Saturday, December 22, 2012

Holiday Man + Pride, Prejudice and the Perfect Match


I was so excited to get an update from Marilyn Brant.  I love her books!  Here is her latest book - sounds like a perfect read for this week and the price is fantastic!




Get caught up in a modern romance that -- like the famous Bing Crosby & Fred Astaire film,"Holiday Inn" -- takes place over a year of holidays... 

Shannon Quinn is the small-town girl who runs "Holiday Quinn" -- a holiday-themed inn based in scenic Door County, Wisconsin.

One winter evening, wealthy Minneapolis businessman, Bram Hartwick, blows into town along with the fast-falling snow. The sparks Bram and Shannon create succeed in heating up the chilly Midwestern night, not to mention plenty of holiday weekends in the year that follows...

But is their relationship only for special occasions, or might it be the elusive everyday love that neither thought could be found?

Available digitally for just $2.99 at:


Praise for HOLIDAY MAN:
"The chemistry that the author created between the two [characters] was raw and sizzled throughout the story. For that alone, this is one worthy read!" ~Bookworm2Bookworm

"Festive, light, and hot – Holiday Man is a terrific and engaging contemporary romance." ~Austenesque Reviews 

"I love it when the characters have that chemistry... when their fingers touch, and they feel that tingle. Shannon and Bram have that special magic between them..." ~So Little Time



Pride, Prejudice and the Perfect Match!!
Coming to EBOOK on JANUARY 15th:

Read the Full Chapter One EXCERPT!
    Perfect Match - large 2





















You can check out all the news from Marilyn Brant by visiting her website.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Jelly Been Crisis Book Blast & Blog Tour



The Jelly Bean Crisis by Jolene Stockman


A total meltdown. The whole school watching. Now Poppy’s an ex-straight-A with no Plan B.

When Poppy Johnson throws away a full scholarship to Columbia, she can only blame the jelly beans. The yucky green ones? Midnight cram sessions and Saturday’s spent studying. The delicious red? The family legacy: Columbia, and a future in finance. Except now it’s starting to look like Poppy’s jelly bean theory is wrong. School has been her life until, but maybe it’s time to start living now.

Poppy has thirty days to try a new life. No school, no studying. Just jumping into every possible world. Thirty days to find her passion, her path, and maybe even love.

The Jelly Bean Crisis is officially on.





*** Praise for The Jelly Bean Crisis***

"The Jelly Bean Crisis is a heart warming and thought provoking story, especially if you're in the process of figuring out your life!"  - Ajoop On Books!

"This book had me riveted. Completely riveted the entire time. The Jelly Bean Crisis was instant love for me."  - Book Briefs.

"It's a beautifully told story that you'll be thinking about long after you finish reading."  - A Pocket Full of Books.

If you're looking for a smart contemporary YA read, then The Jelly Bean Crisis is for you!



Purchase



***Book Blast Special***
Get your Kindle copy of The Jelly Bean Crisis for 99 cents!
http://www.amazon.com/The-Jelly-Bean-Crisis-ebook/dp/B008PODAAK





Author Jolene Stockman

Jolene Stockman is an award winning writer, speaker, and an expert for Girlfriend Magazine Australia. She is a Master of Neuro Linguistic Programming, and one of the youngest in the world to achieve the Distinguished Toastmaster Award. Jolene lives in New Zealand, and is the author of Total Blueprint for World Domination. The Jelly Bean Crisis is her debut fiction.









$100 Book Blast Giveaway
Ends 12/21/12
*You need not enter your twitter name for each entry. Simply enter it when you follow Jolene and leave the others blank.

Open to anyone who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent's permission. 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. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

V is for Virgin



Synopsis:  When Val Jensen gets dumped for her decision to stay a virgin until marriage, the nasty breakup goes viral on YouTube, making her the latest internet sensation. 

After days of ridicule from her peers, Val starts a school-wide campaign to rally support for her cause. She meant to make a statement, but she never dreamed the entire nation would get caught up in the controversy. 

As if becoming nationally recognized as “Virgin Val” isn’t enough, Val’s already hectic life starts to spin wildly out of control when bad boy Kyle Hamilton, lead singer for the hit rock band Tralse, decides to take her abstinence as a personal challenge.

How can a girl stay true to herself when this year’s Sexiest Man Alive is doing everything in his power to win her over?


My Review:  This is the first book I have read by Kelly Oram and I hope it is not my last!  I really enjoyed it and Kelly's sassy characters and writing style.  V is for Virgin is a clean, non-sex book with a great message.  The message is delivered in a non-prudish way, which I think makes it even more of a reality for those who read it.  

