Tag: middle grade

M9B #T4T Blitz: Dead Jed Series by Scott Craven

 

Welcome to this week’s Two for Thursday! #T4T presented by Month9books/Tantrum Books! And surprise this week we have 3 titles for you!
Today, we will be showcasing three titles that will tickle your fancy, and we’ll share what readers have to say about these titles!
You just might find your next read!

This week, #T4T presents to you:
Title: Dead Jed: Adventures of a Middle School Zombie
Author: Scott Craven
Pub. Date:
October 1, 2013
Publisher:
Month9Books, LLC.
Pages: 214
Formats:
Paperback, eBook, audiobook

 

Dead Jed is Shaun of the Dead meets Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Jed’s not your typical junior high geek. He is, to use the politically-correct term, cardiovascularly-challenged. And while his parents have attempted to shield him from the implications of being ‘different’ for as long as they could (Jed was 8 and at a friend’s sister’s birthday party when he blew his lips off onto the cake in front of everyone, finally prompting the “Big Talk” from his parents and an emergency SuperGlue repair by his dad), 7th grade at Pine Hollow Middle School as a target of Robbie the supreme school bully and his pack of moronic toadies is rapidly becoming unbearable.

From being stuffed in a filled trash can as “dead meat” and into a trophy case as the bully’s “prize,” to literally having his hand pulled off in the boys’ room (Jed’s always losing body parts. Luckily, a good stapler and some duct tape and he’s back in the action) and a cigarette put in it and try to frame him for the recent reports of smoking in the school, Jed’s had enough and is ready to plan his revenge. Besides, it’s awesome what you can do when you’re already dead!

 

Title: Dead Jed 2: Dawn of the Jed
Author: Scott Craven
Publication date:
December 9, 2014
Publisher:
Month9Books, LLC.
Pages: 266
Formats: Paperback,
eBook, audiobook
As the fall semester ends and kids head home on for winter break, Jed and his parents gather for the annual exchanging of gift lists. Once again, Jed asks for a dog, leading to a heated argument and a firm “no.” But when Jed spots a stray, he chases it until the dog darts into the street where it is struck and killed by a car. Grief stricken by what he’s done, Jed cradles the dead dog in his arms. Soon, ooze from the dog mixes with tear drops from Jed, creating Tread the zombie dog. Finally getting his wish, Jed must convince his parents to let him keep the undead dog. But a zombie dog turns out to be the least of Jed’s issues. Seems some parents don’t want Jed attending school with their kids. Enter the mysterious NZN Network. They’ve been distributing anti-zombie propaganda in an effort to get Jed expelled. But Jed wonders if the creation of Tread has caused his relationship with Luke to sour. And why, just as he seems to need them the most, his best friends have abandoned him? Could they have bought in to the anti-zombie way of thinking? Was creating Tread a mistake Jed will live to regret? When Tread goes missing, and with his very existence at stake, Jed must rely on his instincts, team up with an old nemesis an fight for his right to have just as miserable a middle school existence as any other student – undead or alive.

Title: Dead Jed 3: Return of the Jed
Author: Scott Craven
Publication date:
December 15, 2015
Publisher:
Month9Books, LLC.
Pages: 266
Formats: Paperback,
eBook, audiobook

With seventh grade behind him, Jed jumps at the opportunity to spend the summer in Mexico with his dad. But there’s just one catch: Luke and Tread get to tag along.

In Mexico, fitting inmight be easier than Jed imagined, with Holidays such as Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). Here, a rising 8th grade zombie boy and his zombie dog won’t draw that much attention.

But then Tread unwittingly sets off Mexico’s Chupacabra Defense Network and Jed accidentally collides with a bus. So much for blending in. The unusual pair catch the eye of a professional wrestler, who challenges Jed to a fight!

Their antics manage to capture the attention of a doctor whose knowledge of the undead causes Jed to question his very existence. Is this the answer Jed’s been hoping for since his parents sat him down for the “you’re a zombie” talk? Jed may have finally found a way to be normal, but at what cost?

Dead Jed: Return of the Jed is book 3 in Scott Craven’s humorous and heartwarming series about surviving middle school, fitting in, and embracing one’s differences – even if you are a zombie.

