Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Interview with author Amy Lignor

Today we're talking with Amy Lignor, author of Tallent & Lowery: 13

FQ: Leah Tallent is a great character. With her total dedication to libraries, I have to ask – is she, even remotely, based on YOU?

Oh, yes. Not the looks, however. She’s way better off in that department (LOL). But when it comes to sarcasm and witty banter, she definitely gets those jokes and gifts from her creator. Libraries, as well, are definitely my thing. Some women like high heels, some like television, some like hot guys in the movies, I have always wanted only one thing - to live inside the New York Public Library and never have to leave.

My mother, THE most fantastic woman on earth, is a career librarian. I don’t remember a time when Mom didn’t have a book in her hand. She taught my sister and I that books were the essence of humanity. Laughter, realism, heroes, damsels, action, adventure, horror - writers could bring everything into your world and you could learn something all at the same time. Books increase your intelligence and feed that huge imagination I have. And being able to walk up those stairs of the NYPL between Patience and Fortitude for a book signing would be the greatest gift I could ever be given.

FQ: Is Gareth Lowery every woman’s dream date? Does he have any flaws other than his obsession with finding the entrance to Heaven?

Well, yes. But Gareth can be a real pain, too. In the book he certainly stands for the handsome, smart, James Bond meets Indiana Jones meets 24 guy, but he also has that pompous side where he does believe he could get any woman with that smile of his. But he meets his match with Leah. She can see through all that ‘stuff’ and becomes the perfect partner for him. I think that’s what makes the romance ‘simmer’ and then finally erupt in this book, because these are two people who are the perfect balance for one another. He’s also FAR too trustworthy. Whereas Leah trusts absolutely no one, Gareth seems to be way too easily ‘swayed’ - that’s another reason why he needs her because she can always see any serpent in her garden. And he has the belief and faith, whereas Leah only believes in books and herself. So he teaches her a few things, as well - even though, of course, she has to be right.

FQ: Where did the idea for 13 come from? Had it been swirling around in your head for a while?

Oddly enough, it came from a very boring day at work where a colleague and I were so caught up that we had nothing more to do (which never happened). She was reading her horoscope off the computer, and as I looked at the screen, there was a mention of the 13th sign and a name, ‘Aleister Crowley.’ From then on, I was on a serious mission to put together a puzzle that fans would love as much as The DaVinci Code, and add a little more heart and soul to it.

FQ: I loved the use of real places to search for the missing orbs. Why did you decide to go with “real” vs. imaginary?

There are so many tremendous locations in this world, and the history they all have is so immense that it’s far more believable to create my mysteries; that amazing ‘link’ that leads the reader down an unknown path. Fantasy locations wouldn’t have worked because this book is, in essence, based on history and very REAL things that happened - even though they are little-known facts. Some of the most amazing comments I’ve received is that readers are running to Google after reading the book and looking these places up to see if I was kidding...and I wasn’t.

FQ: My favorite “real” place was Winchester’s mansion. The history around the estate and its owner, Sarah was fascinating - and, yes, I did look her/the house up on the internet. Have you ever been to the mansion?

Not yet. And I SO want to walk those halls. I purchased videos, books, spoke with people about their experiences there, and was completely and utterly amazed and intrigued by the back-story of the Winchester House. I knew a little background on it beforehand, and I focused on the house because I knew Sarah Winchester was more than a little obsessed with the number 13. She had 13 bedrooms, 13 hooks in all her closets, 13 drains in her sink, 13 panes in some of the windows - and knowing that Aleister Crowley actually did visit San Jose during that time period made me wonder if he actually could’ve been the one to start all this. I do hope that this book gives the Winchester House even more publicity, because that is truly one of the grandest mysteries and coolest places in America.

FQ: There is also a lot of history behind each and every place/person that Leah and Gareth search for. Did you have to do a lot of research when writing the book?

