Friday, April 3, 2020

Review: Let's Learn Spanish by Aurora Cacciapuoti

First Words for Everyone
by Aurora Cacciapuoti
Chronicle Books
Picture Book / Languages/ NonFiction
48 pages
ages 4 and up

Accessible introduction to Spanish language and Mexican culture

Learning Spanish is just a few pictures away in this lovingly illustrated picture book language primer! Focusing on the Spanish language as it is spoken in Mexico, this informative picture book is an ideal way to learn. Pairing words and whimsical pictures, aspiring Spanish speakers are treated to a breezy yet informative experience. At once instructive and a joy to behold, Let's Learn Spanish is a go-to gift for the world traveler and language learner.

• Fantastic resource for Spanish language learners young and old!
• Perfect gift for anyone traveling to Mexico or South America.
• Aurora Cacciapuoti is an author and illustrator of more than a dozen children's books.

This informative Spanish language primer will appeal to readers of Little Concepts: ABC Spanish, First Words – Spanish, and My Big Book of Spanish Words.



Little ones will enjoy diving into this small wealth of words and have fun trying out the different terms as they go along.

This book takes a first glance into the world of Spanish. The first pages are more for guardians/caretakers/teachers (etc) as an overall look into the Spanish language is presented—how many types of Spanish, where, how many people speak it, and so forth. After this short intro, the book dives into the words.

The book is divided into themes ranging from animals to vegetables to travel to family and much more. Each two-page spread is decorated with various, illustrated items fitting to the theme. Underneath each one is the term in English and then (with fitting article) in Spanish.

My kids enjoyed flipping through and trying to pronounce the different words, and I'm sure they'll remember a few of their favorites. I was a little disappointed that there isn't a section on pronunciation or any help on this front, since a few of the letters are pronounced quite differently in Spanish than English. But it still lets young readers explore everyday words and enjoy letting the foreign language roll of their tongues. It won't teach them Spanish, but that's also not the goal. It opens them up to it in a fun way, and that's already a leap in the right direction.

And here she is...

Aurora Cacciapuoti is an author and illustrator of more than a dozen books, including Let's Learn Japanese. She lives in L'Aquila, Italy.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Review: Urban Playground by Katie Burke

What Kids Say About Living in 
San Francisco
by Katie Burke
Spark Press
Children's Social Studies
192 pages

APRIL 7th!!!

Rural areas cover 97 percent of the United States—yet more than 80 percent of the US population lives in urban areas. What is life like for the millions of children who populate our nation’s cities?

In Urban Playground, Katie Burke interviews fifty children, ages five to nine, who live in San Francisco. In each conversation, she explores one of ten different themes—family, school, pets, vacation, work, heroes, holidays, favorite foods, talents, and sports—followed by insights on the topic. She rounds out each segment with five questions for adults and kids to discuss after they’ve read it together, encouraging open, honest dialogue about young readers’ thoughts on the subject matter at hand. Future books in the series will expand into other major U.S. cities. Fun, accessible, and interactive, Urban Playground is an important window into the ways children in cities think about and describe the most important aspects of their lives—which is every aspect of their lives!



Adults might think they know all about San Francisco, but this book shows what kids see and think about the exciting city. And their thoughts bring several surprises.

Fifty kids, ages five to nine, were interviewed about what living in San Francisco means to them. Some discuss family, others about being a hero, and some about simple things like eating ice cream. There's mention of the Golden Gate Bridge, parks and other sights as well as issues such as homelessness. After each answer, there's a section entitled 'Insights from the Urban Playground', in which highlights about San Francisco and the child's answer are presented with more information. Finally, there's a list of questions which can be used in discussions surrounding various topics and thoughts mentioned in each child's answer.

This book offers a new perspective and insight into San Francisco. Especially those who live there, fans of the city, and those planning on visiting it will find these pages interesting. The thoughts and feelings are very personal and give a fresh view into what it is like to live in this city. Each of the fifty answers comes across with lovely honesty.

 The text is easy to understand and fitting for young readers. Each topic and reasoning of the interviewed children will ring true to young readers and hit upon aspects which truly interest them...and not only those which adults think they'll be curious about. While all fifty answers might be a bit much for young readers to digest, and I'm not sure how each and every one could ever completely be used in a discussion, each one is just as interesting as the last. Even adults will enjoy taking in the well-known city from this different point of view, and learn things they'd never thought about before.


