Category Archives: review

REVIEW: The River at Night by Erica Ferencik

The River at Night

by Erica Ferencik


Book Description

A high-stakes drama set against the harsh beauty of the Maine wilderness, charting the journey of four friends as they fight to survive the aftermath of a white water rafting accident, The River at Night is a nonstop and unforgettable thriller.


3 out of 5 FLEURS DE LIS

The River at Night
by Erica Ferencik

It occurs to me that I have never read a book about surviving in the wilderness, and because that was what I was expecting this book to be about, I now want to. But, The River at Night was not the book I expected it to be.

A group of four friends in their late thirties go to Maine to conquer a tough whitewater rapids along with a young guide. Though the friends have all been through their own struggles, both separately and among themselves, only the bravest of them, Pia, is even close to being physically and psychologically ready for this adventure. Through a series of freak accidents and bad decisions, the women become trapped in the forest with a raging river and a very unexpected threat chasing them as they attempt to make it home alive.

The story is told through the point of view of one of the women, Wini, who is stuck in a job which will soon be obsolete and is on her own after a failed marriage. The rest of the group consists of Pia, the thrill seeking leader who pushes her more introverted friends to take these dangerous vacations; Rachel, an RN and recovering alcoholic who balances her blunt manner with a deep love for her friends; and Sandra, a mother who is recovering from cancer and getting ready to leave her marriage.

The women were not feeling great about going on the trip in the first place, and some sketchy things happen before they even get started that would have made some people run. The friends, though, all have some desire to impress and follow Pia, so they do. This is one of the main things I couldn’t understand about the dynamic between the characters. I am not that far behind these women in age and I feel like if you have been friends with someone for fifteen years, as they all claim to have been, this feeling of needing to prove yourself to your friend should be long past. Especially if you have been at each other’s sides through tough situations.

I also thought that the plot pacing was off. It took half the book until the group really got into the river and started their journey, and then while there were some heart racing and action packed scenes in between, the end seemed to come very fast after the women came across their threat. I also didn’t feel like there was enough follow up to the end, and I just wanted more of a sense of how all the women were affected after the events.

All in all this was not a bad book, but as I said, just not what I expected. It’s sort of a nature/suspense novel with the bonds of friendship tying it all together. It makes a sort of sense in its’ way, and others might like it better than I did.

View all my reviews

About the Author

Oprah chose Erica Ferencik’s debut novel, The River at Night, (Simon & Schuster, Gallery/Scout Press,) as a #1 Pick, calling the book “the page-turning novel you’ve been waiting for, a heart-pounding debut.” Entertainment Weeklynamed it a “Must Read,” and calls the novel “harrowing…a visceral, white knuckle rush.” Jungle, a thriller set in the Peruvian rainforest, will be released in late 2018. Her work has appeared in Salon and The Boston Globe, as well as on National Public Radio. Her novel, Repeaters, has been optioned for film.

Buy Links:
Simon & Schuster
Barnes & Noble
iBookstore (ebook)
Kindle (ebook)
Nook (ebook)
Google Play (ebook)

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BOOK TOUR REVIEW: Girl Unknown by Karen Perry

Girl Unknown

by Karen Perry

Family Drama/Thriller

Book Description

David and Caroline Connolly are swimming successfully through their marriage’s middle years—raising two children; overseeing care for David’s ailing mother; leaning into their careers, both at David’s university teaching job, where he’s up for an important promotion, and at the ad agency where Caroline has recently returned to work after years away while the children were little. The recent stresses of home renovation and of a brief romantic betrayal (Caroline’s) are behind them. The Connollys know and care for each other deeply.Then one early fall afternoon, a student of sublime, waiflike beauty appears in David’s university office and says, “I think you might be my father.” And the fact of a youthful passion that David had tried to forget comes rushing back. In the person of this intriguing young woman, the Connollys may have a chance to expand who they are and how much they can love, or they may be making themselves vulnerable to menace. They face either an opportunity or a threat—but which is which? What happens when their hard-won family happiness meets a hard-luck beautiful girl?


