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Sunday, November 22

Great Finds Issue #13

What to do when you don’t live close to a book store? Two words – Thrift Shop!



Hardbacks:

Comes The Blind Fury

Comes the Blind Fury by John Saul

The Loch by Steve Alten

Blue Smoke by Nora Roberts

Engaging Father Christmas by Robin Jones Gunn



Paperbacks:

Petals on the Wind (Dollanger Saga)


Then Again, Maybe I Won’t by Judy Blume

The Baby-Sitters Club Mystery #17 Dawn and the Halloween Mystery by Ann M. Martin

The Baby-Sitters Club #123 Claudia’s Big Party by Ann M. Martin

The Baby-Sitters Club #19 Claudia and the Bad Joke by Ann M. Martin

Petals on the Wind by V.C. Andrews

Baby-Sitters Little Sister: Karen’s Field Day by Ann M. Martin

Baby-Sitters Little Sister: Karen’s Copycat by Ann M. Martin

The Baby-sitter 3 by R.L. Stine

Bone Chillers: Beware The Shopping Mall by Betsy Haynes

Sweet Valley Twins #21 Left Behind by Jamie Suzanne

Saturday, November 14

Book Review - Battling the Unknown: The Last Rawl Trilogy

Battling the Unknown: The Last Rawl Trilogy

Battling the Unknown: The Last Rawl Trilogy

BY: Meg Christian

PUBLISHED BY: Infivity Publishing.com

PUBLISHED IN: 2008

ISBN: 0-7414-4793-2

Pages: 146

Ages: Teen & Up

Reviewed by Billy Burgess

In book one of the trilogy, the young author Meg Christian has created the fantasy world of Umberodia. In this land is a sixteen year old Katrina Rawl. Her mother passed away when she was very young. Since then, she has lived with her aunt. Katrina spends her days selling vegetables on the side of the road. She likes to read books which is something that is forbidden by the Emperor.

Katrina stumbles upon a letter written by her mother. In the letter is a message that she is suppose to give to Amile the Warrior. Soon after, the Emperor sends out his army to do a routine house by house search. The army reports back to the Emperor telling him of a young girl named Katrina Rawl. The Emperor knows this must be the only daughter of Marianne Rawl. He orders his army to retrieve the girl.

When the army arrives the next night, Katrina slips out of the house and escapes. She heads to Ioni where she hopes to find the Amile the Warrior. On the way she finds may other dangers. She also meets a skittish bird named Twitter and a young man named Arlon who help her on the journey.

This is an adorable tale set in an original world of Umberodia. Meg Christian’s love of adventure and storytelling is shown in Battling the Unknown: The Last Rawl Trilogy. The young author is donating all of the profits to the Southern New Hampshire Rescue Mission. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good quest and wonderful characters.

Saturday, November 7

Book Review - First Night


First NightFirst Night
BY: Tom Weston
PUBLISHED BY: Tom Weston Media
PUBLISHED IN: 2008
ISBN: 978-0-981-94130-1
Pages: 253
Ages: Teen & Up
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

Author Tom Weston brings us an old fashioned ghost tale in First Night. The story begins with Sarah Pemberton who has caught the small pox. A family friend, Captain John Ayres, gives her an ivory bracelet to wear. Sarah dies.

The story skips to the present day. Alexandra O’Rourke and her younger sister, Jackie, are spending their New Year’s Eve with their aunt and uncle in Boston. They’re California girls and rather be home partying than spending their vacation in Boston.

Saturday, October 31

Book Sale Finds Issue #2




Here are my finds:



Hardbacks:

The Surprise Party (Fear Street, No. 2)

Surprise Party – R.L. Stine

The Haunted Mask – R.L. Stine



Paperbacks:
The LAST DROP (TOMBSTONES 2): THE LAST DROP (Tombstones)

Tombstones: The Last Drop by John Peel

Tombstones: Dances with Werewolves by John Peel

Maniac by John Peel

Burning Up by Caroline B. Cooney

Echoes from the Past by June Masters Bacher

A Place to Call Home by Ruth Glover

Great Finds Issue #12

What to do when you don’t live close to a book store? Two words – Thrift Shop!



