Friday, December 30, 2016

Book Review: Mary's Song


Mary’s Song, Book One of the Dream Horse Adventures, by Susan Count is a charming story sure to delight young readers and animal (especially horse) lovers. Young Mary is disabled and life offers very little outlet for her creativity and intelligence. She is a very talented artist and loves horses. Her doting and overprotective widower father spends a lot of time and money on various therapies to try to get Mary back on her feet, walking, running, and leading a normal life. Mary has resigned herself somewhat to life in a wheelchair until the day she meets her neighbour Laura (also twelve), and finds out about the lame foal she had seen hobbling around on the next-door property. Laura couldn’t be more different, but the girls strike up a firm friendship. Then Mary learns that Illusion, the lame little foal, is set to be euthanized because of her club foot, and because it’s not considered worth the time and money to save the little horse. Laura and Mary persuade Laura’s parents to give a six-week stay of execution to enable them to raise the money for Illusion’s very expensive operation. Can they raise enough money in time to save Illusion, and will Mary ever walk again?

There is so much more to this book than just the heartrending story of saving Illusion.  The healing of both horse and young girl finds a wonderful theme in their parallel stories. The backdrop is the 1950s, which casts a completely different light on what kids would be doing, how they would behave, think, and entertain themselves. I found it a refreshing trip back in time, back to when things were perhaps simpler in many ways, but harder in that medicine and science still had some developments to achieve.

There are excellent themes for young readers, and the main one being a love of horses gives readers an idea of various aspects of riding, training, breeding and competing with horses, but without shoving facts down the reader’s throat. The wonderful and strong theme of love and friendship continues throughout, with love of family, not forgetting those once loved who have passed on, discovering new love when Mary’s dad meets someone special, and forging bonds of friendship with like-minded people.

Although there is a Christian theme, I found the author wove it into the story very well, again without overdoing it. That and the concept of faith, not only spiritual faith, but faith in oneself and others comes to the fore. Finally, the idea that a disabled person is not a broken person is very well handled. Interspersed is the idea that less able-bodied people can also achieve as much in their own way as an able-bodied person. Last but not least, I liked how much emphasis the author put on the theme of books, the joy found within the pages of old favourites and treasured books, the pleasure in reading, and indeed the importance of books.

This is an enchanting and moving story in so many ways, and young (and older) readers who are sure to enjoy it will also be delighted to know that the story continues. As the author says, “Saddle up and ride along!”

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Book Review: The King's Ransom

When the King’s Ransom, a wondrous jewelled medallion, is stolen from Pembroke Castle in Wales, it is up to three young heroes to band together to solve this mystery and save a life. Prince Gavin (12), the youngest son of King Wallace and Queen Katherine, and his two friends, Philip (13), an orphan, and Bryan (15), a blacksmith’s apprentice, are an unlikely trio, uneven in terms of social status, but firm and loyal companions. Their friend, the Wild Man, is accused of murdering the king’s advisor and stealing the marvellous medallion, a symbol of absolute power and justice, but only in the right hands. Kings have enemies, and it soon becomes apparent that someone was after the medallion for the prestige it would bestow. Gavin, Bryan, and Philip race against time to find the medallion, reveal the true killer, and save the Wild Man’s life. They have only a few days before the arrival of King Arthur. If the medallion is not found, the Wild Man will be executed in front of Arthur. Can they overcome their fears and fulfil this momentous quest? Is it possible the Wild Man has tricked them all and simply used their friendship to get closer to the medallion?
 
What a delightful five-star story for young readers in The King’s Ransom. I am familiar with Cheryl Carpinello’s writing from reading and reviewing her first Arthurian book, Guinevere: On the Eve of a Legend. Then I was entranced by the author’s spellbinding descriptions of life in Arthurian times and her meticulous attention to detail. Cheryl’s skills have remained as bright as ever with the unfolding of this fast-paced tale, threaded with mystery, adventure, a bit of magic, danger, darkness, and lovely twists in the end. I so enjoyed the factual information about weapons, clothing, daily life, and places, cleverly interspersed in the text and dialogue to inform without overwhelming young readers. The author has a gift for delving into the depths of each young hero’s psyche. The way each one of the trio faces their fears, learns to believe in themselves, and finds their true meaning and path in life is moving. This is a superb coming-of-age story, set in a time of chivalry and pageantry, and harking back to an age when a hero was truly a hero. Fans will love that there is a FREE Study Guide to help expand their knowledge of King Arthur and his era. You can find out more about Cheryl’s books here.



Friday, November 18, 2016

Book Blast: The Gardenia Curse

BeachBoundbooks is pleased to be coordinating a Blog Tour for the middle grade fantasy The Gardenia Curse by C.M. Savage. The tour will run November 7 - November 28, 2016.

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About the Book

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Title: The Gardenia Curse | Author: C.M. Savage | Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy | Number of Pages: 158 | Release Date: October 26, 2015

Book Description: Thirteen-year-old Eva Thomas finds herself in a life threatening mystery when her dreams become real. Night after night, she is transported to Dreamland, where an evil being, the Shadow, wants her dead. Can Eva save herself and her dreams before it’s too late? Exhausted from troubled sleep, Eva stumbles through her days in a new town where her grandmother is known as an eccentric and in a new school where a bully has decided Eva needs to be put in her place. Eva is left feeling alone and uncertain until she meets Alice, a quirky classmate with non-stop questions about Eva’s family. Is Alice a friend or is she after something more? 