I enjoyed the characters Val and Kyle and how we learned and experienced life through them as the story unfolds.  I really enjoyed V is for Virgin!


Meet the Author:  Kelly Oram wrote her first novel at age fifteen--a fan fiction about her favorite music group, The Backstreet Boys, for which her family and friends still tease her. She's obsessed with reading, talks way too much, and likes to eat frosting by the spoonful. She lives outside of Phoenix, Arizona with her husband and four children.

Connect:  You can connect with Kelly online at her Blog, Goodreads, Twitter and Facebook

Purchase It:  You can purchase V is for Virgin online at Amazon for $3.99 


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Friday, December 7, 2012

Goddess Girls #9 - Pandora the Curious Book Blast


Goddess Girls #9 - Pandora the Curious

Is Pandora about to open up a box of trouble?

One of the few mortals at Mount Olympus Academy, Pandora is famous for her mega quizzical nature—not that she thinks there’s anything wrong with being curious, of course!

Her curiosity kicks into high gear when a godboy named Epimetheus brings a mysterious box to school. Epimetheus is the nephew of an MOA teacher in whose class Pandora once opened another box that sent a few weather disasters to earth. Still, Pandora can’t help but take a peek inside this new box when it unexpectedly lands in her lap. What could be the harm in that, right? Little does she know that opening the box will open up far more trouble than she ever expected!

Authors Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams put a modern spin on classic myths with the Goddess Girls series. Follow the ins and outs of divine social life at Mount Olympus Academy, where the most privileged godboys and goddessgirls in the Greek pantheon hone their mythical skills.


Purchase


Praise for The Goddess Girls
“…a clever take on Greek deities…”
~ Booklist

"Readers familiar with Greek myths should get a kick out of this plucky restaging."
~Publisher's Weekly

 “…an enchanting mythological world with middle-school woes compounded by life as a deity…”
~ School Library Journal


The Goddess Girls Series

The Goddess Girls series, by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams puts a modern spin on classic Greek myths. Follow the ins and outs of divine social life where the most privileged godboys and goddessgirls in the Greek pantheon hone their mythical skills.
  • Athena the Brain Finding out she’s a goddess and being sent to Mount Olympus brings Athena new friends, a weird dad, and the meanest girl in mythology—Medusa! 
  • Persephone the Phony Hiding her feelings works fine for Persephone until she meets a guy she can be herself with—Hades, the bad-boy of the Underworld. 
  • Aphrodite the Beauty Sure Aphrodite is beautiful, but it’s not always easy being the goddessgirl of love. 
  • Artemis the Brave She may be the goddess of the hunt, but that doesn’t mean Artemis always feels brave. 
  • Athena the Wise Zeus says Heracles has to do twelve tasks or he'll get kicked out of MOA! Although she's not sure it's wise, Athena agrees to help out. 
  • Aphrodite the Diva Isis claims she's the goddess of love? Ha! But to keep the title all to herself, Aphrodite has to find the perfect match for Pygmalion, the most annoying boy ever. 
  • Artemis the Loyal It’s time for the annual Olympic Games, and Artemis and her friends are not happy. It’s boys only. Not fair! 
  • Medusa the Mean Medusa wants to be more like her two sisters and the other kids at Mount Olympus Academy -- immortal. Is that too much to ask? 
  • The Girl Games (Goddess Girls Super Special) Listen in on what all four goddess girls are thinking as Mount Olympus Academy hosts visitors from many lands--including an adorable kitten!The first-ever standalone superspecial in the Goddess Girls series! 
  • Pandora the Curious
  • Pheme the Gossip (Apr. 3, 2013) 
  • Persephone the Daring (Aug. 7, 2013) 
The Goddess Girls




Author Suzanne Williams

Suzanne Williams is the award-winning author of nearly 40 books for children, from picture books and easy readers to chapter books and middle grade fiction series. A former elementary school librarian, she lives near Seattle. Her picture book Library Lil (illustrated by Steven Kellogg) won the New Mexico children's choice award in 2000 and was on several other state award lists. She is co-author (with Joan Holub) of the popular Goddess Girls series(for ages 8 - 12) and Heroes in Training (ages 6 - 11). Other series include Fairy Blossoms and Princess Power.








