Monday, August 31, 2015


Quote for the week: Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you'll start having positive results. Willie Nelson

If you're looking for a way to stay cool these final hot days of summer, how about a dip in the water with Author Kelly Hashway's adorable characters from her new picture book, FISH DETECTIVES? Well, not literally, but when we read we can pretend we're there, right?

Don't you feel cooler already just looking at this lovely cover?
Here are my thoughts about this fun story.

By Kelly Hashway
Illustrations by K C Snyder
Fish tanks have fish in them, right? Most tanks also contain plants and water and perhaps small pebbles lining the bottom. Author Kelly Hashway has written a story about a fish tank that contains all of these things and more. In FISH DETECTIVES, Ms. Hashway’s picture book for young readers, we meet Alexander and Horatio, Fish Detectives. Now you might wonder what a fish detective does.
Well, Alexander and Horatio are new in the detective business and finally have their first case: a treasure chest in the tank that suddenly appears out of nowhere.  How did it get there? What’s inside it? And who is the figure standing beside the chest? Is it a fish or a human? The way the fish detectives go about solving the mystery will have you cheering for them to succeed. Young readers might even have a word or two of advice to help the detectives in their search for the answer.
Illustrator K C Snyder’s lovely artwork of blue water, green plants and colorful flowers make the reader feel like he or she is underwater along with the detectives. Alexander and Horatio’s bright orange and white colors remind me of goldfish we once had. Will our hero detectives discover what’s in the treasure chest and who the figure is, or will they lose their very first case? To find the answer, you must read FISH DETECTIVES. I think you’ll be glad you did.
Kelly Hashway has written a fun story that would make a nice addition to school libraries, public libraries and of course your own library. Books also make great gifts for the children you know. 
And now for the big announcement.
The winners of my Back to School Giveaway have been notified, and they are:
I LIVE IN A DOGHOUSE eBook - Chrys Fey
WEIRD NOISES IN THE NIGHT paperback - Medeia Sharif
FRANKIE'S PERFECT HOME - paperback - Kelly Hashway
Congratulations, ladies.
A huge thank you to everyone that entered. You're the best.
Happy reading!


Friday, August 28, 2015


Today's Fun Friday is a little different. No reviews or cover reveals, but a bicycle race. That's right, those two wheel bicycles are taking over the town, along with their riders and families.
2015 is the 34th annual ride of the Hotter 'N Hell Hundred. This weekend hundreds of bicycles will follow the trails to see who's the fastest.

There are a lot of other events too, such as the 13 mile Wee-Chi-Tah Mountain Race and shorter races too.

The road I live on is the 50-mile course and it's fun to watch the riders go past. These are some pictures I took last year.

This is a more leisurely race.
I'm tired watching them.

They do have tents set up along the way for heat stroke, medication, drinks and what medical care is needed because the weather promises to live up to the name of the race.

Happy Racing.

Stay cool.

Don't forget, today is the last day to enter my Back to School Giveaway. See it here. Winners will be announced on Monday.

Happy Reading.

Monday, August 24, 2015


Quote for the WeekJoy in looking and comprehending is nature's most beautiful gift. Albert Einstein

Today, I'd like to share my thoughts on the latest book I've read, DRAGON OF THE STARS by Alex J. Cavanaugh.


By Alex J. Cavanaugh


Do you like space ships and dragons? How about war and danger and an ambitious lieutenant commander who wants a ship of his own? If you enjoy stories with all of these, then take a look at Author Alex J. Cavanaugh’s latest novel, DRAGON OF THE STARS. I think you’ll be happy you did.


Now, space stories are not what I normally read, but this one intrigued me. First of all, it has dragons. Yes, Lieutenant Commander Aden Pendar’s mother raises pet dragons. I would have liked to see more of the lady and her pets. Before reading this novel, I’d heard a lot about the Kargrandes, but hadn’t a clue what they were. Now I know. Nope, I’m not telling. That’s part of the enjoyment of the book, making these fascinating discoveries.


The author also adds a tiny bit of romance, Aden has a thing for Arabella, the queen’s daughter, though he realizes nothing is about to happen between them unless he can get a ship of his own. There’s also Ensign Pavott, who I really like and think that she’s a better match for Aden than Arrabella. Nope, not telling what happens there either.