In Dreamland, Eva is constantly on the run from the Shadow, even after she meets Herman, her dream-guide. Will Herman be able to protect Eva from the Shadow and shed some light on why the Shadow wants her dead? Or are Eva’s dreams destined to remain a nightmare? 

Mystery, evil and a touch of romance—all in a night’s dream.


What others are saying...

"In The Gardenia Curse, Eva’s adventure unfolds like a gardenia blossom, a little at a time, getting more intriguing with each pedal that unfurls until finally the full thing is open to enjoy." - Amazon Review 

"The Gardenia Curse is an exciting middle grade fantasy that easily captivates readers with it's imaginative plot and interesting characters." - BeachBoundBooks 

"The author really captures your mind and heart. I am looking forward to the authors second book to see what happens next!" - Amazon Review


About the Author

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C. M. Savage began writing at a young age. She used a typewriter and crayons to write and illustrate her first book when she was in second grade and continued to write off and on through college. After traveling, she enjoyed working with birds of prey, mammals and endangered Hawaiian birds. She is a second degree black belt in Taekwondo, enjoys crafting and having fun with her family. She recently moved back to Bend, Oregon with her husband and two daughters. The Gardenia Curse is her debut novel. She is now working on the sequel.


Blog Tour Prize Pack Giveaway

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Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card or $25 PayPal cash prize(winner’s choice), a copy of The Gardenia Curse, and a Book Flower.
Giveaway ends: November 28, 11:59 pm, 2016
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, C.M. Savage and is hosted and managed by Stacie from BeachBoundBooks. If you have any additional questions feel free to send an email to stacie@BeachBoundBooks.com.

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Sunday, October 30, 2016

Book Review: The Courage of a Samurai


The Courage of a Samurai: Seven Sword-Sharp Principles for Success by Lori Tsugawa Whaley is a most incredible book. I am not a huge fan of self-help books, having read a few and decided that many sort of chewed over the same advice. This is not a self-help book. This is a book that awakens those dim memories of being taught when young how to live properly, of doing the right thing, and living a life of integrity and moral uprightness. In the preface the author speaks about things that will have readers nodding in agreement—how do you live your life according to principles when most people these days seem to have tossed ethics, integrity, truthfulness, and honour out the window? How can one pursue a life of doing what is right when everyone else seems to be doing what they want or what they think is right for them? How does one live ethically in a society dominated by materialism, selfishness, and the prevailing ideology of “me first!” in society and government.

The author uses the code of bushido, the principles of the samurai, the code of chivalry that permeates Japanese society, to awaken in readers what we know is right, and to encourage us to pick up those principles and use them, making our lives worthy and honourable. The author introduces the history and culture of Japan, the rise of the samurai class, the way of the warrior, in an engaging way that makes the history lesson really palatable and enjoyable. You’ll love learning these facts which open the reader’s eyes to Japanese society and behaviour, especially in times of terrible disasters.

Each chapter is devoted to a principle: Courage, Integrity, Benevolence, Respect, Honesty, Honour, and Loyalty. Each chapter is prefaced with a kanji, the Japanese ideogram for the meaning of the word. I found this so interesting and unusual. Lori uses stories of great and memorable people, many of them humble folk who would not consider themselves to be great or extraordinary at all—their deeds of heroism, their acts of selflessness, their “doing the right thing” illustrate that people who maintained these principles in their lives and actions rose to stand out above the rest. Much of this heroism happened during World War II and some stories brought me to tears. Lori also outlines the history of the Japanese people in the USA and their shocking treatment at the hands of the American government during the war, with the internment camps and alien classification because they were Japanese.

The book is so beautifully laid out in a way that facts and figures do not overwhelm the reader, but can be absorbed easily. Lori’s tone is conversational and laid-back, but amazingly enough, she manages to cover much ground and deep thinking in this fashion. This review cannot accommodate just how much interesting information is covered, and the author’s incredible research is very evident. I learned a great deal and my views on what is the right way to conduct oneself during life were reinforced. Relevant and appropriate quotes from leaders, philosophers, philanthropists, humanitarians, and deep thinkers are included as well.

I have always been fascinated with Japan, the samurai class, the way of the warrior, and I absolutely love the story of the 47 Ronin who sacrificed themselves to avenge the needless death of their master, to put right a great wrong. The fact that these samurai are still celebrated in Japanese culture today speaks volumes for what they stood for.

The author aims to inspire, empower, and educate readers, and by the end of this book, your faith in doing what you know is right, living by what could be construed as “old fashioned” values is reinforced. You’ll be inspired to forge your own warrior’s code and create a life of success and meaningfulness, using principles that will help you face and conquer today’s challenges, both personally and professionally. This is a must-read for anyone interested in finding the keys to creating a life lived well and lived worthily. Thought provoking, spiritual, and very moving. A stellar achievement by Lori Tsugawa Whaley.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Book Blast: The Art of Blissful Parenting


BeachBoundBooks is pleased to be coordinating a Book Blast for The Art of Blissful Parenting by Sharon Ballantine. The blast will run October 24 - October 26, 2016.

