She is as Prof. Lupin puts it, “the cleverest witch of your age I've ever met, Hermione."
Best elf, dwarf, troll, goblin or orc:
Legolas and Gimli (The Lord of the Rings)
I love the interaction of these characters. The animosity that begins in The Fellowship of the Ring becomes true friendship and affection by the conclusion. The banter back and forth is great. Legolas is also my choice for kick-butt character. Need proof, check out his surfing down the steps on a shield while pegging people with dead-eye shooting of his bow at the Battle for Helm’s Deep in The Two Towers or his takedown of an Oliphant in The Return of the King.

Villain that you secretly hope good things for:
Gollum/Sméagol (The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings)
He is just a sad creature. There are times you just feel sorry for him. Then he’s trying to kill Sam in the next minute. Oh well, such is Gollum’s tortured life.

Tyrion Lannister (Game of Thrones)
Also called “the Imp” because of his dwarfism and constantly put on the back burner by his own family, I find myself rooting for him. He is incredibly bright, much brighter than his sister, brother, or nephew. I haven’t read the entire series but I do hope he gets some comeuppance on his family at least. Peter Dinklage as Tyrion, brilliant!

Best character that dies way too early:

Eddard “Ned” Stark (Game of Thrones)
Lord of Winterfell and a bastion of right and wrong, honor and loyalty, just always trying to do right (which is in short supply in the Seven Kingdoms), killing him off before book one was over is just… well it ticked me off!
Best “side-kick”:
Hodor (Game of Thrones)
I know this is a strange choice, seeing as he can only say “hodor” and isn’t a prominent character, but I love how loyal he is to the Starks and Bram especially. He is the gentle giant who takes care of Bram after his “accident”.

Samwise Gamgee (The Lord of the Rings)
Talk about loyalty. Look it up in the dictionary and there should be a picture of Sam. When Frodo is acting like an a-hole, Sam is there. When Frodo listens to Gollum, Sam is still there. When Frodo can’t make it up that final hill, guess what? Sam carries him. If only we could exhibit a bit of the friendship and loyalty that Sam has, we’d all be much better off.

Best Female Commander:

Daenerys Targaryen (Game of Thrones)

SHE HAS DRAGONS!!!! Nuff said! 

Anderiel/Anashla (Mercenaries series)

She is another of my faves regardless of category. By sheer force of will and determination she turns a bunch of rag-tag miscreants into a fighting force that almost rivals the Emperor's Glory Knights. She brings civility and respectability to them through example. She is a great female character.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

0 Review: Ravenwild

Title: Ravenwild
Author: Peter J. Plasse
Publisher: Lightening Source Inc.
Published: March 12, 2011
Paperback, 496 pages
ISBN: 978-0-9833400-1-0
Genre: Fantasy
Source: Author

Goodreads Summary: 
Returning home from another grueling shift of E.R. work, Dr. Blake Lee Strong comes across a downed motorcyclist and stops to help, but little does he know that his world and that of his family will soon be turned upside down. Duped into being transported to another planet called Inam'Ra, Dr. Strong and his family are thrust into a medieval world populated by Trolls, Gnomes, Elves, Dwarves, Humans and other alien beings. An epic odyssey begins as the Strong family fights for not only their own survival, but also for the continued existence of the citizens of Ravenwild.

My Thoughts:
Ravenwild is a kind of fish-out-of-water type story in which a family from our world is transported across dimensions to the planet Inam’Ra.  It is similar to our Medieval ages, except it is also populated with many fantasy characters such as Trolls, Dwarves, Elves, and Gnomes as well as humans. The Strong family is thrust into a situation that is not of their doing, and they are all separated. Thus the story really begins with their desperate search to reunite with each other. 
I liked this story. The characters were fairly well developed, and the world creating aspect was pretty good. It followed most of the conventions of the fantasy genre. Trolls are brutes; Gnomes are subjects to the bullying of the Trolls; the Humans, Elves and Dwarves are allied against the Trolls and seeking freedom from oppression. I also liked how magic and technology were joined together and made like one force. There were a couple of characters that I really liked, Daria (at Troll) and Ubri (a Gnome). They are both in positions that could have them being cruel and unforgiving but both at different times show compassion and care for those from their enemies because it is the right thing to do.
Overall this is an entertaining read and I would recommend it to most any fantasy reader. It's not up their with the top fantasy books but it is a good read. I would like to see something of the future adventures of the Strong family.  

My rating:

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

2 The Disrespectful Interviewer

Title: The Disrespectful Interviewer
Author: Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Publisher: Hat City Press
Published: March 22, 2013
Genre: Non-fiction, humor
Source: Author

Amazon Summary:
Just what the title promises! Thirteen disrespectful interviews with authors, including: Chris Cleave, Jon Clinch, Tish Cohen, Joseph Finder, Kristy Kiernan, A.S. King, J.A. Konrath, Greg Logsted, Lisa McMann, Lynn Price, Lev Raphael, Adriana Trigiana...and Lauren Baratz-Logsted - discover new favorites and see some of your favorite authors, like you've never seen them before!

