Category Archives: mild WEDNESDAY

BLADE SINGER Blog Tour with Review & GIVEAWAY!!!


Blade Singer Wall Paper

Blade Singer by Aaron de Orive & Martha Wells

I have been waiting for WEEKS to share this with you!!! I was invited to be part of the Blade Singer Blog Tour to bring you, the reader, coverage all over the internet of this super good book that you “OTTER” be reading!

And I do mean super-WOWZERS!! Is it ever great!!  Blade Singer could be described as a “sweeping fantasy”, I guess because it covers so much ground from Texas in our world to the Fae world in ‘someplace else’.

“Manuel “Manny” Boreaux, a troubled adolescent from Texas, is magically transported into the body of a goblin pickpocket in an alternate world inhabited by faerie creatures. Manny must quickly adapt to the danger all around him and try to find a way to get back home, a feat complicated by the pickpocket’s association with a notorious gang of thieves. But when Manny uncovers a plot to assassinate a young king, he must enlist the aid of an elf cavalier and a cat burglar to thwart a Sidhe witch’s scheme to ignite a civil war between humans and the Fae.”

Whoa-Manny is just some dude from Texas that is now a goblin in an alternate world trying to prevent a war between humans and the Fae.  The Fae are faerie critters! Think Disney fairies but meaner & trying to take over not just their own world but maybe ours, too.  Nasty little beasties and Manny is right in the middle of it all!

I devoured this book-it was so good!  It took a while to get started; there was a bit too much back story. There were also a couple of places where I had to say, well that was convenient!  But none of this is a deal breaker-just read the beginning really quickly and get to the ‘meat’ of the story!

I always like books with great characters and Blade Singer does NOT disappoint-lots of details that brought these fantasy creatures to life and made their actions in the plot really make sense.  The plot itself is very good-not just the same old fantasy/alternate reality.  A nice twist on how the ‘real’ world & Fae world intersect. I hope there are sequels!!  This book is not just for adults-older YA kids/fans of the genre would have no problem enjoying Blade Singer.  5 stars.

Make sure to stop by the other blogs on the Blade Singer tour and enter the giveaway!!




(2) $25 Gift Cards to Amazon or B&N (INT)
There should be a pretty Rafflecopter thing here but I am technically challenged 😉
So, to enter the giveaway just click the link and it will take you to the entry page.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Blog Tour List

Stop by and visit these other wonderful blogs!

This is the tour page for Blade Singer, a middle grade fantasy by Aaron de Orive and Martha Wells. The tour runs September 29th- October 10th with reviews, author interviews, guest posts and more.



Sunshine, Bubbles and Books – Review

Sher A. Hart: Written Art– Review


Girl of 1000 Wonders – Review

Victoria Simcox’s Blog– Promo

Cover2CoverBlog – Review


Where Connor and JT Go– Review

Ashley’s Paranormal Book Blog– Promo

Three Boy Circus- Promo


Every Free Chance – Promo

Big Otter Books– Review


Brooke Blogs– Guest Post or Top Ten

Mind-Ventures– Review


Book Lovers Life– Top Ten

My Love for Reading Keeps Growing– Review


Literary Escapism– Guest Post

Bookish Wanderlove– Review

Book Enthralled – Review


Word Forward– Promo

WS Momma Readers Nook– Review


CBY Book Club– Review

Write Away Bliss– Top Ten or Guest Post

Books and Ashes – Review


Book Sense– promo

Shelf Life– Review

Suzy Turner, YA – Guest Post

Thank you to CBB book promotions for including Big Otter Books on the Blade Singer Blog Tour!!


mild Wednesday Goes to the Dogs

Wednesday is here again, Summer is over, fall has arrived and my boys are in the dog days/doldrums of reading.  Nothing is really taking their interest so I thought I would pull out some great books with a DOGS tie-in.

Calendar Mysteries: December Dog by Ron Roy

We have read, over & over, the A to Z Mystery books.  This is the next generation of that series aimed at the grade 1/4 and age 6/9 level.  The younger siblings of A to Z take over as lead characters.  In this one, the kids find a puppy on Christmas Eve.  Obviously, it’s a present for someone but the tag is ripped. Oh, no!!  The mystery is on as the kids scramble to find the puppy’s home before someone’s holiday i spoiled.  Super cute book, the kids are funny and well written.  The mystery is really sweet as the kids go all out to help the little puppy.  The drawings are top notch as we expect from John Steven Gurney-he also does the Bailey School Kids books.  If your kiddo is younger or a less experienced reader, I highly recommend these Stepping Stone books-they are perfect for “emerging readers”, which is a fancy way of saying:  written in easy words so the kids are encouraged to read instead of being frustrated.

Big Honey Dog Mysteries: Night of Flying Shadows by H. Y. Hanna

We were not familiar with the Big Honey Dog Mystery series.  This is a novella (55 pages) that can be read as a standalone without reading the series.  There are two books in the main series and 3 of these special Holiday editions.  We want to read all of them-this seems to be a great series for kids.  In this book, the mystery begins when a mysterious visitor arrives on Halloween night.  Honey the Great Dane and her canine sidekicks find themselves in a haunted forest…and something is stalking them!!  Spooky!! This is rated for 8 up grades 3/6.

Skippyjon Jones Snow What by Judy Schachner

This one is a bit of a cheat since it’s not technically about a dog.  But, oh, how we ADORE Skippyjon Jones!!  This is one of the best series for kids ever.  Skippyjon Jones is a Siamese Kitten who thinks he is a Chihuahua, much to the consternation of his mother and sisters!  The story unfolds in rhymes that just beg to be read aloud with lots of gestures & accents.   There is a frozen Ice Princess in this one that needs saving by the kiss of a Prince.  Will Skippyjon Jones save his poochitos by actually kissing her?!?!?!!?!!  Maybe I enjoy Skippyjon more than my kids, but that’s ok!  Snow What will be released October 21st for ages 3/5 but enjoyable for every age if you love kitties and puppies and rhyming and fun.  And don’t get me started on the illustrations-SUPER good!!

Kids “Otter” be reading and these doggies will make it easy for them to curl up with a book!!

mild Wednesday-KIDS TAKE OVER!!!

My kids are taking over today with a selection of books they want to recommend for younger readers.  I think they’ve picked some great books EVERY grade 1-4 kid “Otter” be reading:

Frightfully Friendly Ghosties, Phantom Pirates by Daren King

So cute, so funny!  Another entry in the hilarious series about friendly, polite ghosties and their adventures-this time it’s pirates.  I always read these in my fake British accent which just makes it funnier, to me, the kids don’t seem to like it all that much!  This was listed as 4th grade level but my 5th grader is still a fan.  It is available in paperback and for the Kindle.


Snoop Troop It Came From Beneath The Playground by Kirk Scroggs

This is the first in a new series about 4th grade detective Logan.  The mystery is finding out how toys are disappearing from the playground.  Scroggs is the author of several great kid series including Tales of a Sixth Grade Muppet-if your kids liked that series, they should enjoy the Snoop Troop.  Grades 1-4 for this one and it’s available today in hardcover.
Leroy Ninker Saddles Up by Kate DiCamillo

You know who Kate DiCamillo is-she wrote Because of Winn Dixie and The Tale of Despereaux.  We have loved her books forever and in this book she spins-off her wonderful Mercy Watson series to give us another tale set on Deckawoo Drive.  Fans of sweet cowboy stories will LOVE this book.

Leroy works at the drive-in theater and dreams of being a cowboy. Every cowboy needs a horse and when he meets one named Maybelline that eats spaghetti!, things couldn’t be more perfect, or could they?  This is a lovely lovely little book, Chris Van Dusen is one of the best illustrators around and I can’t even tell you how well the illustrations match and enhance the story.  We all adored this little book and can’t wait to see what Leroy and the gang get up to in the next book in this series. This is for ages 6-9 and was just released on August 26th.


