Posted in excerpt, Middle Grade, Spotlight on November 5, 2017

Synopsis

Pounce and the Riddle of Fire is a middle grade fantasy novel. It tells the story of a tiger-folk cub that undertakes a grand quest to earn his name of maturity and the right to lead the tribe. The quest he is given seems impossible. How could anyone find the lost Saber tribes of the Eastern Jungles? And if he doesn’t, he’ll be banished forever.

With no other choice, Pounce begins his journey across the treacherous realm of Fire, but soon finds he is not alone. A human girl with a secret and two gazelle-folk trying to reach the city of Torch View decide to join him. The four unlikely companions find themselves battling elemental monsters and fierce Fire creatures. Unable to turn back, Pounce must rely on the help of his new friends to uncover the secret of the Riddle of Fire as he continues his quest.

This fantasy adventure is the second book in the Battlemental universe and combines action and humor to show that people from different backgrounds often make the best friends. Several interior illustrations depict the heroes and some of the strange creatures they meet.

Excerpt

Sneer had a forty-yard lead on me. He raced toward the side of the mountain that sloped straight up to the cave mouth. Going in from that direction made it more likely that the mother Slam-Slide would see him approaching, but that also allowed him to use his longer stride to quickly outdistance me.

Even though all of the cubs in the village had been told how dangerous it was to play anywhere near the Slam-Slide cave, the warning had only served to increase our interest. I had climbed nearly to the top enough times with Tumble and Doze to know that if I scaled the back side of the mountain I would eventually come across a rough path that led to the cave.

That was a great idea except for the fact that the rocks on the backside of the mountain were loose and if I made one mistake I’d tumble down the rocky cliff and probably die. But that was my only chance to beat Sneer. There was no way I could keep up with him in a straight-out race.

“I guess Pounce is giving up on the challenge already,” one of Sneer’s friends called out. The laughter from the rest of the group followed me as I sprinted to the section of mountain I was familiar with.

The first fifty feet weren’t any real problem. Plenty of large boulders had crashed down the mountain and I was able to spring from one to the next, going higher and higher with each leap. One of the rocks rolled out from under me as I pushed off from it. I flailed with my claws and managed to sink them into a mountain cleft above me.

My chest heaved as I struggled to catch my breath, but I refused to let that slow me down. Sneer had to be close to the top by now—unless he planned to charge straight into the cave. And nobody was that stupid.

By the time I climbed half-way up the mountainside, my arms and legs burned with the exertion. If I hung from the rock in an effort to rest I might not be able to continue climbing and Sneer would win the challenge. I pushed myself to continue.

I reached up to pull myself over a ledge and my claw slid along the stone, causing me to lose my balance. One second I was scaling the side of the mountain like an eight-legged rock monkey and the next I’m hanging from one claw. A fall from this height wouldn’t hurt me—it would kill me.

Deep in my chest, a roar swelled in power until I couldn’t contain it any more. I let loose with a sound that felt as if it shook the very stone in front of me. Renewed strength, however temporary, flowed into my arms and legs. I reached up and grabbed the ledge with my other claw and pulled myself up.

There was just enough room on the ledge for me to rest on my side. I gulped great lungfuls of air and hoped I didn’t pass out and fall over the edge. My mind screamed that I needed to move. Every moment I stayed here put Sneer closer to winning the challenge.

With my arms and legs still aching from the climb, I managed to stand up and slide my feet along the thin stone path. My muscles trembled with each step. With my night vision, the path ahead of me shone light gray against the blackness of the sky.

After about twenty feet, the path widened enough for me to walk as long as I kept my shoulders twisted away from the mountainside. I was still breathing heavily when the trail leveled off and joined the broad, open area in front of the cave.

My breaths sounded like a tornado in my ears. Any moment now, I expected the mother Slam-Slide to hear my panting and wheezing. If she did, I had nowhere to go . . . except down.

Then I spotted Sneer. He was nearly to the mouth of the cave, slinking from boulder to boulder. His head turned in my direction and his eyes locked with mine. He froze in mid-slink. The jaw-dropping, wide-eyed expression he gave upon seeing me was worth every bit of ache and strain it took to reach the top of the mountain before him.

He mouthed, “Eat my smoke.”