My thoughts:
I live in agony of interviews. I am thrilled to interview the authors that I do, but I also dread it. Why? Because trying to come up with questions that the author hasn't been asked at least a thousand times already is tough. There are times when I've tried to be more laid back with the interviewee and have fallen flat on my face. Why did I tell you all this? So that you can understand my appreciation of this book. Lauren Baratz-Logsted has compiled 13 'disrespectful' interviews that first appeared on Writer-in-Residence between 2009-2010 into this hilarious book. 
How disrespectful are the interviews? Well, since the authors know they're in a sense getting 'roasted', it's not really that bad. Some of the authors give it back just as good as they get it. I love reading the authors' answers to Lauren's quirky questions. She asks some pretty amusing questions. I love the sarcastic snark she puts out along with her fascination with General Hospital. 
Overall I think anyone who has ever had to conduct an interview or loves reading interviews will find this book amusing. I found some 'new to me authors' as well which is always a plus. 

My rating:

Monday, April 22, 2013

0 The 5th Wave is coming...and it’s almost here!

The First Wave

The Second Wave

The Passage meets Ender’s Game in an epic new series from award-winning author Rick Yancey.

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up. The 5th Wave is available for pre-order now!

Rick Yancey, the author of The 5th Wave, is also getting ready to go on tour!

Tuesday, May 7th7:00 PM
Books and Books
265 Aragon Ave
Coral Gables, FL

Wednesday, May 8th6:00 PM
Vero Beach Book Center
2145 Indian River Blvd.
Vero Beach, FL 32960

Friday, May 10th7:00 PM
Barnes & Noble
7660 North Point Parkway Suite 200
Alpharetta, GA 30022

Thursday, May 16th7:00 PM

Book People
603 N Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78703

Saturday, May 18th2:00 PM
Inkwood Books
216 S Armenia Ave
Tampa, FL 33609

Tuesday, May 21st7:00 PM
Jabberwocky Books
810 Caroline St
Fredericksburg, VA 22401

Wednesday, May 22nd7:00 PM
Anderson’s Bookshop
123 W Jefferson Ave
Naperville, IL 60540

0 Q&A with Lauren Baratz-Logsted

1.So, how do you pronounce your last name? 
Baratz is like the Barrett in Elizabeth Barrett Browning if it were plural. Logsted is how it looks except everyone always wants to shove an 'a' in there to make it Logstead.

2. In college you worked as a doughnut salesperson. Do you have a favorite kind of doughnut?
Chocolate cream.

3. Before writing full time you worked many jobs. Which was your least favorite?
Honestly, none. Independent bookseller, PW reviewer, freelance editor, sort-of librarian, window washer - each somehow contributed toward making me the writer I am today (such as that is!).

4. In your newest book, Little Women & Me, Emily want's to 're-write' Little Women. Have you ever wanted to do this with a particular book (other than Little Women)?
There are characters I've been so in love with on the page - Gatsby, or Phineas from A Separate Peace - that I sometimes wished I could jump in the pages and save them. That said, I wouldn't change a thing in either book. Little Women is the only book I've loved that I also wanted to change. Usually, if I want to change a book, it's because the book is really bad. But we won't talk about those!

5. Who is your favorite character in Little Women?
Jo. As much as Emily pokes fun at Jo in Little Women & Me - and I let her! - Jo's one of the prime reasons I fell in love with the book while growing up. And, like many women writers, Jo's probably a prime reason I fell in love with the idea of being a writer.

6. You've written several novels that are a re-telling of sorts of well-known stories, such as Z: A Novel (The Great Gatsby) and Crazy Beautiful (Beauty and the Beast). Why do you think these classic stories still appeal to readers?
I think classics become that because they speak to readers not just of their own time but for all time. I love taking classics and trying to find a new way to tell an old story. For example, The Great Gatsby is my all-time favorite novel by a dead writer. When I created Z: A Novel, I took the main template - mystery party-thrower suffers a fall from grace - only in my version the Gatsby figure is a contemporary window washer (do you see how my odd-jobs history plays into this?) who may or may not be Zorro. Instead of being a tragic novel, my version has moments of tragedy but it's also a comedy and a romance and an adventure - there's even swordplay! Also, in my version? No one dies in a swimming pool.

7. You write books for all ages. Which is the hardest age group to write for and why?
They all have their joys and challenges. The funny thing is, people think writing for teens must be easier than writing for adults and writing for children must be easier still. But the reverse is true. The younger the reader, the shorter the attention span and the more demands these days on that attention through ever-increasing technology with all of its distractions. Shorter attention means that, as a writer, you'd better be on your toes and fascinating every second!

8. What do you do when you're not writing?
You mean it's possible to do something else? Actually, I read, almost obsessively. I'm also a big TV head.

