Friday, November 30, 2012

BLOG TOUR: The Paperboy by Stan Crader

THE PAPERBOY
by Stan Crader
Wheatmark, 2007
ISBN: 978-1-58736-908-7
YA/Adult Historical Fiction
Grades 8 and up
Complimentary copy received in return for honest review.
All opinions expressed are solely my own.

ABOUT THE PAPERBOY

Paperboy tells the story as only an afternoon paperboy in rural America in the sixties can. Thousands of readers identified with the unique characters of Colby while reading The Bridge. They grew to love Tommy and the band of boys, were entertained by their childish pranks, and touched by their generosity.

In Paperboy, change is coming to Colby. The shoe factory has sold and a hat factory is taking its place. A factory manager has been named and he’s definitely not from Colby. There’s an influx of interesting newcomers.
The high school principal is also new to Colby. He must deal with teenage pregnancy, the snooping high school office secretary, and the Colby Curls rumor mill. He, too, has a mysterious past and uses it to his advantage.

The pregnant teen and her auto-mechanic single mother aren’t Colby natives either. Rumors about both abound. The mother has a past which touches the present, and eventually involves the entire town. Tommy and Booger, while delivering the Colby Telegraph, discover that Colby’s patriarch, Mr. Koch, has a heroic but classified history. While raking leaves for Mrs. Whitener, they learn the origin of her accent and how she got to Colby. It’s not what most people think.

Jupiter Storm, the town’s primary purveyor of gossip, whose opinion always exceeds his knowledge, is perpetually annoying. But Tommy and Booger learn that Jupiter is a decorated World War II veteran. And when a threatening stranger appears on the scene, the entire town learns of Jupiter’s unique but redeeming skill. How will Colby be different, and how will it be the same?

ABOUT STAN CRADER

 Stan Crader’s first book, ‘The Bridge’ spent several days on the best seller list for Christian fiction at both BarnesandNoble.com and Amazon.com. His articles about flying have been published in flying magazines and local newspapers. He won a Bronze Quill award from the International Association of Business Communications for articles written for his company’s quarterly newsletter.

Stan was born and raised in Bollinger County Missouri. Coming of age in rural Missouri provided him the material for many of the rich characters in his books. He credits the variety of jobs he had as a child and the people with which he worked for providing him his creative foundation.

Stan’s childhood jobs included grocery store carry out, a paper route, mowing lawns, farm equipment set-up, sawmills, and janitor. “You learn a great deal about people when you see what groceries they purchase,” Stan says.

After graduating from high school, he attended the University of Missouri, where he met his future wife, Debbie at a Missouri / Nebraska football game. It was Debbie who first made Stan realize that his childhood was unique.

They spent the early years of their marriage living in Bollinger County, Missouri. Stan joined the family business and Debbie worked as a community nurse. As a nurse, working with a caring country doctor, she began to collect stories of her own.

The two of them raised three boys and a golden retriever as the life experiences continued. Stan began writing Christmas letters. Friends and family began to look forward to the somewhat informative but largely humorous Christmas epistle.

Stan’s first novel was written after the encouragement of those on his Christmas letter mailing list and the recipients of the company’s quarterly newsletter. He’s flattered beyond measure each time someone who has read ‘The Bridge’ asks about a sequel.

Visit Stan’s site:  http://www.stancrader.com

Please note that all proceeds go to support Resurrecting Lives, a non-profit that supports veterans with traumatic brain injury (TBI).

 REVIEW

When I really like characters, it is always a thrill to read more about them. I was eager to read this follow-up to Crader's The Bridge. It was interesting to return to Colby and find out more about its residents.  Tommy and Booger are once again the main characters but there are many others both old and new that Tommy and Booger interact with. As a paperboy, Tommy knows most of the people in his town, but there are always surprising new things to discover.  Crader does a great job of creating a wonderful setting with realistic characters with real strengths and weaknesses.  If you enjoy good-ole, country-home stories than I highly recommend this one.



Check out the rest of the tour here.  Be sure to check  review of the first book, The Bridge.

