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!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

An Untitled Lady

Publication Date: December 20, 2013
Musa Publishing
ISBN: 9781619375963

Shocking family news forces Madeline Wetherby to abandon her plans to marry an earl and settle for upstart Manchester merchant Nash Quinn. When she discovers that her birth father is one of the weavers her husband is putting out of work—and a radical leader—Maddie must decide which family she truly desires, the man of her heart or the people of her blood.

An earl’s second son, Nash chose a life of Trade over Society. When protest marches spread across Lancashire, the pressure on him grows. If he can’t make both workers and manufacturers see reason he stands to lose everything: his business, his town, and his marriage.

As Manchester simmers under the summer sun, the choices grow more stark for Maddie and Nash: Family or justice. Love or money. Life or death.

my thoughts

Not your average historical fiction book.
An interesting and unique novel. NIcky Penttila has done her homework. She has combined history, mainly the Peterloo Massacre, with the aristocracy, working class and poor class.  

I did not like many of the characters, but I think many of the characters were not supposed to be high on the readers favorite list.  Of course, as a reader, I was interested in Maddie and Nash (main characters), but that's about it...the rest of the bunch were less than stellar. I had a difficult time finishing this book. I had to keep putting it down and going back to it. 

The end of the book includes an author's note explaining the Peterloo Massacre.  I admit, I was unfamiliar with the event.  She gave enough info to satisfy a history lover's interest.

Nicky Penttila writes stories with adventure and love, and often with ideas and history as well. She enjoys coming up with stories that are set in faraway cities and countries, because then she *must* travel there, you know, for research. She lives in Maryland with her reading-mad husband and amazing rescue cat. She’s chattiest on Twitter, @NickyPenttila, and can also be found at nickypenttila.com and on Facebook.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Adapted Classics

Lucas and I were asked to read and review a new take on an old classic.

Dr. Heidegger's Experiment
by Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Updated for a younger audience, specifically a middle grade audience.

remember the story?
Doctor Heidegger has invited four old friends to his study. He needs their help with an experiment. His friends presume the experiment will be nothing out of the ordinary. Perhaps they will inspect a cobweb under a microscope or witness the slow death of a mouse. But when Dr. Heidegger's guests gather around a small black table that holds a cut-glass vase, strange things begin to happen that will change their lives, or so it seems.

Enlivened and enriched by Marc Johnson-Pencook's amazing pen and ink illustrations, this adaptation of Nathaniel Hawthorne's classic story will introduce middle readers to one of America's greatest authors.

All I can say is "well done" Jerome and Marc.  Having kids eager to read the classics is a challenge.  It certainly helps making the wording easier for the kids to understand.  When I received my copy of DR HEIDEGGER'S EXPERIMENT in the mail, I was curious as to how Hawthorne could be interesting to a younger audience.  Well, you've pulled it off.  Both my son and I read the book, enjoyed the story and laughed at the illustrations.  
One of my son's favorite pictures is the young woman looking into a mirror.  She see's a young woman, but we see the same old crone that entered the Dr's home.  My son's response to the illustration--Mirror's cannot lie.  Funny how the power of suggestion can make her think she's young again!

He's taken the book to school to show his English/Reading teacher!  

Jerome Tiller lives in Fridley, Minnesota.  He is co-owner of ArtWrite Productions, a publishing company bent on making education and reading more pleasurable for youth.  Adapted Classics, an imprint of ArtWrite Productions, uses fine-art illustrations to introduce classic stories to young readers. 

You can learn more about Adapted Classics at

Marc Johnson-Pencook is an illustrator, animator, and muralist.  He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  His illustrations appear in books, periodicals, gallery shows and private collections, and his murals adorn many walls and ceilings in public places and private spaces in the Twin Cities and beyond.  He also teaches illustration at the Atelier Studio Program of Fine Art in Minneapolis and the Art Academy in St. Paul.  In addition, Marc composes and performs rock music- he currently plays percussion for "The Dig-Its"- a retro-rock group based in Minneapolis.  Marc can be contacted at