Book Giveaway, Jack Reacher, Jacqueline Davies, Killing Floor, Kristen Lamb, Lee Child, Lemonade Wars, Sacramento Book Review, Vin and the Dorky Duet, We Are Not Alone

Two Reviews and a Giveaway

Thought for the day (just because it cracked me up so much):

“I haven’t any right to criticize books, and I don’t do it except when I hate them. I often want to criticize Jane Austen, but her books madden me so that I can’t conceal my frenzy from the reader; and therefore I have to stop every time I begin. Every time I read Pride and Prejudice I want to dig her up and beat her over the skull with her own shin-bone.” ~ Mark Twain ~

A gift for my writer friends:


Here are some links I think you will find valuable. I have so many, I just couldn’t pare down the list to less than five. If you aren’t reading Kristen Lamb’s blog, you really, really should. She is outrageously funny and has lots and lots of great tips for writers. Here are links to two of her posts and three others I think are worth your time.
Kristen Lamb, author of We Are Not Alone, has a GREAT blog post and will tell you why to not eat the butt (seriously, Don’t Eat the Butt!). Not kidding. Worth reading.
20 Common Grammar Mistakes. You will be surprised how helpful this one is:

First, let me wish all of you a happy and prosperous New Year. I hope this is the best year of all our lives!

For my fabulous giveaway, the winner is Pat Kahn! (Cue the confetti please!) Pat, I will be sending you a copy of Vin and the Dorky Duet. The book will be on its way soon. Enjoy! I have another giveaway for today, so stay tuned.

A couple months ago Lee Child was the speaker at the Sacramento Bee Book Club. There were probably more than two thousand people in attendance. Imagine that! To listen to an author. Wow. They cheered long and loud when he came out, but when he mentioned the movie that is soon to be released based on his popular character Jack Reacher, they jeered and booed. Hmmm. Interesting. Well, his readers certainly have strong feelings about his books.

I hadn’t read any of his books, but had a small stack of them waiting until I had time to do a little adult reading. Murder and mayhem, in books and TV shows, are my guilty pleasure, but I have little time to indulge. Child was an interesting speaker and my wonderful son-in-law gave me the first book in Lee Child’s highly successful Jack Reacher series, Killing Floor, for Christmas. I would have to say it was a romp. One has to suspend belief in reality a bit too often in this book and there were breakdowns in logic. Honestly, it read a bit first-drafty, but I set everything aside and plowed through over 400 pages in a couple of days, so it was a page turner. I’ll read more of his books when I’m in the mood. And I will probably see the movie when it hits Redbox just because I can’t imagine Tom Cruise in that role and want to see if it’s as silly as it sounds. If you’re looking for some silly murder and mayhem, this might be worth your time.

Now on to my usual business – Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday and a review. This week it’s a cute new book in a very popular series. Here is my review of The Candy Smash by Jacqueline Davies that was posted by the Sacramento Book Review. (

Don’t forget to stop by Shannon Messenger’s wonderful blog for more Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday links. Click HERE to find it.

Jessie is running a newspaper for the fourth-grade classroom, and she thinks it gives her the right to know everybody’s business. Her brother, Evan, on the other hand, thinks everyone deserves to have some privacy. They have quite a houseful since their grandmother, recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, lives with the kids and their mother. Their father is living far away. At school, as Valentine’s Day approaches, the students discover candy hearts in their desks that seem to have very specific messages for each – except for Evan’s. This happens several times. And Jessie finds a love message in the girl’s bathroom that gets her started investigating that message, the unexplained candy hearts, and more. Evan just wants everyone to leave him alone and respect his privacy. All this is going on while the students are studying poetry, which Jessie hates and Evan (privately) loves and for which he has a surprising talent.

She watched him hang the bathroom pass on its hook, then return to his seat. He still had that angry look on his face, but it wasn’t quite as bad as when he’d left the room.

Jacqueline Davies has added another fine book to her long-running “Lemonade War” series. The Treski kids always have a pretty compelling, kid-appropriate mystery to solve, interesting family dynamics, and some personal growth that will keep young readers engaged and turning the pages.

 I really recommend this book for lovers of middle-grade books and especially fans of the Lemonade War series. This series deals with some difficult issues kids these days have to face, yet never is too heavy handed.

I am giving away my gently-read ARC of The Candy Smash. If you leave a comment, your name will go into the hat. If you post the link on your blog or on Facebook or tweet it, let me know and you will have an extra entry.

On the book giveaway, this is for U.S. only. Sorry, but it would be too expensive for me to send books out of the country. But please leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you. Remember, if you have trouble leaving a comment, click on the title of the post and it will give you just this post with a comments section on the bottom. Also, if you haven’t signed up by email, please do. Just look in the upper right-hand corner of this page, pop your email address in, and you will receive an email each time I put up a new post. Your information will not be shared with anyone.           

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