Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Christmas Review: Kisses, Ciphers, & Dinosaurs

The Five KissesThe Five Kisses by Karla Darcy

Christmas traditions vary with each family. Gillian's family always put up a kissing bough during their holiday celebrations.

Darcy's novella highlights Gillian's life with five kisses from the neighbor boy. It's not five kisses in a row, but five kisses every few years. Life changes, but something remain the same, included friends and neighbors. It's a sweet, short holiday read.

Reviewed from a Kindle copy.


The Secret Christmas CiphersThe Secret Christmas Ciphers by Carolynn Carey

Abigail waited to wed Derek, but he never returned home. When he finally came back for her, she agreed to wed him, but with a bitter heart. Derek came back with a bad reputation and secrets. He wants to return to a time where Abigail loved him, but too many secrets need to be kept for King and country.

Carey's Regency romance is also a mystery that brings the couple closer together and farther apart as they discover each other's secrets. The novel concludes at Christmas with a happy ending. The epilogue jumps to the future (2075) and the discovery of old ciphers from the book. That was strange and bit out of place. I prefer historical fiction novels that remain in their respective time period (unless the preface is the future or modern times and the future/modern times returns at the end).

Reviewed from a Kindle copy.


Dinosaur vs. SantaDinosaur vs. Santa by Bob Shea

ROAR! Dinosaur returns to see if he can tackle the holiday season and Santa Claus. Roar! Roar! ROAR!

If you are familiar with Bob Shea's Dinosaur, you know the delightful silliness and joy of shouting ROAR between every dinosaur action. If this is your first Dinosaur book, jump in and give a big shout!

Shea's books are short, but to the point and packed with fun for all ages of readers. This holiday read will be great for rambunctious readers who don't want to cuddle and read by firelight or tree-light. I would recommend reading it at the beginning or middle of the day vs. at the end of the day. Save Dinosaur vs. Bedtime for the end of the day.

Reviewed from a library copy.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge 2012

Today is the first day of The True Book Addict's Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge 2012! The reading challenge goes 'til January 6, 2013 (Twelfth Night or Epiphany). That's over a month of holiday reading to read and review. I hope to surpass the number of reads (and movies) that I enjoyed last year. (My round-up list is available here.) If you would like to join the challenge, sign up at The True Book Addict's blog. Happy holiday reading, friends!

Reviews: Christmas Wombat and Who Built the Stable?

The Christmas WombatThe Christmas Wombat by Jackie French

Jackie French brings back the Australian wombat for a Christmas caper! Our wombat friends likes to eat, sleep, and scratch. He smells his favorite food - carrots and follows strange new creatures to carrots all over the world!

A simple and sweet story that doesn't hold a heavy holiday theme. The light touch highlights Santa, reindeer, and traveling in one night, but the main theme is a day with a wombat.

Reviewed from a library copy.


Who Built the Stable?: A Nativity PoemWho Built the Stable?: A Nativity Poem by Ashley Bryan

The art of poetry and the art of painting explode in this new Christmas story about the birth of Jesus. The paintings were rendered in tempera and acrylic to create a vibrant story that describes a little boy's journey to see the newborn King. This young sheepherder and carpenter helped to build a stable then invited Mary and Joseph a place to stay the night of the Census.

Poetry is a great way to tell a story. It's beauty blends well with the bright colors. Children and adults will be charmed by this story.

Reviewed from a library copy.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Review: Twice Promised

Twice PromisedTwice Promised by Maggie Brendan

The Olsen sisters traveled to America to begin a new life. The eldest, Catharine, married Peter in Wyoming. The middle sister, Greta, fell in love with a soldier named Bryan. Unfortunately, it wasn't to be. Greta answered an ad for a mail-order bride and traveled to Central City, Colorado to find a new life for herself. What a surprise to find another mail-order bride and an unsuspecting groom. Oh, how mischievous siblings can be!

Brendan picks up where her first Blue Willows Brides book, Deeply Devoted, ends. Greta's story is sad, predictable, but a bit unexpected as well. It's an enjoyable read with a hind of the youngest Olsen's story at the end. The additional mail-order bride and a mischievous brother add flair, humor, and depth to the story. Other city characters add additional depth to Brendan's tale. I would enjoy a companion piece about the Cartwright family and I look forward to Anna Olsen's mail-order bride story.

Time Period: Western, 1888
Location: Central City, Colorado, United States

Reviewed from a library copy.
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