Monday 29 August 2016

Who Killed Vivien Morse? by Diana J. Febry (2016)

Vivien Morse, a young social worker is discovered battered to death in Silver Lady Woods. Everyone assumes she was attacked by her estranged husband until her supervisor disappears. The connection appears to be Vivien’s last client. A damaged and disturbed girl who believes a bundle of rags is her lost baby and never leaves the family farm while she awaits the return of her lover.

The matter is confused by the arrival of a stranger to the area clearly searching for something or someone and an escaped convict with connections to the area.

DCI Hatherall has to separate fact from fantasy to discover who did kill Vivien Morse.


A well plotted murder mystery with quirky characters and plenty of suspects and twists to keep you guessing. I really couldn't guess which way the investigation was going to go nor could I figure it all out until it was fairly obvious towards the end. 
 The author has created a very strong, eclectic mix of characters with richly detailed and interesting back stories. The author's talent really shines in her depiction of these strange, endearing people. The novel is also laced with a subtle dark humour which I enjoyed immensely. 

I hadn't read any of the previous books in this series but it didn't deter from my enjoyment of the story. There is good chemistry between the members of the investigating team and I think it would be interesting to go back and read more about them from the beginning of the series.

I received a copy from the author in exchange for my honest review.

Monday 22 August 2016

Giving In To You: The Giving Trilogy: Book 1 by L.M. Carr (2015) Narrated by Tracy Marks (2016)

Publisher's Summary

Second grade teacher Mia Delaney isn't looking for love. In fact, she isn't looking for anything at all because life hasn't been fair. Everything - the idea of love, her hopes and dreams - was ripped away in a single night.
Arrogant yet sexy Adam Lawson makes the move to a small town in an attempt to escape life in the city. Here he hopes to provide a fresh start for those he loves and protects with a vow to never let anyone get close enough to hurt them again.
A chance encounter with Miss Delaney begins a relentless pursuit that has Adam breaking his own rules when he makes an offer she simply can't refuse. Despite her internal struggles, Mia knows there's no denying the attraction between them.
But when acquaintances become friends and friends become enemies, Adam's need to protect those around him becomes even more crucial. Will the tangled web of lies and betrayal combined with past insecurities become too much for them to handle?


This story had me completely glued and I can't wait to listen to the rest of the series.
I loved the narrative voice in this book; laced with humour, Mia's inner monologues, observations and sharp retorts are funny and relevant.
Adam was a little bit more mysterious as we are not privy to his back story until later in the book. He has a dark air of mystery around him which I quite like and he is also fiercely protective of Mia. I liked that Mia challenges him on his cave-man actions and is able to stand up for herself.
I've listened to Tracy Marks narrations before and I am always impressed by her ability to perform all the characters with such believable expression. Her voice and narration style is very easy to listen to and I find myself being truly immersed in the story.

Giving In To You is the first in a trilogy and is not a stand alone book. 

I received a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Friday 12 August 2016

A Most Inconvenient Wish by Eileen Richards (2016)


Thursday 4 August 2016

Cole's Perfect Puppy: Perfect Puppies Book 1 by Frances Crossno (2016)

Publisher's Information

A prestigious Mom's Choice Award® recipient 
First Place Winner 2016 Purple Dragonfly Awards (Paperback, Middle Grade Fiction Category) 

In this award winning children’s book, author Frances Crossno weaves a delightful tale that uses Cole’s mission to bring the mischievous golden retriever puppy, Scarlet, home to teach children lessons of friendship, sacrifice and the true meaning of God’s perfect love. Both boys and girls with enjoy this story of faith, family and of course - puppies! 

Cole’s Perfect Puppy introduces young readers everywhere to Cole, his younger brother Caleb and their new friend Rachel. When Cole meets the “perfect puppy” after a mad chase through the mall, he hopes for her arrival under the tree on Christmas morning. But alas, it’s not meant to be. 
Instead, Cole embarks on an adventure to find a way to earn enough money, and get permission, to bring the golden retriever puppy home—learning a few life lessons along the way. 
From learning how to be thankful for the gift of his first “pet”, the pot-bellied pig Dandy Danny, to the merits of hard work and the true meaning of the power of prayer, Cole’s journey isn’t without a few hiccups. 

Cole's Perfect Puppy is the first in a series of Christian novels for young readers 7-12. 


A charming, funny and heart warming tale about a young boy's friendship with a puppy. The story touches on issues such as bullying, friendship, kindness and sacrifice. It also introduces children to the concept of saving up money earned through doing jobs and chores and using it to buy something they want.

Other than Bible stories for children, Christian fiction for youngsters is not something I see very often in the children's section of the library. I'd love to see more books like this. It puts faith into context for children and makes it more relatable in their everyday lives.
Cole's Perfect puppy is one I'd recommend and I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series. It isn't preachy and it gently introduces the notion of God's love and doing the right thing. It is a nice story to read out to your class and discuss some of the themes in more detail either during Religion class or Social Personal Health Education.
At the end of the book there is a list of six helpful discussion questions to guide your talk. 

I received a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Cole's Perfect Puppy is available now in all good bookshops and with free shipping from the Book Depository

Do Dogs Pray? by Kimberling Galeti Kennedy (2016)

Publisher's Information

Did you ever watch your dog sleeping and wonder what he or she might be dreaming? Well, I have! In Do Dogs Pray?, Lefty, my little black lab, says a prayer before drifting off to dreamland. She awakes suddenly! It's as if her prayers have been answered. Wait until you see what Lefty does next!

The beautiful illustrations  and easy rhyming story make this a very appealing book for youngsters to read independently. The large font size also makes for easier reading. 
I didn't like they way the text sporadically jumped from present to past tense and back to present again. The inconsistency in tense usage was irritating and confusing for children.

I was gifted a copy of this book by the author.

Why You Should Laugh Three Times a Day by Kimberling Galeti Kennedy (2011)

A nice collection of short rhyming stories. My favourite was the counting rhyme 'Ten in Bloom' and I also liked 'Just Another Day at the Bakery.'
Each rhyme has an inspiring message. The illustrations are lovely, bright and colourful.

A charming book to read aloud to/with your child. The text size is very small and the vocabulary is challenging. It is not an easy book for a young child to comprehend and read accurately, independently. The book does come with a free audio download so a child can listen and read along.

I was gifted a copy of this book by the author.