Friday, October 2, 2015

The Caretaker's Guide to Fablehaven by Brandon Mull illustrated by Brandon Dorman

This guidebook to the Fablehaven magical preserve is filled with everything a new Caretaker might need to know in order to survive. There are entries detailing important information about artifacts large and small, a complete bestiary of creatures (from fairies to trolls to satyrs), a guide to identifying demons, dragons, and wizards as well as valuable insights into the other magical preserves.

Immerse yourself into the secret knowledge that has been handed down through the generations by reading the updates and notes written in the margins by the former Caretakers of Fablehaven, including Grandpa Sorenson, Kendra, and Seth. Fully-illustrated, this unique encyclopedia has gathered the world of Fablehaven into one volume.

Scattered throughout the book are colorful fairies that also mark some of the characters, artifacts, and creatures that will be featured in the upcoming sequel series, Dragonwatch.

Have you read the Fablehaven books? Have any of your children? This book is a FANTASTIC addition to the Fablehaven series! 
First off, I loved the series. I loved the magic and the creatures and the humans. And I really loved the lessons Kendra and Seth learned as they helped their Grandpa take care of the magical creatures and places in Fablehaven. 
Second, this new book is fun! Full of facts about the magical reserves and the creatures. The pictures in this book are awesome! I received an ebook for a fair and honest review and the pictures were excellent. I can't wait to get my hands on the actual book! 
Third! Brandon is writing another series based on this trilogy! There are clues in this book about it.

Thank you Brandon Mull and Brandon Dorman for continuing to spark your readers imaginations! 
The Caretakers Guide to Fablehaven comes out the middle of October. 

Caretakers Guide to Fablehaven (1)

The Caretaker's Guide to Fablehaven by Brandon Mull This guidebook to the Fablehaven magical preserve is filled with everything a new Caretaker might need to know in order to survive. There are entries detailing important information about artifacts large and small, a complete bestiary of creatures (from fairies to trolls to satyrs), a guide to identifying demons, dragons, and wizards as well as valuable insights into the other magical preserves. Immerse yourself into the secret knowledge that has been handed down through the generations by reading the updates and notes written in the margins by the former Caretakers of Fablehaven, including Grandpa Sorenson, Kendra, and Seth. Fully-illustrated, this unique encyclopedia has gathered the world of Fablehaven into one volume.

Fablehaven Caretakers Excerpt from Introduction

 If you are in possession of this book you are assumed to be the caretaker or an apprentice caretaker of Fablehaven.
By now you’ve been introduced to the world of mythical and magical creatures.

However, there is still much to learn. Previous caretakers of Fablehaven thought it would be helpful to create a Caretaker’s Guide specifically for those tasked with the job of nurturing, protecting, and surviving this preserve and its inhabitants. Do not be fooled. Fablehaven is an unpredictable and dangerous place. However, the collective knowledge gathered within the pages of this bestiary will give you the knowledge and wisdom needed to not only survive but to thrive. The creatures of Fablehaven are either light or dark, not necessarily good or evil. In order to be good, one must recognize the difference between right and wrong and strive to choose the right. To be truly evil one must do the contrary. Being good or evil is a choice.

This is not so with the creatures of Fablehaven. What they are largely governs how they act. Some are inherently builders, some are nurturers, some are playful. Some are inherently destroyers, some are deceivers, some crave power. Some love light, some love darkness. But change their nature, and without much resistance, their identities follow. Like a fairy becoming an imp, or an imp regaining her fairyhood. Much counsel and advice has been passed down through generations and given to the new caretakers of this preserve. Perhaps the most invaluable piece of advice that has ever been given is this: Those who are careful to cause no mischief, work no magic, and inflict no harm are protected by the foundational treaty of Fablehaven.

This truth alone may be your strongest ally and your only defense. One final note. The signs leading up to the front gate were not always there. In the late eighteenth century, before the guest register that controls access to Fablehaven was created, two poachers entered the property in search of big game. Needless to say, they found it. Or it found them. Many days later, the resident caretaker found them as well. Or at least he found their bodies of petrified stone. And thus the first signs outside the gates of Fablehaven were posted. As caretaker you have accepted a most noble assignment. Keep your eyes open. Obey with exactness. Take risks only as the last resort and you will have a better chance at seeing another sunrise. Welcome to Fablehaven.


