Monday, October 31, 2016

The Last Kids on Earth and the Zombie Parade by Max Brallier

Hi guys and ghouls...I mean, gals!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

Today, we're bringing the spooky, monster-tinged fun as all you goblins and ghouls prepare for a night of tricks, treats, and sugar-coated fun!  It's an ARC that arrived on my doorstep a week or two ago, and although I read through it faster than a zombie at a brain buffet, I was waiting to share it with all of you this Halloween night...err, day.  We adventured through the pages of the first installment in the series just over a year ago, and while this is the second in the series, it totally can stand on its own.  Without further ado, I beseech you to make room on your Halloween reading lists for today's book of choice...


The Last Kids on Earth and the Zombie Parade by Max Brallier

The Last Kids on Earth, Book 2
by
Max Brallier
Illustrated by
Douglas Holgate
9780670016624

About the book...
The zombies are disappearing. This might seem like a good thing, since zombies eat your brains, but normal human kid Jack Sullivan is suspicious. He keeps hearing an eerie shrieking noise that seems to be almost summoning the zombies—but to where, and for what (probably) foul purpose?

Jack, his three best friends (maybe the only people left on Earth), and their pet monster Rover need to get to the bottom of this. Along the way they encounter a lot more than they bargained for, including a giant Wormungulous, a pizza parlor monster hangout, an ancient evil who destroys worlds, and a stereo system that is totally the bomb. Can Jack figure out why the zombies are vanishing . . . before he and his friends are next?




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Jack is back and better than ever!  How so?  Well, though he was a mighty, butt-kicking, monster-apocalypse-surviving, bad-a** in the first novel (see Jack...I was paying attention! *wink*)...this time around, he still does a lot of butt-kicking and such, but with FRIENDS.  Hey, don't discount that...they are hard to come by when pretty much EVERYONE ELSE has disappeared, weird-as-all-get-out monsters keep making their presence known, and zombies are hungrily stalking their victims...or wait, where are the zombies again?

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*looks around*


Huh...perhaps we need to strike that last one from the list, and yet...something just doesn't feel right about this whole "argh-brains"-less situation.  I suppose it means it's just a bit easier to pop over to the abandoned stores to retrieve whatever may still be viable to reinforce their tree fort/headquarters, but hark...what be that strange disturbance in the force...umm, I mean, what is that strange noise and why are there zombies flying through the air like they are trying out for the Ringling Brothers?  Yeah...if you think that's weird, it's about to be turned up at least three notches as their former local pizza joint becomes a monster hangout, the Wormungulous claims the Mall as home sweet home, and a mysterious evil entity begins to make its presence known.  Good thing Jack has a GREAT team he can depend on, right?  Right?  If only he would...

By book's end, I was ripped and ready for the next adventure...to be had with whomever actually MAKES it out of this one.  Thought I was going to spoil it, didn't you?  Thought I was going to tell you EVERYTHING at the drop of a zombie head, right?  I.  Don't.  Think.  So.  Nope, sorry.  You'll have to see for yourself if you have what it takes to make it through this zombie infested (or not), monster filled (very) story of epic proportions.  A view words of caution though...


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1.  Trust your friends.
2.  Be wary of strangers.
3.  Looks can be deceiving.
4.  BEWARE HAIRY EYEBALLS!

There...you're ready now.


Recommended for Children's Fiction and Middle Grade fans through adults.  Like the publisher's site says, it's a cross between Diary of a Wimpy Kid and The Walking Dead.  Even if you're not a fan of either (*raises hand...for at least the WD*), you can still totally get into the awesome fun that awaits you in this series...complete with illustrations so that you too can tell the difference between a Puke Bug King and a Sludge Savage.



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Special thanks to the folks at Penguin Random House LLC for the ARC for review.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title, the author, the illustrator, the series, or the publisher, feel free to click through the links provided above.  This title is available now via Viking Children's Books, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf or at a virtual retailer of your choosing.

Until next time, remember...if it looks good, READ IT!