BLOG TOUR and GIVEAWAY: Finding the Baby Jesus by Kimball Fisher

Tour Schedule
Finding the Baby Jesus by Kimball Fisher

After being forced to wear lederhosen for the annual holiday card picture, twelve-year-old Chris thinks that the least his parents can do is get him the Tony Hawk skateboard he wants for Christmas. But when he recovers the hand-carved Baby Jesus that everyone thought had been destroyed in a fire the year his Grandma died, Chris realizes that some gifts are even more important than skateboards.

When the author had to discontinue a cherished tradition of reading Christmas stories out loud with his family and holiday guests each week in December, he wrote Finding the Baby Jesus. He had been unable to locate enough meaningful stories that could be read in a single sitting with wiggly children.

Praise for Finding the Baby Jesus:

“Tender and true, this warm Christmas tale brought tears to my eyes.”
–Heather Vogel Frederick, author of the much-beloved Mother-Daughter Book Club series and Oregon Book Award winner for The Voyage of Patience Goodspeed

“A touching story that speaks to the importance of family, giving, and the true spirit of Christmas.”
–Matthew Kirby, author of Icefall, winner of the Edgar Allen Poe and the Pen Center USA Literary Awards for Children’s Literature

“Deeply moving. Poignant.”
–Deborah Halverson, former editor at Harcourt Children’s Books and author of Honk If You Hate Me, a Gayle McCandliss Literary Award Winner

"The perfect little book to tuck away with your Christmas things and bring out year after year to read with family. As mother to three boys, I can't imagine a better protagonist than Chris. His typical teenage attitude followed by the softening of his heart towards a friend teaches a poignant and very relatable lesson on the true meaning of Christmas."
–Amazon review

"After I read this short story I felt like I had read a novel--every sentence is packed with action and imagery. I was emotionally connected to the characters, and the story is touching. I didn't see the plot twist at the end coming! A great story to read every Christmas."
–Amazon review

Purchase

Author Kimball Fisher

Kimball Fisher writes novels for young readers. He is also a best-selling business author, professional speaker, and management consultant. Some of his past jobs include: sailboat builder, ghost writer (not as scary as it sounds), illustrator, and factory manager (more scary than it sounds). For fun he builds furniture, stained-glass windows, and writing pens.

He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Humanities (with minors in English, Asian Studies, and Japanese), and a Master of Organizational Behavior degree from Brigham Young University. He and his amazing wife Reenie live in Portland, Oregon, where they have seen pheasants, coyotes, and a bobcat in their own backyard.

Links

REVIEW

This is a tender story about family, love, and the miracles that can come with the Christmas season when we open our hearts. Christoph really misses his Grandma and her game of hiding presents in the Christmas tree. To make up for her abscence he hopes to get a Tony Hawk skateboard for Christmas. But when a couple of special surprises come his way, he is reminded about the most important gifts of all. I found this a sweet story, long enough to get the message across and short enough to be perfect for sharing.

Book Blast

Tour Giveaway:
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 12/26/12

Open to anyone who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent's permission. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule
http://iamareadernotawriter.blogspot.com/2012/10/finding-baby-jesus-blog-tour.html

BLOG TOUR: Diary of a Penguin-Napper by Sally Harris

DIARY OF A PENGUIN-NAPPER
by Sally Harris
Frankly Books, 2012
ISBN: 9780987416308
Middle Grade Contemporary/Humor
Grades 3-6
ARC received from author for honest review.

ABOUT THE BOOK

3 weeks ...
2 boys ...
1 little penguin ...

What could possibly go wrong?

When 11 (and a half) year old Marty is partnered up with Jessica on the overnight science trip, he thinks all of this dreams are about to come true. It's his big chance to impress the most beautiful girl in Year 7 (and probably the world) and he wouldn't miss it for anything.

Only problem is: Marty can't afford to go on the overnight trip.

Yet.

Inspired by the urban myth that it is possible to steal a penguin from the zoo on a school visit, Diary of a Penguin-napper is a hilarious tale of growing up, bending the rules and how one big fuss can be caused by stealing just one little penguin.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

SALLY HARRIS grew up in Mildura and wrote her first book when she was in Grade 4 – it was a joke book, full of some seriously corny jokes.


