5 Absolutely Horrified Stars for THE HATCHING by Ezekiel Boone – An Utterly Terrifying Read that will justify a fear of spiders for the rest of your life.

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TItle: THE HATCHING

Series: THE HATCHING – BOOK ONE

Author: EZEKIEL BOONE

Type of Book: Hardcover

Genre: Fiction, Horror

Length: 330 Pages

Release Date: JULY 5, 2016

Publisher: RANDOM HOUSE CANADA

ISBN: 978-0-345-81648-1

PRICE: $29.95 CAN (Hardcover)

RATING: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

* I received a free copy of this book through the Goodreads Giveaway program. Reviews are not required, but they are usually appreciated.

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MY REVIEW:

ARE YOU SCARED OF SPIDERS?

If you aren’t scared of spiders before reading this book, you will be once you reach the final page.

Personally, spiders scare the crap out of me. Yes, I admit it. I have a case of arachniphobia.

Speaking of “Arachniphobia,” When I read the first chapter of this book I was reminded of the movie from 1990,  starring Jeff Daniels and John Goodman called ARACHNIPHOBIA. I was actually worried that this might end up being an updated version of the same storyline. But, I needn’t have been concerned. While both the movie and this book both center around spiders, this is WAY different and much more terrifying.

I read quite a bit of Post-Apocalyptic Fiction, and prior to reading THE HATCHING, I thought I had read about every possible way that modern civilization could be brought to it’s knees. The Hatching proved that I was dead-wrong.

I loved this book even while cringing and recoiling in both revulsion and terror at the subject matter.

Do you love a good scare? Do you enjoy Horror stories? If so, then you MUST add Ezekiel Boone’s novel to your bookshelf ASAP.

If you don’t find yourself checking all the dark corners of your house and under your bed for spiders after reading this book, I will be tremendously surprised.  I knew there was a reason that I dislike spiders and Ezekiel Boone has made me realize that those people who used to think my arachniphobia was silly, well, those people aren’t saying its such a silly fear after reading this book.

This book is one that will definitely have people talking. You don’t want to be the only one around the water cooler that hasn’t read THE HATCHING. If you do not read this book, you will be missing out. 

I rate The Hatching by Ezekiel Boone as 5 out of 5 Stars. 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

The fact that this is only the first book in a planned series has me wishing that Book Two – SKITTER was already available. However, since I do need to sleep sometime, it is probably good to give my terror levels time to get back to normal before I continue on to the next part of this series.

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AN INTERESTING SIDE-NOTE:

Prior to reading THE HATCHING, I had never heard of the “Nasca Lines” in Peru. These lines are mentioned in the book and I wasn’t sure if they were a creation of the author’s imagination or if they were real. An internet search provided me with the answer. They are real!

Don’t know what the Nasca Lines are? Click here for pictures and more information. I have now added seeing these Lines to my Bucket List. I find them absolutely fascinating and I can’t wait to research them further.

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WATCH THE TRAILERS:

 https://youtu.be/QhaQYliQ6qg

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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Photo By Laurie Willick

EZEKIEL BOONE is a Canadian writer who currently lives in upstate New York with his wife and children.

THE HATCHING is Zeke’s first thriller and the first book in the series, with SKITTER coming in 2017.

THE HATCHING series has sold in twelve countries and nine languages, and has been optioned for the screen. When not writing thrillers, Zeke writes acclaimed literary fiction under a different name. Along with a healthy respect for spiders, Zeke has two poorly behaved dogs and enjoys the outdoors.

To find out more about this author visit:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

THE HATCHING OFFICIAL WEBSITE

FACEBOOK
 
TWITTER

INSTAGRAM

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GREAT by Glen Gretzky & Lauri Holmes Lives Up To It’s Title!!!

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Title: GREAT

Author: GLEN GRETZKY and LAURI HOLOMIS

Illustrator: KEVIN SYLVESTER

Genre: CHILDREN’S FICTION, SPORTS, INSPIRATIONAL, AGES 4-8

Length: 32 pages

Publisher: PUFFIN – An Imprint of PENGUIN CANADA BOOKS INC.