Without waiting for me to respond, Sneer tensed his muscles and charged into the cave. I hadn’t thought he was that stupid, but apparently I was wrong. A moment later, a thunderous bellow sounded from inside the cave. It was the kind of blood-thinning roar that any Saber would be proud to have made.

Except it wasn’t a Saber roar. That was the Slam-Slide mother announcing her intention to turn Sneer into tiger paste.

Sneer bolted out of the cave, running full speed down the incline.

The Slam-Slide flew after him, sending chips of stone flying everywhere as her massive hooves struck the mountain rock. She was at least ten feet tall, had dark brown skin that was cracked like dried mud, and a pair of shiny brown horns that were lowered to skewer her foe. Slam-Slides were humanoid creatures of Earth and despite her large size she was less likely to trip and fall going down the mountain than a Saber.

Sneer was in some serious trouble.

I watched as the Slam-Slide lurched forward and slammed her fists on the ground. A wave of stone rolled down the mountainside, tossing Sneer in the air. Fortunately for Sneer that put him farther away from the upset mama battlemental. As long as he kept running he should be able to outdistance the Slam-Slide.

And while the two of them were busy getting to know one another, I snuck inside the cave and searched for the skull-shaped birth fragment that would permit me to win the challenge. Fragments were scattered everywhere. It took more time than I wanted to spend inside before I found the right one—and the baby Slam-Slide.

The oversized baby was standing almost on top of the necessary birth fragment. I shuffled forward, hoping a slow approach would keep me from scaring the young battlemental. Apparently, that wasn’t really a concern. The Slam-Slide baby screeched at me and then wobbled forward on unsteady legs.

These guys were some cranky battlementals.

I stepped off to one side as the young Slam-Slide lunged at me. The Slam-Slide hit the cave floor and slid a couple of feet. I reached down and grabbed the fragment and was almost out the cave entrance when the baby started wailing. It sounded like a couple of rocks being scraped against one another.

Climbing down the rocky face of the mountain would be trickier than making the trip up here. If I took the same path as Sneer and the Slam-Slide I could veer off to one side to avoid being seen and then sprint to the finish line. Besides, Mama Slam-Slide seemed pretty focused on catching Sneer.

Using my legs to slow my descent just enough to avoid tripping, I sailed down the path. Up ahead of me, Sneer dodged a clumsy attempt from the mama Slam-Slide to grab him. He looked in my direction. I smiled, waved, and continued past him.

The slope leveled out. A few hundred yards ahead of me stood the Saber gathering that had been watching the contest. They were still too far away for me to see the expressions on their faces, but their body language told me that none of them were particularly happy to see me win.

Then I heard a scream.

About the Author

RANDY LINDSAY is a world traveler. Which sounds impressive until you realize the worlds he visits exist only in his mind and on the pages of his novels. He claims to prefer this method of sightseeing because he can stop at any time, go to the kitchen, and indulge his ice cream addiction. When he isn’t busy making things up he likes going to movies with his wife to watch what other people have made up and plays board games with his children who are in the habit of making up the rules as they go along.

Website * Facebook * Twitter

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Posted in 5 paws, Giveaway, Middle Grade, Review on October 6, 2017

Synopsis

Based on a true story.

Maddie is a normal twelve-year-old girl. Well, except for the fake mustaches she carries in her pocket. She likes to make people laugh and slapping on a mustache, especially a fuzzy pink or neon green one, always gets a smile. Maddie hopes that the class queen, Cassie, will find her mustaches as funny as she does and want to play with her at recess. She’s been self-conscious lately because her right arm only feels normal when it’s curled against her chest and she’s constantly tripping over her feet. But that’s probably just part of growing up and not something weird, right?

When Maddie’s arm continues to bother her, her parents take her to a doctor who gives them a shocking diagnosis: the cause of the abnormal behavior of her limbs is a brain tumor and she must have surgery to remove it. She’s understandably afraid as he describes the procedure, but knows she must find a way to be brave and must face her fears–all of them–at the hospital, at home and at school.

She will need all of her courage not only to face her illness, but also to face Cassie at school. Both Cassie and Maddie are auditioning for the same role in the school play, but when Cassie accuses Maddie of lying about her tumor in order to get attention, Cassie’s bossiness turns into bullying.

And as Maddie’s surgery approaches, she begins to worry more and more about the outcome. What if something goes wrong? What if the doctors don’t get all the tumor out of her brain? What will happen to her family? What will happen to her?

