Blog Tour and Review – The Grave Tender

BNR Grave Tender



Eliza Maxwell

Genre: Women’s Fiction / Psychological Suspense

Publisher: Lake Union Publishing

Date of Publication: April 11, 2017

Number of Pages: 248

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Continue reading “Blog Tour and Review – The Grave Tender”

Review – A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Seeing all the hype around this series made me wary. I’m the type of person turned off, or turned cynical, by hype. But I wanted to give it a try. The only way this book was available to me was audio, so that’s how I read it. Continue reading “Review – A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab”

Blog Tour & Review – Almost a Minyan

Almost A Minyan BNR





Genre: Picture Book / Jewish Traditions

Publisher: Sociosights Press

Date of Publication: April 5, 2017

Number of Pages: 40

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Cover med res Almost A Minyan

Will she be the one to take Grandfather’s place? 

According to Jewish tradition, a quorum of ten adults is required for public worship. Almost a Minyan traces the story of a young girl whose father and grandfather are regular participants in the town’s minyan – until her beloved Zayde passes on.

Without him, it is even harder for her father to find enough people to make a minyan. Then one day, he brings Zayde’s tefillin to his eldest daughter. A striking new addition to the diverse books movement, Almost a Minyan shares important Hebrew terms and religious concepts through a compelling and beautifully illustrated story for children.


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 “A warmhearted introduction to coming-of-age in a worship community.”

Kirkus Reviews

“A story of inclusion, belonging and equality. I loved the modern, egalitarian, and traditional values shared in this meaningful story. This is a wonderful modern story for our children and grandchildren!”

Cantor Deborah Katchko-Gray

Congregation Shir Shalom, CT

Founder of the Women Cantors’ Network


“A delightful read for girls and boys alike, this poetic family tale brings a wonderful sentimentality to daily Jewish prayers. Moreover, the beauty of the illustrations contributes additional warmth to this snapshot of Jewish life. A nice addition for all libraries and all ages.”

Rabbi Jimmy Kessler, DHL, DD

Congregation B’nai Israel, Galveston


Almost a Minyan is a beautifully told and illustrated children’s book.

As an adult without much knowledge of Judaism or its practices, I still found the terms to make sense within the context, and there was a wonderful glossary at the back of the book that affirmed the meaning of many of the words.

I think the character’s desire to be an active part of her community, her love of her family, her concern for her father, and her nervousness at doing things right are mostly universal, and translate to people of all backgrounds, making it enjoyable to anyone.

I liked how the illustrations were themed. Watching the same scene as the main character is an onlooker to watching that scene where she is a part of it is a fun comparison.

Thank you to Sociosights press for the free review copy (this does not affect my review).


author pic KlineLori Sales Kline heralds from Squirrel Hill in Pittsburgh, PA, which hosts a wonderfully rich Jewish community that fueled her love for Jewish tradition, ritual and practice at home and at, “the shul.”  Following her undergraduate and graduate work at the University of Texas in Austin, Lori chose to make Austin her home, largely due to the spiritual connection she felt in the close-knit Austin Jewish community.  In her spare time, Lori enjoys camping, celebrating Judaism with her husband and son, and friends. She previously authored the children’s picture book,  Josiah’s Dreams.




Susan Simon’s illustrations feature expressive children, humor, sweetness, and imaginative whimsy. She has illustrated seventeen children’s books. Susan lives in the Sonoran Desert of southern Arizona, with the saguaro cactuses, the coyotes, the Catalina mountains, and her husband, D.B., a music theory professor at the University of Arizona.

As a very young child, Susan both learned from and fell in love with the goodness and beauty readable in some children’s book illustrations. Without having words for it, she understood very young the power of a picture to inform deeply. When she’s not trying to give her all to share with children that kind of quality in her own work, she enjoys walking her two beloved rescued mutts – Oatcake and Peach – riding her giant green bicycle, and playing her growly old accordion.

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One Signed Copy of Almost A Minyan

March 24-April 7, 2017

(U.S. Only)

Giveaway Image Almost A Minyan

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3/24 Illustration Preview 1 CGB Blog Tours
3/25 Review Hall Ways Blog
3/26 Author Interview 1 My Book Fix Blog
3/27 Review Momma On The Rocks
3/28 Guest Post Texas Book Lover
3/29 Promo Missus Gonzo
3/30 Review Syd Savvy
3/31 Illustration Preview 2 Reading By Moonlight
4/1 Review The Page Unbound
4/2 Author Interview 2 Margie’s Must Reads
4/3 Review Books and Broomsticks
4/4 Excerpt Forgotten Winds
4/5 Illustration Preview 3 Chapter Break Book Blog
4/6 Review Books in the Garden
4/7 Author Interview 3 StoreyBook Reviews


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Review – She Laughs in Pink by Jessica Calla

I have actually had the privilege of reading and editing the next two books in the Sheridan Hall series for BookFish Books, but She Laughs in Pink is the first installment and I’ve just now gotten around to reading it.

(I may be procrastinating reading my actual TBR by reading a bunch of [unlisted] romances instead…)

30208416Four years after her twin is murdered, Juliet Anderson still struggles with guilt, her parents, and her relationships. Two things keep her from falling into a deep, dark place—dancing and her best friend, Ben. So when Ben decides to play football for New Jersey University, Juliet doesn’t hesitate. She follows. Finally away from her past, there is nothing to stand in the way. Juliet will win Ben’s heart.

Then she meets Ben’s roommate, Chase.

On probation and hell-bent on adhering to a “new life plan,” aspiring artist Chase leaves his New York City home for New Jersey University and meets Juliet before even stepping foot on campus. For him, their connection is instant. She’s the most vibrant girl he’s ever seen. Her colors explode on his canvas, and he’s never been more inspired in his life.

Too bad she’s madly in love with his seemingly perfect, good guy roommate. (Goodreads)

I give She Laughs in Pink 4.5 stars!

Even having read the next two books before this one, this book is as much about the journey as it is the destination! Yeah, I knew about who would end up where and with who, and even knew the *big* thing that would happen going in, but this book was STILL amazing.

I think Jess does a wonderful job of conflicting her characters. She’s found that New Adult space where the characters are having to grow past the comfort/stability of their teen years while exploring the freedom and emotions of college and life beyond.

I love how, although She Laughs in Pink is romance and a large part of the story revolves around it, there are other things going on too. Romance isn’t lived in a bubble, and I love that life keeps interfering and going on while Juliet and Chase try to figure their stuff out (both separately and together).

I also probably cried a lot in the last half of this book (which, if you know me, is totally a good thing for the book).

I’d recommend for anyone who enjoys contemporary romance, especially with college-aged characters.

Review – Second Position by Katherine Locke

I won an ebook copy of Second Position in the beginning of 2016. I can’t believe it took me so long to get to it. But I’m glad I finally did.

Second Position is part of my 2017 #RockMyTBR challenge.

Continue reading “Review – Second Position by Katherine Locke”

Review – The Island by S. Usher Evans

I read The Island quite a while back. Like, when it was still being polished up for the official release. I realized that despite my excitement and love for the series, I haven’t actually written a review. So, I re-read The Island as part of the S. Usher Evans Street Team competition, and composed my thoughts about the final version to share a reader’s review of the book.

Oh, and I’m totally #TeamTheo! ❤

Continue reading “Review – The Island by S. Usher Evans”

Review – The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings

Lindsay Cummings has been on my radar for a while, but I hadn’t found any of her books in the electronic offerings of my library until now. Using Hoopla, I was able to borrow the audiobook of The Murder ComplexContinue reading “Review – The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings”