Category Archives: Mostly About Reading

Book Review: Cerdito a juicio; comment by author Darlene Foster; & book giveaway!

Cerdito a juicioBook: Cerdito a juicio 
(translation: Pig on trial)
Author: Darlene Foster
Publisher: Ediciones Camelot SRL
Date: March 24, 2015
Genre: children's
Pages: 30; paperback
Price:  $12.00
My rating: enjoyable bilingual medieval tale

Poor Fredrick! He was innocently minding his own business when soldiers showed up and arrested him, and ten-year-old Sebastian could do nothing about it. When Father came home, immediately the decision was made to go and sort out the misunderstanding. He took Sebastian with him, and what transpires is not quite as easy a rescue as expected. Fredrick was slated to be executed, and  Fredrick is the family’s pet pig!

Imagine medieval times, bizarre accusations, a pig on trial and the efforts to rescue him – as told by a ten-year-old boy. Now you have an interesting story.  Plus it’s in two languages – English and Spanish.

When I asked author Darlene Foster if there was anything she wanted to tell me about the story or the writing of it, here is what she said:

“I got the idea for the story a few years ago when I learned that animals were put on trial and sometimes executed in medieval times. I thought that children might find that interesting. Then, I met someone who, when he was a child, had a pet pig called Frederick, and I loved that name for a pig. As often happens, I couldn’t sleep one night, so I got up and scribbled down the first draft of the story. When I moved to Spain, I was introduced to a publisher here. He offered to translate the story into Spanish so we could offer a bi-lingual book to children (and adults) who wanted to learn either language. I am pleased with how the book turned out and will be doing readings at four outlets in Spain this summer.”

Congratulations, Darlene! :)  This is a wonderful book. 

Here’s an inside view to show you how it’s laid out in two languages:

Cerdito a juicio.2Now, to my readers located anywhere in the world I am offering one copy of Cerdito a juicio. If you want to put your name in for your chance to win this book, all you have to do is leave a comment about anything mentioned in this post. Easy peasy. 

You have until July 31 at 10 PM AST, that’s 9 PM Eastern, to get your name in. Don’t put it off! I will use an automated random name picker to select one winner. The next day, August 1, I will make the announcement of who won  Darlene Foster’s Cerdito a juicio.

You can find Cerdito a juicio on my BUY THE BOOK page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! :)

Did someone say books?

One afternoon last week my daughter met me in town after I’d dropped my little Meyya off for her grooming. I had awhile to do what I wanted before going back for her, so we went shopping in a secondhand (mostly clothing) store. The fun thing in that store is they now have shelves of used BOOKS! My attention on clothes was quickly diverted when I discovered that. Even better – the sign said: BUY 2 GET 1 FREE! Oh. My. Gosh. I was in the right place!  happy happy happy!   Not that I needed more books to add to my already toppling over TBR pile, but … um … yes I did!    You understand. :)

Look at what I bought for $15.00! Plus one not in this shot.

books bought at Frenchy'sI don’t know about you, but I love books no matter whether they are new, used, or very old – and I hope you do, too.  Two of these books I plan to give away on my blog. I’ll let you know later when I’m offering them, one at a time. 

About the above books:

  1. I bought Assassin’s Apprentice – by Robin Hobb because when I was on a bus trip with a friend – I talk about that HERE – there was a fellow on the bus reading one of the author’s books. I had to ask, even though I didn’t know this guy … because seeing anyone immersed in a book makes me curious. He told me the author writes really good fantasy novels. (You know I love fantasy.) He said if he’d not left at his girlfriend’s the one he’d just finished he’d have given it to me! Wasn’t that was sweet of him? When I came across this book, of course I had to have it.
  2. The Great Gatsby – by F. Scott Fitzgerald – I’ve watched the movie. Is the book better? I have to find out.
  3. A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf – I hadn’t read any of her writing, so this was my first. Someone will win this book. 
  4. Song of Solomon – by Toni Morrison – I’m not sure about this one yet, but I’ve wanted to read some of the author’s work and this seemed a good place to start.
  5. The Pursuit of Happyness – by Chris Gardner – I saw the movie of this true story starring Will Smith and his son, and I loved it! I was excited to find the book. Again, is the book better?
  6. I’m Not Wonder Woman – by Sheila Walsh – I’ve read a book by this Christian author, and reviewed it HERE on my blog. I’m interested in seeing what else she has to say.
  7. The Man Who Was Thursday – by G. K. Chesterton – has been recommended a few times by a friend, so when I saw this copy I had to have it!
  8. You’ve Earned It, Don’t Lose It – by Suze Orman I picked this one up because I thought it would be of interest to my husband. Turns out it is directed much more to the US economy – so guess what I’ll be doing with this book? 😉
  9. The little book I don’t have in this picture is called Bad Cat: 244 Not-So-Pretty Kitties and Cats Gone Bad – by Jim Edgar. It’s quite funny, and since three of my daughters are cat lovers the book has started its rounds.