Since then she has barely stopped writing stories and while her taste in jokes may not have improved, she likes to think that her storytelling skills have.

After graduating with a degree in Children’s Literature, Sally has been busy writing and working as a primary teacher, in both Australia and the UK, where she has endless classes of children to test out her stories on.

She now lives in Melbourne and when she’s not writing, you can find her teaching, dancing, drinking chai lattes, reading children's books and scouring the paper for unlikely news articles to turn into exciting fiction.

Sally loves animals, including penguins, and if she can't have one of those as a pet, a dog would be the next best thing.

Diary of a Penguin-napper is her first book.
AUTHOR INTERVIEW
 
What defines Australian children's literature?

Sometimes, in Australia, we forget how isolated we are from the rest of the world. The first time that this really became apparent to me was when I travelled over to the UK to complete my Masters, majoring in children's literature, and we were discussing significant texts of our childhoods.  Now in Australia, if you say the names Mem Fox, John Marsden, Jackie French or Andy Griffiths, other Aussie's will know who you are talking about.  These are, after all, successful and prolific Australian writers and are well known 'down under'.  And yet, for all of their success here, they are hardly known on the international stage.

When I got thinking about the work of these authors, books that I consider to be really quintessentially Australian, there were a few key similarities between many of their stories that I think help to define them as Australian children's literature. 

And, looking at my own book, Diary of a Penguin-napper, I think that it is the following key qualities that identify it as a piece of Australian children's literature:

It is written by Aussies and set in Australia

When thinking about what defines Australian children's literature, I believe that the most simple definition is that it is stories written by Australians and set in Australia.  Diary of a Penguin-napper meets both of these requirements, as I am Australian (obviously) and the story is set in the suburbs of the fictional city of 'Sydbourne'.  A lot of great Australian stories for children take place in realistic settings, taking a unique look at everyday Australian life.

There are some great names and nicknames

Australians shorten everything. A barbeque is a barbie, the afternoon is the arvo and breakfast is breaky. We also shorten people's names or give them nicknames.  Robert would be Robbo, Tim Johnston would be Johnno and John Smith would be Smithy.  In Diary of a Penguin-napper, the first character with a really Aussie name that comes to mind is Marty, which is short for Martin.  Then, of course, there is his best mate, Turds.  Short for Scott Trudman (Trudman accidentally became Turdman, which then became Turds) using a nickname is an easy way of adding humour to the story.  The same applies with the police officers.  They could have had proper names, but they are much funnier as officers Fat and Skinny.

It is rich in humour and trouble-making

Australians are known for not taking life too seriously and for flouting authority. Stories that can capture both of these aspects of the 'Aussie spirit' are really popular down here - and what is funnier and naughtier than stealing a penguin on a school trip in an attempt to impress a girl?  As a teacher, I know that even the most reluctant readers are likely to stick with a book if it makes them laugh and so Diary of a Penguin-napper was really written with these kids in mind.

Whilst there are many, more academic, indicators of the 'Australian-ness' of a book for children, when I think back over the books of my childhood, it is some or all of these qualities that really stand out in the Australian stories that I loved.  That said, probably the very best part about Australian children's literature is that you don't even have to be Australian to enjoy it!


You can get a taste of Sally's frank insight to all things writing, publishing and marketing at @franklybooks on Twitter.  This is the last stop on her whirlwind penguin-napping blog tour and you can check out the other stops (and her blogging) by visiting www.frankly-books.com

Better still, you can buy a copy of Diary of a Penguin-napper in paperback or e-book at Amazon.com or Smashwords from only 99c.  

REVIEW

Giggle, giggle, snort. What a funny story of young love and misguided thinking.  I mean seriously, stealing a penguin?! I would never have thought of such a thing and I can't think of any other book on such a topic. Maybe that's one of the great things about reading literature that comes from other countries, the introduction of stories that are different and unusual.  I personally really enjoy these kind of books and I'm glad I had a chance to read this one. 