Sunday, October 30, 2016

Tis the Season: The Berenstain Bears' Holiday Cookbook

Hi guys and gals!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

I'm currently on staycation from work (woo-hoo!) and spending a little quality time with the family as well as my TBR Mountain.  Though many of you are preparing for Halloween parties and trick-or-treat fun tomorrow night (we'll be handing out treats in our neighborhood), there's still one question on EVERYONE'S mind that must be answered...what's for dinner?  Yay...I'm glad you asked.  ^-^  

9780310753995

Cub-Friendly Cooking with an Adult
by
Mike Berenstain
9780310753995
Zonderkidz

Today's featured title will help you out in that category this holiday season and throughout the year with tasty delectables for the entire family.  What's even better?  They're quick and easy to make solo, but should the wee ones want to help out, there's always a way to participate.  Shall we take a look inside?  Let's because seriously, I made four different recipes and the fam was astounded by their deliciousness!  First up, an all American favorite...


... Celebration Sloppy Joe's!
Step one, gather the ingredients and cooking utensils I'd need.




Step two...follow said instructions on dicing the vegetables and saute them to slightly crispy perfection.  Step three...brown the ground beef with the aforementioned veges, stir in the sauce created on the side and....




...TADA!
Delicious, nutritious, tastiness to curb the BEARY hungry at your dinner table.  I'm not even a HUGE Sloppy Joe fan but this pretty much ROCKED!  After the success I had with this one, I simply HAD to try another.  My next venture...




...a Christmas Pasta Bake!
It's festive in color and with fairly simple instructions, I tackled this baby on a work night for a little something different for dinner.


Step one...gather your ingredients...and make sure you have ALL your ingredients because yeah, I goofed and had to improvise on the cheese...wasn't nearly enough, so I took creative liberty to use some provolone as well as the mozzarella.  How'd it work out?  I'll let you me the judge...



Nice right?
Let me tell you...


...the taste was EVEN BETTER!
The recipe proved to be a family favorite.  Quick enough to make at the end of a long work day but warm and filling to satisfy the whole family.  It's like a traditional pasta bake but with the added vege twist.  So good!  Anywho, after finishing this masterpiece, I couldn't contain myself.  I simply had to try something else!  You don't understand though....I'm not one to cook from books very often, but the ease and simplicity of the recipes as well as the decidedly tasty ingredients being used had me hooked.  For my final venture (at the time), I went with a two-fer...



...Oven Roasted Corn on the Cob and Accordion Potatoes!
They both sounded like delicious accompaniments to the leftover Sloppy Joe's from my first venture into this book, and boy was I right!


Both recipes called for very little prep work but while I was familiar with roasting potatoes in the oven, I'd never actually cooked corn on the cob from fresh to table.  Shocker, right?  ^-^  Little did I know I was about to discover a new favorite way to eat corn...as well as potatoes for the matter!



See?  Appetizing right?  Are you drooling right now?  No worries...no one can see, but it does speak to your ability to spot good tastes because this was one fabulous meal made in very little time and with less than a handful of ingredients.  

The recipes featured here...are just the beginning!  There is something to tantalize your taste buds pretty much every holiday season of the year...and then some.  So whether you choose to check out a copy of this book for yourself or gift it to a loved one this season, the point is that you DO get your paws, I mean hands, on this yummy read featuring our BEARY favorite family, the Berenstain Bears.


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Review copy received courtesy of Liane at Zonderkidz.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title, the author, the character series, or the publisher, feel free to click through the links provided above.  This title is available now, so be on the lookout for it wherever books are sold.

Until next time, remember...if it looks good, READ IT!
















Friday, October 28, 2016

BLOG TOUR: Fill the Sky by Katherine A. Sherbrooke

Hi there!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

Can you believe it?  OCTOBER is almost OVER!  I mean, where did the time GO?  It seems like just yesterday, we were preparing for a month of spooky reading, and the ushering in of Autumn.  Cie la vie.  I guess it just goes to reinforce the idea of living in the moment and cherishing all that we have instead of lamenting all we have not.  A good lesson for all, including the characters in today's featured title.  Please join me in welcoming, a blog tour courtesy of Caitlin Hamilton Marketing & Publicity LLC.  It stars a work of Fiction that introduces us to three beautiful characters on a path of healing, friendship, and understanding.  Ladies and gents, today's book of choice is...



