Chronicle Books 2nd Annual Happy Haulidays Giveaway!

Last year, Chronicle Books–one of my favorite publishers–started the Happy Haulidays Giveaway. This year, they have made it even bigger and better, giving bloggers, commenters, and charities a chance to win $500 worth of their books! There are also ways to increase your chances of winning.

To read all the details, please visit: You must enter by December 2nd in order to be eligible.

Here is the stash of books on my list:

Christmas Scratchers by Eric Golden for $9.95

Eddie Van Halen by Neil Zlozower with a foreward by Slash (great present for the hubby) $29.95

Follow the Star by Andy Mansfield (present for our little nephew, nicknamed The Little Olive) $19.99

Holiday Crafting and Baking with Kids by Jessica Strand, photos by Aimee Herring $19.95 (The girls and I love to craft and bake together.)

Ivy and Bean Paper Doll Set by Annie Barrows and Sophie Blackall (The Lil Princess is a huge Ivy & Bean fan.) $14.99

The Story of Christmas by Pamela Dalton (text based on the King James Version) $17.99

Girl in the Kitchen: How a Top Chef Cooks, Thinks, Shops, Eats, and Drinks by Stephanie Izard with Heather Shouse, photos by Dan Goldberg $29.95 (Okay, this one’s for me. :))

Botanicals Notebook Collection by Rifle Paper Co. (Great gifts for any lady on your list.) $12.95

Botanicals Stationery Collection by Rifle Paper Co. (Did I mention this would make a great gift? :)) $14.95

Ivy and Bean What’s the Big Idea? by Annie Barrows and Sophie Blackall $5.99

One Love by Cedella Marley, based on the music of Bob Marley $16.99

Boo The Life of the World’s Cutest Dog by J.H. Lee, photos by Gretchen LeMaistre  (The Lil Diva would go crazy for this one.) $12.95

Brainjuice: American History, Fresh Squeezed! by Carol Diggory Shields, Illustrated by Richard Thompson $7.95

Brainjuice: Science, Fresh Squeezed! by Carol Diggory Shields, Illustrated by Richard Thompson $14.95

52 Amazing Science Experiments by Lynn Gordon,Illustrations by Karen Johnson (Don’t think I like science. I really don’t. The kids dig it, though, so I should be happy.) $6.95

From last year’s list I would still like:

Lincoln in 3-D: Amazing and Rare Steroscopic Photographs of His Life and Times by Bob Zeller,and John J. Richter,Prologue by Harold Holzer $35.00 (I’m a Civil War buff.)

The Little Book of Saints  $19.95

Deadgame by Kirk Russell $13.95

Shell Games by Kirk Russell $23.95

Christmas with Rita and Whatsit by Jean-Philippe Arrou-Vignod,Illustrated by Olivier Tallec $14.99

The Circus Horse: Horse Crazy Book 2 by Alison Lester, Illustrated by Roland Harvey(I read the first book and loved it.) $4.99

The Sea Rescue: Horse Crazy Book 3 by Alison Lester, Illustrated by Roland Harvey (Did I tell you I already love this series?) $4.99

The Royal Show: Horse Crazy Book 4 by Alison Lester, Illustrated by Roland Harvey $4.99

Ivy and Bean Bound to Be Bad by Annie Barrows and Sophie Blackall $5.99

The Ivy and Bean Secret Treasure Box: Book 1, Book 2, Book 3, and a Cool Secret Surprise by Annie Barrows and Sophie Blackall $19.99

Nana Cracks the  Case! by Kathleen Lane, Concept by Cabell Harris, Illustrations by Sarah Horne (We read Nana Takes the Reins this year. Very funny!) $14.99

The World’s Greatest: Poems by J. Patrick Lewis,Illustrated by Keith Graves (The Lil Diva loves poetry.) $16.99

The Whitby Witches by Robin Jarvis (Both girls would love this one.) $17.95

Pocket Cash by Jim Marshall,Introduction by John Carter Cash,,with essays by Kris Kristofferson,and Billy Bob Thornton $19.95

D.I.Y. Delicious: Recipes and Ideas for Simple Food from Scratchy Vanessa Barrington, Photos by Sara Remington $24.95

If I can still add–which is debatable considering the early snowstorm, lack of heat and power, sewer water in my basement, and fallen trees–that comes to $480.07.

As for my charity, I choose the Wilbraham Public Library. As a writer, I have to perform research for my books and market research to find agents and publishers to which to submit my projects. The WPL has been an invaluable resource over the past few months. I would especially like to mention Children’s Librarian Elaine Wrubel, and Asst. Child Librarian/Early Childhood Specialist Heidi Kane, both of whom went digging into the basement storage to find books for me. They’ve been truly wonderful.


Happy Haul-idays with Chronicle Books–Our Chance to Win!

Celebrate the Haul-idays with Chronicle Books. I’ve been reviewing titles for Chronicle Books for some time now. I have to admit I’ve never come across a bad one in the bunch.  They are running a fabulous giveaway this season that you’re certainly going to want to take advantage of.

I am posting a list of Chronicle Books titles I would like to win valued up to $500. One lucky blogger will win their entire list of books. You’ll find my list below.

But hold on, because that’s not all. You’re going to have a chance to win this list of books also. One lucky person who comments here has the opportunity to win my list, so be sure you check in here and leave a comment. If you go to the Happy Haul-idays page at the Chronicle Books website, which you’ll find at, you’ll find more blogs and more chances to win.

Visit their Official Rules page for more information at

Here is my list. All prices are rounded to the nearest dollar.