Hardback:

Forever in Blue: The Fourth Summer of the Sisterhood (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants)

Shiloh Autumn by Bodie and Brock Thoene

Forever in Blue by Ann Breashares



Paperback:

Matilda

Matilda by Roald Dahl

Friday, October 30

Book Sale Finds #1


Here are my finds:

Hardbacks:

The Baby-Sitter IV (Point Horror Series)

The Babysitter 4 by R.L. Stine

The Seance by Joan Lowry Nixon

Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder

By the Shores of Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Four Season’s Cross-Stitch by Better Homes and Bardens

A Merry Christmas In Cross-Stitch

A Cross-Stitch Christmas by Better Homes and Gardens

Christmas Cross Stitch by Jutta Lammer

Celebrations in Cross-Stitch by Lisbeth Perrone


Paperbacks:

The Dare (Fear Street, No. 21)


Fear Street: What Holly Heard by R.L. Stine

Fear Street: The Face by R.L. Stine

Fear Street: The Cataluna Chronicles: The Deadly Fie by R.L. Stine

Fear Street: The Cataluna Chronicles: The Dark Secret by R.L. Stine

Fear Street: Fear Park: The Loudest Scream by R.L. STine

Fear Street: The Dare by R.L. Stine

Fear Street: College Weekend by R.L. Stine

Fear Street: Super Chiller: The Dead Lifeguard by R.L. Stine

More Tales to Give you Goosebumps by R.L. Stine

The Beast 2 by R.L. Stine

Amnesia by Sinclair Smith

Dangerous by Nora Roberts

Hot Ice by Nora Roberts

O’Hurley’s Return by Nora Roberts

Wednesday, October 14

Great Finds Issue #11

What to do when you don’t live close to a book store? Two words – Thrift Shop!



Hardback:

Anastasia Again

Anastasia Again! by Lois Lowry



Paperback:

The Horror At Camp Jellyjam (Classic Goosebumps)

The Baby-sitters Club # 120 Mary Anne and the Playground Fight

Sweet Valley Twins and Friends #37 The War Between the Twins

Teacher’s Pet by Richie Tankersley Cusick

Goosebumps: The Horror at Camp Jellyjam by R.L. Stine

Give Yourself Goosebumps: The Knight in Screaming Armor by R. L. Stine

Book Review - Cirque Du Freak: Vampire Mountain


Cirque du Freak: Vampire Mountain (Book Four)Cirque Du Freak: Vampire Mountain
BY: Darren Shan
PUBLISHED BY: Little, Brown and Company
PUBLISHED IN: 2001
ISBN: 0-316-60806-8
Pages: 195
Ages: Teen & Up
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

Half-vampire Darren Shan, Mr. Crepsley and three of Mr. Tiny’s Little People leave the Cirque Du Freak. They journey to the Vampire Mountain. Gavner Paul, a friend Mr. Crepsley also travels with them. One of the little people reveals his real name as, Harkat Mulds, and he has a message to deliver from Mr. Tiny to the Vampire Princes.

Many dangers confront them on their way. The purple-skinned Vampaneze are close by.

The Vampire Mountain is a network of tunnels and caves where the vampires live. Darren makes friends with several of the other vampires.

The Princes and Generals weren’t impressed with Darren. They thought he was too young. Now Darren must prove himself to them.

I found the fourth book in the series to be boring and not enough action.

Monday, October 12

Book Review - The Secret of the Sacred Scarab


The Secret of the Sacred ScarabThe Secret of the Sacred Scarab
BY: Fiona Ingram
PUBLISHED BY: iUniverse
PUBLISHED IN: 2008
ISBN: 978-0-595-457168
Pages: 258
Ages: Teen & Up
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

In this first chapter of the Chronicles of the Stone, Adam and his cousin Justin are invited to go on a trip to Egypt by their Aunt Isabel and their Grandmother. The boys are excited about visiting another country. Their Aunt tells them that the archaeologist, James Kinnaird, has disappeared while looking for the tomb of the Scarab King. The tomb of the Scarab King is just a legend and has never been proven to exist by any archaeologist.