ISBN (Print Book) 978-0-670-06990-3

ISBN (EBook) 978-0-14-319494-1

Price: $16.99 HARDCOVER

Release Date: SEPTEMBER 13, 2016

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

The second I set eyes on this book, I knew that I had to have it. Being both Canadian and the mother of two boys means that hockey is in my blood. Plus, no self-respecting Canadian parent would pass up the opportunity to purchase a children’s book that is not only about hockey, but also conveys a very important lesson for both kids and their parents.

Come on! The Foreward is written by “The Great One” himself – Wayne Gretzky. In it he states: “I am very proud of this book and the message it gives to kids. Our Foundation’s Mission Statement is about helping to equip kids for life and that begins at home. Let’s ensure our kids have the encouragement, love and support they need to grow up to be strong and confidant adults. Every child should know that they’re Great.”

What an awesome message! And, it is a message that I agree with 100%.

Most fans of Wayne Gretzky are aware that his father – Walter Gretzky dedicated himself to making his son into both the hockey player and the man that he grew up to be. GREAT is inspired by Walter Gretzky.

In the story a boy named Taylor is excited to have made the hockey team of his dreams. He is going to be playing with Wayne – a kid who everyone is already calling “The Great One”.

The coach is Walter (Wally) Gretzky. Taylor is so nervous to be on such a great team that he doesn’t play very well.

Taylor wants to be the star of the game and when he hogs the puck rather than passing, his team loses. He tells Coach Wally that he knows the loss was his fault and that he thinks he should quit.

Coach Wally’s response is the perfect one. He is the kind of coach that every child deserves to have and Taylor ends up learning lessons not just about hockey, but also about life.

The illustrations in this book are PERFECT. The cartoon showing Taylor leaving for an early morning practice while his bleary-eyed Mom looks on reminded me so much of my own time as a Hockey Mom. Another illustration showing Taylor shooting pucks at a battered garage door made me laugh out loud in remembrance. Throughout the entire book are illustrations that any hockey parent and their child will love. I rate the illustrations as 5 out of 5 stars.

In fact, I enjoyed GREAT so much that I rate the entire book as 5 out of 5 stars. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

This book is set to be released on September 13, 2016 – just in time for hockey season. It would also make a great Christmas gift for any hockey fan (regardless of their age.)

* I received a free copy of this book from the Publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

GLEN GRETZKY:

GLEN GRETZKY is the Executive Director of the Wayne Gretzky Foundation, which raises money to help children and families across Canada and the United States. Glen is also the Brand Manager for Wayne Gretzky Estates Winery and continues to be involved in community events and fundraising. He lives in Brantford, Ontario

LAURI HOLOMIS:

LAURI HOLOMIS has worked with the Gretzky Family and the Wayne Gretzky Foundation for many years. She continues to work in the sports world and is passionate about teaching kids confidence. She lives in Toronto, Ontario, with her husband, Ryan, and son, Wyatt. The author lives in Toronto, Ontario.

ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR:

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KEVIN SYLVESTER  is an illustrator, writer and broadcaster based in Toronto. His series, The Neil Flambe capers, is now out and loads of fun (according to him).

Neil Flambe and the Marco Polo Murders won the 2011 Silver Birch award for Fiction. Neil Flambe and the Aztec Abduction was runner-up in 2012. Neil Flambe and the Crusader’s Curse is up for the 2013 Silver Birch. Kevin’s picture book Splinters was nominated for the 2012 Blue Spruce! Cathy Rondina’s and I won the Silver Birch for Non-Fiction in 2012 for Don’t Touch that Toad. My book Gold Medal for Weird won the 2009 Silver Birch for Non-Fiction.

Kevin has also been a broadcaster with CBC Radio in Canada for years and years (although he is originally from Western New York). Kevin is willing to have people contact him with any questions or comments. His email address is:  atsylvesterartwork@gmail.com.

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Photos and illustrations were all obtained through Kevin Sylvester’s website.

LEAVING LUCY PEAR by Anna Solomon – UPCOMING NEW RELEASE Historical Fiction earns 5 Stars

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Title: LEAVING LUCY PEAR

Author: ANNA SOLOMON

Genre: Historical Fiction, Fiction

Length: 315 PAGES

Publisher: VIKING

ISBN: 978-1-594-63265-5

Price: $26.00 ($35.00 CAN)

Release Date: JULY 26, 2016

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

* I received a free copy of this book through a Goodreads Giveaway.

