Are you an avid reader looking for your next "fix"? Can't bear to be without some form of reading material in your spare time? Welcome to my world! Whether you are seeking a new book to "feed your need", or you are an author seeking an unbiased point of view on your own recent masterpiece, this is the place to be. With life as with books, you never know where the next step might take you...

Friday, August 22, 2014

BLOG TOUR: Murder Strikes a Pose by Tracy Weber

Hi gang!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers...the place that knows how to bring the reading fun every (okay, most) days of the week.

Today, we're welcoming a blog tour via Partners in Crime that stars the first book in a new Cozy Mystery series.  Now, if you've been reading my blog for any length of time you know that I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with this particular genre.  I get pulled in by the title, the cover and the synopsis, but often times the more-than-obvious ending seen from the start, has me joining the league of disappointed readers.  *sigh*  Don't you hate it when that happens?  So why do I keep giving it a chance?  Well, to be perfectly frank (though not actually a person named Frank), to happen upon reading gems like the one you're about to meet. So, if you would do me the honor, but your bookish hands together and grab your wish list (you're gonna need it) as we welcome today's guest and book of choice....

Murder Strikes a Pose

by Tracy Weber



Book Details:

Genre: Cozy Mystery
Published by: Midnight Ink
Publication Date: January 8, 2014
Number of Pages: 288
ISBN: 978-0738739687
Purchase Links:


Synopsis:

When George and Bella—a homeless alcoholic and his intimidating German shepherd—disturb the peace outside her studio, yoga instructor Kate Davidson’s Zen-like calm is stretched to the breaking point. Kate tries to get rid of them before Bella scares the yoga pants off her students. Instead, the three form an unlikely friendship.
One night Kate finds George’s body behind her studio. The police dismiss his murder as a drug-related street crime, but she knows George wasn’t a dealer. So Kate starts digging into George’s past while also looking for someone to adopt Bella before she’s sent to the big dog park in the sky. With the murderer nipping at her heels, Kate has to work fast or her next Corpse Pose may be for real.





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That's right!
This Cozy Mystery read was met with success....as in I enjoyed every minute of it without any of the withdrawal the genre normally brings me.  From our leading Yogi Kate to Rene, her friend that couldn't stop meddling if she wanted too, from Jake the butt landlord (and creeper!) to the unexpected catch that is Michael of Pete's Pets (yes, HIS name is Michael, he owns the store and he called it PETE'S...*-*) to George (who is a mystery himself and whom a mystery is created upon), there is someone for everyone to either call friend or foe.  The real star however is Bella, George's German Shepard.  Sorry, but I'm a dog lover...no wait, scratch that, I'm SO not sorry...and when a canine is featured in a novel, it brings an extra smile to my heart.  They really did her justice too and I should know....we have a GS ourselves!  They are loving, protective and can seem a bit intimidating but ultimately at heart, they are BIG teddy bears.  Anywho, when Bella is left behind after George's unfortunate accident (or was it?  dun dun dunnnnn....), Kate is the one to take the reigns on getting her a family she can call her own; little does she realize just how easily fur-babies can sneak into our hearts for good.  ^-^



Story wise, we have mystery (well, I should hope so considering the genre), a smidge of romance, friendship to boot, an attempt at balancing our inner chi, and a bit of Pet Care 101 (like how LOVE is the way, not a heavy hand...gotta respect the author for putting that angle in there).  At no time do you simply feel like Nancy Drew solving a crime; the other story lines are powerful enough to have it melt into the mix without falling into the background.  I loved the easy flow to the writing style, the effortless way the author weaved everything together and ultimately brought us to a conclusion we can be satisfied reaching.  It was definitely time well spent and a series I shall keep on my radar for future installments as they release.  What say you my fellow readers?  Interested?  Not?  Feel free to share your thoughts because frankly, that's what makes this bloggy world go round.






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About the author....

My writing is an expression of the things I love best: yoga, dogs, and murder mysteries.

I'm a certified yoga teacher and the founder of Whole Life Yoga, an award-winning yoga studio in Seattle, WA. I enjoy sharing my passion for yoga and animals in any form possible.

My husband and I live with our challenging yet amazing German shepherd Tasha and our bonito flake-loving cat Maggie. When I'm not writing, I spend my time teaching yoga, walking Tasha, and sipping Blackthorn cider at my favorite local ale house.

I am a member of Sisters in Crime, The Pacific Northwest Writers Association, and the Dog Writers Association of America.


Catch Up With the Author:

 



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Special thanks to Lance and the entire Partners in Crime team for the review copy and the chance to bring this tour to you.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this tour as well as those forthcoming, be sure to stop by their official site.  This title is available now via Midnight Ink Books, so be on the look out for it on a bookstore shelf or virtual retailer of your choosing.  In the mean time, discover other views, read an excerpt or two, and maybe even get yourself entered to win a copy to call your own by checking out the other sites on this tour; the list of which can be found below.






Until next time....happy reading!


