Monday, June 19, 2017

AND THE WINNERS ARE

Quote for the week:

Do you like contests? If so, why? If not, why? Everyone has different opinions. And that's alright.
I think contests are fun. And writing, to me is fun, so I sometimes enter a contest. Occasionally, I'm pleasantly surprised. This year has not been a good one. But recently a couple of nice things happened, so I'm smiling, the bad stuff in the past. If you're still reading by now, here's my good news.

My young adult contemporary novel, UNDER A PURPLE MOON, is a finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards. They have a lot of entries so I'm happy with that.



I get a medal, certificate, and seals.  

So now,  Under a Purple Moon is a silver medal winner in the Children's Literary Classics 2016, and a finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards in 2017. Thanks to a wonderful publisher, L. Diane Wolfe and all of your staff for your faith in my story.

 More about the contest.       Amazon             Barnes & Noble

Then last week, I woke one morning to find hairballs in three different rooms. Not the best way to start the day. Later, however, the world got better. I had an email saying my tween/teen historical novel, A FAMILY FOR LEONA, is a finalist in the 2017 Children's Literary Classics. The sunshine came out.




The gold and silver winners will be announced July 1. Leona will be one or the other. A huge thank you to Vivian Zabel, Aidana WillowRaven, and the 4RV staff for giving Leona her chance.

You can learn more here.     Amazon.   And other places.

So, are you entering any contests? 

Happy Reading.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

PIPER MORGAN MAKES A SPLASH REVIEW

Welcome Wednesday. I've been reading a lot lately to catch up. I'm not sure that will ever happen though, because when my mountain of books to read starts getting smaller, I hear about another book that sounds good. Ain't it fun? And this from a girl that hated to read when she was a kid. So, let's look at the latest book from Author Stephanie Faris.

Just looking at this adorable cover tells me it's a fun read.
Even though I'm not a young reader, I loved this story. It's a great addition to the Piper Morgan series.

Here are my thoughts.

PIPER MORGAN MAKES A SPLASH

By Stephanie Faris

Illustrated by Lucy Fleming


A hot summer day. A swimming pool with cool water. What more could a girl want? The delightful Piper Morgan is back with a new adventure.


In PIPER MORGAN MAKES A SPLASH, the latest story in the Piper Morgan series for young readers, Piper’s mom has a new job at the pool place, which leads to all sorts of fun for Piper, or so she hopes. Will Piper get her own pool? Will she have a chance to do a commercial, like the man on TV? She seems to find trouble whatever she does.  Piper is smart, and she tries to be good. She also knows when she messes up.


Throughout the book, black and white illustrations by Lucy Fleming add to the fun of the story. Also, each chapter ends with an interesting “Splash Fact.”


Stephanie Faris has created a cast of characters that could be a real family. Young readers might relate to Piper when her plans don’t always turn out the way she wants them to. I recommend this novel and the other books in the series for young readers and older ones, who enjoy a fun read, too. These books would make a great addition to elementary school classrooms and libraries, as well as your own library. 

Happy Reading.



Monday, June 12, 2017

DUCK AND COVER BOOK REVIEW

Quote for the week:

Today, I have a wonderful book to tell you about.
So relax and enjoy.




Awhile back, Author Janet Smart introduced us to DUCK AND COVER, her latest novel for middle-grade readers.  I just finished reading the story, and I recommend it for not only children but for older folks, as well. So, here are my thoughts.


DUCK AND COVER


By Janet F. Smart


When I was a kid, back in the day, I remember the blackouts we had sometimes at night. The sirens blared. House lights went off. My sister and I sat at the window looking outside, watching for planes that might drop bombs on us. The sky was dark, but we never saw a plane. We didn’t understand it completely, but I knew it was bad. An air force base where they trained pilots was near our town, which possibly made our area a target. After a while the all clear signal sounded and lights flashed back on in the houses.



DUCK AND COVER, the latest novel for middle grade readers, by Author Janet F. Smart, brought back those memories. Twelve-year-old Teddy’s father died six months earlier, and Teddy and his mom moved back to West Virginia to be with family. The author has done a beautiful job showing us Teddy’s emotions. Not only is he mourning the loss of his dad, he’s worried about rumors that the Russians will attack the United States. Teddy and his friends are brave, though, and they don’t just sit back waiting to see what happens. They prepare for such an emergency.



The author sprinkles historical facts into the story, such as the presidents of those times. And perhaps readers will do a bit of research on their own to learn more about America’s history.



This novel would make a great addition to school classrooms and libraries, as well as to public libraries and your own. Recommended for readers young and old.


Happy Reading!


Friday, June 9, 2017

RADICAL NEW ME BOOK TOUR

Today, I'm excited to invite you to the book tour for P K Hrezo's latest novel RADICAL NEW ME. It's been going on this week, so you may already know about it, or you may not. Anyhow, the cover is great.




Title: Radical New Me
Author: PK Hrezo
Release Date: May 10th, 2017
Tour Dates: June 6th – 10th, 2017
Genre: Women’s Fiction



Callie Cow: Where is She Now?

