October 26, 2008

Review: Otis The Musical Owl by Joseph N. Chappelle

One afternoon Hedwig Chappelle and her friend go for a walk and stumble upon a baby great horned owl. He’s quickly picked up by Mr. Chappelle taken to a vet the next day. The vet gives the owl a clean bill of health and after unsuccessfully trying to return the owl to where they found him the family names him Otis and turns him over to an animal rehabilitator.

There Otis learns many things such as flying expertly and loving great music to understanding English and the language of other animals. Once Otis is released to the wild he travels back to visit the Chappelle family and begins a search to find his family with the help of thousands of animals that come from the east, west, north and south and even one special visitor from the sky.

The book has a very good premise and I liked it for the most part however the writing didn’t fulfill its potential. The storyline is somewhat choppy and I get that it’s a fantasy but some of the story is too over the top with a weird bit of out of place religion thrown in at the end. If you run across this book somewhere I’d say you should take the opportunity to read it but in my opinion I wouldn’t recommend running out to buy it.

Review: Dewey by Vicki Myron



Dewey is the story the small-town library cat who touched the world. The story begins on the morning after the coldest night of the year. Library director, Vicki Myron, checked the book drop box only to find that someone had dropped an 8 week old kitten into the slot. With temperatures reaching minus fifteen degrees plus the added factor of spending the night in a metal box with the lid propped open, the kitten was a scared, frozen mess. After a hot bath and some TLC that kitten became Dewey Readmore Books, the beloved library cat of Spencer, Iowa.
For nineteen years Dewey greeted library patrons at the door, made people laugh, brought shy children out of their shell and wormed his way into the hearts of many people. With a sixth sense he could always tell who needed an extra bit of loving and he never failed to make people feel better after visiting with them. Visitors would come from near and far to visit the famous Dewey. He even stars in two documentaries; one featuring library cats and even one in Japanese. Along with Dewey’s adventures and antics Myron shares in heartfelt detail her family struggles and tells of life in a small town.

I’m a cat lover but I don’t think I’m being biased when I say that Dewey was a truly incredible cat. From life with such a cruel beginning it’s amazing to read what a trusting a sensitive cat Dewey became. Vicki Myron and Dewey will do for cat lovers what Marley and John Grogan did for dog lovers. I had to keep the tissues handy while reading this one and I recommend it to all animal lovers.

October 21, 2008

Review: Dirty French by Adrien Clautrier & Henry Rowe

Courtesy of Mini Book Expo and Ulysses Press

Dirty French, Everyday Slang from “What’s Up?” to “F*%# Off!” was hilarious. The opening paragraph warns that this isn’t a beginner’s grammar book but a book designed to take your French to the next level. I’ve only had 1 year of French and this was over 18 years ago so that had me worried. Yes, my accent was very rusty, but I got though it and even if you don’t know any French at all you’d still find the sayings and musings in between delightfully funny.

This book includes phrases for every situation, including expressions for describing art that make one sound smart and cool. Use sweet words to entice a local beauty into a walk along the Seine, and less-then-philosophical rebuffs for those overly zealous, espresso-fueled cafe "poets." There are enough insults and swear words to offend every person in France without even speaking to them in English, which they really dislike.

Some of my favorites are below. I will censor to keep it clean but the book doesn’t and that makes it half the fun!!

• Whoops! You’re not my boyfriend. – Zut! T’es pas mon mec.
• Don’t S&#@ your pants! – Te chie pas!
• Did your girlfriend just fart? – C’est ta copine qu’a pet?
• My French boyfriend is a horndog. – Mon copain francais est un queuetard.

There are 9 chapters in the book so stick French after each of these words and you’ll get an idea of the awesome amount of swear words and dirty phrases you can learn: Howdy, Friendly, Party, Body, Horny, Angry, Poppy, Sporty and Hungry. (hey, that sounds like a new Snow White movie. LOL)

Oh and you can even learn to send Dirty French texts such as... "VTFF”
To find out what that means, I guess you’ll have to buy the book.

October 19, 2008

Review: She's a Witch Girl by Kelly McClymer


Things are finally looking up for Prudence Stewart. She’s no longer in remedial magic classes at Agatha’s Day School for witches and her cheerleading team realizes what they need to do in order to win a place in the National Cheerleading competition. Winning the competition would mean beating her old high school cheer team and that’s just fine for Pru since her crush poaching former BFF has become her enemy.

Too bad Pru’s love life isn’t quite so charmed and boy trouble is lurking just around the corner. Pru has three guys in her life creating drama: Angelo, the mortal next door – Samuel, the geeky best bud and Daniel, the bad boy who ran away but still holds a connection to Pru. A little magic just might come in handy for Pru right about now.

