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Constance Corcoran WilsonThe Christmas Cats Fear for the Deer by Constance Corcoran Wilson:

Publisher: Quad City Press; First edition (August 18, 2015)
Category: Children’s Books, Cats, Christmas Books
Tour Date: Oct & Nov, 2015
ISBN: 978-0982444887
Available in: Print & ebook,  36 Pages

The Christmas Cats Fear for the Deer is a Seuss-ical tale for young children  (4th in the series) which builds upon the morals of the first three Christmas Cats books (The Christmas Cats in Silly Hats, The Christmas Cats Chase Christmas Rats and The Christmas Cats Encounter Bats).

This year, the Christmas Cats in Silly Hats, who go about helping animals in distress, are trying to help save the lives of the deer who live in Scott County Park. Hunters are routinely sent to shoot the deer, and the cats want to warn the deer away, so that they will not fall victim to the town’s plans to “thin the herd.”

The Cop Cat, Cy, thinks up a particularly ingenious plan to save all the deer in Scott County Park by introducing them to a jolly old guy in a red suit who lives at the North Pole. Perhaps the deer can also help Santa on Christmas Eve, if they are outfitted with prosthetic (fake) antlers?

Illustrated with delightful drawings and written in rhyme, there are also interactive coloring book pages and mazes from the book’s website, which the author encourages children aged 3 to 10 to fill out and mail in for display. (www.TheXmasCats.com).

Constance CorcoranWilsonPraise for Christmas Cats Chase Christmas Rats by Constance Corcoran Wilson:

“The Christmas Cats in such a fun read I love the rhyming tale of being non judgemental, and the importance of helping others, and the reminder that when the work is done it’s time to play! This book is sure to become a favorite with youngsters, the colorful illustrations are sure to capture their eye as well as their imagination.  Perfect for gift giving, a great little book that teaches a few valuable life lessons while using simple enough language that will allow them to read along. A recommended Christmas read that put a smile on my face.”-Brenda C., VW Stitcher

“This is a very cute and entertaining Children’s story and far different than I am used to reading from Constance.I read this to my four year old son who was mesmerized by the beautiful illustration and entertained by the story of the Cats and Rats.I liked the fact it was a fun way to teach children not to judge others.A great addition to any child’s library and a fun adult read as well.”- Heather Belden, Saving for Six

“Author Constance Corcoran Wilson has created a fun story with THE CHRISTMAS CATS CHASE CHRISTMAS RATS that helps to not just entertain the reader but teach important lessons as well.
Just in time for the holidays we are able to see how a group of Christmas Rats are just misunderstood and judged prematurely, when they are really a big help to those who appreciate it.
The story also allows us to see that when it comes to where we can find friends and some of our greatest allies, the answer may not be too far away from us.
Witty and engaging, this book in the series is a guaranteed winner for readers of all ages.”- Cyrus Webb,TOP 500 Amazon Reviewer

Praise for The Christmas Cats Encounter Bats by Constance Corcoran Wilson:

“Wilson continues the theme of teaching a lesson with rhyming prose in her third book in the series, THE CHRISTMAS CATS ENCOUNTER BATS. Wilson has written these books with the help of her young granddaughters. Each of her stories model kindness and good behavior. They teach children the importance of helping others through the telling of a silly story. This time the Christmas Cats are called to the mall to investigate a funny sound. When they find the sound is coming from a group of bats, everyone at the mall is scared and wants them taken care of. The Christmas Cats teach them all a lesson that each one of us is a part of God’s creation and we all have a purpose here on Earth. The end of the book also includes a couple activity pages. This book is targeted towards the preschool – lower elementary age group. This series of books would make a great addition to your Christmas library of books.”- Stacie Gorkow, Sincerely Stacie

“I thought it was a very good book. It was also very funny, and teaches you to leave God’s creatures alone because they help the earth and ecosystem.
A great book for Young children to help learn morals, the Ecosystem, and our beautiful Earth. An excellent book for educators and librarians alike, as well, as parents, and grandparents. A great book! Vivid pictures that your little ones will enjoy!”-My Book Addiction and More

