Welcome to Book Lovers Paradise

Welcome to my attempt at blogging. I am a true to heart bibliophile. Here I will discuss and review books as I read them. You are welcome to do the same. The only rules are no profanity, no politics, no religion, and have fun!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Christmas Classic in the making!

Jacob T. Marley
by R. William Bennett
Publisher Shadow Mountain
publication date 10/12/11
received from NetGalley for review

Have you ever wondered why Scrooge became the (pardon the pun) Scrooge that he was?  Why Jacob Marley became such a mean spirited miser?  This wonderful book answers those questions and many more.  Written in a style Dickens himself would have liked, this book will enchant and entertain adults and children alike.

This heartwarming story will make you feel happy and hopeful for the redemption of Marley, similar to the manner in which The Christmas Carol has you rooting for Ebenezer Scrooge.  I won't lie to you, Marley is an odious, nasty man.  He is concerned with nothing except making money for himself.  He didn't attend the funeral of his mother because it took place on a workday.  He sent money to pay for her final expenses and requested that his family never again contact him, as he was too busy to deal with them.  That's the kind of man Marley had become.

I found the authors method of interweaving the lives of Scrooge and Marley to be very creative.  Mr. Bennett seems to have mastered the style of Charles Dickens.  This book is certain to become a Christmas classic in my house!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Don't forget to check out the "Featured Author" Page.  Our featured author today is 
Shawn Lamb, author of the Allon series and the upcoming book The Huguenot Sword.

Kids'n'books: Hades, Lord of the DeadThe Olympiansby George O'C...

Hades, Lord of the DeadThe Olympiansby George O'C...
: Hades, Lord of the Dead The Olympians by George O'Connor Published by First Second publication date 1/31/12 received from N...
Ode to Icky
by Maranda Russell
available now

A cute and imaginative tale by the very talented Ms. Maranda Russell.  The story is about a young girl, named Candy, with a very lazy smelly cat, named Icky.  Candy has an imaginative money making scheme and uses Icky's awful smelling fur to create a 'super French perfume.  Ode De Iche". Unfortunately, to bottle this stuff she empties out her mothers bottles of REAL French perfume.  Well, in addition to the entire female population of the school smelling like Icky, Candy has to face her mother with the truth of her actions.  Imagine having an expensive bottle of perfume from France, imagine having your kid empty it out and use the bottle.  What would you do?  This is a story about leaning a lesson.  A great story for parents to read to their children.  The kids will learn, but laugh while learning.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

I would like to welcome our Guest Blogger and author Richard Due, author of The Moon Coin
Richard is interviewing the illustrator for his book, Carolyn Arcabascio. 

From Sketch to Chapter Art, an Illustrator at Work
For me, getting to work with Carolyn Arcabascio was a dream come true. On The Moon Coin, we worked from a master list of scene options, with Carolyn picking out scenes she liked and making sketches. For the prologue, Carolyn drafted three options. All three were great, but two in particular were spectacular. I first went with option 3 (one of my scene suggestions). I think we spent more time on this sketch and subsequent color drawing than on any other piece. But it never seemed right. At the eleventh hour, I asked Carolyn how hard she’d hit me if I suggested scrapping the thing and instead going with the pinky promise scene you see below (one of her scene suggestions).  Carolyn responded: "There would be no hitting involved!" and told me it wouldn't be a problem. You sure can't ask for better than that.

from the prologue--Bedtime Tales

Richard: Did you make all these sketches in the same location, Carolyn?
Carolyn: Yes, I do all of my work at a drafting table that's situated in a little nook of my apartment in Acton, Massachusetts. There's a bookshelf to my right and a wall of "inspiration" to my left, where I hang prints of other artists' and illustrators' work. On either side of my drafting table are drawers of supplies, and stacks of sketchbooks and old paintings. The drafting table faces a window overlooking a quiet street and the woods beyond it.

from Chapter two--A Coin of the Realm

Richard: Do you use models when you're sketching?
Carolyn: I use a combination of models and photo references. If I need to work out the nuances of a character's posture and really understand the perspective of it, I'll ask whatever friend or family member is handy to pose for a sketch. Often, I'll get into the position myself or mimic the facial expression I want to portray in order to get the feel of it. And sometimes, if there's a character being portrayed multiple times across scenes, I'll make a rough model of their head out of clay so I'll have it to refer to.

from Chapter four--To Barreth

Richard: When drawing fantastical creatures, do you use bits and pieces of real animals for inspiration, or have you actually seen a wirtle and you're just not telling us? ;)
Carolyn: No wirtles native to Massachusetts, fortunately! When figuring out the look of fantastical creatures, I use photo references of different animals to understand the way the anatomy might work, and then combine features as I see fit and as the story calls for. To understand the wirtle's legs and paws, for example, I referred to a series of photographs of show dogs leaping over hurdles. The severely arched, scruffy back was influenced by photos of hyenas on the prowl. The bone-structure of the face ended up being something of a cross between a cow and a warthog, and I wanted the snout to be bare—kind of gross and raw-looking. Add it all up and, voila! We have a wirtle.
The Moon Coin, by Richard Due, is available at AmazonBarnes & Noble, and the iBookstore for $2.99.

