Tag: young readers

Release Day Blitz: This Raging Light by Estelle Laure

I am so excited that THIS RAGING LIGHT by Estelle Laure releases today and that I get to share the news! If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Estelle Laure, be sure to check out all the details below.
 
This blitz also includes a giveaway for a finished copy of the book and a bottle of nail polish that matches the cover courtesy of Estelle, HMH, and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at thebottom of this post.

 

About The Book:

Title: THIS RAGING LIGHT

Author: Estelle Laure
Release Date: December 22nd,2015
Pages: 288
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook
“A funny, poetic, big-hearted reminder that life can—and will—take us all by
surprise.” —Jennifer E. Smith, The Statistical Probability of Love
at First Sight
Can the best thing happen at the worst time?
Her dad went crazy. Her mom left town. She has bills to pay and a little sister to look after. Now is not the time for level-headed seventeen-year-old Lucille to fall in love. But love—messy, inconvenient love—is what she’s about to experience when she falls for Digby Jones, her best friend’s brother. With blazing longing that builds to a fever pitch, Estelle Laure’s soulful debut will keep readers
hooked and hoping until the very last page.
 
 
 
Exclusive Excerpt:
 
When Wrenny and I roll up the hill to Eden’s house in Mom’s ancient Corolla, Digby and his dad, John, are outside playing basketball, and I want to get in the house as fast as possible, because otherwise I might be trapped here all day, staring. I get a little twinge of something seeing a dad and his kid playing ball like dads and kids are supposed to. That’s a real
thing, and my hand wants to cover Wren’s face so she can’t see all that she is missing.
Which reminds me. “Wren.”
 “Yeah?” She’s wiping at her shirt, reading a book on her lap, and she’s a little bit filthy, her hair greasy and knotty in spite of my efforts this morning. At some point the braids came out, and she’s reverted to wild.
“You know how Mom hasn’t been around lately?”
She stops. Tightens. “Yeah,” she says.
“Well, we don’t want anyone to know about that, okay?
Even Janie and Eden and Digby and John.”
“But Mom’s on vacation. She’s getting her head together. She’s coming back.”
“Okay, yes,” I say, “but still. We don’t want to tell anyone, because they might not understand that. They might get the wrong idea.”
“Like that she left us permanently?” There is so much more going on inside that Wrenny-head than I can ever know.
“Maybe, or at least for longer than she was supposed to.” I reach for the handle to the door because I can’t look at her. “Someone might think that.”
“She didn’t, though,” she says. “She’s Mom.”
“Of course she didn’t.” Lie.
“So who cares what anyone thinks?”
“Wren, just don’t, okay?”
“Okay.”
“Some things are private.” I open the door, then lean back across and wipe uselessly at her shirt with my thumb. “Like Mom being on vacation. So, okay?”
“I said okay, okay?” She gets out and waits, stares at me like I’m the most aggravating person on earth. “Hey, Lu?”
“Yeah?” I say, bracing myself for what’s next.
“Your mama’s so fat, she left the house in high heels and came back in flip-flops.”
I would tell her that I hate her new obsession with fat jokes, but I’m not in the mood for any dawdling, so I half laugh and get moving. I want to get inside and quick because there’s also the other thing. And by “other” I mean what makes me sweat just standing here. And by “thing” I mean Digby, who I have known since I was seven but who lately makes a fumbling moronic moron out of me, a full-on halfwit. Ask me my name when I’m in his presence and I’m not likely to be able to tell you. I’d probably just say, “Lllll . . . lllllllu . . .” and you’d have to catch the drool running down my chin.
I know. It’s not at all attractive.
But really. Tall, sweaty, and not wearing a shirt, so the muscles are all right there for the watching. He doesn’t exactly glisten, on account of the fact that he’s whiter than white, that he tans by getting freckles so he’s covered in them now after a whole summer outside. But seeing his hair all plastered to his forehead, his body so long and lean, looping around his dad to get the ball into the hoop, I want to fall out of the car and onto my knees in the driveway, say Lord have mercy, hallelujah, write sonnets and paint him, and worship that one little curve where his neck meets his shoulder that is just so, so perfect.
He is beautiful.
Which is why when he says hi as I pass him, I barely raise a pinky in response. There are two main problems here, aside from the fact that he is Eden’s twin and that’s all kinds of weird.
One, he’s had the same girlfriend since the dawn of time. They’re pinned, she wears his jacket, their marriage certificate is practically already signed. Angels bless their freakin’ union. And two, if I ever did get a chance with him, like if he ever kissed me or something, I would die of implosion. I know I sound like a twelve-year-old mooning over some celebrity, and not the extremely self-possessed woman-tobe that I actually am, but something about him makes me lose my mind. Something about the way he moves, about his himness — it shatters me all the way down. So I hope he never does kiss me. That would be nothing but a disaster. No one needs to see me fall apart like that. Least of all him.
Actually, maybe least of all me.