“Well, what can I say? Cats, rats, bats? Where does the fun stop?!
Seriously, this is a delightful book that any child will enjoy having read to them or reading themselves. The rhymes are constant and sharp. It’s the sort of book where children will love to shout out loud the words as they search along with the Christmas Cats for the bats.
The illustrations, once again, are brilliant. They are colourful and engaging and capture the pure zany fun this book offers.
I can highly recommend this one for the Christmas stocking. Your children will love it.”- Susan Day, Author/Illustrator Astro’s Adventures)

My Thoughts On Christmas Cats Fear For the Deer by Constance Corcoran Wilson:

If you haven’t been following Constance Corcoran Wilson’s ‘Christmas Cats’ series with your children, you are missing out.  It is such a fun series that teaches kids about compassion.  Who doesn’t love a fun Christmas story to share with kids?  I certainly do and I don’t even celebrate Christmas! LOL!

In this new book in the series, the Christmas cats are at it again!  This time they are rescuing deer from evil hunters and then from starvation.  Don’t worry, it’s not a scary book! Mr. and Mrs. Claus make an appearance in this book as well.

The artful and colorful illustrations of Gary McCluskey and the writing of Constance Corcoran Wilson is sure to please.  If your kids enjoy Dr. Seuss, your kids would enjoy the entire ‘Christmas Cats’ series! This would make a great gift for Christmas!

I received the ebook version for my honest opinion.


About Constance Corcoran Wilson:Constance Corcoran Wilson

Connie has published many works representing a variety of genres. Wilson’s first book (1989), published by Performance Learning Systems, Inc. of Emerson, New Jersey, Training the Teacher As A Champion, put forth the teaching techniques and principles taught by the nation’s largest teacher training firm. Written by Wilson in collaboration with PLS founder Joseph Hasenstaab, the book gives an insight into the effective teaching practices of successful teachers, those techniques included in that organization’s Project T.E.A.C.H. (Teacher Effectiveness and Classroom Handling). Connie taught at the elementary level for 20 years, taught writing at 6 IA/IL colleges, and founded the second Sylvan Learning Center in the state of Iowa in 1986.

Since then, Connie has published 30 titles in a variety of genres, with the Christmas Cats series written with and for her now-six-year-old granddaughters, Ava and Elise. (Illustrations by Gary McCluskey) now entering its fourth installment.  The Christmas Cats in Silly Hats began the four-book series and the cats help other animals in distress while wearing a delightful series of silly hats.  The second book in the series, The Christmas Cats Chase Christmas Rats, was a plea for all to remain unprejudiced (“Do not judge others without knowing, or prejudice you will be showing”) and the third book, The Christmas Cats Encounter Bats, stressed the need to honor all life as sacred. This year’s book , The Christmas Cats Fear for the Deer, encourages helping others and also strikes a blow for individuals who some might consider handicapped, but  who can succeed and excel if  simple accommodations are made for them.

Connie’s adult fare can be seen on Amazon or on her dedicated author site, www.ConnieCWilson.com.

The Christmas Cats Encounter Bats was one of 7 books singled out by the CWA (Chicago Writers’ Association) as one of the Best Books of the Year by a Chicago author in 2014 at its annual award ceremony. Connie’s adult fare has won “Shelf Unbound” Page-Turner of the Year awards, NABE (National Association of Book Entrepreneurs) Pinnacle Awards, E-lit awards, LuckyCinda awards, Silver Feather Awards as Writer of the Year from the IWPA (Illinois Women’s Press Association) in 2012 and 2014 and, Midwest Writing Center’s Writer of the Year Award in 2010 as well as   a Writer’s Digest awards (screenplay). She was also named the Yahoo Content Producer of the Year for Politics in 2008 after following the presidential election of 2008.

Connie maintains two short story series and a novel series as Connie Corcoran Wilson, but uses her full legal name, Constance Corcoran Wilson, on her children’s series, which she writes for and with her 6-year-old granddaughters.

Connies Website: www.WeeklyWilson.com
Christmas Cats Website: http://www.thexmascats.com/

Connie on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Connie_C_Wilson
Connie on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Connie-Corcoran-Wilson-275020829241869/
Connie on Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/conniecwilson/

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Constance Corcoran Wilson


Paula McLainDescription of Circling the Sun by Paula McLain:

Paula McLain, author of the phenomenal bestseller The Paris Wife, now returns with her keenly anticipated new novel, transporting readers to colonial Kenya in the 1920s. Circling the Sun brings to life a fearless and captivating woman—Beryl Markham, a record-setting aviator caught up in a passionate love triangle with safari hunter Denys Finch Hatton and Karen Blixen, who as Isak Dinesen wrote the classic memoir Out of Africa.