Why do you love talking with kids? How did you realize this was something you
wanted to do? 

Kids have such a fresh way of looking at the world. They are so hilarious because
they are mostly unfiltered, calling everything as they see it with their observations
and immense feelings. For example, I still laugh out loud every time I recall my
niece Molly, five years old at the time, looking up at me as I was opening and
closing web browsers, and saying in a surprised tone, “You’re a smart girl, Katie!”

I knew I wanted to write a book featuring city kids when my publisher and then-
writing coach, Brooke Warner, came up with the concept. She had read some of
my other writing, some of which centered around characters I’d encountered
in San Francisco and New Orleans, and some of which I’d written for and
about city kids. Brooke thought it would be great to put a book out that featured
city kids and invited children everywhere to read about these city kids with
their significant adults. We started in San Francisco, since that is where I live.

Are there certain answers that stand out more to you than others? How so?
Do you have a favorite “kid response” you received while working on this book?

I laughed so hard when Liam, five years old at the time, answered that he was moving
to Michigan after living in San Francisco “for two weeks” (he’d actually lived here for a
year) because “my mom wants to move there, and I always agree with my mom.” His
interview topic was heroes, whom he identified as people who save the city. He said he
used to save the entire city, but “I’m not that guy anymore.” I just love it when little ones
give earnest answers without any clue how funny they are.

What do you think most adults don’t understand about kids? Do you have any
advice for how to communicate with them better?

Well, as someone who is childless by choice, I am always the first to say I don’t
judge most parents, since parenting is an impossible job. But I do think that as a doting
aunt to eight children and a writer who regularly interviews children, I can say that
adults would do best by the children in their lives if they listened more and considered
their children wise. When kids speak, I know they are generally revealing the truth,
with some exceptions where an adult has groomed the child to mimic prepared
statements. My experience with children overwhelmingly reveals their purity of
thought and feeling. Like all of us, they just want to love and be loved, and they are
better at showing that than adults are.

And here she is...

Katie Burke is the author of Urban Playground (SparkPress, 2020), a book featuring
San Francisco kids ages five to nine. She writes Noe Kids, a monthly column for
The Noe Valley Voice, featuring kids ages four to twelve who live in Noe Valley.
Katie has taught creative writing to children and adults in Kenya, South Africa,
and San Francisco. She travels annually to New Orleans, and her writing expresses
her appreciation for San Francisco and New Orleans’ eccentric characters. Also a family
law attorney, Katie writes quarterly judicial and attorney profiles for
San Francisco Attorney Magazine. Her other publications include HarperCollins,
the L.A. Times, KQED Perspectives, and SoMa Literary Review

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Review: Alycat and the Tournament Tuesday by Alysson Foti Bourque with Giveaway!

Join us for this tour from March 17  to April 6, 2020!

Alycat and the Tournament Tuesday 
by Alysson Foti Bourque
Mascot Books
Picture Book
32 pages
ages 3 to 7

A “Mom’s Choice Award Winner”! Alycat’s brother, Bugsy, is playing in a golf tournament with some of his friends, and wants to use his lucky ball to win the game. But when Alycat forgets his lucky ball at home, Bugsy learns what luck is really all about. Can Bugsy win the tournament without his lucky ball? Alycat and the Tournament Tuesday is part of the Alycat Series:


With tons of heart and a bright personality, Alycat is the kind of cat readers will wish they had for a  best friend.

Alycat's brother, Bugsy, has a golf tournament, but as they head out the door, he realizes he's forgotten his lucky ball. Alycat runs in and grabs it. When they arrive at the golf course, she realizes that she snatched the wrong ball. Not wanting Bugsy to ruin his game, she quickly adds the important star with a marker and hopes he won't notice.

This is such a colorful, cute and wholesome read. The sibling relationship between Alycat and her brother hits on the first page with a dash of mischief and a bunch of love. It's easy to sympathize with Alycat as she has to run back into the house and snatch her brother's ball for him, and hard not to feel her disappointment and unease when discovering she grabbed the wrong one. Her solution is a little under-handed but creates a smile and just the right amount of tension to keep readers glued to the pages. 

