Monday, December 15, 2014

Today is the LAST Day!

Today is the last day to nominate your book for a Feathered Quill Book Award!  We expanded our categories this year to include 'Best Debut Author,' and 'Best Seasonal.'

 With a total of 22 categories, there's a nice selection of genres to fit most books.  Our nomination fee is low AND it's only an additional $35 to nominate your book for a second and third category.

Nominate your book today!  If you win, you'll discover just what an award seal on your book can do to increase sales!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Last Chance to Nominate YOUR Book

Nominations close Monday - don't wait!  If you're looking to increase sales of your book, consider the importance of adding an award seal to its cover.  Readers/buyers look for award-winning books.  They know that a book that has won an award is a quality book.  Learn how to nominate your book here:

Book Review - Stork's Landing

Stork's Landing

By: Tami Lehman-Wilzig
Illustrated by: Anna Shuttlewood
Publisher: Kar-Ben Publisher
Publication Date: August 2014
ISBN: 978-1467713962
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: December 14, 2014

Maya is enjoying a lovely spring day on the kibbutz when she looks up and sees a flock of beautiful white storks fly through the sky. Knowing that the birds like to rest at the kibbutz, Maya realizes that the fish farmers may have covered the nearby ponds with nets to protect the fish from the hungry birds. But when one of the storks lands and gets caught in one of the nets, Maya has to act quickly to save the bird's life.

Maya knows just what to do when she sees the stork struggling in the fisherman's net. Unfortunately, it looks like the bird's wing is broken. Maya pulls out her walkie-talkie and calls her father. When Abba, her father, arrives he gently picks up the bird and decides the vet must be called. Unfortunately, the bird's broken wing can't be fixed. What will happen to the beautiful stork?

Stork's Landing is an engaging story about a young girl and her efforts to help a wild stork. In addition to learning about the wildlife in Israel, children will also learn about life on a kibbutz and how everybody chips in to help each other. Through Maya, young readers will see the importance of caring for all animals.

Quill says: A sweet story about a young girl who cares for a hurt bird, along with the help of her father and other members of their kibbutz.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Book Review - Latke, The Lucky Dog

Latke, The Lucky Dog

By: Ellen Fischer
Illustrated by: Tiphanie Beeke
Publisher: Kar-Ben Publishing
Publication Date: August 2014
ISBN: 978-0761390398
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: December 12, 2014

Latke really is one very lucky dog! Saved from a shelter by a loving family, he’s brought into their lives and truly enjoys his new home. Unfortunately, he enjoys it a little too much and after getting in more trouble than one dog should, he’s afraid his family might return him to the shelter.

As the story opens, Zoe, her brother Zach, and their parents have gone to the animal shelter to find the perfect dog. After looking at many dogs, they settle on a medium-sized dog with a beautiful golden brown color – the color of fried latkes! Yum! And that’s how Latke got his name.

Latke quickly settles into his new house and as his family celebrates the eight days of Hanukkah, he finds so many neat things to taste. One day he eats all the sufganiyot, another day he chews Zoe’s dreidel and then he discovers some latkes… yum! Will Latke have to go back to the shelter?

Told from Latke's point of view, this is a very sweet Hanukkah story that brings home the message of love and forgiveness. With each transgression, Latke thinks he will get punished and perhaps be returned to the shelter. But with each mistake, Latke learns a lesson – he is loved. While one of the children might be upset, the other comes to the dog’s rescue and explains that Hanukkah isn’t ruined. At the end, Latke gets his own special chew toy and the family enjoys the Festival of Lights together.

Quill says: A story of love, forgiveness, and the joy of Hanukkah. Latke really is one lucky dog!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Books In For Review

Here's a quick look at some of the books that have just arrived for review.  Check them out!  Reviews will be posted here and to our main site, Feathered Quill Book Reviews, shortly.