It will take all of Maddie’s vibrant imagination, a lot of kindness-both given and received-and of course, the perfect mustache to overcome the tough stuff ahead of her.

Mustaches for Maddie is the feature title in our “Compassion in Action” campaign! Stickers, postcards, and a readers guide. This campaign is a great way to teach children the importance of showing compassion.

Take a look at the readers guide

 

Review

This was quite the book to demonstrate the need for compassion. We never know what someone might be going through in their lives and perhaps their actions are a self defense mechanism to protect their feelings.

While this book is a middle grade book, I thoroughly enjoyed it as an adult. The themes cross all age lines and considering what we hear in the news at times about kids being mean to each other, this book is very appropriate. It could also open some dialogue between kids and parents on various topics from bullies to health issues.

This is based on a true story and my heart went out to Maddie (or any child) that has to endure any sort of tough medical treatments. No one should have to go through that. I did like how the parents were not afraid to let Maddie know they were praying for her and it actually made Maddie more at peace with the situation.

Maddie used humor to diffuse any situations where she felt nervous. She also liberally used mustaches to help ease any tensions in tough situation. I can just imagine how funny everyone looked that put on one of these mustaches because of the various colors, textures and styles.

Excellent book!  We give it 5 paws up.

About the Authors

About Mr. Morris

Author of the Cragbridge Hall trilogy; The Inventor’s Secret, The Avatar Battle, and The Impossible Race. Published by Shadow Mountain.

Bald.

About Ms. Brown

A native to the ocean, transplanted into the shadow of the mountains, Small Town Shelly Brown found that if she could not surf or comb the tide pools she would write in the shade.

Mother to many, cleaner of little, friend to the United Way, this actor turned writer has decided that she is addicted to information. Please, arrange an intervention.

Website * Craig’s Twitter * Shelly’s Twitter

 

Giveaway

I am giving away the ARC that I was sent to review this book plus some Compassion in Action stickers and postcards tied to the theme of the book.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted in Children, Giveaway, Middle Grade, Spotlight on September 20, 2017


The Wondrous World of Violet Barnaby

Violet Barnaby searches for the joy in life after losing her mother in this sweet and funny follow-up to The Charming Life of Izzy Malone.

Violet Barnaby is a having a blue Christmas. She’s still grieving the loss of her mother, and to make things worse, her dad has just married Melanie Harmer, a.k.a. the meanest teacher at Dandelion Hollow Middle School. But on the day Violet and her dad are packing up and moving into the new house they’ll share with Melanie and Melanie’s two children, Violet finds a letter her mother wrote to her before she died, asking Violet to enjoy Christmas, along with a Christmas Wish List—things her mom wants her to do during the holiday season. On the list are exactly the kinds of things Violet doesn’t want to do this year, like Be Someone’s Secret Santa; Give Someone the Gift of Your Time: Volunteer; and Bake Christmas Cookies.

Violet shows the letter to her friend Izzy’s Aunt Mildred, who calls a meeting of the Charm Girls, a club Izzy and Violet belong to along with their friends, Daisy and Sophia. Aunt Mildred decides she will give them each a charm to put on their bracelet if they do all of the tasks on the Christmas Wish List, which Violet is not too happy about. She’d rather forget about the list completely, but feels compelled to honor her mother’s wishes.

And when Izzy’s crush confides a big secret to Violet, Violet feels like she is stuck between her best friend and the boy who she just might have a crush on, too…

 

Praise for The Wondrous World of Violet Barnaby

“[an] emotionally perceptive novel of grief and recovery.” – Kirkus

You’ll fall in love with Violet and love every minute of living in her wondrous world! – Stephanie Faris

Amazon * Barnes & Noble * IndieBound

 

About the Author

Jenny Lundquist was born and raised in Huntington Beach, California, where she spent her time unsuccessfully learning how to surf. When she was younger, she wanted to be either a rock star or a published author. After she taped herself singing and listened to it on playback she decided she’d better opt for the writing route. Jenny is the author of multiple YA and Middle Grade titles including Seeing Cinderella, The Charming Life of Izzy Malone, The Wondrous World of Violet Barnaby and the forthcoming The Carnival of Wishes and Dreams (2019).