This story revolves around a teenage boy trying to impress his crush and find a way to go on his biology class field trip.  With the help of some friends(?), he decides to steal/borrow a penguin from the local zoo. How he expected to hide the penguin from his mother is an interesting question, but then again, how many teenagers think things through completely before they act?

This book reminds me of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, although instead of comics it uses illustrations involving diagrams and notes from Marty's diary/notebook.  This helps make the book especially kid-friendly.  I found the book easy to read and it starts off with a bang as Marty faces the consequences of his choices. I highly recommend this book to kids who want something a little different and yet funny and relatable. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

BOOK BLAST and GIVEAWAY: Poseidon and the Sea of Fury by Suzanne Williams and Joan Holub

Poseidon and the Sea of Fury 

A young Poseidon must triumph over aquatic terrors in this Heroes in Training adventure. The merciless Cronus and his Titan buddies are in hot pursuit of Zeus, Hera, and Poseidon, who plan to travel across the treacherous boiling sea in order to save a fellow Olympian. They have a boat, but they also have a problem: Poseidon can’t swim and is terrified of the water (well, really of the creatures that lurk in its depths). The group faces danger after danger as they battle singing sirens, a fishy and ferocious Titan named Oceanus, and people-eating monsters sent by Cronus himself. Can Poseidon overcome his fears and help his fellow heroes escape Cronus and his cronies?

Purchase

Heroes in Training by Joan Holub & Suzanne Williams
Authors Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams deliver fun, adventures, and a few surprises as ten-year-old Olympians go on a journey of a lifetime to discover their true identities and defeat their Titan enemies.

Praise for Heroes in Training
"Readers will gobble this down and look for more, make no mythtake."
~ Kirkus

“This is a fun read, casting Zeus in the role of relatable kid, and there is a nice balance between his primary goal of survival and his sense of destiny and adventure. . . Share this title, and likely more to come, with those still too young for Percy Jackson’s adventures.”
~ School Library Journal

The Series

#1 Zeus and the Thunderbolt of Doom
#2 Poseidon and the Sea of Fury
#3 Hades and the Helm of Darkness
#4 Hyperion and the Great Balls of Fire

Aladdin Paperbacks (ages 6-9)
http://series.simonandschuster.com/Heroes-in-training

Zeus and the Thunderbolt of Doom (Book 1)

After pulling a magical thunderbolt from a stone, ten-year-old Zeus goes on the adventure of a lifetime in this thrilling start to a brand-new series! The terrible Titans--merciless giants who enjoy snacking on humans--have dominated the earth and put the world into chaos. But their rule is about to be put to the test as a group of young Olympians discover their powers and prepare to righteously rule the universe....
   
     Ten-year-old Zeus is mystified (and super-annoyed) by the fact that he keeps getting hit by lightening. Every. Single. Year. He also longs for adventure, as he has never been far from the cave where he grew up.

     Zeus gets his wish--and a lot more than he bargained for--when he is kidnapped by dangerous, giant Titans! In self-defense, he grabs the first thing he sees--an actual thunderbolt he pulls from a stone that is covered in mysterious markings. Zeus is the only one who can decipher the markings, and sets off on a quest to rescue his youthful fellow Olympians from the evil Cronus. Armed with his trusty thunderbolt (named Bolt, of course), Zeus is on an adventure of a lifetime--and a journey to fulfill his destiny as King of the Gods.

Hades and the Helm of Darkness (Book 3 coming April 2013)

The Heroes in Training are entering the Underworld—if Hades can conquer his canine fears, that is.

The Underworld usually isn’t really meant to be a fun place—but tell that to Hades! He loves the dark and the stinky smell of sulfur. However, there is one thing that Hades is not a fan of: dogs. And when Zeus and his fellow Olympians encounter Cerberus—a snarling, three-headed dog—Hades must conquer his fears and tame the hound so everyone can continue into the Underworld and deposit their Titan prisoner, Oceanus, back where he belongs!

But with magical water that causes forgetfulness, hot beds of lava, and another epic battle with two more Titans standing in their way, will Zeus and his heroes make it out of the Underworld with everyone intact?

