Wednesday, November 30, 2016

FADING INTO THE SHADOWS and PIPER MORGAN TO THE RESCUE

Welcome Wednesday. What better way to end the month of November, which has been a busy, busy month, with a peek at a couple of interesting and very different books. Here are my thoughts. Enjoy.

 


FADING INTO THE SHADOWS Review

By Kelly Hashway

 

 

In the news we hear of missing children or teens, and we wonder how they can just disappear without a trace. Surely someone knows what happened to them. People don’t just vanish into thin air? Or do they?

 

That is the question readers will be asking themselves in Author Kelly Hashway’s latest YA novel FADING INTO THE SHADOWS. Sixteen-year-old Avery is missing. Ella, his best friend, saw him just a short time earlier. So what happened? Where did he go?  Was he kidnapped, as several other teens had been recently? Officer Bobson, the cop that questions Avery’s parents, along with Ella, the last person to see him, doesn’t act too concerned. So begins the mystery of Avery’s disappearance, and Ella soon finds herself in another world, where she learns the fate of the missing teens, including Avery.

 

Kelly Hashway has created a fantasy world that will enchant you and yet leave you wondering who are the good guys and who are the bad. Add a touch of romance between Ella and Avery, along with Hercules and Melanie, as well as the handsome Gabe, and you have a story of adventure, family, and the lengths some people will go to in order to achieve their goals. And sometimes, people are not what they seem. Fading into the Shadows is a great read for teens and also for the young at heart. The novel would make a great addition to high school libraries. Recommended.
 
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PIPER MORGAN TO THE RESCUE Review

By Stephanie Faris

Illustrations by Lucy Fleming

 

Children. Dogs. Cats. A perfect combination. They just go together. In PIPER MORGAN TO THE RESCUE, the latest story in the Piper Morgan series by Author Stephanie Faris, Piper has always wanted a dog. When her mother starts a new job at a rescue center, trying to find homes for homeless dogs and cats, Piper is excited. Maybe now her mother will let Piper have a dog of her own.

I was hoping with every page I read that Piper would soon be the happy owner of the puppy of her dreams.  And when she meets Gonzo, a little Maltese, it’s love at first sight. The perfect puppy for Piper, I thought. I could picture them together. I’m not going to give anything away, but moms and kids sometimes disagree about what the family needs.

Speaking of pictures, Lucy Fleming’s black- and-white illustrations throughout the book are adorable and just right for the story. Also, at the end of each chapter the reader learns “Fur Facts” about dogs and cats. Did you know that a “Dog’s nose is so unique it could be used to identify him, like human fingerprints?” I didn’t, but I know it now, along with other interesting facts about our furry friends.

Stephanie Faris has written a touching and fun story about family, moms and daughters, friendship, and learning how to take care of your pet. This book would be a great addition to elementary school classrooms and libraries, public libraries, and your own library, of course. Highly Recommended.
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So now you have some great stories to read on the cold, snowy, winter days that lie ahead. Books make wonderful Christmas gifts too. Remember these as you shop for family and friends. PIPER MORGAN TO THE RESCUE is perfect for young readers on your list. And teens and older folks will enjoy FADING INTO THE SHADOWS. Yes, we don't have to be a teen to like to read about them. We were there, once, you know.

Happy Reading.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Quote for the week: “Authors like cats because they are such quiet, lovable, wise creatures, and cats like authors for the same reasons.”   Robertson Davies

Now that Thanksgiving is over and we survived the crazy shoppers and we've had our naps, it's time to start thinking about, yes, you got it, Christmas.

How about a hatful of books for the young readers you know.

 
 
Or maybe a stocking full for those cold snowy days to keep the kids entertained.
 
 

 Visit me at AMAZON  BARNES  & NOBLE
 
and see what you like. Books make great gifts for older readers too.
 
Or, if you'd like a signed paperback of any of my books email me at Beverlysmcclure (at) aol (dot) com. Free shipping too, my gift to you.
 
Now I'll stop advertising. I think all the ads I read this weekend have gone to my head.
 
It's taken awhile to write this because Tiger keeps interrupting me to play ball. Then Patches gets jealous and gives him her look that says she's gonna get him when he's not looking. Cats are so sweet.
 
Oh, I might mention, I've had trouble commenting on some blogs lately and have sent many messages to whoever's in charge, without a reply. Hope they get the problem fixed soon.
 