Days of Future Past by Sally Smith O'Rourke It is by no means an irrational fancy that, in a future existence, we shall look upon what we think of as our present existence, as a dream. Edgar Allen Poe Fate sometimes conspires to right a decades-old wrong. And the 6.8 earthquake that strikes Southern California one warm March night is the fateful event that brings family therapist Ann Hart and trauma specialist Ted McConaughy back together. In search of her cell phone after the tremor, Ann picks up a shard of vintage cut glass from a collection she and her husband gathered during the four years of their marriage. For the millionth time she thinks about the day six years ago when he disappeared on a search and rescue mission in the Sierra foothills. Sitting atop the shattered crystal, a small silver cigar lighter glistens in the beam of her flashlight. Gently she returns the Victorian piece to the shelf. What does it mean that something she and Ted, her ex-fiancé, bought together survived when Alex’s beautiful glass is smashed to dust? Ann tells herself that it doesn’t mean anything more than glass breaks and silver doesn’t. Sara Jane McConaughy has never experienced a strong earthquake, and as her father comforts his 16-year-old daughter, his mind is flooded with memories of the Northridge quake in 1994. He was living with his fiancée, his ex-fiancée, and even after all these years he doesn’t know what caused the split, but he always loved her. And he’d been sure she loved him. Volunteering with the American Red Cross in the aftermath of the earthquake brings Ann and Ted face-to-face for the first time since their break-up, twenty years ago. Angry, flustered, excited, and bewildered by Ted’s sudden appearance and unusual behavior while she’s teaching a small group of people relaxing exercises, Ann demands he leave. Just as excited and bewildered, Ted rushes away. His exit leaves both of them wondering about … everything. The earthquake (or is it seeing Ann?) ignites a series of recurring dreams peopled by total strangers in places Ted has never been. Accompanied by short lapses of time and sleepwalking, the dreams take a heavy toll on his waking hours. Sara Jane’s concern sends Ted on a quest to discover the cause and find a cure. When all medical possibilities are exhausted, he turns to a colleague, whose diagnosis leaves Ted more baffled than ever. Tom Alderman believes that the dreams are memories of past lives. The lives live in his subconscious, and the cure is hypnotherapy. After several months of suffering with these increasingly emotional recurring dreams, Ted turns to Ann for help. One of Ann’s specialties is hypnotherapy and since he must be able to trust the hypnotist, Ann is his only salvation. Ann’s agreement to try and help (at the urging of a mutual friend) sends her carefully regimented and calm life into complete turmoil. The garden gate they pass through together sends them on a journey that defies time and reason, forcing them to rethink their past, present, and future. Now, each must reconsider their capacity for love and forgiveness. Things are not always what they seem.

Things Half in Shadow by Alan Finn The year is 1869, and the Civil War haunts the city of Philadelphia like a stubborn ghost. Mothers in black continue to mourn their lost sons. Photographs of the dead adorn dim sitting rooms. Maimed and broken men roam the streets. One of those men is Edward Clark, who is still tormented by what he saw during the war. Also constantly in his thoughts is another, more distant tragedy—the murder of his mother at the hands of his father, the famed magician Magellan Holmes...a crime that Edward witnessed when he was only ten. Now a crime reporter for one of the city’s largest newspapers, Edward is asked to use his knowledge of illusions and visual trickery to expose the influx of mediums that descended on Philadelphia in the wake of the war. His first target is Mrs. Lucy Collins, a young widow who uses old-fashioned sleight of hand to prey on grieving families. Soon, Edward and Lucy become entwined in the murder of Lenora Grimes Pastor, the city’s most highly regarded—and by all accounts, legitimate—medium, who dies mid-séance. With their reputations and livelihoods at risk, Edward and Lucy set out to find the real killer, and in the process unearth a terrifying hive of secrets that reaches well beyond Mrs. Pastor.  