Praise for the Dead Jed Series:
“Hilarious adventures of a zombie teen who navigates the jungle known as middle school, this is one story that will resonate with readers.” —YA Books Central


“If you know a middle-grader who loves to laugh or sometimes feels out of place and needs some reassurance to be true to him/herself, this series is a must..”~ Dorothy Dreyer author of the Reaper’s Rite Series.
WHAT READER’S ARE SAYING:
” Like its predecessor Dead Jed, Dead Jed 2: Dawn of the Jed is an incredibly cute and fun read! Aimed at middle graders, it’s filled with child-sized humor, puns, and adventure.”~ Books 4 Tomorrow
” This story is a light fun read which will have you laughing in seconds. It is unique and quirky, where Zombie triumphs over evil. GO ZOMBIES! Wahoo!”~Once Upon A Moonlight
Review

 

 

My love of zombie movies arrived long before my love for writing. I was 10 when I saw a girl about the same age sink her teeth into her father, a scene that hooked me on “Night of the Living Dead” and one the genre as a whole. I would embrace writing much later, but it has had a much more lasting impact. After graduating from Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, I packed the back of my Datsun B-210 and headed to Colorado, relying on the $600 my parents gave me as I walked out the door (“We don’t think this is the smartest move,” my father said as he handed me the cash, “but we’ll always be there for you.”) Over the next 35 years as a newspaper reporter, I would cover sports, crime, courts, travel and much more. I’ve spent nearly 30 of those years in Phoenix, and am now a features reporter at The Arizona Republic. My 18-year-old son Bryson has turned out to be a pretty cool kid, even though he dislikes reading and writing. When it comes time for him to find his own path, I may not think it’s the smartest move, but I will always be there for him.
 
 
Connect with the Author:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
 

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Giveaway Details:

  • 3 winners will receive the complete eBook set of the Dead Jed Books. International!

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Blog Tour: The Third Power by Kelly Hess

Title- Eyes of the Enemy

Series- BlackMyst Trilogy # 1

By- Kelly Hess

Genre- Middle Grade Fantasy

Published By- Booktrope Publishing

Blurb-

When a rogue band of the dreaded Sorak attacks his village, twelve-year-old Beynn Firehand escapes into the darkness of BlackMyst Forest to find help. During his quest, Beynn discovers his own powerful magic abilities. The price of his newfound powers, however, may be higher than he ever imagined.

 

 
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Title- The Green Dagger

Series- BlackMyst Trilogy # 2

By- Kelly Hess

Genre- Middle Grade Fantasy

Published By- Booktrope Publishing
Blurb-

Tensions rise between Delvengard and Sorak as the Sorak queen demands the return of the Blade of Torrill. As Delvengard scrambles to locate the mythical weapon, many fear war is inevitable.
Fritz, who secretly possesses the dagger, is tormented by its evil. Eager to take control of its power, he journeys in search of a mysterious being who may be able to help.
The Green Dagger, Book Two of the BlackMyst Trilogy, continues the adventure, five years after the events of Book One, Eyes of the Enemy.

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Title- The Third Power

Series- BlackMyst Trilogy # 3

By- Kelly Hess

Genre- Middle Grade Fantasy

Published By- Booktrope Publishing

 

Blurb-

The struggle for the Dagger of Torrill has brought Delvengard and Sorak to war. But a long forgotten third power has risen, scheming to bring destruction to both kingdoms.

 

Meanwhile, Beynn and Fritz learn the full extent of the green dagger’s third power as they journey through BlackMyst and through time itself in this exciting conclusion to the BlackMyst Trilogy.

 

 
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About the Author-

Kelly Hess grew up with a love of reading science fiction and fantasy, which inspired him to write his BlackMyst trilogy. Kelly currently lives with his wife and son in Vacaville, California.

Connect With The Author:

 

 

 

http://www.girlsheartbookstours.com

#SuperMGMondays: 2015 MG Wrap Up with Giveaway

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Welcome to this week’s Super Middle Grade Mondays presented by Tantrum Books/Month9books!

We hope you are having an amazing holiday season.

Today, we are wrapping up the new year and featuring the 2015 MG reads from Tantrum Books/Month9Books.

Ring in the new year with one of these titles!

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

 

Joshua-Cover

Stay away from the window, don’t go outside when it’s storming and whatever you do, do not touch the orb.

Twelve-year-old Joshua Cooper’s grandpa has always warned him about the dangers of lightning. But Joshua never put much stock in his grandpa’s rumblings as anything more than the ravings of an old man with a vast imagination. Then one night, when Joshua and his best friend are home alone during a frightful storm, Joshua learns his grandpa was right. A bolt of lightning strikes his house and whisks away his best friend—possibly forever.

To get him back, Joshua must travel the Lightning Road to a dark place that steals children for energy. But getting back home and saving his friend won’t be easy, as Joshua must face the terrifying Child Collector and fend off ferocious and unnatural beasts intent on destroying him.

