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Monday, February 28

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

What am I currenty reading?

All About Daisy: Daisy Rose Brown - Book One (Volume 1)
All About Daisy
by O'Dell Hutchinson

What Did I Just Finished Reading?

Miss Hildreth Wore Brown: Anecdotes of a Southern Belle
Miss Hildreth Wore Brown
by Olivia deBelle Byrd

I'll post my review on April 17 as part of a blog tour.

What Am I Reading Next?

Night of the Vampires (Hqn)

Night of the Vampires
by Heather Graham

Sunday, February 27

Book Review - 13 Days: The Dark Circle

13 Days: The Dark Circle
BY: K. Lippi
PUBLISHED BY: Mirror Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-936652-98-2
Pages: 281
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

Sixteen teens are selected to be apart of the Reality TV show on YTV called 13 Days. They are grouped into pairs of siblings, cousins, friends, and lovers. They are staying at the St. Clara Asylum on the haunted island. The main character Selene, and her brother Seth, are hoping to win the million dollar grand prize so they can save their family ranch.

At the end of each day, a contestant will be eliminated. As they explore the asylum, they start to hear strange footsteps and voices. Is the asylum haunted? Who will be voted off next?

13 Days has an interesting concept of using the reality theme. It is a combination of Survivor and Ghost Hunters. Most of the characters are flawed and cliché, mimicking teenagers from television instead of actual life, but you have to remember that most reality shows are scripted. The book flips back and fourth from one character’s view point to another, and it annoyed me. If the author had written the book in third person, the pacing would have been better. There were too many characters. Obviously, the plot was meant to be scary, but I found it to be not scary and very confusing. If you like reality TV, then you may like this novel; however, I didn’t enjoy reading it.

*I would like to thank the author for sending me a copy to review.

Book Review: The Complete Guide to Growing Your Own Fruits and Berries

The Complete Guide to Growing Your Own Fruits and Berries: A Complete Step-by-step Guide (Back-To-Basics)The Complete Guide to Growing Your Own Fruits and Berries
BY: Karen Szklany Gault
PUBLISHED BY: Atlantic Publishing
ISBN: 978-1601383488
Pages: 288
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

Have you ever wanted to grow your own fruit in your backyard? It doesn’t matter which state you live in, you can still plant fruit in your yard. The Complete Guide to Growing Your Own Fruit and Berries will advise you on what fruits grow the best in your region.

If you think you can just toss some seeds in the ground and that’s it, you have been wrongly informed. You must first find out what is the best location and soil for your fruit tree. Don’t forget about the sunlight and shade, because it varies from fruit to fruit. There are also dangers do learn about; diseases, insects, and animals.

You’ll learn about the different types of soil, the basic gardening tools, cultivation and planting, and caring for your plants.

Growing your own fruits and berries is an interesting hobby for anyone. The Complete Guide to Growing Your Own Fruits and Berries is full of great information on the subject. There is even a few recipes in the Appendix B section. If you want to learn how to grow fruit, then this book is for you.

*I would like to thank Atlantic Publishing for sending me a copy to review.

Saturday, February 26

Great Finds Issue #70

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


Right Next Door: Father's Day\The Courtship of Carol Sommars
Right Next Door
by Debbie Macomber

The Manning Brides: Marriage Of Inconvenience\Stand-In Wife
The Manning Brides
by Debbie Macomber

The Bourne Legacy
The Bourne Legacy
by Eric Van Lustbader

Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, Prime Crimes 2, Anthology, Winter 1984
Ellery Queen's Prime Crimes 2
a short novel by William bankier
20 stories by
Clark Howard
Tim Heald
Antonia Fraser
Hillary Waugh
Edward D. Hoch
and others

Friday, February 25

World of Ink Book Tour: Frederico, The Mouse Violinist

Frederico, the Mouse ViolinistFrederico, the Mouse Violinist
BY: Mayra Calvani
PUBLISHED BY: Guardian Angels Publishing, INC.
PUBLISHED IN: November 2010
HARDCOVER ISBN: 978-1-61633-113-9
PAPERBACK ISBN: 978-1-61633-114-6
eBook ISBN: 978-1-61633-125-2
Pages: 25
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

Frederico, the mouse, lived in the workshop of the most famous violin maker, Antonio Stradivari. Frederico admired the quality of each violin that Stradivari made.

The mouse had a dream of becoming a great violinist. Despite the fact that the violin was incredibly bigger than he was, Frederico practiced every night.

One night Stradivari hears the music and watches the mouse play. Stradivari comes up with a plan to help Frederico become a violinist.

Frederico may be little, but this mouse has big dreams. No matter what size you are, you should always follow your passion, and in this case, it is music for Frederico. I found both the story and the illustrations cute. I liked that the author used a historical person, Antonio Stradivari, in the story. It was a great way to add a little bit of history and a great message to follow your dreams. Frederico, the Mouse Violinist is a great book for children. I recommend reading it.