Again, I give all the credit to my mother, bringing me up with a book in my hand. I have actually studied archaeology and history my whole life, and I love mysterious legends, locations, and historical people. That background gave me a really good start for all of these books to be written. And, like Leah, I LOVE research. The one other thing Leah and I have in common is the fact that I feel like my brain is a card catalogue some days. When someone asks me a historical question, I can usually find it in there. If not, Google can certainly fill in the blanks!

Patience - one of NY Public Library's Lions

FQ: There’s also a bit of Astrology in this book. Do you read your horoscope on a daily basis?

Actually, I was never really into the whole horoscope thing, but I LOVE astrology. I love the beginnings of astrology back in Ptolemy’s day, and was extremely interested about the 13th sign and how it was actually something that the Pope decided to erase, for reasons that are in the book. Not to mention, the 13th sign was used for the AMA logo and other things over time.

FQ: Since this is the first of a planned 7 book series, would you give our readers a little peek into what they can expect in subsequent books?

In the next - The Sapphire Storm - (which is my mother’s favorite) Leah’s whole life is opened up to reader’s - from where she lived to meeting her slightly odd family members. A journey takes Leah and Gareth to England where an old mystery surrounding Shakespeare leads them to Pergamon, as well as other locales, and an old monastery that was actually the site of a little known event that will have readers absolutely stunned. And, of course, the man on the text messages in 13 is revealed. The third involves Greece and a strange mystery that unfolds in the basement of an old Athenian temple; book four is based on a treasure that Hitler once sought - and FOUND - that hardly anyone knows about but is true; book five is a thrill ride that goes from America to the depths of Knossos Palace; book six is based a great deal in Russia and surrounds an object that is almost completely unknown by the world that Faberge made for the evil Rasputin; and book seven is a huge conclusion that ties up all the stand alone stories and will bring readers back to the steps of that amazing library. I have worked for years on these puzzles, making sure that they could stand alone, yet also flow as one series that would awe and captivate readers (which I hope it does).

FQ: Donovan Barker is one man the world would be better off without. But alas, I suspect he may reappear in future books. Yes?

Let’s just say that this is not an ordinary series, so expecting the unexpected is really the way to go here. Even though Donovan Barker might seem bad, he’s actually not the ‘bad guy.’ There are many introduced, and the man texting Donovan on that phone in 13 will prove to be a much larger adversary.

To learn more about Tallent & Lowery: 13 please read the review at: Feathered Quill Book Reviews.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Monday Morning Introductions

Here's a sample of books that came in for review at Feathered Quill this week.  Check them out and then head on over to our site to read the reviews in a few weeks.

Leonidas of Sparta: A Peerless Peer Sparta at the start of the fifth century BC is in crisis. The Argives are attacking Sparta's vulnerable island of Kythera, but King Cleomenes is more interested in meddling in Athenian affairs. His co-monarch, King Demaratus, opposes Cleomenes' ambitions, and soon the kings are at each other's throats. Exploiting this internal conflict, Corinth launches a challenge to Spartan control of the Peloponnesian League, while across the Aegean Sea, the Greek cities of Ionia are in rebellion against Persia -- and pleading for Spartan aid. King Cleomenes' youngest half-brother Leonidas has only just attained citizenship. He has no reason to expect that this revolt will shape his destiny. At twenty-one, Leonidas is just an ordinary ranker in the Spartan army, less interested in high politics than putting his private life in order. He needs to find reliable tenants to restore his ruined estate, and, most important, to find the right woman to be his bride. Meanwhile, his niece Gorgo is growing up. Not particularly pretty, she is, nevertheless, precocious and courageous -- qualities that get her into trouble more than once. This is the story of both Leonidas and Gorgo in the years before Leonidas becomes king of Sparta and before the first Persian invasion of Greece sets Leonidas on the road to Thermopylae.

Paths to Divinity: Volume 1 An archaeologist gone mad describes the unearthed secrets that drove him to insanity. The tables turn on a 'tender-hearted' serial killer who truly loves his victims. A mortally wounded German soldier contemplates the futility of war and love lost in the company of a tennis-obsessed Grim Reaper. A slain Spartan king is awakened by The Furies and finds his vengeance. A little girl stumbles upon a mythical garden and finds within herself the world's salvation. Paths to Divinity offers tales grotesque and wonderful from the mind of author Joseph DiCristofano. Open this tome, and savor a journey filled with horror, magic, fear, and hope. Escape the trappings of normalcy and embrace your imagination.

