Tag Archive: free-from-author



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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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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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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Three Sisters (Emily Castles Mysteries)Three Sisters by Helen Smith

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Disclaimer: I was given this book for an honest review.

I started reading this just before going to sleep. I finished at a decent bedtime. I had to read it with the text-to-speech turned on as I found it going rather slowly. I didn’t care for Emily, the main character. She seemed like a nosey neighbor more than anything.

Beware of the spoiler, the title of the book. That took all the mystery out of the story. Most of the time I found I was feeling left out. That the author just gave it all to me. And yet… Would you believe it? I still have no real idea whodunit. Since I don’t like short stories, and I don’t much like mysteries, this didn’t feed me anything. Even the chance that I could travel to England and learn something new about the country or her people, fell flat.

Okay, there seems to be a lot of higher star ratings, so it may just be me. I don’t feel at all compelled to see what happens to Emily next. But I wish the author well and that you all will find me wrong.

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StolenStolen by Sheila Dalton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Here there be pirates. Argh! And adventures galore!

Oh, but with that are slaves of many different breeds. And lots of misery of the times (early 1700?) Poor Lizbet finds that her parents have been taken captive on a slaver ship. She hopes they are alive but with the gore on the beach she fears they may not be. The first part of the book, she runs off with another unfortunate teen. They flee to London hoping to find a way in the world. The world lives in fear of women, cats and witches. No, there are no witches. But you could be arrested for just about anything.

I want to warn everyone in the second part. It almost sounds like the storyline of erotica. Though it leans that way it stays just above eros.Stick with it as the story gets more into the adventure that Lizbet longs for.

By the way, I received this e-book as a gift from the author, Sheila Dalton, for an honest review. I did love it and couldn’t put it down. I was impressed by the amount of research that is obvious within the tale. If you get the chance it is worth the read!

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Outsider: The Flawed Series Book TwoOutsider: The Flawed Series Book Two by Becca J. Campbell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was given the ARC by the author for an honest review. Because of it being an ARC, I will not count into this review any of the editing errors that I did pick up. In fact, the story caught me up so firmly that I hardly noticed these oopsies.

About that story! Wow! Told from the viewpoints of the main character, Josh, and his female interest, Alex, and their nemesis, Nic who is out to kill Alex. I like that you can get into the heads of each of these people. Sure, one could guess at the insecurities young people have about starting a new relationship, but Ms. Becca Campbell (author) gives us deeper insights than those surface issues. Put into that mix suddenly awakening abilities and one can understand the deep confusion. And seeing what was motivating the bad guy was ingenious!

This series is so much fun! It keeps one on the edge of one’s seat wondering what is going to happen? How will they get out of this one? Try to read this one so that the last half is long before bedtime. I was lucky that I was able to finish long before sleep. There are nightmare elements that I didn’t want to have entering my subconscious. (Course the next book I picked up then was by Neil Gaiman, gulp!)

It had been a long time since I read the first of the Flawed series, Flawed. Even so I found a reread wasn’t necessary. Enough review is set up in this book two that one wouldn’t feel lost. In fact, one could read this without having read the first book. But the depth you would have from reading the series in order is unbeatable. I highly recommend reading this series if you are inclined to read fantasy books about new or young adults. This one was more contemporary than other fantasies. In that way, it is fun to visit Colorado and California as they are.

I can’t wait to read the next in the series!

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