Book Review – First Night

November 7, 2009 at 2:38 am (Book Reviews, teen, Young Adult) (, , , )

First Night

BY: Tom Weston

PUBLISHED BY: tom weston media

PUBLISHED IN: 2008

ISBN: 978-0-981-94130-1

Pages: 253

Ages: Teen & Up

Reviewed by Billy Burgess

Author Tom Weston brings us an old fashioned ghost tale in First Night. The story begins with Sarah Pemberton who has caught the small pox. A family friend, Captain John Ayres, gives her an ivory bracelet to wear. Sarah dies.

The story skips to the present day. Alexandra O’Rourke and her younger sister, Jackie, are spending their New Year’s Eve with their aunt and uncle in Boston. They’re California girls and rather be home partying than spending their vacation in Boston.

Their aunt and uncle let them go out on their own and explore Boston. They come across a teenager wearing a 1600’s dress. Her name is Sarah Pemberton. The same Sarah who died many years ago of small pox. The Court of Spirits have accused her of being a witch and release her into our world to find a lawyer.

Alexandra and Jackie think nothing of it because they’re in the historical part of Boston. They change their minds when Sarah runs through Alex.

With time running out, Sarah takes Jackie back to the Court of Spirits to help defend her soul. Alexandra stays behind and searches for the Devil’s Book.

Tom Weston has written a fun, original novel while blending in some historical facts and locations about Boston. Alexandra and Jackie are believable teenage characters with cleverly written dialogue. I recommend this book to anyone who likes a good ghost story.

 

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Book Sale Finds Issue #2

October 31, 2009 at 9:17 pm (Uncategorized)

Here are my finds:

 

Hardbacks:

Surprise Party – R.L. Stine

The Haunted Mask – R.L. Stine

 

Paperbacks:

Tombstones: The Last Drop by John Peel

Tombstones: Dances with Werewolves by John Peel

Maniac by John Peel

Burning Up by Caroline B. Cooney

Echoes from the Past by June Masters Bacher

A Place to Call Home by Ruth Glover

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Great Finds Issue #12

October 31, 2009 at 9:13 pm (Great Finds)

What to do when you don’t live close to a book store? Two words – Thrift Shop!

 

Hardback:

Shiloh Autumn by Bodie and Brock Thoene

Forever in Blue by Ann Breashares

 

Paperback:

Matilda by Roald Dahl

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Book Sale Finds Issue #1

October 30, 2009 at 3:21 pm (Great Finds) (, , , , )

Here are my finds:

Hardbacks:

The Babysitter 4 by R.L. Stine

The Seance by Joan Lowry Nixon

Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder

By the Shores of Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Four Season’s Cross-Stitch by Better Homes and Bardens

A Merry Christmas In Cross-Stitch

A Cross-Stitch Christmas by Better Homes and Gardens

Christmas Cross Stitch by Jutta Lammer

Celebrations in Cross-Stitch by Lisbeth Perrone

Paperbacks:

Fear Street: What Holly Heard by R.L. Stine

Fear Street: The Face by R.L. Stine

Fear Street: The Cataluna Chronicles: The Deadly Fie by R.L. Stine

Fear Street: The Cataluna Chronicles: The Dark Secret by R.L. Stine

Fear Street: Fear Park: The Loudest Scream by R.L. STine

Fear Street: The Dare by R.L. Stine

Fear Street: College Weekend by R.L. Stine

Fear Street: Super Chiller: The Dead Lifeguard by R.L. Stine

More Tales to Give you Goosebumps by R.L. Stine

The Beast 2 by R.L. Stine

Amnesia by Sinclair Smith

Dangerous by Nora Roberts

Hot Ice by Nora Roberts

O’Hurley’s Return by Nora Roberts

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Writing News – “The Halloween Dare” is available as a Podcast

October 23, 2009 at 3:55 pm (News, Short Stories) (, , , , , )

My short story, The Halloween Dare, is now available as a podcast in the YA Literature Review.  http://yalitreview.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=540841

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Book Review – Cirque Du Freak: Vampire Mountain

October 14, 2009 at 3:11 pm (Book Reviews, teen, Young Adult) (, )

Cirque Du Freak: Vampire Mountain
BY: Darren Shan
PUBLISHED BY: Little, Brown and Company
PUBLISHED IN: 2001
ISBN: 0-316-60806-8
Pages: 195
Ages: Teen & Up
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

Half-vampire Darren Shan, Mr. Crepsley and three of Mr. Tiny’s Little People leave the Cirque Du Freak. They journey to the Vampire Mountain. Gavner Paul, a friend Mr. Crepsley also travels with them. One of the little people reveals his real name as, Harkat Mulds, and he has a message to deliver from Mr. Tiny to the Vampire Princes.