Have you read any of the above? And of those that have been made into movies, which is better – the book or the movie?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! :)

Book Launch May 7; Jan L. Coates does it again!

Today I want to let you know about an exciting book launch taking place tomorrow, here in Nova Scotia. When I was at the Children’s book fair last month I got to purchase a copy of this fun book – Sky Pig by Jan Coates –  directly from the author, and tomorrow it is officially being set free into all the world.

CONGRATULATIONS, JAN!

https://mail-attachment.googleusercontent.com/attachment/u/0/?view=att&th=154867d5466a7e16&attid=0.1&disp=inline&realattid=f_invtn60x0&safe=1&zw&saddbat=ANGjdJ-uQmZf4pP4fXCnh2SGuOaSS2Gtf9we_bwmlJ7dt72tstbBBIes6V7kXSL8SWDMOxDty3mk36u-tsPgvnE_QgmrcYj_tznVbd4T4BSoNz6W5LxoD-niwJphfXoJxLWXkRHb1n7QYPGpv7P8J0nUl-gt_WAD1PKHSe_X4P5e9OHhS129_onI659e9DBBj67C2R_iI7YBNtWBi2L6pDt-qS9sWhvw30LfjkFYKIynvnBEFK8yz7_E2ep47br-LWuy5-Szdrrmdm8jgu3_mddsE4aQynICG23q1Smar4ulTccZ74m-grIMspUlw3aKIrjSJ3_Kkl8n83L6vzoF7lHQEnihAJsR-u4T-X5DeXUWP7zBDtz41kh3EaPPz3TG-HWmPFKnq5sMY_yQh_Ixc5TEt_oSQcI2UBCuNUctpaLvB1zWPjFEqagRBp94YLm_XFQLtseyelVCczTNeeAMBeUAMkyb1ehSQ5e3oBRFsnqe2AEf2_XngdyfEK1_oNsmOfGpvgvYnRoilZZRrgaqiuopgcxI3ng7iNusPeJk9RTt_Y4IM7W8HvY_HQ0eiT3ksMKeWqJdBZzxycF3YyoS-TjstG38RvbgsM5Cer3AcZMTQq0pZxUIhv4w-4GTZ0-qA8NyYoDICiV1KCxfHjKc

The story is fabulous, and look at the illustrations by Suzanne Del Rizzo — they are made from clay! Impressive work.

This is such a wonderful children’s book by prolific author Jan L. Coates. I know if you could be here you would enjoy meeting her. You can send her a message HERE on her website to encourage her, too.  

In case you can’t make the journey and wish you could, you can pre-order a copy of Sky Pig HERE at Amazon.com or purchase HERE at Amazon.ca. It’s also available HERE on Chapters Indigo.

If Jan’s name seems familiar it might be because I interviewed her here, and I have reviewed two of her books here and here.  She is a talented, award-winning author.

Please pass this information along to your friends, neighbours, contacts, … even those people you’re not sure you like much. They and the little ones in their lives can all enjoy Jan’s writing.

And maybe I’ll see you at the launch!

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! :)

How much of a book addict are you?

You know I love books. If I were able to take the time to do what I really, really want to do it would be … read more books!

And if I were to be able to read more books my results would have been different.  But .. I am getting ahead of myself.

