You are now entering the world of my thoughts.

This blog is my diary of works in progress. The only way a writer can improve upon her skill is to practice, practice and practice some more. Here, in this place of quiet peace, I pen to paper my thoughts and creativity. Welcome to my world.

Copyright © 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 SN Taylor, All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Book Tour and Review: The Circle by Cindy Cipriano

Circle copy
The Circle Calum Ranson is sure of three things: his cousin Finley is alive, Calum will find him, and no one knows Calum and his family are Sidhe. No one until Laurel shows up at his mother's bookstore wearing a dark clan's mark. When Calum learns the details surrounding the disappearance of Laurel's brother, he suspects the evil Hobayeth clan. Calum and Laurel work together in the Realm of Man and the Otherworld to rescue her brother - revealing a connection between Calum and Laurel that may cost Finley his life.
Praise
"The Circle is full of magic and mystery. Readers will be engrossed in faerie realms, charming characters, and a state of wonder and imagination. The Circle is for those who delight in reading fantasy and exploring mystical worlds."
--Kathleen Fox, LibraryGames.com

Author Cindy Cipriano Cindy Cipriano lives in NC with her husband, son, and 27 pets. Okay, more like one cat, three dogs, and many, many fish. Cindy is an award winning science teacher, who this past August celebrated her 12th first day of sixth grade.
  Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 5/31/13 a Rafflecopter giveaway

My Review
I am not really a big fan of stories about faeries but this story was not that bad. It was a bit slow from time to time but I loved the world building, the characters were well developed and the plot was interesting enough to keep me turning the page. I think it would make a fun read for middle graders as it deal with relevant issues most kids in middle school are faced with. Not to mention the added fantasy element. :) My only 'ish' is that there were a lot of characters. Not that it is a totally bad thing, but when there are too many characters in a story, I tend to forget folks. :/

Overall, this was a quick and fun adventure to read.  
 

Book Tour and Review: The Tale of Mally Biddle

 
mally biddle
Read my review below

The Tale of Mally Biddle by M.L. LeGette When Mally Biddle agreed to spy upon the King of Lenzar and his overbearing knights she knew she was heading into danger. She didn't know she'd find a family unlike any other. Posing as a servant in Bosc Castle, Mally serves tea and tends fires for the most dangerous men in the kingdom. Her goal is to learn the truth of what happened sixteen years ago, when the infant princess met her death ... a death that is surrounded by more questions than answers. Along her search for the truth, Mally meets the energized Lita Stump, the strict and matriarchal Meriyal Boyd, and the opinionated Archibald Diggleby. Then of course there are the knights: Leon Gibbs who is slicker than a greased hog, Adrian Bayard, hot tempered and violent, and the worst of the lot: Sir Illius Molick, Captain of the Knights. And then there is Maud, a mysterious woman who just might know everything...
Praise "To say I loved this book is an understatement. Mally is a wonderful character and she encounters so many quirky folks on her assignment. Very well written and engaging story! And an added bonus of a love triangle! I enjoyed it from beginning to end!! I will definitely be looking for more from this author!" ~April Holgate  
Author Melissa LeGette lives in Georgia where she helps run a family farm, so her nails are a fright. The Tale of Mally Biddle is her second novel.
  Blog Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 6/5/13  a Rafflecopter giveaway  
My Review

The Tale of Mally Biddle was a quick read for me. It had all the elements of a good story, moving plot, interesting characters ( I loved Sam, the horse, I'm a horse person :D), and quite descriptive. 

Mally, a simple farm girl, is recruited by Ivan, a member of a secret group trying to overthrow the King Salir and his oppressive knights. When Mally enters the Bosc for the first time, she meets another member of the rebel cause, Galen. She learns that her mission is to infiltrate the castle as a maid, learn everything she can about the night the Princess Avona allegedly died. Mally learns quickly, with the help of Galen, how to be a maid. Off the bat she makes friends with the servants, especially, Lita, who eventually helps her with her investigation. Just as she makes friends easily, she also makes quite a few enemies. She isn't there long before an attempt is made on her life! Between her investigations and her maid chores, Mally is one busy girl. But when she discovers that the princess's remains are not in her tomb, she makes a hasty call to get in touch with the rebels to tell them the news. An ambush takes them all by surprise. The knights kill, wound and capture most of the rebels. It's when Mally talks with the doctor that she suspects her mother is not her real mother. Mally runs away, leaving the rebels licking their wounds. But it is when she get home and confronts her mother, she realizes she can't quit now. She has to help the kingdom and avenge the murdered royal family. 

There was a lot to like about the story, for one, the characters were fun to read about. I liked Mally and Galen, Lita was funny and Sam was fantastic! :D Of all the characters though, my least favorite was Ivan, his character felt off. He was inconsistent, overconfident and seemed to do the least amount of work. The story had a strong plot and some really engaging scenes. However, a few of the scenes  (well a lot of the scenes) were a bit predictable but then to be fair, there were some genuinely unexpected ones too. The author did a great job convincing me of the world she created. The setting, the characters and the politics of the kingdom were all descriptive.