Brought to Kenya from England as a child and then abandoned by her mother, Beryl is raised by both her father and the native Kipsigis tribe who share his estate. Her unconventional upbringing transforms Beryl into a bold young woman with a fierce love of all things wild and an inherent understanding of nature’s delicate balance. But even the wild child must grow up, and when everything Beryl knows and trusts dissolves, she is catapulted into a string of disastrous relationships.

Beryl forges her own path as a horse trainer, and her uncommon style attracts the eye of the Happy Valley set, a decadent, bohemian community of European expats who also live and love by their own set of rules. But it’s the ruggedly charismatic Denys Finch Hatton who ultimately helps Beryl navigate the uncharted territory of her own heart. The intensity of their love reveals Beryl’s truest self and her fate: to fly.

Set against the majestic landscape of early-twentieth-century Africa, McLain’s powerful tale reveals the extraordinary adventures of a woman before her time, the exhilaration of freedom and its cost, and the tenacity of the human spirit.

My Thoughts on Circling the Sun by Paula McLain:

In this Historical fiction memoir, Beryl Markham, born in 1902,  has had a very unconventional upbringing.  She was born in England and brought to Kenya as a young child.  Her mother hated living in Kenya and abandoned Beryl and her father to live in England, once again.  Beryl was left to wonder the vast grounds on their estate, on her own.  You could even say that she was partially raised by the natives, called the Kipsigis tribe, who also live on the estate.

She learned the Kipsigis ways along with her playmate from the tribe, Kibii.  He was her only childhood friend.

Due to her up bring, people thought of her as fearless.  At 17 years old, her father decides to leave his failing estate and work as a horse trainer at far away estates.  Beryl is given the option to go with him and his mistress or marry. As much as she loves her father, she does not get along with his mistress and decides to marry. 

She soon discovers that her husband has a drinking problem and eventually leaves and becomes the first female horse trainer in Africa, at the age of only 18.  Because she is female, it takes a long time for her to gain the respect she earns in her trade.

Throughout her life, she has many affairs but nothing that lasts.  Her most famous affair being that with Denys Finch Hatton.  She considers him to be the love of her life but he is the type who can’t commit fully to one woman and certainly is not the marrying type.

In her late 20’s, Beryl learned to fly and in 1936, she becomes the first female to fly solo across the North Atlantic from England to Cape Breton Island, Canada.

Paula McLain’s writing is nothing short of sumptuous!  She brings Beryl Clutterbuck Markham back to life for us all to know this fascinating woman from history. Every time I had to put this book down, I felt like I was abruptly dropped back into 2015.  I wish I could have lived in this book forever!

I found Beryl Clutterbuck Markham to be truly inspirational. I highly recommend ‘Circling the Sun’ for lovers of historical fiction and strong females,  as well as those who love the backdrop of Africa.  If I had to sum this novel up in one word, it would be mesmerizing.


I received the ebook version of this book via Net Galley for my honest review.

About Paula McLain:Paula McLain

Paula McLain was born in Fresno, California in 1965. After being abandoned by both parents, she and her two sisters became wards of the California Court System, moving in and out of various foster homes for the next fourteen years. When she aged out of the system, she supported herself by working as a nurses aid in a convalescent hospital, a pizza delivery girl, an auto-plant worker, a cocktail waitress–before discovering she could (and very much wanted to) write.

She received her MFA in poetry from the University of Michigan in 1996. Since then, she has received fellowships from the corporation of Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, the Ucross Foundation, the Ohio Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Her first book of poetry, Less of Her, was published in 1999 from New Issues Press and won a publication grant from the Greenwall Fund of the Academy of American Poets. She’s also the author of a second collection of poetry, Stumble, Gorgeous, a memoir, Like Family: Growing Up In Other People’s Houses, and the novel, A Ticket to Ride. Her most recent book is The Paris Wife, a fictional account of Ernest Hemingway’s first marriage and upstart years in 1920’s Paris, as told from the point of view of his wife, Hadley. She lives with her family in Cleveland.