4 out of 5 FLEURS DE LIS

Girl Unknown
by Karen Perry

Let me start by saying that this book has a very slow burn. Usually, I would have given up on a book in which the plot moves do slowly, but I could sense that the relationships between the characters were the main attraction here and what needed to be watched more than plot development. But if you’re expecting a lot of things to happen, this is not the book for you.

David and Caroline’s marriage was probably not hanging on by much anyway, by the time Zoe came into their lives. Zoe claims to be David’s daughter from a previous relationship, and Caroline, who has always known that Zoe’s mother was the real love of David’s life, is rocked to see such a reminder of his past back in their lives in the present. Add to this the fact of the children David and Caroline have and their not taking too kindly to this wisp of a girl, and the whole book simmers like a pot about to boil over.

From the first meeting between David and Zoe, I could tell something was up with here. It’s hard to believe David couldn’t see through her, but in my opinion he wanted that connection to his past so badly, he chose to see what he wanted to see when it came to Zoe. Zoe is not a good person and that is confirmed by multiple people throughout the novel, but she has a way with men and can usually get them to see her innocent persona when she needs them to.

As a woman I couldn’t help but feel for Caroline, though she was not entirely innocent through this story. She strayed from David, but who among us wouldn’t be hurt upon learning our spouse only married us as a second option? I don’t know if I ever really felt any love between the couple.

I would say the main problem I had with Girl Unknown is that only Caroline seemed to be able to see through Zoe’s flaky shield. She couldn’t get David to believe her, even when blatantly mistreated by Zoe, and this just put the nails in the coffin of their marriage. Zoe was able to way too easily manipulate so many people.

The final chapters of this book are amazing. They tell what unfolds from a distant third person point of view, and it’s chilling to see. I was not expecting anything that happened, and I was left in shock for the last few pages. Girl Unknown is a dreary but highly entertaining read that those who enjoy tales of family intricacies will love.

View all my reviews

photo by Edmund Ross Photography

About the Authors

Karen Perry is the pen name of Dublin-based authors Paul Perry and Karen Gillece. Together they wrote Girl Unkown.

Paul Perry is the author of a number of critically acclaimed books. A recipient of the Hennessy Award for New Irish Writing, he teaches creative writing at University College, Dublin.

Karen Gillece is the author of several critically acclaimed novels. In 2009 she won the European Union Prize for Literature (Ireland).

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound


REVIEW: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Little Fires Everywhere

by Celeste Ng

Literary Fiction


Book Description

In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is meticulously planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colours of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.

Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and single mother – who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenage daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than just tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the alluring mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past, and a disregard for the rules that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.

When the Richardsons’ friends attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town and puts Mia and Mrs. Richardson on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Mrs. Richardson becomes determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs to her own family – and Mia’s.

Little Fires Everywhere explores the weight of long-held secrets and the ferocious pull of motherhood-and the danger of believing that planning and following the rules can avert disaster, or heartbreak.



4 out of 5 FLEURS DE LIS

Little Fires Everywhere
by Celeste Ng

With a novel with a great number of characters and such a sweeping plot as this book has, it’s hard to know where to begin when it comes to a review. Little Fires Everywhere can be thought of as a thick rope, in which each strand of twisted nylon is intricately woven into the whole, and each strand has something important to offer when it comes to contributing to the overall story.

As its’ basis, it’s a story of how two very different families become intertwined in each other’s lives one year in the late 90’s, in prim and proper Shaker Heights, Ohio. There’s much to be said about the town being a character of its’ own; the setting and all the reader comes to know about it play an integral part of how the plot plays out.

The Richardson family is well off and has been a part of Shaker Heights since its’ founding. The father is an attorney and isn’t actually present that much, and the mother Elena is a journalist working on small pieces for the local newspaper. Elena is proud and thinks herself kind and giving, but I could tell from the beginning that her kindnesses didn’t come without later-to-be-named stipulations. Oldest daughter Lexi is a senior and Ivy League bound. Son Tripp is a sports star, attractive and beloved by all the girls. Younger son Moody is sensitive and speculative, and youngest daughter Izzie is a rebellious spitfire who is always at odds with her mother’s meticulously planned life.

