Note about my Reviews

Dear Authors: The reviews in this blog are only personal opinions. I have absolutely no background in literature, writing or reviewing. I am a Librarian (actually a Library Technician for those who care OR know the difference) with a love for a good story. The opinions in the reviews are ONLY my OPINIONS. I am not commenting on the writers ability since well -- I am not a writer and never will be. If you are the author of any of the books reviewed here, my opinion is just that and not a judgment against you!

Monday, April 15, 2013

The Spark by Kristine Barnett

The Spark: A Mother's Story of Nurturing Genius
by Kristine Barnett
Random House Canada
ISBN: 978-0-307-36279-7
Buy From Indigo

Description: The extraordinary memoir of a mother's love, commitment, and nurturing, which allowed her son, originally diagnosed with autism, to flourish into a universally recognized genius-and how any parent can help their child find their spark.

Today, at thirteen, Jacob is working on extending Einstein's theory of relativity, and is a paid researcher in quantum physics. Yet at three, after an autism diagnosis, Jacob was assigned to life-skills classes, his parents told to adjust their expectations. The goalpost was to be tying his own shoes at sixteen. Kristine's belief in the power of hope and the dazzling possibilities that can occur when we keep our minds open and learn to fuel a child's true potential changed everything.

The Good Stuff
  • Wonderfully honest and truly inspiring
  • Shows the power of a mothers faith and love for her son
  • I wanted to hug this women after reading all of the challenges she faced and how she kept going through it all
  • Strong message of hope and thinking outside of the box when dealing with special needs children
  • Really made me think about how I can help my son more.  As many of you know my son has Spina Bifida and his biggest challenge being the ADHD that is so prevalent with children with this kind of disability. Think its time to maybe try to find Jake's Spark instead of trying to mold him into what I (not to mention the school system) think he should be or do
  • It was refreshing to read a hopeful story about autism/Asperger's without the blame on how this happened - Just a this is what happened & how we survive & thrive with it
  • She not only helps her child she helps others - that to be is a definition of a hero
  • Very readable
  • Nice to see the focus on the positive and not the negativity of her situation 
  • Also nice to read about the lighter moments
  • Focuses on the importance of play & that is good for every child
  • Also enjoyed the focus on the importance of community and charity 
  • The analogy she uses on pg 77 to explain autism are simple yet brilliant

The Not so Good Stuff
  • Um - not sure how to say this - but at times she comes across a little too self righteous - but hey if I lived through the same challenges she did -- maybe I would too (Ok and maybe she made me feel like I haven't done enough for my son)
  • Made me miss my friend Joan as she is very similar to Narnie
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"In the time it took me to try on two dresses, Narnie had found out everything about this woman's upcoming wedding, her fiance, and which of her emotional needs he did or didn't meet."

"Indulging the senses isn't a luxury, but a necessity. We have to walk barefoot in the grass. We have to eat clean snow. We have to let warm sand run through our fingers. We have to lie on our backs and feel the sun on our face."

"It's one thing to support someone when you agree with  him or her, but another thing entirely when you don't."

"Autism is a thief. It takes your child away. It takes your hope away, and it robs you of your dreams."

Who Should/Shouldn't Read
  • A must read for any parent of a special needs child
  • Obviously one that parents of children with Autistic/Asperger's will get something out of
  • Anyone looking for a hopeful, positive and inspirational story 
  • Honestly, every parent should read this and hopefully get the message that every child is different and we need to fight for them and help them find their "spark"
4.5 Dewey's

I received this in exchange for an honest review - no money exchanged hands - but damn I wish that would happen because I really want new carpets LOL!

Mom and Me Mondays: The Quest for the Spark #3 by Jeff Smith and Tom Sniegoski

Bone: Quest for the Spark #3
by Jeff Smith and Tom Sniegoski
Graphix (Scholastic)
ISBN: 978-0-545-14106-2
Suggested Ages: 8-12
Buy from Indigo

Description: The thrilling conclusion to the NEW YORK TIMES bestselling Quest for the Spark trilogy!

The Nacht is growing stronger, and it's a race against time for Tom Elm and friends to find the final piece of the Spark before the entire Valley--and possibly the world--are plunged into eternal darkness. In this installment, the Queen of the Sky is brought down in the Pawa Mountains and our intrepid band of heroes is separated. What secrets can be found deep inside the mountains' caverns? Will the great mountain cat, Roque Ja, be ally or enemy? And will one of their very own betray them to evil?

Jake's Review: This book was totally boring and it took me a long time to finish it.  I like the original Bone series so much better. I was glad to finally get to the end especially since Mom forced me to read it all. The illustrations are the only reason I kept reading it. Plus I did have to find out how the story ended. It was a good ending which is the only reason I gave it so high a score. Sorry mom said I always had to tell the truth.

Jake's Rating: 3/10

Mom's Review: This is hard for me but I just couldn't get through it. I skipped half the book and just went to the end so I could find out what happened. I truly admire the effort and the talent of both the author and especially the artwork from Jeff Smith but this wasn't my favorite of the series. The artwork was top notch as always and no offense to Tom, it just wasn't my thing. I agree with Jake though the ending really worked

Mom's Rating: 4/10

We received this from Scholastic in exchange for an honest review - sorry guys really wanted to love

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Deal: The Banks of Certain Rivers by Jon Harrison

One of my favorite Canadian authors, Catherine McKenzie  emailed me some information about a book she loved and wanted to promote.  She also gave me a heads up that the book was on sale at Amazon (the enemy) for .99Cents.  Since the book sounded fantastic I have downloaded it and wanted to tell you guys about it too.