Author Joan Holub

I graduated from college in Texas with a fine arts degree, and then freelanced as an art director at a graphic design firm for eight years. I dreamed of working in children's books, so I moved to New York City and became associate art director in Scholastic trade books, where I designed books for children and worked with editors and illustrators. It was a great job.

I illustrated my first published children's book in 1992 and soon began illustrating full time. I began completing manuscripts and mailing them out to publishers in the early 1990s. In 1996, I sold my first two manuscripts -- Boo Who? A Spooky Lift-the-Flap Book (Scholastic) and Pen Pals (Grosset & Dunlap). Yippee!

Now I write full time and have written and/or illustrated over 130 children's books. Creating books that entertain, inform, and interest children (and me) is a fabulous job that I truly love.







Book Blast Giveaway
$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 12/16/12
*You need not enter your twitter name for each entry. Simply enter it when you follow Joan and leave the others blank.

Open to anyone who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent's permission. 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. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


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A Cowboy for Christmas TLC Book Tours



Synopsis:  It’s Christmastime in Jubilee, Texas, but Lissette Moncrief is having a hard time celebrating . . . 

Especially after she accidentally smashes her car into Rafferty Jones’s pick-up truck. Yes, he’s a whole lot of handsome-from the tips of his boots to the top of his Stetson. But he’s no Christmas present. Lissy’s not about to let herself get whisked away by his charming ways and words . . . only to watch him drive away in the end. 

But what Lissy doesn’t know is Rafferty’s in town just to meet her-and to give her a share in a windfall that doesn’t rightly belong to him. At first, he just wants to do his good deed and get out. But one look at this green-eyed beauty has him deciding to turn this into a Christmas to remember . . . making promises he’s determined to keep-whether she believes in them or not.

Review:  A Cowboy for Christmas was a perfect book for me to read this time of year.  I enjoyed the story, felt it was a fast enough pace story (for this time of year!), and provided me with the escape I needed.  I enjoyed the characters  and was cheering for them to get together!  

A Cowboy for Christmas is the third book in a series, but it does stand on its own.  I would like to go back and read the first two books, as I enjoyed Lori's easy writing/story telling ability.


Meet the Author:  Lori Wilde is the New York Times bestselling author of more than forty-five books. A former RITA finalist, Lori has received the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, the Holt Medallion, the Booksellers Best, the National Readers’ Choice, and numerous other honors. She lives in Weatherford, Texas, with her husband and a wide assortment of pets.  You can connect with Lori on her website, Facebook, on Twitter.

Purchase it:  You can purchase A Cowboy for Christmas online at Amazon for $7.99.

Make sure you check out the other TLC Book Tours reviews for A Cowboy for Christmas.


Tuesday, October 30th: Sara’s Organized ChaosThursday, November 8th: WV StitcherFriday, November 9th: Mom in Love With FictionWednesday, November 14th: The Book PushersMonday, November 26th: Romancing the BookWednesday, November 28th: Good Girl Gone RedneckMonday, December 3rd: All Grown Up?Wednesday, December 5th: Love to Read for FunFriday, December 7th: Seaside Book NookMonday, December 10th: From L.A. to LATuesday, December 11th: Book Reviews by Molly Friday, December 14th: A Chick Who ReadsTBD: StephTheBookworm

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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Paternity Test





Synopsis: Having a baby to save a marriage—it’s the oldest of clich├ęs. But what if the marriage at risk is a gay one, and having a baby involves a surrogate mother. 

Pat Faunce is a faltering romantic, a former poetry major who now writes textbooks. A decade into his relationship with Stu, an airline pilot from a fraught Jewish family, he fears he’s losing Stu to other men—and losing himself in their “no rules” arrangement. Yearning for a baby and a deeper commitment, he pressures Stu to move from Manhattan to Cape Cod, to the cottage where Pat spent boyhood summers.


As they struggle to adjust to their new life, they enlist a surrogate: Debora, a charismatic Brazilian immigrant, married to Danny, an American carpenter. Gradually, Pat and Debora bond, drawn together by the logistics of getting pregnant and away from their spouses. Pat gets caught between loyalties—to Stu and his family, to Debora, to his own potent desires—and wonders: is he fit to be a father?


In one of the first novels to explore the experience of gay men seeking a child through surrogacy, Michael Lowenthal writes passionately about marriages and mistakes, loyalty and betrayal, and about how our drive to create families can complicate the ones we already have. The Paternity Test is a provocative look at the new “family values."