The Richardsons come to know the Warrens when they move into their rental duplex. Mia is young, an artist with a wandering spirit who only holds down menial jobs because they pay for her art supplies. Pearl is her daughter, quiet and bookish but longing for a sense of home. Pearl and Moody become immediate friends, and before long the Warrens and the Richardsons are getting involved in each other’s lives in intimate and irreversible ways.

Now, the first chapter of the book will tell you what the immediate consequences were, and then the story unfolds from the beginning to tell you how the characters got to where they are. There are also several flashbacks to the pasts of a lot of characters, so if you don’t like non-linear storytelling, I would say Little Fires Everywhere is not for you. I happen to like a good deal of background information as long as it is relevant to the plot, and the flashbacks here only enrich the story further.

The conversations and the way events unfolded in the novel felt so natural to me; I could really see and hear each character in my mind. I listened to the audiobook version of this book, and I’m glad I did because I am sometimes a skip ahead reader ( :O ) and getting ahead of myself in this book would have made the whole thing not come together as beautifully as it did, in my opinion.

The Warrens and the Richardsons couldn’t be more different, and that’s why the two families coming together ultimately leads to dissension. There really wasn’t too much interaction between the two mothers in the story until the end, and I was waiting for this because I knew when it happened it would be disastrous. But the story ended quietly, with not as many fireworks as I had hoped for.

I enjoyed Little Fires Everywhere a great deal, but the ending did let me down a little bit. I was both sad at the way things worked out, and frustrated that the entire truth did not get revealed to everyone. I feel like reviewing this book doesn’t do more than give you a broad picture of what the plot is about, so I’ll say it’s worth a read just so you can see a masterpiece in story weaving, because that’s what the author has accomplished here.

View all my reviews


About the Author

Celeste Ng is the author of the novel Everything I Never Told You, which was a New York Times bestseller, a New York Times Notable Book of 2014, Amazon’s #1 Best Book of 2014, and named a best book of the year by over a dozen publications. Everything I Never Told You was also the winner of the Massachusetts Book Award, the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, the ALA’s Alex Award, and the Medici Book Club Prize, and was a finalist for numerous awards, including the Ohioana Award, the John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger Award, and the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award.

Celeste grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Shaker Heights, Ohio, in a family of scientists. Celeste attended Harvard University and earned an MFA from the University of Michigan (now the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan), where she won the Hopwood Award. Her fiction and essays have appeared in One Story, TriQuarterly, Bellevue Literary Review, the Kenyon Review Online, and elsewhere, and she is a recipient of the Pushcart Prize.

Currently, she lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her second novel, Little Fires Everywhere, was published by Penguin Press in fall 2017.

REVIEW: Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes


This review will contain elements about book one in this series, YOU, which will spoil the plot or ending for those who have not yet read it.

Hidden Bodies

by Caroline Kepnes


Book Description

Joe Goldberg is no stranger to hiding bodies. In the past ten years, this thirty-something has buried four of them, collateral damage in his quest for love. Now he’s heading west to Los Angeles, the city of second chances, determined to put his past behind him.

In Hollywood, Joe blends in effortlessly with the other young upstarts. He eats guac, works in a bookstore, and flirts with a journalist neighbor. But while others seem fixated on their own reflections, Joe can’t stop looking over his shoulder. The problem with hidden bodies is that they don’t always stay that way. They re-emerge, like dark thoughts, multiplying and threatening to destroy what Joe wants most: true love. And when he finds it in a darkened room in Soho House, he’s more desperate than ever to keep his secrets buried. He doesn’t want to hurt his new girlfriend—he wants to be with her forever. But if she ever finds out what he’s done, he may not have a choice…



Hidden Bodies
by Caroline Kepnes

You have to compare this novel to its’ predecessor, the excellent YOU, but I wish you didn’t have to. I liked this book as well, but we are dealing with a very different Joe here.