That's what Calliope Crown's old high school classmates want to know.

Now it's five years later and Calliope's gone from fat to fit in a year-long transformation with a world-renowned self-help guru. When funds she's always counted on fall through, she moves to ritzy Boca Raton to work for her snobby aunt's beachside bakery and face the same temptation that put her in the body she so desperately wants to forget. Calliope may be armed with a new identity, but old self-images don't die fast, and true self-esteem isn't something you can buy online with a credit card, even though her guru would suggest otherwise with the prices of his webinar course and weekly regimen.

Enter one cute and dedicated handyman and Calliope begins to see the world in a new light. Connecting with him, as well as new friends and Internet followers may just prove that life's detours can sometimes reveal our truest identities in the most unexpected of ways.

AmazonUS | AmazonUK | AmazonAU | AmazonCA

Excerpt from RADICAL NEW ME


“To be frank, I didn’t know if I’d have what it takes to stick to Rouby’s Roadmap. During that first month, when I exchanged brownie bites and frappuccinos for leg lifts and power walks, I discovered what Rouby calls, my Cruise Control.
And let me tell you once you find it—I mean really know that you can have it—it changes everything.
No more distractions. Or excuses. Just a lot of hard work, and steady steering.
I was overweight all through high school. I tried to lose it, over and over,  failing each time and devastating my self-esteem. I was a hot mess on repeat play.
Rouby helped me understand what I was doing wrong. I was starting from the outside, trying to transform my appearance with diet schemes and workout routines that were unrealistic to my personal needs. I was skipping the most vital step in Rouby’s full transformation program—the step that’s key to changing the way a person sees themselves:
 Cleansing from the inside out.
If you haven’t read Rouby’s Roadmap to a Radical New You, buy it today. After I implemented his inner program, I discovered his at-home Radical Makeover Intensive course called, Radical Roadtrips.
It’s not for the faint of heart. If you’re not serious about transformation, this course isn’t for you.
Someday I’m gonna find a way to meet Rouby and walk right up and wrap him in a giant hug. Here’s why …”
                         
I hold up my before and after full body profile pictures, side by side. The head is chopped off so it’s only from the neck down, both with me in black form-fitting workout pants and top.

“See. The me on the left is two years ago when I first decided to do something about my health and appearance. The me on the right was taken yesterday. Pretty dramatic, right? Yeah, it gives me the willies every time I see these.
You may be wondering why I’ve chosen to be incognito. Why I don’t show my face or tell you my name …
And that’s a story for another day. What’s important now is the how, not the who.   
I’m only three months away from my final transformation, so I’m making a pact with you right now, right here on my very own YouTube channel that if I make it through the next few months and reach my goal, I’ll reveal myself. I need your support in getting there, because my too-fragile ego depends on it.
I don’t think it can take another blow.
Besides that, for anyone who does complete the Roadtrip course, Rouby says a special surprise is in store …”



Say Hello to author PK Hrezo!


PK Hrezo is a native Floridian, author of fiction and nonfiction, creator and fairy fashion designer of PK’s Pixies, mom of two, wife of a fireman, and best bud to a big dog named Ripley.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Email list | Instagram | Amazon Page

Check out all the stops on the tour -

June 6th
Kristin's Novel Cafe - Book Excerpt
Bookish Reviews By Savi - Book Review
For the Love of Chick Lit - Spotlight Post

June 7th
Karen McCoy Books Presents: The Writer Librarian - Author Guest Post
Chick Lit Central - Spotlight Post

June 8th
ItaPixie's Book Corner - Book Excerpt 

June 9th
The Story of a Writer - Book Excerpt
Book Lover in Florida - Book Excerpt

June 10th
One Book At A Time - Spotlight Post
Loves Great Reads - Book Excerpt

June 11th
Livesandlovesofabooknerd - Book Review

Congratulations, P K. And let me add that RADICAL NEW ME is a delightful read.

Happy Reading and Writing!



Wednesday, June 7, 2017

IWSG - JUNE" I

Today is the first Wednesday of June, which means, IWSG Day.

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.

Our Twitter is @TheIWSG and hashtag #IWSG

Ninja Alex J. Cavanaugh is the founder of IWSG.

His awesome co-hosts for the June 7 posting of the IWSG will be JH Moncrieff, Madeline Mora-Summonte, Jen Chandler, Megan Morgan, and Heather Gardner!

Visit the Insecure Writer's Support Group here.

Now for the question of the month. Did you ever say "I quit"? If so, what happened to make you come back to writing?

The question is optional.


The best I can remember, I never actually have said "I quit." There have been times when it seemed like I should. When all I received were "no thank you" or "not for us" letters. I actually have a wall in my writing room covered with these letters, as a reminder to never give up. Yes, I have days, weeks, and even months when everything goes wrong. My characters keep their secrets from me. I have no idea where the plot is going or if I even have a plot. And each word I type laughs at me. "Ha, ha! You think you can write? Puleese."