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
About Estelle:

Estelle Laure is a Vonnegut worshipper who believes in love and magic and the power of facing hard truths. She has a BA in Theater Arts from New Mexico State
University and an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont
College of Fine Arts, and thinks everyone should have to wait tables or work in
a kitchen at least once in their lives. She lives in Taos, New Mexico with her
children.
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Giveaway Details:
1 winner will receive a hardcover of THIS RAGING LIGHT and a bottle of Essie Nail Polish that matches the book cover. US Only.

 Ends on December 31st at Midnight EST!

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

 

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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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#SuperMGMondays: Author Spotlight – Michael Gibney with Giveaway

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

Today, we get up close and personal with

Michael Gibney

author of The Three Thorns (The Brotherhood and the Shield #1) from Tantrum Books.

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

 

Michael Gibney

 

Michael Gibney began working in restaurants at the age of sixteen and assumed his first sous chef position at twenty-two. He ascended to executive sous chef at Tavern on the Green, where he managed an eighty-person staff. He has worked in the kitchens of Morgans Hotel Group, 10 Downing in Manhattan, and Governor in Brooklyn’s DUMBO, among many others. Over the course of his career, he has had the opportunity to work alongside cooks and chefs from many of the nation’s best restaurants, including Alinea, Per Se, Eleven Madison Park, Daniel, Jean Georges, Le Bernardin, Bouley, Ducasse, Corton, wd~50, and Momofuku.

In addition to his experience in the food service industry, Gibney also holds a BFA in painting from Pratt Institute and an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Connect with the Author: Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

 

Would You Rather With Michael Gibney

 

Would you rather never be able to speak again or always have to say everything that is on your mind?

Everything that is on my mind. I value honesty and the power of words, both written and audible. It’s not in my nature to stay silent, especially concerning injustice i.e. Animal Cruelty, etc.

 

Would you rather be able to read or be able to read minds (but be illiterate)?

I can do both. Haha. Read. I’d find reading people’s minds an invasion of their privacy, unless it was to help them.

 

Would you rather be able to speak fluently every language in the world or be the best in the world at something of your choosing?

Be the best in the world at something. Reason being I love the fact that learning another language is a feeling of achievement and an exciting challenge. I wouldn’t want that challenge made easy.

 

Would you rather read only one book over and over for the rest of your life or read as many as you want but never remember what they’re about?

Oh, tough one. Well, if you can’t remember there’s not much point. Seems like a waste of time and effort for nothing, so I’d go for reading one book and that would be J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan (aka Peter and Wendy). The best fantasy book ever written in my opinion. So simple but yet such Genius.

 

Would you rather only the first page of a book or the last page?

Last Page. I always have to find out how a story ends.

 

Would you rather read 5 pages per day or 5 books per week?

Five books a week if I could and had the time. Knowledge is power.

 

Would you rather read only one genre forever or never read the same genre more than once?

One genre forever because you’d quickly run out of genres, right? And there’s plenty of amazing books and various sub-genres to be found in the Sci-Fi and Horror genre. Not so much in the romance genre.

 

Would you rather be invisible or be able to read minds?

Invisible. Would be so much fun but not if it’s like the Predator or Hollowman/The Invisible Man. That would suck.

 

Would you rather never use the internet again or never watch TV again?

Never watch TV again. There’s too much sad news and superficial reality shows on TV these days and not to mention a cluster of commercials. Yes, give me the Internet, so I can watch the art, music, movies I want and keep in contact with those I love around the world. Much better than a one way street of TV.

 

Would you rather have one wish granted today or three granted in 10 years?

Definitely one wish granted today. Life is unpredictable and short. We’re not guaranteed anything. Also, I hate waiting. Patience is a virtue. Possess it if you can. Seldom in a woman, but never in a man.

 

Would you rather know it all or have it all?

Have it all. I’m a deep enough thinker and have a strong enough imagination as it is and that can be quite exhausting. So, knowing it all would drive me crazy. Plus, one would be viewed as pretentious and arrogant if they had the ability to know it all. And both are not good attributes. =)

 

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Three brothers born to a once powerful King were abandoned at birth and cast out into the old world as orphans – alone and unaware of the other’s existence or their royal heritage.