In this world, Joshua possesses powers he never knew he had, and soon, Joshua’s mission becomes more than a search for his friend. He means to send all the stolen children home—and doing so becomes the battle of his life.

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About-the-Author2

Donna Galanti

Donna is the author of the Joshua and The Lightning Road series and the Element Trilogy. She is a contributing editor to International Thriller Writers the Big Thrill magazine and blogs at http://www.project-middle-grade-mayhem.blogs…, a cooperative of published middle grade authors. Visit her at http://www.donnagalanti.com and http://www.ElementTrilogy.com. Donna wanted to be a writer ever since she wrote a murder mystery screenplay at seven and acted it out with the neighborhood kids. She attended an English school housed in a magical castle, where her wild imagination was held back only by her itchy uniform (bowler hat and tie included!). There she fell in love with the worlds of C.S. Lewis and Roald Dahl, and wrote her first fantasy about Dodo birds, wizards, and a flying ship (and has been writing fantasy ever since). She’s lived in other exotic locations, including her family-owned campground in New Hampshire and in Hawaii where she served as a U.S. Navy photographer. She now lives with her family and two crazy cats in an old farmhouse and dreams of returning one day to a castle.

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

 

Strange-Country-Day-Cover

Alexander Graham Ptuiac, the son of an inventor, wants to play for the school’s football team. During tryouts, and under the watchful eye of the team’s coach, he suddenly manifests mysterious superhuman powers. Alexander makes the team, but not before the some ill-intended adults take notice, putting his life in danger.

Alex struggles to suppress and control his strange new abilities, worried about exposing his secret and being kicked off the football team. Then he befriends Dex, a diminutive classmate who can somehow jump as high as ten feet in the air. Seems Alex isn’t the only one at school with a secret.

As the school year unfolds, Alex will find himself the target of bullies, holding hands with his first crush and discovering the shocking truth about himself and his parents.

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About-the-Author2

Charles Curtis

Charles Curtis is a writer and journalist based in New York City. He has reported and written for publications including NJ.com (where he is currently the site’s sports buzz reporter), The Daily, ESPN.com, ESPN the Magazine, Bleacher Report, TV Guide and Entertainment Weekly. Charles has covered the NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA, golf, tennis and NASCAR. He has also written about television, film and pop culture.

In addition, Curtis has also written, produced and was featured in videos for ESPN.com and The Daily. He has made radio appearances on stations including 92.9 The Ticket in Bangor, Maine, WLIE 540 AM in Long Island and on morning shows across Canada via the CBC.
He can be reached on Twitter: @charlescurtis82.

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

 

Super-Freak-Cover

Thirteen-year-old Caroline is a freak. Her parents have uprooted her to a town full of Supernaturals. You’d think she’d be thrilled. But, with someone without a magical bone in her body, this daughter of tree sprites feels like even more of an outcast than she has ever before.

To make matters worse, her new home is cursed. But when Caroline takes to investigating the mysterious and strange happenings of Harridan House, her BFF goes missing. Seems someone doesn’t want Caroline sticking her non-magical nose where it most certainly does not belong. Determined to prove herself, Caroline uncovers a plot to destroy her new hometown.

Undeterred, Caroline can’t give up. But what’s a human without magical powers to do? Caroline better figure it out fast, before she loses everything she has ever loved and the whispers she’s heard all her life prove true: Caroline is a useless superfreak.

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About-the-Author2

Vanessa Barger was born in West Virginia, and through several moves ended up spending the majority of her life in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She is a graduate of George Mason University and Old Dominion University, and has degrees in Graphic Design, a minor in Medieval and Renaissance Literature, and a Masters in Technology Education. She has had articles published in Altered Arts Magazine, has had some artwork displayed in galleries in Ohio and online, and currently teaches engineering, practical physics, drafting and other technological things to high school students in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. She is a member of the SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators), the Virginia Writer’s Club, and the Hampton Roads Writers. When not writing or teaching, she’s a bookaholic, movie fanatic, and loves to travel. She is married to a fabulous man, and has one cat, who believes Vanessa lives only to open cat food cans, and can often be found baking when she should be editing.

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest |YouTube

 

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Book Blitz: The Children’s Horrible House

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ChildrensHH Cover_5.25x8.inddThe Children’s Horrible House by N. Jane Quackenbush

Published on November 10th, 2015

Published by Smashwords Edition

Genre: Middlegrade Chapter Book

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Amazon * Smashwords

Holly Spinatsch, a curious and rebellious tomboy, was forewarned by her siblings that if she didn’t make her bed, she would be taken away to The Children’s Horrible House…and indeed she was.
On her search for kinship in this seemingly haunted jail like mansion, she discovers a mystery lurking and breathing, crying out for discovery.
However, when she and her friends attempt to solve the mystery, they are only left with more questions.