Many dangers confront them on their way. The purple-skinned Vampaneze are close by.

The Vampire Mountain is a network of tunnels and caves where the vampires live. Darren makes friends with several of the other vampires.

The Princes and Generals weren’t impressed with Darren. They thought he was too young. Now Darren must prove himself to them.

I found the fourth book in the series to be boring and not enough action.

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Great Finds Issue #11

October 14, 2009 at 3:07 pm (Great Finds) (, , , , , )

What to do when you don’t live close to a book store? Two words – Thrift Shop!

 

Hardback:

Anastasia Again!  by Lois Lowry

 

Paperback:

The Baby-sitters Club # 120 Mary Anne and the Playground Fight

Sweet Valley Twins and Friends #37 The War Between the Twins

Teacher’s Pet by Richie Tankersley Cusick

Goosebumps: The Horror at Camp Jellyjam by R.L. Stine

Give Yourself Goosebumps: The Knight in Screaming Armor by R. L. Stine

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Book Review – The Secret of the Sacred Scarab

October 14, 2009 at 3:00 pm (Book Reviews, Children, teen) (, , , )

The Secret of the Sacred Scarab
BY: Fiona Ingram
PUBLISHED BY: iUniverse
PUBLISHED IN: 2008
ISBN: 978-0-595-457168
Pages: 258
Ages: Teen & Up
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

In this first chapter of the Chronicles of the Stone, Adam and his cousin Justin are invited to go on a trip to Egypt by their Aunt Isabel and their Grandmother. The boys are excited about visiting another country. Their Aunt tells them that the archaeologist, James Kinnaird, has disappeared while looking for the tomb of the Scarab King. The tomb of the Scarab King is just a legend and has never been proven to exist by any archaeologist.

When they arrived in Cairo, they joined a tour group. A stranger gives three tiny scarabs to Adam. More odd things happen. Their aunt’s camera is switched with Dr. Khalid’s camera. Adam then discovers a fourth scarab in his back pocket. What are theses mysterious scarabs? Is someone one following them? Is the legend of the Scarab King real? Adam and Justin must try to solve the mystery.

Author Fiona Ingram mixes history and legends in this fast action adventure that keeps you reading till the very end. The characters are cleverly written. Young readers can easily step into the shoes of these two cousins and experienced this exciting adventure that takes you into the heart of Egypt. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good mystery.

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Book Review – Cirque Du Freak: Tunnels of Blood

October 9, 2009 at 12:26 am (Book Reviews, teen, Young Adult) ()

Cirque Du Freak: Tunnels of Blood
BY: Darren Shan
PUBLISHED BY: Little, Brown and Company
PUBLISHED IN: 2000
ISBN: 0-316-60763-0
Pages: 229
Ages: Teen & Up
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

In this fast-paced sequel, Mr. Crepsley is on business in the city and takes Darren and Evra with him. Christmas is just around the corner and Darren is the only one who wants to celebrate. He goes shopping for a present for Evra and bumps into a teenager, Debbie. He soon begins dating her.

Meanwhile, there are strange deaths in the city. Is Mr. Crepsley? Or is there another vampire hiding in the tunnels of blood.

I read this in one night. It’s a lot better than the second book. It’s exciting from the very beginning to the heartbreaking ending.

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Book Review – Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant

October 9, 2009 at 12:24 am (Book Reviews, teen, Young Adult) (, , )

Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant
BY: Darren Shan
PUBLISHED BY: Little, Brown and Company
PUBLISHED IN: 2000
ISBN: 0-316-60684-7
Pages: 247
Ages: Teen & Up
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

In this sequel, Darren is adjusting to his new life as Mr. Crepsley’s assistant. They return to the Cirque Du Freak. Darren becomes good friends with Evra, the snake boy.

While traveling with the freak show Darren meets another friend, Sam. Sam wants to leave home and join the Cirque Du Freak. Darren, now a half-vampire, must learn the hard way that he can never have a normal life.
I thought this the 2nd book in the series was boring and a major letdown.

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