Book Review 138: Once Upon A Thriller (Nancy Drew Diaries #4) by Carolyn Keene

A joy of reading is getting to share a book with your kids.  In this case, it is my soon-to-be nine-year-old daughter, Norah. I have read with my daughter since she was a baby, but I had not reviewed one of the many books we have read together over the years…until now.

Once Upon a Thriller is book four of the Nancy Drew Diaries series.  Nancy Drew and her two best friends, Bess and George, visits a neighboring town, Avondale for a mini vacation.  The ladies arrive at the town’s main bookstore for the book signing of local mystery author, Lacey O’Brien’s latest novel.  However, they find the bookstore in flames.  Who would set fire to the bookstore? And why?

Nancy investigates what happened to the bookstore and several events occur involving the ladies that seemed to be taken from the pages of Lacey O’Brien’s novels. Were they coincidences or had fiction come to life?

She gets to the bottom of the mystery and discovers that self-sabotage and envy were at the heart of this case. I had read none of Nancy Drew mysteries before and both my daughter and I enjoyed the story.  As I mentioned earlier, this is book four of the series.  However, I believe it could be read as a standalone novel.  I will recommend this book for ages 8-12.

Book Review 137: Lord Valentine’s Castle by Robert Silverberg

With the most popular fantasy series discussed, I have always heard about  The Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, A Song of Ice and Fire, Wheel of Time series and so on. However, I have never heard the Majipoor Cycle by Robert Silverberg being discussed. The Majipoor Cycle is Silverberg’s most commercially successful… Continue Reading

Book Review 136: The White Raven by Carrie D. Miller

I never thought I would like reading a book about witches. Well, that’s the power of reading.  You can end up liking something unexpected. The White Raven by Carrie D. Miller is the story of Aven Dovenelle. Finally in her thirteenth life, she has found stability and happiness in the now witchcraft-friendly Salem, Massachusetts, where she… Continue Reading

Book Review 135: The Man in The Maze by Robert Silverberg

“Science Fiction, more than any other form of literature, is a progress, and it comes with a sell-by date. Some old SF can become unreadable. Some reputations erode with time. What we respond to, once the sell-by date is past, is art and, perhaps, is also truth.” (Neil Gaiman) The introduction by Neil Gaiman from… Continue Reading

Book Review 133: Permission Marketing by Seth Godin

“The marketer is not in control, the consumer is. And the consumer is selfish. Consumers care very little about you, your company, your products, your career, or your family. They’re not likely to spend time trying to discover how you can help them solve their problems. The heart of Permission Marketing is giving the stranger… Continue Reading

Book Review 132: The Land Across by Gene Wolfe

One of the greatest living American authors just had their eighty-seven birthday earlier this month.  Is it Philip Roth? Cormac McCarthy? Richard Ford? John Irving? Toni Morrison?  None of them.  It is Gene Wolfe. Wolfe has never gotten the mainstream literary success or lauded like those aforementioned authors. However, he is revered and celebrated in… Continue Reading

How to Get Away This Summer without Leaving Home

    Greetings from Kammbia! Welcome to a world you’ll want to escape to again and again! But first, I’d like to ignite your imagination with a whirlwind tour of all things Kammbian. Look for these things as you read—and absorb more about this fantastic world.   The Lay of the Land The map of… Continue Reading

Book Review 130: Warrior by K.M. Tremills

Last year, I read the first book in a series of an introspective and thoughtful fantasy novel by an author I had made an online acquaintance through a Facebook writers group.  That first novel, Messenger, got my attention through its absorbing prose and a protagonist, Gabriella determined to stop the evil Great Prince from conquering… Continue Reading


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Amazon | Nook | Kobo | iTunes