Website * Facebook * Twitter

 

 

amazon or paypal$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Ends 10/10/17

Open only to those 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 enter for you. 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. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Posted in 5 paws, Middle Grade, Review on September 5, 2017

Synopsis

Allie Navarro can’t wait to show her best friends the app she built at CodeGirls summer camp. CLICK’D pairs users based on common interests and sends them on a fun (and occasionally rule-breaking) scavenger hunt to find each other. And it’s a hit. By the second day of school, everyone is talking about CLICK’D.

Watching her app go viral is amazing. Leaderboards are filling up! Everyone’s making new friends. And with all the data Allie is collecting, she has an even better shot at beating her archenemy, Nathan, at the upcoming youth coding competition. But when Allie discovers a glitch that threatens to expose everyone’s secrets, she has to figure out how to make things right, even if that means sharing the computer lab with Nathan. Can Allie fix her app, stop it from doing any more damage, and win back the friends it hurt-all before she steps on stage to present CLICK’D to the judges?

New York Times best-selling author Tamara Ireland Stone combines friendship, coding, and lots of popcorn in her fun and empowering middle-grade debut.

Review

I LOVED this book on many levels. I loved that the author is a computer geek and brings that out in her main character, Allie. Allie is only 12 but has already created an app that could take off by leaps and bounds and help those awkward new students at school find friends. Allie has been coding programs for several years by this point and I think that message to all young women out there is a strong one = that math and sciences are just as easy for females to conquer as their male counterparts.

But beyond that message, there is also a message about friendship. That no app can truly decide who your best friends will be or who you will “click” with via this app, but it is a start especially in an unfamiliar situation. It is also about perseverance and working hard to get where you are in life, even at the age of 12.

I would recommend this book to any young woman 10 and up (possibly a bit younger) and even to adults like myself so that we can continue to encourage young women in STEM.

We give it 5 paws up

About the Author

TAMARA IRELAND STONE is the author of Time and Time Again, a collection of her two novels Time Between Us and Time After Time, and the New York Times best seller Every Last Word.

A Silicon Valley-native, she has worked in the technology industry all her life, first testing Atari game boards in her parents’ garage, and later, co-founding a woman-owned marketing strategy firm, where she worked with small startups as well as some of the world’s largest software companies. She enjoys skiing, music, movies, and spending time with her husband and two children. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Want a chuckle?  Check out the Top 10 things about Tamara

Twitter * Goodreads * Website * FacebookInstagram * Tumblr * Pinterest * YouTube

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Posted in coming of age, Fantasy, Magic, Middle Grade on February 22, 2017

The Magician’s Workshop, Volume One


Authors: Christopher Hansen, J.R. Fehr
Published by: Wondertale, California
Publication Date: November 8, 2016
ISBN: 1-945353-11-2
ASIN: B01MQGHGBH
Genre: Coming of Age, Fantasy, Magic
Ages: 12 and up.
Length: 85,000 words / 290 pages

Amazon * Goodreads

Synopsis
Everyone in the islands of O’Ceea has a magical ability: whatever they imagine can be brought into existence. Whoever becomes a master over these powers is granted the title of magician and is given fame, power, riches, and glory. This volume of books follows the journey of a group of kids as they strive to rise to the top and become members of the Magician’s Workshop.

Layauna desperately wants to create beautiful things with her magical powers, but all she can seem to do is make horrible, savage monsters. For years she has tried to hide her creations, but when her power is at last discovered by a great magician, she realizes that what she’s tried to hide might actually be of tremendous value.

Kai just wants to use his powers to have fun and play with his friends. Unfortunately, nearly everyone on his island sees him as a bad influence, so he’s forced to meet them in secret. When one of the creatures they create gets out of control and starts flinging fireballs at their town, Kai is tempted to believe that he is as nefarious as people say. However, his prospects change when two mysterious visitors arrive, praising his ability and making extraordinary promises about his future.

Follow the adventures of Kai, Layauna, and a boatload of other characters as they struggle to grow up well in this fantastical world.

The Magician’s Workshop, Volume Two

Authors: Christopher Hansen, J.R. Fehr
Print Length: 273 pages
Publisher: Wondertale
Publication Date: November 22, 2016
ASIN: B01N988TW7
Genre: Coming of Age, Fantasy, Magic
Ages: 12 and up.