Anything Ken and Melissa are at the dawn of a magnificent life together. A passionate romance has led them to the doorstep of marriage. While searching for the perfect wedding present for Melissa, Ken stumbles into a mysterious shop. There, he is given an extraordinary opportunity – to look in on Melissa when she was a girl. Ken has always wished he could have known Melissa from the day she was born and this seems like an incredible blessing. Until he discovers a terrible secret in Melissa's past, one so awful she has found it impossible to mention to him. Now Ken has another extraordinary opportunity. He can go back in time and change the horrible event that has left an indelible mark on Melissa. He can free her of this burden – but doing so could change things so completely that they might never meet. Ken has repeatedly told Melissa that he would do anything for her. But would he truly do anything?

Wax: Pearl Harbor Changed Everything Inspired by the lives of actual "Rosies," this novel follows three young women as they take industry jobs during WWII and as they break their mothers' molds when the war is over.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Red-Robed Priestess

Red-Robed Priestess: a novel (Fourth volume of the Maeve Chronicles)

There’s a famous statue of the famous Iceni queen Boadicea (spelled Boudica in the novel) at Westminster Pier in London. This great Celtic queen, who died in 60 or 61 CE, fought nearly all her life against Roman war machine. Before she died, she was made to watch as her two young daughters were raped by Roman legionaries and then she was flogged. History is awful enough, but when these scenes are rendered in Elizabeth Cunningham’s matchless prose, they will break your heart.

To read the rest of the review, head on over to our review site, Feathered Quill Book Reviews

The Beauty of Wonderstruck!

This is a very ‘special’ review for this reviewer to compose. Reason being…I have come across a book that is not a ‘book;’ it is a definitive, stunning work of art. Not only that, but the subject matter spoke to me on such a personal level, that I was completely engaged, enraptured, and so drawn in to the text and the pictures that I literally could not put the book down.

This is a very ‘special’ review for this reviewer to compose. Reason being…I have come across a book that is not a ‘book;’ it is a definitive, stunning work of art. Not only that, but the subject matter spoke to me on such a personal level, that I was completely engaged, enraptured, and so drawn in to the text and the pictures that I literally could not put the book down.

This amazing tale is told in two different ways - visually, with stunning hand-drawn pictures, and in print. The story that is told in the former, is set in 1927, where a young deaf girl named Rose lives in Hoboken, New Jersey with her father. The one thing Rose sincerely loves to do is make buildings out of paper and books that she has cut up. The buildings that she creates are the ones she sees out her window every day, standing in the location that she desperately wants to visit - the absolutely stunning, New York City. Rose wants nothing more than to go over the river and into the City to stare at those amazing lights and buildings up close, but people are too worried that a deaf girl in the City could get hurt.  However, Rose has a family member over there who is about to open in a Broadway play. Rose wants nothing more than to get to her, and running away seems to be the only viable option.

As the ‘text’ enters the book, readers are brought into 1977, where there is a young boy named Ben who lives with his aunt, uncle and cousins on the shores of a lake in Minnesota that was made from a meteorite hitting the area thousands of years ago.  Ben’s mother was the town’s librarian and she loved her books, research and - most importantly - her son. But Ben’s mother also had a secret. When Ben discovers an old book in her bureau drawer titled, Wonderstruck, with a bookmark and an inscription etched inside, the strange treasure leads him to pack his things and head for New York City - to the Museum of Natural History. This is such an outstandingly amazing story that I am not going to give away anything about Ben and Rose’s separate adventures. In fact, they are so detailed and richly perfect that all readers should begin ‘fresh’ and clean with this story; that way they can experience all the wonder and magic this author has created, and discover the link that 1927 and 1977 ultimately have.

