Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Cathadeus by Jeff J. Peters with Giveaway




CATHADEUS
Book One of the Walking Gates
by Jeff J. Peters
YA Fantasy 
Wise Ink Creative Publishing
December 8, 2017
344 pages

Tour dates: Dec 4 to 15, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 (fighting scenes)


It has been six hundred years since the Alchemists fused together men and beasts to form strong, mindless slaves. Now, their most vicious creations have attacked the mystical Walking Gates, slaughtering their Keepers and isolating their cities. Wounded in the brutal attack, Braxton Prinn’s mother is on the verge of death and he makes a desperate journey to find the reclusive elven master who can save her. But when he discovers an ancient magic, Brax is caught up in an even greater struggle and soon finds himself hunted for his power. Drawn into the chaos of an impending war and pursued by enemies on all sides, Brax must fight to save his mother and her race from slipping into darkness. Though his untamed magic may be the greatest threat of all . . .


BOOK BUZZ. . .

“Jeff J. Peters’ strong cinematic writing style allowed me to easily visualize the story and feel that I was right there alongside the characters.”
- Alison W.

“Jeff J. Peters’ writing is so smooth and easy to read – I can’t tell you how much of a pleasure it was…and how quickly you end up being drawn into the story because of it.”
- Amanda R.

“Cathadeus is the best kind of fantasy story - you get to learn along with a flawed main character while you get lost in a richly designed world. You can’t help but keep reading. A cleanly written pairing of characters you wish you could spend more time with and an enthralling world built around them. Cathadeus is the kind of story that plays perfectly off of your imagination, with characters grounded in reality to make it feel like you could really be there.”
- Ryan N.

“Jeff J. Peters definitely has storytelling skills...The story stayed on my mind when I wasn’t reading it. Young readers will be drawn in this imaginative story, while they relate to Braxton’s struggles with temper, insecurity, and young love. Cathadeus is dramatic, with an anxious tone—at times bleak, as the story keeps you wondering until the final battle if good will prevail.”
- Elizabeth C.



Add to Goodreads



And here he is. . .

JEFF J. PETERS was born in South Africa and immigrated to the United States as a teenager, where he fell in love with all things fantasy. He obtained degrees in digital electronics and computer science and worked as an IT professional for more than twenty years. In 2014, he left his corporate position to focus full-time on writing. Cathadeus is his debut novel. He is currently working on the sequel.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Facebook








Enter the Giveaway!
End Dec 23


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, December 11, 2017

Review: How Animals Build from Lonely Planet


HOW ANIMALS BUILD
by Moira Butterfield
Illustrated by Tim Hutchinson
Lonely Planet
Picture Book Non-Fiction
24 pages
ages 4 and up



The North & Latin American edition of this title is available here.
Lonely Planet Kids’ How Animals Build is a beautifully illustrated lift-the-flap hardback that explores the incredible world of animal architects. Children can open flaps and unfold spreads to discover amazing animal homes up high, underground, on land, and under the sea. From spider webs and rabbit warrens, to bird nests and ant colonies, and even coral reefs and beaver lodges, we reveal the secrets to these extraordinary structures and how they’re built.
Do bees need cement mixers to build hives? Do beavers use cranes to construct dams? No, of course not! Like many animals, they’re building geniuses who don’t need building site tools to create incredible work. Welcome to nature’s very own, super-clever world of construction.
Created in consultation with Michael Leach, wildlife author, speaker, photographer, and filmographer. Michael is the author of over 20 books on subjects ranging fromm big cats and owls to great apes and bears.


Themed topics include:
 Apartment Block with Branches
  • Dig, Diggers, Dig!
  • Number 1 Bunny Street
  • A Winning Design
  • It’s Buzzing in Here!
  • Nest Neighborhoods
  • This Way to Waterworld
  • Extreme Builders
  • Mouse House Here




MY TIDBITS

Every page of this one is packed full of interesting information and guarantees to suck in information hungry, animal loving kids for hours.

Every animal needs a home, and the variety is almost as vast as the imagination. While some animals keep it simple, others are genuine architects with a touch of genius. From birds, to mice, and even underwater creatures, this book covers a vast array of examples from the animal kingdom and is sure to hold a surprise or two.