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About the Book

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Title: The Art of Blissful Parenting | Author: Sharon Ballantine | Genre: Parenting Number of Pages: 190 | Publisher: Balboa Press | Publication Date: November 24, 2015

Book Description: What if you had the ideal relationship with your children? This book is for every parent that wants to have a powerful bond with their kids. Parents have the opportunity for newfound freedom and joy when they teach their children about their Internal Guidance System. Tools and guidance are offered in this book for exacting the art of blissful parenting by practicing alignment. It's fun and easy to work with the Universe and a short lesson in the Law of Attraction is part of this script. Parents-live and also teach your children how to manifest what they want by thinking in a more positive way and deliberately creating their lives.


What others are saying...

"This book is filled with amazing tools for any adult who wants to sharpen the innate gifts of the children in their lives and support them in developing and following their internal guidance. Beautifully and thoughtfully written with clear practical exercises to allow you to put into practice what you have read." - Debbie (Amazon Reviewer)

"The Art of Blissful Parenting offers readers a refreshing, out-of-the-box approach to raising happy children. Sharon offers practical tools and tips for teaching kids how to thrive by using the law of attraction and following their internal guidance system." - (Amazon Reviewer)

"This is a fascinating book for anyone who wants to raise confident, independent children. The author presents her unique ideas in a thoughtful and insightful way" - Cheryl (Amazon Reviewer)

About the Author: Sharon Ballantine

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Sharon Ballantine is a Parenting Coach and certified Law of Attraction Life Coach. She has successfully raised three children and is the author a new book "The Art of Blissful Parenting."

Sharon is the founder of "The Ballantine Parenting Institute," her online parenting program.

Ballantine is a sought after speaker, and was host to her own Internet TV Show with Conscious Evolution Media Network from 2013-2014. The platform of The Sharon Ballantine TV Show featured a conversation with passionate spiritually minded guests. Sharon also had her own column with Beliefnet.com "Parenting on Purpose."

Sharon was interviewed on TV, February 15, 2016 for her new book release, "The Art of Blissful Parenting" on KING 5 New Day Northwest, a live daytime talk show in Seattle. Ballantine has been interviewed on several radio shows including Blog Talk Radio in Los Angeles, Chat with Women radio show in Seattle and Conscious Evolution Media Internet TV in Denver. Her interview with Hay House Radio will air by summer '16.

Sharon's website is SharonBallantine.com which features weekly teaching blogs, podcasts and slideshows. You can see her educational videos on her YouTube channel, Sharon Ballantine.

Sharon lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband Jay.


Book Blast Giveaway

Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card or $25 PayPal cash prize, winner's choice. Giveaway ends: November 7, 11:59 pm, 2016
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, Sharon Ballantine and is hosted and managed by Stacie from BeachBoundBooks. If you have any additional questions feel free to send an email to stacie@BeachBoundBooks.com.

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Friday, October 14, 2016

Book Blast: De Dana Dan

BeachBoundBooks is pleased to be coordinating a Book Blast for the children's picture book written by Subhash Kommuru and illustrated by Sujata Kommuru, De Dana Dan (Hindi Edition). The blast will run October 12 - October 14, 2016.





About the Book




Title: De Dana Dan (A Mother's Love Can Conquer Any Fear) | Author: Subhash Kommuru Illustrator: Sujata Kommuru | Genre: Children's Multicultural Adventure | Number of Pages: 44 Publisher: Kommuru Books | Publication Date: July 7, 2015 | Language: Hindi

Hindi Book Description:
De Dana Dan ek mazedar, gudgudane waali kahani hain. Is kahani mein murge hain, murgiyan hain, aur ek drusht kouwa hai. Shastriji khushal anandnagar ke mukhiya hain aur unke paas har samasya ka tod hai. Lekin jab Kalia ki buri nazar Anandnagar par padti hai tab Shastriji ke sabhi paitren unhi par bhari padte hain. To kya Kalia ki sharaten kabhi khatam hongi? Aakhir koun sikhayega Kalia ko sabak? De Dana Dan is baat ka praman hai ki Maa ki Mamta mein kisi bhi asambhav karya ko sambhav banane ki shamta hai. This book is written in Hindi script and also in Hindi using English script. 

English Book Description: Shastriji is a wise old chicken who always has an answer for "How...." until comes the vile crow Kaalia, who is up to no good. Shastriji's ideas to deal with Kaalia backfires one after the other. Is Kalia‛s tyranny going to end? What if the right question is not "How" but "Why?" The story becomes a tribute to motherhood when a mother's love overcomes all odds and propels Ganga to do something that dazzles everyone in Anand Nagar. As in the very best of children's literature, the gentle humor appeals to a younger audience while adults appreciate more subtle touches. Action and suspense cut through the age gap without obscuring the important moral lesson of the story. Mesmerizing illustrations, rendered with love by Sujata Kommuru, capture every nuance of the tale in great detail and every character has been very carefully portrayed and designed.





Watch the Book Video





About the Author & Illustrator




Subhash and Sujata an Award winning Children's author(s), hail from India and have been Honored for Excellence by Mom's Choice Awards. 

They migrated to the United States along with their memories of childhood and youth. Now that they are parents, just like every immigrant they crave to introduce their child to the culture and values of their upbringing. Yet it is challenging to teach something while you are in the midst of adjusting to a different culture yourself. 

Subhash and Sujata both work in different disciplines and have different styles and backgrounds, but it is the upbringing of their son that brings them on the same page. That exact place where they meet is captured and reflected in their stories, where Subhash can express in words, and Sujata can illustrate them beautifully. Where he puts it in black and white, she adds color to it. You get the idea!