Since killing his former girlfriend Beck, Joe has been trying to live a peaceful life with his now girlfriend Amy Adam (not a pseudonym at all, right?) and run the bookstore he so dearly loves. Unfortunately for him, he falls for the wrong girl yet again, but this time must chase her across the country to Hollywood to exact his revenge. Once Joe gets there, he is sucked into the dark underworld of celebrity, and realizes his personality may be just what he needs to survive out here.

So, in my opinion, YOU didn’t really need a sequel. I loved the way it ended, wrapped up with Joe framing someone else for murder and essentially with the promise of another girlfriend on the horizon. But, we get to see how Joe has fallen for yet another girl who doesn’t have his best interests at heart. In a way, it was refreshing to see this different side of Joe–because in this relationship with Amy, he had done nothing wrong. She lied and took advantage of him. But we know from YOU that his temper is beyond frightening, and he cannot let go of things when he is wronged.

I don’t know if I liked Joe as much in this novel. In the first part of the book, he spends a ton of time complaining about Los Angeles, saying why is sucks in comparison to New York, and so on. Eventually though, he sees that every person in LA has something to hide, and that is why he fits in so much better than he thought he would. Joe’s intensity is somewhat subdued from the first novel, and before long it seems he has forgotten why he went to LA in the first place.

I liked this book for completely different reasons than I liked YOU. We get to know Joe more here, and although I would never use the word “likeable” to describe him, there’s no denying is is charismatic and it’s a wonder he can pass for normal in society at all, given the childhood he has experienced. Still, he is a psychopath and that fact is never far from your mind when you read the detached way he describes his killings.

I can’t wait for the next book in this series, and I commend Kepnes for coming up with such an unforgettable and enigmatic character as Joe Goldberg.

View all my reviews


Caroline Kepnes is the author of YouHidden Bodies and Providence. She has worked as a pop culture journalist for Entertainment Weekly and a TV writer on 7th HeavenThe Secret Life of the American Teenager and the upcoming adaptation of You. Originally from Cape Cod, Massachusetts she now writes full-time and lives in Los Angeles.

Find Caroline on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

RELEASE DAY REVIEW: Hug Chickenpenny: The Panegyric of an Anomalous Child by S. Craig Zahler

Hug Chickenpenny: The Panegyric of an Anomalous Child

by S. Craig Zahler

Fantasy/Coming of Age Fiction

Book Description

Hug Chickenpenny is an anomalous child. Born from tragedy and unknown paternity, this asymmetrical and white-haired baby inspires both ire and pity at the orphanage, until the day that an elderly eccentric adopts him as a pet. The upbeat boy’s spirit is challenged in his new home and as he is exposed to prejudiced members of society in various encounters. Will Hug and his astronautical dreams survive our cruel and judgmental world?


4 out of 5 FLEURS DE LIS

Hug Chickenpenny: The Panegyric of an Anomalous Child
by S. Craig Zahler

This was a very quick read, because I couldn’t put it down once I started. The circumstances of Hug’s birth and parentage are mysterious to say the least, and his life is filled with people who don’t understand him. Born to a mother who died upon birthing him, Hug (as he is so named in his orphanage home) is small, malformed, and just plain different. There are some in his life that want the best for him, though, and Hug’s story is told through these stages of his life where people cared for him.

Hug Chickenpenny is a boy who knows he’s different, but doesn’t ask why. He takes his lot in life and does the best he can with it. He’s smart, kind, and always tries to see the best in people, even when these people don’t see what’s good in him.

I loved it best when Hug was able to interact with children his own age; he is not only different from these kids physically, but he is mentally and emotionally more mature and it’s interesting to see how his presence affects others. Children, of course, are the most adaptable when finding something abnormal, and Hug can see himself through these children’s eyes and realize why he might make others react the way they do.

The story is short, and doesn’t give much in the way of background, so you have to be OK with this if you want to enjoy this tale. Hug Chickenpenny is a boy full of heart and wild imagination, and experiencing his story filled me with joy and sorrow both.

View all my reviews


About the Author

S. Craig Zahler is an award-winning screenwriter, director, novelist, cinematographer, and musician. He wrote and directed the films Bone Tomahawk and Brawl in Cell Block 99, and is the author of several novels, including Wraiths of the Broken Land, A Congregation of Jackals, and Mean Business on North Ganson Street.