Visit the author's website and blog at:

Follow my Blog Friday/Friday Book Blogger Hop

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Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Host { } and any one else you want to follow on the list
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If your new to the follow friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!

 Share your current fav television show! Tell us a bit about it...

True Blood on HBO. The fourth season begins this summer. I'm a fan of the books and the series. I read the first book in early 2009 and loved it. I bought the dvd of the first season as soon as it came out, and became a fan of the show.
Justified on FX. Great updated western.
Breaking Bad on AMC. The fourth season begins late summer. I like the show, but there is too many months between the seasons.
The Walking Dead on AMC. The second season begins on Halloween night. What can I say? I love anything zombies.
Law and Order SVU on NBC. I've been watching this show for years.
Law and Order CI on USA. The tenth and final season begins this year, I can't wait to see it.
Wizards of Waverly Place on the Disney Channel. Yes, I sometimes watch the Disney Channel when there is nothing else on.
Big Bang Theory on CBS. I saw a few shows last year and then I bought the DVDs.

Thursday, February 24

Thursday Ramblings - February 24, 2011

Billy Blanks Tae Bo Amped DVD SetWow! I cannot believe it is already Thursday, and guess what it is doing outside. It is snowing again! I am getting tired of winter. Come on spring, hurry up and get here already!

V: The Original TV MiniseriesI barely made it out of bed this morning. I have been doing Tae Bo Amped since Monday and every muscle in my body ached. Despite the soreness, I still got in a 45-minute workout. I am trying to lose my winter weight. Well, actually, the last three years of winter weight.

Writing News - My short story, The Halloween Dilemma, will be published in the Literature for Kids October 2011 issue.

I am working on a new children's story. I hope to have my first draft finished by this weekend. It is a sequel to my short story, Full Moon.

Does anyone watch the new version of V? Considering it's been over twenty-some years since the original, you think ABC could make a decent show instead of the this boring cliché character version. I like that they brought back Jane Balder this season, and Marc Singer is returning for a few shows. Here is idea for the series writers, have the Fifth Columns learned that the Visitors had visited Earth in the 80s. After the Visitors were defeated they released a dust, similar to the one released upon Earth in the Season One finale that erases the human's memories about the Visitors. So in other words, make it cannon to the original miniseries/series. Bring back some of the original characters, and start showing a handful of the Fifth Column. From my understanding, there are only five to ten Fifth Columns in each city against an army of aliens, at least, which is what I took from the current series. The 80s version showed more people who were fighting against the aliens.

Family StormsI bought Family Storms by V.C. Andrews (A.K.A. Andrew Neiderman) yesterday at Wal-Mart. I still have not read the last six books that have came out. Some people may think that V.C. Andrew's books are trash, but the original novels written by the 'real' V.C. Andrews were truly freaky. I found the Flower and the Attic series at a thrift store several years ago. I read them quickly, liking the dark gothic tone of the novels. My late grandma loved V.C. Andrews, until she learned that a male ghostwriter was now writing them. She had given the books away to my second cousin, who left them in a box collecting dust. My aunt found out I was reading Flowers in the Attic, and gave me the collection of books. There were a few books missing in the De Beers Family Series, and the two books in the Broken Wing series. Since then, I have been buying each book that comes out. My grandma past away in December of 2009, and since then, I have not read a V.C. Andrews book.

Miss Hildreth Wore Brown: Anecdotes of a Southern BelleToday, I received the book Miss Hildreth Wore Brown: Anecdotes of a Southern Belle. I'll read the book in the next few days and write up a review that will be part of the April blog tour. I'll post the review on April 17!

No Passengers Beyond This PointOther books in the mail this week: All About Daisy by O'Dell Hutchison (One of my next reads.); Monkey Made Dream by Tom Listful and Heather Listful Hewitt (My review will be post on the 1st as part of the book blog tour); 13 Days: The Dark Circle (I’m currently reading this one.); The Complete Guide to Growing Your Own Fruits and Berries by Karen Szklany Gault (Read! I will post a review either on the weekend or early next week.); What the Heart Sees by Katherine Fuller (Read! I posted the review today.); No Passengers Beyond This Point by Gennifer Choldenko (I bought this book for myself. I do not know when I will get a chance to read it.).

Book Review - What the Heart Sees

What the Heart Sees: A Collection of Amish RomancesWhat the Heart Sees
BY: Kathleen Fuller
PUBLISHED BY: Thomas Nelson
ISBN: 978-1-59554-919-8
Pages: 422
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

Here are three previously published Amish short stories from Kathleen Fuller. In A Miracle for Miriam, Seth is recovering from an injury that occurred when he was spending time with his English friends. As a teen he didn’t stay around his Amish Community, but instead he drank, smoked and learned how to drive a car. After his accident, his priorities changed and he now wants to live the Amish life. He runs into Miriam, a girl he made of fun years ago. She is Amish, wears glasses and works part-time at a quilt store. Seth is determined to win her affections.

In A Place of His Own, Josiah had left the Amish life when he was young, and later returned to the community. His childhood best friend, Amanda, is excited that he has returned, but Josiah gives her the cold shoulder. He is hiding a painful past.

In the final story, What the Heart Sees, Ellie Chupp lost her sight in a terrible accident. Since then, she has adjusted to being blind and has convinced herself that she will never marry. Christopher Miller returns to the Amish Community after five long years. Sparks fly between Ellie and Christopher, but can they both heal their own wounds so they can be together.

What a delight, three great Amish stories in one book! I had already read What the Heart Sees in the anthology Amish Love, but reading it the second time was just as good as the first. Each story has a similar theme of a young Amish man returning home and finding love. All three are cute and clean-cut. I recommend What the Heart Sees to any romance reader.

*I would like to thank Thomas Nelson for sending me a copy to review.

Wednesday, February 23

Book Review - Garfield and the Teacher Creature

Garfield and the Teacher Creature
BY: Jim Kraft
ISBN: 0-8167-4928-0
Pages: 78
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

Garfield and Odie decide to runaway after Jon announces that he is taking them to the vet. The pets pack their bags and leave. They stumble upon an abandon school. They sneak in through a broken window.

Inside, Garfield and Odie find a ten-year-old boy named Andy. He is not alone, he has brought along his wisecracking hamster, Sherman. Soon, they start to hear footsteps and strange sounds. They realize that they are not alone - there is a creature in the school!

I found this book at my local thrift shop last weekend. I’m a big Garfield fan, so this was a real treat for me. A few years ago, I read Garfield and the Mysterious Mummy, in which I found at a thrift shop too. Garfield and the Teacher Creature is a great book for children and for Garfield fans.

Check out my review for Garfield and the Mysterious Mummy!

"Waiting on" Wednesday

Angel: A Maximum Ride Novel (Maximum Ride: The Protectors)
by James Patterson

Amazon Product Description

In the seventh book in the bestselling series, evil scientists are still trying to convince Max that she needs to save the world, this time by providing the genetic link in speeding up the pace of evolution. Worse, they're trying to convince her that her perfect mate is Dylan, the newest addition to the flock. The problem is that, despite herself, Max is starting to believe it.

Fang travels the country collecting his own gang of evolved humans, but the two separate flocks must unite to defeat a frightening doomsday cult whose motto is Save the Planet: Kill the Humans. And this time, the true heroine, for once, might just be little Angel.

Pale Demon (The Hollows, Book 9)
Pale Demon
by Kim Harrison

Amazon Product Description

Condemned and shunned for black magic, Rachel Morgan has three days to get to the annual witches’ conference and clear her name, or be trapped in the demonic ever-after . . . forever after.

But a witch, an elf, a living vampire, and a pixy in one car going across the country? Talk about a recipe for certain disaster, even without being the targets for assassination.

For after centuries of torment, a fearsome demon walks in the sunlight—freed at last to slay the innocent and devour their souls. But his ultimate goal is Rachel Morgan, and in the fight for survival that follows, even embracing her own demonic nature may not be enough to save her.

Tuesday, February 22

Teaser Tuesdays - Beside Still Waters

Beside Still Waters: A Novel
By Tricia Goyer

Her room and bed had never been her own.
Her parents couldn't look at her life without remembering
two deaths, but it wouldn't always be like that.
page 23 - Beside Still Waters by Tricia Goyer

Book Review - Writing Great Books For Young Adults

Writing Great Books for Young Adults: Everything You Need to Know, from Crafting the Idea to Landing a Publishing DealWriting Great Books For Young Adults
BY: Regina L. Brooks
PUBLISHED BY: Sourcebooks Inc.
ISBN: 978-1-61664-198-6
Pages: 191
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

Have you ever wanted to write a YA novel? Or do you have a YA manuscript sitting around collecting dust and you need help planning your next step? Writing Great Books for Young Adults is a great guide to help plan your next step.

You’ll learn about the five rules for writing for young adults. Get a brush up on the basics of writing - creating characters, developing a plot, and writing believable dialogue. Once you have your novel written, chapter 12 will give you steps on finding the right agent for your work.

I’m a writer, so I was eager to get my hands on this book. I love that there are several writing exercises through out the book to help you come up with a new plot ideas. Throughout the book, there are tips from writers, agents and editors. I recommend Writing Great Books for Young Adults to anyone who is interested in writing for young adults.

Monday, February 21

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

What am I currently Reading?

Beside Still Waters: A Novel
Beside Still Waters
By Tricia Goyer

The Write Start: A Guide to Nurturing Writing at Every Stage, from Scribbling to Forming Letters and Writing Stories
The Write Start
By Jennifer Hallissy

What did I just finished reading?

Writing Great Books for Young Adults: Everything You Need to Know, from Crafting the Idea to Landing a Publishing Deal
Writing Great Books for Young Adults
By Regina L. Brooks

Garfield and the Teacher Creature
By Jim Kraft

What am I reading next?

13 Days: The Dark Circle
By K. Lippi