In the new world, by order of the false King, three of the most lethal assassins are sent to kill the children before they come of age and avenge their father’s throne.

But when the brothers find one another, Benjamin, Tommy and Sebastian must resist the temptation of magic and power if they are to defeat the unspeakable evil that has threatened them since birth.

The Three Thorns is book one in an exciting children’s fantasy series called The Brotherhood and the Shield from debut author Michael Gibney.

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Blog Tour: Randi’s Steps by Frances Judge

Polygon(5)Randi's Steps Book Cover 6 10 24 14

Blurb

If only her life were a story on paper, she could tear it into a million pieces and start over. Ten-year-old Francie McLean’s life hasn’t been the same since her best friend started battling cancer. Francie wants to be loyal and caring to Randi, but when put to the test, she fails. Will their friendship survive the disease that changes everything?

Excerpt/Spotlight
I swing higher and think about how Randi’s bouncy ponytail forms a long spiral. She always looks cute. My straight brown hair resembles a pilgrim boy’s. She has baby-smooth skin the color of rich cream. Freckles splash across my nose, like splattered paint. I’ve tried erasing them, but they’re stuck. White-out almost worked, until Mom made me wash the “white blobs” off my face.
I tilt my head back and close my eyes. A sports car zooms by, revving and blasting music. It sounds like Mr. Picconi’s Corvette convertible, a car he named “Jenny” and keeps hidden in the garage.
I stop swinging and daydream. On sunny days, Randi’s father would open the garage, remove his treasure, and take us for a ride with the top down. I imagined we were on the Thunderbolt Rollercoaster as he sped down the hill at the end of our street. We giggled as our stomachs felt butterfly tickles. I loved riding in the sparkly turquoise Corvette, a hundred times nicer than our squash colored station wagon. All of the boys on our block stared as we drove around in a car cooler than any of their Hot Wheels. Randi and I pretended we were the queens of Hartwell Drive.
“Hello, hello people,” we called out as we waved royal-looking waves. “We’re taking a drive through our kingdom. See you later at the castle.” I could taste the air, like a mouthful of cotton candy melting on my tongue.
The sweet tasting air suddenly turns to wet snowflakes. I leap off and trudge toward warmth, fighting the bitter wind and snow that press against me. The flakes melt on my face, blending with my tears.
I turn the front door knob like a thief trying not to trip the alarm. I want to sneak down the hall and crawl under my covers without being seen or heard. It works until my bed creaks.
“Are you okay, Francie?”
I don’t answer. I try to muffle my crying in the pillow, but those muffled cries are the alarm to Mom. A gentle knock, Mom’s knock, and the door creaks open.
Mom sits down next to me. “You can talk to me when you need to. I’m proud of you for being such a good friend.” Mom’s voice is soft and she rubs my back.
I sit up and wipe my eyes. “She’s gonna be gone a whole month in the hospital.” I picture counting the days on a calendar. A month is so long. All I want to do is sleep, wake up tomorrow, and drive away, even on the stupid school bus. Anything to get away from this mess.

me in city

Author Bio

After graduating from the Fashion Institute of Technology, Frances worked for Bridal Guide Magazine as well as other companies as a freelance artist. When she began homeschool teaching, she turned her creative talents toward writing children’s books, writing every day as well as taking classes. Her work has been published in Clubhouse Jr. Magazine, anthologies, and Christian homeschooling newsletters. She has received two honorable mention awards in the 2010 and 2015 Writer’s Digest Annual Contest and has won nine first place Faithwriter’s Editor’s Choice awards. She has written close to two hundred short stories and poems. She also enjoys writing for her blog, francysnewmorning.com. Frances lives on Long Island with her husband, five children and a little Yorkie with a big bark.

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M9B Friday Reveal: Author Spotlight – Krystalyn Drown with Giveaway

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Welcome to this week’s M9B Friday Reveal! This week, we are featuring

Krystalyn Drown

author of Tracy Tam: Santa Command, a Tantrum Books Title!

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

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

When I was a child, my Christmas traditions were pretty simple. I would get up and open my presents. Then, I would have Christmas dinner (always turkey, green beans, dressing, cranberry sauce shaped like a can, and the most amazing homemade rolls you could ever taste) with my mom’s side of the family.

After dinner, my dad’s parents would come get me. I would go over to their house and repeat. Presents, dinner, and spending the night with my cousin giggling under the covers as we did our best to stay awake as long as possible.

As I grew older, our families were separated by distance, so those traditions gradually faded away.