I won't be reviewing it for a while as I have tons of other books that have to be read first, but it will eventually be reviewed here.

Here is the Info if you need it

The Banks of Certain Rivers

Only $0.99 on Kindle through April 14th

Neil Kazenzakis is barely holding his life together: ever since an accident left his wife profoundly disabled, he's been doing his best as a single dad and popular high school teacher. He's also been dealing with Lauren Downey, his sort-of girlfriend of the past two years who's pushing for a commitmentand for Neil to finally tell his son Christopher about their secret relationship.
Neil's carefully balanced world begins to fall apart when some questionable footage of him is anonymously posted to YouTube...just as Chris learns about Lauren in the worst possible way. Doubting his own recollection of the events in the online video as he's threatened with the loss of his job and the ability to care for his wife, Neil must find a way to prove the truth to his family, his community, and himself as he struggles to regain the splintered trust of his son.
Heartbreaking, poignant, and written with devastating humor and warmth, The Banks of Certain Rivers is a shattering story of memory, loss, and just how far a man will go to show the people closest to him the meaning of love.

Praise for The Banks of Certain Rivers:

"Jon Harrison's debut The Banks of Certain Rivers is a jewel-box of a novel. Tracing the limits of one man's love (and self-knowledge) with humor and drama, Harrison breathes life into Neil Kazenzakis and his struggles with such grace that the reader feels like she knows him. Elegant, poignant, and page-turning."
Katherine Howe, New York Times bestselling author of The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane
"Urgent, real, and often very funny."
James Frey, New York Times bestselling author of Bright Shiny Morning and A Million Little Pieces

From Catherine if you are willing to promote


As you know, I'm trying to help spread the word about this book so that it finds the audience it deserves. As you might know, the book is currently 99 cents on Amazon Kindle right now, and I wondered if you might be willing to help spread the word by posting about it on Facebook or Tweeting about it on Twitter or even posting on your blog.

If you want to post on Facebook, an easy way is to like and share one of the following two posts about the book on the book's fan page or on my fan page:

Both of them are at the top of the page

If you go to my twitter feed: @cemckenzie1, there is a tweet at the top that has the information in it - you can simply retweet it.

And here is the link to the book's amazon page:

Thanks so much for helping out, and please do not feel that it is necessary to do so.



By the way for Canadians = go to & search for the book by title. You can than download it to your computer with the app as well.

Friday, April 12, 2013

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley: Mini Book Review

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (The Buckshaw Chronicles #1)
by Alan Bradley
Doubleday Canada (Random House)
ISBN: 9780385665834
Buy from Indigo

Description: The summer of 1950 hasn't offered up anything out of the ordinary for eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce: bicycle explorations around the village, keeping tabs on her neighbours, relentless battles with her older sisters, Ophelia and Daphne, and brewing up poisonous concoctions while plotting revenge in their home's abandoned Victorian chemistry lab, which Flavia has claimed for her own.

But then a series of mysterious events gets Flavia's attention: A dead bird is found on the doormat, a postage stamp bizarrely pinned to its beak. A mysterious late-night visitor argues with her aloof father, Colonel de Luce, behind closed doors. And in the early morning Flavia finds a red-headed stranger lying in the cucumber patch and watches him take his dying breath. For Flavia, the summer begins in earnest when murder comes to Buckshaw: "I wish I could say I was afraid, but I wasn't. Quite the contrary. This was by far the most interesting thing that had ever happened to me in my entire life."

Did the stranger die of poisoning? There was a piece missing from Mrs. Mullet's custard pie, and none of the de Luces would have dared to eat the awful thing. Or could he have been killed by the family's loyal handyman, Dogger or by the Colonel himself! At that moment, Flavia commits herself to solving the crime - even if it means keeping information from the village police, in order to protect her family. But then her father confesses to the crime, for the same reason, and it's up to Flavia to free him of suspicion. Only she has the ingenuity to follow the clues that reveal the victim's identity, and a conspiracy that reaches back into the de Luces' murky past.

A thoroughly entertaining romp of a novel, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie is inventive and quick-witted, with tongue-in-cheek humour that transcends the macabre seriousness of its subject

 Mini Book Review: As usual when I love a book I struggle with reviewing it.  My jumbled way of writing (not to mention my way of speaking) cannot due justice to the brilliance of this story.  Flavia is a delightfully wicked little imp. She is charming yet devilishly naughty and positively brilliant.  I fell in love with her within 5 paragraphs of this wonderfully charming, yet fast paced story. Bradly is a gifted storyteller and it was the kind of book you just don't want to put down. The opening paragraph hooks you in and it just keeps getting better and better. It is full of dark twisted humour,  fascinating secondary characters and an enchanting setting. I need to move in to Buckshaw just to spend time in my dream library. I am a little disappointed that I have to read 4 or 5 other books before I can get to the next story in this wonderful series. I look forward to learning more about Flavia and her truly unique world.  I think fans of The Spellman Files will enjoy as well.

