Friday, April 12, 2013

The Night Horses, A Change, Mysteries

Today’s post is two-fold. First, I’d like to tell you about a delightful children’ book and the amazing author. Second, I’m thinking of adding a new feature to my monthly lineup and would like your input.

Let’s start with a fun book. The following review is not just about the book and the author’s writing, it’s about the author herself. 


the-night-horsesI love horses so the title, THE NIGHT HORSES, caught my attention; the synopsis drew me in; and the author’s bio blew me away.

Have you ever wondered what animals do at night, especially those confined to a barn?

THE NIGHT HORSES addresses what happens to the horses when they’re placed in their stalls at night and the humans go inside their home. It’s a fun look at how horses and the other barn animals entertain themselves.

After staying outdoors running and eating all day, the horses enjoy their own version of night life before going to sleep. They dance, dress up and play cards.

Author Anaka Jones has created a whimsical tale of companionship, love and fun. They story depicts the happiness of the animals in short sentences youngsters will be able to follow.

The beautiful illustrations brings the story to life and will quickly capture the young reader’s attention with the vivid colors and great details. Looking closely, readers will find a tiny creature moves from page to page with you. Unfortunately, there is no mention of who created the amazing illustrations.

This charming children’s book will surely spark the imagination of youngsters. It blends reality and fantasy in a lively tale. The book could also be used as a way of soothing youngsters’ anxiety if they are afraid of the dark.

I think youngsters will also be surprised and inspired when they learn this enchanting tale was written by a 12-year-old girl. The author is a sixth grader who was born and raised in the rural area outside of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Riding, grooming and maintaining horses is one of her favorite pastimes.

I’m always looking for books to encourage and fuel my young cousins’ reading. I think THE NIGHT HORSES will do just that, plus inspire them with the knowledge a 12-year-old is the author. Readers, young and old alike, will be entertained by this amusing tale. I highly recommend it.

Author Anaka Jones can be found on Facebook.

The Night Horses by Anaka Jones, CreateSpace, @2013, ISBN: 978-1452882789, Paperback, 28 Pages

FTC Full Disclosure - I requested this book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.
I finally realized with my scheduling last month and this that I have been overbooking myself. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining by no means. I’m delighted and honored that authors want to visit, that there are so many wonderful book tours to participate in, and so many great book to review. I just forgot to schedule in spots for unexpected reviews and books I learn about during the month.

Beginning with today’s post and hopefully at least once a month afterwards, I plan to highlight books that I either have to read, but haven’t gotten to; books that I’ve learned about during the month; and/or books authors/publishers have sent without me knowing I was getting them.

While I know it would probably be better to run this type post earlier in the month, I’m going to try and schedule it around the end of the month. Most end of the month post tell what is coming, I want to remind you what is already out there in case you’ve missed it.

In a way, this will be a cut-and-dry type post because I’m just going to give you the book’s photo and a brief synopsis. It won’t be a review even though I may sometimes note something I like about the book, series or author.

I also know this new post isn’t a major event, but I just want to get the word out so authors who have book out know. If you’re an author and want your book on this monthly post (anyone got a good name for it?), just email me a synopsis of your book, a photo of the book cover, and release date information (publisher, ISBN #, where available, etc.). This way your books is highlighted without you having to do a guest post or answers questions.

Until I started blogging, I never realized just how many new books are released each month. And, I’m sure I don’t know the half of it with so many authors self-publishing now. This is just a small way to help get the words out on the books I know about.

Even though this isn’t the end of the month (I don’t have any openings), I’m going to highlight a few books that were released this month that I hope you’ll be sure to check out.

9780451239693This is a fun series that is hard to put down once you begin. I’d recommend reading the books in order to fully appreciate the characters author Heather Blake has created.

Darcy Merriweather is Enchanted Village’s newest resident Wishcrafter—a witch who can grant wishes for others. But as Darcy prepares a celebration for a magical florist, she discovers that every rose has its thorns...

When magical florist Harriette Harkette decides to throw a lavish eightieth birthday party for herself, she hires Darcy’s Aunt Ve’s personal concierge service, As You Wish, to plan the soiree. But turning eighty isn’t all Harriette is celebrating—the Floracrafter has recently created the midnight black Witching Hour rose, the first all-natural rose of that color.

Darcy works hard on planning an extravagant celebration that will make Harriette feel like the belle of the ball. But when cake delivery boy Michael Healey—a former employee at Harriette’s greenhouse—is found dead, the celebration takes a turn. Now Michael’s ghost has imprinted on Darcy, meaning that they’re bonded until she can untangle the thicket surrounding his murder—and what exactly it has to do with the Witching Hour rose.

A Wishcraft Mystery #2
Obsidian, April 2013
ISBN-10: 0451239695
ISBN-13: 9780451239693
320 pages, Paperback, $7.99

For more on author Heather Blake and her writing, visit her at

OAK AND DAGGER by Dorothy St. James

9780425252031If you enjoy gardening, this is a fun series to follow. Can you image gardening for the White House?