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The Book Depository


REVIEW: YOU by Caroline Kepnes


by Caroline Kepnes



When a beautiful, aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: he Googles the name on her credit card.

There is only one Guinevere Beck in New York City. She has a public Facebook account and Tweets incessantly, telling Joe everything he needs to know: she is simply Beck to her friends, she went to Brown University, she lives on Bank Street, and she’ll be at a bar in Brooklyn tonight—the perfect place for a “chance” meeting.

As Joe invisibly and obsessively takes control of Beck’s life, he orchestrates a series of events to ensure Beck finds herself in his waiting arms. Moving from stalker to boyfriend, Joe transforms himself into Beck’s perfect man, all while quietly removing the obstacles that stand in their way—even if it means murder.


4.5 out of 5 FLEURS DE LIS

by Caroline Kepnes

This is one of the best thrillers I’ve read. This book puts you deep inside the mind of a psychopath who thinks everything he does is justified. And the things he does are chilling.

Joe is working in his beloved bookstore when his life changes the day Beck walks in. They flirt, she buys a book, and there is the start of an obsessive relationship that starts way before Beck even knows it does.

I cannot stress enough to you how absolutely creepy Joe is. The thing about him most disarming is that he comes off charming, handsome, if a bit intense, to other people. Women seem to be drawn to him, but there’s never been anyone like Beck. Within a day of meeting her, he has looked her up online, found out details about her life through social media, and thanks to the wonder of the internet, is watching her from across the street as she goes about her life. She doesn’t know this though, and the two get tangled up together in a relationship that “complicated” doesn’t even begin to cover.

Don’t go into this book thinking Beck is an innocent victim in all this. She does not deserve everything that Joe gives her, but she is a quite terrible person in her own right. Overtly using her sexuality to get what she wants, Beck coasts through life in an annoyingly narcissistic manner. She pushes and pulls and manipulates, and in a lot of ways she and Joe are made for each other.

Reading paragraphs full of Joe’s obsessive thoughts could get heavy sometimes, but once the book pulled me in it was very hard to put down. You are both enthralled and disgusted by his mind, and you have to know what ends up happening if his plans go awry.

The only issue I had with this book is that no one Joe seems to come into contact with can see through him or ever suspects anything at all is wrong with him. This seems kind of unrealistic to me, especially considering all the situations he is caught in. Joe seems to be the epitome of the phrase, “I never would have suspected this from him.”

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves thrillers. Be prepared for lots of language and vulgarity, though.

View all my reviews



Caroline Kepnes is the author of YouHidden Bodies and Providence. She has worked as a pop culture journalist for Entertainment Weekly and a TV writer on 7th HeavenThe Secret Life of the American Teenager and the upcoming adaptation of You. Originally from Cape Cod, Massachusetts she now writes full-time and lives in Los Angeles.

Find Caroline on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.


**If you feel you’re in a relationship where things are going South, there are options.  There’s even online couples therapy available now from places such as Regain.

REVIEW: Just Between Us by Rebecca Drake

Just Between Us

by Rebecca Drake


Book Description

Alison, Julie, Sarah, Heather. Four friends living the suburban ideal. Their jobs are steady, their kids are healthy. They’re as beautiful as their houses. But each of them has a dirty little secret, and hidden behind the veneer of their perfect lives is a crime and a mystery that will consume them all.

Everything starts to unravel when Alison spots a nasty bruise on Heather’s wrist. She shares her suspicions with Julie and Sarah, compelling all three to investigate what looks like an increasingly violent marriage. As mysterious injuries and erratic behavior mount, Heather can no longer deny the abuse, but she refuses to leave her husband. Desperate to save her, Alison and the others dread the phone call telling them that she’s been killed. But when that call finally comes, it’s not Heather who’s dead. In a moment they’ll come to regret, the women must decide what lengths they’ll go to in order to help a friend.

Just Between Us is a thrilling glimpse into the underbelly of suburbia, where not all neighbors can be trusted, and even the closest friends keep dangerous secrets. You never really know what goes on in another person’s mind, or in their marriage.


