Friday, May 6, 2022

Lone Star Book Blitz: TURN TO ME by Becky Wade ***GIVEAWAY***

A Misty River Romance

Contemporary Romance / Christian Fiction / Clean & Wholesome
Date of Publication: May 3, 2022
Number of Pages: 416 pages 

***Scroll down for Giveaway!***

His promise will cost him far more than he imagined.

Guilt has defined Luke Dempsey's life, but it was self-destructiveness that landed him in prison. When his friend and fellow inmate lay dying shortly before Luke's release, the older man revealed he left a string of clues for his daughter, Finley, that will lead her to the treasure he's hidden. Worried that she won't be the only one pursuing the treasure, he gains Luke's promise to protect her until the end of her search.

Spunky and idealistic, Finley Sutherland is the owner of an animal rescue center and a defender of lost causes. She accepts Luke's help on the treasure hunt while secretly planning to help him in return--by coaxing him to embrace the forgiveness he's long denied himself.

As they draw closer to the final clue, their reasons for resisting each other begin to crumble, and Luke realizes his promise will push him to the limit in more ways than one. He'll do his best to shield Finley from unseen threats, but who's going to shield him from losing his heart?

Becky Wade is the 2018 Christy Award Book of the Year winner for True to You. She is a native of California who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and moved to Dallas. She published historical romances for the general market, then put her career on hold for several years to care for her children. When God called her back to writing, Becky knew He meant for her to turn her attention to Christian fiction. Her humorous, heart-pounding contemporary romance novels have won three Christy Awards, the Carol Award, the INSPY Award, and the Inspirational Reader's Choice Award for Romance. Becky lives in Dallas, Texas with her husband and three children.





(US only; ends midnight, CDT, 5/12/2022.)

Monday, March 14, 2022

Lone Star Book Blog Tour: SECRETS OF THE SNOW GLOBE by Catherine Stier ***REVIEW & GIVEAWAY***

Secrets of the Snow Globe
The Wonder of Color

Categories:  Picture Book / Science / STEM (ages 4-8)
Publisher: Albert Whitman & Co.
Date of Publication: March 1, 2022
Number of Pages: 32 pages 
***Scroll down for Giveaway!***

Secrets of the Snow Globe:
After starting to collect snow globes with the help of her grandmother, Lily has questions. She wants to know who invented them, what the snow is made of, and how the tiny scenes look so magical when she peers inside. As she researches and experiments, Lily learns about light waves, magnification, and density—all while gathering ingredients to make her own snow globe.


The Wonder Of Color:
When Ms. Vega announces a mural painting contest at school, James can’t wait to draw a picture to fill the library wall. But as he explores color, he has a lot of questions about where color comes from and how our eyes see it. As he experiments and reads, James learns about prisms, the color wheel, and light waves—all while working on his colorful contest entry.


Secrets of a Snow Globe

Secrets of the Snow Globe by Catherine Stier is a creative and fun way to introduce a science lesson about density to young learners.  Lily is a very cute and inquisitive little girl who loves snow globes. When Lily wants to make her own snow globe, her family helps her understand how snow globes work and what ingredients are needed to create the proper density for the "snowflakes" to fall slowly.  Stier uses Lily's love of snow globes to help the reader understand when the first snow globe was invented, how and why it works, and detailed instructions on making your own. Stier interweaves a science lesson with Lily's story perfectly. By showing different examples, the reader will definitely remember how the density of a liquid can affect the speed in which a solid can pass through it. 

The pastel illustrations by Floss Pottage were eye-catching and adorably conveys Lily and her loving family.  There are many little details Pottage includes in each page that make the story come alive.  It's like you were there learning right alongside Lily!  I love how Pottage was able to capture Lily's curiosity through her many facial expressions throughout the story.

Secrets of the Snow Globe is perfectly paced and the language/vocabulary appropriate for ages 7 and up.  This book would be a great resource for science teachers and homeschooling parents!  An excellent addition for your school or home library!

5 Stars!

Catherine Stier is the author of more than twenty children's books including the SCIENCE MAKES IT WORK picture book series and the Kirkus star-reviewed A DOG’S DAY chapter book series. She holds a master’s degree in reading and literacy and has served as a magazine writer, newspaper columnist, and writing instructor. Stier resides in San Antonio, Texas.


Autographed copies of both books, pin (for adults), snow globe socks,
& a snow globe making kit.
(US only, ends midnight CST, 3/19/2022.)

