Tag Archive: free-for-review



Hop and Chomp: A Caterpillar Story: Children's Books - Picture Books for Kids - Story Books for Children - Beginner Book for Children - Age 3-7Hop and Chomp: A Caterpillar Story: Children’s Books – Picture Books for Kids – Story Books for Children – Beginner Book for Children – Age 3-7 by Gita V. Reddy

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

We live in the desert outback of Oregon. When you picture Oregon, you probably see green trees and oceans. This is mostly sagebrush and sky. I love it. There is room to breathe and did I mention sky? Many of us don’t have grassy lawns, between critters and the amount of water it would take to keep it green, it seems silly to attempt. So instead my family and I have dedicated to saving bees and inviting hummingbirds into our yard. I think because of the heavy snows of the winter we have a lot more vegetation than usual. More butterflies. And just yesterday I saw a Mourning Cloak. I realized I hadn’t seen one of those for decades.

And then this little sweet book comes into my life. How adorable the grasshopper and caterpillar are! I love how the author explains why the caterpillar needs to eat so much and about the pupa stage. The pages are colorful with butterfly backgrounds and the Rangoli designs on each page above the main characters. Those are inspiring me to try my hand at drawing them.

This book is great for the early reader but great fun for a read aloud and learning about everything from caterpillars to India and lots of art to play with. All while learning to read. I would have had a ball reading this with my kids back in the day.

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Kill Game: An Urban Fantasy Thriller (Dana McIntyre Must Die Book 2)Kill Game: An Urban Fantasy Thriller by SM Reine

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love Dana! My first born son and this female powerhouse character that we all met long ago in Sara Reine’s series. In this case, it is the first character I could personally relate to in size and shape. I’m much older but a part of me thinks I looked like her when I was in my forties. I think I had similar beliefs to hers. I don’t know that I hate vampires. But I never saw the craze. Now Ms. Reine has brought me along to expand my imaginary creatures profile.

And Dana isn’t a perfect person in any way. She makes mistakes. She has a mindset that needs taming. But she is lovable and loves deeply. And it is wonderful that she is getting her own series. This was the second book. I think it may read as a stand alone but I love that I have read all the history of these altered Nevada stories from the beginning. Other states are in her other books but most of Sara Reine’s books are in places I have lived or visited enough to know ‘our’ versions. It gives a depth to the books that a made up place never has.

Dana is going through divorce in this series and it is messing with her mind. As it does for most of us. The reasons seem weird to me, but most folks from the outside of the couple going through this might think that, also. But will the ending of this book change that? Gosh, Sara, if you’re going to bring us to this ending can’t you write faster and let us see what happens next?

Okay, I need to clear this up. This is not a cliffhanger. You all know how much I hate those! And I don’t know a more prolific author than S.M. Reine. I just love her books so much I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next. Hey–since I moved from there two years ago, how about another Reno setting? Las Vegas is too busy, too much of a tourist trap–even in the alternate universe. Is there a place for Dana, the vampire-slayer in demon possessed Reno? Or, since I can’t seem to find a way, could you take her to the beaches of California? Orange County, LA County? Mojave Desert?

Okay, I’ll read it no matter where you take us! Can’t wait!!!!

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Which is p and Which is q?Which is p and Which is q? by Gita V. Reddy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a cute little book for the early reader. The illustrations are fun. The story as imaginative as I expect of Gita V. Reddy.

I actually read this a few days ago and am just now getting around to reviewing but the experience stays clear for me. Mostly because some of my offspring and I are dyslexic. This would have been helpful for all of us as early readers.

Ms. Reddy sent me an email a bit ago offering the read for honest review. I was more than willing as I have loved most of what she has presented to me to read. This was just as fun as the rest. As usual, there is a story, with morals and fun adventures.

As it was for the children, the book was fine. I just wish there were more hints or ideas for parents and teachers. Gita does say that one needs more practice with many letters like M and W. But L and 7 come to mind for me, lower case U and lower case N, lower case Q and lowercase G, lower case B and lower case D, 3 and E. I’m sure there are others that get confused. In fact, most letters can be switched backward or upside down. These were all so confusing to me as a kid and I had to watch my boys go through the same confusion.

Nowadays, while studying German, I am finding my old nemesis ‘I before E…’ coming back at me because in German it is the other way around. So dyslexia still plays havoc in my life. But this book is a start for the new generation of readers to play with.

As for the story and pictures, I love the one where the grandfather is emptying the box of wooden letters on the floor for Minki to play with. Having tactile experiences with the letters is so important for children who are learning about the alphabet.

Great job, Gita. I hope this will spare many children and the parents the confusion of letters that won’t stay in the right directions.

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Drawing Dead: An Urban Fantasy Thriller (Dana McIntyre Must Die Book 1)Drawing Dead: An Urban Fantasy Thriller by S.M. Reine

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

WOW!!!! OMG!!!!! Of all of S.M. Reine’s massive series(s), this is my favorite!!!! I couldn’t stop reading once I started.

I almost missed this one. I had gotten so far behind in my email that I didn’t see the one offering to read/review Drawing Dana. Luckily I was offered a reprieve and allowed to read it even though late. Because since I met Dana McIntyre I have loved her. She is the bitch with a heart of gold. She is strong with the right amount of weakness. She is the vampire slayer who has been bitten. And I love the name of the weapon of choice. Spoilers! Can’t tell you!

Some of the many series(s) are a little dark or ‘demonie’, or too far into fae. And as much as I hate vampire stories, this should have been a non-starter. But it was Dana!!! I knew I couldn’t go wrong.

What I like and have liked about Sara’s writing has been her use of places where I have lived or at least visited. This one takes place in Las Vegas. Never lived there but been there enough to recognize the place. I never saw the vampires there but it is easy to imagine them there. Ms. Reine often writes of Reno. I did live there a while. But my Reno looked nothing like the one in her books, except, they did. Her imagination put beings there that I must have overlooked.

Please, if you get the chance, read this book. It is written so that you can start here. BUT… I suggest you start at the beginning: Six Moon Summer. Watch the world around you change into Reine’s world. So many adventures await, including this one.

I can’t wait for the next book!!!!!!!

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Chasing Coyotes: Accounts of Urban CrisesChasing Coyotes: Accounts of Urban Crises by Debora Martin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Less than a decade ago my husband and I were delivering newspapers in Corona California. We were quite surprised by how many coyotes we saw out in these beautiful neighborhoods. We didn’t think of them as more than just nuisances who got into the trash. Turns out this book tell accounts of coyotes in the even bigger cities of Orange County that were around when we lived there and got worse in years since we left.

I think when I saw this book’s description that I was getting some Urban Fantasy about Native American tales of coyotes, the tricksters. At first, I was a bit taken aback. Then I was pleasantly surprised at where these stories took place. Then the book inspired in me a healthier fear that I never had before.

If you live in big cities in Orange County or L.A. County or Riverside County in California, you should read this book. I suggest you get the hardback or paperback so that you can keep the guidelines of how to get rid of coyotes, that could kill your toddlers or grandparents or cat or dog. Use it to get in touch with the people, like the author, who are trying to make your neighborhoods safer.

Look, where I live coyotes walk brazenly down our dirt roads. I live in the country. There are wild rabbits and other creatures that coyotes like to eat. But now I know another reason why my cats and dog are not allowed outside alone in our yard, besides the threat of hawks and eagles, that like small pets. We are trying to find a way to fence in our yard better to keep out coyotes or bigger predators. (The first winter we were here we found antelope footprints right next to our bedroom window. So imagine what could come in.) But we expect these beasts out here. In the cities, I thought our biggest problem were mice, rats, and opossums. But I was wrong.

Please read this book. Be aware so that you can be prepared.

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Bitter Thirst (Preternatural Affairs, #8)Bitter Thirst by S.M. Reine

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Though I am thankful to get to read one more of S.M. Reine’s books, I am never as pleased with the Special Agent Cèsar Hawke books. To me, they read like the old Humphrey Bogart PI type movies but with a paranormal twist.

Once again, others may enjoy these, but they just don’t pull me in the way the rest of Sara’s books do. Still, each of these adds to the overall story, just from another viewpoint. So I keep reading and learn more about our alternative world full of the same cities, just differently inhabited. Please read these books by this most prolific author. I think you will like seeing the world from another point of view.

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The Mother's PromiseThe Mother’s Promise by Sally Hepworth

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Maybe if I don’t write a review, I can hang onto the charms and lessons of this book. No. That’s not right. Others need to read it and the only way to hang on to the knowledge in this book is to read it again.

I finished this book four days ago. That’s how long I had the above conversation with myself.

There is a nice blurb about this book on GoodReads. And the one on NetGalley had me seeking it out. I’m glad they let me read it. But here’s my blurb: A young teen with severe social anxiety only child of a single mother dying of cancer, a social worker who is a victim of abuse, a nurse who is finished with IVF unsuccessfully.

Sally Hepworth pulls these four females into a book that is hard to put down and hard to leave behind. And not only is it a great story, it is full of real life answers to some of the problems these fems deal with.

I want to thank NetGalley for letting me read this, again. I do plan on a second read. Please read it, especially if you have social anxiety, there are some good ideas in here and the author shows she knows how we feel who have it. There are triggers for cancer patients and abuse victims but they are handled well and give each of the other characters more depth.

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A Tapestry of TearsA Tapestry of Tears by Gita V. Reddy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received this book free of charge from the author.

Well, this was a treasure. You all know I don’t like short stories. I like getting to know characters deeply. That is why I read so many series. But Gita V. Reddy has pulled off keeping the story short while not leaving the reader empty.

If there was a theme running through these stories it would be “Love”. Though the stories are about Indian families/couples the American reader isn’t lost in cultural differences. The stray non-English word helps in keeping the story authentic but those aren’t over done.

The female dilemmas that plague many countries are merely spoken of in fact as part of the story and not the end goal. That made the stories more interesting.

I found re-reading the last couple stories from other books a little boring but if it were the first time for a reader to see them they might find these interesting.

Well-done, Gita! I do recommend that everyone read this book. It can make you see some of your own flaws to work on in love. It isn’t just for Indian women. It is for everyone!

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Cast in Godfire (The Mage Craft Series Book 5)Cast in Godfire by S.M. Reine

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received this book free of charge from the author.

As my star rating shows. I liked this book. But of all the series and subseries in the S.M. Reine world this Mage Craft subseries about Marion and Seth’s strange love for each other and angels and gods and demons and hell hounds… oh my!

Look, don’t get me wrong. I love Ms. Reine’s writing and how she keeps things moving. And at least by this book, I am not needing a cast of characters chart to remember who everyone is. But still, once all our favorites are unidentifiable as angels and faceless gods. And the reader is left knowing the story is not over, just not a cliff hanger.

If you ever get the chance to read these series(es) by Sara Reine you will find yourself in worlds you know and yet, don’t know. Often stories take place in places like Reno or other real cities. Landmarks keep you anchored yet the manning of said city is not by people you know or would want to know in some cases. That keeps the story alive and real for a fantasy.

As I always recommend, start with the Six Moon Summer where you meet characters that stay with you through all the books. They don’t do a lot in some books but prove invaluable in others. It is always fun to meet them again and again. Like old friends. And maybe you will like this series far better than I did. I hope so. Sara Reine is quite prolific and keeps her readers wanting more!

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Cast in Balefire (Mage Craft, #4)Cast in Balefire by S.M. Reine

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am so sorry that it took me so long first to read the book and then to review it. Life. That’s all I can account for.

Marion is still an amnesiac. I have to admit that this has gotten boring to me. Now that the world has changed so it makes it even harder to understand who is who and what position are they at now. Ms. Reine’s universe has gotten quite complicated and there really needs to be a glossary in the back or front of the book to look up the characters and where they are now.

The strange affliction has Marion married while in love with someone/something else. I just find myself confused and somewhat bored. I’m giving this 3.5 stars rounding up to 4 as I do enjoy seeing the old gang of wolves, etc. But this new world is just not as fun for me. Thanks for letting me read this book. I look forward to a satisfying end to this part of the story (…fire books).

Still, I think everyone could love SM Reine’s stories starting with the Six Moon Summer. This author is so prolific that one could read forever and not catch up. A clinker or two is just fine as it moves the reader to the next book in the series(s). (How does one pluralize more than one series?) Still, Enjoy!

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