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Toot Sweet!: Little Elliot, Big City by Mike Curato

Hello again!
Welcome back to the site that aims to please the reader in you from A to Z…Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers. 

Today, we’re jumping back into the Picture Book family with a book that stars a delightful and unexpected lead character.  It’s a pachyderm with an usual coloring that’s about to show us how even the smallest among us can have a big impact on others.  Ready to jump right in?  Today’s book of choice is….






By
Henry Holt and Company
9780805098259

About the book…
Amid the hustle and bustle of the big city, the big crowds and bigger buildings, Little Elliot leads a quiet life. In spite of the challenges he faces, Elliot finds many wonderful things to enjoy—like cupcakes! And when his problems seem insurmountable, Elliot discovers something even sweeter—a friend.





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Okay, we have to just take a moment and say what begs to be said…
…ready?  1…2….3….


AWWWWWW!


Now that “awww” can be taken as both a reaction to how adorable the cover is, how sweet the story is, and frankly the fact that it has cupcakes (which the author apparently likes as well)…but it can also be taken as a reaction to the sadness and feelings of being unnoticed that we see Little Elliot and his friend experience as the story progresses.  It’s a double-edged “awww” if you will.  Now, let’s discuss….




Little Elliot is a little white, spotted elephant that is beyond adorable.  He’s sweet, friendly, courteous…someone that I for one would be happy to call friend.  His desire for a sweet little treat is admirable, all things in moderation and such, but the overlooking of him was heart breaking!  I wanted to climb in the pages and shout here he is!  Look down here!  He’s just as BIG as all of you seem to be…or perhaps he’s even bigger.  His reaction to a smaller critter’s plight was AMAZING and that new friend in turn aided him without request in completing his own quest…to finally get that cupcake!  His ability to lend a helping hand, or trunk, turns his party of one into a grateful party of two…with a bright future ahead.  Now that we’ve discussed story, let’s move onto the presentation…

  Have I overused the word adorable yet because really…that fits the bill here.  Little Elliot is of course cute as a button. His new little mouse friend is also a cutie.  I love the combination of the gritty surroundings and colorful forefront.  It’s almost like the illustrated duo was placed in an actual cityscape though you can obviously see the line work and shading utilized to create the overall effect.  The muted color scheme, though not a first choice personally, worked well as it was carried through from cover to finish…allowing the story and lessons to take center stage while the illustrations supported it all, and rather well.



In conclusion, a small read that takes place in a BIG city with two characters you won’t soon forget.  It’s a great reminder that no matter how big, no matter how small, EVERYONE is important; everyone deserves to be seen and heard.  Recommended read for all ages, shapes, sizes, and species. 




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About the author….




Mike Curato has the fortune of possessing a designer’s brain, an illustrator’s heart, and an artist’s vision. You can find him on any given day walking around the city eating a cupcake (or thinking about it).


SITE    |    BLOG    |    FACEBOOK    |    TWITTER



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ARC for review courtesy of Ksenia at MacMillan Children’s Publishing Group.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title as well as their complete catalog, be sure to stop by their official site, like them on Facebook, or follow along on Twitter.  This title is set to release in a few days time (at the time of this post), so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf near you VERY soon!  IN the mean time, if you so desire, it IS available for pre-order!  Just search it out at your favorite online sites and BAM, you’re all ready to go.  Oh and for those that love the little add-ons created to help continue the fun, be sure to check out the FREE Activity Guide on the publisher’s website.

Until next time…happy reading!



Wednesday, August 20, 2014

BLOG TOUR: Beyond the Pale - A Fantasy and Paranormal Experience!

Hi there fellow readers!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers...the place that knows how to party, and by party we mean READ AND SHARE GREAT BOOKS!


Today, we're hosting a spot along a blog tour celebrating the recent release of a Young Adult/New Adult anthology that lives in the realm of fantasy and paranormal.  Don't believe me? Well, let's see if I can clue you in then.  Do THESE names ring a bell?


Saladin Ahmed (Throne of the Crescent Moon)
Peter S. Beagle (The Last Unicorn)
Heather Brewer (Vladimir Tod series)
Jim Butcher (Dresden Files series)
Kami Garcia (Beautiful Creatures series)
Nancy Holder (Wicked series)
Gillian Philip (Rebel Angels series)
Jane Yolen (Owl Moon)


I thought they might.
Let's see, personally I've seen the movie of the second, purchased the third, heard of the fourth, wish listed the fifth, read other works by the sixth, and heard of the seventh and eighth.  Not too shabby.  Where do YOU rank?  No judging; just curious.  Anywho....no matter how high or low your "read" count, there's always room for improvement, hence today's featured title.  Ready to meet and greet the next addition to your wish list?  Your wish is my command.  Today's blog tour spotlight shines on....