When it comes to gardening, Cassandra “Casey” Calhoun isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty. But when it comes to murder, she’s not the kind of gal to let any killer get away clean...

Despite cooler fall temperatures in Washington, D.C., tempers flare at the White House when important historical documents go missing from the curator’s office and the gardeners are blamed. 

As if that isn’t bad enough, Casey has started receiving death threats, the president’s pooch is digging unsightly holes all over the South Lawn, and the curator has been found dead. All evidence for the murder points to Gordon Sims, the chief gardener. His fingerprints are on the murder weapon, and witnesses saw him arguing with the curator shortly before her death.

With the help of Special Agent Jack Turner, her reluctant sidekick and new flame, Casey works to clear Gordon’s name. Along the way she finds herself in a deadly race against time to discover if there’s a link between the stolen papers, the dog’s holes in the South Lawn, and a rumored two-hundred-year-old treasure—before the killer strikes again.

A White House Gardener Mystery #3
Berkley (Prime Crime), April 2013
ISBN-10: 0425252035
ISBN-13: 9780425252031
320 pages, Paperback, $7.99

For more on author Dorothy St. James and her writing, visit her at

A BROTH OF BETRAYAL by Connie Archer

9780425252086If you enjoy books that feature cozy mysteries, intriguing characters and yummy recipes, then this series is for you.

Even a town called Snowflake, Vermont, has a summer season. In August, Lucky Jamieson’s By the Spoonful serves chilled soups—celery and green onion, cream of asparagus—and salads. The shop also serves as a gathering place to talk about cold-blooded murder...

A protest to stop the construction of an ugly car wash in the middle of the town’s picturesque Village Green is interrupted by the discovery of a skeleton that may date back to the Revolutionary War. While the remains pose a historical mystery, a present-day murder shakes the town to its core when local auto mechanic Harry Hodges is found dead in his shop.

Straining the patience of Chief of Police Nate Edgerton, Lucky soon finds herself in the soup again when her dear friend Elizabeth, the Mayor of Snowflake, goes missing. No matter how much trouble she has to stir up, Lucky is determined to use her noodle to uncover a killer and recover her friend.

A Soup Lover's Mystery #2
Berkley (Prime Crime), April 2013
ISBN-10: 0425252086
ISBN-13: 9780425252086
304 pages, Paperback, $7.99

For more on author Connie Archer and her writing, visit her at

THE DEATH OF A DOWAGER by Joanna Campbell Slan

9780425253519This delightful author tackles a classic with fun new characters and interesting twists and turns.

In her classic tale, Charlotte Brontë introduced readers to the strong-willed and intelligent Jane Eyre. The Jane Eyre Chronicles pick up where Brontë left off, with Jane married to her beloved Edward Rochester and mother to a young son. But Jane soon finds herself having to protect those she loves...

While extensive repairs are being made to Ferndean, their rural home, Jane and Edward accept an invitation from their friend Lucy Brayton to stay with her in London. Jane is reluctant to abandon their peaceful life in the countryside, but Edward’s damaged vision has grown worse. She hopes that time in the capital will buoy his spirits and give him the chance to receive treatment from an ocular specialist.

Once in London, the Rochesters accompany Lucy to the Italian Opera House. But there is more drama in the audience than on stage—Jane not only unexpectedly finds herself in the presence of King George and his mistress, Lady Conygham, she also encounters an old nemesis in the form of Lady Ingram (whose daughter, Blanche, once hoped to wed Edward herself). 

The aging dowager deals both Jane and Lucy a very public snub; hoping to mitigate the social damage caused by this, Lucy insists on visiting the Ingrams the next day. The visit goes poorly from the start—and ends with Lady Ingram dropping dead in the midst of taking tea. It soon becomes clear that the dowager’s death was an unnatural one, and Jane must set her considerable intelligence to the problem of solving it—and why the throne appears to have an interest.

The Jane Eyre Chronicles #2
Berkley (Prime Crime), April 2013
ISBN-10: 0425253511
ISBN-13: 9780425253519
304 pages, Trade Size, $15

For more information on author Joanna Campbell Slan, visit her at

Thanks so much for stopping by today. I’m sorry the post is a little longer than usual, but I hope you’ve found a book or two (or more) that interests you. So tell me your thoughts on the highlight post. Do you have a suggestion of what I could call the post? Be kind now. Smile


  1. Mason - Thanks for sharing The Night Horses with us. It sounds like a terrific children's book (I like horses too). And as for your new feature, I love the idea. You are always so kind to authors and this gives us all a chance to hear about even more books. I'll have to think about what a good title would be...

  2. She's twelve? I need to read that one for sure.

    I like your sharing books that you've read, too.

  3. I'm always on the look out for books I may not have heard of so the additional post sounds good to me. In fact you could call it "Have you heard about...?"

    Or just BTW (by the way...)


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.