The Latin Quarter, Paris, France

The Latin Quarter, Paris, France

 

 

 

 

 

 

You know I also enjoy quizzes. I found one through Pinterest that I thought you might like to try, too. It’s fun and will reveal how much of a book addict you are. Give it a try. It’s called, of course ….. how much of a book addict are you?  

Here’s my result (and for myself I would replace ‘mother’ with ‘husband’):

 

  • Congratulations! You are an active, healthy reader grounded firmly in reality. Are you addicted to the written word? Absolutely! But not so much that it worries your mother.

Will you try this quiz, then come back and tell me in the comments how much of a book addict YOU are?

And if you haven’t entered the draw yet for my fifth giveaway, go HERE to do that. The draw is only a week away! And it’s a lovely gift. Really! 

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!

 

Inspiration at the children’s book fair

As I launch into the writing of this post I am still basking in the glow of a morning of meeting authors and buying books. This post will include more photos than I usually add so they will be sized down for your convenience. My apologies for the poor lighting. Please be sure to click on the links I’ve provided. Even if you aren’t local to these people and organizations there could be ideas you would like to emulate where you are located.

As to the above … yes, you heard read me right. I came home with more books, and these ones don’t have to be returned. Yay! In fact, I bought twelve books and a bookmark! Oh me. I DO need a new bookcase. (Ohh, HONeeeyyy!) 😉

It all began with an email from author Laura Best to let me know about a children’s book fair being held Saturday AM, April 23. Happily, I was able to get there before 9:00 when there weren’t many people crowding around yet.

children's book fair

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I arrived I talked with two ladies in the lobby who were enthused about their lovely art display they had set up there. They rent out works of art to children for only $2 a month. Beautiful work. You can see what they’re all about HERE. It’s a fabulous idea, plus they have an art program  – workshops once a month with local artists who work with the children.

At one table I met a lady representing the Valley Community Learning Association. She was happy to tell me a lot about it and suggested that if I were interested I could become involved in the family literacy program, helping people learn to read, including refugees who have recently come here and are learning English. They need the help. I think I would need more patience – like my mother had. It’s something to consider, though. You can check it out here.

I was delighted to be able to spend some time talking with many of the authors, and they all are such nice people – talented, inspiring, friendly, real, honest, and lovers of what they do. I came away invigorated and excited to write again. 

Laura B & Jan CLeft: Laura Best, author of Bitter, Sweet (see interview and review) and Flying With a Broken Wing (review and interview)

Right: Jan Coates, author of A Hare in the Elephant’s Trunk (see interview  and review); Rainbows in the Dark (see review); and other books I purchased today that I will show you below.

 

 

Here are photos I should have shared with you long ago of Laura at her reading of Flying With a Broken Wing.      See, Laura? They are good pictures of you.:)Laura

IMG_0559

I got a chance to meet the lovely Starr Dobson whose first picture book I reviewed. Of course, I had to buy her second one, and she asked if I wanted a picture taken with her!  Okay.  :)  Thank you, Starr.

Starr DobsonStarr Dobson & me

I don’t know why I didn’t take pictures of every author I talked with, or at least whose book(s) I purchased. Not thinking, I guess.

Meghan Marentette & Carolyn Mallory

Here are two ladies with whom I had an enjoyable chat, and one invited me to a local writing group I didn’t know  existed! They meet once a week. Thanks, Carolyn, I am seriously considering it.

Left: Meghan Marentette

Right: Carolyn Mallory

 

 

Now, look at all the books I purchased today:

  • The Power of Harmony – by Jan Coates
  • Rocket Man – by Jan Coates
  • The King of Keji – by Jan Coates
  • Sky Pig – by Jan Coates
  • Gertrude at the Beach – by Starr Dobson
  • Fire Pie Trout – by Melanie Mosher
  • A Gift of Music: Emile Benoit & his Fiddle – by Alice Walsh
  • Fiddles and Spoons: Journey of an Acadian Mouse – by Lila Hope-Simpson
  • Forensic Science: in Pursuit of Justice – by L. E. Carmichael
  • How Smudge Came – by Nan Gregory
  • Painted Skies – by Carolyn Mallory
  • The Stowaways – by Meghan Marentette

The Power of HarmonyRocket ManThe King of Keji

 

 

 

Sky Pig

 

 

 

Gertrude at the BeachFire Pie Trout

 

 

 

A Gift of MusicFiddles and Spoons

The Fiddles & Spoons cover is different from on the copy I bought today, but it’s the one on Amazon and other places so I used it.

