‘Return Fire’ the sequel to ‘Moving Target’: exciting middle grade adventure

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“Return Fire” is the sequel to “Moving Target” by Christina Diaz Gonzalez. The first book drew kids in by promising an adventure looking for magical objects that could change the future. The protagonist is Cassie Arroyo, whose mother has died and whose father was injured trying to protect her. It seems that Cassie is one of a special bloodline of people who can change the future if they possess a magical spear called the Spear of Destiny.

She is on the run from people who want to kill her. Accompanying her is her best friend, Simone, and a boy named Asher. Because once Cassie found the spear and accessed its powers, Asher is her “Guardian,” and the person who will save her from the power of the spear.  Continue reading

‘A Soldier’s Revenge: A Will Cochrane Novel’ by Matthew Dunn

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“A Soldier’s Revenge” is one of the “Will Cochrane” series of novels by author Matthew Dunn. Dunn is more than your typical writer who creates spy stories — he actually lived them. Dunn spent five years in MI6 and was the recipient of a very rare personal commendation from the government for one particular mission. In all, he conducted around 70 successful missions for MI6. So Dunn knows what he is writing about, and that knowledge jumps from every page to assure the reader that the actions and characters are certainly realistic.

In this story, the protagonist, Will Cochrane, has resigned from the military and is on the verge of adopting twin boys who were orphaned when their parents were killed. Their father had been a colleague. But before he can finalize the adoption and get the children, he wakes up in New York’s Waldorf Astoria covered in blood and finds a strange woman shot in the head in the bathtub of the hotel room. He has been framed, and for much of the novel he is trying to elude those who would capture him, to figure out who framed him, and to decide what to do about the whole bloody mess.

In the meantime, more people are dying and Cochrane is being blamed for the new killings, too. The reader learns that more than one person wants Cochrane dead, all for very different reasons. Dunn cleverly allows the reader access to the thoughts of many characters, and while most of the story is written in third person narrative, Cochrane tells his own story in the first person. It keeps the narratives clearly identifiable, and Cochrane’s voice is an important part of the reading experience. His grief and his emotions are clearly communicated through his narrative.

For anyone who enjoys thrillers, this is sure to please. Those who have read the previous novels involving this character will enjoy it even more, but it surely works as a stand-alone. This reviewer has not read any of the previous books but did not suffer in the least because of that lack. However, some of the characters presented in this story might have been introduced in previous ones, and their stories are intriguing enough that new readers will want to go back and start at the beginning to learn all about Will Cochrane, his friends, his enemies, and his life.

Please note: This review is based on the advance reader’s copy provided by the publisher, William Morrow, for review purposes.

‘Sting’ by Jude Watson: Thrilling middle grade caper surprisingly realistic

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“Sting” is the fabulous sequel to “Loot,” by Jude Watson. It is perhaps especially appropriate to review this novel the day after the real-life European jewel thieves called “The Pink Panther” gang robbed Kim Kardashian of millions of dollars worth of jewelry. Watson’s story, complete with the “Top Cats” gang of thieves, shows that Watson did her homework.

Commenting on the real gang’s methods, the Daily Mail wrote: Their ruses to gain entry have included dressing as golfers, Hawaiian tourists, workmen and police officers, and for getaway vehicles they have used everything from bicycles in Tokyo to speedboats in St Tropez.

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Interview with Sarah Pekkanen, bestselling author of ‘Perfect Neighbors’

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Sarah Pekkanen

Sarah Pekkanen has written novels about relationships, family, and friendship. Her novels appeal to many, and after reading just one, many readers become fans for life.

Pekkanen is not only an internationally bestselling author — smart and funny — she’s nice. She also includes in her busy family a cat and a dog. Many authors include a dog or cat in their novels because they themselves have a dog or cat, and it seems like a natural thing to include — a companion for one or more of their characters.

Pekkanen includes dogs in many of her stories. Having a dog is natural for her. She grew up with four pugs. Her family also had a beagle at one time. Now, she and her family live with a rescued black Labrador named Bella. Pekkanen’s family was the third to keep Bella — and the third was a charm. Bella’s previous family had girls who had named the dog Princess Belle, but Pekkanen’s three sons didn’t fancy that, so Princess Belle because Belle, and then Bella. “The boys love her. She is so gentle and sweet,” commented Pekkanen. Before Bella, she had a dog she had rescued from a Washington DC pound.

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Dog needing surgery dies tonight at Miami Dade Animal Services

cookieCookie is a sweet dog who loves to give kisses. She has been at Miami Dade Animal Services since June, over 100 days, and today is her last day. She will be killed at 6:00 pm if a rescue does not step up and pull her and get her the surgery she desperately needs.

She has a perianal fistulae and she urgently needs treatment. She is unable to defecate and must be in horrible pain. Cookie needs a foster home where she could recover from treatment. She needs pledges for the surgery. She needs people to share her story NOW.

There is more information about Cookie and how to save her on her Facebook thread. Cookie is ID #A1468747 . She is about five years old and has been labeled an american bulldog. Cookie has been spayed. Continue reading

Two eleven-year-old bonded, neglected, purebred dogs abandoned at county shelter

 

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Update: The golden is going to a golden retriever rescue — volunteers are happy but also sad the dogs are being separated…the German shepherd still needs rescue.

Two bonded senior dogs are at death’s door in a county shelter in Florida because their owner left them there. The dogs had been purchased from breeders over ten years ago, and their owner was unwilling or unable to pay for their veterinary care. They have been neglected — one dog is emaciated, and both are heartworm positive.

The Facebook post about the two sweet-tempered dogs says, “The shelter has sent out a rescue plea for these poor sweet seniors. They were both originally bought from breeders, now at 11 (years old) surrendered to the shelter in rough condition due to vetting costs for them. They sure deserve better!!! THEY ARE BONDED and are a great pair of dogs!
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