Saturday, July 21, 2018

Guest Post with author Meg Leder, Letting Go of Gravity, and Giveaway!




Letting Go of Gravity 
by Meg Leder 
Simon Pulse
July 17th 2018
YA Contemporary



“The anticipation and slow burn of Parker and Finn’s relationship is electric…[an] absorbing novel that will appeal to fans of Rainbow Rowell.” —Booklist 
Parker struggles to reconnect with her twin brother, Charlie—who’s recovering from cancer—as she tries to deal with her anxiety about the future in this powerful new novel.
Twins Parker and Charlie are polar opposites.
Where Charlie is fearless, Parker is careful.
Charlie is confident while Parker aims to please.
Charlie is outgoing and outspoken; Parker is introverted and reserved.
And of course, there’s the one other major difference: Charlie got cancer. Parker didn’t.
But now that Charlie is officially in remission, life couldn’t be going better for Parker. She’s landed a prestigious summer internship at the hospital and is headed to Harvard in the fall to study pediatric oncology—which is why the anxiety she’s felt since her Harvard acceptance is so unsettling. And it doesn’t help that her relationship with Charlie has been on the rocks since his diagnosis.
Enter Finn, a boy who’s been leaving strange graffiti messages all over town. Parker can’t stop thinking about those messages, or about Finn, who makes her feel free for the first time: free to doubt, free to make mistakes, and free to confront the truth that Parker has been hiding from for a long time.
That she keeps trying to save Charlie, when the person who really needs saving is herself.


GUEST POST by MEG LEDER...

In my new book Letting Go of Gravity, my main character Parker struggles with anxiety, even though she doesn’t quite know what’s going on until the end of the book. As someone who also has a hard time getting out of her own head, like Parker, I’ve discovered a few ways to help manage my busy mind. Here are some of the tricks Parker and I have used to calm ourselves:
  • Immerse yourself in the words of others. For Parker, it’s listening to Taylor Swift. For me, it’s finding a book that I can lose myself in. Sometimes, the mere act of letting yourself spend time with other voices is enough to give your worried mind a break.
  • Get busy. In my book, Parker starts helping out at a local ceramics shop, working with a group of old women while discovering the joy of making things with her own two hands. For me, it’s writing and being a reading buddy at a local elementary school. Creating and volunteering are both great ways of slowing the worry train, letting your mind focus on other avenues.
  • Be kind to yourself. It’s very easy to be mad at yourself when you’re anxious. You know that you’re not thinking rationally, but that doesn’t stop the anxious thoughts. But being mad at yourself doesn’t help you feel better—in fact, it makes Parker (and me) feel worse. Instead of being hard on yourself, be kind. You can’t always stop the thoughts, but you can at recognize that anxiety is hard and you’re doing the best you can.
  • Talk to your friends and family. Throughout the book, Parker’s new friends Ruby and Finn encourage her to talk about her feelings, and it’s only when she starts to tell people that she’s worried and scared that things start to get better. I’ve found that being open about my worried thoughts with people I trust—my family, my best friends, my therapist—is often the first step toward owning and overcoming my anxiety.
  • Know that it’s okay to seek help. It takes Parker a long time (a whole book!) to recognize she needs help in managing her worry. It took me twenty-plus years. More than anything, I hope that anyone who sees a little or a lot of themselves in Parker knows it’s okay to ask for help, whether it’s from a teacher, trusted adult, therapist, or good friend. Anxiety can be a hard road, but having someone on your side can make the journey a lot easier.
I hope you enjoy Letting Go of Gravity, and if you’re anxious too, please know you’re not alone—Parker and I are both with you.


And here she is...


A former bookseller and teacher, Meg Leder currently works as a book editor in New York City. Her role models are Harriet the Spy and Anne Shirley. She is the coauthor of The Happy Book, and spends her free time reading, looking for street art, and people watching. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. 



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Friday, July 20, 2018

Review: Everything I Know About You by Barbara Dee


EVERYTHING I KNOW ABOUT YOU
by Barbara Dee
Aladdin
June 12, 2018
Middle Grade Contemporary
ages 9 to 12
320 pages


Misfit Tally is forced to room with queen bee Ava on the seventh grade field trip to Washington, DC, and discovers several surprising things about her roommate—including the possibility of an eating disorder—in this timely new novel from the author of Star-Crossed and Halfway Normal.

During a class trip to DC, twelve-year-old Tally and her best friends, Sonnet and Caleb (a.k.a. Spider) are less than thrilled when they are assigned roommates and are paired with kids who are essentially their sworn enemies. For Tally, rooming with “clonegirl” Ava Seely feels like punishment, rather than potential for fun.