Amazon * Goodreads

Synopsis
Return to the world of The Magician’s Workshop: Where Dreams Become Reality.

In Volume Two, the Festival of Stars has finally arrived, and the Color Ceremony is about to commence. As children from all over the islands gather to stand before a puller, one question remains: who will have a Color, and who will be found void?

Rejoin your favorite characters as they step forward and receive a label that will have the power to dramatically alter the course of their lives forever.


About the Authors

Christopher Hansen

The first glimmering Chris Hansen had that there was far more to reality than he had ever imagined occurred six days after his ninth birthday. “Christopher!” cried a wise, old sage. “Life is full of deep magic. Miraculous things happen all the time and all around us, if you know where to look for them.” Full of expectation and childlike optimism, Chris began searching for this magic, prepared to be surprised and amazed by it. And he was: he found Wonder! Now he’s chosen to write stories about it.

 

 

J.R. Fehr
When J.R. Fehr popped out of the womb, he knew there was more to the world than the four boring hospital walls that he was seeing. “Zango!” his newborn mind exclaimed as he saw people appear and disappear through a mysterious portal in the wall. As a child he found life wowtazzling, but as he grew older the cold water of reality hit him, and the magic he once knew vanished. After spending some wet and shivering years lost in a joyless wasteland, he once again began to see magic in the world. He writes because the Wonder of true life is far grander than anything he ever thought possible.

 

Contact the Authors
Website * Facebook

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Posted in Middle Grade, Spotlight, Young Adult on February 16, 2017

Grow Up Messy!

(A Hilarious Coming of Age Series Book1)

Author  : Paromita Goswami

Genre :  Middle School, Teen and YA

Publisher :  Ficus India

 

Synopsis

Childhood is considered to be the best time of one’s life. What if you get a chance to live it once more with a five-year-old?

Misry, a naughty five-year-old girl, lives with her parents in a B.S.F border outpost near Indo-Bangladesh border. But with no schools and friends she feels very lonely. She tries to befriend some local village kids.

But they find her incompetent in their rural antics. They nickname her Messy as most of the time she messes up their plan. Can Misry really be a part of the gang?

Set in the early eighties, join Misry in the adventures of her life.

Amazon Kindle * Nook * Kobo

Fun Facts about the book & the writing journey

      1. Misry’s character in the book Grow Up Messy! is that of an innocent child who depends more on her mother for her smaller needs. The best part is she expects her mother to be know everything just like the superwoman. She believes there is nothing which her Ma cannot do or hasn’t seen. So when she requests her mother to make Pinjiri, something which she had tasted for the first time elsewhere, it never occurred to her that Ma might not know about its preparation.  This particular scene from the book is very close to my heart. Although the entire episode is very funny but it actually depicts the trust of a child in the mother. Something which no one can ever challenge. I see my son in this episode sometimes.
      1. Children enjoy being dirty. We have done it so many times in our days yet as a parent if we see our child playing in the soil we try to stop him immediately. The same thing our mothers might have also done with us while we enjoyed. Isn’t it strange, when we grow up we follow our mothers so blindly.There is an episode in the book where Misry plays in the muddy pool and ruins her fresh clothes. No doubt her mother is mad at her.
      1. Children have a very special place for animals in their heart. Whether they have pets at home or not but whenever they get a chance to pet an animal they will never stop themselves. I wish as we grow up we shouldn’t lose this emotion within us. It actually makes us more humane.In the book, Misry befriends a sacrificial  animal as her pet what follows next is very heart wrenching.
      1. As kids, our relationship with our first cousins is very interesting. Once in a year, during the school vacation we go to visit them. Whatever, time we spent together is always fun. We use to share things, study together, fight with each other and even share our little secrets. These moments are recreated when Misry visits her Dadu’s house. It is so much fun to have so many family members living under the same roof. Have you ever lived in a joint family or visited one?
      1. It will be a lie if I say I never had any difficulties in learning or rather mugging up the multiplication tables. This was one part that I always hated in Mathematics and the fact is no one said before that this multiplication table I will be using throughout my life. Yet when it comes to our kids we never fail to tell them how easy it is to learn the multiplication table. Was it really???  The book has a chapter for that too. Seriously dedicated to the Multiplication Tables.    How Misry and her family copes with it is something to watch out for.