Review:  The Paternity Test was an unexpected read for me.  Even though the two of the main characters are gay men struggling to start a family, the book is so much more.  The love triangle, decision to become a parent, how to gay men become parents, had me wanting to turn the page and keep reading.  Lowenthal has a amazing way of telling an unconventional  story that draws you in and keeps you guessing how it will end (I didn't guess it!).




Meet the Author:  Michael Lowenthal is author of three previous novels: The Same Embrace, Avoidance, and Charity Girl, which was a New York Times Book Review Editors Choice title, aWashington Post Top Fiction of 2007 selection, and a Book Sense Top Twenty Pick. He is a core faculty member in Lesley University's MFA program in creative writing. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts.



Purchase It:  You can purchase The Paternity Test online from Amazon for $26.95 (Kindle version $10.67)



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Monday, December 3, 2012

Shutterfly Quick Giveaway


I am a HUGE fan of Shutterfly (and I use to work for Kodak).  If you haven't check out Shutterfly you will be AMAZED at what you can do online.  I am a big picture taker and love crafting with photos.  There is a lot to do at Shutterfly.  Holiday cards are one of my favorite things to create at Shutterfly.

You will love all the designs you have to chose from at Shutterfly.  Whether it is cards, announcements, photo books, gifts and more, the possibilities are endless.  Here are a few of my favorite holiday designs:

 I could NEVER get my kids to take such a cute photo (well maybe one time in 2005!)  I love this card.  (Letter of Love Card)

This card has my favorite saying Peace, Love, Family + Joy = Perfect Holiday card!
(Joy and Family)

This is my kind of card - I like to use photos of my kids through out the year.  I tend to convert them to black and white, so I don't have to worry about outfits and backgrounds clashing.
(Spread the Cheer)

Even though I really like all of the above Holiday Cards, and so many more at Shutterfly.....I usually end up sending New Year's cards.  I just haven't been able to get my act together to get them addressed and stamped before hand.  This is could be the design I use this year.
(Only the Best)


To make uploading photos east and extremely fast, I use the Shutterfly Express Uploader.  You can download it at Shutterfly.  The Uploader is available for Macs and PCs.  I recommend you download the Uploader - your photos are uploaded so timely.  The entire website is VERY use-friendly to work with and I have never encountered any issues.

For a limited time you can received up to 30% off flat stationary card orders, up to 20% off folded stationary card orders and up to 40% off photo books.  All orders over $50 will receive free shipping with code: SHIP50.  Also, calendars are buy one, get one 50% off....these and the photobooks make wonderful holiday gifts.  Check out all of Shutterfly's good deals at Special Offers page! 

Connect:  You can become a big fan (like me) with Shutterfly on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+ and on the Shutterfly blog.

Giveaway:  An extra $50 off order of $50 or more (excluding tax and shipping & cannot be combined with any other promos (expire 12/14/2012 – no extensions).  I will make it really easy for you.....Go to Shutterfly and look at all the different cards to chose from and leave me a comment letting me know which is your favorite.  

Contest ends VERY, VERY soon - Midnight EST December 7th, 2012 and requires a reply in 12 hours, promotion code expires 12/14/2012.  Good Luck!

Photobucket


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The Global Game Changer Guest Post



Guest post by Jan Helson, creator of The Global Game Changers children’s entertainment brand and author of the children’s book, The Global Game Changers. The brand was developed to inspire children to “Ignite Good!” and use their superpowers to make the world a better place. The goal is to teach kids about the many different ways they can give back and develop their philanthropic interests.

(Take a look below for contest details).

5 Easy Tips for Teaching Children about Philanthropy This Holiday Season

The holiday season is a wonderful time to start teaching children about philanthropy and the joys of giving. The key to encouraging your child to become a life-long giver is a simple equation: Your Talent + Your Passion = Your Superpower! You don't have to be bitten by a spider to be a superhero. By encouraging each child to combine their individual talents and passions, you can make giving an integral part of their lives.


Here are a few simple tips to help your child reveal their inner superhero!

1. Discuss how important it is to give as well as to receive. Read them a book with a Christmas theme, and discuss the spirit of the holidays as seen in these books. My family used to attend yearly performances of A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens’ classic tale of a man who learns the value of giving back. O Henry’s story of The Gift of the Magi also shows how much people who care for each other are willing to give up to make each other happy. Dr. Seuss’ Christmas classic, How the Grinch Stole Christmas is another fun way to introduce the concept of the Christmas spirit and giving.