As an adult, I have made my own traditions with my husband and my son. Whether we celebrate at home in Florida or with family in Indiana, we have some things that are always the same.

Our Elf on the Shelf, Elfie, does his best to win Cutest Elf of the Year.

Elf on the Shelf

We wear matching pajamas.

Family

And we make amazing memories with our family. Because no matter how traditions change, all that really matters is the time we spend with those we care about. A night spent playing board games or a drive to look at Christmas lights can create memories that last forever.

Although, I do have one tradition that always stays the same. I still have to have my cranberry sauce shaped like a can.

Cranberry Sauce

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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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Giveaway

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION:
• One (1) digital copy of Tracy Tam: Santa Command by Krystalyn Drown (INT)
• Contest ends Nov 20, 2015
• Winners will receive their book on release day

Complete the Rafflecopter for a chance to win!

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Blog Tour: To Catch A Cat Thief by Sean Cummings

To Catch a Cat Thief To-Catch-a-Cat-Thief-Cover
by Sean Cummings
Publisher: Rebelight Publishing
Genre: Middle Grade/mystery/humor
Hundreds of cats are missing! Fear not-Penelope Ann Pickersgill and her hippie grandma are on the case. While her friends go to cool camps, twelve-year-old Penelope has to spend the summer with Grandma Bev, who is convinced that cat-eating aliens are beaming the town’s furry friends aboard their mother ship at night. Lights in the sky point to UFO’s, but Penelope is sure there’s a more logical explanation. With a little help from Sherlock Holmes, she and Grandma Bev set out to find the cats. Will they be able to solve the mystery before all the cats in Thornhill disappear?

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Purchase it here:

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My Review

I found this to be a delightully funny read. The characters were quirky and witty and the pacing was smooth. The mystery was really well done and my guesses were all wrong!

I found Penelope’s character to be realistic; she was concerned about the things children at that age are concerned about. She is smart and a perfect balance to her grandmother’s quirkiness. She gets her gran to start thinking logically instead of looking for aliens as the cause of the cats’ disappearence.

Grandma Bev is funny with her hippie ways and is a tad bit obssessed with aliens and ‘the man”! She is the kind of grandmother who can be embarassing but is also cool to hang out with.

I loved the diary entries which gave a glimpse into Penelopes’s life and what she finds interesting and how she feels about the whole situation. The language used was not overly simplistic which lends itself to reading by all age groups and I think anyone looking for a quick light mystery would enjoy this; I did!

My Rating

3.5 stars

Recommendation

I recommend this to anyone who likes middle grade mysteries or anyone looking for a quick funny read.

About The Author

Sean-Cummings-Hi-Resolution

Sean Cummings is a mutli-published author with works ranging from urban fantasy (Shade Fright, Funeral Pallor) to dark fantasy and superheroes. (Marshall Conrad) 2012 saw the publication of Sean’s first young adult novel. Poltergeeks is a rollicking story about teen witch a race against time to save her mother’s life. The second book Student Bodies, hit stores in 2013. In 2014, he published The North, a gripping post-apocalyptic thriller for teens. To Catch a Cat Thief is Sean’s first middle grade novel.

Sean lives in Saskatoon Canada with his wife, two lazy cats and a spotted dog named Stormageddon. You can learn more about Sean and his books at www.sean-cummings.ca.

Connect with the Author:

Website | Twitter | Goodreads

Giveaway

Contest ends November 27, 2015

• Two (2) winners will received a physical copy of To Catch A Cat Thief by Sean Cummings (US/Canada)
• Five (5) winners will receive a digital copy of To Catch A Cat Thief by Sean Cummings (INT)

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Super Middle Grade Mondays Blitz: Author Spotlight – Krystalyn Drown with Giveaway

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Welcome to this week’s Super Middle Grade Mondays Book Blitz presented by Tantrum Books/Month9books! Today, we get up close and personal with Krystalyn Drown author of TracyTam: Santa Command from Tantrum Books.

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

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

Describe yourself in three words.

Quiet. Determined. Quirky.

Describe your book in three words.

Scientific. Magical. Santa-riffic

Tell us about your day job.

I’m a substitute teacher. I used to be an elementary teacher, but I love how subbing gives me more time to spend with my family and to write.

Which writers inspire you?

Judy Blume because she understood what it was like to be a preteen, Richard Peck because of Bel Air Bambi and the Mall Rats as well as all of his historical novels, JK Rowling because Harry Potter.

What is your writing process like?