Author Brandon Mull Brandon Mull is the author of the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling Beyonders and Fablehaven series. Brandon resides in a happy little valley near the mouth of a canyon with his wife and four children. He spent two years living in the Atacama Desert of Northern Chile where he learned Spanish and juggling. He once won a pudding eating contest in the park behind his grandma’s house, earning a gold medal.

$25 Blog Tour giveaway

$25 Blog Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon eGift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 10/28/15 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an eGift Card or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the beautiful, stunningly ambitious instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.

Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.

Doerr’s “stunning sense of physical detail and gorgeous metaphors” (San Francisco Chronicle) are dazzling. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, he illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Ten years in the writing, a National Book Award finalist, All the Light We Cannot See is a magnificent, deeply moving novel from a writer “whose sentences never fail to thrill” (Los Angeles Times)

I've been trying to post only 5 Star reviews here but this one deserved to be here. I gave it 4 Stars because of a certain scene and the swearing kicked in toward the end. I wish I could write like this!!!!

This book! There is so much to think about this story that I'm having a hard time getting my thoughts straight.

What I loved:
The characters, even the evil ones were human and had flaws.
The different view points.
The different viewpoints converging through out the story.
The tension waiting for the convergence.
The way people can still be good and kind, even in the middle of war.
The storyline.
The plot.

What I didn't love:
The soldiers raping women and the women expecting it and not fighting back (not a graphic scene, just disturbing).
I tried at least twice to read this book and I just couldn't get into it. Finally, I downloaded it from Audible. I'm so glad I did!
The bleakness of war. 
The way war brings out the evil in people.

I gave this book 4 stars because of the rape scene. 
This book is better for older readers and adults.

V: Not graphic but it is set in WWII
L: More toward the end.
S: Rape scene

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

SOUL OF SMOKE by Caitlyn McFarland

On a hike deep in the Rocky Mountains, Kai Monahan watches as a dozen dragons—actual freaking dragons—battle beneath a fat white moon. When one crashes nearly dead at her feet and transforms into a man, Kai does the only thing a decent person could: she grabs the nearest sword and saves his life.

As the dragon/man, Rhys, recovers from the attack, a chance brush of skin against skin binds him inextricably to Kai. Becoming heartsworn to a human—especially such a compelling one—is the last thing Rhys wants. But with an ancient enemy gathering to pit dragons against humanity and his strength nearly depleted, Kai has just become the one thing Rhys needs. A complete bond will give him the strength to fight; a denied bond means certain death.

Kai is terrified at the thought of allowing any dragon into her mind…or her heart. Accepting the heartswearing and staying with the dragons means sacrificing everything, and Kai must decide if her freedom is worth risking Rhys's life—a life more crucial to the fate of humanity than she could possibly know.

I really enjoyed this book and had a hard time putting it down. I even had to resist the urge to read it during church. LOL
Kai is independant, strong and driven. She knows the outdoors and how to survive. The book starts out with Kai and her roommates hiking a mountain when they find an injured woman. Kai stays with the woman while the roommates go for help. When the woman awakes, she becomes hysterical about helping her brother. 
What Kai doesn't know is that the person she is helping, and the brother, are not from Kai's world, kind of. 

Enter dragons! I loved the way Caitlyn wrote the dragons; the descriptions, the personalities, the countries they came from. It was awesome. 
Caitlyn's writing kept me intrigued and in the story. The romance, the fighting, the story, the twists and turns, all of it kept me reading. I can't wait to read the next book. 

I would recommend this book to older teen readers and up. While there is no graphic scenes, it does have a lot of sexual tension, but it's clean. Kai likes "hell" and uses it quite a bit. 

V: fighting among dragons
L: Some
S: No, but lots of tension

5 Stars

I received this read for an honest review.

Monday, July 20, 2015


Trenton Colman is a creative thirteen-year-old boy with a knack for all things mechanical. But his talents are viewed with suspicion in Cove, a steam-powered city built inside a mountain. In Cove, creativity is a crime and “invention” is a curse word.

Kallista Babbage is a repair technician and daughter of the notorious Leo Babbage, whose father died in an explosion—an event the leaders of Cove point to as an example of the danger of creativity.