NEW RELEASE

It’s 1917 and a young and unmarried Beatrice Haven has snuck out of the house with a bundle in her arms.

Within that bundle lies her squirming infant daughter. The daughter she was supposed to give up on the very day of her birth. The secretly beloved daughter that she cannot allow to be raised by the awful woman who runs the Jewish orphanage.

Instead, Beatrice has a plan.  It is risky and bold, but Beatrice (whom everyone calls ‘Bea’) wants her child to have a chance at happiness. So, she lays her baby girl under a pear tree and waits.

Her plan works. The baby is claimed by another woman and Bea is free to continue on her life’s path without the stigma and encumbrance of a child born out of wedlock. 

Ten years later a series of coincidences end with Bea reuniting with Emma Murphy, the Irish Catholic woman who took in her abandoned daughter all those years ago.

The characters in LEAVING LUCY PEAR are so vividly described that the reader could easily believe that she was watching a movie rather than reading a book.

Bea’s daughter’s name is Lucy. Lucy is quite the character. She’s headstrong, she contains a vast intellect that is well above that if her peers. And Lucy has plans of her own.

Taking place in the town of Cape Ann, Massachusetts in the early 1920s, readers are in for a treat. Author Anna Solomon has obviously vigorously researched the time period as well as the location’s geography. I am not a historian by any means, but the story and its setting seemed authentic and entirely plausible to me.

Readers are in for a fictional historic tale that will make them laugh, make them cry and in fact, at times, will have readers experiencing every emotion in between. LEAVING LUCY PEAR will stay with readers long after the book has been shelved. I rate this book as 5 out of 5 stars 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

 

FAVORITE QUOTES:

“He had told her she could leave, her last night, to make it easier for her. He had never regretted that. Yet he missed her. He doubted he would live long enough to stop missing her.”

“…even after all these years, he cannot tell if she is actually unstable, or just very sad.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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Photo: © Beowulf Sheehan

ANNA SOLOMON is the author of “The Little Bride” and a two-time winner of the Pushcart Prize. Her short fiction and essays have appeared in many publications including “The New York Times Magazine,” “One Story,” “Ploughs hares,” “Slate,” and MORE.

She previously worked as a journalist for National Public Radio. She was born and raised in Gloucester, Massachusetts and now lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband and two children.

5 Stars for OVERSCHEDULED ANDREW by Ashley Spires – BOOK REVIEW

Over Scheduled Andrew Cover Pic

Title: Over-Scheduled Andrew

Author: Ashley Spires

Illustrator: Ashley Spires

Type of Book: Hardcover

Price: $19.99 CDN

Release Date: January 12, 2016

Length: 32 pages

ISBN: 978-1-77049-484-8

Publisher: Penguin Random House Canada

Genre: Children’s Fiction, Self-Help

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars *****

 

MY REVIEW:

Andrew loves putting on plays so he decides to join the drama club at school. Determined to make his performance the best it can be, he joins the debate club to practice his public speaking. He signs up for dance and karate to help with his coordination. Then he’s asked to play for the tennis team and edit the school newspaper. Before long he’s learning to play the bagpipes, attending Spanish classes and joining the French film club. Suddenly Andrew doesn’t have time for anything or anyone else, not even his best friend Edie. And he definitely doesn’t have time to sleep.

It astounds me how over-scheduled kids in today’s world seem to be. OVER-SCHEDULED ANDREW highlights the perils of this rampant practice. While this is a children’s book and has gorgeous illustrations and is written in the simple prose that will appeal to young children, it contains a lesson, not only for the children, but for their parents as well.

Andrew signs up for more and more activities and the reasons that he signs up are admirable, but as his schedule becomes more and more full, he becomes more and more exhausted. Andrew finds himself not only tired, but also confused. He no longer has time to simply be a kid or to play with his best friend. Sadly, this happens to many, many children today.

Proof of this is easy to see. Go to any subdivision on a beautiful, sunny day and look around. When I was a child (in the 70s and early 80s) that subdivision would have been full of children outside playing with friends, riding their bikes, etc. Now, that subdivision looks like an adult-living community where no children actually reside. The kids all seem to be inside their houses; either watching television or playing video games. As far as I am concerned this is an epidemic.