9. What projects do you have planned for the future?
At least a little bit more of everything, I hope! Also, I have a new pet project out that's ebook only, THE DISRESPECTFUL INTERVIEWER: Thirteen Interviews with Authors. It's extremely offbeat and you can see more about if here if you're interested: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BZU8DDU

10. What is the best book you've read this year?
THE ANTAGONIST by Lynn Coady, hands down.

Thanks Lauren! It's great having you here! To find out more information on Lauren check out her website. Also check out her latest books,Little Women and Me and  The Disrespectful Interviewer: Thirteen Interviews with Authors.( I recently finished this book and it's great.) Both books are available in stores.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

2 It's the end of the world as we know it!

It's the end of the world as we know it! Well, maybe not the END of the world, but it's the end of an era. So, as you may or may not know, Google Reader will cease to exist this summer. I'm a huge fan of GR and am very sorry to see it go. I really like being able to go to one place to read blogs that I subscribe to. Because of that I've been looking around for alternatives ways that I can subscribe to the blogs I love as well as ways you can subscribe to this blog. I've joined  bloglovin'. It's very similar to Google Reader, and I like that. And most of all, it's easy to use. 

Follow on Bloglovin

Also, To Read or Not To Read is on Google Plus. I have been for some time, but I'm still warming up to it.
If you add me on Google Plus, I'll add you back!


You can also subscribe by email. This is really easy to do. Subscribing by email will help you never miss a post! 

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Last but not least you can follow on Facebook and Twitter. I love talking to fellow book lovers on these sites. So if you're not already, please join me!


For all the blog readers out there, how are you going to follow blogs now that Google Reader is shutting down? 

Friday, April 19, 2013

0 mmm . . . cupcakes

Title: Winner Bakes All (The Cupcake Club)
Author: Sheryl Berk and Carrie Berk
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Published: March 1, 2013
Ebook, ARC
ISBN 13: 9781402264559
Genre: Middle-Grade, Contemporary
Source: NetGalley
Suggested Reading Age: 9+

Meet Sadie.

When she's not mixing it up on the basketball court, she's mixing the perfect batter with her friends in the cupcake club. Sadie's definitely no stranger to competition, but the oven mitts are off when the club is chosen to appear on Battle of the Bakers, the ultimate cupcake competition on TV.

But the real battle happens off camera when the club's baking business starts losing money.

With the clock ticking and the cameras rolling, will the club and their cupcakes rise to the occasion?

My Thoughts:
Mother-daughter writing team, Sheryl and Carrie Berk, are bringing us another adventure for the girls in The Cupcake Club. Winner Bakes All is the next book in this delightful series. Sadie's world is rattled after hearing her parents argue about money. She fears they're heading for divorce. If that's not bad enough, tough times hit the club's finances and they take a big financial hit. To make matters even worse, Sadie is struggling in her math class. However bad times are, they are no match for The Cupcake Club. Sadie's friends vow to help her through any crises, even math. The girls decide to enter a huge baking competition to try to help raise money to continue their club.

The Cupcake Club series is a charming series that would appeal to young girls or cupcake lovers. The girls face realistic problems that would hit home with so many kids. However through the strength of friendship and perseverance the girls face their problems head-on. This is a great series that will leave you with warm, fuzzy feelings as well as hungry . . . for cupcakes. The girls are always creating new and mouth-watering recipes. One of the things I love about these books is that Sheryl and Carrie Berk share the recipes made in the book with the readers. This is a great activity to share with your child. They also have a section in the back of the book for girls who may want to start their own club.

Overall this book, as well as the series, is a win. My daughter and I both love reading these books. We can't wait for the next adventure and to try out the new cupcake recipes!

My rating:

Do you want a copy of this book? Thanks to Sourcebooks Jabberwocky I have 1 copy to giveaway to a lucky reader. This giveaway is open to US/Canada addresses only. You must be at least 13 years old to enter. Good luck!

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5 Treasure Chest Giveaway Hop

Treasure Chest
Giveaway HOP

April 19-22, 2013
hosted by vvb32 reads 
complete HOP list

It's been quite some time since we've participated in a HOP on To Read or Not To Read, and I'm very excited to participate in this one. I'm giving away a copy of Silver: Return To Treasure Island by Andrew Motion. It's a perfect fit for this hop's theme. I had the great pleasure of reading this book last year, and I think it's one that people will really enjoy. 

It's almost forty years after the events of Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island:  Jim Hawkins now runs an inn called the Hispaniola on the English coast with his son, Jim, and Long John Silver has returned to England to live in obscurity with his daughter, Natty. Their lives are quiet and unremarkable; their adventures have seemingly ended.
      But for Jim and Natty, the adventure is just beginning. One night, Natty approaches young Jim with a proposition: return to Treasure Island and find the remaining treasure that their fathers left behind so many years before. As Jim and Natty set sail in their fathers' footsteps, they quickly learn that this journey will not be easy.  Immediately, they come up against murderous pirates, long-held grudges, and greed and deception lurking in every corner. And when they arrive on Treasure Island, they find terrible scenes awaiting them—difficulties which require all their wit as well as their courage.  Nor does the adventure end there, since they have to sail homeward again... 

This giveaway is open to US/Canada addresses only. You must be at least 13 years old to enter. Don't forget to check out the other blogs hosting giveaways, too.  Good luck!

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