Author Suzanne Williams

Suzanne Williams is the award-winning author of nearly 40 books for children, from picture books and easy readers to chapter books and middle grade fiction series. A former elementary school librarian, she lives near Seattle. Her picture book Library Lil (illustrated by Steven Kellogg) won the New Mexico children's choice award in 2000 and was on several other state award lists. She is co-author (with Joan Holub) of the popular Goddess Girls series(for ages 8 - 12) and Heroes in Training (ages 6 - 11). Other series include Fairy Blossoms and Princess Power.


Author Joan Holub

I graduated from college in Texas with a fine arts degree, and then freelanced as an art director at a graphic design firm for eight years. I dreamed of working in children's books, so I moved to New York City and became associate art director in Scholastic trade books, where I designed books for children and worked with editors and illustrators. It was a great job.

I illustrated my first published children's book in 1992 and soon began illustrating full time. I began completing manuscripts and mailing them out to publishers in the early 1990s. In 1996, I sold my first two manuscripts -- Boo Who? A Spooky Lift-the-Flap Book (Scholastic) and Pen Pals (Grosset & Dunlap). Yippee!

Now I write full time and have written and/or illustrated over 130 children's books. Creating books that entertain, inform, and interest children (and me) is a fabulous job that I truly love.


Book Blast Giveaway
$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 12/9/12

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BOOK BLAST and GIVEAWAY: Keegan's Chronicles Trilogy by Julia Crane

Keegan's Chronicles Trilogy Set
Books 1-3

Coexist:
 
Sixteen-year-old Keegan is struggling to keep her huge secret from her friends--she's an elf, descended from a long line of elves that live in secrecy alongside humans.

In elfin society, mates are predetermined but not allowed to meet until they are eighteen. Against tradition, Keegan's brother Thaddeus told her Rourk's name because his visions warned him she'd need Rourk's protection, especially since Keegan will play a key role in the coming war between the dark and light elves.

Conflicted: 
Keegan, is only alive now due to Black Magic, and her bond with her Chosen is broken. She cannot remember Rourk at all.

For the first time, she feels like a normal teenager. She is dating Donald, her long-time crush, and everything seems perfect. But Rourk still feels their bond, and despairs for the woman he was always meant to love.

Keegan's best friend Anna is determined to find a way to use her powers to return Keegan's bond, no matter what it takes. The question is does Keegan even want it?

Consumed: 
Keegan has dealt with a lot over the last two years: Death, black magic and the loss of her bond to her chosen mate. But on her eighteenth birthday, the bond with Rourk returns.

Now, Keegan faces her hardest decision. Tradition requires elves marry at eighteen. If she accepts the path laid out for her, she will be spared a lifetime of physical and emotional pain. But will that life ever really be her own?

Praise:

Really enjoyed this book. The story draws you in, and the characters are engaging, especially Rourk. I've never read a book about elves, so I wasn't sure what to expect. This was really good. Would recommend to anyone interested in a quick, fun, paranormal read. 
-- Amazon Reviewer

I am not one for Elves or Fairies but yeah these Elves RULE! What is not to love? You have an age old prophecy, destined loves, a great family and amazing friends. Not to mention .... Rourk *yummy* All that is left is the amazing way it all is put together into this fantastic story. 
-- Amazon Reviewer

If you pick up this book, I'm sure it will not disappoint, it had everything, it was cute, yet dark..and well that combo just makes for a perfect book on my shelf, Julia has truly written an amazing read. (: 
-- Haley @ Ya-aholic.com

Purchase
Amazon * Nook * iBooks


Author Julia Crane

Julia Crane is the author of the YA paranormal fiction novels: Keegan's Chronicles, Mesmerized, Dark Promise and Eternal Youth. Julia was encouraged by her mother to read and use her imagination, and she's believed in magical creatures since the day her grandmother first told her an Irish tale. Julia has traveled far and wide to all the places her grandmother told her about, gaining inspiration from her journeys to places like Nepal, Cyprus, Sri Lanka, Italy, France and many more. And who knows? Maybe the magical creatures she writes about are people she met along the way.