 

About the Author:

N Jane Quackenbush

N. Jane Quackenbush is a graduate of Palm Beach Atlantic University. She lives in a horrible house filled with mystery and fun in St. Augustine, Florida, a place she finds a lot of material by which she is inspired. Many places mentioned in her books are based on actual haunted buildings, star-filled planetariums and magical gardens deep within The Nation’s Oldest City.

N. Jane Quackenbush has also written the following Children’s Picture Books:
The Rocket Ship Bed Trip
The Pirate Ship Bed Trip
The Afternoon Moon
and many more books in the works!

 

Goodreads * Smashwords * Website * Blog

Read below for an excerpt from the book!

It was still dark when we were let out in front of a huge flaming gate. Well, the gate wasn’t actually flaming, but on each side, a gas lantern was lit and with the smudges on my eternally foggy glasses, it made the gate appear ablaze. The shiny black metal not only reflected the flames, but it seemed to make the whole gate glow in unison with the flickering flames. A very tall brick wall covered in thorny bushes grew even higher than the wall, spreading out of sight in both directions. Major Whoopins punched in a code that opened the gates.
We proceeded down a long black driveway lined with spooky cowering trees offering a creepy welcome. Ahead I saw a building. Even though it was still not quite morning, the sun had started to peak over the horizon giving us just the right light to see. It was a three-story maroon colored mansion that looked like it could either be a haunted Victorian house or the fanciest jail ever constructed. I wasn’t sure. It looked like a jail because it had bars on the windows, but it also looked like a fancy house because it had white painted porches on the first two stories. The roof line was very steep and had a couple of chimney stacks. The front right side of the building had a square turret that made it look nice, but frightening. At the top of the turret, I noticed a bar-less window with lace curtains. As I stared, I felt someone staring back. A woman’s form moved from behind the curtain, and then she was gone.
“Who was that?” I asked, mostly to myself, but I guess Major Whoopins heard me because he answered me saying in a thick, gruff voice, “You’d best mind yo’ own bidness and you gonna git along just fine, ya’ hear?”
“Yes, sir!” I said hoping to stay on his good side. He gave me a reluctant smile but I saw it.
“See that door?” he asked. “You go on and git up there and wait fo’ Mr. Ree.”
Who was Mr. Ree? I wondered.
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#T4T Book Blitz: Tracy Tam: Santa Command by Krystalyn Drown and Last Siege of Haven by Ty Drago with Giveaway

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Welcome to this week’s Two for Thursday Book Blitz #T4T presented by Month9books/Tantrum Books!

Today, we will be showcasing two titles that may tickle your fancy, and we’ll share what readers have to say about these titles!

You just might find your next read!

This week, #T4T presents to you:

Tracy Tam: Santa Command by Krystalyn Drown and
Last Siege of Haven by Ty Drago

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

 

Tracy-Tam-Cover

Tracy doesn’t believe that Santa can deliver all of those presents in one night with out a little help from science. A flying sleigh can only be powered by jet engines, and Santa’s magical abilities can only be the result of altered DNA. In order to test her theories, she sneaks onto Santa’s sleigh and ends up at Santa Command, the place where a team of humans monitors Santa’s big night. When Tracy attempts to hack into their computers, she accidentally introduces a virus to their system. As a result, three states get knocked out of sync with the rest of the world. Before the night is over, Tracy has to fix time and help Santa finish his deliveries. And she has to do it all with Santa’s magic, which she doesn’t believe exists.

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WHAT READER’S ARE SAYING:

 

This is an adorable story and took me back to my childhood when i would stay up late and see if could catch Santa.” – Jan, Jrs Book Reviews

 

“Tracy Tam is an entertaining holiday read with a stubbornly scientific protagonist…”Dianne, Author

 

“…packed with fun surprises and zany flips that turn expectations into wonder.” – Kim, Kim’s Critiquing Corner

 

about-the-author

Krystalyn Drown

Krystalyn spent thirteen years working at Walt Disney World in a variety of roles: entertainer, talent coordinator, and character captain. Her degree in theatre as well as many, many hours spent in a dance studio, helped with her job there. Her various other day jobs have included working in zoology at Sea World, as an elementary teacher, and currently as a support technician for a website. In the evenings, she does mad writing challenges with her sister, who is also an author. Krystalyn lives near Orlando, Florida with her husband, son, a were cat, and a Yorkie with a Napoleon complex.