Forensic Science - in pursuit of justiceHow Smudge CameI’d previously met Ron Lightburn, the illustrator of How Smudge Came, when his own book was released. (review)

Painted SkiesThe Stowaways

 

 

 

 

 

I was pleased to meet Lindsey Carmichael who is the Atlantic Representative for CANSCAIP (Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators & Performers). She is a sweet lady, and the many books she has written are quite amazing. She said she tried fiction but finds it harder to write than non-fiction. As you see above, I bought one of her books about a topic that fascinates me.

A fun bonus is I got to add to my bookmark and postcard collections.

bookmark from book fairpostcards from book fair

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This fair opened my awareness to more about writing – that being a writer is very OKAY, that I should try writing non-fiction because I haven’t done that yet and it might work for me, that there is a writers’ group close enough for me to visit – especially tempting since I’ve now met someone who participates in it, and there are such fabulous books out there!  oh, I already knew that, but I found so many new ones! And I now own a few more. :)  Gotta love that.

I hope you’ve enjoyed our trip to the Children’s Book Fair. I certainly did.  :)  Thanks for coming along.

What inspires your creativity and helps nudge you forward?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! :)

 

Love books? Love your library card!

Look at this t-shirt I bought for myself last month. I love it!

library card t-shirt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Treat yourself today by going on a visit to your local library. If you haven’t got a card it’s probably free –  (mine was)  – or if not free, then it will be inexpensive for all the reading pleasure it will afford you. 

When’s the last time you visited your library and took out a book?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! :)

 

My personal reading challenges

I have an account on Goodreads. If you love books then Goodreads.com is a great place to be. Each year they set up a challenge for us to challenge ourselves to read more, to set goals to read however many books we think we can or that we want to read. I enjoy challenges like that since I’m just a little competitive. And I love books.

In 2013 my goal was 25 books. I made it to 44%, having read only 11 books. Actually, if you look at my list here on my blog for what books I read that year, my total was 34. The difference is because I apparently didn’t report them all on Goodreads. Oops!

I don’t remember what my goal for 2014 was, but I reported 38 books. In actuality, I read 46.

In 2015 I met my goal of 50 books. Yay! (Plus one I didn’t report.)

This year I set a goal of 25, then decided to up it to 50 again. Once I joined the ReFoReMo challenge in March, I said – what the hey! – and reset my goal to 150 books this year. Yipes!  Not to panic, yet.  I am already 64 ahead of schedule at 71%, having read 107 as of this writing. I still have a few more titles on hold at the library for the lingering on of ReFoReMo in my life, and we have about eight months left in 2016. I can do it! (yes I can)  Gosh, I love books!

It may not seem like such a big accomplishment where most of my reading so far this year is picture books. I could never manage to read that many novels in twelve months. BUT … reading is reading. I’m learning about writing while I’m enjoying all those expertly told stories, too, as they serve as mentor texts.

Someday I’ll try to count how many books I have here in my growing TBR stashes♥  Novels, that is. Novels beckoning to me, novels tempting me, calling me.  *sigh*  I want to read them, get lost in them, devour them all!

pile of books

BOOKS.  

Another feature on Goodreads is that other members I’ve connected with as “friends” can recommend books they’ve read. Oh me. Some have.  :) 

Oh, and while I’m on the topic — thank you to author Darlene Foster who follows my blog and recommended Pompeii by Robert Harris. I bought it through Audible.com and very much enjoyed it. Of course, I could have borrowed it from the library but I didn’t even think of doing that at the time. I really like Audible, anyway.  :)  I can multi-task that way — listen to the book being performed for me (not just read), which is so great, and work around doing something else at the same time. But not writing. Not while “reading.” 😉

Have you set a goal this year for how many books you want to read? Or is there some other goal-setting you’ve established?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)