Julia Crane has a bachelor's degree in criminal justice. Although she's spent most of her life on the US east coast, she currently lives in Dubai with her husband and three children.

Links
Book Blast Giveaway Deatils (Starts November 29th)
$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 12/9/12
*You need not enter your twitter name for each entry. Simply enter it for the first person you follow and leave the others blank.

Open to anyone who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent's permission. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

BLOG TOUR: The Bridge by Stan Crader

THE BRIDGE
by Stan Crader
Wheatmark, 2007
ISBN: 978-1-58736-908-7
YA/Adult Historical Fiction
Grades 8 and up
Complimentary copy received in return for honest review.
All opinions expressed are solely my own.

ABOUT THE BRIDGE

Tommy Thompson recalls with vivid detail the summer of 1967, when he was twelve years old and living in a small town in rural America. At that time in his life, all he wanted was a Honda motorbike, and he believed the smartest person in the world was his Uncle Cletus. The Bridge follows Tommy’s summer-long quest for the Honda and his love, Wendy, whom he pursues with the comical romanticism of a young boy.
During the course of the summer Tommy helps his best friend, Booger, cope with family tragedy. He is terrorized by Clyde Goodpasture, the biggest bully in the sixth grade, and the town of Colby is shaken by news that its hat factory will close. While he isn’t a religious child, Tommy faces these challenges armed with the few Bible verses that he knows and the support of his Christian family. Tommy has a knack for doing the right thing and ultimately makes a sacrifice that shows without a doubt that his heart is in the right place.

ABOUT STAN CRADER

 Stan Crader’s first book, ‘The Bridge’ spent several days on the best seller list for Christian fiction at both BarnesandNoble.com and Amazon.com. His articles about flying have been published in flying magazines and local newspapers. He won a Bronze Quill award from the International Association of Business Communications for articles written for his company’s quarterly newsletter.

Stan was born and raised in Bollinger County Missouri. Coming of age in rural Missouri provided him the material for many of the rich characters in his books. He credits the variety of jobs he had as a child and the people with which he worked for providing him his creative foundation.

Stan’s childhood jobs included grocery store carry out, a paper route, mowing lawns, farm equipment set-up, sawmills, and janitor. “You learn a great deal about people when you see what groceries they purchase,” Stan says.

After graduating from high school, he attended the University of Missouri, where he met his future wife, Debbie at a Missouri / Nebraska football game. It was Debbie who first made Stan realize that his childhood was unique.

They spent the early years of their marriage living in Bollinger County, Missouri. Stan joined the family business and Debbie worked as a community nurse. As a nurse, working with a caring country doctor, she began to collect stories of her own.

The two of them raised three boys and a golden retriever as the life experiences continued. Stan began writing Christmas letters. Friends and family began to look forward to the somewhat informative but largely humorous Christmas epistle.

Stan’s first novel was written after the encouragement of those on his Christmas letter mailing list and the recipients of the company’s quarterly newsletter. He’s flattered beyond measure each time someone who has read ‘The Bridge’ asks about a sequel.

Visit Stan’s site:  http://www.stancrader.com

Please note that all proceeds go to support Resurrecting Lives, a non-profit that supports veterans with traumatic brain injury (TBI).

 REVIEW

I love this kind of book, a great combination of history and story.  While the main characters are twelve-year-old boys, the book does seem to be aimed at adults.  But I think that young adults could really enjoy it as well.  The story follows the ordinary adventures of Tommy and his best friend, Booger (Randy), who are determined to earn the money to buy Honda Mini-Trails (mini motorcycles).  In order to do so, the set up a lawn mowing business.  But at the same time they deal with the same sorts of things that teenagers the world over deal with, bullies, girls, and the loss of a family member. I especially enjoyed the honest approach that Tommy takes, even though he has a tendency to speak first and think later, it's clear that he is a good kid, but a normal twelve-year-old boy (there are some gross jokes).  I think what I liked the best though was how well the author creates life in a small town in Missouri in the 1960s.  I felt like I was there. For me, historical fiction doesn't work if the setting and feel of the story aren't believable. This book does not have this problem. The book is full of humor, life, and genuineness. I highly recommend this book for those who enjoy great historical fiction.