2. Engage in giving as a family. There are an abundance of opportunities to show children how to give, and to explain to them that while Christmas might be an opportunity to receive presents, it’s also a great time to give back! There are so many wonderful opportunities to give over the Christmas holidays. Participate in a Turkey Trot or other run to benefit a charity. Stop by a local church or mall to find an Angel tree and shop for Christmas presents for a child who might otherwise not get anything. Bring your kids along when you deliver meals through programs like Meals on Wheels. Donate new or gently-used toys to programs like Toys for Tots. Arrange a Christmas carol sing-along at a local retirement home. Send Christmas letters or treats to troops stationed overseas. Drop some change in a Santa bell-ringer’s jar.

3. Cultivate their passion. Now that you’ve participated in giving, figure out what kind of giving interests your child. What’s their passion? Perhaps they would like to do something to help kids like them who are sick or in need. Perhaps they are interested in the natural world and would like to do something to help the environment. Encourage your child to think of a way that she/he can give back to a charitable initiative that they feel a connection to. Engaging your children in giving back to something they care about will make them life-long givers.

4. Unleash their talents. Expose your child to the tools necessary for them to create his/her own charity project by combining their passion for a particular cause with their strengths or interests. Is your child a baker? Then she/he can have a bake sale to raise money for a favorite charity. Perhaps she/he is crafty and can sell trinkets made. Athlete? Organize a sporting event to raise awareness for a charity they care about. My daughter Rachel is an actress. She put on a show to benefit the Susan G Komen Foundation after discovering three of her aunts had been diagnosed with breast cancer. You can show them online tools for raising money, and give examples of what other children have done to make the world a better place.

5. Embrace their individuality and re-enforce that they can make a difference. Help your children learn Ebeneezer Scrooge’s lesson: “"I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.” Now that your children know about giving, help them continue to give throughout the year!

Using these tips, you can show your children how the holiday spirit can spark interest and get them moving toward making the world a better place all year round!


Enter the Global Game Changers contest!

Readers: “Like” the Global Game Changers Facebook page and then post a picture of your child(ren) in action “igniting good!”.  Jan will choose one lucky fan to receive a gift pack complete with The Global Game Changers book, an Ignite Good! superhero cape, a 56-page Ignite Good! Activity Book and $30 Amazon gift card.


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Saturday, December 1, 2012

Luca Lashes Guest Post


Guest post by Nicole Fonovich, co-creator of the “Luca Lashes” app/eBook Series. 
Take a look below for a fun Luca Lashes contest!

Taking your child to the doctor? Five tips to help them say “Ah” with confidence.

Winter is on its way and everyone knows what that means. Not skiing, not hot chocolate, not kissing under the mistletoe. Colder temps bring cold and flu season, sick kids and doctor’s offices. (Cue sniffles and sneezing.) Any self-preserving individual will avoid sick people like the plague. But if you’re the parent of a young child you might not have a choice. Here are five life-changing tips for bringing your sick child to the doctor’s office and surviving the sniffle season ahead.

1. Avoid it at all costs.

Crying babies, snotty noses, heat-seeking germ missiles that love to embed themselves inside busy working mothers. These are all the things that await you at the doctor’s office. So if you can avoid it, do. The most efficient way is to have your child immunized. This requires some preemptive planning. Go early, the sooner the better. That way you can avoid all the mayhem of bringing a sick child to a doctor’s office full of other sick kids.

2. Choose wisely.

When it comes to sticking sharp things into your child’s skin, the friendlier the better. Don’t just settle for the first pediatrician that accepts your health insurance. Look for a doctor who works well with your child’s personality. Ideally it is someone who is great at distractions. “Dear sick little baby, here is a cute, fuzzy little bear.” The needle will be in and out before your baby knows what hit her. Be picky when it comes to your child’s doctor. You’re the one who will end up paying in the car ride home.


3. When all else fails…play doctor!

So, you’ve done your best. You got your child immunized; you disinfected every surface in your house; you even kept her away from the coughing kid at the playground. But, she still came down with the flu. What's worse than a sick, irritable kid? A sick kid who is terrified of the doctor. You have no choice. She’s spiked a fever and it’s not coming down. Before you drag baby to the doctor, prepare her for what to expect. Buy a toy doctor kit with things like a stethoscope, shot dispenser, and a fake plastic hammer. She will become familiar with the sites and sounds of the doctor and associate them with fun rather than fear.

4. In the waiting room, play some more.

Waiting rooms are germy places, and the last thing you want is to get infected yourself or to make your child even sicker. This is where your handy dandy iPad comes in use. It can provide great entertainment and distraction without having to share any germs.

