Tag Archive | psychic

Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl, by Melissa Keil (book review) – end of the world? with pastry?

book cover of Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl by Melissa Keil published by Peachtree | recommended on BooksYALove.com School days are over,
future looms ahead,
till Doomsday countdown starts?

Alba never expected
(a) sleepy Eden Valley as gathering place for the just-announced end of the world, 10 days from now,
(b) then-chunky pal, now-hunky TV star Daniel to return after years away,
(c) best friend Grady really expecting them to move to college at summer’s end,
(d) all of the above, plus a demand for vegan choices at Mum’s bakery (where they live, too).

Surely she can become an award-winning graphic novelist with her Cinnamon Girl character without leaving everything she loves about their little back-country town…

Published in Australia in 2014 and brought to the USA by Peachtree Publishers in 2016, the longing and love story of Cinnamon Girl is so worth asking for at your local library or independent bookstore – you’ve got to find out if the world ends, right?

So, the world ending – caused by humans, nature, aliens?
**kmm

Book info: The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl / Melissa Keil. Peachtree, 2016.  [author site]  [publisher site]  Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: Alba and Grady have been best buddies forever, but when a psychic’s ‘end of the world’ pronouncement names their little Australian town, the recently graduated teens must cope with strangers in the pasture and old friends with new perspectives, as she wants everything to stay the same and he longs to head for college.

Can’t she be a brilliant graphic artist without leaving her tiny hometown?
If her dad hadn’t died in a motorcycle crash and Grady’s dad hadn’t fled for the city, what would life be like now?
Wait, is old pal, now TV actor Daniel flirting with her? Grady is acting so weird these days…

Each chapter is headed with a panel from Alba’s graphic-novel-in-progress as her sorta-superhero Cinnamon Girl also copes with time passing too fast, enjoys terrible television shows, worries about the impending apocalypse, and stars in the Albany Bakery’s scrumptious menu.  (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)

Secret Ingredient, by Stewart Lewis (book review) – psychic to young chef: change is coming

book cover of The Secret Ingredient by Stewart Lewis published by DelacorteTwo food-obsessed dads,
One music-mad brother,
The world’s best best friend,
and a long-ignored question bubbling up, demanding an answer.

Maybe the psychic’s unsought observation is true, and every decision that Olivia makes this summer will be connected. Maybe she’ll find cute Theo again, too.

A movie version is already in the works for this June 2013 book, but it’s set in Birmingham instead of LA.  The Secret Ingredient‘s  SoCal setting is plot-essential, as Ollie gets a summer job with a Hollywood casting agency, counts the palm trees as she passes each one on her bus ride, and harbors a lingering fear of the ocean’s depths. I’ve always said that the book is better than the movie –  just try to imagine two gay men adopting children 17 years ago in Alabama…

In the book, Ollie shares several recipes with her own secret ingredient added – any recipes with your special touch?
**kmm

Book info: The Secret Ingredient / Stewart Lewis. Delacorte Press, 2013.  [author site]  [publisher site]  Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: This summer should be relaxed for Olivia, but the unexpected jumps in. With a psychic’s warning and a vintage cookbook in hand, Ollie decides to help her dads save their restaurant and finally search for her birth mother.

Bell and Enrique have put everything they have into FOOD, and mortgage payments are coming due too soon. Ollie cooks the special on Saturday nights, always adding a secret ingredient for her own signature touch. Her big brother is totally obsessed with his guitar playing, but his huge talent isn’t exactly paying his bills yet.

They’ve had never been particularly bothered about being adopted by their gay dads (LA is pretty laid-back that way), but Ollie begins to wonder about her own mother when she hears that her best friend Lola’s mother has cancer.

Riding up the elevator to her summer job at a casting agency, a psychic suddenly tells the sixteen year old that her choices will be pivotal and connected, including a young man, guidance from the past, and food, too.

Maybe Theo from last summer will come back?
Perhaps her birth mother is the past part?
And food is always with Ollie – but will FOOD survive, too?

As she supports Jeremy breaking into the music business, creates a backstory for the handwritten notes found in an old cookbook, and stands by Lola during her mother’s treatments, Ollie has to figure out whether the secret ingredient for her own life might be finding her birth mother…or not.

Enjoy the recipes this brilliant young chef shares as she finds her own way in the world during an intense high school summer. (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)

Rocketing through the TBR2012 Challenge (reflective) – February update

mock pulp magazine cover Amazing Wonder Stories BooksYALove from 2012 created at webomator

With February being the shortest month, I had fewer TBR2012 Challenge titles on BooksYALove than in January (as listed here), but I am moving on through my to-be-reviewed stack at a fairly decent pace.

Check out a few recent titles that you might have missed:

Fantasy:
Down the Mysterly River  – Bill Willingham
Something Red  – Douglas Nicholas
The Treachery of Beautiful Things  – Ruth Frances Long

Graphic Novel:
Peanut  – Ayun Halliday, art by Paul Hoppe

Paranormal:
Dangerous Boy  – Mandy Hubbard
Spookygirl: Paranormal Investigator  – Jill Baguchinsky

Sci-fi/thriller:
Altered –  Jennifer Rush
A Girl Named Digit  – Annabel Monaghan
Safekeeping  – Karen Hesse

So far in 2013, I’ve recommended 22 of my old-year titles for y’all  (and no spoilers) – hurry to your library or bookstore to get some today.
**kmm

Spookygirl: Paranormal Investigator, by Jill Baguchinsky (fiction) – vengeful ghosts in the locker room, mystery mansion calling

book cover of Spookygirl Paranormal Investigator by Jill Baguchinsky published by DuttonAble to see ghosts? All the time.
Talk to spirits? Piece of cake.
See her own mom’s ghost? Not a chance…

Violet’s aunt thinks her gift is unclean, her dad wonders if she’s talked to the ghost of her mom (but doesn’t dare ask), and the ghosts in the area just want to chat.

This debut novel won the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award for Young Adult Fiction in 2011, and Dutton Books’ editorial staff brought it out in hardback in 2012. Check it out at your local library or independent bookstore now, and see what the ghosts in Violet’s town are gossiping about!

Whose ghost would you like to have a conversation with?
**kmm

Book info: Spookygirl: Paranormal Investigator / Jill Baguchinsky. Dutton Books, 2012. [author’s website] [publisher site

My Recommendation: Vengeful spirits in the girls’ locker room, boring school uniforms, and strange rumors running ahead of her… Violet would much rather stay in the apartment above Dad’s funeral home with Buster the ghost, but unfortunately high school is still mandatory.

Ghosts always talk to her, just like they talked to her mom. It’s been ten years since Mom died during a paranormal investigation with her dad, but Violet has never seen her ghost. Some online sleuthing leads Violet to another researcher from her parents’ past expeditions, but the now-semi-respectable psychic tries to convince her to stay away from Mom’s last place on earth.

A dead football player is hanging around Palmetto High’s art room, there’s a possible hell-portal in the girls’ shower, and one of the goth kids claims he’s half-vampire. Senior citizen ghosts (Florida is full of them) help Violet stage a memorable Halloween séance in the cemetery to “scare straight” some kids who want to dabble in the dark arts, but even they warn her to stay far away from the creepy deserted estate where her mother died.

It’s up to Violet to use her psychic gifts to clear up all this, so her new not-so-goth friends help her get ready to visit the estate, and maybe hear from Mom one last time (surely she wouldn’t head to the Beyond without saying goodbye?), but things go bad in a heartbeat.

What can they do to placate the angry attacking poltergeist?
Can Violet ever reconnect with her mother’s ghost?
Are the friends going to make it out of there alive?

Spookygirl, scary fun, terrifying investigations!  (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com) Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

The Springsweet, by Saundra Mitchell (fiction) – visions on the high plains

Dowsing.
Divining for water.
Rhabdomancy.
Water-witching.

Whatever the name, being able to show just where to drill a water well is an enviable talent in arid places, but not without its consequences. Who could imagine that West Glory’s “springsweet” would be a young lady escaping back-East gossip by moving to the Oklahoma Territory’s vast plains?

And Zora could scarcely have dreamed that her train trip West would bring her to a sodhouse, a nearby all-black town that reminds her of home, a barn-raising, and two unlikely suitors?

While you can read this just-published book on its own, you’ll get a fuller picture of Zora’s life and gifts by reading The Vespertine (my recommendation) first. Just can’t wait for the promised third book to see where Zora’s talent takes her!

So, do you think that dowsing really works?
**kmm  

Book info: The Springsweet / Saundra Mitchell. Harcourt, 2012. [author’s website] [book website] [publisher site] [book trailer]  

My Recommendation: Ever-separated from her fiancé and her cousin, Zora decides to escape the strictures of Baltimore society by heading West. How can she face friends who don’t understand her continued mourning, family members who expect her to settle for a normal life after losing Amelia’s visions and Thomas’ healing touch?

Rather than allowing seventeen-year-old Zora to marry a widower and raise his children in some log cabin, her mother arranges for her to stay with Aunt Birdie and little Louella at their homestead in the Oklahoma Territory. Rattling westward by train and coach, Zora is jolted when bandits rob the stage just a few miles from her destination, smashing the luggage, and taking the locket that Thomas gave her.