The second this book is open, it's clear that the reader is in for a treat. Not only are animals from every corner of the globe, even lesser known ones, mentioned in these pages, but each home is presented through colorful illustrations with many secret doors, which lead to even more interesting tidbits. Not only is it exciting to see what animals and homes are up next, but the various possibilities to open up some homes to large scale, while peeking in the holes of other corners and crannies, makes it a delight to visit again and again.

With all of its fun, this isn't a book for the youngest readers but more suiting ages six and up. The text, while whimsically placed and holding a vocabulary great for the age group, is something for a larger attention span. This isn't a book a reader can devour in one sitting. At least, not while absorbing all of the information. There's simply too much for that. This is the kind of book readers will visit time and again to discover new information or notice things they skimmed past before. And the information is interesting—even for adults. There are enough less known facts to guarantee that something new is to be found for almost every reader.

This is a book of pure discovery and the sheer enjoyment of finding more, and is sure to draw kids back into the pages again and again.




Cover Reveal: Alien Minds by Christina Bauer with Giveaway






ALIEN MINDS
Christina Bauer
Dimension Drift, #1
Monster House Books
November 27th 2018
YA Science Fiction








Meimi Archer is living the perfect life. Too bad it isn’t hers.
On my seventeenth birthday, I wake up in the hospital to find I just survived a sketchy but terrible accident. My parents stand by my bedside—both are beautiful, wealthy, and super-nice. They tell me that once I leave the hospital, I’ll attend the prestigious ECHO Academy, where I’ll churn out equations for the government along with my mega-smart peers.
So, I’m living the perfect life.
Then why does everything feel all wrong?
My parents, my house and even ECHO Academy…none of it fits. Plus, what’s up with Thorne, my brooding yet yummy classmate who keeps telling me I need to remember my true past, which seems to have included a lot of us kissing? That’s one thing I’d really like to remember, except for the fact that I’m pretty sure Thorne is hiding a ton of nasty secrets of his own, including the fact that he may not be from this world. But considering how my own past seems alien to me, it’s not like I can judge. Plus, Thorne has dimples. That’s a problem.
And worst of all, why does it feel so yucky to work on these calculations for the government? It’s all supposed to be part of ECHO, but my heart tells me that I’m helping something truly terrible come to pass. Thorne seems to think that kissing him again will release my real memories.
Maybe it’s time to pucker up.




And here she is. . .
Christina Bauer knows how to tell stories about kick-ass women. In her best selling Angelbound series, the heroine is a part-demon girl who loves to fight in Purgatory’s Arena and falls in love with a part-angel prince. This young adult best seller has driven more than 500,000 ebook downloads and 9,000 reviews on Goodreads and retailers.
Bauer has also told the story of the Women’s March on Washington by leading PR efforts for the Massachusetts Chapter. Her pre-event press release—the only one sent out on a major wire service—resulted in more than 19,000 global impressions and redistribution by over 350 different media entities including the Associated Press.
Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.
Stalk Christina on Social Media – She Loves It!


XBTBanner1

Review: The Unknown Crystals by Adam Monk-Daschke



THE UNKNOWN CRYSTALS
The Many Journeys to Different Worlds
by Adam Monk-Daschke
Children's Fiction

The stories take place in all different worlds and planets. They all have different adventures and journeys, searching for the lost unknown crystals and trying to find out what the crystals do and understand what mystic power each crystal has. The first adventure starts in the baby panda story, where he finds his new friend in the first short story, and then they go to find the unknown crystal in the next short story. The next short story takes place in the swamp's bear planet.



MY TIDBITS


This is an enjoyable collection of stories with a colorful array of characters. From pandas to zombies, each story grabs with a new direction despite the all connecting search for crystals.

The writing is simple enough for younger readers to understand and fantastical enough to pull at their imaginations. Add the colorful illustrations, and it's a lovely collection especially for a bedtime read. Some of the characters' names are very similar, which does take a bit of sorting. There's a hint of mystery and a dab of adventure, nothing which will scare away more sensitive readers. The plot is simple as well, which makes it an easy read especially for more reluctant fantasy friends.


Sunday, December 10, 2017

Review: Flunked by Jen Calonita


FLUNKED
Fairy Tale Reform School, Book One
by Jen Calonita
Sourcebooks/Jabberwocky
Tween Fairy Tales/Fantasy
256 pages
ages 10 and up



Would you send a villain to do a hero's job? An exciting new twisted fairy tale series from award-winning author Jen Calonita.