Favorite Quote

 "I made the Girl Guide three-eared bunny salute with my fingers. I did not tell him that I was technically no longer a member of that organization, and hadn't been since I was chucked out for manufacturing ferric hydroxide to earn my Domestic Service badge. No one had seemed to care that it was the antidote for arsenic poisoning."

5 Dewey's

I purchased this after my coworker and Fellow Jen recommended it to me - Thanks Jen, you were bang on

What's For Dinner by Curtis Stone

What's For Dinner?
by Curtis Stone
Appetite (Random House)
Skill Level: Beginner to Advanced
Buy From Indigo

Description: Curtis Stone, host of Bravo's hugely popular Top Chef Masters and Around the World in 80 Plates, provides a culinary road map of time-saving kitchensolutions and delicious dishes for every day of the week.
We're all busy. We can all appreciate using a recipe that we know will cut down on time, expense and even dishes. Curtis Stone maintains that the first step to ensuring a successful meal is to achieve confidence in the kitchen, and so this classically trained, world-renowned chef has provided home cooks of all levels with 150 effortless, but inspired, fail-proof entree recipes that showcase ingredients and prove ease of use. He also provides dozens of notes on techniques, tricks and shortcuts that will assist with making cooking more enjoyable and the results more consistent and impressive. Curtis' straightforward philosophy is cook, create, celebrate-and these dishes do just that.

The Good Stuff
  • Nice addition to have the "Rounding out the Meal' & "Kitchen Note" added to some of the recipes. Extremely helpful
  • Photographs are simple, yet beautiful, and very, very appetizing (Take note publishers of cookbooks - people want to have pictures of every recipe and pictures that focuse on the food not on the artistry of the photographer)
  • Directions are easy to follow
  • Something for everyone - lots of variety
  • Lots of fresh ingredients that are easy to find in any grocery store
  •  The recipes are never time consuming or have a lot of steps - most can be made (including cooking time) in under 40 minutes
  • Quite a few child friendly recipes that both the young and old will enjoy
  • Not a bad looking guy (Yup I reviewed this one not Chef Jeff) he could come on over and .... cook for me anytime (Shhh don't tell Chef Jeff or he won't make me omelets any more)
  • I would pretty much be willing to make 90% of the recipes in this cookbook - that doesn't happen very often
The Not So Good Stuff
  • Used a lot of post it notes for all the recipes I wanted to make
  • Used Mahi Mahi in a recipe -- a little too close for dolphin for my comfort (I used cod when I made the recipe and it was lovely
  • Addicted to Chocolate Chunk Cookies with Pecans - this is not good for my fitness plan
Favorite Recipes
  • Grilled Fish Tacos with Pico De Gallo - Pg 16
  •  Chipotle Pork Tacos - Pg 144 (I recommend adding some sour cream to tame the heat a little)
  • Chocolate Chunk Cookies with Pecans - these were to die for my friends - hmm might make some more tomorrow!!
  • Grilled Salmon with Orzo, Feta and Red Wine Vinaigrette (The Orzo side is a now a staple for us - so fresh, healthy and yummy)
  • Grilled Shrimp and Rice Noodle Salad - Pg 23
  • Oatmeal Coconut Butter Cookies - Pg 264

Who Should/Shouldn't Use
  • Good for cooks of any skill level
  • Perfect for those who want to have a healthy, fast & easy to make dinner 
  • A must have for the busy parent who wants to have something easy to make, relatively healthy and not time consuming
4.95 Dewey's (loses .5 because the book is hard to keep open when you are trying to prepare a recipe)

I received this from Random House in Exchange for an honest review


Grilled Salmon with Orzo, Feta, Spinach & Red Wine Vinaigrette

Made this one heart shaped for Jeff (to make up for fact that we ate most of the first batch without him)
Forgot to take picture till the very end (wasn't much left ) Chipotle Pork Tacos
He helped make them so he got the first one

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Mira's Diary: Home Sweet Rome by Marissa Moss

Mira's Diary: Home Sweet Rome 
by Marissa Moss
Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
ISBN: 978-1-4022-6609-6
Suggested Ages: 9-12
Buy from Indigo

Description: As if traveling to a new country in search of her missing mother weren't difficult enough, Mira has to do it dressed as a boy. In a different century.

A new postcard from her time-traveling mother points Mira to the 16th century Rome. But before she can rescue her mom, she must follow the clues left around the city to find Giordano Bruno, a famous thinker and mathematician, who discovered something so shocking that important Italian officials don't want it revealed. All the while avoiding the Watchers--time-traveling police who want Mira back in her own time.

It's another whirlwind adventure for Mira, and this time she is determined to bring her mother out of the past.

The Good Stuff
  • Fascinating  information about a lesser known part about history
  • As I mentioned in my review for the first book in the series, I would love to have the gift of time travel - to be able to see the world before over development  - not that would be a true gift
  • Good messages about doing the right thing, faith and family
  • Realistic thoughts and emotions for a young girl in regards to her heritage. This was a saving grace for me for this book

The Not So Good Stuff
  • Still feel no emotional attachment to Mira - she just doesn't feel real. Her words and her actions don't jive with me.  Her words are those of a mature adult, not a teen
  • Jumps around too much and often makes no sense
  • More of a history lesson than a story with flesh and blood characters
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"I stood there frozen with doubt, while unshaven, unwashed people jostled around me. I'd had no idea what great inventions soap and shampoo were."