DRAGON OF THE STARS is never dull. Something’s always happening. There’s fighting, but no gory details. There’s suspense. Will Aden’s dreams of having his own ship and the lovely princess come true? When it comes time to make a crucial decision, will Aden make the right one?  You may be surprised. A very good read. Enjoy.

Also, I'd like to remind you of my Back to School Giveaway. Just click on the link.  Winners will be announced Monday, August 31, so enter soon. Just leave a comment and tell me which book you'd like to win.
Don't forget Kai Strand's giveaway.
There's also this one on Amazon, free as of Sunday. I'm not sure how long it lasts.

From twelve USA Today, Amazon and award-winning authors comes Future Tense, an electrifying YA sci-fi boxed set.

Happy Reading.

Friday, August 21, 2015


Today I have another great release to share with you. Take a look at Medeia Sharif's latest HOT PINK IN THE CITY.

HOT PINK IN THE CITY, Prizm Books/Torquere Press

Release Date: August 19, 2015


Purchase from PrizmAmazon (vendor links will be updated on the author's site)

Asma Bashir wants two things: a summer fling and her favorite '80s songs. During a trip to New York City to stay with relatives, she messes up in her pursuit of both. She loses track of the hunk she met on her airplane ride, and she does the most terrible thing she could possibly do to her strict uncle... ruin his most prized possession, a rare cassette tape.

A wild goose chase around Manhattan and Brooklyn to find a replacement tape yields many adventures -- blackmail, theft, a chance to be a TV star, and so much more. Amid all this turmoil, Asma just might be able to find her crush in the busiest, most exciting city in the world.

Find Medeia – YA and MG Author

Blog   |   Twitter   |   Goodreads   |   Instagram   |   Amazon

Enter the HPITC book blast giveaway!

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015


I am excited today to host Kai Strand on her book blast for her Super Villain Academy novel number III, SUPER BAD. Take a look. You don't want to miss this one. It will keep you turning pages.

Super Bad

Super Bad by Kai Strand
The world is in chaos. Violence and thievery reign. And with the supers still balanced, it’s only getting worse. Without good versus evil, the supers care less and less. In order to restore purpose, the world needs its super heroes and its super villains, but the one who balanced them in the first place is missing.

Sandra’s concern over finding her brother, Jeff, isn’t her only problem. Her pathetic excuse for super powers has left her needing a new ankle. And though she’s still very much committed to her boyfriend, Source, she’s growing unreasonably attracted to Set, the boy who double crossed Jeff by stealing his girlfriend.

When Sandra is taken and held as bait by some kids who want to unbalance the super world, it becomes the inciting event that changes things for supers everywhere and forces them to answer the question, “Hero or villain?”

The classroom door opened and Sandra glanced toward it, along with the thirty other kids in the room. She snickered and raised her eyebrows at Lexa when a young man wearing a Hermes costume, complete with wings fluttering on his heels, floated in.
“I’m not gonna lie,” Lexa leaned over to whisper. “I hope a draft lifts his skirt so we can see what’s underneath.”
Sandra giggled. “My guess is bun huggers. Gold lame to match his shiny winged cap.”
Lexa waggled her eyebrows. “Shiny gold buns. I like.”
The teacher frowned at the young man. “Can I help you?”
“I have a delivery for Sandra Tohler.”
Sandra gulped. This couldn’t be anything besides embarrassing. A tidal wave of heads turned toward her causing her cheeks to flush with heat.
Seeing where everyone’s attention settled, the Hermes guy floated between the rows of desks and came to rest near hers. “Sandra Tohler?”
Reluctantly, she nodded.
He cleared his throat before delivering a soliloquy in a clear, resonating voice that Sandra was sure the students in classrooms across campus would hear.
“Sandra, oh Sandra, my lovely, stormy vixen, hear my humble plea. Your essence has absorbed into my every thought and now I wonder how I will sit for my exams. Will I answer essay questions by describing the intense sable color of your hair, or the enticing moss of your eyes that makes me imagine us lying in each others arms in a fairy forest?”
Sandra’s forehead hit her desk with a loud thunk, her voice a mumble against the surface. “Please stop. Go away.”
But the Hermes guy continued in his orator’s voice. “I’ve relived our kiss uncountable times. Your lips were velvet soft, but demanding.”
A chorus of “Ooo,” erupted through the room.
add to goodreads