Fill the Sky
by
Katherine A. Sherbrooke
 9780984824533

About the book...
Biotech entrepreneur Tess Whitford has built her life around the certainty of logic and thrives on solving problems. But when one of her dearest friends exhausts the reaches of medicine while fighting cancer and grabs onto the hope that traditional healers in Ecuador might save her, Tess has to let go of everything she knows—and every instinct she has. Unable to deny Ellie a request that might be her last, Tess flies to Ecuador to help.

Together with Joline, another close college friend whose spiritual work inspired the trip, they travel to the small mountain village of Otavalo. Immersed in nature and introduced to strange ancient ceremonies, the three friends are pushed to recognize that good health is not only physical. Tess grapples with her inability to trust; Ellie struggles with a painful secret; and Joline worries about the contract she made with an aggressive businessman whose ambitions could destroy the delicate fabric of the local community.

When an ayahuasca ceremony goes awry and an unlikely betrayal suddenly threatens to unravel their decades-long friendship, these three very different women awaken to a shared realization: they each have a deep need for healing.



AMAZON  |  INDIEBOUND  |  B&N




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Ellie, Joline, and Tess...friends since college, but with the connections they've forged over the years, they've become sister soul mates, if ever there were.  You can't help but admire their individual strengths, and yet how they grow that much more in each other's presence.  It's a good thing to, because although this was initially a trip for healing Ellie's physical ailment, it's going to turn into a life changing event for them all.  Secrets are uncovered, lost desires found, destinies questioned, and old paths forged anew, all with a side of laughter, despair, heartache, and hope.  It's a trip like none other, but in the end, they won't want to change a thing.

Though a work of Fiction, it reminded me of the memoir, Eat, Pray, Love, with a few more leading ladies, and a slightly more tangible need to heal.  It was a moving affair from start to finish, with feels around every corner, along with the chance of spilled tears.  Yes, my friends, there are beautiful moments to stop you in your tracks as well as those times that you'll feel your heart is about to split in two for oh so many reasons...word to the wise, have a tissue ready just in case.  The ending of the story is more of a non-ending, but it works.  If you're expecting all things tied up in a glorious red bow, think again...that's not how life works and this story reads very much like a major life event.  The women do reach many decisions, finding clarity in the unusual rituals (and some are pretty darn out there to us Westerners) and chaos that surrounds them, and eventually reaching their own plateaus of peace.  Truthfully, I longed for something more concrete in a few places, but all in all, everything that transpired, both the good and the bad, felt authentic to the journey we first started. 

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To conclude, it was an adventure through the lives of three remarkable women who prove that an open heart/mind, and good friends, can get you through the roughest patches life can throw your way.  None of their journeys were easy, nor the truths they learned a walk in the park, but learn them they did and they were all better for it in the end.  I'd say it's best to put aside an autumn afternoon to spend with these lovely ladies and see what truths you might uncover in your own life along the way.




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About the author...


KATHERINE A. SHERBROOKE received her B.A. from Dartmouth College and M.B.A. from Stanford University. An entrepreneur and writer, she is the author of Finding Home, a family memoir about her parents’ tumultuous and inspiring love affair. This is her first novel. She lives outside Boston with her husband, two sons, and black lab. Visit her online at www.kasherbrooke.com, https://www.facebook.com/kasherbrooke/?fref=ts, or @kazzese.




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Special thanks to Caitlin at Caitlin Hamilton Marketing & Publicity LLC, for the ARC for review as well as the chance to bring this tour to you.  (THANKS!) For more information on this title, the author, the publisher, or those tours on the horizon, feel free to click through the links provided above.  This title just celebrated its book birthday about a week ago today via SixSevenOne Books, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf or virtual retailer of your choosing.  Don't miss the author appearing virtually and in person in the coming weeks!  Stop by her events page and mark your calendar now!  Be sure to check out the other sites on the tour as this book makes its way through the blogosphere...


