Monday, May 20, 2013

Blog Tour Stop: Review - Nalah and the Pink Tiger by Anne Sawyer-Aitch

Nalah and the Pink Tiger is about a rambunctious little girl who lives so intensely in her imagination that grown-ups view her as a troublemaker. Things come to a head when, in addition to all the exotic animals that Nalah has "placed” in the house, a pink tiger "follows” her home from the zoo and creates havoc.
I got this book in exchange for an honest review. And apart from my Homeschool Reading Corner, I've never reviewed a children's novel on the blog (I think... I could be wrong). I've got a middle grade novel under my belt and now a children's book. And I tell you what... Nalah and the Pink Tiger by Anne Sawyer-Aitch is one of the most vividly colored and imaginative books I've read to my 5 year old. I mean, who better to write a book this colorful than a stilt-walking puppeteer? The illustrations were done by the author and were definitely eye-catching and imaginative and just overall amazing.

Nalah and the Pink Tiger catches a child's imagination perfectly. From the animals that inhabit the house to the tiger that eventually follows Nalah home from the zoo (and causes quite a bit of chaos in the process). Unfortunately, Nalah is the most imaginative of her family which, according to her, means no one else can see the animals swinging from the chandeliers and hiding in the sock drawer, so she gets blamed for their random shenanigans all the time.

Immediately upon my finishing reading the book to my daughter who stayed home sick from school, she grabbed it right up and began reading it herself. Then she searched the house high and low for paper so that she could recreate the story once she was done.

She has now told me she's going to be an author. If only I could always find books for my kids that inspire them this way.

I definitely recommend it as a read for anyone with young children. Or for adults who still have the imagination they did when they were little. It will appeal to both in my opinion. What a wonderful read. I hope your children enjoyed it as much as my little girl did.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Guest Post: Anne Sawyer-Aitch Author of Nalah and the Pink Tiger

Two years ago, if you'd told me that at last my first children's book Nalah and the Pink Tiger would be published, I would have fainted with joy. Once revived (hopefully with ostrich feather fans, while lounging on a velvet red divan) the next bit of fortune-telling would have simply puzzled me.

You (the Visionary) would say to me: "Nalah and the Pink Tiger will not only be a book, but there will be an iPad app."

"A what?" I would have said.The last two words of that sentence were simply not in my vocabulary.

I move in a world of exacto knives, hand-sewing, and heavy-duty staplers. There are orphan pieces of thread on my couch and cut-out stars of paper in my rug, even after I clean. Up until 14 months ago, the word "app" sounded to me like a baby trying to ask for a piece of fruit. My cell phone was like something exhumed from King Tut's tomb.

But one day, while attending a gallery opening, I saw one of my friend's little girls playing with this new-fangled thing called an iPad. Intrigued, I sat down next to her and watched as she drew, read stories, and played games on portable little tablet. I noticed that the books had audio, and that if she tapped certain characters, they spoke or moved.

"Wow, cool," I said.

She smiled and graciously let me try the thing for myself. It was a different experience than a book. It didn't replace the experience of paging through a picture book, where you linger on an image and examine the details. But it was another way of interacting with the art and the story, and I liked that.

Now, thanks to a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council in my home town, my book also exists as an iPad app. It's bilingual (Spanish and English) and it has music by composer Matt Larson and a local jug band named the Mississippi Mudsteppas. My niece Nalah, her cousin Maliah, her siblings and her Dad helped out by letting us record their own voices. Translator Marcela Sánchez did a bang-up job performing the Spanish version. Mighty Media and Scarletta Press put this home-cooked piece together into a really professional app. It's now in the iTunes store.

Really. It's legit. You should check it out.
 Anne Sawyer-Aitch (pronounced like the letter “H”) is a puppeteer and stilt-walker. She has worked for years with Minneapolis-based groups In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre and the all-women’s stilting troupe Chicks on Sticks. Anne likes to create all kinds of puppets: parade floats, giant stilt puppets, and intricate color shadow shows. Nalah and the Pink Tiger is her first children’s book. Currently, she is performing her Nalah and the Pink Tiger puppet show in English and Spanish around MN. She is a recipient of awards from the Jim Henson Foundation, the Puppeteers of America, VSA Arts MN, and the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council. She lives in Minneapolis with her computer genius husband and a pack of imaginary dogs. For more info:

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Review - Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James

It is 1803, six years since Elizabeth and Darcy embarked on their life together at Pemberley, Darcy’s magnificent estate. Their peaceful, orderly world seems almost unassailable. Elizabeth has found her footing as the chatelaine of the great house. They have two fine sons, Fitzwilliam and Charles. Elizabeth’s sister Jane and her husband, Bingley, live nearby; her father visits often; there is optimistic talk about the prospects of marriage for Darcy’s sister Georgiana. And preparations are under way for their much-anticipated annual autumn ball.