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest | Instagram | YouTube

 

Undertakers-4-cover

While away on an undercover mission, Undertaker Will Ritter has made an unthinkable alliance…with a Corpse! But though Robert Dillin (aka ‘The Zombie Prince’) is indeed one of those alien invaders who animate and possess the bodies of the dead — unlike the rest of his kind, Dillin isn’t evil. In fact, he wants to help. And Will needs that help, because the Queen of the Dead has learned the location of Haven, the Undertakers’ secret HQ, and is planning a massive and deadly assault.

With the last day of the Corpse War finally upon them, Will and his friends find themselves in a desperate race to close the Rift between worlds and forever kill the Corpses. But can they do before Haven is overrun?

For that matter, can they do it at all?

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WHAT READER’S ARE SAYING:

 

Over all I really liked the book. It was literally nonstop action and I read most of it on one night because it was so great.” – Monomaniacal Middle Grade Reviewer

 

“Ty Drago, an extremely talented author, has once again proven the adult mind can be as creative and intuitive as a child’s.”Ryan – Amazon Reviewer

 

“Fantastic conclusion to the series! Has us on the edge of our seats, and by the end, cheering and crying at the same time.” – Felicia, Amazon Reviewer

 

about-the-author

Ty Drago

Ty Drago does his writing just across the river from Philadelphia, where the Undertakers novels take place. In addition to The Undertakers: Rise of the Corpses,The Undertakers: Queen of the Dead, and The Undertakers: Secret of the Corpse Eater, he is the author of The Franklin Affair and Phobos, as well as short stories and articles that have appeared in numerous publications, including Writer’s Digest. He currently lives in southern New Jersey with his wife and best friend, the real Helene Drago née Boettcher.

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

 

GiveawayComplete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!

Giveaway Information:

  • Contest ends December 24, 2015
  •  Two (2) winners will receive a digital copy of Tracy Tam: Santa Command by Krystalyn Drown and Last Siege of Haven (Undertakers #4) by Ty Drago (INT)

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Release Day Blitz: Dead Jed 3: Return of the Jed by Scott Craven with Giveaway

 

DeadJed3RDB

 

Happy Release Day to

Dead Jed 3: Return of the Jed
by Scott Craven!!

Join us in celebrating this release from Month9Books!

Enter the giveaway found at the end of the post.

Happy Book Birthday, Scott!

 

DeadJed3Cover

With seventh grade behind him, Jed jumps at the opportunity to spend the summer in Mexico with his dad. But there’s just one catch: Luke and Tread get to tag along.

In Mexico, fitting inmight be easier than Jed imagined, with Holidays such as Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). Here, a rising 8th grade zombie boy and his zombie dog won’t draw that much attention.

But then Tread unwittingly sets off Mexico’s Chupacabra Defense Network and Jed accidentally collides with a bus. So much for blending in. The unusual pair catch the eye of a professional wrestler, who challenges Jed to a fight!

Their antics manage to capture the attention of a doctor whose knowledge of the undead causes Jed to question his very existence. Is this the answer Jed’s been hoping for since his parents sat him down for the “you’re a zombie” talk? Jed may have finally found a way to be normal, but at what cost?

Dead Jed: Return of the Jed is book 3 in Scott Craven’s humorous and heartwarming series about surviving middle school, fitting in, and embracing one’s differences – even if you are a zombie.

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Dead Jed 3: Return of the Jed
by Scott Craven
Publication Date: December 15, 2015
Publisher: Month9Books

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excerpt

 

CHAPTER ONE

I trusted Luke with my life. But with my arm, I wasn’t so sure.
“Dude, if you drop it, there goes my career as a professional basketball player,” I whispered. Luke strained against the bars, holding my left arm in his right hand, my disembodied fingertips just inches short of its goal.
“First, you don’t have a chance at becoming a professional anything involving sports because you suck at almost everything athletic, especially basketball,” Luke said. “Second, if you had a little more muscle, your arm would be a lot easier to hang onto. Now shut up and let me do this.”
Luke angled his body slightly and shoved his shoulder farther into the narrow gap between the bars. My fingers—which at this point were about eight feet away from me, so it was odd thinking of them as “my” fingers—closed in on the target.
Two inches away. One inch. A half-inch. So close.
Yet so far, because my middle finger was still a quarter-inch from the small metallic ring that held our prize.
We were lucky to get this far through a combination of inside information, a dad who was a very deep sleeper, and an unlocked window.
When Luke and I spotted what we were looking for in this small room at the end of the hall, we were shocked. The door was unlocked, as I’d been told, but swung open to reveal rusty iron bars, the kind you see in pirate movies when the hero is trying to pop an ancient padlock.
And yes, there it was, a huge rusty padlock locking it securely. Electronic locks with keycards were probably more secure, but nothing says “impenetrable” like iron bars and padlocks.
Past that gate, seven, maybe eight feet in and dangling on a nail on the opposite wall, was what we were looking for—a ring of keys, one of which would unlock the cell holding my best friend.