But the trip is full of surprises. Despite a pact to stick together as much as they can, Sonnet pulls away, and spider befriends Marco, the boy who tormented him last year. And Marco just might “like” Tally—what’s that about?

But the uneasy peace in Ava and Tally’s room is quickly upended when Tally begins to suspect something is off about Ava. She has a weird notebook full of random numbers, and doesn’t seem to eat anything during meals. When Tally confronts Ava, Ava threatens to share an embarrassing picture of Tally with the class if Tally says anything to anyone about her suspicions. But will Tally endanger more than her pride by keeping her secret?

This is one class trip full of lessons Tally will never forget: how to stay true to yourself, how to love yourself and embrace your flaws, and how being a good friend can actually mean telling a secret you promised to keep…



MY TIDBITS

With a little bit of humor, a spunky character and heaps of finesse, this book takes on a difficult topic not often mentioned in middle grade novels.

Tally's class trip is heading toward Washington D.C., something she's theoretically excited about...if it weren't for most of the people in her class. To make matters worse, the teacher has placed Tally and each of her two friends with their corresponding worst enemies ever. To help get through it, Tally starts a game. Her and her friends come up with tiny secrets for each one of their enemies and tell each other each day. While some personal secrets are silly and cute, Tally discovers something very confusing about her enemy—a notebook with numbers which don't appear to have any clear meaning. As she tries to uncover the secret of these numbers, she stumbles across something which changes everything she thought she knew about her worst enemy.

Eating disorders aren't one of the themes usually handled in middle grade books, but it's a topic which does, unfortunately, affect even some within this age group. While being a difficult problem to address, the author does a wonderful job in these pages and brings the message home without hammering it in or taking wrong turns along the way.

Tally is a bit of a strange character. She's a twelve-year-old who doesn't fit in, except with her two friends, but still packs a spunky punch. Her style is way out there, and even when she's unsure of her decisions, she holds to her individuality and faces the world. At the same time, she bites. The first chapters do not present a mild personality, but she attacks her enemies with snark and harshness. This gives her corners which aren't always likable but definitely realistic. Tally has things to learn.

Although this takes place during a class trip, this is a book about people and their relationships. Tally not only makes surprising discoveries about those who she considered enemies, but also about her own friends. The bounds of friendship and enemies bend and twist in this tale while staying down-to-earth and believable. Each character has something to offer, surprises of their own and brings fuel to the tale. This is a story about feelings, middle school drama, getting to really know people, and realizing that everyone has their own monsters to battle. In this sense, Tally's sharpness turns to careful fingers and kindness which offers inspiration and food for thought.



And here she is...

Barbara Dee is the author of The (Almost) Perfect Guide to Imperfect Boys, Trauma Queen, This Is Me Fro Now On, Solving Zoe (Bank Street Best Children's Books) and Just Another Day in My Insanely Real Life (Publishers Weekly starred review) and Truth or Dare. Barbara is one of the  founders and directors of he Chappaqua Children's Book Festival. She lives in Westchester County, New York with her family, tow naughty cats, and a rescue hound dog named Ripley. Barbara blogs at www.Frothemixedupfiles.com.
Read more about Barbara at www.BarbaraDeeBooks.com.






















Happy Book Birthday, Searching by Cindy Cipriano with Giveaway!




SEARCHING

The Fading Series, #2
by Cindy Cipriano 
Clean Teen Publishing
YA Fantasy, Romance





A fast-paced fantasy romance with rich characters and immersive storytelling,Searching is the second book in theFading series by award-winning author Cindy Cipriano.
To say Leath is traveling light is an understatement. She’s only bringing three things on her trip. One is a silver heart locket—a gift from her longtime best-friend-turned-boyfriend Victor Santana. Next is a wedding token in the shape of a J, from James Turner. And of course, she’s packing her pistol. That’s it. She knows that when she leaves Woodvine, even her own mother may not remember her in the shifted reality that will be left behind. Bringing anything else would be pointless. But she’s driven now, by something that eclipses everything else, something she just got back: her memories. And now that she remembers James—she won’t stop searching until she finds him.




EVEN MORE ABOUT SEARCHING!!!

One-liner for Searching?
How far would you search for The One?