About the Author

Paromita Goswami is a writer and storyteller by passion and a rebel by choice. She says the world is full of stories and as a writer she loves to pen them down. Her work is not genre specific. From literary fiction to children book to upcoming paranormal thriller and women fiction, Paromita Goswami‘s books offer the variety of life to her readers. Grow Up Messy! is her second book. She debuted in 2015 with Shamsuddin’s Grave, a literary fiction. Besides writing, she is also the founder of reading club that enhances book reading habit in children. She lives in central India with her family.

Website * Twitter * Facebook * Goodreads

 

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Posted in 4 paws, Middle Grade, Review, Western, Young Adult on January 20, 2017

Synopsis

When Annabelle Fortune, the fastest gunslinger in the wild west, inadvertently stops a stranger from attacking a train — and he wears a suit that enables him to fly! — the government believes she’s the only one to have witnessed the Locomotive Reaper and survived to tell the tale.

Promising to find out what he can about her missing father, the Director of the Secret Service persuades Annie to swear in. Too soon, her detested nickname re-stakes its claim.

Partnered with Beau Slokam, whose penchant for gambling leads them straight to the Doom Gang, Misfortune Annie guides the smooth-talking Southerner in a chase through the Rockies, with her Cheyenne friend, Wontoa, rounding out their unlikely trio.

When Annie again meets the Locomotive Reaper, his gadgetry proves far more advanced — and deadly — than even top scientists could have imagined.

A sequel is already underway! Visit Annie at MisfortuneAnnie.com for updates on release, as well as announcements regarding future books in the series!  You can also check out the Facebook page.

Praise

“At a time when women weren’t typically adventurers, especially at Annie’s age, it’s great fun to see a story about a girl who loves an adventure, is capable, and well-respected.  Annie is a great model for young girls.”

“Annie is whip smart and a dead shot. If you are looking for western action, train robbers, and a sharp shooter – look no further.”

“A fast-paced, action filled adventure in the Wild West with a wonderful heroine. Misfortune Annie’s bravery and determination leap off the page from the first scene.”

Review

This book was entertaining and a little different from what I normally read, but enjoyable all the same.

Annie is a gunslinger, and while I don’t know her age, I assume she is rather young (teenager or early 20’s at the oldest). Despite that, she is apparently known for having misfortunes on a regular basis, hence the nickname. She is persistent and when shooting at people tries not to kill them, but rather shoot guns out of their hands or just wound them. Sometimes that is to her detriment as they seem to continue coming after her. She is also a whiz with a rope and does some impressive roping throughout the book. Despite her scrapes and adventures, she is a character that is very likable.

Despite the era, she is educated and likes to read. That is a plus near the end of the book…but I can’t tell you why because it will spoil some of the anticipation while reading the book.

The book does leave you with a little of a cliffhanger that I assume will be addressed in a future book.

This book would be great for kids to read because of the action adventure, humor and historical setting.

We give this book 4 paws up!

About the Authors

Janet Fogg

Janet Fogg’s focus on writing began when she was CFO and Managing Principal of OZ Architecture, one of Colorado’s largest architectural firms. Fifteen writing awards later, she resigned from the firm to follow the yellow brick road. Ten months after that, she signed a contract with The Wild Rose Press for her historical romance Soliloquy a HOLT Medallion Award of Merit winner.

With husband Richard, Janet co-wrote Fogg in the Cockpit (Casemate), one of five books nominated in 2012 by the Air Force Historical Foundation for best World War II book reviewed in Air Power History.

Keeping her historical knowledge sharp, Janet manages the 359th Fighter Group’s Facebook page, sharing WWII stories and photos about the Fighter Group.  She is also a proud member and 2015/16 Vice President of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. She previously served as Published Author Liaison in 2010.

Website | ChiseledInRock.com |  Janet “The Kid” Fogg on Facebook | Goodreads | YouTube

Dave Jackson

Not your typical author, Dave Jackson started writing in his constant pursuit to become a renaissance man, but later fell in love with the art form. He performs stand-up and skits regularly, as Comedy remains one of his many passions and he writes and performs skits, as well as stand-up. Also a songwriter and guitarist, Dave has composed over 300 musical titles.

A country boy, Dave was raised in Oklahoma and taught 6th grade English for two years. He enjoys sharing the tale about when he climbed high into a towering black jack tree and grabbed a dead branch. Snap! He hurtled toward his death, but he held tight to the branch and it slowed his fall, saving his life.