 

 

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Add the series to your TBR list!

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About-the-Author2

Scott-Craven

Proud graduate of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, have one son who will turn 18 in March 2013, now a features writer for The Arizona Republic.

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter

 

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Blog Tour: Broken Stone by Gabriele Goldstone

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Welcome to the first day on the  Blog Tour for Broken Stone by Gabriele Goldstone, the sequel to Red Stone, an MG title presented by Rebelight Publishing! This tour will run from December 14-24, 2015. To follow the rest of the tour, click on the banner above and don’t forget to enter the Giveaway!

 

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Broken Stone

by Gabriele Goldstone

Publication Date: December 2015
Publisher: Rebelight Publishing
Genre: MG, Historical Fiction

Mama is dead, Baby Emil is dead and Stalin’s new rules are breaking up the family. Papa must stay behind and hide as 12-year-old Katya and her three younger siblings find their way to freedom in East Prussia. With Mama’s sister, Aunt Helena, they board a train and flee for a new home with an aunt and uncle they’ve never met—relatives who don’t want them.

But when they reach the border, Soldiers won’t let Aunt Helena cross. That forces Katya to take responsibility for her siblings. What will life hold for Katya, her two sisters and her brother when they arrive in East Prussia? How long before Papa can rescue them?

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Purchase Links:
Chapters | IndieBound | Amazon | TBD

 

FOLLOW UP TO:

Red-Stone-Cover

Katya knows all about Stalin’s big plans; she learned of them in school. But those plans mean little to her until the secret police arrest Papa and seize their family farm. With Mama and her younger siblings, Katya is shoved into a crowded train headed for a forced labour camp in Siberia. Torn from everything she has ever known, Katya faces cold and hunger, and the ever-present threat of lost hope. As she clings to a single red stone from the fields of her homeland, she questions life. Where is Papa? Will she ever see him again? And what will become of Katya’s family?

Inspired by a true story, Red Stone explores the trauma and heart¬break suffered by many families in the Soviet Union during the 1930s when Stalin seized individual property and villainized property owners as kulaks.

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Gabriele Goldstone inherited scattered bits of her mother’s memories, shadowed by the oppression of both Stalin and Hitler. She shaped them into the life of the fictional character, Katya Halter. Gabriele traveled to Ukraine and searched through former KGB files to find missing pieces—along with the red stone that symbolizes Katya’s home. Gabriele lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Goodreads

 

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Giveaway Information: Contest ends January 8, 2015

• Two (2) winners will received a physical copy of Broken Stone by Gabriele Goldstone (US/Canada)
• Five (5) winners will receive a digital copy of Broken Stone by Gabriele Goldstone (INT)

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#MGRewind Week – Day 5: Krystalyn Drown – Guest Post and Giveaway

MG Rewind Week graphic - final

 

Welcome to the final day of #MGRewind week!

Celebrate Middle Grade reads with Tantrum Books/Month9books.

Sharing her memories as an MG reader, we welcome KRYSTALYN DROWN, author of the

TRACY TAM: SANTA COMMAND.

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

 

 

Tracy doesn’t believe that Santa can deliver all of those presents in one night with out a little help from science. A flying sleigh can only be powered by jet engines, and Santa’s magical abilities can only be the result of altered DNA. In order to test her theories, she sneaks onto Santa’s sleigh and ends up at Santa Command, the place where a team of humans monitors Santa’s big night. When Tracy attempts to hack into their computers, she accidentally introduces a virus to their system. As a result, three states get knocked out of sync with the rest of the world. Before the night is over, Tracy has to fix time and help Santa finish his deliveries. And she has to do it all with Santa’s magic, which she doesn’t believe exists.