More details?
Leath is packing light: just her two lockets (one from Victor, one from James) – and of course, her pistol. She knows that when she leaves Woodvine, even her own mother may not remember her in the shifted reality that will be left behind. But she’s driven by something that eclipses everything else: her recovered memories. Now that she remembers James—she won’t stop searching until she finds him.
Where did the idea come from for Searching?
Searching is the second book in The Fading Series. Searching takes up immediately where Fading left off, just as Leath puts her foot down inside Judaculla.
What genre is Searching?
Young adult.
But – the entire series crosses genres. It’s a paranormal, dystopian, young adult romance mash-up. Searching is also a crossover, appealing to young adults and up.

Who would enjoy reading Searching?
Fans of Fading who are waiting to find out if it’s Victor or James.
And, anyone who has ever been in love with two people at the same time. 

Favorite lines from Searching:
  1. I wanted to touch him. So I did. (pg. 1)
  2. The first time I held hands with Victor Santana, it wasn’t romantic. Not at all. (pg. 3)
  3. Victor’s strong hand cradled mine, and he became my tether to reality. (pg. 3)
  4. His warm lips brushed against my ear as he whispered three little words. “I can wait.” (pg. 6)
  5. Name James Turner. Age 17. Parents Emancipated Minor. (pgs. 10-11)
  6. “I don’t usually get this close to a girl, unless I’m going to kiss her,” said the boy, giving me a playful grin. (pg. 23)
  7. When we were apart, it seemed as if all of eternity passed before I saw him again. (pg. 110)
  8. To one boy, I’d gladly give my heart. To the other, my life. (pg. 130)
  9. I wondered how long a person could live like this, so completely torn in half. (pg. 130)
  10. She could have any boy in the restaurant. Why was she falling all over mine? (pg. 147)
  11. But right now I had him. The boy of my dreams. (pg. 174)
  12. “I will never stop loving you,” he said. “Not even in death.” (pg. 268)
James is sort of a two-sides-to-one-coin kind of guy. Was it difficult writing his character?
Definitely, but so worth it!
*sighs*
He’s drop-dead gorgeous and funny, but he hovers over dark territory. It was a challenge writing him because I wanted my readers to see what Leath sees in James. In Searching, fans will see just how deep James’s feelings for Leath go.

And Leath’s other love interest, Victor, was it hard to write him?
Not a bit.
*sighs again*
Victor is the definition of the perfect guy. He’s good-looking, funny, confident and charismatic. Not to mention he has an exceptionally beautiful heart.

Who is your favorite character in Searching?
Ever continues to be my favorite character. She’s the girl you love to hate. I think we’re all hoping that in the end, she’ll do the right thing. The problem is we lose a faith in her each time she opens her mouth. As I continue writing the series, I’m currently working on book three and James is fast becoming a close second to Ever as my favorite character. I think readers will enjoy watching James’s growth from Fading to Searching to where I am now in writing the series.
Who designed the cover of Searching?
The talented Marya Heidel. Isn’t it stunning?!

How many books are in the Searching series? 
There will be at least 4 books in the series.

How can readers keep up with you and the Fading series?
Anything and everything about The Fading Series can be found at Clean Teen Publishing or CindyCipriano.com.


And here she is...

Cindy Cipriano lives in North Carolina with her husband, son and their 27 pets.
Not really.
Just three dogs who think they are children and three cats who think they are raccoons. It only seems as if they make 27. When Cindy isn't writing, she enjoys spending time with her family and the avoidance of cooking.
Cindy's first novel, The Circle, Book One of The Sidhe won the 2014 Moonbeam Children's Book Silver Award for Pre-Teen Fiction - Fantasy. Other titles in the series include The Choice, Book Two of The Sidhe (2015) and The Lost, Book Three of The Sidhe (2017). This seven-book series is published by Odyssey Books.
Miller's Island Mysteries #1 The Case of the Toxic River (2017) is the first in her eleven-book science mystery series (Vulpine Press). #2 The Case of the Catalyst will release in 2018.
Look for Fading, the first in her young adult series, in April 2018. (Clean Teen Publishing). Fading is the tale of first loves and the consequence of dreaming up Mr. Right.

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Thursday, July 19, 2018

Interview with author Bernie DePasquale, What Does God Sound Like?, and a Giveaway!

What Does God Sound Like? 
by Bernie DiPasquale
Mindstir Media
September 14, 2016
Children's Fiction / Religious
34 pages


Tour dates: June 25 to July 20, 2018
Content Rating: G


We tell our kids that God is everywhere. Pray and maybe He will answer. But if God is everywhere and has created all things, then He must be talking to us all the time. This is my short story to help my Grandchildren understand they can talk with God all day, every day, everywhere.

To follow the tour, please visit Bernie DiPasquale's page on iRead Book Tours.