Praise for the Book
I have enjoyed every minute I've spent with the characters of the Super Villain Academy world, but I have to say that this is my favorite book of the series. There's action, romance, and a show down I didn't see coming. –Mary Waibel, author

This is a great series and I am disappointed that it’s over. I will miss these characters. I may just have to reread the three books again! – Amazon customer

[Y]ou’re in for an exciting ride with Jeff and the other superheroes. Told from different point of view characters you get to see inside the heads of the major players. Sometimes that’s a bit scary. –Beverly McClure, author

kaiAuthor Kai Strand
When her children were young and the electricity winked out, Kai Strand gathered her family around the fireplace and they told stories, one sentence at a time. Her boys were rather fond of the ending, “And then everybody died. The end.” Now an award winning children’s author, Kai crafts fiction for kids and teens to provide an escape hatch from their reality. With a selection of novels for young adult and middle grade readers and a short story blog, Lightning Quick Reads, Kai entertains children of all ages, and their adults.

Book Blast Giveaway

$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 9/6/15

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an 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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Monday, August 17, 2015


Quote for the week:  Family is not an important thing. It's everything. Michael J. Fox

School bells are ringing. Kids are excited. Some schools have already started. Others will be soon.

I miss those days, but retirement has its good points. So to all teachers and students, have a great year.

To celebrate I'm having an old fashioned giveaway. By old fashioned I mean no Rafflecopter, (however it's spelled) just an old fashioned drawing. My cats will do the honor. If they decide not to cooperate, I'll draw the winners. It's very easy to enter. All you have to do is leave a comment and tell which book you'd like to win. Don't forget your email so I can contact the lucky winners.

The prizes:

1 paperback copy of WEIRD NOISES IN THE NIGHT, my latest story, a mystery for children 6-9.

1 paperback copy of FRANKIE'S PERFECT HOME, a story about a young armadillo looking for the perfect home, for ages 4-8.

And for the older readers in the family an ebook copy of my MG/Tween contemporary story, I LIVE IN A DOGHOUSE, about a boy adjusting to a new, blended family.

Watch for more giveaways this fall. I need to clean closets and they're filled with brand new books.

Happy Reading.

Friday, August 14, 2015


Friday Fun and PIPER MORGAN JOINS THE CIRCUS, Author Stephanie Faris' new novel for children, looks like a lot of fun. Isn't this an adorable cover? I want to meet Piper and see what she does in the circus. How about you?


When Piper Morgan has to move to a new town, she is sad to leave behind her friends, but excited for a new adventure. She is determined to have fun, be brave and find new friends.

And after learning her mom’s new job will be with the Big Top Circus, Piper can’t wait to learn all about life under the big top, see all the cool animals, and meet the Little Explorers, the other kids who travel with the show. She’s even more excited to learn that she gets to be a part of the Little Explorers and help them end each show with a routine to get the audience on their feet and dancing along!
But during Piper’s grand debut, her high kicks and pointed toes don't go quite as planned. After causing a dance disaster, she has to prove to everyone--especially queen of the Little Explorers, Lexie--that she belongs in the spotlight.


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 upcoming 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. 


Congratulations, Stephanie.

Happy Reading!

Monday, August 10, 2015


Quote for the week:  Love. Fall in love and stay in love. Write only what you love, and love what you write. The key word is love. You have to get up in the morning and write something you love, something to live for. Ray Bradbury

Today is also  the second Monday in August, which means it's Ripples in the Inkwell time.

Ripples in the Inkwell #inkripples is a new monthly meme created by Kai Strand, Mary Waibel, and Katie L. Carroll. They’ll be posting on the second Monday of every month with a new topic. They’re all authors, but you don’t have to be to participate. Simply compose your post using the monthly theme,
grab one of the images, and link back to the three of them. Make sure to use #inkripples when you play along and promote your posts. The idea is that we toss a word, idea, or image into the inkwell and each post is a new ripple. There’s no wrong way to do it! If I can do it, you can too.

