Monday, November 30, 2015


Quote for the week:  Judge each day not by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant. Robert Louis Stevenson

Today I'm delighted to be a part of the tour for the anthology FRIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS.


Fright Before Christmas Book Blurb:

It's the most wonderful time of year...or is it? 

Christmas Eve is a night of mystery and magic, but not always in ways we expect. Things lurk in the shadows and they're not the least bit jolly or merry. Let's just say some presents are better left unopened.

‘Tis the season to be screaming along with our thirteen tales of holiday horrors. Ghosts. Monsters. Demons. And more! 

This Christmas, be careful what you wish for... 

Pre-Order sale price of just $1.99 through November 29th.


Author Bio – Judith Graves:
Judith Graves loves tragic romance, werewolves, vampires, magic and all things a bit creepy. A firm believer that teen fiction can be action-packed, snarky and yet hit all the right emotional notes, Judith writes stories with attitude. She lives in northern Alberta and when she’s not writing, she works in a school library.

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter


13 tales of holiday horrors

Anthology by Shannon Delany and Kelly Hashway


Christmas, a time for Nativity Scenes, baby Jesus, Christmas trees, Santa, reindeer, gifts and magic and spells. Wait! Wait! Magic? Spells? What kind of Christmas are we talking about here?
The anthology FRIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS may be talking about Santa, but not the Santa one normally pictures. The reader may be looking at coal in a boy’s stocking because he was naughty. Aw, Santa wouldn’t do that, would he? Or is it even coal? And usually the snow men we read about in most books remind us of cute and friendly Frosty the Snow Man, right? Since when did snowmen start carrying weapons? Add a nutcracker that I dare not describe and other most unusual  characters, unusual to be found in a Christmas story, that is, and we have a book that may make us want to avoid Christmas this year, and maybe forever.
The authors in the anthology FRIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS, Lea Storry, Richard Ankers, Laura Pauling, Patrick Hueller, Jackie Horsfall, Boyd Reynolds, Ally Mathews, Jessica Bayliss, Judith Graves, Andrea Stanet, Dax Varely, Medeia Shariff, and Ty Drago have turned the Night Before Christmas into a Fright Before Christmas with characters that may give the reader nightmares. My suggestion is to read the stories with the lights on and preferably not alone. The stories are creative and imaginative and will give you chills. You also may want to read them over again. Happy reading.
I was provided with a copy of the anthology for my honest review.
Happy Reading

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Fright Before Christmas by Shannon Delany

Fright Before Christmas

by Shannon Delany

Giveaway ends December 05, 2015.

See the giveaway details
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Wednesday, November 25, 2015


A new book is on the way. Don't you just love to hear those words? I do. CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL: My Very Good, Very Bad Cat will be published February 9, 2016. My story, A Tiger-Sized Heart, is in it. YAY! Here's the cover.

I wonder what Tiger will think when he sees it. I hope Patches isn't jealous. This is my third CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL story that's been published.

And now, from my house to yours
Have a lovely time with family and friends, doggies and kitties, and whoever else shows up.

Monday, November 23, 2015


Quote for the week: If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. Maya Angelou

I am delighted to host Stephanie Burkhart on the Book Tour for her latest picture book JOSEPH'S CRADLE.

The cover is lovely and I want to know more about the cradle.
COVER BLURB FOR Joseph’s Cradle:
Joseph and his wife, Mary, expect a baby. With all that is happening, including the government requiring a census, Joseph feels a little overwhelmed and a bit left out of the preparations for the baby. Is there something he can do?
Reviews: “Artist Mathew Hughes' soft, time-friendly paintings take us back to Biblical times. This is a sweet Christmas book that could start a discussion about what a young child might like to give the Christ Child for Christmas.” – Patricia Karwatowicz
The Christmas story about the birth of Jesus is one of the most popular and well known stories around the world. We can only imagine how anxious Joseph and Mary were when they arrived in Bethlehem. Throughout the story, Mary carries herself with dignity and grace. Joseph is steadfast and loyal. Becoming a parent isn’t easy and both Mary and Joseph have to find their own way.
#1: What inspired you to write the story?
STEPHANIE: I wanted to write the Christmas story from the view of being expectant parents.  I wanted to show how Joseph grew into fatherhood. I think these are all aspects of life we all can identify with.
#2: How long did it take?
STEPHANIE: The story took about a day to write.  After editing, I’d say it took about a week.
#3: Did you pick the illustrator?
STEPHANIE: No, I did not.  4RV Publishing selected the illustrator.  I think Matthew Hughes did a fantastic job with the illustrations.  They have a very soft hearted feel and compliment the story well.
#4: What makes this book special?
STEPHANIE: It’s a look at the Christmas story from a different perspective.
#5: How long have you been writing children's books?
STEPHANIE: About 5 years now. My first children's book, "The Giving Meadow" was published with 4RV Publishing in 2010. It has a great message about sharing and caring for young children as well as telling about Caterpillar's transformation into a butterfly. It's perfect for Easter as it helps young children understand Jesus' story.