Full of regret, Cinderella's wicked stepmother, Flora, has founded the Fairy Tale Reform School with the mission of turning the wicked and criminally mischievous into upstanding members of Enchantasia.

Impish, sassy 12-year-old Gilly has a history of petty theft and she's not too sorry about it. When she lifts a hair clip, she gets tossed in reform school-for at least three months. But when she meets fellow students Jax and Kayla, she learns there's more to this school than its sweet mission. There's a battle brewing and she starts to wonder: can a villain really change?
 


MY TIDBITS

This is a fun read packed with a little bit of snarkiness, a good dose of mischief, danger, secret agendas, attitude, magic, quirkiness and tons of references to popular fairy tales along the way. In other words, it a book with punch.

The main heroine, Gilly, is one of many siblings living in the shoe maker's shoe. Since Cinderella let the Fairy Godmother simply magic up all future glass slippers instead of ordering them from the shoe maker, Gilly's family is poor and barely making it by. Gilly loves her family and helps them the only way she can: she steals from the rich to buy food for her brothers and sisters. Gilly gets caught and ends up in reform school, where Cinderella's step-mother, in attempts to redeem herself, teaches potentially 'gone astray' kids how to become heroes and heroines.

Gilly is quite the character. She's a thief, she's got attitude and she has a mouth. She isn't evil—her heart is in the right place—but she's everything but sweet. But then, nobody at reform school is extremely lovable. These flawed characters are exactly what tweens will love. This borders right along the line between childish fun and teenage drama, causing an exciting and quirky mix. Plus, there's action. Tons of it. 

With many of the 'evil' characters from fairy tales running this school, it's hard to know which ones are honestly trying to reform and which ones are acting. It makes it impossible to guess who the real bad guy is or where the danger is coming from, when the plot starts to thicken. Even Gilly's friends crowd the gray-zone, all bordering on becoming villains themselves. 

Fans of fairy tales and magic battles will love this one, especially those ages 10 to 14. It's light on the emotional end, keeping focus on the fast paced plot, and holds many problems this age group will understand and identify with.

Friday, December 8, 2017

12 Days of Clink Street with Guest Post from Author C.J. Bentley





THE SHIELD
The Finder Series, Book One
by C.J. Bentley
Middle Grade Fantasy
101 pages
 ages 9 and up

People lose their belongings. That is a fact of life. It can happen by accident, but sometimes it can happen when you put them in a very safe place and forget where that safe place is. Not many people are good at finding them again.
A young, gutsy girl with a kind heart, who's searching for her own identity growing up in the 1960s, just happens to be very good at finding things. Can she be the one to help return whatever is lost - anywhere and at any time - to its original owner?
With the help of a beautiful yet mysterious wise woman and a chivalrous knight she does just that. She finds and returns his shield, lost in battle, which unbeknown to her holds a secret that is important to his King, the safety of the Kingdom and the life of the daughter of his best friend.
The Shield is the first story in The Finder Series, taking our heroine on extraordinary journeys back in time. Her first adventure takes place in Medieval England in 1340 where she meets King Edward III, his wife Philippa and their son, who will later become the Black Prince.



I reviewed this book earlier this year and really enjoyed it. You can find my review here!


Welcome, C.J. Bentley!!!