The illustrations are so vivid, and so true to life, that the author should win every literary award possible.  New York City has always been its own mystery; since the beginning of time, this is the location that holds the most wonder and awe that any place could ever entertain. In fact, NYC IS its own ‘cabinet of wonders’ - something that the Museum of Natural History used to put on display.  From the old advertisements on billboards in 1927, that are hand-drawn to perfection, to the 1977 subway with the wall decorated with the poster of what would soon become the movie hit of the century titled, Star Wars, this author has researched his heart out, and built a story upon this majestic location where two young kids who, in different time periods, went on their own incredible journeys.

The pictures of the inside of the Museum of Natural History simply bring back memories for this writer.  The huge whale hanging from the ceiling causing the humongous shadow on the floor; to the mighty T-Rex with jaws open and small ‘arms’ open wide as if trying to get you as you run by, brings home the fact that I am not in NYC to enjoy these sites on a daily basis.

The most extraordinary picture and amazing part of this story is when readers see the Panorama that was made for the 1964 World’s Fair, which was held in Queens. A scale model of NYC was made with all the parks, bridges, and buildings represented. All five boroughs with the 895,000 buildings that were there at the time were made with loving care; the Panorama ended up to be over 10,000 square feet, and was the largest architectural model ever built.  This still remains at the Queens Museum of Art, where people work to constantly change and update the buildings as they are torn down or built up.  (One of the most emotional moments is when a reader stares at this hand-drawn picture and sees the largest buildings towering over the City - The World Trade Center in all its glory).

Walking the paths that Rose takes in 1927, and Ben takes in 1977, is a ‘gift’ for any reader. This amazing writer has produced a story of mystery, family, love, faith, and miracles, making sure that we all know if you search hard enough for something it will be found. He shines the light on Deaf culture, as well as explaining how a person can finally find a place where they truly belong. And the spotlight shines brightly on the amazing skyline of NYC.

A long time ago I walked the halls of the Museum of Natural History when I was far too young to ‘get’ the monumental beauty that it provides. I have wanted to go back to NYC as an adult and have dreamed and wished for that opportunity for the past thirty years.  I want more than anything to walk between Patience and Fortitude and sit in the New York Public Library and soak in the majesty; I want to go to the Museum and stand in the shadow of that gigantic whale once again…and dream; and I want to stand on top of The Empire State Building at night and watch all the brilliant lights come on across the City, and wonder what all the people are doing out there - if they are reading this book and nodding their heads as they once again realize that they are the luckiest people on Earth to be living in their amazing world.

This author is the creator of the Caldecott Medal Winner - “The Invention of Hugo Cabret,” so it is not a shock really to see that he has now created one of - if not the best book I have read this year - or, perhaps any year. 

Even though my chances are improbable at best, I hope with my whole heart that I can see NYC again one day; that is my wish on the North Star. On a personal level, I want to thank this author. As you will all soon see, he has put so much into this book that will cause you to feel enlightened, uplifted, happy and - quite frankly - Wonderstruck!

(Wonderstruck, By: Brian Selznick; ISBN: 978-0-545-02789-2)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday Morning Introductions

Here's what came in this week for review.  Check them out and then stop by Feathered Quill Book Reviews in a few weeks to read the reviews.

Sleight of Paw Small-town librarian Kathleen Paulson never wanted to be the crazy cat lady. But after Owen and Hercules followed her home, she realized her mind wasn't playing tricks on her-her cats have magical abilities. When the body of elderly do-gooder Agatha Shepherd is found near Kath's favorite local café, she knows Owen's talent for turning invisible and Hercules's ability to walk through walls will give the felines access to clues Kath couldn't get without arousing suspicion. Someone is hiding some dark secrets-and it will take a bit of furtive investigating to catch the cold-hearted killer.

The Secret Book of CIA Humor This compilation of espionage humor is based on the author's thirty-three years with the CIA as an analyst, operations officer, and manager. Practical jokes, comical essays, poems, bloopers from performance-appraisal reports, and more are all included.