These stories are their attempt to share a glimpse of their childhood days with their son. He is their inspiration to write short stories that have meaning to them and provide teaching in some shape or form.


Book Blast Giveaway

Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card or $25 PayPal cash prize, winner's choice. Giveaway ends: October 26, 11:59 pm, 2016 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, Subhash Kummuru and is hosted and managed by Stacie from BeachBoundBooks. If you have any additional questions feel free to send an email to stacie@BeachBoundBooks.com. 

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Thursday, October 6, 2016

Book Review: Rex


Rex by Cody B. Stewart, Adam Rocke and Mark Rogers is the kind of escapade any self-respecting young adventurer, boy or girl, would want to experience. When TJ Beaumont, aged eleven, finds a very large, very weird looking egg while out on a Cub Scout expedition in the Florida Everglades, he just knows he has to sneak it home. This might be his only opportunity to finally have a pet, since his long suffering single parent mom (Ellen) has said no to a dog. But hey, whatever comes out of that egg will do. A pet’s a pet, isn’t it? TJ loves his mom, who works two jobs to put food on the table and pay the bills. Ellen has sacrificed her dream of visiting Africa to be a good parent. And TJ’s a good kid. He’ll think about telling his mom later. How hard can it be to hide and feed whatever comes out of that egg? But when the men in black pitch up at their door and the military helicopters start circling overhead, on the hunt for something possibly dangerous, TJ starts to get worried. And when whatever is in the egg hatches out and TJ finds his room just about demolished, he knows it isn’t going to be that easy to hide and feed Rex (so named for very obvious reasons) for very much longer. The problem is the bad guys want Rex for very horrible and sinister purposes, and TJ isn’t going to go down without a fight. Neither is Rex.

This book is screamingly funny and kids will just love it. When I saw that little green tail disappearing off the edge of the cover, I just knew I had to read this book and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I love anything to do with dinosaurs so I was rooting for Rex from page one. TJ is a lovely character and kids will really relate to him, as well to his spunky friend (a girl) called Sam. Together they must devise a plan to get Rex to safety, but how and where? Where can you hide a creature that, no doubt emulating his ancestors, will grow very much bigger and have a mouthful of very large, sharp teeth? But Rex steals the show from the moment he hatches. He is just the most adorable character of them all. My best scene was when TJ has to get Rex out of the house and into the safety of the swamp without his mom finding out. TJ disguises Rex as a science experiment, but the hurried, although stringent, ‘stay’ training isn’t enough and the classroom descends into screaming chaos.

The action is sometimes frenzied, and at times I did wish the pace would slow down, but for kids this is probably normal speed for an adventure. I was very worried (I promise I was!) about where on earth Rex would finally find a home. The answer comes after an incredible scene of drama, loads of firepower, feats of derring-do, and the ultimate test of loyalty as Rex shows his love for TJ. I commend the authors because it was the perfect answer for a genetically modified and really rather sweet dinosaur. Action and adventure are there in abundance, but also the messages of loyalty, love, friendship and family, being responsible, doing the right thing, and knowing that unbreakable bonds, once forged, will remain forever.


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Book Blast: Pickled Pumpkin Pie

BeachBoundBooks is pleased to be coordinating a Book Blast for the children's picture book written by Deb Troehler & illustrated by Jaime D. Buckley, Pickled Pumpkin Pie: A Thanksgiving Treat. The blast will run September 26 - September 28, 2016.

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About the Book

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Title: Pickled Pumpkin Pie: A Thanksgiving Treat | Author: Deb Troehler | Illustrator: Jaime D. Buckley | Genre: Children's Picture Book | Number of Pages: 38 | Publication Date: March 9, 2016

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Book Description: Thanksgiving is almost here and Dillon can’t wait to see his lovable Uncle Pete once again. Uncle Pete’s visits with his peculiar penchant for pickled pumpkin pie always bring an extra helping of laughter to the dining table. Join Dad, Mom, Uncle Pete, Dillon, and their dog, Baxter, for togetherness, laughter, and a dill-icious meal. Pickled Pumpkin Pie is a read-aloud book for children ages 3-7.

Pickled Pumpkin Pie will be FREE on Amazon September 27 & 28


Review by BeachBoundBooks


Pickled Pumpkin Pie is a charming picture book, told in delightful rhyme, and filled with colorful and fun illustrations.

It's Thanksgiving and Uncle Pete can't wait to eat, but it's not turkey, potatoes, or cranberries he's after. Uncle Pete is waiting for dessert and not just any dessert. He wants pickled pumpkin pie. As the scrumptious meal comes to an end Uncle Pete's excitement builds. Will he finally get his Thanksgiving wish?

Pickled Pumpkin Pie is well written, engaging, and highly entertaining. The book also contains several activities and of course gives readers a chance to create their own pickled pumpkin pie. This is certain to become a fast holiday favorite among children and adults.

I recommend picking up a copy.

About the Author: Deb Troehler

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Deb Troehler has worn many hats over the years—teacher, fabric artist, author, illustrator, gardener, mother, and grandmother. Although each hat is unique, they are all stitched with a common thread—Deb’s connections to her loved ones and the world around her.