3.5 out of 5 Fleurs de Lis

Have you ever suspected something shady was going on behind the closed doors of your friends’ homes, but were afraid of asking for fear of hurting your friendship? Have you ever had to carry a deep, foreboding secret for your friends which changes you immensely?

In Just Between Us, a group of four women begin down a road from which they cannot travel back once they spot a bruise on one of the group’s wrists. Assuming Heather’s husband has been physically abusing her, the rest of the group, Julie, Sarah, and Alison, make no mistake of giving Heather their explicit advice and telling her they will be there if she needs them. And she does, for a night that they’ll regret forever.

The main issue I had with this novel is that it alternates points of view with each woman taking a turn to have her say…and I could barely tell the difference between the voice or personality of each woman. They all had kids and husbands too, although they were basically background players, and I can’t tell you any of their names even though I just finished the book a few hours ago. The friends have different careers, but these didn’t help me differentiate either.

It doesn’t take long before the suspense begins in this book. Even in the first chapter, as the friends are meeting for coffee, we see that one woman feels like she is the outsider, another thinks her friends are secretly talking about her when she’s not there. This is all pretty normal in female friend groups, and it’s interesting to see that the author included this aspect.

Jumping to conclusions is one thing every character in this book does very well. Without giving away too many important plot details, I will say that the reason almost all events are set into motion is that someone assumes something and rather than asking about it, takes matters into their own hands.

The first part of the book moved quite slowly and took me a while to get into. As I said before, the characters don’t seem to have their own unique voices and I couldn’t really connect with any of them. The action does pick up and there’s a lull while the characters are waiting and expecting their house of cards to fall down. Exposition picks up again towards the end, but by this point I had kind of already guessed the twist.

In the end, I have to say I like the way all of the events came together, even though it was kind of tragic. Just Between Us was not one of the best thriller novels I’ve ever read, but it kept me turning the pages.


About the Author

Rebecca Drake is the author of the novels Don’t Be Afraid, The Next Killing, The Dead Place, which was an IMBA bestseller, and Only Ever You, as well as the short story “Loaded,” which was featured in Pittsburgh Noir. A graduate of Penn State University and former journalist, she is currently an instructor in Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction M.F.A. program. Rebecca lives in Pittsburgh, PA, with her husband and two children.


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Winter Children’s Book Round Up

We’re well into the holiday season and the winter weather is also here!  Believe it or not, it snowed in Louisiana last week!

Today I’d like to share some quick reviews of winter books we are loving in our house lately.

Snow Beast Comes to Play

by Phil Gosier

Very sweet story about a young snow creature who only wants to make friends, but everyone is scared of him! Cute, snowy illustrations, and full of fun sound effects for reading out loud.  Preschoolers will love this one for bedtime, if they are OK with the mention of the word “beast.”

Goodbye Autumn, Hello Winter

by Kenard Pak

Gorgeous watercolor pictures show a brother and sister walking through nature and having a conversation with leaves, animals, and even the sun! The children learn what happens to each thing as autumn turns into winter.  Very informative and great for kids who ask a lot of questions 😀

Snow Scene

by Richard Jackson, Illustrated by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

Simple book with few words and a quick rhyme scheme.  Short enough for my toddler to sit still and listen to.  This is an interactive reading activity for parents and kids to do together! I would recommend for 2-3 year olds.

Ninja Claus!

by Arree Chung

Cute and clever book about a young ninja named Maxwell who tries to catch Santa one Christmas Eve night, but his plan doesn’t quite turn out the way he expects it to! Kids in Kindergarten and first grade will giggle at the letters Max writes to Santa.

Queen of the Hanukkah Dosas

by Pamela Ehrenberg, illustrated by Anjan Sarkar

Unique story about a multicultural family’s holiday celebrations, and one boy’s adventure with his mischievous little sister!  I liked reading this with my older son because he loves learning about other cultures, and we could research unfamiliar terms that we came across together.  Jewish children will be familiar with the terms and love seeing themselves in the characters.  I know my son could relate to having a younger sibling that drives him crazy!


I would recommend any of these books as gifts for the child in your life this holiday season!


