Category Archives: Book Review


TITLE: THE HINOMOTO REBELLION – Book One of the Aka Ryuu Chronicles.

AUTHOR: Elizabeth Staley

PAPERBACK: 352 Pages.
It was lucky I could clear my schedule this weekend because once I got into this book, I didn’t want to put it down. This SciFi/Fantasy novel set in future Japan is a superbly crafted hero’s journey.

It’s also lucky that because I did Script Frenzy, I found Liz and her blog, where I won a copy of this book. I was very interested in her work because she writes AND illustrates. She does both with excellence.


The heroine is in a group of young people banded together to fight injustice. Have you heard the saying that girls will read books with a male or female main character, but boys only want books with a male main character? I think boys will also like this book because there are so many strong secondary characters who are male.


These characters get their way into your heart for their loyalty and valor, while having endearing humanness that is so interesting.


I love that the heroine has multiple sets of the same outfit. That is something I do when I find something I love.

Well plotted, the ending was ultimately satisfying and emotional. A sequel is set up at the end of the book. Looking forward to that helps to assuage the sense of loss over finishing the book and leaving the alternate reality you’ve been in.


The cover art is by Julie Minter.  The author did all the interior illustrations and she publishes a web comic three times a week here.


The next book in the Aka Ryuu Chronicles will come out in 2011.




© 2010 J.B. Vadeboncoeur


Posted by on May 31, 2010 in Book Review


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Feel Good Friday

The Girl Next Door Grows Up
Blog started this Feel Good Friday thing. Here’s how to do it –

Step 1:
Pick one of these prompts and write about it on your blog! You can:

  • Just make a list. List 5 things that made you really happy this week. No matter how bad or boring you think your week was, I bet you can find 5 things.
  • Write about something that happened to you this week that really made you smile. Was it your child, husband, or maybe a complete stranger did to you?
  • Write about something that YOU did for someone else that really made them happy or laugh.
  • Is there something you treasure so much that every single time you look at it, it brings you happiness? Post a pic and tell everyone about it.
  • Having a hard week and can’t find one good thing about it? Well then, what is your happy place? What do you think of that makes you happy? A past vacation? A childhood memory? We want to know!

Step 2:
Go back to Girl Next Door’s Blog and link up with Mister Linky’s Magical Widgets. Then go and read at least one other blog and leave them a comment to make their day brighter.

Step 3:
Have fun. Feel good. Smile.

For my birthday last month, my daughter gave me this book. It’s a humorous mystery by Thea Phipps called Charades With A Lunatic.

It made me lol. Do not bring this book with you to read in a quiet place. I brought it to my doctor’s office and I kept laughing out loud. There is nothing wrong with that, but people started looking at me funny.

Once again I had pages of notes and I was determined to guess the mystery. I didn’t, even though the author, Thea Phipps plays fair with her readers. I think I fell for every red herring.

The author’s humor is at it’s best for me when she is describing people’s actions in a scene and the visual is a crack up.

I also appreciate her descriptions. On page 148 she writes”…as out of place…as a frosted bonbon in a cat’s litter box.” and ” …false eyelashes ringed her eyes like squatting tarantulas.”

The ending was more than completely satisfying. And Thea has a sequel out already, The Doll In The Wall.

© 2010 J.B. Vadeboncoeur


Posted by on April 2, 2010 in Book Review, writing


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Friday For Friends – Book Review – A Doll In The Wall by Thea Phipps


TITLE: The Doll In The Wall

AUTHOR: Thea Phipps

PUBLISHER: Xlibris Corporation (October 27, 2009)

Paperback: 344 pages

PRICE: $19.99

Before Christmas I was lucky to win a copy of Thea Phipps book, The Doll In The Wall.

Thea Phipps bio lets you know she is funny and fun, so I was looking forward to reading her book The Doll In The Wall. I love a good mystery and humor makes it that much better.

Early on she got to me with a presence that came through in her choice of words.

Pg. 65 ROFL

Pg. 189 I’m stumped by the intricate mystery here.

The description of fallen petals like confetti speaks to me.

Pg. 116 reminds me of the first time I kissed a boy. (sigh)

I love that Thea brings up the difference between being unaware of someone vs. ignoring them, perhaps because you have such regard for them.

Pg. 270 Thea uses chess in a brilliant way.

Here is a photo of my “cheat sheets” as I was determined to solve this mystery.

Pg. 288 LOL, tears in my eyes.

This was a satisfying read,well plotted and well wrapped up. Later I found myself missing the characters. I love when that happens. Thank you Thea

© 2010 J.B. Vadeboncoeur


Posted by on January 14, 2010 in Book Review


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Book Review – The Farwalker’s Quest

TITLE: The Farwalker’s Quest

AUTHOR: Joni Sensel

PUBLISHER: Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books

HARDCOVER: 384 pages

PRICE: $16.99

The Farwalker’s Quest by Joni Sensel was enchanting. It was Harry Potter good. It’s ignore your husband when he talks to you good.

Ms Sensel gives herself great freedom of expression and surprises and delights with the fruits of her labors.  Noted for her first lines, the book starts out – “Zeke’s tree wouldn’t speak to him.”

The main character is a girl 13 years old who is assisted by a young man and a 13 year old boy who are devoted and loyal to her. It’s heartwarming and surprising, interesting and uplifting.

The MC actually goes to the bathroom.

I found myself envisioning it as a movie. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Let me know.


Posted by on December 7, 2009 in Book Review