Mrs. Troehler was a special education teacher for 15 years. After leaving the classroom due to a recurrence of cancer, her family moved to West Michigan to spend time with her husband’s family. To help make ends meet, Deb wrote instructional material and stories for several trade magazines such as Doll Crafter, Doll Reader, and Soft Dolls and Animals. Eventually, the magic of West Michigan motivated Deb to put pen to paper and record the stories inspired by her treks up and down the shores of Lake Michigan. Pickled Pumpkin Pie: A Thanksgiving Treat is Deb’s third book for children.


About the Illustrator: Jaime D. Buckley

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Jaime Buckley is an author, illustrator, father of 12 and the creator of wantedhero.com, which has been entertaining youth and the young at heart for over a decade.



Book Blast Giveaway


Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card or $25 PayPal cash prize, winner's choice. Giveaway ends: October 10, 11:59 pm, 2016 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, Deb Troehler and is hosted and managed by Stacie from BeachBoundBooks. If you have any additional questions feel free to send an email to stacie@BeachBoundBooks.com.

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Monday, September 19, 2016

Book Blast: Beyond the Lines

BeachBoundBooks is pleased to be coordinating a Blog Tour for the middle grade fiction Beyond the Lines by Claudia Whitsitt. The tour will run from September 6 - September 27, 2016.




About the Book


Title: Beyond the Lines | Author: Claudia Whitsitt | Publisher: Claudia Whitsitt Publication Date: February 27, 2016 | Genre: Middle Grade Fiction | Number of Pages: 260




Book Description: The Dream Girls—Hattie, Crackers, and Beverly Jo—are back with the same determination and resolve they displayed in Between the Lines. This time, it's Crackers who has a dream. She has oodles of talent, can outshoot any guy, and she wants to be the first girl on the boys' basketball team. Everybody knows she's the best player at school. The problem is, the rules say: No girls allowed on the team. Ever. But the Dream Girls have challenged old-fashioned notions before, and they're not about to give up now. Beverly Jo rocks the world with an ingenious plan, Hattie sets the wheels in motion, and Crackers gives her all. For this threesome, nothing is impossible.

What others are saying...

"BEYOND THE LINES is a refreshing story of true friendship." - Lori (Amazon)

"A delightful story of true friendship" - David (Amazon)

"Great characters, superlative writing and the sense of being dropped into the mist of a Dream Girls meeting makes "Beyond The Lines" a wonderful book." - DJ (Amazon)

"Beyond the lines is a beautiful story of friendship." - (Amazon)

About the Author


Claudia Whitsitt spent a lifetime teaching special education and writing before becoming a full-time author. She believes in the power of friendship, small acts of kindness, and paying it forward. Nothing makes her happier than spending time with her children, which includes not only the five she raised but the countless students who touched her life over the years.

 

Blog Tour Giveaway

Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card or $25 PayPal cash prize, winner's choice Giveaway ends: September 27, 11:59 pm, 2016
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, Claudia Whitsitt and is hosted and managed by Stacie from BeachBoundBooks. If you have any additional questions feel free to send an email to stacie@BeachBoundBooks.com.

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Thursday, September 1, 2016

Book Blast: Rice and Rocks

BeachBoundBooks is pleased to be coordinating a Blog Tour for the charming children's book written by Sandra L. Richards and illustrated by Megan Kayleigh Sullivan, Rice & Rocks. The tour will run from August 23 - September 13, 2016.




About the Book



Title: Rice & Rocksl | Author: Sandra L. Richards | Illustrator: Megan Kayleigh Sullivan Publisher: Wise Ink Creative Publishing | Publication Date: August 23, 2016 Genre: Children's Picture Book | Number of Pages: 32

 

Book Description:  Tradition takes flight in Rice & Rocks, a picture book celebrating culture and diversity. Giovanni's friends are coming over for Sunday dinner, and his grandmother is serving rice and beans. Giovanni is embarrassed he does not like 'rice and rocks' and worries his friends will think the traditional Jamaican dish is weird. But his favorite Auntie comes to the rescue. She and Giovanni's pet parrot, Jasper, take him on a magical journey across the globe, visiting places where people eat rice and rocks. This exciting story celebrates the varied traditions of every culture while also highlighting the delicious similarities that bring us all together.

Take a look inside the book...








About the Author: Sandra L. Richards


Sandra L. Richards is the debut picture book author of Rice & Rocks. With Rice & Rocks, Sandra brings a unique contribution to the world of children’s books. An American-born daughter of Jamaican immigrant parents, she hopes the book will serve as an educational resource for families seeking to teach their children the value of their heritage and the importance of cultural diversity.

Learn more about Sandra at www.sandralrichards.com.


About the Illustrator: Megan Kayleigh Sullivan


Megan Kayleigh Sullivan graduated from Rhode Island School of Design in 2012 with a degree in Illustration. She is currently working as a freelance illustrator and storyboard artist, and aspires towards a career in the film and animation industry as a concept artist, character designer, or visual development artist (or d., all of the above). She enjoys traveling, writing, telling stories, and hula-hooping.

Visit her at www.357meg.com.


Blog Tour Giveaway

Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card or $25 PayPal cash prize, winner's choice Giveaway ends: September 13, 11:59 pm, 2016
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, Sandra L. Richards and is hosted and managed by Stacie from BeachBoundBooks. If you have any additional questions feel free to send an email to stacie@BeachBoundBooks.com.