What do you think?  Something here that your little one will love to read?  We hope so because every kid “Otter” be reading!  Tomorrow will be more fun & good books-see you then!!


mild Wednesday

Ah, the middle of the week means we are that much closer to the weekend!  What is on your reading list for today?  I’m finishing up some library books that ‘must’ be returned before I owe more than they cost and trying to decide what to read next.  My email is full today with two books-every other message has one or both of these as a “MUST READ” recommendation.  Which is odd since they are WAY different genre’s but any books that keep popping up on my radar that much are definitely worth a look.  Perhaps they will be just what we “Otter” be reading!!



Murder 101 (Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus, #22)Murder 101 by Faye Kellerman


Released yesterday is book #22 of the Decker/Lazurus series.  In this one, Decker and Lazarus begin their new life in upstate New York.  It’s quite a change from Decker’s life on the LAPD.  Just when he thinks the move was the wrong decision, a break-in at a local cemetery turns into murder and assorted intrigue.  I really like these characters so this book has a top spot on my to-read list.


Trial by Fire (Worldwalker, #1)Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini

This is another new release from yesterday.  I’ve been waiting on this book for a while because, again, it’s all over my email as a must read.  It’s listed as YA but looks interesting enough for adults.  The plot is “The world is trying to kill Lily Proctor”!!  Who can resist a blurb like that?  Apparently Lily has severe allergies that prevent her from ‘normal’ teenage activities in Salem-yep, that Salem!  So there will undoubtedly be some scenery chewing & teenage angst before we get to the meat of the story.  With Salem as the setting, you just know there will be something mysterious happen to Lily and what it is will blow you away-she is transported to an alternate Salem ruled by women called Crucibles and the worst of them all is Lily’s alter ego, Lillian.  Could they actually be WITCHES??  Oooh, this goes to the top of my to-read list!!


Is it possible to have a to-read list with every book at the #1 spot?  Tomorrow is Throwback Thursday so stop back for a look at some fun blasts from the past!



No wonder they call Wednesday “Hump Day”, I’m in a reading slump AGAIN and can’t decide which book I “Otter” be reading.  I’ve started four (4? yikes!!) books and can’t seem to get really ‘into’ any of them.  Sad because all the first chapters are pretty interesting.  I’m stuck between:

The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic

The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker

At a friend’s wedding, Nora takes a walk into the woods and finds herself in another world. Magic abounds and there is a handsome man to take her mind off her fickle fiance’ who is marrying someone else back in the ‘real’ world. This book has some promise if the magic takes off and Nora stops chewing the fat and gets on with the story!


The Last Dragonslayer (The Last Dragonslayer, #1)The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde

More magic!  Jennifer Strange (best character name ever!) runs something called KAZAM! which is an employment agency for magicians.  This is in a world where the magic is dying and every hope is pinned on the fabled Dragonslayer.  Fforde is a quirky author whose books never quite lead you where you thought you were going but what fun getting there!

The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher

The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher by Dana Alison Levy

Four kids, two dads, a new school year and family shenanigans & hilarity.  This just came out in July and the sample on Amazon was so hilarious I immediately put it on my wish list.  I love funny family books and this one is getting lots of buzz-better move it to the top of the reading list!


The Narrow Road to the Deep NorthThe Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan

Australian surgeon, Japanese POW camp, Burma death railway.  Over 80 five star reviews on Amazon and long-listed for the Man Booker Prize.  This is not just a book, this is ‘literature’.  The first chapter introduces us to Dorrigo Evans and sets up the plot.  Engrossing, but dark.  I’ve wanted to read this one for a while and just got it from the library but may have to finish something lighter before I jump back in for another chapter.

So, four good books for me to choose from; I wonder what you will be reading today?


Ah, the weekly reading slump has hit!  Finishing up some books that I will be reviewing but nothing else is catching my interest to start reading.  How about a whirl through a few of the books I took back to the library WITHOUT finishing? I hate to think I missed a gem…  

Summer Knight Book Four of the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher

Oh, I forgot about this one!  My library checkout expired before I could really get started reading and I completely forgot to go back and check it out again.  The continuing saga of wizard/P.I. Harry Dresden, this one has some harrowing faerie ‘stuff’ that could destroy the world or maybe just Harry’s soul, yikes!   There are several more in the series after this one so I need to get started reading this again!