All I want for Christmas……………………

‘What would you like for Christmas this year dear?’  I addressed my husband as I joined him at the breakfast table with the toast.
‘Hmmmm….’ Was the reply from behind his newspaper.
Undeterred I continued.
‘Would you like a ticket to fly on the Branson Virgin Galactic to view the earth from space?  I think it only costs around two hundred and fifty thousand dollars and flights are due to start in 2018.’
‘Hmmm……’ once again.
‘What about a new car?  The Volvo is showing its age now, something bright and sporty, one of those flashy Italian ones with the strange names.  No, it might be a bit tricky for you to get in and out of with your back’.
‘Hmmm….’ Once again the monotonous reply.
‘What about a holiday?   A trip to Africa.  To one of those safari camps that trick you into thinking you are camping but is in fact five star luxury under canvas’.
‘Hmmm….any more coffee dear please?’  Still from behind the paper.
I was going to have to up my game.
‘Of course dear, are you listening to me?’ as I poured him another cup and added milk.  Or is that paper more important?’
‘Hmmm…..’
This was getting boring, always tenacious I continued.
‘What about a boat?  Something big, we could moor it on the Med’, big enough for the children to stay on with us in the school holidays, I could see you in a Captain’s hat on the poop deck, you would look quite dashing’.
‘Hmmm….’  Back came the usual reply.
Now I am an incredibly patient person, forty years married one had to be, but how much longer could I continue with this one sided conversation, my patience was beginning to wear thin.  It hadn’t always been like this.  When the children were young and at home they had probed us both with questions for requests well before the festivities.  Then came the secrets and giggles as they returned from shopping trips with Dad, who smiled at me from over their bag-laden arms.
Things change, life happens.  Children grow and have children of their own.  It is only fair to share.  This year it was the turn of the partner’s parents.  It had been my choice to have us all together so the alternative year it was to be just the two of us.
Don’t think I don’t love my husband, I do, very much but it will be a very quiet Christmas this year.  The high point would be the telephone calls from the children on Christmas morning.
I continued.
‘I know, we will donate money to a good cause, a charity, like we did for the children when they sponsored an animal each at the zoo.  You could sponsor an elephant, you’ve always liked elephants’.
‘Hmmm….’
‘I didn’t tell you but I give money to Save the Children, have done for the last few years in fact, my secret gift to myself’.
‘Hmmm…’ 
I was starting to get annoyed.
‘Or I could just buy you a new shirt and tie for work and golf balls like I normally do’.  I glared once again at the back of the newspaper.
‘Hmmm…’
‘Well that’s that then, golf balls it is’.
‘Hmmm….any more coffee in the pot?’
‘I’ll make more, this is stone cold’.





And here she is. . .

Originally heralding from the North of England, C.J Bentley has traveled extensively and enjoyed living in a variety of countries across the world from Dubai to Doha, Qatar and now the countryside in the South of France. A background in teaching and childcare she has always enjoyed creating adventure short stories. However, it was when she became a grandma and with her grandchildren growing up that she discovered that books seemed to contain only stories of vampires, zombies and farts that she decided seriously to take matters into her own hands and put pen to paper which today she calls The Finder Series.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Review: Ghost Owl by Nancy Schoellkopf with Giveaway

Although I was going to suggest this one as YA appropriate like the first two books in this series, the contents were, in my opinion, no longer fitting to this age group. So I'm passing this one as a Mommy's Read on Thursday review instead.


GHOST OWL
by Nancy Schoellkopf
Contemporary Fiction
Literary / Women's Fiction with Magical Realism
Butterfly Tree Publishing
October 2017
181 pages
Tour dates: Nov 20 to Dec 8, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 (There are a few non-explicit sex scenes)



Ghost Owl is a magical story of discovery, as a young woman seeks to understand her potential and confront her own shadow. Mariah Easter wakes up in the middle of the night to discover the world is as bright as noon—but for her eyes only. Urged by her godfather, she embarks on a mission to peer into the dark spaces normally hidden from view, leading her to confront the sinister nature of power, the vulnerability of the ill, and the hidden life of a homeless man: a journey that will bring healing to herself and the man she loves.

This compelling and inspirational tale, the third installment of the Avian Series, invites the reader to ponder the extraordinary treasures hidden in the ordinary events of daily life.

To read reviews, please visit Nancy Schoellkopf's page on iRead Book Tours.





MY TIDBITS

This is the third book in the series. Although it is not necessary to read the first two book before picking this one up, the other books do lay some fundamental background elements, which make it easier to understand several aspects of this novel.

With a deeper dive into magical realism and the questions surrounding death and existence, this intriguing tale weaves a journey of self-discovery and love.

Mariah Easter writes her strange dreams in a journal. When she goes missing, her best friend, Rafa, hopes the entries can trace her down. Oblivious to the search for her, Mariah is on a discovery of her own. S heads through various experiences, each of which push her to new thoughts and considerations as she unravels what life means to her.

Unlike the first two books in this series, this tale hits the realms of magical realism full swing. Mariah is pulled through many experiences and forms of reality, each one leading her to new realizations. The tone in this book is much darker than the others, and hits on harder material. The paranormal element grips tighter, and questions surrounding death, the meaning of life and spiritual realities are opened up in an entirely new way. While the writing flows smoothly, Mariah's shifting through realities requires concentration and can grow a little foggy at times.Those who indulge in spiritual meanings and searches will find much food for thought.

The story is told from different points of view, each one offering wonderful insight at the right moment. Some chapters are told through Mariah's journal entries, others through Mariah, and others through other characters in the third person. These transitions are clear, never threatening confusion.