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Saturday, August 13, 2016

Book Blast: Children of Icarus

BeachBoundBooks is pleased to be coordinating a Blog Tour for the young adult fantasy Children of Icarus written by Caighlan Smith. The tour will run from August 10 - August 24, 2016.




About the Book


Title: Children of Icarus | Author: Caighlan Smith | Publisher: Switch Press | Publication Date: August 1, 2016 | Genre: Young Adult Fantasy | Number of Pages: 312



Book Description:

It's Clara who's desperate to enter the labyrinth and its Clara who's bright, strong, and fearless enough to take on any challenge. It's no surprise when she's chosen. But so is the girl who has always lived in her shadow. Together they enter. Within minutes, they are torn apart forever. Now the girl who has never left the city walls must fight to survive in a living nightmare, where one false turn with who to trust means a certain dead end.

History and Inspiration Behind the Book

Since I was a wee kidlit, I’ve loved Greek Mythology. That love has only grown and nowadays heavily influences my writing, some more than others. Children of Icarus, my new novel, is counted among the “some”. The inspiration for this book was, of course, drawn from the myth of Icarus—the boy who flew into the sun. But a lot of the setting of the book comes from the myths about Icarus’ father, Daedalus, who built the labyrinth. Children of Icarus takes place within a labyrinth, which the main character has been chosen to enter. She was promised paradise should she find her way out of the labyrinth, but paradise seems more unlikely than ever as she’s forced to confront one horror after another. Many of said horrors have been inspired by Greek mythology, mainly the adorable monsters that populate every great hero’s tale.

The thing is, I had the idea for Children of Icarus back in junior high. The plot was different in every way back then, aside from the setting of the labyrinth. Even the protagonist was an older, altered version of the way she is now. I actually started writing the story back then, but barely got a page in before giving up and moving on to something else. Fast-forward many a year, and I’m studying Greek mythology for my Classics minor at university. It reminds me of that old idea I had, so I revisit it and decide to tell the story of how my protagonist ended up in the labyrinth. I started writing from there, and everything about the story changed. For the better. And now we have a book. Ta-da!

About the Author




Caighlan Smith was born in St. John’s, Newfoundland; Labrador on June 1st, 1994. She grew up in the scenic coastal community of St. Philip’s, overlooking the dramatic north-west Atlantic. As a kid, she loved to play in the woods around her house, loved to tell stories and believed in magic.

Caighlan, who is studying English, Classics and Creative Writing at Memorial University of Newfoundland in St. John’s, is a supporter of universal girl-child education and has been involved with the Teachers Action for Girls campaign in Uganda.

Her great loves are reading, gaming and, of course, writing. The “C” in her name is hard, the “gh” is silent.

Blog Tour Giveaway


Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card or $25 PayPal cash prize, winner's choice Giveaway ends: August 24, 11:59 pm, 2016
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, Caighlan Smith and is hosted and managed by Stacie from BeachBoundBooks. If you have any additional questions feel free to send an email to stacie@BeachBoundBooks.com.

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Sunday, July 24, 2016

Book Review: The SockKids Say NO to Bullying


The SockKids Say NO to Bullying by Michael John Sullivan, Alexandra Gold, and Shelley Larkin introduces young readers to SockKids Sudsy and Wooly, their mom Rainbow and baby sister, Sunni. Sudsy and Wooly accompany their human, Ethan, to school, where he meets a new girl, Olivia. Olivia seems like the nicest of friends anyone could want, plus she likes reading, also something Ethan enjoys doing. His attempts to get Olivia’s attention are disrupted by a bunch of bullies, kids who take delight in tearing up other kids’ books, kicking their school bags around, stealing their lunch money, and generally being obnoxious. Can Sudsy and Wooly join together to help Ethan out? Maybe, but first they’ll have to get him to take his socks off…

What a charming story for young readers, and also one that parents could read aloud to young kids before bed time to help alleviate the perennial issue of bullying. I loved the colourful illustrations liberally included throughout to help young readers pay attention to the chain of events, as well as to relate to the characters, both human and … er… woollen. The characterisation is great, with the adorable SockKids coming up with inventive ideas to solve a problem that Ethan and Olivia encounter (rescuing a cat stuck in a tree!).

Something I think parents and teachers will appreciate are the various themes cleverly woven into the story: a sense of community, helping the less fortunate, working together for the good of others, friendship, love, loyalty, and standing up against what is wrong, or actions that hurt others. It takes courage to speak out and say “No” to bullying, but Ethan has the SockKids to help him. A very useful section at the end of the book is something I’d encourage parents, counsellors, and teachers to read as it discusses how to recognise and deal with bullying, giving guidelines for both adults and children. This is valuable information as bullying can happen on a number of levels and in different environments, not just at school.

I enjoyed the positive vibe the whole book exudes, with a joyful and enthusiastic approach to problems that children might feel they can’t solve on their own. And if you’ve ever wondered where the other half of your (perhaps several?) pairs of socks have disappeared to during the spin cycle, there is an answer here. I’d like to think that my socks that have gone missing over the years are off somewhere, fighting against bullying and helping youngsters to stand up for what is right!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Book Review: Max's Midnight Adventure


Max’s Midnight Adventure by Wendy Leighton-Porter is a short, delightful story starring Max himself. Anyone who has been following the Shadows From the Past series will, by now, know a lot about Max. A lilac-coloured Tonkinese cat, big boned (definitely not fat), with aquamarine eyes, Max belongs to Jemima and Joe, the twins who’ve been staying with their Uncle Richard after their parents stepped into a magic book and disappeared. They’re not dead, and the twins know this because during their adventures back in time, using the magic book that belonged to their dad, they’ve either caught glimpses of their parents or heard news that they’re alive but have moved on in time. Uncle Richard, a professor of Archaeology and a bachelor, is at a loss as to how to entertain his niece and nephew, but he does his best. Uncle Richard suggests a holiday away down at the coast, in Devon, for a few days and the kids are very excited about the idea, as long as Max can come with.