Copyright © 2011 by Richard Due. All rights reserved.

Gibbering Gnome Press, A Division of Ingenious Inventions Run Amok, Ink™
The Moon Realm™

and now, for my review:
OH MY GOSH!  What an amazing book!  The worlds' (moons) of the Moon Realm come to life for us!  At first I was a little confused by all the names, but shortly after arriving in Barreth, the names were like second nature to me.  The illustrations by Carolyn Arcabascio were just amazing.  I read the book on my Kindle, but soon switched to the Kindle app on my Ipad to see the illustrations in color.  They truly add to Mr. Due's wonderful story, or is it a tale?
This is one book that will surely be made into a movie sometime in the future, much like the Harry Potter or Narnia series.  I loved the characters of Lilly and Jasper, both genders were represented and I think both boys and girls will love this story.  I anxiously await the second in the series.  I could not put this book down!  It is sure to become a favorite of children and parents alike!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Trueblood's Plight
by E. S. Lark
available now 

I did not know about gryphons before reading E.S. Lark's books.
Now I'm happily well acquainted with them.  Not only gryphons but giphens as well (smaller creatures).  I love the way Ms. Lark (The E. stands for Emily) has created a non-human main character and showed us a fantasy world from the animal's point of view.  Imagine the stories about the boy boy wizard from the viewpoint of the owl, and that's kind of what you have in these books.
Little Ava is a giphon. She shares a bond with her human friend Kivra.
Throughout this book Ava goes on an amazing journey of self-discovery.

At times, this book reminded me of Paolini's Eragon series, but I enjoyed this much more.  I loved TheWaking Grove (free ebook for Amazon Kindle) but found the second book to be even better.

Ms. Lark has been able to enchant and captivate us with her writing.  The characters are intense but warm and likeable.  I highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys fantasy novels and I'm anxiously awaiting the third book from this author.

Do yourself a favor, sit down and read both The Waking Grove and Trueblood's Plight.  You'll be glad you did.

E. S. Lark is our featured author today.  For more information about her and her books click
here .

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Event of the Season: Welcome!

The Event of the Season: Welcome!: Welcome to our Historical Fantasy Jubilee! Who: One and all What: A celebration of historical fantasy with discussions, book lists, rev...

Monday, October 31, 2011

Announcing our winner for the Lory Kaufman giveaway.
The first two books of the series will go to
(drumroll please)
facebook follower.


Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls
by Julie Schumacher
Random House Children's Books
publication date 5/8/12
genre: YA, fiction

 received this book from NetGalley for review

   A unique and insightful story.  We begin in Delaware during summer vacation.  Adrienne Haus had planned to spend vacation with her best friend Liz, but due to an accident involving her knee, she is stuck at home.  Her mother enrolls Adrienne into a mother daughter bookclub consisting of the two of them and three other girls with their mothers.  CeeCee is the popular cheerleader type.  She likes to lead everyone around. She is not happy about the bookclub but tries to make the best of it.  Jill is an adopted Asian girl.  She is the 'smart' one.  She has her entire life planned out and is not afraid to tell everyone her plans.  Wallis is the enigma.  She is a loner who enrolled herself into the club.  Her mother is never able to attend meetings, and is never seen in the story.  You can imagine what kinds of things the other girls think about Wallis's mother never being around.  Is she in the witness protection program?...You get the idea.   These four girls are individuals who would most likely never interact with each other while in school.  They are from four different 'groups' and would rarely even cross paths in school.  They become closely entangled in each others lives, for better or worse.
This book is very well written.  It is not a fast paced novel, but it did manage to capture and hold my interest.  I was not able to identify with any of the characters.  I kept waiting for something big to happen.  If you are a fan of action stories, this is not for you.  All the action happens at the very end of the story. 
I did enjoy this book and would encourage others to read it.  The author put a great deal of thought into the story.  It would be a shame if it was missed because it lacks vampires, zombies or witches.

I give this book 3 stars, it held my attention but was a bit too slow for my tastes. My advice-- Get it from the library.