Edited by
Henry Herz
9780989448734


About the book....
Beyond the Pale is an anthology of fantasy, urban fantasy and paranormal stories that skirt the border between our world and others. Was that my imagination, or did I hear something under my bed? What was that blurred movement in my darkened closet? There is but a thin Veil separating the real and the fantastic, and therein dwell the inhabitants of these stories.  Beyond the Pale contains eleven dark fantasy, urban fantasy and paranormal short stories by award-winning and New York Times bestselling authors:

"Hooves and the Hovel of Abdel Jameela" by Saladin Ahmed (author of Throne of the Crescent Moon)
"The Children of the Shark God" by Peter S. Beagle (author of The Last Unicorn)
"Misery" & "Shadow Children" by Heather Brewer (author of Vladimir Tod)
"Even Hand" by Jim Butcher (author of The Dresden Files)
"Red Run" by Kami Garcia (author of Beautiful Creatures)
"Pale Rider" & "The Adventures of Lightning Merriemouse-Jones" by Nancy Holder (author of Wicked)
"Frost Child" and "South" by Gillian Philip (author of Rebel Angels)
"A Knot of Toads" by Jane Yolen (author of Owl Moon)

The noun “pale” refers to a stake (as in impaling vampires) or pointed piece of wood (as in a paling fence). “Pale” came to refer to an area enclosed by a paling fence. Later, it acquired the figurative meaning of an enclosed and therefore safe domain. Conversely, "beyond the pale" means foreign, strange, or threatening. You are about to go Beyond the Pale.



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Now, as if you weren't intrigued enough, I've got the hook up for you once again.  Courtesy of Henry Herz himself, I have the privilege of sharing an AWESOME excerpt with all of you!  The following passage is from Peter S. Beagle's "The Children of the Shark God".  Read on my friend's, read on.....



     Once there was a village on an island that belonged to the Shark God. Every man in the village was a fisherman, and the women cooked their catch and mended their nets and sails, and painted their little boats. And because that island was sacred to him, the Shark God saw to it that there were always fish to be caught, and seals as well, in the waters beyond the coral reef, and protected the village from the great gray typhoons that came every year to flood other lagoons and blow down the trees and the huts of other islands. Therefore the children of the village grew fat and strong, and the women were beautiful and strong, and the fishermen were strong and high-hearted even when they were old.
     In return for his benevolence the Shark God asked little from his people: only tribute of a single goat at the turn of each year. To the accompaniment of music and prayers, and with a wreath of plaited fresh flowers around its neck, it would be tethered in the lagoon at moonrise. Morning would find it gone, flower petals floating on the water, and the Shark God never seen—never in that form, anyway.
     Now the Shark God could alter his shape as he pleased, like any god, but he never showed himself on land more than once in a generation. When he did, he was most often known to appear as a handsome young man, light-footed and charming. Only one woman ever recognized the divinity hiding behind the human mask. Her name was Mirali, and this tale is what is known about her, and about her children.
     Mirali’s parents were already aging when she was born, and had long since given up the hope of ever having a child—indeed, her name meant “the long-desired one.” Her father had been crippled when the mast of his boat snapped during a storm and crushed his leg, falling on him, and if it had not been for their daughter, the old couple’s lives would have been hard indeed. Mirali could not go out with the fishing fleet herself, of course—as she greatly wished to do, having loved the sea from her earliest memory—but she did every kind of work for any number of island families, whether cleaning houses, marketing, minding young children, or even assisting the midwife when a birthing was difficult or there were simply too many babies coming at the same time. She was equally known as a seamstress, and also as a cook for special feasts; nor was there anyone who could mend a pandanus-leaf thatching as quickly as she, though this is generally man’s work. No drop of rain ever penetrated any pandanus roof that came under Mirali’s hands.
     Nor did she complain of her labors, for she was very proud of being able to care for her mother and father as a son would have done. Because of this, she was much admired and respected in the village, and young men came courting just as though she were a great beauty. Which she was not, being small and somewhat square-made, with straight brows—considered unlucky by most—and hips that gave no promise of a large family. But she had kind eyes, deep-set under those regrettable brows, and hair as black and thick as that of any woman on the island. Many, indeed, envied her; but of that Mirali knew nothing. She had no time for envy herself, nor for young men, either.
      Now it happened that Mirali was often chosen by the village priest to sweep out the temple of the Shark God. This was not only a grand honor for a child barely turned seventeen but a serious responsibility as well, for sharks are cleanly in their habits, and to leave his spiritual dwelling disorderly would surely be to dishonor and anger the god himself. So Mirali was particularly attentive when she cleaned after the worshippers, making certain that no prayer whistle or burned stick of incense was left behind. And in this manner did the Shark God become aware of Mirali.



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I don't know about you, but I'M curious to read more...and the delve into the OTHER author's works as well!  Special thanks to Henry Herz for the chance to share this release with all of you.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title, Mr. Herz or the publisher, feel free to click through any link included in this post.  This title released a few weeks back via Birch Tree Publishing, so be on the look out for it on a bookstore shelf or online retailor of your choosing.

Until next time....happy reading!


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