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

YA Review: Bone Crier's Moon by Kathryn Purdie


Bone Crier's Moon
by Kathryn Purdie
Published March 3rd 2020
 by Katherine Tegen Books
480 pages

Plot: Bone ​Criers have a sacred duty. They alone can keep the dead from preying on the living. But their power to ferry the spirits of the dead into goddess Elara’s Night Heavens or Tyrus’s Underworld comes from sacrifice. The gods demand a promise of dedication. And that promise comes at the cost of the Bone Criers’ one true love.
Ailesse has been prepared since birth to become the matriarch of the Bone Criers, a mysterious famille of women who use strengths drawn from animal bones to ferry dead souls. But first she must complete her rite of passage and kill the boy she’s also destined to love.

Bastien’s father was slain by a Bone Crier and he’s been seeking revenge ever since. Yet when he finally captures one, his vengeance will have to wait. Ailesse’s ritual has begun and now their fates are entwined—in life and in death.

Sabine has never had the stomach for the Bone Criers’ work. But when her best friend Ailesse is taken captive, Sabine will do whatever it takes to save her, even if it means defying their traditions—and their matriarch—to break the bond between Ailesse and Bastien. Before they all die (2022,

Review: Bone Crier’s Moon is a very unique story about women who have to ferry the dead to the right place at their time of death. This will keep them from attacking the living. But, in order to be part of this group (which you are raised to be since birth), you have to kill your soul mate. This is to show how devout you are to this faith/religion.  In order to find your soul mate, you have to lure him with a special song played with a special flute.  These women are called Bone Criers.  They also get powers from animal bones, and the stronger the animals they kill the stronger their abilities are.  Ailesse is the daughter of the matriarch, and it’s her turn to lure her true love and kill him.  

The other POV is Bastien.  His father was killed by a Bone Crier and he and his two friends are out for revenge.  Bastien finds Ailesse the night she plays her flute and he is ready to lure her in and kill her. But, things don’t go according to plan and Ailesse is captured rather than killed by Bastien.   The 3rd POV in the story is Sabine. She is Ailesse’s best friend and will do whatever she can to help her friend return home safely.  She has made it her mission to break the bond that Ailesse believes she has formed with Bastien.  As Ailesse and Bastien spend more time together both question whether or not their motives for killing the other is worth it.  

Overall, the story is interesting and unique.  It was a little confusing as to why your true love will die either way even if you don’t kill him (after about a year).  So, you technically didn’t HAVE to kill him.  You just couldn’t be a ferrier if you didn’t do it to show your loyalty - but then he’ll somehow die anyway?  That confused me.  There were some interesting twists in the last half of the book that will have you wanting to know what happens  next in book 2. The three character POV was a good way to tell the story.  I liked seeing the story unfold from these multiple perspectives.  The connection between Ailesse and Bastien was done well and was a good enemy to lovers trope.  

Rating: 3.5 hearts    


YA Review: GILDED by Marissa Meyer


by Marissa Meyer
Published November 2, 2021 
by Feiwel and Friends
502 pages

Plot: Long ago cursed by the god of lies, a poor miller's daughter has developed a talent for spinning stories that are fantastical and spellbinding and entirely untrue.

Or so everyone believes.

When one of Serilda's outlandish tales draws the attention of the sinister Erlking and his undead hunters, she finds herself swept away into a grim world where ghouls and phantoms prowl the earth and hollow-eyed ravens track her every move. The king orders Serilda to complete the impossible task of spinning straw into gold, or be killed for telling falsehoods. In her desperation, Serilda unwittingly summons a mysterious boy to her aid. He agrees to help her . . . for a price.

Soon Serilda realizes that there is more than one secret hidden in the castle walls, including an ancient curse that must be broken if she hopes to end the tyranny of the king and his wild hunt forever.

Review:  In this dark retelling of Rumpelstiltskin, Serilda, the miller’s daughter, is good at telling stories.  At telling lies.  And after some unfortunate circumstances, and a ridiculous lie - she is taken away to the Erlking’s domain to spin straw into gold. Since she professed that she could after all.  Unfortunately, Serilda can’t spin straw into gold and knows she will die once the Erlking finds out.  However, at midnight a boy appears and agrees to help her as long as she gives him something of value in return.  As the original story goes she is able to fool the king, but this is where the similarities of the retelling end.  First of all, the “Rumpelstiltskin” character is not an ugly troll/goblin.  He is a handsome boy around Serlida’s age. He has no memory of who he was before being cursed to the Erlking’s castle or why.  We also don’t know why he can spin straw into gold or isn't like the other "ghosts" in the castle.  Soon the two grow to care for each other, but the Erlking is ruthless and cruel and the story gets very dark after this point.  I was definitely surprised towards the last 30% of the book.  

Overall, the story was an interesting retelling of the classic story.  It did have some similarities, but overall it is it’s own story and world.  The writing was good and had an interesting twist towards the end.  I did feel it didn’t need to be as long as it was.  There were some chapters that could have been taken out - as I didn’t think it progressed the story much.  It also gets pretty dark towards the end and so it's not for the faint of heart.  

Rating: 3 Hearts!