Blog Tour:
10/20: Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus: Spotlight & giveaway
10/21: Under My Apple Tree: Spotlight & giveaway
10/25: A Literary Vacation: Spotlight & giveaway
10/27: Bibliotica, review
10/31: Broken Teepee: review
11/3: Celtic Lady's Reviews: review & giveaway


Until next time, remember...if it looks good, READ IT!


Thursday, October 27, 2016

Edna in the Desert by Maddy Lederman

Hi there!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

Today, we're taking a look between the pages of a Young Adult novel that asks us to step off the grid and into our lives in a rather unexpected and thought provoking way.  It's curious in both the initial story as well as the twists and turns that take place throughout, but when all was said and done, I couldn't help but applaud.  Ladies and gents, I am pleased to present today's book of choice..

Edna in the Desert
by
9781632134004
eLectio Publishing

About the book...
Can a Beverly Hills teen survive without a smart phone, Internet, and TV? Edna will find out.
Edna is thirteen, a precocious troublemaker wreaking havoc at her Beverly Hills school. Her therapist advocates medication, but her parents come up with an alternative cure: Edna will spend the summer in the desert with her grandparents. Their remote cabin is cut off from cell phone service, Internet and television. Edna’s determined to rebel until she meets an older local boy and falls in love for the first time. How can she get to know him from the edge of nowhere?




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Edna is a girl who knows what she wants and where she's going...or at least she was until this summer's new itinerary was sprung on her by her loving parents.  Wait, scratch that...apparently they are much more hateful than loving since they're dumping her in the middle of the desert, off the grid, with her grandparents...one of which is less than friendly, while the other nary speaks a word...and care not what happens to her.  Or at least that's how she tells her story at the start...

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In truth, Edna is a good girl at heart that's lost her way.  Her parents do-or-die tactics (which were severely more DO than die) were to serve as a wake up call that their own parenting skills were unable to provide any other way.  From what we were privy to regarding her antics at school, sorry not sorry Edna, but you totally deserved it.  Though we may cringe with her upon discovering the less than comfortable accommodations (and lack of cell/Wi-Fi...eek!), it's easy to see that love is the driving force behind the "harsh" treatment...and even Edna finds the silver lining sooner than expected.  Grant it, it comes in the form of an easy on the eyes local boy, but he turns her head enough to eventually get it on straight once again...even if all things don't play out as she so desperately hoped.  The steps she makes in finding her own path again as well as the lives she affects with her newfound purpose leave lasting impressions on all in the best ways possible.  Edna is a remarkable girl, and will not easily be forgotten.


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FYI...I really DIG this alternate cover I found!
Fits the story THAT much more.

This was a curious story but enlightening for both readers and our cast of unique characters. Several heavy real life issues were brought up, encouraging further research after the final page turn. From PTSD, interacting with elder relatives, living off the grid, and misdirected teenage angst, there is something to relate to for multiple age groups.  The first love aspect of the story was unexpected (to me, at least) and awkward (though usually they are) but suited the character's ages and journeys well enough, to be believable. The lessons learned by all (and there are many) provide takeaway for both the target audience and beyond, giving this under the radar title THAT much more merit.

Recommended read for Young Adult fans, and beyond due to limited content and language.



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About the author...

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Edna In The Desert is Maddy Lederman's first novel. Maddy works in the art department for films and TV shows, recently on Elementary, The AmericansThe Leftovers, Madam Secretary and The Amazing Spiderman 2. Her writing has appeared in The Huffington PostThe Los Angeles Times and The Sun Runner, a magazine about California Deserts. She has an MFA in Theater from Brooklyn College.



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Special thanks to author Maddy Lederman for the print copy for review.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title, the author, and those projects on the horizon, feel free to click through the links provided above.  This title is available now, so click on over to your favorite retailer to request your copy today.

Until next time, remember...if it looks good, READ IT!



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...
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