Author Bio:

Stephanie Burkhart was born and raised in Manchester, New Hampshire, but now calls California her home. She currently works for LAPD as a 911 Dispatcher. Stephanie has been writing since she was five, when she crafted homemade comic books on the kitchen table. Her previous books with 4RV Publishing include: The Giving Meadow, and First Flag of New Hampshire.  Stephanie enjoys coffee, adores chocolate and is currently the Den Leader for her son's Cub Scout Den.
JOSEPH’S CRADLE:  is available in print from 4RV Publishing.
A Different Perspective
By: Stephanie Burkhart
Have you only believed there was one way to do a task and when you learned there was another way, you were surprised? That’s happened to me a couple of times. Every time I’m always amazed. “Why didn’t I think of that?”
The Christmas story with Mary ad Joseph is one of the oldest, memorable stories in the world. In the Bible, Luke and Matthew share their accounts. We know Mary and Joseph traveled a good distance while Mary was about to have her baby. What an inconvenience that must have been! We discover how Mary embodies dignity and grace and we learn the depth of Joseph’s faith when he listens to the angel who visits him. Once they say ‘yes’ to God, what happens next?
I wanted to show another perspective of the story, one more personal and one we can all relate too. Mary and Joseph are going to be parents. The thought can be overwhelming. What must it have been like for them preparing for a baby? “Joseph’s Cradle” shows how Mary and Joseph approach parenthood. I hope you enjoy the story!
Question for you: What gift would you give Jesus for Christmas?
 Thank you, Stephanie for writing a lovely story. Now for my thoughts.

Story by Stephanie Burkhart
Art by Matthew Hughes
Expecting a new baby in the family, whether in times past or in today’s world, is a big event. Mom prepares for the baby’s arrival by sewing little outfits or buying the latest styles for him or her to wear. Dad makes sure the soon to be addition to the family has a crib or cradle to sleep in, as well as other items to make the little one comfortable.
In Author Stephanie Burkhart’s newest picture book, JOSEPH’S CRADLE, Mom and Dad do the same. Dad builds a new cradle for his child. Mary knits booties and clothes for the baby. And so they wait for the happy day to arrive. This is a sweet and gentle story about the parents of Jesus and how they might have passed the time in the months before his birth.
The artwork by Matthew Hughes is realistic for the timeframe of the story, with beautiful, soft pastel shades for the scenery and characters that very well could be from hundreds of years ago. The illustration at the end of the story is my favorite in the book. 
A lovely story for this special time of year and for anytime, in fact. Children should enjoy learning about the Christ Child’s family. This book would make a nice addition to school libraries, public libraries and of course your own library.
Happy Reading.


Friday, November 20, 2015


Today, I'm delighted to share my thoughts about Author Joan Holub's new picture book THE KNIGHTS BEFORE CHRISTMAS. A few days ago, I had the pleasure of hosting the Book Blast for this story. Now, I've read the book and you'll want to read it too.


By Joan Holub

Illustrated by Scott Magoon



Christmas is the season of reindeer pulling a sleigh, a chubby little man with a white beard, a bundle of toys on his back, stockings hanging by the chimney, and three knights guarding their king. Wait a minute. Three knights? A king?


Yes, THE KNIGHTS BEFORE CHRISTMAS, an adorable picture book by Author Joan Holub, is the story of three knights guarding their king. While the story has similarities to Clement Clarke Moore’s A VISIT FROM SAINT NICHOLAS, it is a totally different story with three knights that you can’t help loving; at least I couldn’t. Brave Knight with his lance, Polite Knight with his pen, and Silent Knight wearing his nightie really mean good, but they aren’t quite sure what to do with an invader, a red-and-white knight and eight dragons. What follows is an adventure that will have young readers giggling and reading the book over and over again, or asking Mom or Dad to read it over and over.