 

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Krystalyn Drown

 

Krystalyn

 

I first read BLUBBER by Judy Blume when I was in fifth grade and immediately fell in love with it. Much like Jill, the main character, I fell somewhere in the middle of the class hierarchy. I wasn’t a leader. I followed along, mostly because I didn’t want to be the kid everyone picked on. Then, somewhere along the way, the dynamics changed. I befriended someone I wasn’t supposed to. I was threatened for walking with my new friend at lunch time. I was punched because the class bully thought I was looking at her. Girls who were once my friends walked away from me when I approached them and laughed at me. I remember sobbing in the bathroom while my teacher tried to figure out what was wrong. I never told her. I wasn’t a snitch.

Like BLUBBER, my story has a resolution but not a happy ending. Somehow, I struck a balance with some of the other girls. The school year ended. I moved. The class bully never got in trouble.

I have read that book many times over the years, because it was real. It could have been written about me. And I’m willing to bet, it could have been written about a thousand other kids. That’s why I love reading middle grade books, and that’s why I love writing them.

As for BLUBBER, I still own at least two copies. I read it again just a few months ago. Even though the middle grade years were tough, I love the reminder that I got through them, and that I wasn’t alone.

 

About-the-Author2

Krystalyn Drown

 

Krystalyn spent thirteen years working at Walt Disney World in a variety of roles: entertainer, talent coordinator, and character captain. Her degree in theatre as well as many, many hours spent in a dance studio, helped with her job there. Her various other day jobs have included working in zoology at Sea World, as an elementary teacher, and currently as a support technician for a website. In the evenings, she does mad writing challenges with her sister, who is also an author. Krystalyn lives near Orlando, Florida with her husband, son, a were cat, and a Yorkie with a Napoleon complex.

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest | Instagram | YouTube

 

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#MGRewind Week – Day 4: Steve Bryant – Guest Post and Giveaway

 

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Welcome to Day 4 of #MGRewind week!

Celebrate Middle Grade reads with Tantrum Books/Month9books.

Sharing his memories as an MG reader, we welcome STEVE BRYANT, author of the

LUCAS MACKENZIE AND THE LONDON MIDNIGHT GHOST SHOW.

Come back everyday this week where we’ll feature another author, and be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

 

Lucas MacKenzie eBook Final

 

Lucas Mackenzie has got the best job of any 10 year old boy. He travels from city-to-city as part of the London Midnight Ghost Show, scaring unsuspecting show-goers year round. Performing comes naturally to Lucas and the rest of the troupe, who’ve been doing it for as long as Lucas can remember.

But there’s something Lucas doesn’t know.

Like the rest of Luca’s friends, he’s dead. And for some reason, Lucas can’t remember his former life, his parents or friends. Did he go to school? Have a dog? Brothers and sisters?

If only he could recall his former life, maybe even reach out to his parents, haunt them.

When a ghost hunter determines to shut the show down, Lucas realizes the life he has might soon be over. And without a connection to his family, he will have nothing. There’s little time and Lucas has much to do. Can he win the love of Columbine, the show’s enchanting fifteen-year-old mystic? Can he outwit the forces of life and death that thwart his efforts to find his family?

Keep the lights on! Lucas Mackenzie’s coming to town.

 

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Steve Bryant

 

One of the side benefits of becoming a published middle grade writer is recalling what it was like to be a middle grade reader. For me, growing up in a small Midwestern town (Cairo, Illinois), it was a case of limited options. Retail book sales were severely limited to the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew series. I loved them nonetheless, little knowing that my favorite author (Franklin W. Dixon) didn’t exist, that his novels were ghost written. The Hardy Boys formed the basis of social reading: we would take turns reading chapters aloud at overnights, along with sharing our comics collections (mine were Batman, my friends’ Tarzan andSuperman). Alas, I never read the Nancy Drews nor enjoyed multiple-gender overnights.

My private reading blossomed in the fourth grade when I joined the Science Fiction Book Club, expanding my purchasing boundaries. As I recall, a new hardback would arrive every three weeks or so for about a dollar a volume, along with a fascinating newsletter describing coming works. I favored the short story anthologies (e.g., The Astounding Science Fiction Anthology, ed. by John W. Campbell, Jr.). My favorite novel of the era was Alfred Bester’s The Demolished Man, the first Hugo winner. All those books had uneven, ragged edges, and I still have a sentimental attachment to the style.

Our Cairo Public Library supplemented my reading, not only with more science fiction, but with a wider reach: Longfellow’sSong of Hiawatha, Jack London’s arctic tales, James Thurber’s wacky life and hard times. But I was bitten by science fiction and gravitated to the Robert A. Heinlein juveniles such as Time for the Stars and Tunnel in the Sky. When I had exhausted the library’s collection, the lady whose little store provided our school supplies astonished me by stating that she could order any book in print. In the pre-Amazon days this sounded like a miracle, and we put it to the test. For $4.98 she acquired me a copy of Heinlein’s The Star Beast. I have it to this day, and it was the beginning of a lifetime of serious book acquisition.