High Stakes: A Jack Doyle Mystery by John McEvoy Irreverent Jack Doyle has worn many hats, one or two blown off by his irrepressible temper. A former boxer, advertising rep, and publicity man, Jack’s midlife career has been shaped by the world of thoroughbred horse racing and dark deeds therein. So it’s no surprise when two FBI agents he’s sleuthed with before pressure him to identify an animal activist who is carrying out “mercy killings” of retired race horses donated to Midwestern university veterinary schools. Plus two Chicago senior citizens are being threatened by an imperious Internet millionaire intent on owning their beloved horse. Then a call comes from Ireland where the life of Jack’s friend Niall Hanratty, the noted bookmaker, is under attack from an unknown enemy. Meanwhile Doyle’s nemesis Harvey Rexroth, the rapacious media mogul Jack helped put into federal prison, enlists a fellow inmate, a Mobconnected attorney, to have Jack killed. Carrying out this contract will be W. D. Wiems, a brilliant, frighteningly warped University of Kansas student who has eagerly launched a career of murder for hire. Fast tracking, Jack visits vet schools while juggling pieces of investigations near home and traveling twice to Ireland where his quest to find Hanratty’s enemy takes him to Kinsale, Connemara, and a Dublin slum. Meanwhile the vicious contract killer is, all unknown, tracking Jack…

Book Review - Sammy Spider's First Mitzvah

Sammy Spider’s First Mitzvah (Kar-Ben Favorites)

By: Sylvia A. Rouss
Illustrated by: Katherine Janus Kahn
Publisher: Kar-Ben Publishing
Publication Date: August 2014
ISBN: 978-1467719483
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: December 6, 2014

Sammy Spider looked down at Josh who was lying on the couch in his pjs. “A-c-ch-o-o-oo-o-oo!” Even Josh’s teddy bear heard that sneeze. There was definitely something wrong with Josh and Sammy asked his mother what was wrong. “He caught a cold,” Mrs. Spider told him. Mrs. Shapiro had a spoonful of medicine for Josh, and Sammy wanted some too. “Silly little Sammy. Spiders don’t take medicine,” his mother declared, “Spiders spin webs!”

Moti, Josh’s new neighbor, soon arrived with a big pot of chicken soup for Josh. It was sure to help him get better. Mrs. Spider told Sammy that “When someone is sick, it is a mitzvah to visit them.” The sneezes kept coming and Moti exclaimed “Labruit.” Of course that was the “Hebrew word you say when someone sneezes.” Bringing that soup was Moti’s mitzvah for Josh, but was there anything that Sammy could do for his own mitzvah? He began to think as he spun a web.

This is yet another Sammy Spider tale that young children will love. I’ve read many Sammy Spider tales and this one is a perfect one to introduce the bikkur cholim. Even the youngest children can visit someone who is ill or send a card and will learn just how important this is from Sammy. The ever-popular Sammy, along with Mrs. Spider, impart a lot of Jewish traditions. The artwork is the typical Sammy Spider, a mix of collage and gouache, that has simple appeal. In the back of the book is a brief paragraph describing bikkur cholim and the mitzvah.

Quill says: Young children will learn from Sammy an easy way to perform a mitzvah!

We're Excited to Announce...

Feathered Quill Book Reviews is excited to announce that Charline Ratcliff has joined our review team.  Charline comes to Feathered Quill with many years of experience as a reviewer for other sites, as well as her blog, .  Charline is also the author of several books, in both the adult and children's genres.  Here's her official bio from our site:

Charline Ratcliff has an unusual educational background in that her parents removed her from school near the completion of sixth grade. While her parents had no interest in furthering her education, she on the other hand did. Charline has always loved to learn and thus, shortly after turning twelve, she began her solo literary journey of learning. By age sixteen, Charline had traveled and/or lived in every state except Alaska, and she has also traveled through a good portion of Europe. 

Charline would tell you that she fell into writing by accident – that it wasn't until her first book, The Curse of Nefertiti, was actually published when she realized that she wanted to be a writer. Shortly thereafter, during the course of securing reviews for her own book, she noticed that there was a huge need for book reviewers. Having a sincere desire to help others, and understanding the importance of an impartial review, Charline began reviewing in early 2010. 

Nowadays, Charline divides her time between writing adult historical fiction, children’s books, online articles, reviews and interviewing other authors. When she’s not writing, she works on her line of all-natural soy candles and of course travels – making certain to enjoy the beauty of the world around her.