The illustrations by Scott Magoon are perfect for the story. The expressions of the Knights in each scene show their emotions. And Santa Claus is the jolly old man the reader expects him to be. A beautiful combination of story and artwork.


I highly recommend Joan Holub’s THE KNIGHTS BEFORE CHRISTMAS for young readers and for older readers too. Merry Christmas. Now, I’m off to read the book again.


I was provided a copy of this book for my honest review.


Happy Reading

Monday, November 16, 2015


Quote for the week:  Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. Stephen Hawking

November is turning out to be an exciting month. My birthday was just the beginning.

First: I'm looking forward to my school visit this Tuesday, and I'm a bit nervous as well. It's been years since I taught. After I retired, I visited the schools a few times, but so much has changed since then. I've been practicing my program. The cats eye me like I'm crazy. Doesn't everyone talk to the room?

Second: Tiger will soon be a star. Well, at least the character in a story. Yep, he's in the anthology CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL, MY VERY GOOD, VERY BAD CAT: 101 HEARTWARMING STORIES ABOUT OUR HAPPY, HEROIC & HILARIOUS PETS. Tiger's one of the Very Good Cats. The story has special meaning for me.

Now doesn't Tiger look like a hero?

Third: I have Advanced Review Copies of UNDER A PURPLE MOON. Will be sending them out for reviews this week. If you're interested, I have ePub and Mobi. Email me for a copy.

That's it for me. Nap time. I can't sleep lately. Too much happening.

How about you? What are you up to these days?

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


Welcome! If you're looking for a good read at a good  price you've come to the right place. Take a look at Chrys Fey's sale. Happy Reading.

99 CENT SALE on 30 SECONDS by Chrys Fey!!! 

Sale ends Nov.
20th so take advantage now!


When Officer Blake Herro agreed to go
undercover in the Mob, he thought he understood the risks. But he's made
mistakes and now an innocent woman has become their target. He's determined to
protect her at all costs.

The Mob's death threat turns Dr. Dani
Hart's life upside down, but there is one danger she doesn’t anticipate. As
she's dodging bullets, she's falling in love with Blake. With danger all around
them, will she and Blake survive and have a happy ending, or will the Mob make
good on their threat?


She had no time to react when a strong force bowled her
through the doorway of her apartment, and a large hand plastered over her
mouth. The man she had bumped into on the stairs had a firm grip on her as he kicked
the door closed behind them. She struggled to get free, but his hold kept her
back pressed against his chest.

“It’s okay. I’m a cop. My name is Blake Herro.” He hauled
her into the living room. “There are six armed men coming up the stairs. We
need to hide. Where can we hide?”

Her mind went blank, she even forgot about the ice cream.

“Where?” he demanded with a quick shake.

She pointed to the six-foot long, three-foot high handcrafted
cedar chest she used for a coffee table. Officer Herro pulled her to it and
flung open the lid.

“Get in,” he ordered.


Monday, November 9, 2015


Quote for the week:  We are what we believe we are. C. S. Lewis

This is the second Monday of November which means it's Ripples in the Inkwell time. This is a monthly meme created by Kai Strand, Mary Waibel, and Katie L. Carroll. You can join too. Just compose your post using the monthly theme, grab one of the images, and link back to Kai, Mary, and Katie.

November's theme is Remembrance/Thankfulness
December is Celebration/Gifts

I remember the Thanksgivings with my family, before everyone was scattered from coast to coast. My mother was big on holidays. She loved them all. Going to my parents' house I always knew we'd have good food. Her pecan pies were yummy. Then I had my family, and Thanksgiving was a day of togetherness with turkey and all the trimmings. As it happens, kids grow up and have their own families. Now with some in South Carolina, some in California, and others in different towns, our get together is small. Not sure who I'll see this year. Wherever they are I'm thankful for each member of my family.

I have so much to be thankful for. My health, my family and friends. My home. My cats. Most of all I'm thankful for my God and his Son Jesus Christ. Without them I would be lost.

What are you thankful for?

Mother Daughter Book Reviews is pleased to be coordinating a Book Blast for the newly released picture book, "The Knights Before Christmas" by Joan Holub (November 6 to 8, 2015).

