Friday, December 30, 2011

SEERS by Heather Frost

For Kate Bennett, surviving the car wreck that killed her parents means big changes — and even bigger problems. As she begins to see auras and invisible people, Kate must learn to trust Patrick O'Donnell, a handsome Guardian, or risk her life being overrun with Demons. She soon realizes that both she and her heart are in big-time trouble.

 I could not put this book done. 
I love the take on auras and guardians.
I found myself rooting for Kate and Patrick. 
Good, clean, fast-paced book.
Everyone has a color surrounding them, telling of their emotion. Kate can see it. She can see happiness, jealousy, anger. (I think it's a great way to read a person. Think of the possibilities of helping a relationship! You don't have to wonder what the boy you like feels about you.)
Patrick is different (and gorgeous, of course). His aura is silver. That's it. It freaks Kate out and she wants nothing to do with the new kid. I was hooked, wanting to know if Kate and Patrick ever trusted each other or talked about their feelings for each other.
Soon enough, Kate finds out what she is and what Patrick is and that there is a whole other world creeping on right under our noses.
The characters were well written and their own. I liked the BFF's! 

Rating: PG13

V: fighting, demons, 
L: No
S: kisses

the romance
the auras

two random Patrick chapters

THANKS to NetGalley for the preview! I think I'll go buy it now.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Savvy Saving by Melissa Jennings & Shelley King

Working to stretch your budget? With their expert coupon strategies, menu planning, and other household management skills, Stockpiling Moms are the answer! Straight from their award winning blog to your hands and home, they've compiled their best loved tips and tricks just for you. They know what it takes to live a frugal lifestyle within a budget, and now you can too!

Great book with lots of resources, websites, tips, ideas and secrets for couponing, food storage and stretching your budget.
This is a good book for starting off the new year and keeping your goals of doing better financially or getting your food storage stocked. While I'm not into major couponing I have found using them has helped me save $$, especially now that stores are doing double coupons. 
I use a weekly menu service that prints out my recipes and shopping list. I save a lot of time and money doing this.
These ladies have a blog that's worth reading also:
The book was easy to read even though I had to reread certain sections a couple of times to get the idea for the best way to coupon. I looked up the sites the ladies mentioned, tried a few of their tricks and am  going to try and few ideas. I read this easily in one day. 
Anyone can benefit from this book!

Want to buy it? Here's a link.

Melissa Jennings and Shelly King, authors and award-winning bloggers, announce the release of their first book, Savvy Saving, to be released - January 10, 2012. Their book will be available online at, (available now) and at select retailers.

Authors of the award-winning blog "Stockpiling Moms," Jennings and King know what it takes to live a savvy lifestyle within a budget and are now sharing their best tips and strategies in their book, Savvy Saving. Their new book describes expert coupon strategies, menu planning, and other household management skills.

"Like saving money? Working to stretch your budget?" Melissa Jennings asks. "Since 2009, Shelly and I have blogged at, making it our mission to save money for our families and helping others do the same."

Readers will learn from the collective expertise of Jennings and King as they share tips for frugal living and teach how to build a stockpile and how to live a debt-free life.  "Around the new year, everyone wants to start saving money and eating healthy, but few ever do," says Jennings. "Our book has tips and tricks that can really help people achieve their goals."

The book blog tour calendar:

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday


26 27  28 29 30 31
January Christy Monson/ Living Your MoMent/
The Tuckers Take Tennessee/
Keepin’ Up with LDS Bookstores/ Sweeter Than Taffy/ Coupon Beat/
It’s a Penpal World/
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Happy New Years! Krazy Book Lady/ Living Your MoMent/ Ebates/ Coupon Clutch/ Real Mom Kitchen/ Practical Frugality/ Coupon Magic Organizer/ Robyn’s Online World/ The Happy Wife/
8 9 10 11

Little Craft Nook/ Mojo Savings/ The Semi-Single Mom/ We Use Coupons/ Project Mom/

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Love Twelve Miles Long by Glenda Armand

First line:
"This was a special night."

Great story about Fredrick Douglas and his mother, both slaves on different plantations. His mother walked twelve miles to see her son. Each mile had a special meaning.
The beautiful pictures help convey the story.