Friday, October 9

Book Review - Cirque Du Freak: Tunnels of Blood

Cirque Du Freak #3: Tunnels of Blood: Book 3 in the Saga of Darren Shan (Cirque Du Freak: the Saga of Darren Shan)Cirque Du Freak: Tunnels of Blood
BY: Darren Shan
PUBLISHED BY: Little, Brown and Company
PUBLISHED IN: 2000
ISBN: 0-316-60763-0
Pages: 229
Ages: Teen & Up
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

In this fast-paced sequel, Mr. Crepsley is on business in the city and takes Darren and Evra with him. Christmas is just around the corner and Darren is the only one who wants to celebrate. He goes shopping for a present for Evra and bumps into a teenager, Debbie. He soon begins dating her.

Meanwhile, there are strange deaths in the city. Is Mr. Crepsley? Or is there another vampire hiding in the tunnels of blood.

I read this in one night, and is one of the best in the series.

Book Review - Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant


The Vampire's Assistant (Cirque du Freak, Book 2)Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant
BY: Darren Shan
PUBLISHED BY: Little, Brown and Company
PUBLISHED IN: 2000
ISBN: 0-316-60684-7
Pages: 247
Ages: Teen & Up
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

In this sequel, Darren is adjusting to his new life as Mr. Crepsley’s assistant. They return to the Cirque Du Freak. Darren becomes good friends with Evra, the snake boy.

While traveling with the freak show Darren meets another friend, Sam. Sam wants to leave home and join the Cirque Du Freak. Darren, now a half-vampire, must learn the hard way that he can never have a normal life.

I thought  the 2nd book in the series was boring and a major letdown.

Great Finds Issue #10

What to do when you don’t live close to a book store? Two words – Thrift Shop!

Paperbacks:

The Baby-Sitters Club: Claudia and Mean Janine (BSC Graphix)

The Baby-sisters Club: Dawn and the Impossible Three
                         Claudia and Mean Janine
         Hello, Mallory
                                           Little Miss Stoneybrook…and Dawn
                       Jessi’s Secret Language
                               Claudia Makes Up Her Mind
                           Dawn’s Wicked Stepsister

Tuesday, September 29

Book Review - Calling All Authors – How to Publish with Your Eyes Wide Open

Calling All Authors - How to Publish with Your Eyes Wide Open

Calling All Authors – How to Publish with Your Eyes Wide Open
BY: Valerie Connelly
PUBLISHED BY: Nightengale Press
PUBLISHED IN: 2007
ISBN: 978-1-933449-43-2
Pages: 291
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

Have you ever wanted to be a published writer? “Calling All Authors – How to Publish with Your Eyes Wide Open” tells what traps and mistakes to avoid during publishing. Should you use a traditional publishing company or should you publish the book yourself? Will you need a publicist? An editor? Or a proofreader? These are just some of the questions that author Valerie Connelly, founder of Nightengale Press, answers in this book.

There are many myths and tales about the publishing world. “Calling all Authors,” explains these myths and brings them into reality for writers. A lot of new writers think their books will be an instant bestseller. You’ll learn that books don’t become bestsellers overnight.

As a writer myself, I enjoyed reading “Calling All Authors.” I learned that even in traditional publishing you’ll have to do some marketing of your own. You can’t just sit back and expect the book to just sell itself. Learn how to promote your book by using the internet. Learn how to benefit from good and bad book reviews.

I recommend “Calling All Authors” to all upcoming writers of any genre. This book will help you with those difficult decisions you will come across while publishing your novel.

Sunday, September 27

Great Finds Issue #9

What to do when you don’t live close to a book store? Two words – Thrift Shop!



Paperbacks:

Born in Fire (Born in Trilogy, Book 1)


The MacGregors: Daniel & Ian by Nora Roberts

Born in Fire by Nora Roberts

The MacKade Brothers: Devin and Shane by Nora Roberts

Book Review - Cirque Du Freak


Cirque du Freak: A Living NightmareCirque Du Freak
BY: Darren Shan
PUBLISHED BY: Little, Brown and Company
PUBLISHED IN: 2000
ISBN: 0-316-60340-6
Pages: 266
Ages: Teen & Up
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

After seeing the movie trailer, I checked out the first three books at my local library. I have never heard of the series before now, and was surprised to learn that there are twelve books. I read the first book in one night.

Two teenagers, Darren & his best friend, Steve, sneak out and go to the mysterious Cirque Du Freak, a freak show. Mr. Tall, Snake boy, a wolfman, Alexander Ribs and Mr. Crepsley.

Mr. Crepsley is pale faced, redheaded man. He is a real vampire and the owner of Madam Octa, a spider. Darren loves spiders and steals Madam Octa. This causes a chain of events that will forever change Darren’s life.

Monday, September 21

Great Finds Issue #8

What to do when you don’t live close to a book store? Two words – Thrift Shop!



Hardback:

Danger in the Shadows (Prequel to The O'Malley Series)

Danger in the Shadows by Dee Henderson



Paperbacks:

The Inheritance (Women of Faith Fiction)


Meg: Primal Waters by Steve Alten

If Ever I Return, Pretty Peggy-O by Sharyn McCrumb

Partners in Crime by Agatha Christie

The Inheritance by Tamera Alexander

Diary of a Loving Heart by June Masters Bacher

Love Leads Home by June Masters Bacher

Thursday, September 17

Book Review - Writer Watchdog 2009 Edition: Self-publishing Directory


2009 Writer Watchdog Self-Publishing DirectoryWriter Watchdog 2009 Edition: Self-publishing Directory
BY: Deana Riddle
PUBLISHED BY: New Vision Media
PUBLISHED IN: 2009
ISBN: 978-0-9822674-9-3
Pages: 213
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

With a flashy cover, the Writer Watchdog 2009 Edition: Self – publishing Directory will catch any writer’s eye. Being a writer myself, I have read several resource and writing books, but this is the first I’ve read about self-publishing.

The book is filled with over two hundred resources and over thirty articles. You learn every step there is in publishing your own book. Learn the difference between a book printer and a self-publishing service. Find out how to use social networking websites, blogs and book reviews to promote your book.
My favorite sections are the Book Review Resources, and the Informational Sites and Writer Organizations. The tips in these sections are very helpful.

I found the Writer Watchdog 2009 Edition to be full of wonderful information that any writer can use. Before jumping into the self-publishing world, I recommend reading this. Any questions you would ever have will be answered in this amazing book.

New Story Being Published



My short story for children, Cat Got Your Tongue?, will be published in the knowonder! Magazine October 2009 issue. It will be my 13th published story!

Saturday, September 12

Great Finds Issue #7

What to do when you don’t live close to a book store? Two words – Thrift Shop!



Hardback:

Hauntings: Tales of the Supernatural edited by Henry Mazzeo



Paperback:

True Courage (Uncommon Heroes, Book 4)
True Courage by Dee Henderson

Sweet Valley Twins: The Haunted House by Francine Pascal

Thursday, September 10

The Pizza Party



My short story, The Pizza Party, is in the current issue of the Stories for Children Magazine.

http://storiesforchildrenmagazine.org/ThePizzaParty.aspx

Saturday, September 5

Great Finds Issue #6

What to do when you don’t live close to a book store? Two words – Thrift Shop!


Hardback:

Creation in Death

Cirque Du Freak: Vampire Mountain by Darren Shan

Creation in Death by J.D. Robb

Innocent in Death by J.D. Robb



Paperbacks:

The Final Nightmare: Book III : The House on Cherry Street (The House on Cherry Street, No 3)

The Law of Love by Nora Roberts

Love by Designs by Nora Roberts

The House on Cherry Street: The Final Nightmare by Rodman Philbrick and Lynn Harnett

Suite 606 by J.D. Robb, Mary Blayney, Ruth Ryan Langan and Mary Kay McComas

Goosebumps: Revenge of the Lawn Gnomes by R.L. Stine

The Baby-Sitters Club Mystery #26: Dawn Schafer, Undercover Baby-sitter by Ann M. Martin

Return by Karen Kingsbury with Gary Smalley