Merciless Tall, dark and eligible? That's all that matters to the women of Jacobsville when it comes to handsome and aloof FBI agent Jon Blackhawk. But if it were up to him, he would never settle down. Luckily, Jon has the best gatekeeper: his efficient and reliable assistant, Joceline Perry. Without her help, he'd be at the mercy of husband hunters—but the more he comes to rely on her, the more he notices how invaluable she really is…

Darkness, My Old Friend After giving up his post at the Hollows Police Department, Jones Cooper is at loose ends. He is having trouble facing a horrible event from his past and finding a second act. He’s in therapy. Then, on a brisk October morning, he has a visitor. Eloise Montgomery, the psychic who plays a key role in Fragile, comes to him with predictions about his future, some of them dire. Michael Holt, a young man who grew up in The Hollows, has returned looking for answers about his mother, who went missing many years earlier. He has hired local PI Ray Muldune and psychic Eloise Montgomery to help him solve the mystery that has haunted him. What he finds might be his undoing.

Tall, Dark, and Determined Welcome to Hope Falls where three enterprising young females are accepting applications for husbands-for-hire. With one woman already snagged, Lacey Lyman is one of only two remaining. No one really catches her eye until a handsome hunter arrives. Will Lacey find a way to bag her prey? Determined to investigate why Hope Falls’s mine collapsed, Chase Dunstan poses as a potential husband and a hunter, giving him the perfect excuse to poke around inside and outside of town. If only he could get the chatterbox Lacey Lyman off his trail. Can he keep his cover while solving the mystery of the mine?

Webs of Fate In the high-fashion world of the mid-'80s, Ashleigh McDowell falls victim to a painful betrayal by Danielle Norman, a naive and vulnerable young buyer who is fighting to save her plummeting career. How high a price will both women pay in their battle over a grave secret?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Amazon & e-Book Pricing

Okay, it may seem like I'm starting to obsess so this will be the last post on Amazon for a while.  Interesting article on how customers react (read- buy) when the price is right.  Digital Book Pricing SALE!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Is Amazon Trying to Take Over the World????

And here's yet another possible area that Amazon is looking to get into - book rentals.  Certainly won't be a windfall for publishers.  Hopefully, publishers will tell them to go, um, er, well, you get the idea!

Report: Amazon considering Netflix-like book service

Monday, September 12, 2011

Curiosity Day

How do you celebrate "Curiosity Day"? 
 With Curious George, 
of course!
Curiosity Day is an annual even in Boston, MA.  Together, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, the Boston Public Library, and WGBH, Boston's PBS station, have helped thousands of kids, parents, and grandparents celebrate a love of reading and learning.  The popular event draws thousands of attendees each year.  To learn more about the event, and to learn how to plan your own "Curiosity Day," visit Houghton Mifflin Harcourt's website. 

Amazon Testing 'Book Buffet'

In another walk-up to the release of its hotly anticipated tablet device, Amazon is in talks with book publishers to launch a digital library for customers, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Monday Morning Introductions

Here's a sampling of the books that came in this week for review.  Check them out and then stop by in a few weeks to read the reviews!

Maxfield Parrish Fantasy helps shape the Golden Age of illustration. In the mid 1920s, Maxfield Parrish was a household name. He was considered the most popular American artist before Norman Rockwell and was credited with helping to develop the future of visual arts in the United States. The first color reproduction posters displayed the glowing hues and architectural detail of his work. Magazines, advertisements, books for kids and adults, calendars, greeting cards, and menus all used his illustrations. This biography for children contains photographs of the artist and is illustrated with the colorful dream lands he was known for creating.

The Apothecary It's 1952 and the Scott family has just moved from Los Angeles to London. Here, fourteen-year-old Janie meets a mysterious apothecary and his son, Benjamin Burrows - a fascinating boy who's not afraid to stand up to authority and dreams of becoming a spy. When Benjamin's father is kidnapped, Janie and Benjamin must uncover the secrets of the apothecary's sacred book, the Pharmacopoeia, in order to find him, all while keeping it out of the hands of their enemies - Russian spies in possession of nuclear weapons. Discovering and testing potions they never believed could exist, Janie and Benjamin embark on a dangerous race to save the apothecary and prevent impending disaster.