Happy Reading.



Monday, November 21, 2016

SEISMIC CRIMES and X DARE AND THE KEYS TO NIN

Quote for the week:

“For flowers that bloom about our feet;
For tender grass, so fresh, so sweet;
For song of bird, and hum of bee;
For all things fair we hear or see,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee!” -
Ralph Waldo Emerson



This week I have a couple of lovely books to tell you about. Then I'm taking a holiday, so will be back next Monday.  The first novel is SEISMIC CRIMES by Author Chrys Fey.





SEISMIC CRIMES (DISASTER CRIMES BOOK 2) Review

 

By Chrys Fey

 

 

A hurricane, a murder, and crooked cops don’t sound very romantic, do they? But events sometimes work together in unusual ways. In Author Chrys Fey’s novel SEISMIC CRIMES (DISASTER CRIMES BOOK 2) Beth not only survives Hurricane Sabrina, she finds herself helping Donovan, a man she meets under unusual circumstances, prove he did not kill his brother.

 

And that’s just the beginning. Told from both Beth’s and Donovan’s points-of-view, the reader becomes a part of their story. Donovan’s brother was a police officer, like Donovan, and dirty police officers, killed him. Hidden cameras recorded the murder so they had proof of the guilty officers. Beth took one out, but the other one got away, and Donovan is determined to catch him and make him pay.

 

The author doesn’t make it easy for Beth and Donovan. They meet one obstacle after another and don’t know who to trust in their quest. Even though there are some violent scenes, there’s also humor. I really liked Beth and her loyalty to Donovan. The romance between them is a nice change of pace from the action scenes.

 

SEISMIC CRIMES will keep you reading and wondering if and how the characters will get out of the situations they get in. They’re honest people, likeable but not perfect, which makes them even more interesting. So come along and meet Beth, Donovan, their friends, and their enemies. I think you’ll have trouble putting the book down once you start reading.

 

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And here's Author P. K. Hrezo's latest novel, X DARE AND THE KEYS TO NIN, that we recently saw a cover reveal for. 




X DARE AND THE KEYS TO NIN Review

 

By P K Hrezo

 

 

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to visit another world, another galaxy? You think it’s impossible? Well, maybe, but strange things do happen.

 

For example, in XDARE AND THE KEYS TO NIN, Author P K Hrezo’s latest novel for tween/teen Readers, fourteen-year-old Xavier Dare, better known as X, is playing a game given to him by a tattooed man named Seville when he’s suddenly pulled into a cold tunnel and soon finds himself in another galaxy. To add to his surprise, early legends say that one day an outsider will arrive and he is the one. To return home, he must find the Keys of Nin.

 

P K Hrezo has created a magical world of characters and creatures like you’ve never before met. The more X learns about this new world, the more complicated his life becomes. He ends up having a world to save and a friend to rescue, a lot for a teen age boy to do. Will he succeed, or is he doomed to failure, never to see his family again?

 

XDARE AND THE KEYS TO NIN should appeal to teen readers who enjoy playing games that I’ve never heard of, but are popular with today’s teens. There’s plenty of action and never a dull moment to keep readers reading. This novel would make a nice addition to school libraries and classrooms, as well as great gifts for family and friends.

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Now these should keep you reading for awhile. Congratulations to Chrys and P K.

Friday, November 18, 2016

FADING INTO THE SHADOWS COVER REVEAL

Today, we have another beautiful book to show to the world. Authors sure have been busy lately. Take a look at Kelly Hashway's latest. All I can say is "Wow." A gorgeous cover.

 
 
 
Synopsis:
 
When sixteen-year-old Ella Andrews’s best friend, Avery, goes missing, she’ll do anything to get him back—starting with punching the no-brain cop who couldn’t care less about the disappearance.
 
Ella’s convinced Avery’s been kidnapped, and she tries everything to find him—even following a strange shadow to another world where the constellations are real-life figures in the sky. But three star groups have fallen and are destroying the world.
 
The fallen constellations are not the only enemy. Melanie, the princess of Stellaris, is forcing Ella, Avery, and an army of other kids kidnapped from their world to fight the rogue constellations, even as the land is draining away their life. The longer they stay, the more they fade into substanceless shadows—a fate worse than death.
 