A holiday means suitcases and they’re in the attic, along with a whole bunch of old boxes, filled with the stuff one usually finds in attics – old toys, Christmas decorations, favourite stuffed animals that no one has the heart to throw out. Max, although short on courage, is long on curiosity and several close shaves during their time travel adventures have done little to diminish his nosiness. He follows Uncle Richard into the attic and does his own poking around. He’s astounded to see the twin’s uncle clutching a shabby old teddy bear and weeping over the loss of his brother, and realises that just because adults don’t say much doesn’t mean they don’t feel sadness. It’s all a bit much for Max who thinks a quick snoozette, while Uncle Richard is pottering about, is in order. As you can imagine, Uncle Richard finishes up in the attic and goes back downstairs, leaving Max curled up inside a box, but there’s someone else in the box as well… How is Max going to get out of the attic? Will he be left there while the kids and their uncle go on holiday?



I love author Wendy Leighton-Porter’s style. In just a few lines of dialogue we meet and get to know a variety of characters, from Colonel Nutcracker (a pompous regimental sort) to Tinkerbell (aka Stinkerbell) who is particularly nasty and sarcastic to poor old Max just because he broke her wand by accident (which could have happened to anyone!), to Action Man who can’t stop flexing his muscles and showing off, to the entire cast of The Twelve Days of Christmas … with the French hens going on strike, the nine ladies getting into a huddle with the football team, to absolute chaos and mayhem. This is a wonderful peep into Max’s life that affords lots of laughs, largely due to the inventiveness of the author, the hilarious interactions between the various characters, and the ultimate charm of Max, the big-hearted (albeit slightly cowardly) hero of the series.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Book Review: The Shadow of the Two Princes


Book 8 in the Shadows From the Past series: The Shadow of the Two Princes tackles one of the most intriguing historical mysteries – what happened to the two princes in the Tower of London? Jemima, Joe, and their friend Charlie could probably tell you, as could Max, their talking Tonkinese cat. The story begins on a sombre note that pervades the entire plot, as atmospheric and as creepy as the dank fog that lingers along the banks of the River Thames. Jemima wakes from a terrible dream, a cry for help from a boy, but was it a dream, or was it truly a cry for help that stretched across the chasm of time to reach her ears? And there’s mention of an Uncle Richard who might kill someone. But their Uncle Richard was the kindest, sweetest man imaginable, the perfect uncle, with whom the twins and Max had been living since their parents disappeared a few months earlier. When their Uncle Richard shows them a newspaper article with details of Richard Plantagenet, King Richard III, who was supposed to have murdered his two nephews in the Tower of London, Jemima is convinced there’s a link. The princes need their help, but will their magic book take them back to that date in time, to 1483, and will they be able to save the princes. After all, as they have learned before, you can’t change history…
Earliest surviving portrait of Richard III
Atmosphere, mystery, and intrigue abound in this tale as the twins, Max, and Charlie tumble headfirst into an adventure. Actually Max and Joe tumble headfirst into the Thames and have to be rescued from drowning by Doctor Argentine, who turns out to be the princes’ physician. An intriguing plot unfolds regarding the rescue of the two princes, with the help of everyone, including Max. Although not required to wear an elaborate disguise, as had happened to poor old Max in previous adventures, Max is pivotal by just being his handsome, special self. In fact he’s so handsome and special he even attracts the attention of Richard, then still the Duke of Gloucester. Well, they do say that even a cat may look at a king…
Max finds out more about a greater role the kids and their parents might play from Corbet, a raven (disguised as one, I should say), who introduces the detail of The Guardians of Time (first mentioned in Max’s Christmas Adventure). Some funny word play ensues which results in Max discovering he is not an “Animal of Time,” but sheds light on why the twins’ parents have disappeared!  The secondary characters are as memorable as the main players and are as important in their own way. Plenty of clues abound, with many nail-biting moments of tension and terror, and young time travellers, history buffs, and adventurers will love every word. Young readers will also appreciate the way the author conveys the fear, the fright experienced by the young princes. Although this is a dark moment in history, I found the young heroes – Joe, Jemima and Charlie – able to cope with and empathise with the events. They are also maturing as the series progresses.

I have always been intrigued by the story of the two princes, but found English history, the names and titles, and royal family relationships a bit confusing. Under the skilled pen of the author, all confusion is cleared up. Wendy Leighton-Porter manages to untangle complex historical threads and effortlessly weaves them into a very readable tale. The discovery of the historical Richard’s remains in 2012 also adds a touch of reality to the story, making the character seem more substantial. In addition, with new details arising about the ill-fated king, one wonders if he was all that bad. Even Jemima, who meets him, wonders about that. Was the maligned Richard as much of a villain as history has painted him? However, as always, author Wendy Leighton-Porter does not whitewash the facts of history, although in this case the fate of the princes remains something of a mystery. Even if history can’t be changed, might it be tweaked? In the end the kids learn that sometimes people don’t do as they are advised… The series is a wonderful gift for avid young readers and even more so for any reluctant young reader who has to be coaxed into the pages of a book.


