Wednesday, December 14, 2011

ZAN-GAH and the Beautiful Country-Book Review

By Allan Richard Shickman
151 pages

From Back Cover:
Well past the middle of the night Zan felt a shaking of his shoulder as he slept, and then an impatient foot kicking at him. Instinctively grabbing for his spear, he looked up and saw the orange glow of a torch, and as his eyes adjusted to the invading light he recognized his brother's ghastly face. Dael's dangerous brow was furrowed, and the vein of his forehead bulged under the old scar.His teeth were clenched, and his eyes darted nervously back and forth. His every motion expressed a profound agitation, and Zan knew that what he had been dreading had come.
"It is time, Zan. Let us go!"
"Where? It's dark!"
"I want to find where the river comes from."
The volcanic turbulence that shakes Dael's mind carries him to vicious extremes. It is Zan's task to calm his brother and lead him away from thought both destructive and self-destructive. But even the paradise of the Beautiful Country will not erase them.
My thoughts:
This book is the second in a trilogy by author Shickman. The first one being Zan-Gah A Prehistoric Adventure which introduces us to Zan and his troubled brother Dael. Twin brothers born in prehistoric times where life comes down to surviving the elements and finding food. Zan is raised with his tribe and becomes a like and well respected member. Dael on the other hand is kidnapped by a warring tribe and raised with abuse and hatred. At the end of Zan-Gah A Prehistoric Adventure Zan rescues Dael and brings him back to his family and tribe. And this is where Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country picks up.
Right away I was swept back into the tale of Zan and Dael. These characters are ones that stay with you long after you have finished the book.
Even though Dael is now back with his tribe and family all is not right with him. He finds love and marries but his wife dies in childbirth. More tragedy for Dael to deal with. The years of captivity have taken a toll on his heart and mind. He is unable to let go of the hatred he feels for the tribe that stole his life from him. He wants revenge more then anything and is determined that his brother Zan should go with him back to The Beautiful Country and that the lives of his tormentors and their land also.
Reluctantly Zan who is now the leader of the tribe agrees to move his people to the Beautiful Land in hopes of finding a better life for them and Dael.
Throughout the story Dael continues to wrestle the demons inside himself. As a reader you pity him but struggle to like him despite his hardships. Such a complicated, complex character!
Zan is a good man who puts his tribe and brothers needs ahead of his own. He wants Dael to find happiness but not at the cost of the tribe and their well being.
This story has adventure and heart.
I donated Zan Gah A Prehistorical Adventure to my local middle school library. I plan to do the same with this book. It's my hope that it finds its way into the hands of kids wanting a story that is action packed and memorable.
I can't wait to pick the next title in the series Dael and the Painted People.
Thank you to Bonnie at Earthshaker Books for giving me the opportunity to read and review Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Happy Holidays!

I needed this today.....
Glorious Song Of Old(Silent Night)
A Beautiful and Perfect Song for the Holidays!
 Glorious Song of Old by Katherine Nelson


By Catherine Fisher
442 pages
From Inside Cover:
Incarceron is a prison unlike any other: It's inmates live not only in cells, but also in metal forests, dilapidated cities,and unbound wilderness. The prison has been sealed for centuries, and only one man, legend says, has ever escaped.
Finn, a seventeen-year-old prisoner, can't remember his childhood and believes he came from Outside Incarceron. He's going to escape, even though most inmates don't believe that Outside even exists. And then Finn finds a crystal key and through it, a girl named Claudia.
Claudia claims to live Outside-her father is the Warden of Incarceron and she's doomed to an arranged marriage. If she helps Finn escape, she will need his help in return.
But they don't realize there is more to Incarceron than meets the eye. Escape will take their greatest courage and cost far more than they know.
Because Incarceron is alive.
My thoughts:
I admit it. I picked this book up totally based on the reviews of other book bloggers. They raved-so I had to check it out. If I had read the inside cover first I probably would have not given it a chance. The plot just sounds too weird for me- I struggle with Fantasy.
The "IT" Factor-The Characters
The characters captured my attention right away. Finn and Claudia both have strong personalities so different yet the same-desperate to escape their situations. He in on the Inside and she is on the Outside. Escape is their highest priority. His from the prison-hers from a loveless marriage.
Finn's relationship with his oath brother, Keiro is complex and at times confusing. As is Claudia's relationship to her father. Does he love Claudia or is she just a bargaining chip? Wow!
The "ICK" Factor-The Prison
Incarceron is alive. A society decides to lock away the bad guys. They lock em up and throw away the key. People forget about Incarceron. Centuries pass and life goes on. Eventually the prison come to life-becomes a living, breathing thing. WTF? I just couldn't get into it.
Would I recommend to other readers?
Undoubtedly other readers have the imagination for the parts I struggled with and would very much enjoy the entire story.
The sequel to Incarceron is called Sapphique and I will definitely read it. Incarceron leaves the reader on a cliff hanger and I really want to know what happens to the characters that I've grown to know and love.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

GIFT CARD Giveaway Hop!

Mug of Moxie is giving away a $15 gift card from iTunes! With this gift card you can purchase your favorite songs, a movie, an iBook or an audiobook. This giveaway is hosted by I'm A Reader, Not A Writer and Attack of the Book. There are over 120 blogs participating in this hop. There's sure to be lots of great gift card giveaways. The list is included at the bottom of this post.
To enter this giveaway you must be a follower of Mug of Moxie-please leave your GFC name and contact information in comment section. Just for kicks and giggles tell me what you want Santa to leave you under the tree this year. This giveaway is open to International followers as well. A winner will be chosen by on December 14th. I will mail gift card directly to you.

Good Luck and Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 2, 2011


Sending out an S.O.S.
This year I'm asking Santa for an ereader. But the choice between the Kindle Fire or Nook....
I can't decide!!
Opinions please....Pro and Cons.....Buyer's Regret.....No Regrets......
Which one do I put on my list??

Thursday, December 1, 2011



I Hate Balls is an edgy campaign targeted to raise awareness about spay/neuter, a simple and extremely effective means of stopping the killing of animals in shelters.
Nancy and Katherine Heigl, founders of the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation developed the I Hate Balls campaign to reach into all pet friendly hearts and homes with one surgically direct mission - fight the good fight against balls!
Since its inception, the Jason Heigl Foundation has taken the bull by the...well, balls. Funding spay/neuter programs has long been a passionate focus for the Foundation alongside the provision of financial support for rescue organizations that save pets from over-crowded shelters on a daily basis.

Visit us at  or to read more about our mission, success stories, a myriad of programs, and our very special rescued pets in need of a home - the Heigl Hounds Of Hope.

Do your part and join the I Hate Balls campaign today!
•Donate to the campaign - and "fix" the problem
•Adopt a pet - and save a life
•Spay/neuter your pet - and save a litter


Gabby @ What's Beyond Forks?
Her wish is for a copy of Divergent by Veronica Roth.
A giant thank you to all my old and new followers. And thank you to the hosts I'm A Reader, Not A Writer and All Consuming Books.
Look for the next Giveaway Hop that Mug of Moxie is participating in- Gift Card Giveaway Hop where I'll be giving away a $15 gift card from iTunes to purchase your favorite songs, a movie, an iBook or an audiobook.
Happy Reading!