Madamosielle ChanelDescription of Mademoiselle Chanel by C.W. Gortner:

For readers of The Paris Wife and Z comes a vivid novel full of drama, passion, tragedy, and beauty that stunningly imagines the life of iconic fashion designer Coco Chanel—the ambitious, gifted laundrywoman’s daughter who revolutionized fashion, built an international empire, and become one of the most influential and controversial figures of the twentieth century

Born into rural poverty, Gabrielle Chanel and her siblings are sent to orphanage after their mother’s death. The sisters nurture Gabrielle’s exceptional sewing skills, a talent that will propel the willful young woman into a life far removed from the drudgery of her childhood.

Transforming herself into Coco—a seamstress and sometime torch singer—the petite brunette burns with ambition, an incandescence that draws a wealthy gentleman who will become the love of her life. She immerses herself in his world of money and luxury, discovering a freedom that sparks her creativity. But it is only when her lover takes her to Paris that Coco discovers her destiny.

Rejecting the frilly, corseted silhouette of the past, her sleek, minimalist styles reflect the youthful ease and confidence of the 1920s modern woman. As Coco’s reputation spreads, her couturier business explodes, taking her into rarefied society circles and bohemian salons. But her fame and fortune cannot save her from heartbreak as the years pass. And when Paris falls to the Nazis, Coco is forced to make choices that will haunt her.

An enthralling novel of an extraordinary woman who created the life she desired, Mademoiselle Chanel explores the inner world of a woman of staggering ambition whose strength, passion and artistic vision would become her trademark.

My thoughts on Mademoiselle Chanel by C.W. Gortner:

Before reading this book, I knew of Coco Chanel and her perfume and women’s suits but I really didn’t know anything about her as a person.  Thanks to C.W. Gortner I now know about her rich history and life.

Gabrielle Chanel and her siblings were born into poverty.  When her mother died, she and her sisters were sent to one orphanage and her brothers to another.  At the orphanage the nun’s soon recognized her talent for sewing and challenged her with exceedingly with more difficult patterns.  She was able to sew all of them.

When she turned 18 the nuns got her a job but she soon became bored working for someone else.  She broke out on her own trying to get a job in Paris with the end goal of opening her own shop.  However, it was harder than she thought and she temporarily became a torch singer with the help of a friend, just to meet her most basic expenses.  It is then, she met her first lover of many.

Eventually Coco realized her dream of opening up her first shop and eventually many more.  She eventually propelled herself into the spotlight and becomes the household name she is still to this day.

I loved getting to know Coco.  Back in the day when women were suppose to “know their place”, she rejected living that lifestyle.  Despite her many affairs, she was a role model for women of her time.  She was willing to put in all the hard work necessary to realize her vision!

Written in hypnotic pose, C.W. Gortner has painted a vivid picture of Coco Chanel’s life and Whalebone corsettimes.  He captures the scenery in all the places in France that she lived beautifully.  Her sumptuous fashion is brought to life, so much so that I could see it displayed in front of me.  Women, we have Coco Chanel to thank for getting rid of all those uncomfortable whalebone corsets.

Though this book is historical fiction, it is clear to me that C.W. Gortner spent a long time researching for it. He also explains much of what was fact and fiction in an author’s note, at the end.   Mademoiselle is an un-put-down-able read from start to finish and kept me up into the wee hours of the morning.  It is a must read for historical fiction lovers or those interested in learning more about this extraordinary woman!

Thanks to C.W. Gortner for bringing another strong historical woman to life!  I also highly recommend is book, ‘The Last Queen’, about Juana of Castile.


I was invited by Katherine Turro of William Morrow , to download the ebook version from Edelweiss for my honest review.  Thanks so much to Katherine and William Morrow, you are always putting out wonderful historical fiction and literary fiction!

CWG_red_background_300_dpiAbout C.W. Gortner:

C.W. Gortner holds an MFA in Writing with an emphasis on Renaissance Studies from the New College of California. In his extensive travels to research his books, he has experienced life in a Spanish castle and danced a galliard in a Tudor great hall.

Half-Spanish by birth and raised in southern Spain, C.W. now lives in Northern California with his partner and two very spoiled rescue cats.  His novels have been translated in 20 countries to date.