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Book Blast: Emoji Adventures The Horse Party

BeachBoundBooks is pleased to be coordinating a Book Bl ast for the children's adventure book written by P.T. Evans, Emoji Adventures V olume 1: The Horse Party. The blast will run June 20 - June 22, 2016.


emoji

About the Book


Title: Emoji Adventures Volume 1: The Horse Part y | Author: P.T. Evans | Genre: Children's Adventure | Number of Pages: 108 | Publisher: Montage Publishing  | Publication Date: February 21, 2016

Book Description: OBSESSED WITH EMOJIS?
LOL with your favorite emojis as they come to life in this fun, new series. Follow Annie with the constant smile; Kevin, her devilish brother; Bi lly, poop head and BFF; and Dot, the love-struck jock as they make their way through Emoji Elementary.

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What others have to say about the book...< br />
"I LOVE this book! The dialogue is witty (and LOL funny ); the characters are endearing; and the theme is universally sweet. The author h as created a unique experience, blending modern inventions of emojis with cla ssic lessons for kids (and, truly, all of us). It would make a fun read-aloud as well! D efinitely a winner." - Robin (Amazon)

"This book is darling! My girls fell in love with Annie a nd her emoji buddies! We can't wait for the next installment so we can laugh and ke ep on reading!!!" - Amazon Reviewer

"The Emoji Adventures combines things that a lot of kid s love- silly characters, fun storylines and emojis!" - Amazon Reviewer

Montage Publishing Summer Reading Program


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"We at Montage Publishing are committed to creating quality books for childr en; as parents and educators, we ’ re also aware of the academic backslide that can happen during summer.  We ’ ve created some worksheets, a reading log, and a certific ate of achievement to be used alongside our EMOJI ADVENTURES series.&nb sp; Feel free to use them as they are or adapt them to your specific needs .

To further encourage summer reading, we ’ re having a drawing for two sets of EMOJI ADVENTURES books – one for the winning student; one for his/her library."

To print worksheets and enter the drawing visit montagepublishing.com.

About the Author: P.T. Evans


ptevans 

P.T. Evans has been writing books for children under various names for two decades. With seventeen novels, numerous author visits, and stat e reading awards, Evans' books have been translated into two dozen languages.


Book Blast Giveaway


Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card or $25 PayPal cash prize, winner's choice Giveaway ends: July 4, 11:59 pm, 2016 Open to: Internationally How to enter: Please enter using the Raffle copter widget below. Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSA RY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be ra ndomly 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 n ew 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 wi th Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, P.T. Evans and is hosted and managed by Stacie from BeachBoundBooks. If you have any additional ques tions feel free to send an email to stacie@BeachBoundBooks.com.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Book Blast: Raising Sleeping Stones

BeachBoundBooks is pleased to be coordinating a Book Bl ast for the middle grade fantasy written by P.H.T. Bennet, Raising Sleeping Ston es (The Orora Crona Chronicles, Book One). The blast will run June 20 - June 22, 2016.

RaisingSleepingStones

About the Book

Title: Raising Sleeping Stones (The Orora Crona Chronicles, Book One) | Author: P.H.T. Bennet Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy | Number of Pa ges: 
364 | Publisher: DreamKeeper Publishing Publication Date: December 4, 2014

Book Description: ***Winner of a 2013 Newbury C omics Award!***

Wh en sisters Kiva and DeeDee Stone discover a mysterious plot that threatens them and everything they care about, they have to take a crash course in the ancient art of DreamKeeping to survive. As two elder DreamKeepers lead them up the Varruvyen river to the Eyle of Return, they show the girls how to gain drea m powers greater than anything they had ever imagined. But can they become strong e nough to face the monsters that haunt their dreams at night, strong enough to fight the enemies that draw nearer each day? The answer lies somewhere in the bro ken history of Orora Crona, the Valley of Dreams lost centuries ago, and whoever can piec e it together first will rule for centuries to come.


Read an excerpt...

Kiva looked closely at the sun ’ s golden face. Wavy rays representing shimmering heat radiated out from it. Its cheeks were plump, the lips f ull and curved, the nose wide, and the eyes were a little almond-shaped, like hers. In the m iddle of its forehead was a weird circle with six curving parts swirling around a six-pointed st ar. She ’ d never seen the sun drawn like that. Wondering what was on the back of the pendant , Kiva turned it over.

The instant she saw the moon ’ s closed eyes, her hair flew back in the wind, her stomac h dropped, and she was pressed back against the cushions of a ves sel that was flying just inches above the river. She jerked her head back up and foun d she was in the back of a crescent-shaped boat piloted by an old man sitting up front. She was about to call out to him when he pointed at a tree that had fallen across the ri ver and shouted, “ When you get here, you must take a detour that even old Jacques didn ’ t know about! Hold on! ”

Before she could, though, he turned the boat around so quickl y that Kiva was thrown against the side of her boat and the wind was knocked out of her. She only got her breath back when he straightened out and followed the river back do wn.

“ Look there! ” he shouted moments later . “ Turn right between the tall twins! ”

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Watch the book video...


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