"It's easy to defend people you like. The hard thing is supporting those you don't."

"That's in Florence where they charge you to enter any church. But we have to go through a security screening."
"You're kidding!" Malcolm rolled his eyes. "What's the Pope afraid of? Doesn't he have God on his side?"

Who Should/Shouldn't Read
  • For those more mature Middle grade girls interested in art and history, especially Jewish history
3 Dewey's

I received this from Sourcebooks in exchange for an honest review

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Silent Auction #17 - ARC's of Mind Games by Kiersten White and Omens by Kelley Armstrong

ARC's of Mind Games by Kiersten White and Omens by Kelley Armstrong (NOT SIGNED)

Mind Games Description: Two sisters, bound by impossible choices, are determined to protect each other-no matter the cost.James''s frozen face melts into a smile. "Do you want to know the trick to getting in trouble under the watchful eye of a psychic?"
I think of the nailed-shut windows. I think of Clarice. I think of the two, the two, the two who are now zero. Tap tap. "Yes, I absolutely do."
"Don''t plan it. Don''t even think about it. The second you get an inkling of what you could do, do it then. Never plan anything ahead of time. Always go on pure instinct."
I smile. "I think I can do that."

Omens Description: Following the epic conclusion of her internationally bestselling Women of the Otherworld series, Kelley Armstrong launches a brand-new series set in Cainsville, a small town as spookily fascinating as Stephen King''s Castle Rock or Dean Koontz''s Moonlight Bay.

Olivia Taylor Jones, 24, seems to have the perfect life. The only daughter of a wealthy Chicago family, she has an Ivy League education, pursues volunteerism and philanthropy, and is engaged to a handsome young tech-firm CEO with political ambitions. But Olivia''s world is shattered when she finds out that she''s adopted. Her real parents? Todd and Pamela Larsen, notorious serial killers, each still serving a life sentence.

The news brings a maelstrom of unwanted publicity to her adopted family and fiancГ©, and Olivia thinks the best thing she can do for herself and for them is run away from it all. She ends up in the small town of Cainsville, Illinois, an old and cloistered community that takes a particular interest in both Olivia and her decision to uncover the truth about her birth parents. Olivia decides to focus on the Larsens'' last crime, the one Pamela Larsen swears will prove their innocence. But as she and Gabriel Walsh, Pamela''s former lawyer, start investigating, Olivia finds herself drawing on abilities that have remained hidden since her childhood, gifts that make her both a valuable addition to Cainsville and deeply vulnerable to unknown enemies. There are dark secrets behind her new home, and powers lurking in the shadows that have their own plans for her.

Starting Bid: $5
Please see Original Post for Details

Silent Auction #15 - Signed Copy of Undead and Uneasy by Mary Janice Davidson

Signed Copy of Undead and Uneasy by Mary Janice Davidson

Description: Weddings are never easy. But when you're Vampire Queen Betsy Taylor, they can become downright deadly... In the days leading up to The Big Day, Vampire Queen Betsy Taylor seems to have a full house and the wedding guests have yet to arrive. Along with her human buddies, there's a ghost, a werewolf, and a Fiend crashing at her place. And though her fianc?, Vampire King Eric Sinclair, conveniently disappears when the conversation turns to seating charts and flower arrangements, he does manage to make his oh-so-sexy presence known at other moments. Cold feet are no surprise, especially with an undead groom. But when Sinclair truly goes missing-and not just to avoid wedding preparations-along with most of her friends and loved ones, Betsy is frantic. Alone and afraid for the fate of everyone she loves, Betsy can't trust anyone as she tries to find them and whoever is behind all the disappearances. And what happens next will shake the foundation of the vampire world forever.

Starting Bid: $5
Please see Original Post for Details

Silent Auction #16 - Frostbitten by Kelley Armstrong

Signed Copy of Frostbitten by Kelley Armstrong

Description: The Alaskan wilderness is a harsh landscape in the best of conditions, but with a pack of rogue werewolves on the loose, it's downright deadly.

Elena Michaels, the Pack's chief enforcer, knows all too well the havoc "mutts" can wreak. When they hear of a series of gruesome maulings and murders outside Anchorage, she and her husband, Clay, journey to Alaska in the dead of winter in order to hunt down the dangerous werewolves. Trapped in this savage, untamed winter realm, she and Clay learn more about their own werewolf heritage than they bargained for, tapping a little more into the wild nature of the beast within. With Elena back in the starring role, this is the book Kelley Armstrong fans have been waiting for.

Starting Bid: $2
Please see Original Post for Details

Auction #14 - The Scorpio Races (Only good for Jen's) by Maggie Stiefvater

Signed Copies of The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Description:Some race to win. Others race to survive.
It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line.
Some riders live.
Others die.
At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.
Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn''t given her much of a choice. So she enters the competition - the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.
As she did in her bestselling Shiver trilogy, author Maggie Stiefvater takes us to the breaking point, where both love and life meet their greatest obstacles, and only the strong of heart can survive. The Scorpio Races is an unforgettable reading experience.