While this tale reaches in a new level in Mariah's character development and stretches the concepts of death and life, it takes on a new direction when compared with the first books in the series. Fans of spiritual exploration and the questions surrounding death and reality will enjoy this read.


And here she is. . .



Nancy Schoellkopf is the author of the Avian Series of novels including Yellow-Billed Magpie and Red-Tailed Hawk, as well as the short story collection Rover and Other Magical Tales. She has been telling stories and writing poems for many lifetimes. It goes without saying that she’s needed a second income, so this time around she happily taught amazing children in special education classes in two urban school districts in Sacramento, California. A full time writer now, she enjoys lavishing attention on her cats, her garden and her intriguing circle of family and friends.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest ~ Instagram



Enter the Giveaway!!!
Ends Dec 16 


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Review: Eco-Disasters Series from Bearport Publishing

This is a non-fiction, picture book series for kids ages 5 and up (and was immediately a favorite of my son.)
Black blizzards. Toxic water. Killer smog. Deadly oil spills. In this compelling new narrative nonfiction series, readers will learn about the world's worst environmental disasters. Through riveting stories and first-person accounts, each book traces an ecological catastrophe from the beginning to its aftermath. Readers will uncover the truth about what caused the tragedy, the disaster's devastating toll on people and the environment, steps taken to remedy the problem, as well as what can be done to prevent another catastrophe from happening in the future. Fascinating photos of the actual events, maps, and fact boxes enrich the compelling text. The personal, and often heart-breaking, stories will grip and inspire young readers.

Eight titles are in the series, all of which you can find here.

Here are the two titles, which I've read (after prying them out of my son's fingers....seriously.)




DEADLY MINE
Libby, Montana
Eco-Disasters
by Kevin Blake
Bearport Publishing
Non-Fiction Picture Book
32 pages


In 1963, Les Skramstad came home after a hard day's work at the local mill and mine in Libby, Montana. His wife kissed him at the door and his kids playfully grabbed his legs. They didn't mind that he was covered in powdery brown dust. Little did Les and his family know that the dust was deadly. Deadly Mine: Libby, Montana traces the tragic story of a small mining town that eventually became poisoned by a deadly mineral called asbestos. Fascinating photos of the actual events, maps, and fact boxes enrich the compelling text. The personal and heart-breaking story will grip and inspire young readers. 



 MY TIDBITS


With careful explanations and descriptions, this book gives young readers a glimpse into one of the largest environmental catastrophes in United States' history.

The first pages set the mood with the tragic story of a miner and his family, who became sick from poisonous dust in the town of Libby, Montana. Young readers are emotionally pulled into the situation, which sets a perfect seen for the more historical and factual information. The next chapters explain how the mineral was discovered, what this discovery meant at the time, and how people were able to benefit from the mining during the early years. Like a mystery, the problems unfold. The information is concise but told with enough excitement and emotion to keep younger readers engaged. Everything for the chemical aspects, the medical results to the governmental policies is covered in a way readers of this age group will understand. More difficult words are highlighted and placed again in a glossary at the end of the book.

The seriousness of the situation is ever present, but never overwhelming. Readers are not talked down to, but given solid facts and arguments, which will lead them to thought. Information concerning how the situation is being taken care of is also included, allowing the book to end on a slightly higher note without undermining the horrible aspects of the occurrence. A website address at the end leads kids to a little information concerning the catastrophe and offers a crossword puzzle as well.

The real-life photographs are bright and bring clarity to the explanations found in the text. Young readers gain a greater appreciation for the event and can easily slip into the shoes of those effected by the disaster.

Children, ages six and up, who are interested in science, nature or world happenings are sure to enjoy this book and soak up the information. My own son thoroughly enjoyed this book and is determined to read through the entire series.






KILLER SMOG
London, England
Eco-Disasters
by Joyce Markovics
Bearport Publishing
Non-Fiction Picture Book
ages 5 and up
32 pages


In December 1952, a thick layer of black smog blanketed London. The filthy air blinded people on the streets and brought traffic to a screeching halt. Worst of all, the pollution was deadly. It sickened 100,000 people and took the lives of 4,000. Killer Smog: London, England traces the devastating story of air pollution that took thousands of lives and brought London to a standstill. Fascinating photos of the actual events, maps, and fact boxes enrich the compelling text. The personal and heart-breaking story will grip and inspire young readers.



 MY TIDBITS


Natural disasters can come as unsuspecting as a fog, and this book explains how The Great Smog of 1952 occurred as well as the effects it had on all of London.

The first sentence opens like an eerie mystery and immediately draws young readers into the scene. Readers will sympathize with the little girl as she tries to make her way through the mysterious fog. The accompany photographs enrich the atmosphere, making the entire event come to life. The history behind the fog and its causes remains rooted in facts, while keeping the information from getting too dry. Quotes from people who experienced the situation as well as little bubbles of extra tidbits dabbled among the photographs make it fun to glimpse through the pages and grab up pieces of information on the way.

Although the seriousness of the catastrophe is never down-played, the ending offers a ray of hope and explains what has been done to hinder a future occurrence, and what is still being done to improve air quality in general. A glossary at the end offers definitions to the more difficult, high-lighted words in the book. There's also a link to a website, where kids can discover more about the smog and play a crossword puzzle.


You can find out more about the series as well as the rest of the books at. . .

http://bearportpublishing.com/shop/show/12209

The Fourth Element Trilogy Boxed Set by Kat Ross





The Fourth Element Trilogy: Boxed Set 
by Kat Ross
September 22nd 2017
YA Fantasy




Gladiator meets Romeo and Juliet in this “spellbinding fantasy” trilogy (Kirkus Reviews) set in ancient Persia! 
They are the light against the darkness.
The steel against the necromancy of the Druj.
And they use demons to hunt demons…. 
Nazafareen lives for revenge. A girl of the isolated Four-Legs Clan, all she knows about the King’s elite Water Dogs is that they leash wicked creatures called daevas to protect the empire from the Undead. But when scouts arrive to recruit young people with the gift, she leaps at the chance to join their ranks. To hunt the monsters that killed her sister.
Scarred by grief, she’s willing to pay any price, even if it requires linking with a daeva named Darius. Human in body, he’s possessed of a terrifying power, one that Nazafareen controls. But the golden cuffs that join them have an unwanted side effect. Each experiences the other’s emotions, and human and daeva start to grow dangerously close.
As they pursue a deadly foe across the arid waste of the Great Salt Plain to the glittering capital of Persepolae, unearthing the secrets of Darius’s past along the way, Nazafareen is forced to question his slavery—and her own loyalty to the empire. But with an ancient evil stirring in the north, and a young conqueror sweeping in from the west, the fate of an entire civilization may be at stake…
So begins an epic story of adventure, romance and betrayal that leads to undiscovered magical realms and a final confrontation with a demon queen bent on destroying them all.

99¢ for a limited time only!




And here she is. . .
Kat Ross worked as a journalist at the United Nations for ten years before happily falling back into what she likes best: making stuff up. She's the author of the dystopian thriller Some Fine Day, the Fourth Element fantasy trilogy (The Midnight Sea, Blood of the Prophet, Queen of Chaos), and a new gaslamp mystery series that opens with The Daemoniac and continues with The Thirteenth Gate. She loves myths, monsters and doomsday scenarios. For more information about Kat's books, come visit her at katrossbooks.com. 



XBTBanner1

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Review: Megan's Pet Sitting Adventure by Pamela Foland


MEGAN'S PET SITTING ADVENTURE
Megan's World, Book Two
by Pamela Foland
Sonny's Legacy Publishing
Middle Grade Fiction/Contemporary
106 pages
ages 8 and up




Megan Thompson is back with the next book in the Megan’s World Series, Megan’s Pet Sitting Adventure! Coming November 4th, 2017!! Bringing up four kittens is expensive, and if Megan can’t come up with an idea fast, her parents will give her precious babies away. She thought pet sitting would be a fun, easy job. Getting to be around more animals - what could go wrong? Megan gets her first job watching Mrs. Driscoll’s pets for the weekend. She is responsible for the enthusiastic lab named Max, a talkative African parrot named Taffy, and a finicky Burmese cat named Holly. Each pet comes with its own quirky personality, but Megan plans to look after them like her own. She enlists the help of her best friend Jill, but Jill’s mind isn’t focused on the pets. Is Megan in over her head? Her neighbor’s pets are certainly testing Megan’s pet care knowledge. She is thrown one curveball after another as she works to keep the three pets safe and happy. How will Megan fare? Will she earn the Driscoll’s praise or get scolded for giving poor pet care? Find out in this exciting story of Megan’s Pet Sitting Adventure!