Rating: PG
V: No
S: No
L: No


THANKS to NetGalley for letting me read it!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Tashi and the Tibetan Flower Cure by Naomi C. Rose

Tashi loves listening to Popola, her grandfather, sing Tibetan chants to the click, click of his prayer beads. She also loves hearing Popola s stories about the village in Tibet where he grew up. But recently Popola has been sick, and Tashi is worried. One of the stories Tashi remembers tells how people in Popola s village use flowers to help themselves recover from illnesses. Will this healing tradition work in the United States, so far from Popola s village? Determined to help Popola get better, Tashi recruits family, friends, and neighbors in a grand effort to find out. Lyrically told and illustrated with impressionistic paintings, Tashi and the Tibetan Flower Cure shines a tender light on the universal bond between grandchild and grandparent. Readers of all ages are sure to be inspired by the gentle power of this story and its spirit of compassion and community.

First line:
"I love being with Popola while he sings Tibetan chants."

Beautiful story. Pretty pictures.

Popola is sick and his granddaughter wants to help him get better. Popola talks often of his Tibetan home and the cure of the flowers. She sets up a way to help him and in the process they make new friends.

Rating: G

4 1/2 STARS

THANKS to NetGalley for the preview!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Choose the Right by Kimiko Christensen Hammari

Crazy days mean no time to plan family nights. With Choose the Right, all your Family Home Evening lessons are done for a whole year, complete with activities, games, scriptures, songs, challenges, and a CD-Rom with printable handouts! Not only are the lessons fantastic but they correlate with the 2012 Primary topics and lessons. Spend quality time with your children as you make family night the best night!

Great Family Home Evening help! 
The lessons are easy to understand and teach. 
The activities are tied well to the lessons.
A challenge at the end of each lesson helps the family really learn what the lesson taught. 
Perfect for children and teaching how to Choose the Right. 
My kids love to teach FHE lessons so this is a great asset for my family.

Irena's Jars of Secrets by Marcia Vaughan

Irena Sendler saved thousands of Jewish children from extermination during WWII. I wish we all knew her amazing story.
Irena proves that one person can make a difference!
This is a beautiful picture book with a beautiful message to read out loud to your family.

First line:
"On a cold February day in 1910, a baby girl was born to a Catholic family in a small town near Warsaw, Poland."

Rating: PG
S: No
L: No
V: references to Gestapo soldiers and killing of Jews

4 1/2 STARS (only because there weren't enough pages to do Irena justice and now I want more about her)

THANKS for NetGalley for the copy I read. It's one that's worth buying for my personal library.

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.

Elisa is the chosen one.

But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can’t see how she ever will.

Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.

And he’s not the only one who needs her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.

Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.

Most of the chosen do.

First Line:
"Prayer candles flicker in my bedroom."

Wow. Good, clean, amazing story.
Loved so many details and lines from this book. For instance:
"Only faint lines and slight weariness around her eyes reveal that she is older than I, maybe late twenties." (p. 59). What a great way to tell age and give detail to a character.

Elisa is a fat princess. She can't understand why she was chosen by her God as the Bearer of the Godstone. Only one is chosen every hundred years. Why her? Why not her beautiful, bright sister? Elisa stuffs herself and her low self esteem. But every once in a while a little glimpse of the fire inside her shines. Her growth is subtle and beautiful and amazing.
Alejandro is a scared prince. Marrying to procure soldiers to help save his kingdom. But memories of a loved one's death causes him to freeze and become indecisive.
Ximena is an old but lethal nurse maid. Ximena is the bearers protector. Elisa has no idea she's trained in the fine art of death.
Every place Elisa travels or lives is rich in detail. I almost felt like I was there in the heat of the desert or the coolness of a palace or sitting next to a special someone.
Each character is unique and has a flaw/quirk/personality.
From beginning to end, I enjoyed the way Carson slipped words together into beautiful sentences and built paragraphs that created an amazing story.
Twists! There are many twists. If a princess can be fat and a prince scared, this story will surprise you with a few great twists.

Finished without a cliff hanger (why is this important? Keep reading)

IT'S A TRILOGY! And this is the first book! ARGH

Rating: PG 13 (rating for war and violence though not detailed)
V: yes but not graphic
L: None
S: kisses


25% test (p.106):
"...her hands rub up and down my arms with despearte relief are testament to something deeper.
My nurse.
"I'm sorry." I reach into my pocket for the second scone, and my fingertips brush the leather pouch. It feels so huge and bulky there, and I worry that Ximena will see its shape through the fabric. " you a scone."
She takes it from me, a soft smile curving thin lips. "Thank you." She turns and links a companionable arm in mine to exort me back.
Ximena is tall and sturday and strong. As we walk together, arm in arm, I lan my head against her shoulder, taking comfort in her solid familiarity. Later that night, when I am certain Ximena again sleeps,  creep out tot he balcony and buy my dead Godstones at the root of my potted palm tree."