Stay up to date: Facebook.com/KellyHashway
 
#YALit #Paranormal #NewBook













 
 
Congratulations to Kelly. Review coming soon.

Happy Reading.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

PIPER MORGAN TO THE RESCUE BOOK BLAST

Do I have a treat for you today. Meet the adorable Piper Morgan, star of the Piper Morgan series for middle grade readers by Author Stephanie Faris. You may already know her. If so, see what she's up to now. Say, "Hello" to Piper.

 
Isn't Piper precious. And those fur babies. It's love at first sight.
 

Blurb:


Piper helps some four-legged friends find the perfect home in the third book of the brand-new Piper Morgan series.

Piper is super excited to help out at Bark Street, a local animal shelter in town. Who wouldn’t want to be surrounded by adorable puppies and dogs all day? And when Piper sees Taffy, the cutest dog she has ever seen, Piper is determined to find a way to bring Taffy home. But it won’t be easy—especially when she finds out someone else wants to make Taffy a part of their family, too!
 
Author Bio:
 
 
  

Stephanie Faris knew she wanted to be an author from a very young age. In fact, her mother often told her to stop reading so much and go outside and play with the other kids. After graduating from Middle Tennessee State University with a Bachelor of Science in broadcast journalism, she somehow found herself working in information technology. But she never stopped writing.

 

Stephanie is the Simon & Schuster author of 30 Days of No Gossip and 25 Roses, as well as the Piper Morgan series. When she isn’t crafting fiction, she writes for a variety of online websites on the topics of business, technology, and her favorite subject of all—fashion. She lives in Nashville with her husband, a sales executive. 


Links:






 
 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, November 14, 2016

DANCING LEMUR PRESS CHRISTMAS SPECIAL

Quote for the week: I am grateful for what I am and  have. My Thanksgiving is perpetual.
Henry David Thoreau

 
Do you like free books?
Yes. Who doesn't?
Well, here's a deal for you.
 
Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C. is running a special this month.
 
Buy one print book at regular price, get a second same price or lower free.
 
 
Buy two print books, get two same price or lower free, plus a bonus book!
 
 
When ordering online, note free book(s) desired in “Instructions to Seller” section.
 
 
Bookmarks, postcards, and other swag included with every order.
 
 
Please see Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C. for a full list of titles.
 
 
Sounds like a good deal to me. You can find books for all the members of your family.
 
 
Oh, and I'd be ever so grateful if you'll take a look at my book, UNDER A PURPLE MOON.
 
A story for the young and the young at heart.
 
 
AMAZON

Silver Winner in the teen division of the 2016 Children's Literary Classics Awards

Thank you.

And please remember my dear friend and fellow author Janet K. Brown in your prayers.
She had major surgery and is now recovering. I hope to visit her Monday.


Happy Reading.

 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

COVER REVEAL FOR X DARE AND THE KEYS TO NIN, and INK RIPPLES TOO

Welcome Wednesday. Today, I'm happy to share the lovely cover for X DARE AND THE KEYS TO NIN, P K Hrezo's latest novel, due out December 1, 2016. That's not too far off. And here it is.



Perfect for MG/TWEEN Readers.
 
 
Blurb
 
IN THE GAMING WORLD YOU CAN ALWAYS POWER OFF. IN THE WORLD OF NIN, POWER IS FOREVER. 

Soon to be ninth grader, Xavier Dare, is convinced there is no video game he can't master. When a mysterious tattooed man loans him an outdated gaming system, and game called, The Keys to Nin, he gives X real-time access to a world on the brink of turmoil. Nin's Big Boss is like none X has ever encountered, with a secret that X will have to come to terms with if he wants to keep his own world safe. If X doesn't level up inside the seven magical yet primitive realms of Nin, he may just find himself doomed to roam there forever--that is, if he can manage to stay alive.

This is one game that's about to get real. 

Visit P K Hrezo's site to learn more.
 
Review to come.
 
I'm also posting  INK RIPPLES today.
 
#InkRipples  is a monthly meme created by Kai Strand, Mary Waibel, and Katie L. Carroll. They post on the first Monday of the month, but you can post whenever is convenient for you. Just be sure to link back to the three of them when you post. Kai, Mary, and Katie.
 