The illustrations are as bright and bold as Alycat herself and bring across the scenes and atmosphere nicely. This is the first time I've seen a golf course in a picture book. Not only do the illustrations bring the setting across well, but even those not familiar with golf won't feel out of place. And to help out, there's a glossary at the end of the book with all sorts of golf terminology for those who'd like to know more. 

But golf isn't the main theme of this book. Rather, there's a wonderful message wrapped up into the tale about trusting in ones' own ability, especially when this was achieved with hard work and practice. Add the caring relationship of sisters and brothers, and it's a read which warms the heart and is sure to bring more than a single grin.

And here she is...

Alysson Foti Bourque is the author of the award-winning Alycat series. Alysson earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and a Juris Doctor degree from the Southern University Law Center.

After practicing law for six years, she traded in writing trial briefs for writing children’s books. Alysson enjoys public speaking opportunities at schools, conferences, and festivals nationwide. She hopes to inspire people of all ages to follow their dreams and believe in themselves wholeheartedly.


The Alycat Series has won several prestigious awards including:
Three Mom’s Choice Awards®
Benjamin Franklin Digital Award, Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA)
Best Book Award Finalist
NY Big Book Award
Reviewed by Midwest Book Review
Southern Festival of Books Panelist
Louisiana Book Festival Featured Author

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

Tour Schedule:

Mar 17 - Working Mommy Journal – book review / giveaway
Mar 17 - Rockin' Book Reviews – book review / guest post / giveaway
Mar 18 – The Pen and Muse Book Reviews – book review / author interview
Mar 18 - Gwendalyn’s Books – book review / author interview / giveaway
Mar 18 – Books, Dreams, Life – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Mar 18 – fundinmental – book spotlight / giveaway
Mar 19 – Over Coffee Conversations – book review / giveaway
Mar 19 - eBook Addicts - book review / giveaway
Mar 20 – A Mama's Corner Of the World – book review / giveaway
Mar 23 – StoreyBook Reviews – book review / giveaway
Mar 24 – Svetlana's reads and views – book review
Mar 24 - Laura`s Interests – book review / giveaway
Mar 25 - Library of Clean Reads – book review / guest post / giveaway
Mar 25 – Rosco's Reading Room – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Mar 26 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review / giveaway
Mar 26 - T's Stuff – book review / author interview / giveaway
Mar 27 – Books Direct – book review / guest post / giveaway
Mar 30 – She Just Loves Books – book review / author interview / giveaway
Mar 31 – Bound 4 Escape – book review / giveaway
Apr 1 – Bookworm for Kids – book review / giveaway
Apr 2 – – book review / author interview / giveaway
Apr 6 - My Journey Back-The-Journey Back – book review / giveaway


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Sneak Peek: The Secrets of Hawthorne House by Donald Firesmith with Giveaway

The Secrets of Hawthorne House 
by Donald Firesmith 
YA/MG Urban Fantasy 

Matt's life changes forever when a family of druids moves into the dilapidated Victorian mansion next door. The story of an unlikely friendship, the clash of two completely different cultures, secret magic, and a search for the lost Hawthorne treasure. 

Fifteen-year-old Matt Mitchell was having the worst summer imaginable. Matt’s misery started when a drunk driver killed his mother. Then his father moved him and his twin sister to the small town of Hawthorne in rural Indiana, as far as his grieving father could take from the ocean that Matt's mother had loved. At the new high school, three bullies are determined to make Matt miserable. And to top it off, Matt learns that the recluse who lives in the 'haunted house" next door is none other than Old Lady Hawthorne, the town’s infamous witch and murderer. Matt’s terrible summer is turning into an awful autumn when something quite unexpected happens. Old Lady Hawthorne’s niece and her three children arrive, and Matt meets Gerallt. 