I know the beginning, a few main points in the middle, and the end. Then I sit down and write. I send one of my critique partners (Dianne K. Salerni) my chapters one by one for feedback. Once I have a rough draft, then I write an outline and revise from there.

What are you reading right now?

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Again.

Do you have an author crush?

Maggie Stiefvater. The way she writes her characters leaves me in awe.

Quick questions:

Physical books or eBooks? Physical books

Coke or Pepsi? Pepsi

Twitter or Facebook? Facebook

Song you can’t get out of your head right now? Bad Blood by Taylor Swift

Sweet or salty? Sweet

Coffee or tea? Coffee

Write on computer or notebook paper? Computer

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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Super Middle Grade Mondays Blitz: Author Spotlight – Donna Galanti with Giveaway

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Welcome to this week’s Super Middle Grade Mondays Book Blitz presented by Tantrum Books/Month9books.Today, we get up close and personal with Donna Galanti author of Joshua and the Lightning Road from Tantrum Books. Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

Donna Galanti

Donna Galanti 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. She’s lived in other exotic locations, including 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. Donna is the author of the Joshua and The Lightning Road series (Month9Books) and blogs at Project Mayhem. Visit her at www.donnagalanti.com.

Praise for Joshua and The Lightning Road:
“Vividly imagined characters in a gripping action fantasy that never lets you go until the very last page.” —Jenny Nimmo, New York Times bestselling author of the Charlie Bone series

“Joshua and the Lightning Road is a heart-pounding thrill ride full of unexpected twists and turns from start to finish.”The Midwest Book Review

Watch the Joshua and The Lightning Road book trailer.

Connect With The Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Would You Rather Questions by Donna Galanti

Would you rather never be able to speak again or always have to say everything that is on your mind?
Never have to speak again! If others knew all my crazy thoughts, I might not have any friends or family left. Ha ha! At least I could still write. J

Would you rather be able to read or be able to read minds (but be illiterate)?
Read, absolutely! To read means to explore other worlds, create movies in your mind, find deeper meaning in life, experience self-awareness, and go through transformations. I would be afraid to read minds to see truly what people are thinking. I definitely do not want to know what goes on in many people’s heads (especially my son’s)! Besides, it’s more fun to imagine what is in other people’s heads and create character stories about them to entertain myself.

Would you rather be able to speak fluently every language in the world or be the best in the world at something of your choosing?
Be the best in the world at…playing the violin! I can challenge myself to learn new languages, but I’ve always dreamed of having musical talent – and I adore the violin. Writing and music go hand in hand for me and I want to play and inspire myself, and others.

Would you rather read only one book over and over for the rest of your life or read as many as you want but never remember what they’re about?

What a terrible dilemma! As many as I want. Even if I don’t remember them, at least I can experience new worlds through them in the moment.

Would you rather only the first page of a book or the last page?
Definitely the last page! I have a habit of flicking to the back and reading the last line of a book I pick up to possibly buy. If that last line pulls me in and connects to the first line then I am good to get it!

Would you rather read 5 pages per day or 5 books per week?

5 pages per day. I am a speed reader and if I were to read 5 books a week, I know I would skim them and not get the full experience each one. To read 5 pages a day I could immerse myself in the story, slowly, and reflect on it and its journey.

Would you rather read only one genre forever or never read the same genre more than once?
I would rather never read the same genre more than once. I lost my love of reading when I became an author and couldn’t figure out why. Then a friend made me aware that as an author I now needed to expand what I read. She was right! I had always read the same one or two genres and had simply gotten bored. Now I like to sink into books that challenge me in new ways, to read things I never would have before: non-fiction, science fiction, historical, horror, etc. In reading across genres it helps me expand my skills as an author and also brings a richness to my own writing.

Would you rather be invisible or be able to read minds?
Invisible! Then I could sneak around and grab private conversations of people to churn my brain with ideas for stories! (a spy but for educational purposes, of course).

Would you rather never use the internet again or never watch TV again?
That’s easy. TV. I am not much of a TV watcher – and could always catch up on my favorite shows on the internet through Netflix.

Would you rather have one wish granted today or three granted in 10 years?
Definitely three in ten years. My desires and needs may change across the years. Something I desire today, may not work out for tomorrow!

Would you rather know it all or have it all?
Have it all. If you have it all, that’s wonderful to not worry about material things and still explore the world to seek knowledge and meaning – and know it’s a vast, never ending tide of information. But if you know it all, what left is there to discover? Life would be very boring. There would be no challenges! No amazing discoveries! No transformations! It would be a life without curiosity and that would be a very sad life indeed.

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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