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Oh, Neil Gaiman, I ‘want’ to love everything you write.  Shopping list?  I’m enthralled.  Bowling score card?  I feel faint.  American Gods?  …meh… not so much.  Shadow is released from prison just days after his wife dies in a car crash. As he tries to get home, he encounters the very mysterioso Mr. Wednesday who claims to be a ‘former’ God.  And that’s where I lost interest in this book.  I wanted a fun, quirky, humorous book about this absurd premise and instead it was dark, convoluted and I didn’t care one whit about Shadow (was the name generator down that day?) or Mr. Wednesday (seriously?).  It has over 1,000 5-star reviews on Amazon so clearly it was just me.  I banish this one back to the bottom of my book stack-maybe it is a better fit for your reading tastes?

  Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill OOOOOH, I had to stop reading this because it was too creepy/scary.  Let me explain, our story begins when mega rock star Judas Coyne buys a ghost!  Ok, not too scary yet.  Then, Judas begins to see the ghost-everywhere.  Out of the corner of his eye, in the bedroom, outside.  The ghost is revealed to be someone connected to Judas’s past and he has an agenda:  mess with Judas’s sanity and then kill him. I didn’t find out until after I checked this book out that Joe Hill is the son of mega creepy/scary Stephen King.  No wonder this book was so good!  I got almost 50% through and just couldn’t take it any more-I know I’m a big chicken but it was so overwhelmingly atmospheric and dark.  The writing is spectacular and the story is tightly plotted but unless you are a fan of having the bejeebers scared out of you-avoid this book!  Sorry, Joe, you have to go back into the book pile! So it looks like I will be rechecking Summer Knight out at the library!  What hidden gems are on your discarded book pile?

mild Wednesday

Another mid-week reading slump so I’m thinking we should look ahead to some upcoming releases:

 Untitled by George W. Bush

Everywhere I go, someone is talking about this book!  The biography of former President George H. W. Bush by his son, former President George W. Bush.  It is supposed to be an exhaustive look at President Bush from his military service in World War II through his Congressional time, CIA time then into his White House service, first as Vice President and then his years as President.  This should be a good book, since who knows you better than your kids?  Or at least they know all the dirt and maybe some good gossipy stuff will slip out!  Probably not, the Bush family is a class act so this should be a pretty straightforward and respectful biography by a son who dearly loves his father.  Can’t wait for my copy; I’m pre-ordering from Amazon to make sure I get it when it is released on November 11th.

The West Point History of the Civil War by The United States Military Academy

Release date:  October 13th.  This weighty tome is right up your alley if you are a Civil War or military history buff.  The book is authorized and was commissioned by the United States Military Academy at West Point to teach the art of war to cadets.  There are maps, charts and pictures that offer the best analysis of military history and decision making available anywhere.  The book has been in the works for over two years.  I think anyone who is fascinated by the Civil War from any side, will want to add this book to their collection.  It does have a hefty price tag:  $29.65 for the Kindle version or $32.21 for hardcover.  This is one time I think I would rather have the hardback just for the ease of reading all those maps!

Did She Kill Him?:  A Victorian tale of Deception, Adultery, and Arsenic by Kate Colquhoun

Will be released October 16th and available for pre-order from Amazon for $11.99.  The story of Florence Maybrick shows up from time to time on the late night ‘whodunit’ type tv shows.  Florence, a lovely Southern belle is accused of murdering her (much) older, and extremely wealthy husband James with arsenic.  If the murder is shocking, the behind the scenes story is sensational:  infidelity, addiction, it all leads up to Florence’s likeness on display at Madame Tussaud’s!  The book is described as “utterly absorbing”-I can’t wait to read this one.