Interview with Bernie DiPasquale!


Bernie DiPasquale was nice enough to take the time to stop by today and answer a few questions...because inquiring bookworms want to know! So, without further adieu...here's Bernie!


It's always easier to start out with the basics. So please, tell us a little about yourself.  
Born in Baltimore, currently live in Joppa, MD.  I work in the Financial Industry.

From Financial Industry to children books is quite the step. How and when did you become a writer?  
Decided to write a book when I was 65..No training, etc…just wanted to get some thoughts in print.

Sounds like a great way to dive in. How would you describe your writing style?
Keep it simple, like talking to a 4-year-old.  Write the way I talk.

Natural and easy is often best. Is that what makes you different from other writers or is there something else?  
Not sure I’m different, I’m just me.

I'm sure jumping into the writing world included some unexpected moments. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?  

We are surrounded by material, just have to take the time to look and listen.


So true! Life offers an endless amount of material. How many books have you written, and which one is your favorite?

2 books!  Favorite…”My Special Gifts”


Since you've got a little experience under your belt, do you have any suggestions to help others become better writers?

Write the way you talk…makes it your style.


Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

Great positive feed back. They all love the material and illustrations.


And what more could a writer ask for? Thanks again for stopping by and shedding some light into your writing and experiences. All the best, and happy writing!


And here he is...


Bernie was born and raised in Baltimore, MD and now resides in Joppa, a small community just a bit north up the I-95 corridor. He has spent his entire professional career in Education and Financial Services. More importantly he is a Husband, Father, and Grandfather to a beautiful family.

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



Enter the Giveaway!!!
Ends July 28, 2018




Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Review: Hooked by Deanna Browne


HOOKED
The Hardwired Trilogy Book 1
by DeAnna Browne
YA Science Fiction






When virtual reality surpasses people’s wildest dreams, many struggle to remain in the real world. Sixteen-year-old Ari has watched the financial and emotional cost of virtual reality addiction for years as her father continues barely existing in a VR coma. Unfortunately, her only option to help her family escape poverty is if she studies the one subject she hates and fears: virtual reality programming.



Despite her misgivings, Ari soon develops a rare talent that makes her question everything. Now she must hide her ability or risk becoming a priceless commodity that governments and corporations will fight, steal or even kill to possess. As officials tighten the shackles surrounding Ari, she rebels against her imposed future and searches for a way to save those she loves. Yet, running proves impossible, when the government is always one click away.




MY TIDBITS


Virtual reality and science fiction come together to form an intriguing tale with surprises, emotion and unexpected secrets.

Ari isn't a fan of virtual reality, something which makes her more than an odd egg. So when she receives a rare scholarship to become a VR programmer/designer, it doesn't make complete sense, but it's the chance for her to secure a better future for her poor family. As she hits the academy and tries to deal with classes and people, her rare talent surfaces, and she finds that the fears of VR which have haunted her are nothing in comparison to the nightmare she now faces.

This book takes an intriguing look at a society addicted to virtual reality and some possible results such a wide-spread addiction could bring. The pages bring lots of food for thought, while hitting a thematic teens and even adults can easily understand. This is wrapped up into a fast-paced, engaging plot, which keeps the pages turning until the very end. And what a ride it is!

Ari is an endearing character. She doesn't fit in, has a good heart, and harbors determination. She has flaws and is a bit naive at times, but it's exactly this which makes her easy to connect to and believable as a character. But it's not only Ari which is easy to cheer for. The other characters have their own original personalities and problems giving each one a character arc to follow. All together, this weaves a gripping tale with VR and computer flare. Of course, there are numerous unexpected twists as things unfold, creating a true conspiracy which lays the foundations for a sure to be intriguing series. Simply said, it's a good read.


And here she is...


DeAnna Browne graduated from Arizona State University with her BS in Psychology. She finds it helps to corral those voices in her mind and put them to paper. Her debut novel, A DEMON RISING, came out in August 2017 with Black Opal Books and book two in the series, UNHOLY SUNDERING, is due out 2018. An avid reader and writer, she has a soft spot for fantasy with a touch of romance. Despite her love for food and traveling, she always finds her way back to Phoenix, Arizona with her husband, children, and pet dog.








Cover Reveal: Betrothed by Christina Bauer with Giveaway!





BETROTHED
Angelbound Origins, #1.5
by Christina Bauer 
Monster House Books
YA Fantasy

COMING...
JANUARY 30th, 2019!!!



***An action-packed novella from Prince Lincoln’s point of view***
When it comes to fighting demons, Prince Lincoln is the greatest warrior in the history of his people, the thrax. Now Lincoln faces his hardest fight yet…and it’snot on a traditional battlefield.
Lincoln wants nothing more than to marry Myla Lewis, the part-demon girl who has captured his heart. However, an evil thrax noble—the powerful Earl of Acca—is prepared to do anything to stop Lincoln and Myla from having a future.
But Lincoln won’t give up on his Myla. Ever.
To fight Aldred, Lincoln works to create a different kind of marriage—an Alliance of the lesser thrax houses against Acca. Sadly, just as Lincoln starts to makes some progress, the nobles who’ve joined his Alliance begin to vanish. Is Aldred behind the disappearances, or is someone else vying for power? When Lincoln discovers the truth, it upends his entire world, threatening his future with Myla in ways no one could ever have imagined.


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. The first three books in the series are now available as audiobooks on Audible and iTunes.
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. 

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Monday, July 16, 2018

Sneak Peek: The Boyfriend Whisperer by Linda Budzinski with Giveaway





The Boyfriend Whisperer 
by Linda Budzinski 
 Swoon Romance
November 15th 2016
YA Contemporary, Romance





As President and CEO of Boyfriend Whisperer Enterprises, Lexi Malloy is Grand View High School’s undercover Cupid. One problem: She’s stuck in the friend zone when it comes to her own crush, Chris Broder. She and Chris have been best friends since the third grade, and he doesn’t even seem to realize she’s is a member of the opposite sex.
When pretty and popular cheerleader Lindsay LaRouche hires Lexi to whisper Chris, she has to decide whether to place her commitment to her company—and Chris’s happiness—before herself.



SNEAK PEEK

I crank up Mumford & Sons on my iPod and pull up the Boyfriend Whisperer Enterprises files on my tablet. With Valentine’s ten days away, I need to plot out some big moves for my clients.
I start with Jolene. I watched Brendon staring at her this afternoon during the pep rally. He’s falling hard. No need to play it subtle. He likes spicy food, so Red Hots are an obvious choice, in a heart-shaped tin. What should the card say? Something super flirty. “Let’s heat it up on Valentine’s.” No … “spice it up.” I jot that down and move on to my next client.
Just as I’m picking out a sweet YouTube link I want her to send her BF-to-be, Coach Reilly pulls my earbud out and scares me half to death.
“Malloy! I’m talking to you. What are you working on?”
I slam my tablet shut. “What? Homework. Sorry. What do you need?”
She shoves my backpack to the floor and plops down beside me. “Let’s talk about tomorrow. We’re expecting scouts from all over. Rumor has it someone from U Conn might even turn up.”
She pauses as if to gauge my reaction, so I force a smile. “U Conn? Wow. That’s great.”
She leans in. “There’ll be a lot of buzz in that arena. Parents, coaches, other players. They’ll all be talking about the scouts and about you and your future. Here’s the thing: You need to ignore them.”
“Ignore them.”
“Exactly. You have one job tomorrow, and that’s to play the best game Alexis Malloy knows how to play. Run, pass, shoot, rebound. That’s it. The rest is static. Ignore the static.”
“Got it. Static.”
Coach furrows her brow. “You nervous?”
“Maybe a little.”
She pats my arm as she stands. “A little nervousness is good. You’ve got this, Malloy. You can do it.”
I smile and slump back into my seat. The fact is, I’m not at all nervous. I only said that so she wouldn’t launch into a lecture about being too cocky. She’s forever vacillating between warning me not to be too nervous and not to be too cocky, when in reality, I’m neither. The truth is, when it comes to college scouts, I just wish they’d leave me alone.


And here she is...
My young adult novels, EM & EM (2015) and THE FUNERAL SINGER (2013), were both published by Swoon Romance YA. My upcoming novel, THE BOYFRIEND WHISPERER, scheduled for publication in fall of 2016 by Swoon, received the Romance Writers of America Young Adult Chapter’s 2015 Rosemary Award and the Virginia Chapter’s 2015 Fool for Love Award.
I live in Northern Virginia with my husband, Joe, and our feisty chihuahua, Demitria (also known as Dee Dee, The Puppy, and Killer). I’m a sucker for romance and reality TV and have been known to turn off my phone’s ringer when watching “The Bachelor.”
My favorite flower is the daisy, my favorite food is chocolate, and my favorite song is “Amazing Grace.”
When I’m not writing, I work in nonprofit management. I’m represented by the amazing Andrea Somberg of Harvey Klinger Inc.


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