 
The November topic is Heritage. When I see that word, I think of family. Genealogy is one of my favorite things to do. I have books and books filled with information and photographs of my family, on both my mother's side and my father's. In searching my heritage, I discovered something quite amazing. History is interesting. Okay, maybe you already knew this, but when I was in school I thought history was boring. I'm thankful I learned the truth.
 
My mother's foster family was fairly easy because she had so many pictures. Tracing her birth family was more difficult. I did much of my research before I had a computer. Then when I got up to date, the Internet was amazing. The Children's Aid Society sent me so much information from New York, I could add to Mother's heritage. I've even met relatives on Face Book. The world has grown smaller.
 
And history is the story of your ancestors and my ancestors. They are our heritage.
 
I've started a blog for my mother: A Family for Leona, and hope others find their heritage as well.
 
Do you know your heritage?
 
December Topic is Cookies. What a yummy topic.
 
Happy Reading!
 
 
 
 




Monday, November 7, 2016

TIMELESS BLOG TOUR

Guess who's visiting  us today. Yes, you're right, the fabulous Crystal Collier has some great tips for us, along with her beautiful new book, TIMELESS. Sit back, relax with your favorite drink, and cheese, of course, and enjoy.

6 Tips for Becoming a Beta Reading PRO



Welcome Crystal Collier here today to share her new book and some beta reading tips!


In 1771, Alexia had everything: the man of her dreams, reconciliation with her father, even a child on the way. But she was never meant to stay. It broke her heart, but Alexia heeded destiny and traveled five hundred years back to stop the Soulless from becoming.

In the thirteenth century, the Holy Roman Church has ordered the Knights Templar to exterminate the Passionate, her bloodline. As Alexia fights this new threat—along with an unfathomable evil and her own heart—the Soulless genesis nears. But none of her hard-won battles may matter if she dies in childbirth before completing her mission.

Can Alexia escape her own clock?

BUY: Amazon | B&N

GUEST POST


Thank you Beverly for having me here today!



You have a friend who is so excited. They wrote their first book and now they want you to read it. You really like this person, so you agree to peruse the manuscript, certain it will be literary gold.





Let me explain something.



ANY book in its early stages is a MESS. Shall I repeat that? ANY BOOK. (I don't care if it was written by Shakespeare himself!)



Now the problem is, your friend may not understand their book is a train wreck, and you may not want to be the one to tell them. (Ugh. Friendship is so complicated!) So what do you do?



YOU TELL THEM.



First of all, because you care about this person, you must be invested in their success. They won't succeed if you say, "Yeah, it was great!" when inside you're cringing. That isn't real friendship. If my fly is down or there something between my teeth, a real friend will tell me.

1. How do you tell them?


What the writer wants to hear is your reactions in real time. Your gut reactions. They may not like your reactions. They may not be pretty, but they must be told. Did you laugh out loud? Tell them. Did you smile? Tell them. Did you scratch your head? Yawn? Want to punch the character in the throat? That's right, tell them--right in the document where you have the reaction.



An example of AWESOME critiquing:



(This is an actual critique from an actual critique partner. Click to enlarge.)
You notice, this critique partner isn't afraid of marking up the draft. YOU CAN'T LEAVE TOO MUCH FEEDBACK. If the author had a running monologue of what you were thinking the entire time you read, they couldn't be more satisfied.



2. State things tactfully.


You're not there to rip. Remember, this is your friend. Tell them you really don't like what this character did or said, or you don't believe this character would do this based on X, Y, and Z. Comments like "That sucked" don't tell the writer WHY it caused you a problem. Maybe you don't really know, but a dedicated beta reader will at least attempt to figure it out.





3. Ask questions.


Questions are the MOST powerful tool. If you have a question about what's happening in the scene, ask. The writer wants to know you were wondering. We're always so quick to offer advice, but often the best way to deal with an issue is to propose it in a question. Then you don't have to be the bad guy.



4. Review your thoughts.

I often find I will have a reaction and begin asking questions, only to read a couple pages on and find an answer. If I'm being a good beta reader that day, I'll go back and add that I came back from page # and understand now.



5. Give the writer what they ask for.


You're not being paid to edit their work, so don't. If there's a missing word or the wrong homophone, definitely correct them. If you want to change the structure of a sentence, don't. Tell them the sentence was awkward, you had to reread it a few times, or that you had a hard time following the train of thought. Suggestions for how to change it are usually welcomed, but actual editing? No.