By the final week of October, the tall oaks lining Hawthorne Drive had reached the peak of their colors, and the first yellow leaves slowly tumbled down to lie on lawns and sidewalks. All along Hawthorne Drive, the modest one- and two-story houses had been turned into happy Halloween haunts. Throughout the neighborhood, bright orange lights framed windows and doors, and small fluttering ghosts hung from the branches of many of the smaller trees in peoples’ yards. Black plastic spiders sat on the cottony cobwebs that shrouded every bush, while jolly Jack-O-Lanterns stood silent guard at every porch. Front yards had become grave yards, and the occasional inept witch hung where she’d crashed headlong into a tree or the side of a house.
Yet the morning of Halloween had arrived with no change to Hawthorne House, making it appear decidedly underdressed with no sign of Halloween decorations.
“So Gerallt, doesn’t your family celebrate Halloween?” Matt asked as the Hawthorne children joined Tina and him at the bus stop. “You haven’t put up any decorations, and I haven’t heard you mention it all month.”
“Of course we observe Halloween, only we call it Samhain,” Gerallt said, exchanging cautious glances with his sister. Unlike Wiccans, who pronounce the holiday as Sow-in, Gerallt pronounced the Gaelic word meaning the end of summer as Sahm-wan. “It’s just that for us, the holiday doesn’t start until dusk, and we always wait until then tah decorate.”
“Tonight is very special tah us,” Gwyneth added solemnly.
“It’s our new year,” Gerallt continued. “We have a feast tah welcome the spirits of those who will be born in the comin’ year and tah celebrate the lives of those who have passed in the previous year. Tonight, we’ll celebrate the life of our fathah and welcome his spirit when he visits us from the Spirit World…”
Before Matt could decide how to respond to Gerallt’s unexpected expectation that his father’s ghost was going to visit him, Gareth said, “Samhain ‘s my favorite holiday. I love trick-or-treatin’ and all the candy. Can I go with you and Gerallt tonight? Please? I promise not tah be a bothah or anything. Please, Matt?”

A geek by day, Donald Firesmith works as a system and software engineer helping the US Government acquire large, complex software-intensive systems. In this guise, he has authored seven technical books, written numerous software- and system-related articles and papers, and spoken at more conferences than he can possibly remember. He's also proud to have been named a Distinguished Engineer by the Association of Computing Machinery, although his pride is tempered somewhat by his fear that the term "distinguished" makes him sound like a graybeard academic rather than an active engineer whose beard is still slightly more red than gray.

By night and on weekends, his alter ego writes modern paranormal fantasy, apocalyptic science fiction, action and adventure novels and relaxes by handcrafting magic wands from various magical woods and mystical gemstones. His first foray into fiction is the book Magical Wands: A Cornucopia of Wand Lore written under the pen name Wolfrick Ignatius Feuerschmied. He lives in Crafton, Pennsylvania with his wife Becky, and his son Dane, and varying numbers of dogs, cats, and birds. 

Autographed Book of Hell Holes 1: What Lurks Below (US only) 

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Review: The Next President by Kate Messner


by Kate Messner
Illustrated by Adam Rex
Chronicle Books
Picture Book / Non-Fiction
48 pages
ages 8 to 12

An inspiring and informative book for kids about the past and future of America's presidents.

Who will be the NEXT president? Could it be you? When George Washington became the first president of the United States, there were nine future presidents already alive in America, doing things like practicing law or studying medicine.

When JFK became the thirty-fifth president, there were 10 future presidents already alive in America, doing things like hosting TV shows and learning the saxophone.

And right now—today!—there are at least 10 future presidents alive in America. They could be playing basketball, like Barack Obama, or helping in the garden, like Dwight D. Eisenhower. They could be solving math problems or reading books. They could be making art—or already making change.

• A breezy, kid-friendly survey of American history and American presidents
• Great for teachers, librarians, and other educators
• Kate Messner's nonfiction picture books have been lauded by critics and received a variety of awards.

For young readers and students who loved The New Big Book of PresidentsLincoln and Kennedy: A Pair to Compare, and Kid Presidents: True Tales of Childhood from America's Presidents.

A helpful addition to curriculums of 5th- to 8th-grade students studying U.S. History and civics and the federal government.



Presidents weren't born as being presidents, and this book slides through all sorts of interesting facts about each president's life before they took office...and demonstrates that any American citizen has the possibility of being elected someday.

This book encourages young readers to dream, and that how it starts out. But right after that, the first president is introduced. Instead of concentrating on each president's accomplishments, this book gives one or two interesting tidbits, but then mentions how many presidents were born and growing up at the same time, and even hits at some of the things they were up to. And most of these were definitely not 'presidential'.  It is interesting to see all of the normal and not so usual hobbies and jobs these future presidents were doing years before they were actually elected.

While the book is placed in chronological order, time flows a bit back and forth. This breaks up the usual mundane atmosphere and adds as much life as the interesting facts. The illustrations are nicely done and reinforce the point—presidents were not raised to be presidents, but rather had diverse lives like every other normal human being. Some moments are humorous, others inspirations, and a few simply surprising.