REVIEW: All my Friends are Fast Asleep by David Weinstone

All my Friends are Fast Asleep

by David Weinstone

Illustrated by Magali Le Huche

Children’s Fiction/Bedtime Stories

Book Description

After tossing and turning in his bed, a little boy embarks on a nighttime quest to find a cozy place to rest. He visits one animal friend after another, from a lark in its nest to a mole in its hole. But while all the animals he meets are happily dozing off, this tuckered-out wanderer remains wide-awake–until he finally finds the perfect spot to lay his head.

From David Weinstone, the popular children’s musician and creator of the Music for Aardvarks program, comes All My Friends Are Fast Asleep, a rhythmic, cheerily illustrated bedtime story sure to smooth the way to sleep for young insomniacs everywhere.



All My Friends Are Fast Asleep
by David Weinstone

With such a light, lyrical story as this your child is sure to be on his way to dream land when this story is finished!

A boy lies in bed in his room but no matter what he does, he can’t fall asleep! He decides to go off adventuring and trying to imitate his animal friends to see if their methods of falling asleep can help him.

The illustrations in this book are cute, and done in a brilliant, non bright color scheme that won’t excite little readers’ eyes right before bed. Blues, greens, and purples set the tone.

My first thoughts were that a kid can definitely relate to this little boy. His bedroom is a mess with toys scattered everywhere, he has a pillow and stuffed animal he drags all around, and he imagines all kinds of things before he finally goes off to sleep.

I think kids will find it fun to see how different animals such as whales, frogs, and horses fall asleep. I also love that this story can be read or sung!

View all my reviews


About the Author

DAVID WEINSTONE is a classically trained former punk rocker who lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife and three children. He founded Music for Aardvarks and Other Mammals, an interactive music class for preschoolers, in 1997. Today, the classes are taught all over the country, and there are sixteen original albums that feature Weinstone’s beloved songs. His books include Music Class Today! and All My Friends Are Fast Asleep.



BOOK TOUR SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY: Six Little Secrets by Katlyn Duncan

Six Little Secrets

by Katlyn Duncan

YA Contemporary Suspense

Pub. Date: November 24, 2017

Book Description

Some secrets can never stay hidden for long…

Six teenagers meet in Saturday detention: a brain, a beauty, a cheerleader, a rebel, a recluse and the new girl.

But someone is watching. Someone has made sure that they are all in the same room at the same time. Someone knows that each of them is hiding a terrible secret…

…and by the end of detention, everyone will know the truth.


About the Author

Katlyn Duncan was born and raised in a small town in New England. Her overactive imagination involved invisible friends, wanting to be a Disney Princess and making up her own stories. Her bibliophile mom always encouraged her love of reading and that stayed with her ever since. Even though she works full time in the medical field Katlyn has always made time for books, whether she is reading or writing them.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads


 Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Goodreads

1 winner will receive a $25 B&N Gift Card, US Only.

5 winners will receive one of Katlyn’s Backlist Titles in eBook Format, International.


Tour Schedule:

Week One:

11/13/2017- Cindy’s Love of Books– Review

11/13/2017- Books,Dreams,Life– Excerpt


11/14/2017- Smada’s Book Smack– Review

11/14/2017- Stuffed Shelves– Review


11/15/2017- Sweet Southern Home– Spotlight

11/15/2017- Books at Dawn– Review


11/16/2017- Twinning for Books– Interview

11/16/2017- Savings in Seconds– Review


11/17/2017- Hooked To Books– Excerpt

11/17/2017- Mama Reads Blog– Review


Week Two:

11/20/2017- Owl always be reading– Review

11/20/2017- Daily Waffle– Interview


11/21/2017- Kendra Loves Books– Review

11/21/2017- Never Too Many To Read– Review


11/22/2017- Jo’s Book Blog– Guest Post

11/22/2017- Queen of Books– Review


11/23/2017- Literary Meanderings– Excerpt

11/23/2017- Taylor Fenner’s Bookish World– Review


11/24/2017- BookHounds YA– Guest Post

11/24/2017- Texan Girl Reads– Review