6. Positive affirmations


I can't emphasize this enough. You'll tell the writer plenty where they're going wrong, but be sure you tell them when they got it right too. My husband, though I love him to death, is still learning how necessary this is. He wants to get right in and gut the problems. (Who doesn't?) It may take concerted effort to pause and share the good, but make sure you do. (He is much better at this than he used to be. I've trained him. ;)




Now go buy my books--because you have to see what a properly beta read book looks like, eh?



Have you beta read for someone before? What tips do you have about beta reading? 


Crystal Collier is an eclectic author who pens clean fantasy/sci-fi, historical, and romance stories with the occasional touch of humor, horror, or inspiration. She practices her brother-induced ninja skills while teaching children or madly typing about fantastic and impossible creatures. She has lived from coast to coast and now calls Florida home with her creative husband, four littles, and “friend” (a.k.a. the zombie locked in her closet). Secretly, she dreams of world domination and a bottomless supply of cheese.




(Email address is required for awarding prizes.)



This is great. Thank you, Crystal. I'm saving your tips for future reference.
 
Happy Reading!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

INSECURE WRITER'S SUPPORT GROUP AND NEWS

The first Wednesday of November means IWSG. It also is my birthday. Nope, not telling how many.


Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time.
Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post.
 
And we’re revving up IWSG Day to make it more fun and interactive! Every month, we'll announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.
November 2 Question: What is your favorite aspect of being a writer?
 
The founder of IWSG is Ninja Author Alex Cavanaugh.
His awesome co-hosts for the November 2 posting of the IWSG will be Joylene Novell Butler, Jen Chandler, Mary Aalgaard, Lisa Buie Collard, Tamara Narayan, Tyrean Martinson, and Christine Rains!
 
Now for the question: What is your favorite aspect of being a writer?
 
Golly, it hard to think of just one aspect. I enjoy most everything about being a writer. (Well, the promo not so much.) If I have to choose one, though, I guess it's creating characters and putting them in different situations to see how they deal with life. I like to see what ideas and solutions to a problem they come up with. Sometimes a character and I disagree. You know how that goes, I imagine. I, the author, try to write a scene a certain way, but the character keeps interfering and telling me that's not the way it is. Bossy little creatures sometimes. You know what? They usually win too.
 
How about your favorite aspect of being a writer?
 
I also have exciting news to report that I can't wait until another time to tell you.
 
 
Yes, my mg/tween contemporary novel I LIVE IN A DOGHOUSE is now in paperback. You know what? It would be the perfect gift for young readers. Add it to your Christmas wish list.
And thanks to Lea Schizas for the neat poster.
 
Short Excerpt:
 

I live in a doghouse. Not twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, three
hundred sixty-five days a year, but when my mom says, “Nick, take Lily for a walk
so I can bake this wedding cake, birthday cake, graduation cake, or whatever,” I
pretend I don’t hear her and run to hide in the doghouse.
 
It’s not that I don’t like Lily. She’s okay for an eighteen-month-old, I guess,
and she is my half-sister. Yeah, that sounds weird, doesn’t it? Like she’s only half
a kid. She’s really whole. See, Mom and I were getting along okay after Dad left,
when I was five. Then Jake Walker came into the picture, with Grace, who’s ten,
one year younger than me. (She’s another story.) So Jake is my stepfather, and
Grace is my stepsister. Then Lily was born. My mom is Lily’s mom, but Lily’s dad
is not my dad, which makes Lily my half-sister. And my life’s not my own anymore.
 
 
Silver Winner in the 2015 Children's Literary Classics Awards

Now available in eBook and Print at:

AMAZON

MUSEITUP PUBLISHING

And other stores where books are sold.

What people are saying:

"The story touches on so many issues a blended family faces in today's world that it kept me reading from start to finish. I know middle grade readers are going to love this one. I know their parents will, too." C. Lee McKenzie

"Without giving away the plot (and wow – what a plot!), let me just say that Nick learns that sometimes, the thing you want most in life is right beside you." Darby Karchut

"I Live In A Doghouse is an adorable middle grade read well-suited for both boys and girls. The voice and the story line are both genuine." pksm

"Most importantly--it has something every middle grade book needs: a sweet dog!"
Stephanie Faris

Amen to that. (Also, a sweet cat.)

Happy Reading