Sleight of Paw Small-town librarian Kathleen Paulson never wanted to be the crazy cat lady. But after Owen and Hercules followed her home, she realized her mind wasn't playing tricks on her-her cats have magical abilities. When the body of elderly do-gooder Agatha Shepherd is found near Kath's favorite local café, she knows Owen's talent for turning invisible and Hercules's ability to walk through walls will give the felines access to clues Kath couldn't get without arousing suspicion. Someone is hiding some dark secrets-and it will take a bit of furtive investigating to catch the cold-hearted killer.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Reviewer's Tip - ARGH! Don't Do This!!!

I had a self-publisher query us back in July, looking for a book review.  I had a reviewer interested in the book and replied, asking him to send it along.  The reply went through but when the book never arrived and I tried to send a follow-up email, I noticed that the email was a press release distribution service that he had used.  No surprise, it didn't work the second time around.  At the bottom of his press release, it says "Contact: Author's Name" but there's no email, phone, fax, nada, nope, nothing.  Argh!!!  Guess who could have had a book review but blew it???  Don't do this!  Be sure you include contact info.

Friday, September 9, 2011

iSquare Rocks!

I LOVE iSquare, do you?  If you're an author and make appearances where you sell copies of your book (and if you don't make appearances, why not???!!!), do you accept credit cards?  No?  Processing fees too high?  Well, then, check out iSquare!

Several years ago, I investigated the possibility of accepting credit cards at events.  At the time I had several books out and was losing a few sales per event because I didn't take credit cards.  I'd been hesitant because most of my sales were tied to the fall/holiday season and taking credit cards meant paying monthly fees year round.  But I finally bit the bullet and signed up with a bank that was recommended as having favorable rates for small businesses.

There was a fee for the card swipe machine (monthly rental), a monthly fee, a transaction fee (percentage of sale), plus a set per sale fee (tiny, something like .25).  Oh, and then there was an hour long phone call to receive training on using the card swipe, etc.  Ugh.  The company "forgot" our first scheduled training call, had to re-schedule, wait, and so on.  When the session finally started and nothing the woman said fit with my card swipe machine, we realized they'd sent me the wrong machine.  Argh!  Then I learned that the machine worked on wi-fi and if an event didn't have wi-fi, I'd have to accept the card, enter its number when I got home and hope/pray that it went through.  If it didn't, well, I'd be out that money.  I'd had it.  It wasn't worth the few sales I was losing.  I canceled the account, sent the card swipe machine back and thought I was done.  But wait!  The bank wouldn't get out of my bank account, kept taking their fees, month after month.  Argh again!  I came close to shutting my account.  I finally got *most* of that money back and vowed to never take credit cards again.

Enter iSquare, the, IMO, best ever app invented for the iphone, ipad, and other mobile devices.  It's incredibly easy to use, the card swipe "thingy" that attaches to your phone/ipad is FREE, there's NO monthly fee, just a small (smaller than those nasty banks mentioned above) percentage of total charge fee plus .15/per transaction charge.  I luv it, luv it, luv it.  It is SOOOOO easy to use that even this tech-challenged author learned to use it in no time.  If you haven't heard of it, or have but haven't signed up, go to their website ( and check them out.  You'll be glad you did and it will hopefully help your sales.  I've already had several sales that I'm sure I received only because of my ability to take credit cards.  Example - long time customer (gift shop) had sold out of my books.  They wanted more when I called but hesitated because business was slow.  Then she asked, "do you take credit cards?"  Got the sale, had the funds in my account in a few days, and I kept a customer and kept a customer happy.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Amazon Cuts Deal on California Sales Taxes

Legislative leaders agree to let the online retailer delay collecting taxes for a year, while it would drop its battle to overturn the state law. Gov. Jerry Brown has not said if he will support the plan.  Read the rest of the article.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Hey Self-Publishers - Need A Laugh???

