Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Review of The Pillar of Light: The Legends of Milana, by A.L. Travis

The Pillar of Light is a middle-grade novel that will appeal to young fans of mystery, fantasy, and adventure stories.

In the depths of the Brazilian jungle, a husband-wife team of missionaries suddenly receive a strange visit: An amazingly tall man with long black hair, carrying in his arms the battered body of a young girl with blond locks. Muttering some enigmatic words, the mysterious man leaves the girl with them, along with a strange necklace that the man urges them to hide before he turns around and disappears into the forest.

In the missionary hospital, the kind couple care for the girl, Nani Val Dynia, until she recovers her consciousness. When she wakes up, however, she doesn't recall who she is or where she came from. During the next three years, the couple take care of Nani, always wondering about her unknown origins.

Then, a group of high school students arrive to the jungle to help the natives and Nani volunteers to guide them to the nearest village. But before they reach their destination, their car crashes and they suffer a terrible accident. Upon waking, they find themselves in a bizarre, extraordinary parallel world. Where are they? Is this the land Nani comes from? What is the mystery of the six pillars? Will they ever find their way back home?

The Pillar of Light is the first book and a good start in The Legends of Milana series. I found the writing engaging and the dialogue natural. The descriptions help create the right amount of visual images without being intrusive to the flow of the story. The first few chapters were particularly interesting, prompting me to read on. The author keeps a good pace throughout most of the book. I found the mythology of the parallel world, however, a little confusing, especially the early explanations of the concepts of 'Healing' and the connection of male and female pairs at birth. For the most part, though, the mythology is imaginative and entertaining, and I had a good time reading about Nani and her friends.

To find more about the book, visit the author's website. www.tips-fb.com

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Review of My Doggie Says, by Fred M. Haney

Are you tuned with your dog? Enough to understand the signals and messages it sends you everyday? How well do you communicate with your canine companion?

In My Doggie Says, the author pays a tribute to his beloved dog, Jamie, a golden retriever who never stops sending him messages with his eyes, expressions, barks, and physical behavior.

Of course, all dogs sends us messages and 'talk' to us, but not all dog owners are tuned enough to their dogs to perceive or understand these messages.

The author took photographs of Jamie in different situations, capturing Jamie's body language during four years, then he set to the task of writing about them, the result which is this book.

Writen with humor and warmth, this is an award-winning book that will be enjoyed by all dog lovers, especially owners of golden retrievers. It might even help you build a warmer, closer relationship with your doggie and inspire you to become a better 'listener'.

Note: My Doggie Says is an Indie Excellence Award Winner (pet books category).

Visit the author's website. www.tips-fb.com

Review of The Tutu Ballet, by Sally O. Lee

Every Saturday in the forest, the mothers bring their children to MS. Berry's ballet class. Among the students are Belinda the Bear, Mirabel the Mouse, Harriet the Hare, and Fillipo the Fox. There's much reason for excitment, as Ms. Berry is planning a recital. However, not all is going according to plan during rehearsals. Belinda likes to kick too much, Harriet twirls uncontrollably, Fillippo loves to jump wildly, and Mirabel won't stop doing her plies. Will the recital be a success or a disaster?

The Tutu Ballet is a very cute picture book with lovely illustrations (my ten-year old loved them) done in pen and ink and pastel watercolors. Though the font is original and created by the author herself, I found it a bit hard to read at times, especially when it was set against a dark background on the first page of the story. I also felt that for a picture book, there were some superflous words and that the prose could have been edited better for tightness.

But all in all, this is an enjoyable picture book that I read with interest and that will delight little girls who are learning ballet. It is a story of love, patience, and team work, and the rewards we may get when we combine the three. www.tips-fb.com

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Check out the trailer for CRASH!

This cute, charming trailer is the creation of Kim McDougall, founder of Blazing Trailers and author of The Rainbow Sheep, The Stone Beach, and Angel Venom. Thank you, Kim! www.tips-fb.com

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing is a 2008 National Best Books Awards Finalist!

Anne K. Edwards and I are proud to announce that our nonfiction book, The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing, is a 2008 National Best Books Awards Finalist!

For a full list of finalists and winners in all the categories, visit: http://www.usabooknews.com/bestbooksawards2008.html

For information about our book, visit:http://www.slipperybookreview.wordpress.com/

Mayra Calvani