5. Take control for your baby.

Be a model for your child. Project confidence, not fear when at the doctor. Make sure to ask plenty of questions and get all the answers you need. Bring a pen and paper, take notes, and be inquisitive. This helps your child see the doctor as a resource for help and information. There’s no need for nervousness here.

With these tips you can turn a potentially dreadful experience into a lot of fun for your child (and yourself), one that they will be eager to repeat in the future. Regular doctor’s visits will be a piece of cake after this, allowing children to enjoy an important part of a lifetime of health benefits.

Nicole and Damir Fonovich are co-authors of Luca Lashes Visits the Doctor, available at all app/ebook marketplaces. For more helpful suggestions, visit the Luca Lashes YouTube Channel and LucaLashes.com.


Enter the Luca Lashes contest!

Readers: Comment on the post with your most interesting story of taking your kid(s) to the doctor and you’ll be entered to win a gift pack complete with a toy doctor kit, fun bandaids and a $20 Baskin Robbins gift card for use after their next appointment!


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Friday, November 30, 2012

Finding the Baby Jesus Review + Book Tour

Tour Schedule


Finding the Baby Jesus by Kimball Fisher

After being forced to wear lederhosen for the annual holiday card picture, twelve-year-old Chris thinks that the least his parents can do is get him the Tony Hawk skateboard he wants for Christmas. But when he recovers the hand-carved Baby Jesus that everyone thought had been destroyed in a fire the year his Grandma died, Chris realizes that some gifts are even more important than skateboards.

When the author had to discontinue a cherished tradition of reading Christmas stories out loud with his family and holiday guests each week in December, he wrote Finding the Baby Jesus. He had been unable to locate enough meaningful stories that could be read in a single sitting with wiggly children.


My Review:

Please don't take this the wrong way, but this book was too "Hallmark-y" for me.  It is a VERY short story with a VERY good meaning.  I don't want to take away from that.  The meaning behind the story is what Christmas is all about, but it seemed "to perfect" to me.

I LOVED how in the very short story, there were so many things covered: The meaning of Christmas, traditions, memories, honoring loved ones who have passed, new friendship, and more.  It really is a sweet story, perfect for younger kids!

Praise for Finding the Baby Jesus:

“Tender and true, this warm Christmas tale brought tears to my eyes.”
–Heather Vogel Frederick, author of the much-beloved Mother-Daughter Book Club series and Oregon Book Award winner for The Voyage of Patience Goodspeed

“A touching story that speaks to the importance of family, giving, and the true spirit of Christmas.”
–Matthew Kirby, author of Icefall, winner of the Edgar Allen Poe and the Pen Center USA Literary Awards for Children’s Literature

“Deeply moving. Poignant.”
–Deborah Halverson, former editor at Harcourt Children’s Books and author of Honk If You Hate Me, a Gayle McCandliss Literary Award Winner

"The perfect little book to tuck away with your Christmas things and bring out year after year to read with family. As mother to three boys, I can't imagine a better protagonist than Chris. His typical teenage attitude followed by the softening of his heart towards a friend teaches a poignant and very relatable lesson on the true meaning of Christmas."
–Amazon review

"After I read this short story I felt like I had read a novel--every sentence is packed with action and imagery. I was emotionally connected to the characters, and the story is touching. I didn't see the plot twist at the end coming! A great story to read every Christmas."
–Amazon review


Purchase


Author Kimball Fisher


Kimball Fisher writes novels for young readers. He is also a best-selling business author, professional speaker, and management consultant. Some of his past jobs include: sailboat builder, ghost writer (not as scary as it sounds), illustrator, and factory manager (more scary than it sounds). For fun he builds furniture, stained-glass windows, and writing pens.

He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Humanities (with minors in English, Asian Studies, and Japanese), and a Master of Organizational Behavior degree from Brigham Young University. He and his amazing wife Reenie live in Portland, Oregon, where they have seen pheasants, coyotes, and a bobcat in their own backyard.

Links


Book Blast


Tour Giveaway:
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 12/26/12

Open to anyone who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent's permission. 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. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tour Schedule
http://iamareadernotawriter.blogspot.com/2012/10/finding-baby-jesus-blog-tour.html



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Poseidon and the Sea of Fury Book Blast


Poseidon and the Sea of Fury 

A young Poseidon must triumph over aquatic terrors in this Heroes in Training adventure. The merciless Cronus and his Titan buddies are in hot pursuit of Zeus, Hera, and Poseidon, who plan to travel across the treacherous boiling sea in order to save a fellow Olympian. They have a boat, but they also have a problem: Poseidon can’t swim and is terrified of the water (well, really of the creatures that lurk in its depths). The group faces danger after danger as they battle singing sirens, a fishy and ferocious Titan named Oceanus, and people-eating monsters sent by Cronus himself. Can Poseidon overcome his fears and help his fellow heroes escape Cronus and his cronies?