Check out the rest of the tour here.  Be sure to check back tomorrow for my review of the sequel, The Paperboy.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

COVER REVEAL: Shadow of Time by Jen Minkman

Title: Shadow of Time
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance
Author: Jen Minkman
Cover Designer: Jen Minkman
Cover reveal organized by: AToMR Tours
Expected release date: January 1, 2013
ABOUT THE BOOK
All Hannah needs is a nice and quiet vacation after her first year of teaching French at a high school. She joins her brother Ben for the summer in their mom’s log cabin in Arizona. There, she meets Josh again, Ben’s childhood friend from the Navajo reservation. The little boy from there has grown up fast, and Hannah can’t help but feel more for him than just friendship.
But fate apparently has something else in store for her. And it’s not peace and quiet. Night after night, Hannah is plagued by strange nightmares about the past of Navajo Nation and terrifying shadows chasing her. They seem to come closer – and why is Josh always present in her dreams?
Sometimes, the past has a way of catching up with you.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jen Minkman (1978) was born in Holland, in the town of Alphen aan den Rijn. When she was 19, she moved between The Hague, Salzburg (Austria), Brussels (Belgium) and Cambridge (UK) to complete her studies in intercultural communication. She is currently a teacher of English, career counsellor and teenage coach at a secondary school in Voorburg, Holland. She tries to read at least 100 books a year (and write a few, too!). She is a published author in her own country, and translates her own books from Dutch into English for self-publication.
 

In her spare time, she plays the piano, the guitar and the violin. For every novel she writes, she creates a soundtrack.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

BLOG TOUR and GIVEAWAY: All I Want by Jolene Perry, Kaylee Baldwin, & Rachael Anderson

Tour Schedule

ALL I WANT

THREE STORIES. THREE COUPLES. ONE HOLIDAY.

Pretty Near Perfect

by Jolene Perry

The last thing Norah needs is to be attracted to anyone – especially in her deceased fiancĂ©'s parents' home. Collin’s starting a new career, and has no business getting involved – especially while staying with his roommate’s family, who very kindly offered to take him in for the holidays. Unfortunately, you just don’t always pick the most convenient time and place to fall for someone.

Six Days of Christmas
by Kaylee Baldwin

When Natalie goes home with her best friend for Christmas, she expects plenty of quiet time to work on a winning ad so she can turn her dream internship into her dream job. Instead, she gets time-consuming Christmas festivities, a house full of children, and Jimmy, her best friend’s brother - someone who makes her question everything she’s always thought she wanted.

Twist of Fate
by Rachael Anderson

When a postcard meant for Kenzie winds up in Ty's mailbox, Ty's faced with a decision. Should he tell her that her fiancĂ© is breaking up with her and let it ruin her favorite holiday, or should he do what he’s wanted to do since he met her - make a move and hope that he can win her over before she discovers there won’t be a wedding after all.





Author Jolene Perry

Jolene Perry is an enigmatic figure. She is most often seen behind her laptop, staring at the words flying onto the screen with reckless abandon.

She survived growing up in rural Alaska, driving like a lunatic, and her husband’s careers in the military, as a perpetual student, and an Alaska State Prosecutor. She also survived as a middle school math teacher using her degree of Political Science and French.

One day Jolene was playing her guitar (probably some-thing juvenile for her kids) when she wondered what it would be like to write a song for a rockstar, and her first book was born. (that book is shelved)

She now lives a very glamorous life as a stay at home mom, elbow deep in dirty dishes and peanut butter sandwiches. She doesn’t even attempt to keep up with the laundry because non-writing time is precious, and her family is sorta awesome.

Links:


Author Rachael Anderson

Rachael Anderson is the author of four contemporary romances: Divinely Designed, Luck of the Draw, Minor Adjustments, and The Reluctant Bachelorette. She's the mother of four, can't sing, doesn't dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.