Then, on the eve of the ball, the patrician idyll is shattered. A coach careens up the drive carrying Lydia, Elizabeth’s disgraced sister, who with her husband, the very dubious Wickham, has been banned from Pemberley. She stumbles out of the carriage, hysterical, shrieking that Wickham has been murdered. With shocking suddenness, Pemberley is plunged into a frightening mystery.
Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James is only the second Pride and Prejudice "sequel" that I've ever read. The first being Experience by Meg Kerr (which was fantastic, I highly suggest you read it if you haven't already).

I had high hopes for this one because Experience had been so good and so spot on as far as language and setting were concerned. It really felt like a true sequel that could have been written by Jane Austen herself. Death Comes to Pemberley was not quite as accurate in my opinion where conversation was concerned, but it wasn't bad. Not WONDERFUL... but not bad.

Scandal befalls Pemberley when Lydia Wickham interupts planning for Lady Anne's Ball screaming that she thinks her dear husband has been murdered. She is absolutely beside herself and blaming Elizabeth for what possibly has befallen her darling Georgie. After all, if she hadn't had to show up uninvited to Pemberley because she and her husband were not welcome there in the first place, they never would have been sneaking through the woodland and none of this ever would have happened!

Ugh. I never ever liked her. That much is still the same.

There are a few new characters introduced, Henry Alveston who only has eyes for Georgiana Darcy (and she for him) and a slew of magistrates and police and not so innocent bystanders. We also get to see more of Colonel Fitzwilliam who, as it were, also has eyes for Georgiana. However, nothing as far as that particular part of the story line where he's concerned is developed.

I was not accustomed to "seeing" Mr. Darcy as... weak... as he seemed to be in this book. There was a shift from P&P and Mr. Darcy seemed to take over as main character. We really don't see much of Lizzie at all. She was the focus of Jane Austen's novel, strong willed and independent. But she shrinks into the background of this story. And it's sad. Too much focus was put on the "murder mystery" and not enough on developing any of the characters. They were all so stuck and so static that I never got to know them or see how their relationship had grown since I'd last read about them.

The love story disappeared completely. And while I understand this was supposed to be mystery and suspense, I still hoped to experience some of what Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth felt toward each other previously... but it was barely a passing thought for the both of them. There was no chemistry between any of the characters.

Sadly, I'm not sure I'd really recommend this as a read. (SPOILER: I will never be a fan of the brother/sister romantic relationships... I just won't). I wouldn't necessarily discourage you from reading it... but if you asked to borrow my copy I'd probably tell you I couldn't find it. No, if you want a great P&P sequel, go read Experience by Meg Kerr.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Book Blast & Giveaway - Wolf Protector by Milly Taiden

Wolf Protector by Milly Taiden
A woman with a secret…
The Federal Paranormal Unit is an elite squad of supernaturals dedicated to solving missing persons cases. Erica’s gift allows her a special connection with the crime, but it comes at a deep personal cost… Until now, she’s kept her gift a secret, even from the other members of the team. But this case will throw her together with Agent Trent Buchanan. He’s the object of her secret desires, but he’s also a cocky womanizer. She’d rather swim in shark-infested waters with a paper cut than admit she has feelings for him.

A man with one desire…
Wolf Shifter Trent wants Erica more than he’s ever wanted any woman. He’s spent years patiently waiting for her to admit that she wants him too. Working one-on-one in a race to find a serial killer, Trent’s patience and Erica’s resolve wear thin. When Trent discovers the truth about Erica, will he accept her for who she is? And can he protect her from the horrors that her gift brings?