Starting Bid: $2
Please see Original Post for Details

Auction #13 - Land of Stories by Chris Colfer

Signed Copy of Land of Stories by Chris Colfer
Delightful boy - very charming and sweet - enjoyed chatting with him

Description: Alex and Conner Bailey''s world is about to change, in this fast-paced adventure that uniquely combines our modern day world with the enchanting realm of classic fairy tales.

The Land of Storiestells the tale of twins Alex and Conner. Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, they leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with the fairy tale characters they grew up reading about.

But after a series of encounters with witches, wolves, goblins, and trolls alike, getting back home is going to be harder than they thought.

Starting Bid: $25
Please see Original Post for Details

Auction #12 - Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult

Signed Copy of Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult

Description: A life hanging in the balance . . . a family torn apart. The #1 internationally bestselling author Jodi Picoult tells an unforgettable story about family secrets, love, and letting go.
In the wild, when a wolf knows its time is over, when it knows it is of no more use to its pack, it may sometimes choose to slip away. Dying apart from its family, it stays proud and true to its nature. Humans aren't so lucky.
Luke Warren has spent his life researching wolves. He has written about them, studied their habits intensively, and even lived with them for extended periods of time. In many ways, Luke understands wolf dynamics better than those of his own family. His wife, Georgie, has left him, finally giving up on their lonely marriage. His son, Edward, twenty-four, fled six years ago, leaving behind a shattered relationship with his father. Edward understands that some things cannot be fixed, though memories of his domineering father still inflict pain. Then comes a frantic phone call: Luke has been gravely injured in a car accident with Edward's younger sister, Cara.
Suddenly everything changes: Edward must return home to face the father he walked out on at age eighteen. He and Cara have to decide their father's fate together. Though there's no easy answer, questions abound: What secrets have Edward and his sister kept from each other? What hidden motives inform their need to let their father die . . . or to try to keep him alive? What would Luke himself want? How can any family member make such a decision in the face of guilt, pain, or both? And most importantly, to what extent have they all forgotten what a wolf never forgets: that each member of a pack needs the others, and that sometimes survival means sacrifice?
Another tour de force by Picoult, Lone Wolf brilliantly describes the nature of a family: the love, protection, and strength it can offer-and the price we might have to pay for those gifts. What happens when the hope that should sustain a family is the very thing tearing it apart?

Starting Bid: $10
Please see Original Post for Details

Auction #11 - Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan

Signed copy of Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan

Description: Percy is confused. When he awoke after his long sleep, he didn''t know much more than his name. His brain-fuzz is lingering, even after the wolf Lupa told him he is a demigod and trained him to fight. Somehow Percy managed to make it to the camp for half-bloods, despite the fact that he had to continually kill monsters that, annoyingly, would not stay dead. But the camp doesn''t ring any bells with him.

Hazel is supposed to be dead. When she lived before, she didn''t do a very good job of it. When the Voice took over her mother and commanded Hazel to use her "gift" for an evil purpose, Hazel couldn''t say no. Now, because of her mistake, the future of the world is at risk.

Frank is a klutz. His grandmother claims he is descended from ancient heroes and can be anything he wants to be, but he doesn''t see it. He doesn''t even know who his father is. He keeps hoping Apollo will claim him, because the only thing he is good at is archery-although not good enough to help the Fifth Cohort win at war games. His big and bulky physique makes him feel like a clumsy ox, especially in front of Hazel, his closest friend at camp. He trusts her completely-enough, even, to share the secret he holds close to his heart.

Beginning at the "other" camp for half-bloods and extending as far north as the land beyond the gods, this breathtaking second installment in the Heroes of Olympus series introduces new demigods, revives fearsome monsters, and features other remarkable creatures, all of whom are destined to play a part in the most important quest of all: the Prophecy of Seven.

Starting Bid: $10
Please see Original Post for Details

Auction #10 - Betsy Wickwire's Dirty Secret by Vicki Grant, Flying Blind by Deborah Cooke

Signed Copies of Betsy Wickwire's Dirty Secret by Vicki Grant, Flying Blind by Deborah Cooke

Flying Blind Description: The next generation of shape-shifting dragons from the popular author of the Dragonfire novels.

ZoГ« Sorensson is perfectly normal, except she''s been told she''s destined for great things. ZoГ«''s the one female dragon shapeshifter of her kind. But ZoГ« is at the bottom of the class when it comes to being Pyr and her powers are AWOL, so she''s sent to a Pyr boot camp.

ZoГ« quickly realizes that she has to master her powers yesterday, because the Pyr are in danger and boot camp is a trap. The Mages want to eliminate all shifters and the Pyr are next in line-unless ZoГ« and her friends can work together and save their own kind.

Betsy Wickwire's Dirty Secret Description: Betsys life is officially over: Dumped by her boyfriend, betrayed by her best friend . . . how is she ever going to show her face again?
Determined to avoid everyone and everything from her previous life, Betsy stumbles into an unusual cafÉ and an even more unusual girl. Dolores Morrisa mouthy, green-haired outsider Betsy cant quite remember from schooltalks her into starting a cleaning service. Before she knows it, Betsy is down on her knees, dressed like a dust bunny, scrubbing strangers toilets.
Its a long way for the most popular girl in school to have fallen. But Betsy finds comfort in the wine bottles and prescriptions and other dirty secrets she finds hidden in her clients homes. She also finds love with a clients son, friendship with Dolores and a liberated sense of herself. Her new life soon falls apart, though, when valuables begin to go missing from some of the homes she and Dolores have been cleaning. Betsy discovers the hard way that not all dirty secrets can just be swept under the rug.