Links:


Author Kaylee Baldwin

I grew up in Mesa, Arizona, and graduated from Arizona State University

with a degree in English literature.
I currently live in southern Arizona with my husband, Jeremy, and our three children. When I am not writing, I enjoy reading, starting new craft projects, and spending time with my family.

Links:



REVIEW


Nothing makes me sigh quite as happily the way a sweet romance does and this book has three of them. While shorter than I normally like, I really enjoyed all three.  In the first story, Norah meets Collin at the house of her dead fiance's family, talk about awkward.  It becomes even more so when Collin seems to return her feelings. I enjoyed the way the characters really connected but still referred to the relationship as just a beginning. That seems more realistic to me than the whole 'love at first sight' stuff.  The second story revolves around Natalie who is trying to come up with an ad campaign that will hopefully win her her dream job.  But between her boyfriend, Grant who offers her no listening ear or support whatsoever and Jimmy, her best friend's brother, who won't stop pestering her, she wonders if her dream is even possible.  In this one I especially enjoyed the interactions between Jimmy and Natalie, they were sweet and funny. The last story focuses on Ty and Kenzie who live in the same apartment complex.  When Ty gets a postcard for Kenzie involving her fiance breaking up with her, he decides to hold it until after Christmas. But his intentions aren't entirely noble, he wants a chance to see if given a choice, Kenzie will choose him over her fiance.  In this one I enjoyed the way Ty was, in most ways, a good friend who offered Kenzie love and support.  All of the stories had a nice amount of romance with a decent amount of depth. While there were a number of editorial errors, I found them easy to overlook in the enjoyment of the stories.
Tour Giveaway
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Ends 12/24/12

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Monday, November 26, 2012

BLOG TOUR: The Three Lost Kids and the Christmas Curse by Kimberly Kinrade

Welcome to the blog tour for The Three Lost Kids and the Christmas Curse by Kimberly Kinrade.

Reviewed from e-book provided for blog tour.
No other compensation received.
All opinions expressed are solely my own.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Christmas everyday sounds like the best thing ever to Bella and her sisters. But when a special Wishing Stone grants her heart's desire, The Three Lost Kids discover the curse hidden in the wish.

Now they have to stop Christmas no matter what--even if that means ending up on Santa's Naughty List.

Will the girls learn the true meaning of Christmas and find a way to break the curse? Or will they be stuck in their self-created Jingle Bells Nightmare forever?

***

Look for the original Three Lost Kids Trilogy--Lexie World, Bella World and Maddie World--if you like enchanted Dragons, Fairies, and more adventures through magical worlds with great life lessons for kids!

launching November 26th through Evolved Publishing

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kimberly Kinrade was born with ink in her veins and magic in her heart. She writes fantasy and paranormal stories for children, YA and adults and still believes in magic worlds. Check out her YA paranormal novels Forbidden Mind and Forbidden Fire and her illustrated children's fantasy chapter books Lexie World, and Bella World, all on Amazon.

She lives with her three little girls who think they're ninja princesses with super powers, her two dogs who think they're humans and her husband, also known as the sexy Russian Prince, who is the love of her life and writing partner.

For a list of her books see here.
For kids and parents of young kids, join the Lost Kids here.

BUY NOW LINK:

ONLINE LINKS:
Twitter: @KimberlyKinrade
Facebook: /KimberlyKinrade
Three Lost Kids website: http://ThreeLostKids.com
REVIEW

This is a fun book about the true meaning of Christmas. I wasn't sure when I started this if it would be more story or more message, but it turned out to contain a sweet message wrapped up beautifully in a short, entertaining story.  Bella receives a special wishing stone for Christmas and then decides how much better life would be if it was Christmas every day.  She and her sisters, Lexie and Maddie, soon realize however that Christmas every day has unexpected consequences.  In trying to break the wish that now seems like a curse, will they discover the best part of Christmas? I really enjoyed reading this book and plan to share it with my students for Christmas.  I highly recommend this as a fun way to help children understand what makes Christmas so special, but it is also just a fun magical story.


  
 
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