In 2013, Dave enjoyed the release of Tattoo Rampage by Curiosity Quills Press. The novel follows Evangelina Marquez-James, a strong female heroine, who gets her first tattoo as a symbol of courage to carry on after her police officer husband dies in the line of duty.

 ”Gusto” Dave Jackson on Facebook |  Goodreads


 

Posted in Children, Giveaway, Middle Grade on November 26, 2016

the-charming-life-of-izzy-malone

The Charming Life of Izzy Malone by Jenny Lundquist

Izzy Malone isn’t your typical sixth grader. She wears camouflage combat boots and tie dye skirts; the Big Dipper and Orion are her two best friends; and she’d rather climb trees or shoot hoops than talk about boys and makeup. And after only a month of middle school she’s already set the record for the most trips to the Principal’s office.

The only time Izzy feels at peace is when she’s on the open water, and more than anything else, she wants to become a member of the Dandelion Paddlers, her school’s competitive rowing club. But thanks to those multiple trips to the Principal’s office, Izzy’s parents force her to enroll in Mrs. Whippie’s Charm School, a home-study course in manners and etiquette, or they won’t let her race in Dandelion Hollow’s annual pumpkin regatta—where Izzy hopes to prove to the Dandelion Paddlers she is more than qualified to be on their team.

When Mrs. Whippie’s first letter arrives it’s way different from what Izzy was expecting. Tucked inside the letter is a shiny gold bracelet and an envelope charm. Izzy must earn her first charm by writing someone a nice note, and once she does more tasks will be assigned.

Izzy manages to complete some of the tasks—and to her surprise, she actually finds herself enjoying the course. But when one of her attempts at doing something good is misinterpreted, she fears her chances at passing the course—and becoming a Paddler—are slipping away. With some unexpected friends there to support her, can Izzy manage to earn her charms and stay true to herself?

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Praise for the Book

“Izzy’s frank, vulnerable, sassy first-person narration reveals her surprising journey from a solitary girl talking to the stars to a girl with friends to light her way…This story of an atypical girl, her family, and friends, laced with middle school drama, is indeed a charming one.” –Kirkus Reviews

“A heartwarming coming-of-age journey…Lundquist deftly portrays the pain of being odd girl out, both at school and at home.” –Publisher’s Weekly

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Excerpt

Mom opened the letter, and sure enough, I was right.

“It’s from Ms. Harmer. It says you frequently refuse to follow instructions.” She paused, and said, “Well?”

I frowned. “Well, what?”

“Well—what do you have to say for yourself?”

“I guess I would say…instructions are for kids who have no imagination.”

Mom sighed loudly and ran a hand through her hair, but behind her back Carolyn grinned and gave me a thumbs up.

“What? You told me to say something, so I did.”

Mom read the letter again. “Apparently you were supposed to write an essay about a famous poet, and instead you turned in a story.”

“So what? Ms. Harmer didn’t actually say it had to be a real life famous poet—so I made one up.” If you ask me, what I did was actually harder; and, the best part of all, it only took me fifteen minutes. I wrote a story about a poet named Wanda Wordsmith who went fishing for her poems. Except instead of a fishing pole, she used a kite to catch her words on the wind. I thought it was a great story, and deserved an A. But apparently The Hammer thought it deserved a note home, which made no sense to me at all. Sometimes I think teachers like Ms. Harmer view creativity as something dirty and slightly embarrassing, and would prefer to turn kids into people who color inside the lines.

Generally speaking, I don’t care much for lines.

 

jenny-lundquistAbout the Author

Jenny Lundquist was born and raised in Huntington Beach, CA, where she spent her time unsuccessfully learning how to surf. When she was younger, she wanted to be either a rock star or a published author. After she taped herself singing and listened to it on playback she decided she’d better opt for the writing route. Jenny is the author of Seeing Cinderella and Plastic Polly as well as the young adult titles The Princess in the Opal Mask and The Opal Crown.

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amazon or paypal$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Ends 12/12/16

Open only to those 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 enter for you. 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. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Posted in Fantasy, Giveaway, Middle Grade, Young Adult on October 6, 2016

sapphire-blade

The Sapphire Blade

The Sapphire Blade by Dorine White

The final journey begins!