August's theme is Dog days/Things that drag you down

The themes for the rest of the year are:

September: Fall/School
October: Fears/Things That Go Bump in the Night
November: Remembrance /Thankfulness
December: Celebration /Gifts

So, what are things that drag you down, your dog days?

One of mine is the heat. With temperatures in the 100 + range, the only time to go outside and enjoy nature is early morning and late evening.

Another thing is the bugs. The crickets have been awful this year. They're in the house, as well as outside. The grasshoppers too are everywhere. Now I remind myself that they are food for the birds and maybe other critters. But I still don't like them.

Other than that, August isn't so bad. I like the sun still shining at 8:30 PM. I enjoy listening to the quail calling "Bob White, Bob White."

Oops! I'm supposed to be talking about Dog Days. The heat makes me kind of lazy and I put off doing things I should do. A nap sometimes is much better.

Enjoy your Dog Days. There is the autumn to look forward to.

Happy Reading!

Friday, August 7, 2015


No Excuses

No Excuses: The Story of Elite Gymnast Aimee Walker-Pond by Adam U. Kempler

No Excuses: The Story of Elite Gymnast Aimee Walker-Pond traces the gymnastics career of a girl born deaf and blind in one eye. Despite challenge after challenge and setback after setback, Aimee rose in the gymnastics world to compete for UCLA and BYU and at the level of International Elite—a feat no athlete with comparable disabilities has accomplished in the history of the sport. This biography describes how Aimee overcame her health struggles, learned American Sign Language, succeeded in gymnastic, enjoyed social activities, acted in movies, traveled to Hawaii and Russia, worked hard in school, competed in college, and found romance. Bruno Grandi, President of the International Gymnastics Federation, said, “Aimee has filled our hearts with the fire of warmth and love and inspired us all to become better.” Valorie Kondos Field, head women’s gymnastics coach at UCLA and winner of six NCAA National Championships, said, “Aimee’s not deaf. She just can’t hear. Why would she need two eyes, when she has one? She has no excuses.”

Order Your Copy Now!

Impact Publishing

Excerpt - Preface

“The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is now,” says one Chinese proverb. When I started this project, I had no idea that it would take thirteen yearsto complete and involve about eighty interviews with Aimee’sfamily, friends, mentors, and coaches. Why did it take so long? When I first met Aimee, I was an English professor, and she was in the middle of her career. No one knew how long her career would take or where it would take her; however, I could see that her story was significant and had to be told, so I approached Aimee about writing her story. We then agreed to work together on this project—although at the time we didn’t fully understand the place her story would take in the gymnastics world and in disability literature.

Helen Keller said, “Blindness cuts us off from things, but deafness cuts us off from people.” Most of us don’t have much experience with blindness, deafness, or other disabilities. When I was working my way through college, the only job I could get was working with severely handicapped students as an instructional aide at a high school, which I reluctantly accepted out of financial desperation. I worked with a young man who had been a popular running back on the school’s football team but had been hit head-on by a drunk driver, placing him in the severely handicapped program. When I first saw him, he was drooling in a wheelchair, and I felt sick to my stomach. After four years of working together, he became one of my best friends. Through that experience and many others like it, I gained a better understanding of some of the struggles that others face, and it prepared me to see the significance of Aimee’s story when I first heard about it.

After twenty-seven years in prison, Nelson Mandela said, “As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.” People with disabilities are imprisoned by their bodies, and most of them are never set free in this life. I taught a class in a juvenile detention facility for five years, and I had a student who stopped me outside of class one day. She looked across the grass at the tall fence at the end of the field. It was wrapped with razor wire at the top. She said, “I can’t take it in here. I’ve got nine months left, and I can’t handle being away from my family.” Being incarcerated can change us, and by teaching in detention camps, I gained a better understanding of the need that we all have for hope, especially the disenfranchised. I hope that readers of Aimee’s biography will gain a better understanding of the world of people with disabilities and encourage others to feel hopeful.