Were you to ask me in those days why I liked Heinlein, I would have said I liked him because I liked science fiction. Years later I realized that it was because Heinlein always pitted boys and girls together against formidable odds, and romance ensued.That’s what I loved. I have always remembered to make romance a key part of any stories I write.

 

About-the-Author2

Steve Bryant

 

Steve Bryant is a new novelist, but a veteran author of books of card tricks. He founded a 40+ page monthly internet magazine for magicians containing news, reviews, magic tricks, humor, and fiction; and he frequently contributes biographical cover articles to the country’s two leading magic journals (his most recent article was about the séance at Hollywood’s Magic Castle).

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Goodreads

 

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#MGRewind Week – Day 3: Samantha Verant – Guest Post and Giveaway

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Welcome to Day 3 of #MGRewind week!

Celebrate Middle Grade reads with Tantrum Books/Month9books.

Sharing her memories as an MG reader, we welcome SAMANTHA VERANT, author of the KING OF THE MUTANTS.

Come back everyday this week where we’ll feature another author, and be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

 

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Can one boy stop a nefarious plot to turn kids into super-mutants?

Maverick Mercury enjoys his life as the sideshow attraction known as “Gator Boy” at Grumbling’s Traveling Circus and Sideshow.

His freakish mutations are the result of some billionaire geneticist’s experiments gone awry. But life as a mutant is about to get worse, as Maverick uncovers a plot to kidnap kids, turns them into super-mutants, and sells their powers to the highest bidder.

Now, Maverick is on a mission to find the mad scientist who may have created him and destroy his sinister plans!

 

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Samantha Verant

 

Samantha 2

 

As a middle grader, my answer to the above questioned varied daily, depending on whatever book I was reading at the time. Books fueled my dreams and I could be anything I wanted to be – a ballerina, a cowgirl, or a tightrope walker. I could be a pig farmer, the idea inspired by Fern in Charlotte’s Web. Or I could set off on a wild adventure, carried off into the blue sky by seagulls, thanks to James and the Giant Peach. Reading transported me into other worlds, opening up my mind to the possible and, sometimes, the impossible. I imagined myself in stories. Back then, if somebody asked me if I thought I’d work at a window-less office in advertising, I would have given them the stink eye and said, “No, I’m going to work in Oz or Wonderland or Wonka.”

An early reader, I tackled my first picture book on my own at the age of three. It was The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, and I loved it so much that I climbed (and hugged) many a tree to find one that would love me back, just like the boy. By middle grade, I was hooked on books – the more fantastical, the better. I remember when the teachers passed out the Scholastic Book Catalogues. It was like Christmas and I always ordered as many books my parents would allow. Ghosts stories and adventures and joke books – who could choose just one or two? The school librarian always shook her head when she saw me coming with a stack of books piled high to the sky. “Are you going to read all those in two weeks?” she’d ask.

Indeed, I did. Some I even read twice.

Samantha 1

Don’t get me wrong. I was like all of the other kids, too. I played foursquare or double dutch with my friends until the sun went down. I watched TV and went to movies. I took ballet classes and gymnastics. I dove off mailboxes and roofs, neither of which were very good ideas. But I was also a book omnivore. Lights out? Give me ten more minutes, Mom! I’m reading. Mom, of course, always agreed.

Today, writing lets me live out my childhood dreams and fantasies, oftentimes transporting me back in time. On the page, I can be anything I want to be. I can create wild worlds. I can let my imagination run wild. Sorry, I have to go now. An evil scientist is turning kids into super mutants and I need to thwart his plans…because I can.

 

 

Samantha 3

 

About-the-Author2

Samantha Verant

 

Samantha Vérant is a travel addict, a self-professed oenophile, and a determined, if occasionally unconventional, French chef. Over the years, she’s visited many different countries, lived in many places, and worked many jobs— always on the search for the one thing that truly excited her. Then, one day, she found everything she’s been looking for: a passion for the written word and true love. Writing not only enabled her to open her heart, it led her to southwestern France, where she’s now married to a sexy French rocket scientist she met over twenty years ago, a stepmom to two incredible kids, and the adoptive mother to one ridiculously expensive Bengal cat. When she’s not trekking from Provence to the Pyrénées, tasting wine in American-sized glasses, or embracing her inner Julia Child while deliberating what constitutes the perfect boeuf bourguignon, Samantha is making her best effort to relearn those dreaded conjugations.

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