Travel with past heroes and a new adventurer to the historical romps of London and the scorching sands of Alexandria. Fourteen-year-old Akmir, raised from birth to sacrifice everything in the pursuit of Cleopatra’s magic gemstones, holds within his hands the secret location of the fifth and final mystic gem: the blue sapphire.

His quest leads him to England, where four other gemstone searchers: Sara, Melanie, Kainu and Claire, are on the hunt. A pawn of the Roman Brotherhood, Akmir must choose his own path, whether to follow in his father’s brutal footsteps or stay true to his mother’s Egyptian heritage. Clues, puzzles, and danger rule the day.

What will happen when the power of all five gemstones are brought together? This is a battle for life and death, and only one side can win.

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Dorine

 

About the Author

My name is Dorine White. I graduated from Brigham Young University with a BA in Humanities. I am a member of the SCBWI, PNWA, LDStorytellers, and ANWA. I write middle grade and YA fantasy. My first book, The Emerald Ring, was published in May 2013 by Cedar Fort Books. I live in the beautiful, yet rainy Northwest with my husband and 6 children.

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$25 Blog Tour Giveaway

Enter to win an Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 10/30/16

Open only to those 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 enter for you. 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. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by readinglight.com. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Posted in excerpt, Fantasy, Giveaway, Middle Grade on September 12, 2016

EMERALD KEY BOOK COVER

The Emerald Key by Mark Frederickson & Melora Pineda

Penny and Laci are headed for a mundane summer vacation until a mysterious journal unlocks a portal to another world and they find themselves face to face with a baby dragon. In an attempt to send their new acquisition back to its home, the girls, along with two neighborhood friends, get sucked through to a mythical world. In this land, they must battle foes seen and unseen, pushing them to both their physical and mental limits. If they fail to stop the powers they’ve unleashed, it could not only destroy this strange world, but also annihilate their own.

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Praise for The Emerald Key

“In The Emerald Key, authors Mark Frederickson and Melora Pineda take readers on a fast-paced journey sure to enthrall not only middle-grade readers but their parents, as well. Laci and Penny will appeal to anyone looking for strong, resourceful female characters and the side characters are well-developed and hilarious, too (my favorite might be Buzz!).”  – Author Julie Gardner

“If you like fantasy and want adventure, this book is for you! It is entertaining for adults as well as middle-grade students…Just when you think there’s nothing new anyone could offer in a fantasy, these two authors prove you wrong. They have created a very believable new world fraught with danger and excitement at every turn. I couldn’t put it down.”  – Dani B

“I love the vivid characters and the way you can picture all the action…I would recommend this book for any age and it is a book that grandparents can buy for their grand kids and know that it is an exciting story and a safe read.”  – Amazon Customer

“A real page turner, loved it. This book is funny and an adventure story for both young and old readers. I’m looking forward to the next book!”  – MJP


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Excerpt

THE PIRATES

Hallvard was gallantly dueling the taller pirate, while Ethan and Buzz were hitting the short smelly one with a stick and throwing dirt into his face. Ethan hauled off with all his might and swatted the pirate in the head, knocking him down. The rotund pirate tried to get back up and grab his sword, but stumbled and fell just as Buzz hit him in the face with a giant dirt clod. Buzz grabbed the sword, but the weight of it caused him to fall over. Ethan took it away before Buzz hurt himself.

“It’s clear; let’s go,” Penny said to Verge and Laci. As they exited the woodshed, running for the top of the knoll, Penny motioned for Ethan and Buzz to follow. They sprinted up the hill, with the smelly pirate in pursuit.

Join the Blog Tour Coming October 10th!

mark-fredericksonAbout Mark Frederickson

Mark was born and raised in Southern California. He graduated UC Santa Barbara with a degree in film and has worked in the film industry for years. He has written several screenplays and had a show optioned by MTV. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife Rebecca and his daughter Sara. This is his first novel, and hopefully not his last.

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melora-pinedaAbout Melora Pineda

After Melora graduated from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, she worked in the television industry for several years before becoming a library volunteer at her daughters’ school. Her passion for both reading and entertainment inspired her to write. This is her first novel. She currently lives in the Los Angeles area with her husband, daughter, and a pet bunny and a fish. Oh…never mind, the fish died.

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Blast Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 10/3/16

Open only to those 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 enter for you. 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. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

 

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