Lincoln in 3-D: Amazing and Rare Steroscopic Photographs of His Life and Times $35 (I’m a Civil War buff),book-info/store,books/products_id,8886/title,Lincoln-in-3-D/

Mama’s Book of Little Lifesavers: 394 Ways to Save Your Time, Money, and Sanity $15,book-info/store,books/products_id,9156/title,Mamas-Big-Book-of-Little-Lifesavers/

The Little Book of Saints $20,book-info/store,books/products_id,9196/title,The-Little-Book-of-Saints/

Deadgame $24,book-info/store,books/products_id,5147/title,deadgame/

Night Game $24,book-info/store,books/products_id,4407/path,1-10-197/title,Night-Game/

Shell Games $10,book-info/store,books/products_id,4407/path,1-10-197/title,Night-Game/

Secret Lives of Great Authors: What Your Teachers Never Told You About Famous Novelists, Poets, and Playwrights $17,book-info/store,books/products_id,7332/path,1-10-68/title,Secret-Lives-of-Great-Authors/

Secret Lives of the Civil War: What Your Teachers Never Told You About the War Between the States $17,book-info/store,books/products_id,6627/path,1-10-68/title,Secret-Lives-of-the-Civil-War/

Breaking News: How the Associated Press Has Covered War, Peace and Everything Else $35,book-info/store,books/products_id,6588/path,1-10-68/title,Breaking-News/

Christmas with Rita and Whatsit $15,book-info/store,kids/products_id,8254/path,2-13-113/title,Christmas-with-Rita-and-Whatsit/

The Royal Show: Horse Crazy Book 4 $5,book-info/store,kids/products_id,8248/path,2-13-113/title,The-Royal-Show/

The Sea Rescue: Horse Crazy Book 3 $5,book-info/store,kids/products_id,8247/path,2-13-113/title,The-Sea-Rescue/

The Circus Horse: Horse Crazy Book 2 $5,book-info/store,kids/products_id,7947/path,2-13-113/title,The-Circus-Horse/

Ivy and Bean: Bound to Be Bad $6,book-info/store,kids/products_id,7960/path,2-13-113/title,Ivy-and-Bean-Bound-to-Be-Bad/

The Ivy and Bean Secret Treasure Box: Book 1, Book 2, Book 3, and a Cool Secret Surprise $20,book-info/store,kids/products_id,7696/path,2-13-113/title,The-Ivy-and-Bean-Secret-Treasure-Box/

Ivy and Bean Take Care of the Babysitter $6,book-info/store,kids/products_id,7768/path,2-13-113/title,Ivy-and-Bean-Take-Care-of-the-Babysitter/

Nana Cracks the  Case! $15,book-info/store,kids/products_id,7948/path,2-13-114/title,Nana-Cracks-the-Case/ 

The World’s Greatest: Poems $17,book-info/store,kids/products_id,7181/path,2-13-114/title,The-Worlds-Greatest-Poems/

The Whitby Witches $18,book-info/store,kids/products_id,6103/path,2-13-114/title,The-Whitby-Witches/

The Story of the Treasure Seekers $15,book-info/store,kids/products_id,6122/path,2-13-115/title,The-Story-of-the-Treasure-Seekers/

Pocket Cash $20,book-info/store,books/products_id,8928/title,Pocket-Cash/

D.I.Y. Delicious $25,book-info/store,books/products_id,8896/title,D.I.Y.-Delicious/

Contest ends at 11:59 PM (ET) on December 14, 2010.

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Horse Crazy (Book 1) – The Silver Horse Switch by Alison Lester

Horse_Crazy_Book_1Young horse lovers are going to get a kick out of Horse Crazy, the new series by Australian author Alison Lester.

In Book 1, The Silver Horse Switch, we meet best friends Bonnie and Sam (her real name is Samantha). These girls know all the horses in Currawong Creek: Whale, Biscuit, Bella, Blondie and Tex, just to name a few. Bonnie whispers to horses and Sam always knows how a horse feels.

The Silver Horse Switch finds Sam’s dad, Sergeant Bill Cooper in possession of Drover, a young brumby who had been captured and broken in. Drover is afraid of trains, but makes a good work horse for Bill, even though she won’t let the girls ride her. Drover hates being locked up in the small paddock each night and she longs to be free to roam with the other wild horses.

One day, the girls notice that Drover has changed. She doesn’t pace in the paddock anymore and even though she a bit afraid of the girls, she seems to like them. And then they notice that Drover’s crescent-shaped scar is gone. This isn’t Drover at all, but a horse that looks just like her.

How was the switch made? And how can they keep the horse’s secret so that they can keep her?

Geared for readers ages 5 to 8, The Silver Horse Switch is an engaging story that will be enjoyed by young readers everywhere. Lester has created two girls who love and know horses like no one else in Currawong Creek.

Even though Currawong Creek is in Australia, based upon the illustrations and the storylines you could mistake Currawong Creek for an American mid-western prairie town, which makes the book appealing to a wider audience.

Speaking of the illustrations, Roland Harvey did an excellent job of bringing this story to life with his pictures. The inside cover has a colored map of all the places in town, including where each horse mentioned in the book resides. Harvey’s illustrations are so charming and sometimes funny–like the time the new Drover pressed her mane right up against Mick Daly’s face–that they truly compliment and complete the story. I’m glad to see that Harvey returns to illustrate the other books in this series.

Also included is a short list of Australian terms found in the book.

Whether your young reader is a lover of horses or just enjoys a good story with interesting characters and delightful illustrations, The Silver Horse Switch is sure to please.

I can’t wait to read the next Horse Crazy books!

Rating:   🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: Chronicle Books
  • ISBN-10: 0811865541
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811865548
  • SRP:  $4.99