Of course, as parents, we want the best for our children. I believe that is as true today as it was in the past, but unfortunately many parents have fallen into the trap of over-scheduling. They want to offer their children every opportunity and so they sign them up for every activity possible. This can actually have a negative impact on the child rather than the positive impact which was the original intent.

I absolutely LOVE the illustrations in this book. Andrew is a bird and his best friend, Edie, is a deer, but the illustrations are stylized perfectly. Each illustrated scene shows just enough detail to be relevant to the wording on that page, and does not contain distracting elements. The balance between detail and simplicity is simply superb. The illustrations also contain the perfect amount of humor.

I rate this book as 5 out of 5 Stars and I highly recommend it for children between the ages of 3 and 7. I recommend that all parents read this book no matter how old their children are since it contains a simple message that all parents should heed.

Purchase this book online at the following retailers:

Amazon.ca

Chapters-Indigo Books

McNally-Robinson Books

Amazon.com

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: (Illustration obtained from www.ashleyspires.com)

Ashley Spires Author Illustration

Ashley Spires is the author and illustrator of numerous funny books for children including The Most Magnificent Thing and the Binky the Space Cat series.She was born and raised in BC with eight cats and a dog.

After spending some time living in Toronto and Saskatoon, she has returned to the BC life, living in Ladner with three cats, one dog and a man. When she is not running or bike riding or over-scheduling herself, she makes children’s books, many of which have won numerous awards, including Ontario’s Silver Birch Express, the Atlantic Province’s Hackmatack, Saskatchewan’s Shining Willow and BC’s Chocolate Lily Award.

Visit Ashley at her website www.ashleyspires.com or follow her on twitter: @ashleyspires

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Stars for HOCKEY MOMS by Julie Bertuzzi- BOOK REVIEW

  

Title: HOCKEY MOMS: Realities from the Rink

Author: Julie Bertuzzi

Illustrated By: Anthony Jenkins 

Genre: Humor, Sports, Parenting

Length: 123 pages

ISBN: 978-0-7710-1350-8

Price: $19.95 Can/ $15.95 US

Release Date: October 6, 2015

Publisher: Penguin Random House

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 

As a Hockey Mom myself, it was very easy to relate to the subject matter of this book. 

It is obvious that despite the fact that author, Julie Bertuzzi is married to NHL player Todd Bertuzzi she is not just a stuck-up rich girl. No one who wasn’t a Hockey Mom herself would be able to describe so succinctly the various types of Hockey Moms that exist. 

The book is illustrated by Anthony Jenkins who has perfectly captured the style and idiosyncrasies of the different types of Hockey Moms. His illustrations make this book complete. 

I laughed out loud a couple times while reading this book and even snorted a few times. I have met every single one of these “Hockey Moms” in the years that I have attended my son’s games. 

Every hockey family needs to buy this book! I wonder, which type of Hockey Mom are you?

I rate this book as 5 out of 5 stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐

See an interview with Julie Bertuzzi talking about her book online at 

http://globalnews.ca/video/2275874/hail-to-the-hockey-moms-julie-bertuzzi-on-rink-side-parenting 

Buy online at Chapters at

https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/hockey-moms-realities-from-the/9780771013508-item.html?ikwid=Hockey+moms&ikwsec=Home&ikwidx=0

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

 

Photo Credit: The Vancouver Sun


JULIE BERTUZZI is guilty of being numerous types of Hockey Moms. She is the wife of former NHL player Todd Bertuzzi and mother of two hockey players; her daughter, Jaden, a beautiful, burly right winger, and her son, Tag, a mini version of his father, with his mother’s stellar looks. 

ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR:  

 

Photo Credit: The Globe and Mail

 

Anthony Mars Jenkins was born and raised in Toronto and spent his early career delivering The Globe and Mail. A graduate of the University of Toronto and the University of Waterloo, he joined The Globe in 1974 after a summer at the Toronto Star.

He’s worked at The Globe as an editorial cartoonist, illustrator, caricaturist and sometime writer ever since, when not taking leaves of absence to travel on every continent but Antarctica – 78 countries to date.

He is married to an amazing woman, have two grown daughters and live in the beautiful countryside of Mono, Ontario.

Visit his website at http://www.jenkinsdraws.com