MY TIDBITS

Kittens leads to many more pets in this enjoyable tale.

Megan was able to convince her parents to allow her to keep the kittens, but now, she needs to find a way to pay for their care. After deliberation, she launches a pet sitting service to raise the funds. But dealing with animals isn't always as easy as it seems.

This is the second book in the series, and although I do recommend reading the first one, it isn't impossible to join in on Megan's adventures with this book.

Megan is a pet lover pure. She adores her kittens and has a wonderful respect for animals. She always tries to give them the best of care and is very patient and understanding. Her interest in animals is very focused, leaving little room for other themes. This becomes especially clear in her relation with her best friend, Jill, and causes some tensions, which aren't completely ironed out by the end. Megan faces various problems with her pets and must find her own solutions, which lead to some interesting and fun results.

While concentrating on Megan's adventures with the pets, this book also weaves tips and facts into the scenes. The animal's behavior and reactions are very realistic, something which is sure to thrill young, animal fans.

Summed up, it's a nice continuation to the series. Especially girls who adore animals are sure to enjoy this simple and, at about one hundred words, short tale.



And here she is. . .

Pamela Foland grew up in Plano, Texas. Her love of animals started at a very young age.  As a child, she was constantly bringing home stray dogs, and injured birds.  She graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and a minor in Business in 2005.  As an adult, her love of animals has only grown stronger.  Pamela has worked in numerous pet hotels as a dog trainer and is certified to teach pet first aid and CPR.  All her experience with pets culminated four years ago when Pamela found and raised an abandoned litter of day-old kittens.  Not able to part with any of these now-grown babies, Pamela enjoys going home to her "little munchkins" every night.  This experience gave Pamela the inspiration for her series debut, Megan's Munchkins.  Pamela will always have a special affinity with Megan because of their shared experiences.  She truly believes there are few experiences in life more compelling than saving the life of another being.

www.megansworldbookseries.com

Happy Book Birthday, The Second Window by Erica Kiefer with Giveaway




The Second Window
by Erica Kiefer
CTP Pulse
December 5th 2017
YA Romance, Suspense






As her senior year flies by on cruise control, seventeen-year-old Olivia Cole yearns for excitement—something her upscale private school no longer provides. Her job as a grocery store bagger isn’t much help…until the day she has a bizarre exchange with the cagey town recluse. When the woman abruptly surrenders to the police, Olivia feels compelled to dig deeper into her perplexing story. But the investigation stalls when Olivia receives another piece of news—Andre Steele, the golden boy of Westmont and her previous tormentor, has unexpectedly returned from his four-year stay in Brazil—and the whole school is buzzing! All at once, Olivia’s dull and predictable life is uprooted, and she wonders if “boring” was so bad after all.