Are you sitting at your desk, working on new and creative ways to market your book?  Feeling like the world is against you?  Frustrated?  Well, then, take a break and check out this youtube video.  It'll give you a laugh and let you know you're not alone.  YOUTUBE

Monday, September 5, 2011

Monday Morning Introductions

Here are this week's offerings.  Enjoy!

Targets of Opportunity Whisked from his Manhattan town house to a gabled CIA safe house in Virginia, Sandor faces off with a top terrorist agent from Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. In exchange for protection from his own side, Ahmad Jaber is offering the CIA explosive information: word of a secret, unholy alliance forged among operatives in the Middle East, a ruthless South American, and Kim Jong-Il’s North Korea. Jaber claims not to know specific details, only that the strike will target the heart of America. The fanatics stage a stunning diversion in the Caribbean, mercilessly downing a passenger jet and unleashing an assault on a French intelligence installation. Sandor, however, has already moved in a different direction. Leveraging Jaber’s infor-mation, he assembles a small strike force to penetrate North Korea. The team knows they will not all return, but the intel they gather will be vital to American security.

Rin Tin Tin: The Life and Legend He believed the dog was immortal. So begins Susan Orlean’s sweeping, powerfully moving story of Rin Tin Tin’s journey from orphaned puppy to movie star and international icon. From the moment in 1918 when Corporal Lee Duncan discovers Rin Tin Tin on a World War I battlefield, he recognizes something in the pup that he needs to share with the world. Rin Tin Tin’s improbable introduction to Hollywood leads to the dog’s first blockbuster film and over time, the many radio programs, movies, and television shows that follow. The canine hero’s legacy is cemented by Duncan and a small group of others who devote their lives to keeping him and his descendants alive.

All the Pretty Hearses: A Bed-and-Breakfast Mystery There’s no “fun” in “fund-raiser” for Judith McMonigle Flynn when she donates an overnight stay at Hillside Manor for the parish school’s annual auction—not when the pricey winning bid goes to the persnickety Paine family. Dinner is included—if Judith can sort through the endless allergies and aversions of the painfully picky Paines. The last thing she needs is another B&B guest who checks out permanently. Thankfully, her husband, Joe, is home early. His latest surveillance job has just ended abruptly with a .38 Smith & Wesson blowing away the insurance fraud suspect. Unfortunately, the gun belongs to Joe, who finds himself in a jail cell as a murder suspect while Judith tries to find what’s left of her mind—and the real killer.

Napoleon's Privates: 2,500 Years of History Unzipped When Tony Perrottet heard that Napoleon's "baguette" had been stolen by his disgruntled doctor a few days after the Emperor's death, he rushed out to New Jersey. Why? Because that's where an eccentric American collector who had purchased Napoleon's member at a Parisian auction now kept the actual relic in an old suitcase under his bed.

The story of Napoleon's privates triggered Perrottet's quest to research other such exotic sagas from history, to discover the actual evidence behind the most famous age-old mysteries: Did Churchill really send condoms of a surprising size to Stalin? Were champagne glasses really molded upon Marie Antoinette's breasts? What was JFK's real secret service? What were Casanova's best pickup lines? Napoleon's Privates is filled with offbeat, riotously entertaining anecdotes that are guaranteed to amaze, shock, and enliven any dinner party.

The Cat's Pajamas: 101 of the World's Cutest Cats Rachael Hale, an internationally acclaimed photographer and cat devotee, is adept at capturing the unique charm of every cat she photographs. Along with her gorgeous portraits, The Cat's Pajamas provides information on each breed, details of temperament, color, and history, as well as fascinating anecdotes.

Friday, September 2, 2011

September Book Giveaway

This month we have TWO books for our contest.  One lucky winner will win both Animalogy: Animal Analogies and Prairie Storms.  These books are published by Sylvan Dell Publishers, a small publisher dedicated to educational books that are fun to read.  Each book has several pages in the back "For Creative Minds" as well as additional activities on the Publisher's website.  Check them out (read the reviews for Animalogy and Prairie Storms) and then enter our contest.  Good luck!