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

Illustrated in black-and-white. This ingenious fantasy centers around Milo, a bored ten-year-old who comes home to find a large toy tollbooth sitting in his room. Joining forces with a watchdog named Tock, Milo drives through the tollbooth's gates and begins a memorable journey. He meets such characters as the foolish, yet lovable Humbug, the Mathemagician, and the not-so-wicked "Which," Faintly Macabre, who gives Milo the "impossible" mission of returning two princesses to the Kingdom of Wisdom.

First line:
There was once a boy named Milo who didn't know what to do with himself--not just sometimes, but always."

If you like words and playing on words, this is the book for you! Funny, clever, sensitive and never dull, THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH is a great read. I laughed out loud several times, had to reread a few lines and paragraphs to catch the idea and enjoyed the story to the very end. 
Excellent book for elementary kids.

Pretty much everything

Some longer passages
I admit I skimmed a few times

Rating: G


25% test (p.64):
Page 64 is an illustrated page. I do like this line from the next page:
"You can get in a lot of trouble mixing up words or just not knowing how to spell them."

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Forgotten by Cat Patrick

Each night when 16 year-old London Lane goes to sleep, her whole world disappears. In the morning, all that's left is a note telling her about a day she can't remember. The whole scenario doesn't exactly make high school or dating that hot guy whose name she can't seem to recall any easier. But when London starts experiencing disturbing visions she can't make sense of, she realizes it's time to learn a little more about the past she keeps forgetting-before it destroys her future.

Part psychological drama, part romance, and part mystery, this thought-provoking novel will inspire readers to consider the what-if's in their own lives and recognize the power they have to control their destinies

First line:
"Aren't Fridays suppose to be good?"

Ohhh! Love the story!
Londan Lane suffered a traumtic event that affected her long term memory. Every morning at 4:33, her brain wipes clean and she starts over. Except for the fact she can see things from the future.
Thanks to a understanding, sympatheitc amother and friend and notes London writes to herself every night, she's able to have a almost normal day.
Then some hot guy moves in and shakes her world up (but she can't remember him in the morning).
Great tension, theme, romance and mystery all rolled up in one story.
Also a quick, clean read that's not fluff. AND! A stand alone book! Not part of a triology (someday I may have to eat my words about trilogies...).

A few favorite verses:
"Somehow, amid all the conflicting emotions, sleep grabs my hand and pulls me under."
"That's about the point when I felt myself being strapped onto a roller-coaster ride that I didn't stand in line for."

What I liked:
Mrs. Lane

What I disliked:
Only seeing Luke's family once
Not seeing the twist (I pride myself on catching the twists! Sixth sense? Yeah. Guessed it)!

Rating: PG 14
V: No
L: I can't remember any
S: kissing, make out (though not detailed)


25% test (p. 72):
"...something. Unsure how to respond, I look back until he is forced to return his eyes to the road. He continues.
"Then one day Dad showed up with flowers and begged Mom to take him back. Eventually, she did, and he took a job in Boston at a smaller firm and came home at five thirthy every night. it was like New York had never happened.
"It was all pretty weird, but that's my parents. Then one day they shock me with news that thy're having twins."
"Wow," I say when he's finished.
"I know, sorry. That was really long and boring," Luke says.
"No, not at all. It sounds like a  movie."
Luke laughs and says, "Oh, I'm sure we all have our movie dramas," in a way that makes me think he can see into my soul.
"What about your parents?" he asks casually.
"My  mom sells real estate," I say, eyes on the houses we're passing.
"What about your dad? What does he do?"
"I odn't know," I say quietly. Luke glances at me.
"Sorry for bringing it up," he says.
"It's no big deal," I lie. In truth, it's a very big deal, particularly today, but it's nothing I need to share with a potential boyfriend who seems to play no part in my future. I'm relieved when we reach Luke's house. Luke's very new, very large house.

Friday, December 2, 2011

"Because sometimes you've got to think about more than your own safety! Sometimes you've got to think about the greater good! This is war!" — Harry Potter from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (pg. 568)