Working together, Trenton and Kallista learn that Leo Babbage was developing a secret project before he perished. Following clues he left behind, they begin to assemble a strange machine that is unlikely anything they’ve ever seen before. They soon discover that what they are building may threaten every truth their city is founded on—and quite possibly their very lives.

Ok. I already love Savage's storytelling so I may be biased...BUT this was another great read from this awesomesauce author.
I loved the world, the creativity and inventions but "creativity" is a naughty word and inventing is against the law. The world is totally opposite of SKY JUMPERS by Peggy Eddleman, where inventing is honored and if you can't invent, you're an outcast.
Good word-building, deep characterization, and great villains, as well as twists and turns and... can't tell ya. You'll have to read it to find out!

Good, clean book, perfect for a summer read! I'm going to buy one for my son.

V: a couple of scenes, not graphic
L: no
S: no. Well, maybe cheek kiss


Thanks netgalley for the read!

Monday, July 6, 2015

LORD FENTON'S FOLLY by Josi S. Killpack

Lord Fenton is a gambler, a dandy, and a flirt—and he must marry or else he will be disinherited, stripped of his wealth and his position. He chooses Alice Stanbridge for two simple reasons: he once knew her as a young girl, and she is the least objectionable option available to him.

However, Alice has harbored feelings for Fenton since their first meeting ten years ago, and she believes his proposal is real. When she discovers it is not, she is embarrassed and hurt. However, a match with the most-eligible bachelor in London would secure not only her future but that of her family as well.

Determined to protect herself from making a fool of herself a second time, Alice matches Lord Fenton wit for wit and insult for insult as they move toward a marriage of convenience that is anything but a happy union. Only when faced with family secrets that have shaped Fenton’s life does he let down his guard enough to find room in his heart for Alice. But can Alice risk her heart a second time?

Ah! Regency Romance! And just in time to read this book on the beach. 
I've enjoyed Josi Killpack's books in the past and this one does not disappoint. Lord Fenton needs to marry or be disinherited. Alice has had a crush on him since they were young, so she's ecstatic when he asks her to be his wife. Until she finds out it is a marriage of convenience.

A good, clean book full of wit, humor, twists and romance.

Thanks netgalley for the read!!

Monday, June 22, 2015

RISING STRONG by Brene Brown

The physics of vulnerability is simple: If we are brave enough often enough, we will fall. The author of the #1 New York Times bestsellersDaring Greatly and The Gifts of Imperfection tells us what it takes to get back up, and how owning our stories of disappointment, failure, and heartbreak gives us the power to write a daring new ending. Struggle, BrenĂ© Brown writes, can be our greatest call to courage, and rising strong our clearest path to deeper meaning, wisdom, and hope.

When I read a self-help book, I realize not all of it will apply to me or I will take what I need at that moment. This book is no different BUT I took a lot of notes. It was intriguing and interesting. The book is full of stories to help the reader see the point Brene is trying to make. 
I used some of her ideas the next day and honestly felt better about my day and communication with the people around me. I grew up in a home that did not deal with emotions nor did we talk about hard things at all. Now I'm married, I need to be able to understand my emotions that I tend to keep buried and "safe" and I need to communicate better with my husband and children. I would recommend this book just for the help of thinking in a different way. 

4 1/2 STARS

Thanks netgalley for the read!!

Monday, June 8, 2015


After her best friend dies in a drowning accident, Suzy is convinced that the true cause of the tragedy was a rare jellyfish sting. Retreating into a silent world of imagination, she crafts a plan to prove her theory--even if it means traveling the globe, alone. Suzy's achingly heartfelt journey explores life, death, the astonishing wonder of the universe...and the potential for love and hope right next door.

I loved reading this book! Different chapters, different point of view, science, jellyfish, middle school ugliness, friends, lack of friends, unexpected friends, and trying to find peace with death, all wrapped up in an intriguing and moving story.

A good, clean read for any age, especially sixth grade and up. (A gay brother but it's very subtle.)

V: No
L: No
S: No

(4 stars because I skimmed a lot of the facts about jellyfish, but I know other readers will love it!).

Thanks, Netgalley for the read!!