The Knights Before Christmas Joan Holub Scott Magoon 9780805099324 image copy 2

About the Book

Title: The Knights Before Christmas | Author: Joan Holub | Illustrator: Scott Magoon | Publication Date: September 8, 2015 | Publisher: Macmillan / Henry Holt | Pages: 32 | Recommended Ages: 4 to 8

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million

Goodreads | Indiebound | iBook | Kobo

Book Description:

'Twas December 24th, and three brave knights were just settling in for the night when out on the drawbridge, there arose such a clatter! The knights try everything to get rid of this unknown invader (Santa Claus!), a red and white knight with a fleet of dragons . . .
But nothing would stop
their white-whiskered foe.
No matter their efforts,
he just would not go!

This parody of Clement Clarke Moore's well-known poem 'Twas the Night Before Christmas is kid-friendly, clever, and just plain silly. Sure to become a holiday classic of a different kind!

Sneak Peek

The Knights Before Christmas Joan Holub Scott Magoon

The Knights Before Christmas Joan Holub Scott Magoon pages 12

The Knights Before Christmas Joan Holub Scott Magoon page 26 image

The Buzz About the Book

“There's an excellent interplay between the amusing illustrations and the polished text, with lots of clever jokes for readers to discover in the art. These knights know how to keep the castle safe and the readers entertained”~ Kirkus Reviews
“A royal romp of holiday pratfalls and punnery. Yule love it!” ~ Tom Lichtenheld, bestselling illustrator of Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site
“A royal delight of a book! Sure to become a favorite holiday read-aloud in every household throughout the land!” ~ Judy Schachner, creator of the bestselling Skippyjon Jones
"A great premise...Magoon's illustrations are vibrant and fun...!" ~ Publishers Weekly
"This rousing, ridiculous medieval “Night Before Christmas” parody jingles with castle- and holiday wordplay. Cheeky digital illustrations brim with good cheer." ~ Horn Book

About the Author: Joan Holub

The Knights Before Christmas Joan Holub SIBA 2015 imageJoan Holub is the author of 140+ books for children including the acclaimed picture books Little Red Writing, The Knights Before Christmas, and Mighty Dads, a New York Times bestseller. Joan co-authors (with Suzanne Williams) three series: Goddess Girls (ages 8-12, Greek mythology with a middle school twist), Grimmtastic Girls (for ages 8-12, fairy tale adventure with a middle school twist), and Heroes in Training (ages 6-11, Greek mythology adventure chapter books). Watch for her upcoming chapter book, What Was Woodstock?, and her board book, This Little President, both available in early 2016!

Website | Author Blog | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads

Facebook | Facebook (Goddess Girls) | Facebook (Grimmtastic Girls)

** Book Blast Giveaway **

Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card or $25 PayPal cash prize, winner's choice

Giveaway ends: November 19, 11:59 pm, 2015

Open to: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Joan Holub and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

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Wednesday, November 4, 2015


November is a busy month. First, Monday was my birthday. I'm not telling. Second, this is IWSG Day. And third is the Cover Reveal for my YA novel UNDER A PURPLE MOON.

No Love in the Garden of Eden...


Eden Rose has learned to deal with her mother’s criticism that she can do nothing right. What she can’t deal with are the arguments between her parents. To escape their angry words, she finds refuge in an old abandoned house. She always returns home, hoping her mother will love her one day, even though Eden’s not sure what the word love means.


Three other teens with problems also hang out at the Old House. Meeting Murphy, Toby, and Josh changes Eden’s world, and she begins to have faith in herself. Perhaps she can do something right, after all.


Thanks to the boys, she begins to understand the meaning of love. But will it be enough to save her broken home life?


Release date - March 15, 2016

$17.95 USA, 6x9 Trade paperback, 270 pages

Freedom Fox Press - Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C.

Fiction/Young Adult - General (JUV000000) / Girls & Women (JUV014000)

Print ISBN 9781939844132 eBook ISBN 9781939844149

$4.99 EBook available in all formats
Short Bio:
Most of the time, you’ll find Beverly Stowe McClure at her computer, typing stories little voices whisper in her ears. When she’s not writing, she’s snapping pictures of wildlife, flowers and clouds. She’s sometimes known as the “Bug Lady.” She’s not telling why.
Happy Reading!
The Insecure Writer’s Support GroupPurpose: 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
Our Ninja Leader is Alex J. Cavanaugh.
His awesome co-hosts for the November 4 posting of the IWSG are Stephen Tremp, Karen Walker, Denise Covey, and Tyrean Martinson! 