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Heroes in Training by Joan Holub & Suzanne Williams
Authors Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams deliver fun, adventures, and a few surprises as ten-year-old Olympians go on a journey of a lifetime to discover their true identities and defeat their Titan enemies.


Praise for Heroes in Training
"Readers will gobble this down and look for more, make no mythtake."
~ Kirkus

“This is a fun read, casting Zeus in the role of relatable kid, and there is a nice balance between his primary goal of survival and his sense of destiny and adventure. . . Share this title, and likely more to come, with those still too young for Percy Jackson’s adventures.”
~ School Library Journal



The Series

#1 Zeus and the Thunderbolt of Doom
#2 Poseidon and the Sea of Fury
#3 Hades and the Helm of Darkness
#4 Hyperion and the Great Balls of Fire

Aladdin Paperbacks (ages 6-9)
http://series.simonandschuster.com/Heroes-in-training



Zeus and the Thunderbolt of Doom (Book 1)


After pulling a magical thunderbolt from a stone, ten-year-old Zeus goes on the adventure of a lifetime in this thrilling start to a brand-new series! The terrible Titans--merciless giants who enjoy snacking on humans--have dominated the earth and put the world into chaos. But their rule is about to be put to the test as a group of young Olympians discover their powers and prepare to righteously rule the universe....
   
     Ten-year-old Zeus is mystified (and super-annoyed) by the fact that he keeps getting hit by lightening. Every. Single. Year. He also longs for adventure, as he has never been far from the cave where he grew up.

     Zeus gets his wish--and a lot more than he bargained for--when he is kidnapped by dangerous, giant Titans! In self-defense, he grabs the first thing he sees--an actual thunderbolt he pulls from a stone that is covered in mysterious markings. Zeus is the only one who can decipher the markings, and sets off on a quest to rescue his youthful fellow Olympians from the evil Cronus. Armed with his trusty thunderbolt (named Bolt, of course), Zeus is on an adventure of a lifetime--and a journey to fulfill his destiny as King of the Gods.



Hades and the Helm of Darkness (Book 3 coming April 2013)


The Heroes in Training are entering the Underworld—if Hades can conquer his canine fears, that is.

The Underworld usually isn’t really meant to be a fun place—but tell that to Hades! He loves the dark and the stinky smell of sulfur. However, there is one thing that Hades is not a fan of: dogs. And when Zeus and his fellow Olympians encounter Cerberus—a snarling, three-headed dog—Hades must conquer his fears and tame the hound so everyone can continue into the Underworld and deposit their Titan prisoner, Oceanus, back where he belongs!

But with magical water that causes forgetfulness, hot beds of lava, and another epic battle with two more Titans standing in their way, will Zeus and his heroes make it out of the Underworld with everyone intact?



Author Suzanne Williams

Suzanne Williams is the award-winning author of nearly 40 books for children, from picture books and easy readers to chapter books and middle grade fiction series. A former elementary school librarian, she lives near Seattle. Her picture book Library Lil (illustrated by Steven Kellogg) won the New Mexico children's choice award in 2000 and was on several other state award lists. She is co-author (with Joan Holub) of the popular Goddess Girls series(for ages 8 - 12) and Heroes in Training (ages 6 - 11). Other series include Fairy Blossoms and Princess Power.








Author Joan Holub

I graduated from college in Texas with a fine arts degree, and then freelanced as an art director at a graphic design firm for eight years. I dreamed of working in children's books, so I moved to New York City and became associate art director in Scholastic trade books, where I designed books for children and worked with editors and illustrators. It was a great job.

I illustrated my first published children's book in 1992 and soon began illustrating full time. I began completing manuscripts and mailing them out to publishers in the early 1990s. In 1996, I sold my first two manuscripts -- Boo Who? A Spooky Lift-the-Flap Book (Scholastic) and Pen Pals (Grosset & Dunlap). Yippee!

Now I write full time and have written and/or illustrated over 130 children's books. Creating books that entertain, inform, and interest children (and me) is a fabulous job that I truly love.





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Mary's Son Guest Post




Guest post by Darryl Nyznyk, author of Mary’s Son: A Tale of Christmas.

(Take a look below for contest details!)


Raising Givers

My wife and I raised four daughters through school day traumas of isolation, rejection, ostracism and dissociation, and bullying. While none of our daughters were on the receiving end of all of these hateful practices, each experienced one or more personally, and each saw them foisted upon others. It was our duty, as parents, to guide them through these experiences by teaching them how to deal with the pain, and by helping rebuild their shattered psyches after each experience.

We found it was just as important to instill in them empathy and compassion for others suffering through the same trauma. We wanted to teach them to look less at the pain they were experiencing and more to the pain of others who they could help.  Our belief was that our kids needed to learn how to give of their compassion, understanding, and love in their every day lives. Here are five basic concepts that helped us in our efforts.

1. You are a good person.  One of the most important elements in a giving heart is a sense of self worth that enables a person to step away from his own problems and focus on the issues of others. To be true givers, children need to have confidence in themselves.  Build their self-esteem, but not because they might be the “prettiest,” “smartest,” “best athlete,” or “most popular,” but rather because they are empathetic and compassionate people. If they cry when a person they know dies or they understand the pain when a friend gets hurt or they help a neighbor in need, it is these feelings and actions that make them good people.

2. Discuss issues of evil and sadness in the world.  Getting children to sit and carry on a discussion about the issues of the day can be virtually impossible. With homework, music lessons, sports practice, electronics, friends, and every other conceivable interference, it’s difficult to find a moment to have a conversation other than “hi.”  But it’s vital that we do. It is our task to find those moments where we can say “Did you hear about …?” and “Do you think there’s anything we could (or should) do about …?”  We need to ask them about any sad or evil events of which they are aware, and how they feel “we” should react. Despite the hesitation our child may express at first, the truth is that once we get them talking, we have moved them away from focus on self and to thoughts about the plight of others – an essential step in imprinting the concept of giving onto their hearts.

3. Think of someone at school who needs help.  Encourage your child to think of someone at school who might need empathy, compassion, or simply a friend. Suggest they look beyond their immediate circle of friends and identify someone who might be viewed as a “geek,” a “nerd,” an outcast. Talk to your child about how that person must feel; try to get your child to try on that person’s shoes so that they understand how painful that person’s experiences are. Then discuss how your child might be able to help, even with something as simple as a kind word.

4. Talk to friends at school about those in need.  Encourage your children to step up in their peer groups to convince friends not to judge those previously deemed below them. “I heard his parents can’t afford to get him good soccer shoes; maybe we can figure out a way to help. He’s a pretty good player.” “Her mother’s been really sick.  Maybe we should ask her to join us and see if she needs help.” Or just plain, “She looks weird, I know, but she’s a nice person, just a little shy.” 

The point here is that our child steps up and gives herself to the pain and suffering of those ridiculed by her group. Peer pressure makes this one very difficult, and a parent’s discussion about the proper approach to the peers is essential. It doesn’t require that your child take over the leadership role from the “king” or “queen” of the group, but rather that she use her subtle influence and intelligence to move the leader to compassion that the others will follow.

5. Stand up against injustice even if alone.  Our children know right from wrong because we have taught and continue to teach them the difference. When they see bullying or other injustice in their schools or other social settings, they must step up to protect the weak and bullied. 

The most difficult thing for the normal “non-leader” child is to become visible by asserting themselves. It’s difficult because by standing up within the group or outside the group, the child is challenging leadership and risks becoming the butt of jokes or the one who is bullied. This is why parental guidance in the art of subtlety within the group, and of strength of purpose outside the group is essential. In conjunction with that guidance, our child’s knowledge that we, as parents, have his back when he steps up, gives him the strength he needs to stand tall.

Teaching our children to give is the essence of our duty as parents. It’s an enormous undertaking, yet what better gift can we give our world than a child who “gives” herself in the fight against injustice, cruelty and inequality?


Darryl Nyznyk is a full-time storyteller and father of four grown daughters. As a parent, he began to take a hard look at the world around him - one of extreme political and social divisiveness – and as an author, he wanted to share the message with the world that he had been telling in his own home for years....a message of hope, love and faith. He is the author of Mary’s Son: A Tale of Christmas.


Enter the Mary’s Son: A Tale of Christmas contest!

Readers: Comment on the post with what your favorite charity is and why. Darryl will choose a grand prize winner and match a donation of up to $100. The winner will also receive a signed copy of Mary’s Son.


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