Starting Bid: $2
Please See Original Post for Details

Auction #9 - Splinters by Kevin Sylvester

Signed Copy of Splinters by Kevin Sylvester

Description: Cindy Winters loves to play hockey. When her family''s basement apartment is flooded and the floor freezes, she''s even happy to skate on the concrete. Her parents are too poor to enroll her in a league, but she''s resourceful and does odd jobs until she has earned enough money to play. Armed with her mother''s old equipment, she is thrilled to join a team. But her happiness doesn''t last long. Among her teammates are the horrible Blister Sisters. They make her life miserable. And worse, Cindy''s sidelined by the coach, who just happens to be Mrs. Blister. It looks like she''ll be spending the season cleaning equipment, instead of playing on the ice. Cindy''s luck changes when her Fairy Goaltender appears and saves the day. With its great good humor and hilarious illustrations, Kevin Sylvester''s Splinters is bound to become a favorite.

Starting Bid: $2
Please see Original Post for details

Auction Item #8 - The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta and Little Princes by Conor Grennan

Signed Copies of The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta AND Little Princes by Conor Grennan

The Leftovers Description: A startling, thought-provoking novel about love, connection and loss from the New York Times bestselling author of The Abstinence Teacher and Little Children.

What if the Rapture happened and you got left behind? Or what if it wasn''t the Rapture at all, but something murkier, a burst of mysterious, apparently random disappearances that shattered the world in a single moment, dividing history into Before and After, leaving no one unscathed? How would you rebuild your life in the wake of such a devastating event?

This is the question confronting the bewildered citizens of Mapleton, a formerly comfortable suburban community that lost over a hundred people in the Sudden Departure. Kevin Garvey, the new mayor, wants to speed up the healing process, to bring a sense of renewed hope and purpose to his traumatized neighbours, even as his own family falls apart. His wife, Laurie, has left him to enlist in the Guilty Remnant, a homegrown cult whose members take a vow of silence but haunt the streets of town as "living reminders" of God''s judgment. His son, Tom, is gone, too, dropping out of college to follow a sketchy prophet by the name of Holy Wayne. Only Kevin''s teenaged daughter, Jill, remains, and she''s definitely not the sweet "A" student she used to be. Kevin wants to help her, but he''s distracted by his growing attraction to Nora Durst, a woman who lost her entire family in the tragedy, and is still reeling three years later, groping for a way to face the remainder of her life.

Through the prism of a single family, Perrotta illuminates a familiar America made strange by grief and apocalyptic anxiety. The Leftovers is a powerful and deeply moving book about people struggling to hold on to a belief in their own futures.

Little Princes Description:An astonishing testament to true courage, the transformative power of love, and the ability of one man to make a real difference.
In search of adventure, twenty-nine-year-old Conor Grennan embarked on a yearlong journey around the globe, beginning with a three-month stint volunteering at an orphanage in civil war-torn Nepal. But a shocking truth would forever change his life: these rambunctious, resilient children were not orphans at all but had been taken from their families by child traffickers who falsely promised to keep them safe from war before abandoning them in the teeming chaos of Kathmandu. For Conor, what started as a footloose ramble became a dangerous, dedicated mission to unite youngsters he had grown to love with the parents they had been stolen from-a breathtaking adventure, as Conor risked everything in the treacherous Nepalese mountains to bring the children home.

Starting Bid: $5
Please see Original Post for Details

Auction Item #7 - Shakespeare's Landlord by Charlaine Harris

Signed Copy of Shakespeare's Landlord by Charlaine Harris
I met her and she was truly delightful

Description: Lily Bard is a loner. Other than the day-to-day workings of her cleaning and errand-running service, she pays little attention to the town around her. But when her landlord is murdered, Lily is singled out as the prime suspect, and proving her innocence will depend on finding the real killer in quiet, secretive Shakespeare.

Starting Bid: $5
Please see Original Post for Details

Auction Item #6 - Signed Copy of The Lucky One by Nicholas Spark

Signed Copy of The Lucky One by Nicholas Spark

Description: In his 14th book, bestselling author Nicholas Sparks tells the unforgettable story of a man whose brushes with death lead him to the love of his life. After U.S. Marine Logan Thibault finds a photograph of a smiling young woman buried in the dirt during his tour of duty in Iraq , he experiences a sudden streak of luck -- winning poker games and even surviving deadly combat . Only his best friend, Victor, seems to have an explanation for his good fortune: the photograph -- his lucky charm. Back home in Colorado , Thibault can''t seem to get the woman in the photograph out of his mind and he sets out on a journey across the country to find her. But Thibault is caught off guard by the strong attraction he feels for the woman he encounters in North Carolina - Elizabeth, a divorced mother -- and he keeps the story of the photo, and his luck, a secret. As he and Elizabeth embark upon a passionate love affair, his secret soon threatens to tear them apart -- destroying not only their love, but also their lives. Filled with tender romance and terrific suspense, THE LUCKY ONE is an unforgettable story about the surprising paths our lives often take and the power of fate to guide us to true and everlasting love.