Today, I'd like to add a word of encouragement.
Never give up.
I have a wall full of "No thanks" letters from publishers. I look at them now and smile.
Stay the course.
Write from the heart.
Try something new ; you never know unless you try. I'm going to talk about this during my school visit later this month.
Have faith in yourself.
And have fun.

Happy Reading!



Monday, November 2, 2015


Quote for the Week:  Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice, and most of all love of what you are doing or are learning to do. Pele

Today, we're celebrating the release of THE CAPTAIN AND THE CHEERLEADER, by Elaine Cantrell. Congratulations, Elaine.

What a lovely cover. I like old barns and want to learn about this one and about the girl too.
Susan English can’t stand Robin Lanford!  She’s so full of herself she irritates everyone on the faculty of Fairfield High.  When Robin bets Susan fifty dollars that she can’t get a date with Kurt Deveraux, the head football coach, Susan jumps at the chance to put the little heifer in her place.  She had no idea that teaching Robin a lesson would irrevocably change her life, strain treasured friendships, and throw two families into chaos.

The Captain and the Cheerleader
Chapter 1
“I think Kurt Deveraux is gay,” announced Robin Landford as she plopped down into an orange plastic chair beside Susan English.
It was Friday afternoon, but Robin’s statement halted the teacher exodus from the faculty lounge.
“Why do you say that, Robin?” Susan asked. Yeah, her voice sounded chilly and a bit snooty, but she couldn’t help herself. Robin was fresh out of college and seemed to think she was God’s gift to men; she flirted with anything in pants. This annoying little creature had probably made a play for Kurt’s attention and been rejected. Of course, in Robin’s defense, she’d have to say that not many women could ignore Kurt Deveraux. There might be a man somewhere who had more sex appeal than the blond, blue eyed coach, but Susan doubted it.
She watched as Robin tossed her hair and pouted. “If I can’t get his attention he isn’t interested in women.”
Several people rolled their eyes. “Oh, I don’t think that’s the problem at all.” Susan smiled her most serene smile at her irritating colleague. “You just don’t know how to attract a man like Kurt.”
“And you do?” Robin’s eyebrows shot straight up.  “If that’s true why haven’t you already gone out with him? Don’t tell me you wouldn’t be interested. He’s hot.”
“Until recently I was involved with someone else. I had no desire to see Kurt or any other man socially.”
“Well, I think you’re full of it,” Robin sniffed. “If I couldn’t get him to notice me, I know you can’t.”
Around the faculty lounge a murmur of delighted, horrified voices broke out.
Susan finished her soft drink and tossed the can into a nearby recycling bin. “I could make Kurt ask me out if I wanted to.”
“Yeah? Prove it. Get him to ask you out. I’ll bet you fifty dollars you can’t do it,” Robin taunted. “All he’s interested in is football.”
Melissa Taylor, Susan’s best friend, cleared her throat. “How long does she have to get the date?”  
“Two weeks ought to be enough for an old pro like Susan.” Robin snickered as her gaze swept around the lounge. “Would the rest of you like to get a piece of the action?”
All at once a carnival atmosphere permeated the room. They chose Don Brooks who taught art to keep track of the bets, and everyone hurried to put money on his or her favorite.
From the corner of her eye, Susan watched as Robin smirked at everyone in the room. Why did Mr. Dennis hire such an undisciplined, annoying child? It would be a pleasure to give her her comeuppance.
AUTHOR BIO and Links:
Elaine Cantrell was born and raised in South Carolina.  She holds a master’s degree in personnel services from Clemson University.  She is a member of Alpha Delta Kappa, an international honorary society for women educators and is also a member of Romance Writers of America.  Her first novel, A New Leaf, was the 2003 winner of the Timeless Love Contest.  When she isn’t writing or teaching, she enjoys reading, traveling, playing with her dog, and collecting vintage Christmas ornaments
Find Elaine at:
Be sure to check back on Wednesday for the cover reveal of UNDER A PURPLE MOON and IWSG.
Happy Reading.