On paper

Praise for the Book:
“Aimee’s not deaf. She just can’t hear. Why would she need two eyes, when she has one? She has no excuses.”
Valorie Kondos Field—Head Women’s Gymnastics Coach at UCLA who won six NCAA National Championships

“Aimee has filled our hearts with the fire of warmth and love and inspired us all to become better.”
Bruno Grandi—President of the International Gymnastics Federation

"As a parent, devoted gymnastics fan . . . and one who views success in terms of personal growth, not medals or titles won, this is a story that inspires me.”
Kathy Johnson Clarke—1984 U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Team Captain who won a team Silver medal and an individual Bronze medal on the balance beam.


Available from Impact Publishing

add to goodreads

AdamAuthor Adam U. Kempler

Adam U. Kempler is an English professor and author in southern California. He has worked extensively with students with disabilities, including those in high schools, colleges, and detention facilities. He enjoys spending his free time surfing locally and fly-fishing in the backcountry of Yosemite. Adam and Jennifer have six children: Jesse, Stephen, Rachel, Rebekah, Timothy, and Ruth.

Facebook * Twitter * Google+ * Pinterest * Instagram


BookBlast Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 8/30/15

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an 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

Thursday, August 6, 2015


Secrets, secrets! Shh! Don't tell. I'm delighted to share the cover reveal for Ashelyn Drake's forthcoming novel, OUR LITTLE SECRET.

OUR LITTLE SECRET by Ashelyn Drake 

“Is there a difference between a secret and a lie?”

Becca Daniels needs to get a passing grade in Trig. Becca Daniels wants to spend more time with her best friend Tori’s twin brother Toby. What she has is a brain that refuses to understand math and a best friend with a strict “No dating the brother” rule.

When her grade hits rock bottom, Becca has no choice but to get a tutor. Lucky for her, Toby is a math genius and more than willing to help her out. Turns out Becca isn’t the only one who hates Tori’s dating rule.

What starts out as an innocent tutoring session quickly evolves into late night texts and hidden kisses. But the closer Becca gets to Toby, the greater the risk that she’ll lose her best friend. When their secret relationship threatens to destroy more than just her friendship with Tori, Becca will have to figure out how much she’s willing to risk to keep the guy of her dreams.
All Links for Ashelyn/Kelly:
Author Goodreads:
Book Goodreads:
Congratulations, Ashelyn.
Looks like another great novel.
Happy Reading

Wednesday, August 5, 2015


Welcome Wednesday! Today is the first Wednesday of August, and you know what that means.

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group

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.

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

Ninja Alex J. Cavanaugh is the founder of IWSG. Be sure and visit his blog.
The awesome co-hosts for the August 5 posting of the IWSG are Nancy Gideon, Bob R Milne, Doreen McGettigan, Chrys Fey, Bish Denham, and Pat Garcia!
Am I insecure? Not so much, but just a little. I'm writing more than one story. Whether that's a good idea or not, I don't know. It's easy to keep them separated. They're quite different stories. For different ages. We'll see how it goes.
I'm also submitting another story to publishers. You know what that means. Changes have to be made in the queries and to what you send (whole story, chapters, synopsis, etc.) for each one because they all require different things. A little insecurity there, wondering if anyone will like my work.
Still, I live in hope. How about you? Do you write more than one story at a time? How does it work for you, if so?
S. A. Larsen started WRITER'S REBEL CREED.
It's a good way to check yourself. Wonder how I'm doing?
I think the one I'm learning the most about is the last one: Trust in the beauty of revisions. I used to hate them, but now it's neat to read the rough draft of a story and then the final (hopefully) edition. Mine change a lot.
I'm working on trusting my gut, accepting good advice, but keeping what my heart tells me is right.
We won't mention the flaws.
What is your Writer's Rebel Creed?
Happy Reading.


Monday, August 3, 2015


Quote for the week: A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles. Christopher Reeve

Speaking of heroes, have you read Kai Strand's Super Villain Academy Series? The three books have heroes and also villains. If you haven't you can see them here at Amazon.

Which are the super heroes; which are the super villains?
I know.
Happy Reading!