The Tale of Mally is a nice quick read for someone who wants a fun, easy,  non-intense detective mystery.        

Friday, May 17, 2013

Book Tour and Review: The Storm Bottle by Nick Green

The Storm Bottle

Swimming with dolphins is said to be the number one thing to do before you die. For 12-year-old Michael, it very nearly is. A secret boat trip has gone tragically wrong, and now he lies unconscious in hospital. But when Michael finally wakes up, he seems different. His step sister Bibi is soon convinced that he is not who he appears to be. Meanwhile, in the ocean beyond Bermuda’s reefs, a group of bottlenose dolphins are astonished to discover a stranger in their midst – a boy lost and desperate to return home. Bermuda is a place of mysteries. Some believe its seas are enchanted, and the sun-drenched islands conceal a darker past, haunted with tales of lost ships. Now Bibi and Michael are finding themselves in the most extraordinary tale of all.  


 
Book Trailer
   

Praise 'I loved it... An absolute winner.' - LA Weatherly, author of the Angel Burn trilogy 'A writer who knows how to grip the imagination, make you sit on the edge of your chair, and make you laugh out loud.' - Michelle Lovric, author of The Undrowned Child, The Mourning Emporium and The Book of Human Skin 'If you only ever buy one Kindle book in your life (although that sounds a bit unlikely, now that I stop and think) this has to be it.' - The Bookwitch blog.



Author Nick Green Nick Green is a UK children's and YA author, best known for his trilogy The Cat Kin, published in the UK by Strident Publishing and in Germany by Ravensburger, and also as a BBC audiobook. He has appeared on BBC radio talking about his books, and has been shortlisted for two UK children's book awards. He regularly does school visits and other children's literary events. The Storm Bottle is his first straight-to-Kindle novel.
 
Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 5/26/13
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway  

My Review

When I first started this book, I thought, oh no, I'm not going to be able to finish this book. The first chapter or so was a bit slow. Then, it happened. Nick Green introduced me to a whole new world under the sea! I guess from the book blurb, I was just really excited to get to the meat of the story.  Well, sucked into the story finally, the story follows the adventure of two siblings, Michael and his step-sister, Bibi. It is told from two points of veiws, Bibi's and Michael's. I normally don't like it when a story has multiple POV's but the author did a really good job with keeping it simple and easy to follow. 

On a boating trip, Michael gets his consciousness swapped with that of a dolphin's. The author did a great job in my opinion with creating a very interesting dolphin society. Loved the Bermuda mystery and history from the dolphins and sea life perspective. I adored most of the characters, though, I have to say, I did not really care for Bibi :/ I can't quite put my finger on it, but her character did not wow me at all. But Michael, Rodrigo, the Privateers, even the mean dolphin bullies were intriguing.  

In short, this was a fantastic read with great world-building,  interesting characters, wonderfully crafted plot and lots of suspense :D

Monday, May 13, 2013

Children's Book Week Giveaway Hop 5/13 - 5/19

Children’s Book Week Giveaway Hop
May 13th – 19th
Hosted by
& I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
What is Children’s Book Week?
Established in 1919, Children’s Book Week is the longest-running literacy initiative in the country. Each year, books for young people and the joy of reading are feted for a full week with author and illustrator appearances, storytelling, parties, and other book-related events at schools, libraries, bookstores, museums, and homes from coast to coast!
For more information please visit: http://www.bookweekonline.com/
The Prize
The Rules
* Must be 18 or over
*Must be in the US
* Must fill out the form below

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Book Blast: The Tale of Mally Biddle by M.L. LeGette




The Tale of Mally Biddle 
by M.L. LeGette

When Mally Biddle agreed to spy upon the King of Lenzar and his overbearing knights she knew she was heading into danger. She didn't know she'd find a family unlike any other.

Posing as a servant in Bosc Castle, Mally serves tea and tends fires for the most dangerous men in the kingdom. Her goal is to learn the truth of what happened sixteen years ago, when the infant princess met her death ... a death that is surrounded by more questions than answers.

Along her search for the truth, Mally meets the energized Lita Stump, the strict and matriarchal Meriyal Boyd, and the opinionated Archibald Diggleby. Then of course there are the knights: Leon Gibbs who is slicker than a greased hog, Adrian Bayard, hot tempered and violent, and the worst of the lot: Sir Illius Molick, Captain of the Knights. And then there is Maud, a mysterious woman who just might know everything...
Praise
"To say I loved this book is an understatement. Mally is a wonderful character and she encounters so many quirky folks on her assignment. Very well written and engaging story! And an added bonus of a love triangle! I enjoyed it from beginning to end!! I will definitely be looking for more from this author!"
~April Holgate


Author Melissa LeGette
Melissa LeGette lives in Georgia where she helps run a family farm, so her nails are a fright. The Tale of Mally Biddle is her second novel.






 Book Blast Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 6/2/13



Member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators