Diversity Reading Challenge

The Ninja Librarians: Sword in the Stacks by Jen Swann Downey is full of Diversity Fun!

The Ninja Librarians: Sword in the Stacks


I’m pretty sure that all the best librarians studied at Petrarch’s Library and became ninja lybrarians. You’ve probably never asked a librarian but if you did, you might discover that they have secret lives which involve time traveling. How do I know? Because I read The Ninja Librarians, that’s why! They are a group of librarians who fight crime and help protect writers whose words have gotten them into trouble. And so, our protagonists, Dorrie and her brother Marcus, enter into the library and discover this cool subversive world. And eventually they get asked to become apprentices.

As apprentices, they move into the library, bunk with their friends, a rag tag group of kids from across the globe and time. It’s a diverse group of other apprentices which will sneakily teach kids about Torquemada and chitons and sword fighting. I love when books sneak teaching in, don’t you?

I love the idea of a secret library that lets you travel back in time. I wish they did exist. Or DO they????? I think this romp would be good for kids who like Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, pirates and ninjas; cuz who doesn’t love pirates?

No one, that’s who.

Young Adult

Remember That Time I Met RA Salvatore? Yeah, I’m Finally Getting to a Book.

Remember That Time I Met RA Salvatore? Yeah, I’m Finally Getting to a Book.

You remember that time, right?


Yeppers, that’s Salvatore himself.

I’ve been wanting to get to a book but I’m so intimidated by their thickness.

But I found one!


The Stowaway, co written with his son Geno.

It’s YA. Prolly older middle grade too.

So, I’ve just started. I’ll keep you posted.

Did I mention pirates??

Young Adult

STEELHEART by Brandon Sanderson

WOW. Wwoweee. There is a reason Brandon Sanderson (whom I’ve met. tee hee!) is the MASTER OF HIS UNIVERSE. SteelHeart BLEW. ME. AWAY.

He builds a world. Brings in some characters. Makes you FEEL for the characters.

and then BAM.

non-stop action.

There’s so much to say I don’t know where to begin.

Not much in the way of multicultural diversity, though there is a African French Canadian character and surprisingly, a character of Southeast Asian/Indian descent.



My Real Children by Jo Walton

Sometimes you read a book that makes you think. And sometimes you just can’t put the book down.  Isn’t it fabulous when you finally get to meet the author and he/she is as smart and great as you’d hoped they’d be? That’s the case with Jo Walton’s

My Real Children


Intrigued? Here’s a bit about it:

It’s 2015, and Patricia Cowan is very old. “Confused today,” read the notes clipped to the end of her bed. She forgets things she should know—what year it is, major events in the lives of her children. But she remembers things that don’t seem possible. She remembers marrying Mark and having four children. And she remembers not marrying Mark and raising three children with Bee instead. She remembers the bomb that killed President Kennedy in 1963, and she remembers Kennedy in 1964, declining to run again after the nuclear exchange that took out Miami and Kiev.

Her childhood, her years at Oxford during the Second World War—those were solid things. But after that, did she marry Mark or not? Did her friends all call her Trish, or Pat? Had she been a housewife who escaped a terrible marriage after her children were grown, or a successful travel writer with homes in Britain and Italy? And the moon outside her window: does it host a benign research station, or a command post bristling with nuclear missiles?

I love love this book. Thanks to a  meeting with Brandon Sanderson, I’ve discovered the joy of Science Fiction and Fantasy books! To be sure, YA includes both genres, so jumping to adult Sci Fi was not difficult.  If I can enter an alternate reality from a YA book, why not an adult?

And so I did.  I love how smart the heroine, Patricia is. She thinks about thinking.  I love that. This would be a great book for bookclubs or older teens, too.  Curious? Follow this link and read the first few chapters and see if you aren’t hooked too!

Wonder what the author looks like?


Books Young Adult

Portals, Passages and Pathways #BRMaul @brmaul_author @SamiJoLien

Portals, Passages and Pathways




Imagine finding a door to another world. Maybe it’s in your wardrobe a la Narnia or maybe it’s a portal like Harry Potter uses. What would you do? Would you enter that other world? I wonder…

When a portal to another world cracks open just outside the small town of Riverside, it sets off a series
of events forever changing the lives of two boys; one boy is chosen to lead a world to peace while the
other one is chosen to tear it apart.

Simon Whittaker lives an ordinary teenage life. That is until the most powerful ring in the land of
Magnanthia chooses him to become its guardian. Overnight, Simon has had to flee from something
trying to kill him, seen magical spells he had only read about in stories, and stepped into the most
majestic world ever imagined.

Swept away to the fantastic world that’s in the midst of a brutal war, Simon must place his life in the
hands of four unlikely travelers, a swordsman, ranger, cleric, and wizard, sent to lead him down the
right path.

While King Elderten has ordered death to Magnanthia’s nine guardians, the group he believes is
responsible for the kingdom’s devastation, Simon remains the only hope for those who believe the
guardians are innocent.

Meanwhile, Jak Jakobsin has been pulled through a portal by two of Bedlam’s undead scouts.
Bedlam’s overlord plans to use Jak, along with his army of undead, goblins, and trolls, to build a force
so powerful that Magnanthia will be his forever.


Someone’s trying to kill him just after he becomes guardian of a whole kingdom? And you thought you were having a bad day!

Think Brandon Sanderson for teens.

And also? Run for your life.  These people are out for blood.

“Portals, Passages & Pathways” is a story of our greatest journey, to discover our purpose in this life,
and the consequences of the choices we make to get there. “In the Land of Magnanthia” is the first
novel in the series and is complete just under 115,000 words. It’s told from the alternating viewpoints
of Jak and Simon.

Epic read!


Books Young Adult

The Secret Eater by Ros Jackson

I’m happy to highlight a fellow blogger who has become a writer.  Meet Ros Jackson and let’s discover The Secret Eater!









Here’s what the novella is about:

Kenssie is a demon who feeds from secrets. Lately pickings have been slim, and she has grown so weak that her shield of invisibility is slipping. As the servant of a demon who eats embarrassment she already feels like she’s the laughing stock of the demonic world. But the scorn of someone who thinks that Hawaiian shirts are the height of cool is the least of her worries.

A powerful fear demon is dead set on making her his slave, a position that carries seriously short life expectancy.

She has no friends.

No powers.

No clue.

Her only hope of escaping a life of terror lies in stealing a grimoire she’s never seen from the clutches of a vindictive group of master demons.

Sounds fun, huh?  Want more?

Here’s an excerpt from the novella with a first line that I LOVE:

“I can see you, demon. What do you want?”

Kenssie turned round from the bookshelf she’d been examining – herbals mostly, interspersed with the latest from Hugh and Nigella, but with some very interesting forbidden spellbooks sprinkled in. The woman was staring straight at her. Talking to her. And that could mean only one thing: she was a powerful witch.

“So you can hear me. Get off my things.”

Kenssie narrowed her eyes in a way she hoped was intimidating. She straightened her shoulders. Stared the witch directly in her deep brown, too-seeing eyes, and prepared to show her exactly why demons were feared. The witch stared back, unflinching.

“Come on,” the mortal demanded.

Kenssie focused, feeling her head swirl with the whispers of stolen thoughts, and an electric surge as her power coalesced in the air around her. It hummed with energy, ionising the air and making the carpet under her feet crackle with static. Soon, the woman’s life would be hers. Kenssie would have every moment from her birth onward. The power grew, swirling furiously like a wormhole tornado, opening a psychic portal between demon and victim that would flood her with power.

“Stop that. It’s annoying.”

Kenssie was outraged. How dare this mortal speak to her like this! She focused her mind for a devastating pull, enough to rip ordinary mortals all the way down to insanity. She bared her teeth and felt the air grow thick, whilst the smell of copper and ozone filled her nose. Then she unleashed the magic.

And . . . nothing. Not so much as an embarrassing faux pas at a dinner party. Not even her name. Either the witch had just experienced an attack of amnesia that had wiped out her entire life history from memory, or she was extraordinarily resilient, even for a witch.

Kenssie’s shoulders slumped. At times like this, she was grateful for her thick, concrete-grey skin. The heat had risen to her face, but it would never show. It was time to scrape some dignity from the situation.

“You can see me because I wish you to, mortal.”

She stepped forward out of the corner of the room. Her attempt at a cool glide was hampered by a tangle of scart leads she hadn’t noticed, and she tripped and fell forward. She would have landed on her face, but the witch reached out and grabbed her shoulders. They hung for a split-second in an uncomfortable embrace. Then Kenssie righted herself and stepped back as though the mortal’s touch burned her.

She scowled. They stared at each other once more, witch to demon. Kenssie couldn’t read her at all.

“You’re welcome,” said the witch.

“Er, sorry. Thank you,” Kenssie said, dropping the act. This was humiliating. Not only could she not hear a single one of the woman’s thoughts, she was making a fool of herself into the bargain.

“You should tidy that lot up, it’s a hazard.”

“I’ll bear that in mind next time I’m expecting demonic burglars.”

“You must be a very powerful witch.”

The witch looked at her strangely, head cocked to the side so her long, dark hair fell loose like velvet curtains.

“Not really. I’m only a level one.”

Kenssie didn’t know what that stood for, but it was so like the humans to assign grades to each other for everything. Even so, level one didn’t sound very good.

“Still, I can foresee great things for you,” Kenssie said.

“Whatever.” The witch shrugged. “Just tell me who sent you.”

Kenssie grimaced at the implication. Nobody had sent her. She was her own demon!

“I have no master,” she lied.

“So why are you here?”

There was still a chance to get out of this with some dignity intact. If this ever got back to Rakmanon . . . she didn’t want to think about the consequences. The witch was scowling at her, pink lips pursed, and Kenssie realised she’d better think of something fast. Focus. She’d just used up her last reserves of power, and if the witch turned on her, she could put Kenssie on her back for a month.

She reached behind her and pulled a thick book off the shelf.

“I came for this. This is demonic knowledge, not meant for mortals, and I’m taking it back.”

The witch’s scowl loosened and curled into a wry half-smile. “Sure, take it. I always suspected as much.”

Kenssie looked down at the tome in her hand. She was holding Nigella Express.

See that opening line:  “I can see you, demon” isn’t that the SPOOKIEST? I LOVE IT!!

For more information about Ros check out her website.

And remember…

I can see you, demon. (maniacal laughter)


Blogging from A to Z Challenge Books

I #atozchallenge


Believe it or not, it was difficult to find titles that start with the letter I.  Here’s what I’ve discovered:

Unconventional Librarian Insurgent Collage

These three titles might have been difficult to find but I think they are worth exploring.

Insurgent by Veronica Roth is the second in the Divergent series.  Of course, it’s popular dystopian theme gets my vote.  totally adding this to my TBR pile, I think it might be sitting on a bookshelf at home waiting for me.

Next, is I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore.  The premise sounds interesting: 9 humans escaped from some planet and now they are being hunted and killed.  It was even made into a movie!  The Goodreads reviews are mixed, though, so I don’t know what to think.

And finally, Iron Legends by Julie Kagawa. There are three novellas inside one book.  I love this idea.  The reviewers on Goodreads? Not so much.  Here’s what the stories are about:

Enter the world of the internationally bestselling Iron Fey series. Dangerous faeries. Heartbreaking romance. Thrilling action and limitless adventure. The world of the fey has never been so powerful. This collection includes three novellas set in the world of the Iron Fey plus the Guide to the Iron Fey with exclusive information about Julie Kagawa’s unforgettable world of Faery.

They warn you to never make a promise to a faery cuz they always come to collect.  I love the idea that faeries aren’t these pixie like goody goodies as they’ve been perceived.  I like that they have a dark side. What do you think?


Books Reviews

Orangeberry Book Tours Past Lives #1 by Stephanie Abbott

I’m excited to bring you Past Lives #1 by Stephanie Abbott

as part of Orangeberry Book Tours

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Science Fiction & Fantasy / Mystery
Rating – PG13
Want more  details about the author ?
Want more details about the book?
Want more details about everything?
I can’t wait to get into this book, here’s why:
How many times can you die for love?
A near-fatal car crash unlocks memories from Rachel MacReady’s past life, dredging up secrets taken to the grave. And even as Rachel discovers the hidden power that is her birthright, she finds herself drawn to the reincarnates of two very different men. In that past life, both loved her. One might even have loved her to death…
oooh doesnt that sound compelling?
let’s read it together and meet back here later!


Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – UPDATE

A while back I read Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.  My review is below. I just discovered two things that I had to share:

1.  Time Burton is thinking about making this into a movie

2.  The book trailer is really kinda great.

Here is a link to it on Youtube.

Here’s my Original Post:

So I FINALLY finished Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs.  It doesn’t usually take me such a long time to finish a book but work has kept me unusually busy and I’ve been too tired to read during my free time.  Excuses aside, here’s what I thought:

I don’t normally read this type of book save for children’s books (Harry Potter, Golden Compass, A Wrinkle in Time, etc) but I thought I’d stretch myself a bit.  I’m glad I did, because I liked it.

The main character is a teenage boy who’s a misfit of sorts.  Who can’t identify with that?  When he investigates his favorite grandfather’s past, he encounters a group of peculiars and his life takes on new adventures both frightening and kinda funny:  Ymbrynes and time loops.  To be sure, the old black and white photographs enhance the story sort of like a graphic novel.  I was emotionally connected to the characters and after a while forgot that this was a fantasy story (can’t everyone make a flame in the palm of their hand?).

I will not spoil the ending but I didn’t care for the ending like I hoped I would, although I figured out what would happen and hoped it wasn’t so.  But it was.  I’m not sure whether I’ll follow along with their further adventures, although I am curious about what happens to them, so I may change my mind.

There was no indication of any multiculturalism at all, unless you count the fact that the peculiars are different and the main character could be Jewish.  There was a little bit of kissing but no sex so it was totally appropriate for teens and maybe tweens (if you like them to read scary things).

Overall I give it 3 paws and recommend it if you like fantasy.  Do check out the photographs they are an excellent addition to the book.