These go back to the 1990s, before email, and fortunately, I don't receive so many any more. I like to read them every now and then.   

Maybe I'm stubborn. Maybe I'm a dreamer. Maybe I just sit at my computer so I won't have to mop the floors, vacuum the carpets, or clean out the closets. And sometimes, sometimes, a character will start talking to me, one of those whispers in my ear, and  he tells me his problem. I still have to help him solve the problem, or not. And I may not know how in the beginning. Together, however, we can write his story. 

No, I don't say "I quit" because he needs me. And I need him.

That's my story. 

Happy Reading and Writing!

(Now to watch the Rangers. I hope they don't say "I quit." They sure need some encouragement.) 


Monday, June 5, 2017

#INKRIPPLES AND BLURBS

Quote for the week:




#InkRipples is a monthly meme created by Kai Strand, Mary Waibel, and Katie L. Carroll. They post on the first Monday of every month with a new topic. They're all authors, but you don't have to be to participate. You can spread your own ripples by blogging about the topic any day of the month that fits your schedule, just be sure to link back to Katie, Kai, and Mary. Have fun.

The topic for June is Blurbs. Yeah, blurbs. Love them, or hate them. They're necessary. So, let's look at a few. These are in no particular order. I just went through my book shelves and looked at a few. As you read these, what do you think?


THAT WAS THEN, THIS IS NOW
S. E. Hinton

"Since childhood, Bryan and Mark have been as close as brothers. Now things are changing. Bryon's growing up, spending a lot of time with girls, and thinking seriously about who he wats to be. Mark still just lives for the thrill of the moment. The two are growing apart--but holding on--until Bryon makes a shocking discovery about Mark. Then Bryon faces a terrible decision--one that will change both of their lives forever."




PIPER MORGAN TO THE RESCUE
Stephanie Faris

"Piper is super excited to help out at Bark Street, a local animal shelter. Who wouldn't want to be surrounded by adorable animals all day? And the pets are lookin g for their perfect forever homes, just like Piper and her mom.
When Piper meets Taffy, the cutest puppy she has ever seen, Piper is determined to find a way to bring Taffy home and convince her mom she can help take care of a dog. But it won't be easy--especially when she finds out someone else wants to make Taffy a part of their family too! Can Piper find a way to make Operation: Puppy a success?"





GRIFFIN RISING
Darby Karchut

"The only creature who can harm an angel is another angel.
Armed with the power to control the ancient elements of Earth and Fire, sixteen-year-old Griffin is determined to complete his apprenticeship and rise to the rank of Terrae Angeli.
But first, he must overcome a brutal past if he is to survive in this world. Will the perseverance of his mentor and the love of a mortal girl give Griffin the courage he needs to face the monster still haunting him?"



FINDING THOR
Kai Strand

"Tragedy has left Cara Cassidy broken and the only thing keeping her from giving in completely  is her guilt. Until Nik Rock. Nik stirs up feelings in degrees she has never experienced,
and causes her to do things that most assuredly give him the wrong impression--like kiss him before their first date. Somehow, he breaks down the walls around her emotions until she has no choice but to forgive herself and feel again."









ELIXIR BOUND
Katie L. Carroll

"Katora Kase is next in line to take over as guardian to a secret and powerful healing Elixir. Now she must journey into the wilds of Faway Forest to find the ingredient that gives the Elixir its potency. Even though she has her sister and brother, an old family friend, and the handsome son of a mapmaker as companions, she feels alone.
It is her decision alone whether or not to bind herself to the Elixir to serve and protect it until it chooses a new guardian. The forest hosts many dangers, including wicked beings that will stop at nothing to gain ;power, but the biggest danger Katora may face is whether or not to open up her heart to love."





THE PRINCESS OF LAS PULGAS
C. Lee McKenzie

"After her father's slow death from cancer, Carlie's mother is forced to sell their cherished oceanfront home and move the family to the other side of the tracks--to dreaded Las Pulgas. At her tough new yrban high school, Carlie is nicknamed "Princess" because of her aloof attitude. But what her classmates don't know is that Carlie isn't aloof; she's in mourning for her father and almost everything else that mattered to her." (There's more, but you see how the blurb draws the reader in to want to know more about Carlie and her problems.)







QUEST OF THE HART
Mary Waibel

Princess Kaylee has never had to fight for anything. Her entire life has been arranged, even her marriage. But when Prince Devlin falls under an enchantment, she's thrust into a fight she must win. To save her betrothed, Kaylee embarks on a quest to find an ancient sword and gather a drop of dragon's blood. But the villain behind the deadly plot to gain the throne seems a step ahead. Time is everything. For once the last inhabitant of the kingdom falls asleep, the spell will be sealed, and not even true love's kiss will break it.





We could go on and on, but I think if we look closely at these examples, we see what makes a good blurb. We want the reader to say "This sounds like my kind of book."

What do we learn about the novel from these blurbs? Comments are welcome.

Happy Reading.