The magic is back! After an awesome book one and a disappointing but still fun book two, this one has won me back. I loved that there was a story that was believable and kept me turning the pages. Pru brings together her team while solving her own personal problems that make this book very enjoyable. I recommend this to all teens and adults who love YA books.

October 18, 2008

Review: Bad Cat by Jim Edgar


I happened to see this book as a recommendation from a book swapping site I’m on and I requested it just because I know what bad cats are like…. I live with two of them.

Bad Cats was laugh out loud funny. All 244 cats are photographed in terrifying full color in their most unflattering moments, with a quote plus vital stats: name, breed, age, and hobby. Get to know them. Then see if you can ever forget them.

This book is a MUST READ for all cat lovers. My two favorite pictures from the book are below.

A comment left by Elizabeth reminded me of I Can Has Cheezburger so I thought I would share this widget.

ICHC Cheezburger Widget
More animals

October 13, 2008

Contest: Win Thread of Fear by Laura Griffin

WINNER - Ed in Illinois

Forensic artist Fiona Glass is the best in the business -- which is precisely why she's quitting. Her skill at mining victims' memories to re-create the faces of sadistic criminals has left her haunted and wary, and only Jack Bowman's dogged persistence convinces her to help him. The rugged police chief is hunting a serial killer who's targeting teenage girls. But what seems like a simple assignment is fraught with complications, including a searing attraction to Jack that's tempting Fiona to let her guard down in potentially dangerous ways.

Jack never intended for Fiona to become so deeply involved in the case -- or in his life. But every instinct tells him she's his best hope for finding a psychopath who's lurking in plain sight, growing more ruthless with each passing day. And now that Fiona is right in the killer's crosshairs, the only way to keep her safe is to unravel a small town's darkest secrets, one terrifying thread at a time....

To enter to win this book, post any comment below. Be sure to leave your email in the message if it's not in your profile.

For an extra entry, post a meaningful comment on any of my book reviews.

For a third entry, blog about this giveaway and post the direct link in your comment.

I will take entries until 10:00pm CST Sunday October 19th and the winner will be announced Monday, October 20th. Open worldwide.

The book will be shipped as soon as the winner's address is confirmed. Winner must respond to notification email within 48 hours or a new winner will be selected. Good Luck!!

October 9, 2008

Review: The Daughters Grim by Minda Webber


When Grimm sisters Greta and the beautiful, but extremely vain Rae, fail to find husbands in eighteenth-century Cornwall, Greta writes to her aunt in Prussia for help. Aunt Vivian delights in being able to be the one who finds suitable husbands for the girls and sends for them so that she can debut them in Prussian society. But Vivian isn’t doing it to help the girls; she’s merely doing it to irritate her sister by proving that the girls can easily find husbands with the right guidance.

In the middle of searching for the perfect husband Greta is drawn to the Black Forest to search out answers to all the paranormal oddities happening lately. There she hopes to find proof that vampires, witches, werewolves and other creatures of the night really do exist. When Rae meets a widowed Baron and Greta meets a handsome Prince you have to wonder if it’ll be happily ever after or did the girls get themselves into a hairy situation?

I thought the book was cute and I loved all the pop culture references mixed with historical characters. The plot seemed to drag on just a little too much but I like how the story ended. I would recommend this book to paranormal romance readers like fans of MaryJanice Davidson’s Queen Betsy series.

October 6, 2008

Review: Chasing Diana by Jack and Robin Firestone


Where were you the night Princess Diana died? I was at a baseball game but Jack and Robin Firestone were in a taxi in Paris driving by the accident that tragically took the life of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed.

Chasing Diana is a fictional account of the behind the scenes look into the deaths with just enough truth thrown in to make you wonder. Cleverly written as a screenplay, the story kept me riveted to the pages. We learn how Diana’s death and the media frenzy that follows does, affects a family that’s already experiencing personal turmoil. Throughout the whole book I wondered exactly how much was fiction and how much was reality.

This was the first screenplay style novel that I’ve read and it easy to read. I recommend this book to anyone who had any interest in Princess Diana and those who want a speedy one or two day read.

October 2, 2008

Review: Forbidden Knowledge by Michael Powell


In this book you will find 101 things NOT everyone should know how to do including my favorites:

How to. . .
…hack an elevator
…complain and get results
…start an urban legend

Who couldn't use a little more danger in their life? A little more edge? A little more fun? With Forbidden Knowledge, you will get it all.

This was a fun one-day read. Most of the information is just for entertainment but I did get a kick out of trying to convince my co-workers to let me perform open-heart surgery on them. The introduction includes a disclaimer which states certain sections deal with activities and devices that would be in violation of various federal, state and local laws if actually carried out or constructed so read this book with a grain of salt. It’s perfect reading for the 20something crowd.