Interview with with Emily Jenkins and Paul O. Zelinsky

The author and illustrator of Toys Meet Snow talk about their new picture book and its relationship to the chapter books and how different the illustration process was, about the author/illustrator working relationship, about where the idea for the book came from, about the characters and why they resonate with readers, ideas for parents of reluctant readers, and lots more.

A review of Heal Your Gut by Lee Holmes

. I didn’t realize until reading Heal Your Gut just how critical good gut health is, and how integrated gut health is with overall health. For people who are really suffering with gut issues, and I know from personal experience that this is not fun and can be debilitating, following Holmes’ full protocol can be life changing. For everyone else, this is a very useful resource that will help improve the diet, improve gut function and overall well-being, while providing a treasure trove of easy to follow gut-friendly recipes suitable for the whole family.

A review of The Dressmaker by Rosalie Ham

Readers enjoy seeing the triumph of an underdog, particularly one who has been good to her persecutors and has given them a second chance to treat her decently. Rosalie Ham’s witty writing and clever structure make this novel exceptional. The division of the book into four sections: Gingham, Shantung, Felt and Brocade, is not just a cute way of furthering the sewing motif; rather, the names are symbolic.

Interview with Mary E Martin

As part of her worldwide blog tour, the author of The Trilogy of Remembrance talks about the trilogy form and what draws her to it, about her characters and their extra-fictional lives, about the link between law and fiction, the relationship between truth and fact, what draws her to the art world, and lots more.

A review of Troubled Spirits by Teri Lee

Troubled Spirits is good, clean fun that delves into the world of modern ghost hunting with two, more than capable, female protagonists that take care of themselves and the big bad in town, on their own, in true Buffy the Vampire Slayer fashion. The way Harmony and Annie and the gang handle the ghosts and themselves is more than enough to make Zak Baggins proud.

A review of Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee

To me, Go Set a Watchman is a worthwhile work, although I wish Ms. Lee had been more precise about the historical context and had made Jean Louise a little less naive. Stylistically, the novel is dated, but that makes it authentic to the place and time in which it is set. Given the shocking instances of racial violence in the United States this past year, it would seem that Go Set a Watchman is relevant to our times.

A review of The Eye of the Sheep by Sofie Laguna

It’s not just the characters that descend to their lowest level in this book. It’s also the medical profession, governmental welfare programs, and Mobil Oil where Gavin works scraping rust off pipes. However, Laguna never lets the characters – not even the most peripheral – slip into stereotypes. The Eye of the Sheep is a tender and delicate novel, rich with sympathy and understanding, even when it becomes almost unbearably dark.

A review of Hell and God and Nuns with Rulers by John Collings

As Tristan struggles with school, the crush his best friend has on him, and the crush he has on the young man he met at the party, the reader feels true empathy for the character. Collings’ writing style is conversational, personable, and real; I could almost imagine Tristan sitting across from me at a table in a coffee shop (or maybe over burgers at The Burger House) telling me how he set on his path of self-realization to emerge triumphantly okay at the end of it all.