A case that pushes them to the edge…
Erica will have to risk it all if she wants to stop the killer, and when she does, Trent may have to put his own life on the line to make sure his mate is protected…


Wolf Protector banner
Pump Up Your Book and Milly Taiden will be giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card during Milly's Wolf Protector Book Blast today! This promotion starts April 15 and ends on May 17. To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form below and good luck!



Want to know about this author? Milly Taiden (aka April Angel) was born in the prettiest part of the Caribbean known as the Dominican Republic. She grew up between New York, Florida and Massachusetts. Currently, she resides in New York City with her husband, bossy young son and their little dog Speedy. She’s addicted to shopping for shoes, chocolate (but who isn’t?) and Dunkin Donuts coffee. She loves hearing from readers so feel free to connect with her. Her latest book is the paranormal romantic suspense, Wolf Protector. Visit her website at

Monday, May 13, 2013

Cover Reveal - More by Clare James

cover by PhatPuppy Art
Expected Publication: June 20, 2013

One summer.
One chance to forget the past.
One opportunity to make things right.
There’s no denying the heat between Jules Taylor and Foster Sutton. They are two wild souls with a fire burning inside. Together, they create a hot and dangerous mix of emotion and lust.
But after a terrible accident leaves one friend dead, Foster is bound by a secret that keeps him from getting closer to Jules. And he’s left with only one thing to offer her – friendship.
For Jules, her relationship with Foster is getting old. He falls down and she picks him up, but they never move forward. Their occasional hook-ups are no longer enough, and Jules vows that this is her summer to forget Foster and find love. If it were only that easy.
It seems fate is pushing Jules and Foster together at every turn. And it’s only a matter of time before they give up and give in.
MORE is the highly anticipated companion story to BEFORE YOU GO. It can also be read as a stand-alone novel.

Author Bio:
Clare James spent her childhood, writing, reading, and dancing. Not much has changed since then, except she can no longer get up on toe shoes like she once could. And don’t even ask her to go into the splits because she may never get back up.
A new adult and contemporary romance writer, Clare loves a happy ending. She lives in Minneapolis with her two leading men—her husband and young son. BEFORE YOU GO is her debut new adult novel.

Author Links:Twitter | Website
Before You Go | Amazon

Paralyzed by the past and terrified of the future, Tabitha Kelly is broken.
After a public sex scandal at her college, Tabby moves to a new city with a new school, convinced she can start over. But she soon realizes the changes are not enough. Tabby must take action to help her heal and move on from the past.
And though it sounds crazy, she believes a one-night stand is the best way to take back what’s hers. If she can choose where, when, and most importantly, who … maybe she can regain control.
First, she needs a willing participant.
She finds more than that when she meets Noah Adler.
Unfortunately, she can’t go through with it. And when she tries to forget about the plan—and the guy—it becomes impossible.
Noah quickly weaves his way into her new life and her heart. But as he comes dangerously close to discovering her secret, Tabby’s at risk of losing it all.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Follow Friday #48

Thanks to Parajunkee and Alison Can Read for hosting Follow Friday every week!

I hadn't done a legitimate post in a while so I figured I'd try and wade back in with this one.

Q: Happy Mother’s Day! Who is your favorite mom from fiction?

A: I think it would definitely have to be Mrs. Weasley. She's the kind of mom I like to think I am when it comes to my children. Mess with me and you'll have hell to pay. But she's so incredibly kind to Harry and treats him like her own. She's strong and a force to be reckoned with. Gotta love her.

What about you? Who is your favorite fictional mom?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Not Enough Enoughness

Have you ever been reading and reading and reviewing and reading and reviewing and then all of the sudden something happens and it throws the emergency brake on and you come to a screeching halt? That's happened to me.

I'm still reading, but it's taking me forever to get through this book. And not even because it's a bad one. It's not. It's just not got enough.... enoughness... for me to be wicked excited about reading it at the moment. It's not really hooking me and pulling me in like I'd hoped it would. Once I'm finished with it though I can get in to the book I'm doing for a tour in June and hopefully I'll be able to finish that one more quickly.

In the mean time...

What is your favorite genre to read... and what is the BEST musical representation (as in songs) for that genre in your opinion?

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


I apologize for my lack of entries as of late. There's been a death in the family and I haven't had much time to read or review. But I will get back to it this week. Thanks.


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