Starting Bid: $10
Please see Original Post for details

Auction Item #5 - signed Copy of The Spindlers by Lauren Oliver

Signed Copy of The Spindlers by Lauren Oliver

Description: One night when Liza went to bed, Patrick was her chubby, stubby, candy-grubbing and pancake-loving younger brother, who irritated and amused her both, and the next morning, when she woke up, he was not. In fact, he was quite, quite different.
When Liza''s brother, Patrick, changes overnight, Liza knows exactly what has happened: The spindlers have gotten to him and stolen his soul.
She knows, too, that she is the only one who can save him.
To rescue Patrick, Liza must go Below, armed with little more than her wits and a broom. There, she uncovers a vast world populated with talking rats, music-loving moles, greedy troglods, and overexcitable nids . . . as well as terrible dangers. But she will face her greatest challenge at the spindlers'' nests, where she encounters the evil queen and must pass a series of deadly tests-or else her soul, too, will remain Below forever.

Starting Bid: $5
Please see Original Post for Details

Auction Item #4 - I Am So the Boss of You by Kathy Buckworth

Signed Copy of I am So the Boss of You
(Not signed yet - but meeting  her in two weeks)

Description: A hilarious, tongue-firmly-in-cheek look at a promising new trend in parenting: being the boss!      In this day and age - when parenting books are a dime a dozen - it''s easy for a mom to get confused. Do you go democratic or hover like a helicopter? Do you take a tiger-ish approach, or something more "hands off," like those French women who supposedly raise perfect children? Parenting author and humourist Kathy Buckworth has a completely different idea: Why not let the boardroom be your guide? In I Am So the Boss of You, Buckworth imagines a world where corporate policies and practices rule on the home front, and Mom is most definitely in charge!

I Love this book!!!!!

Starting Bid $2
Please see Original Post for Details

Auction Item #3 - Sighned copy of Lightening Thief by Rick Riordan

Signed copy of The Lightening Thief by Rick Riordan
(Yup another one I met in person - he was fabulous with the kids)

Description: Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school...again. And that''s the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy''s Greek mythology textbook and into his life. And worse, he''s angered a few of them. Zeus''s master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect.

Now Percy and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus''s stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.

Starting Bid: $10
Please see Original Post for details

Auction #2 - Signed Copy of Drama by John Lithgow

Drama by John Lithgow
(Yup got to meet him too -- hmm wonder why I miss TO so much)

Description:In this riveting and surprising personal history, John Lithgow shares a backstage view of his own struggle, crisis, and discovery, revealing the early life and career that took place out of the public eye and before he became a nationally known star.
Above all, Lithgow''s memoir is a tribute to his most important influence: his father, Arthur Lithgow, who, as an actor, director, producer, and great lover of Shakespeare, brought theater to John''s boyhood. From bedtime stories to Arthur''s illustrious productions, performance and storytelling were constant and cherished parts of family life. Drama tells of the Lithgows'' countless moves between Arthur''s gigs-John attended eight secondary schools before flourishing onstage at Harvard-and details with poignancy and sharp recollection the moments that introduced a budding young actor to the undeniable power of theater.
Before Lithgow gained fame with the film The World According to Garp and the television show 3rd Rock from the Sun, his early years were full of scenes both hilarious and bittersweet. A shrewd acting performance saved him from duty in
Vietnam. His involvement with a Broadway costar brought an end to his early first marriage. The theater worlds of New York and London come alive as Lithgow relives his collaborations with renowned performers and directors, including Mike Nichols, Bob Fosse, Liv Ullmann, and Meryl Streep. His ruminations on the nature of theater, film acting, and storytelling cut to the heart of why actors are driven to perform, and why people are driven to watch them do it.

Starting Bid: $5
Please see Original Post for Details

Auction Item #1 - Signed Copy of Back to Work by Bill Clinton

Signed Copy of Back to Work by Bill Clinton
(I Got to meet him - truly surreal)

Description: President Bill Clinton gives us his views on the challenges facing the United States today and why government matters-presenting his ideas on restoring economic growth, job creation, financial responsibility, resolving the mortgage crisis, and pursuing a strategy to get us "back in the future business." He explains how we got into the current economic crisis, and offers specific recommendations on how we can put people back to work, increase bank lending and corporate investment, double our exports, restore our manufacturing base, and create new businesses. He supports President Obama's emphasis on green technology, saying that changing the way we produce and consume energy is the strategy most likely to spark a fast-growing economy while enhancing our national security.

Clinton also stresses that we need a strong private sector and a smart government working together to restore prosperity and progress, demonstrating that whenever we've given in to the temptation to blame government for all our problems, we've lost our ability to produce sustained economic growth and shared prosperity.

Clinton writes, "There is simply no evidence that we can succeed in the twenty-first century with an antigovernment strategy," based on "a philosophy grounded in 'you're on your own' rather than 'we're all in this together.' " He believes that conflict between government and the private sector has proved to be good politics but has produced bad policies, giving us a weak economy with not enough jobs, growing income inequality and poverty, and a decline in our competitive position. In the real world, cooperation works much better than conflict, and "Americans need victories in real life."
Starting Bid $50 (don't worry other auctions cheaper)
Please see Original Post for details

UPDATE : Silent Auction: Proceeds towards Kids Need to Read

If you want to bid and I don't know you - that is fine - but I don't like to suggest it as not everyone on the Internet is legit. 