Stranded by the highwaymen in a sudden thunderstorm, Zora trudges along the muddy wagon road toward West Glory and is rescued from a night alone on the prairie by Emerson Birch. Beside his rugged cabin in his lush garden, somehow Zora knows that his well is dug in the wrong place and can see silvery shimmers in the evening darkness that tell her where he should dig for water.

Aunt Birdie welcomes her the next morning, but is openly hostile to Emerson who jumped the gun to claim his land. Life is hard for the two young women and toddler Louella in the tiny sod house, hauling water from a distant well, making soap, trying to keep their crops alive in the dry plains winds.

When dandy Theo de la Croix arrives in West Glory to teach school, Zora wonders if he’d followed her from Baltimore. One kiss at a dance couldn’t mean that much… could it? Courted by Theo, yet drawn by Emerson’s vibrant connection to the land, she begins to finds pieces of joy in the midst of her mourning.

Her gift for seeing where the earth’s secret waters hide is precious in this dry land, so she hires out as a “springsweet” to tell folks where to dig wells. Not all visions are happy ones, and soon Zora must decide whether to tell unwelcome news or to hide her talents.

But how else can the little family get enough money to get through the bitter winter ahead? Should Zora accept Theo’s offer of marriage, or sneak away to see Emerson, or just run back home to a pampered life in Baltimore?

This companion volume to The Vespertine follows Amelia’s cousin Zora as she discovers her own psychic gifts and must decide whether she can truly live with the consequences that those visions may bring. (One of 5,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com) Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

G for Ghost Flower, by Michele Jaffe (book review) – missing heiress, ghostly best friend, forever?

The resemblance is uncanny.
This no-money runaway looks just like a missing heiress,
the one who will inherit millions on her birthday this month.
What could go wrong with a short-time acting gig?
Oh, Eve, if you only knew…

With no roots and no need to be protected, Eve is even more like the desert’s ghost flower than Aurora was. Perhaps that’s why Bain and Bridgette chose her to fill in as their missing cousin, so it’s that much easier to sweep her away later and let The Family’s money flow to those who appreciate it and badly want it??

And why does Eve get such conflicting stories about Aurora’s best friend Liza? There’s something wrong about Liza’s suicide, something that Eve can almost figure out – when the phone calls start, from ‘unknown number‘ – phone calls from Liza, trying to warn Aurora about something, someone,
reminding her that they’re best friends… forever.

Grab this page-turner at your local independent bookseller as soon as it’s published on April 12, 2012 – and once you get to the halfway point, plan on staying up late to finish it.
**kmm

(p.s. Giveaway for ARC of Cat Girl’s Day Off continues here through 11:59 p.m. Monday, April 9, 2012.)

Book info: Ghost Flower / Michele Jaffe. Razorbill, 2012. [author’s website] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My Book Talk: Oh, she looks just like their missing cousin! Two rich teens offer Eve a chance to break out of poverty. Just convince the family that she really is runaway Aurora, come home in time to collect her inheritance, then conveniently disappear again once she’s given most of the money to them. What has she got to lose?

Maybe it’s time for her to take a chance on a better future, one far away from Tucson and the troubling flashbacks to terrible times in foster care which have increased since she moved here.

Studying photographs of Aurora’s relatives and school friends, eating only her favorite foods, wearing only her favorite colors – Eve is being transformed into wild, crazy Ro under the exacting instructions of Bridgette and Bain, secluded in a desert hideaway.

Bridgette has Aurora’s return to Tucson society meticulously planned for the week of her high school’s graduation, just before the memorial to its two lost classmates – Aurora and her best friend Liza, who committed suicide on the night that Ro disappeared.

But the new Aurora has her own ideas for convincing everyone that she’s the real deal and jumps back in early, encountering a psychic medium with a chilling message at a graduation party séance, a police officer who believes her memory is gone but sees her sorrows too well, and eerie phone calls day and night – from Liza!

Glaring omissions in the detailed information that Bain and Bridgette provide Eve to study – do the cousins want Eve to succeed or fail in her attempt to convince her wealthy grandmother, the rest of the Sterling family, and Tucson’s high society that she truly is their wild, impetuous Aurora?

Ghostly phone calls from Liza – can the dead truly communicate with us?
Who is she warning Eve about?
Why don’t all the puzzle pieces surrounding her death fit together right?

The desert’s Ghost Flower only blooms where the spirits of the dead rest uneasy. Lock the door, turn off the cell phone, and venture with Eve into Aurora and Liza’s privileged and perilous world. (One of 5,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)