A High-End Finish       A Dog Gone Murder            On Borrowed Time

by Kate Carlisle          by Elaine Viets                     by Jenn McKinlay

On a decidedly lighter note!!  These three great new cozy mysteries will be released on November 4th. I have read many many books by these authors-always a good read, with funny ‘real’ characters.  The mysteries are light and everything is wrapped up nicely in the end.  These are at the, well near the, top of my every expanding to-be-read list!  So many books, so little time …sigh…

Join me tomorrow for Throwback Thursday!


WILD WEDNESDAY?!!  Who thought that up as a weekly theme day?  Oh, right, it was me, what was I thinking with that?  Hump day is too crazy to add in any kind of a ‘WILD’ post.  I’m taking it down a notch to MILD WEDNESDAY for today with two extra funny mysteries:  Double Dip by Gretchen Archer and Mama Does Time by Deborah Sharp.

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I’m knee deep in both of these and having a blast.  My favorite books are always the ones where the characters act & talk like they should, and both these authors nail it every time.  I feel like the books really happened and they are just relaying the story back to the reader.  Very much ‘hey, girlfriend, let me give you the scoop on all that mess that happened’.  If you dig that kind of vibe in your books, Archer and Sharp deliver.  I can’t wait to finish these so I can read more!

Now back to my 5-star reads so far this year:


10.  What Ho, Automaton by Chris Dolley

Wow, there’s Chris Dolley again-twice on the 5-star list.  I devoured P.G. Wodehouse back in the day-Jeeves & Wooster are so over the top  I couldn’t get enough.  Chris Dolley channels Wodehouse and absolutely NAILS it in this series. Using a steampunk setting and naming the characters Reeves & Worcester is hilarious-wonderful, funny and includes actual mysteries that get solved!  Fantastic!


9. Mrs. Queen Takes the Train by William Kuhn

This lovely little book was my first 5-star of the year way back in January.  The beginning part of the book is quite detailed and takes a bit to get started on the actual plot of the Queen slipping out of the palace, whence adventures ensue!  Her staff must find her without alerting ..gasp, the media!, that she is gone.  Very sweet with subplots that put us in the minds & hearts of her faithful staff.  I very well could believed this book actually happened so if you meet a no-nonsense lady on a train, mayhap you should be respectful and offer her your seat and your cup of tea!



8. Kill Fee by Owen Laukkanen

I wish I had read the first two in this series before this one because there are spoilers.  That said, this is a killer book!  It works as a standalone novel and after a couple of months to forget the details I intend to go back and read the other books.  As this one opens, State Investigator Kirk Stevens and his colleague, FBI Agent Carla Windermere are enjoying their Saturday afternoon when they witness an assassination and get a look at the shooter.  Their investigation uncovers a secret murder-for-hire website. Who is behind it all and why?  This book does turn dark so expect some uncomfortable moments as Laukkanen gives the reader plot twists galore.  Very reminiscent of John Sandford and highly recommended.


7. Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor

First in a brilliant time travel series. Intrepid historians go back & forth through time righting wrongs, encountering various historical figures and drinking more than just ‘quite a bit’ of tea.  A bit convoluted at times but, hey, it’s time travel.  Just stay calm and keep reading, all loose ends will be wrapped up…until book 2!  Fans of Connie Willis will LOVE this one.

6. Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz

14995Odd Thomas was a re-read that just gets better every time through.  Dean Koontz scares the living daylights out of me! Seriously, every book that comes out by him I snatch up, read the first couple of chapters and then put down far far away from me!

Odd Thomas, though, I just adore in every book, every time.  Odd is one of those characters that are so well written, so simple on the surface; I mean, seriously, a fry cook?  Spongebob Squarepants is a fry cook!  But Odd is so complex under the surface, with his ‘odd’ abilities and his friends, and his MOTHER! yikes!!  Koontz writes every Odd book with such simple prose that is so disarmingly stark when in fact it is so rich and lyrical that it just begs to be read aloud.  Yep, I’m a fan!!

So, tomorrow will be the TOP 5 on the 5 STAR LIST.  Read a little something in the meantime!!

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