SNEAK PEEK

A stranger to me, I knew nothing about Jodie except that she lived on the outskirts of town. People referred to her as a hermit because she rarely ventured from her home, and when she did, it seemed only long enough to purchase groceries. She was nobody important to me—just the occasional name carried through the wind when there was nothing else to talk about. However, like clockwork, I bagged her scant items every Thursday at four PM. The odd interactions I’d have with the woman would sometimes be the most interesting part of my shift at Wayland’s, a discounted store that served as employment during the summer, and now into my senior year.
I met her eyes again, which seemed to never leave mine, peering at me with an intense silence that I couldn’t explain. She didn’t frighten me, exactly. On the contrary, there was a meekness about her that suggested her gentle nature. While she hardly smiled, she didn’t have a mean face. It was more like the bland expression of a person who had little to smile about. Yet I wondered at her reservation, certain she had more to say than she ever allowed.
Jodie’s slender fingers pulled cash from her wallet and she handed over the bills. When she turned to me once more, her teary eyes alarmed me. She swallowed hard, like she was washing down emotions that rose against her will.
“Are… are you okay?” I asked, hesitating as I placed her grocery bags into the cart. Her hand fell swiftly on top of mine, squeezing my palm. Startled by the sudden physical contact, I jerked my hand away. I regretted my actions the moment her expression shifted.
Eyes wide, she shook her head, her mouth opening as though horrified by her behavior. A tear slid down her cheek, and she brushed it away in haste. “I’m sorry.” Sniffling, she snatched her three bags from the cart and scurried toward the exit. “Hey!” I called after her. I exchanged a look of confusion with Marlene before following Jodie to the automatic sliding doors. “Wait! It’s Jodie, right?” She paused, sniffing once more. She looked back at me over her shoulder, eyes red and sorrowful. “Um, can I help you to your car? I really should have double-bagged that one.” I pointed to the bulging bag containing the heavy soups, grasping for an excuse to stall her from leaving.
The tiniest smile crept along the corners of her mouth. Her green eyes brightened beneath the sheen of tears. Relieved, I smiled back. Her next words fell from her lips in a low, quiet tone. “You take care of yourself.” Then she walked out into the cool air.
I stood there perplexed, watching this strange woman escape to the parking lot. Jodie had been a consistent presence in my life for months now, a once-a-week visit in which she spoke no more than a murmured, Thank you. Why did I feel a sudden permanence to her goodbye?
A familiar female voice called out from behind me. “I need a bagger on lane three please!”
I rolled my eyes and flipped around to see my friend Jordyn standing at the other end of the store, hollering into her cupped hands. I glanced at Marlene. My grey-haired co-worker pushed out her lips with a frown, throwing a hand onto her plump hip. I cringed and held up my index finger. “One minute,” I mouthed, and hurried toward Jordyn before she could garner anymore unwanted attention from my employers.
“You know Marlene hates when you stop by, right?” I said to my best friend. She beamed confidence at me with her wide smile, her lips stained in a bright coral that I could never pull off. Though only one-eighth Native American, the tan skin she’d inherited helped her get away with wearing colorful makeup combinations that I would never attempt on my fair skin. Jordyn also relished in the theatrics that I shied away from.
“I’m a paying customer,” she said, grabbing a box of powdered donuts off the shelf. She held them up to make her point, waving wildly at Marlene’s scowling face. Jordyn raised her voice again, like she was hollering at the deaf elderly. “She’s just gonna bag these for me and I’ll be on my way!”
I shook my head at her. “You’re going to get me fired.”
“You’ve got other problems to worry about.” Jordyn put her hands on my shoulders, and spun me around.
“What am I looking at?” I asked, not seeing anything out of the ordinary. Leave it to Jordyn to make me guess, rather than just tell me. She rotated me forty-five degrees.
“Not what. Who.” She dropped her voice to a whisper. “Past the cashiers. Aisle twelve.”
I loved her to death, but sometimes her games were a bit much. “Jordyn, come on—” I stopped, suddenly very aware of just who she was pointing out to me. I caught a glimpse of his smile first, gleaming brightly against his bronzed skin—a deeper brown than I remembered, and a compliment from his Brazilian mother. I’d almost missed him, hidden behind the cluster of kids clamoring for his attention. But then I heard his laugh, boisterous and infectious. Unique.
And stirring memories I resented.
I crossed my arms over my black apron. “What is Andre Steele doing back in Arizona?”
Jordyn inhaled noisily, letting out her breath as she spoke. “I don’t know, but Brazil sure did a nice number on him.”
I scowled and nudged her with my elbow.
“But we still hate him,” she corrected, giving a nod of solidarity.
“Of course we do.” We watched him disappear down aisle nine with his posse. Another burst of laughter trailed behind him, coupled with giggles from the girls hanging on him and the other guy slapping Andre’s back like they’d never heard someone so funny.
“Then again,” Jordyn added, “Four years can change a person. Maybe he’ll surprise you.”
I stepped away from her, returning to my position at the end of the register. I grabbed the boxes of toothpaste and floss sliding past Marlene and tossed them into a fresh bag. “I never liked his surprises.”


Author Bio:
Erica Kiefer’s debut novel Lingering Echoes was published by Clean Teen Publishing in November 2013. She continued the series with Rumors (A Lingering Echoes Prequel) and her newest release Vanishing Act. All of her books can be read as stand-alone contemporary YA fiction, touched with romance, emotional drama and suspense. With a degree in Recreation Therapy from Brigham Young University, Erica’s experiences working with at-risk youth have influenced the realistic and relatable nature of her writing. Her first inspirational non-fiction entitled Borrowed Angel (published in April 2014 with Currawong Press) describes the loss of her infant son and her journey towards healing.
Married since 2005, Erica resides in Las Vegas, Nevada with her four children and can often be found satisfying her sweet-tooth with chocolate-chip cookies and a glass of milk. Now and then, she dusts off her collegiate rugby skills and dives back into the game.

XBTBanner1