I am raising money for Kids Need to Read to give personally to Nathan Fillion (Co-creator) of the charity at the Calgary Fan Expo

So how does this whole online auction thing work?
Starting later today Ill be posting items up for bid. You can bid on each item by adding your bid amount and adding your First name and last initial (no contact info as I know you all)
Each SIGNED book has a starting amount and you cannot bid lower than that
Each bid must be in increments of $1
Ends April 21st and must have money to me by April 25th
Money can be e-transfer or paid to me directly.  Will post a pic of the cheque and me handing it to Captain Tightpants himself (Nathan Fillion for those poor souls who do not know the reference) as proof that this is legit. Again most of you already know that
Winners will all get a pic of me  passing cheque to Nathan (yes I can photoshop myself out)

How will I know if Ive won?
Once each auction closes, Ill be emailing the winners. You can also check back on the auction youve bid on.

Can I bid on more than one auction?
By all means, yes!

What happens once I win?
I will email you that you were the winner and the amount that you bid. When payment has been sent the book will be sent to you right away

Cant I just send you the money?
Nope. I am an individual and not registered as a non profit organization.
Okay, this is great but I still have a few questions.
Not a problem! Drop me a line at mountie9 at gmail dot com. If you have trouble trying to bid - just email me and I will put in bid for you

All Books Are Signed (Unless stated)

Auction items are as follows

Back to Work by Bill Clinton
Drama by John Lithgow
Lightening Thief by Rick Riordan
I am So the Boss of you (Not pictured because I am getting her to sign it in a couple of weeks)
The Spindlers by Lauren Oliver
The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks
Shakespeare's Landlord by Charlaine Harris
The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta
Little Princes by Conor Grennan
Splinters by Kevin Sylvester
Betsy Wickwire's Dirty Secret by Vicki Grant, Flying Blind by Deborah Cooke (combo auction)
Son of  Neptune by Rick Riordan
Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult
Land of Stories by Chris Colfer
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater (Signed to Jen -- just saying may want to be named Jen)
Frostbitten by Kelley Armstrong
Undead and Uneasy by Mary Janice Davidson
ARC Mind Games by Kiersten White (NOT SIGNED)
ARC Omens by Kelley Armstrong (NOT SIGNED)

Mira's Diary: Lost in Paris by Marissa Moss

Mira's Diary: Lost in Paris
by Marissa Moss
Sourceboooks Jabberwocky
ISBN: 978-1-4022-6606-5
Suggested Ages: 9+
Buy from Indigo

Description: Mira is shocked when she receives a postcard from her missing mother from Paris. Her father decides it's time for a trip to France to search for her. While visiting Notre Dame, Mira touches a gargoyle and is whirled into the past. There she meets the famous painter Degas and catches a brief, shocking glimpse of her mother. Mira begins to suspect that her mom didn't run out on them but is a prisoner of the past. Can one family on an incredible worldwide adventure stop a plot in time?

The Good Stuff
  •  The covers are adorable and I bet many will pick this up based on that alone
  • Storyline is fast paced and funny at times
  • Honestly I would love to have her gift. To be able to experience Paris with artists both in the past and present would be a mind blowing 
  • Kids will learn a little about art, history antisemitism in an age appropriate way - in other words not as boring as in  history classes (trust me - when I was that age I had crappy art and history teachers - thank goodness when I hit high school I had much better teachers - that's right Mr Shore you rocked!)
  • Some lovely illustrations checkered throughout
  • Really appreciated Mira's thoughts and feelings on being Jewish and the atrocities committed against her people all throughout history - done very age appropriate and some lesser known pieces of history (Dreyfus affair) highlighted
The Not So Good Stuff
  •  This is hard to explain but Mira doesn't come across as an authentic voice for her age.  Her expressions are more that of an adult (I was a mature child for my age and not even I spoke that way) She doesn't come across as a tween/teen
  • Jumps around a lot and doesn't make a lot of sense (again I am speaking more of towards who the intended audience is - many will go huh and just give up)
  • Mira is alright but there really isn't a lot of character development so I never really felt really invested in what happens to her
  • Instalove - not a big fan of girls falling instantly in love with a person
 Favorite Quotes/Passages

 "Lose the book," I begged. "You're making us look like dumb tourists."
"We are dumb tourists, and this book is useful."

"Like the word "interesting" which basically means "I don't like it but don't want to hurt anybody's feelings."

"Intolerance will breed more intolerance, which will breed violence."
Who Should/Shouldn't Read
  •  This will be a tough sell as the book is marketed towards a MG girl but the language and Mira's actions don't fit that category
  • A mature MG with a love of art will enjoy this
3 Dewey's

I received this from Sourcebooks in exchange for an honest review - sorry guys I have to be honest about what I felt (Can you tell I have guilt issues - always feel bad when I don't love a story)  Again Author please remember I have no talent whatsoever as a storyteller so I am not judging you or your talents