In the Bookcase


Book Review: Blood in the Water

Blood in the Water by C. Alexander London (5 star review)

Blood in the Water
Tides of War #1

written by C. Alexander London

224 pages // published in 2014 // MG/YA fiction


Based on a real military program! The US Navy's new breed of soldier is ready to make a big splash.

From the author of Dog Tags!

Navy SEALs are some of the most elite warriors in the world. Trained to operate in sea, land, and air, they work under cover of night to carry out the US military's most sensitive and difficult missions.

Cory McNab wanted to be a Navy SEAL, but he washed out of the program. Now he is a member of the Navy's Marine Mammals Program, where he is partnered with a search-and-recovery dolphin named Kaj.

Together, Cory and Kaj are the Navy's best hope when a US spy submarine is lost in enemy waters. With the help of Kaj's bio-sonar, they should be able to locate the submarine before its secrets fall into the wrong hands. But the mission gets complicated when a team of Navy SEALs runs into trouble. Can Cory succeed where his heroes have failed . . . or is he in too deep?

My Review

5 Star Rating

What a cool story about dolphins being trained by the US Navy. Dolphins can perform underwater missions that humans (and technology) cannot.

I learned some amazing things about dolphins, such as how intelligent they are, and that dolphins can perform some fantastic maneuvers that can aid in military maneuvers. Wow! I liked how one phrase in the book says it this way: “The dolphins were like the police dogs of the ocean.” Plus, did you know that dolphins love to have their tongue scratched? And that humans comply to this strange (and dangerous) request to put their hand in the dolphin's mouth? Woah!

Another reason why I'm a little more than impressed with this book is that it's released from Scholastic, but this isn't your average middle-grade book. The main character Cory McNab is an adult, not a kid. Yet the action-packed thrilling adventure is perfect for say, tweens up to adults to enjoy.

It's a book that has some beautiful moments showing humans connecting with animals. Plus it has all the action of a Navy SEAL high-seas adventure.

Available on Amazon in paperback, and ebook format.

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Lucy Maud Montgomery reading challenge 2018

My January always has a little more happiness in it because I can spend it with a kindred spirit of old. The L.M. Montgomery challenge is here again! (I didn't think the challenge would happen, but joy of joys, it is happening!)

Please, go read all about it on Carrie's blog.

L. M. Montgomery Reading Challenge

My booklist consists of:
(1) a novel by Montgomery
(2) a short story collection by Montgomery
(3) a fictionalized novel written about her

Pat of Silver Bush
Pat of Silver Bush
by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories, 1902-1903
Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories, 1902-1903
by L.M. Montgomery

Maud: A Novel Inspired by the Life of L.M. Montgomery
Maud: A Novel Inspired by the Life of L.M. Montgomery
by Melanie Fishbane

So? Anyone else want to read books by L.M. Montgomery this month?


#FREE Audio Book: To Build a Fire and Other Stories by Jack London

If you enjoy listening to audio books, do check out this limited time FREEBIE from Tantor Media!

Audio Book: To Build a Fire and Other Stories by Jack London

To Build a Fire and Other Stories

Author Jack London

Narrated by Patrick Lawlor

Publication date May 25, 2011

Running time 6 hrs

"To Build a Fire," the best-known of Jack London's many short stories, tells the tale of a solitary traveler on the Yukon Trail accompanied only by his dog as they endure the extreme cold. A classic narrative of a battle for survival against the forces of nature, "To Build a Fire" is London at his best. Also included here are "The Red One," "All Gold Canyon," "A Piece of Steak," "The Love of Life," "Flush of Gold," "The Story of Keesh," and "The Wisdom of the Trail." A vital collection of works by one of the greatest short-story writers in American literature, this edition is sure to delight audiences of all ages.

Download (free for a limited time) at


Writing contest opportunity for kids ages 6-17!

Any kid writers out there? (Ages 6-17)
You could win some cool prizes from author Susan K. Marlow!

Deadline for entries is January 15, 2018.

More details here.


Mount TBR Checkpoint, 2017 Vol. 4

I made it to the end of the Mount TBR challenge. 2017 started with me aiming for El Toro (75), but later on I realized I could actually bump that up to Mt. Everest (100 books), which turned out to be the perfect goal for me.

I actually achieved Mt. Everest status at the end of October. By the end of the year, I made it to 127. Wahooo! That's a lot of books down. Just hundreds more to go. :)

Time for some bookish fun! Here's some proverbial slogans provided by the Mount TBR challenge, personalized with some fun titles of books I read for the challenge in 2017. Titles are linked to my full reviews.

• A stitch in time... [is a] Time Bomb
• Don't count your chickens... [before the] Turkey Trot Murder
• A penny saved is... [in] Aunt Jo's Scrap Bag
• All good things must come... [to] The Ape Who Guards the Balance
• When in Rome... Three Go Searching
• All that glitters is not... [a] Purple Moon
• A picture is worth... The Destiny of a Galaxy
• When the going gets tough, the tough get... To Live Again
• Two wrongs don't make... The Courtship of Jo March
• The pen is mightier than... The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
• The squeaky wheel gets... [to] Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library
• Hope for the best, but prepare for... My Cousin Rachel
• Birds of a feather flock... [in the] Winter


The ending to Literary Christmas 2017

A Literary Christmas: 2017 Reading Challenge //

Hi, dear readers!

Now that 2017 has ended, the Literary Christmas 2017 reading challenge ends too.

I was able to read a few good holiday books myself! I hope you all did too. I certainly enjoyed seeing all your Christmas selections, and have added some new titles to my Christmas reading list for next year -- probably too many new titles, as I'll never get them all read. *wink*

Be sure to comb through the link-up below, and see if there's any books you need to add to your reading list for next year (or add to your Goodreads shelf). The link-up will still be open in January, in case anybody still has some holiday book posts/reviews to share.

(Hey, I'll hope you'll all be back for 2018's Christmas challenge!)

Want to participate in A Literary Christmas?

Link to your book posts & reviews!