At the end of the book, there's a map, which displays where presidents were born, a summary of the requirements to become president, a few 'changing face' facts, and a list of possible reads to learn more about the presidents.

It's an entertaining way to learn about the presidents...and that with a new twist. It also does a lovely job at encouraging young readers to hold onto their own dreams, since even they might find themselves as president someday.

And here they are...

The Author...
Kate Messner is an award-winning author whose many books for kids have been selected as Best Books by the New York Times, Junior Library Guild, IndieBound, and Bank Street College of Education. She lives on Lake Champlain with her family.

The Illustrator...
Adam Rex is the author and illustrator of many beloved picture books and novels, including Nothing Rhymes with Orange and the New York Times bestseller Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich. He has worked with the likes of Jon Scieszka, Mac Barnett, Jeff Kinney, and Neil Gaiman. He lives in Tucson, Arizona.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Review: More Lunch Lines by Dan Signer

Tear-out Riddles for Lunchtime Giggles
by Dan Signer
Illustrated by Steve James
Chronicle Books
Children's Humor / Novelty
408 pages
ages 3 to 10

A fresh helping of laugh-out-loud jokes from the creator of Lunch Lines!

What is a sheep's favorite karate move?

lamb chop!

Parents can turn lunchtime into a real treat with a joke from More Lunch Lines every day! Packed with enough jokes for a whole school year and accompanied by hilarious illustrations, this clever book serves up a fresh helping of sidesplitting jokes and riddles on topics kids love, like animals, space, and sports. Just tear out a joke and drop it in a lunch for a school year of smiles—perfect for busy parents and hectic mornings!

• A perfect back-to-school gift for busy parents
• Enough hilarious jokes for an entire school year!
• Dan Singer is a comedy writer who has written for the TV shows A.N.T. FarmThe Suite Life of Zack and Cody, and One Day at a Time.

Joke loving kids who love Lunchbox Notes and Laugh Out Loud Jokes for Kids will laugh it up for More Lunch Lines.



Adding a little something extra to that lunch box turns into smiles...or even ughs and moans...with these cute jokes.

This is a small but plump booklet, and each page is made to be torn out and shoved into the lunchbox or anywhere else where a child (or maybe even an adult) might be reaching into. The idea of 'giving' a daily joke is simply wonderful, especially since it's not just a joke but the the reminder that someone cares, which really counts. So, this entire concept already won big points in my (and my family's) book.

The pages are thin and made to fold, making them form about an inch and a half square (rough estimate). In other words, these slide easily into even the most stuffed lunchboxes. On one side is a quick, one-lined joke, and on the other is the answer. That's it. Simple and easy and quick.

The jokes are clean and very children friendly. Some are quite clever, while others grabbed everything from 'huh' to eye rolls to 'really?' There are bad jokes, there are obscure jokes and there are simply good jokes. It's a great mixture which doesn't follow a pattern or theme. And there are tons of them to make sure that lunchbox will have one every day for months.

This is a great way to make someone smile (or groan) and to let them know that someone is thinking of them.

And here he is...

Dan Signer is a comedy writer who has written for TV shows including A.N.T. FarmThe Suite Life of Zack and Cody, and One Day at a Time. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two sons.

Sneak Peek: Chloe Rose and the Enchanted Maze by Veronica Elle Butler

Chloe Rose and the Enchanted Maze banner

Chloe Rose and the Enchanted Maze

Chloe Rose and the Enchanted Maze

by Veronica Elle Butler
Middle Grade Fantasy
25 March, 2019

Twelve-year-old Chloe Rose lives a quiet, happy life in her hometown Wilmoton, but she’s haunted by the same nightmare night after night—one with guns and swords and lost fathers. When another brewing battle has her town preparing for war, Chloe’s fears are made into a reality. Promises are left unfulfilled, her family is torn apart, and she must leave her comfy life in Wilmoton behind when she and her mother move into the King’s palace. Living in a castle seems like a dream come true, like the new beginning they need, but Chloe’s not convinced. After a series of altercations, Chloe Rose is kicked out, more desperate for hope than ever. To restore what she’s lost, Chloe travels to an enchanted maze where wishes come true and fairies rule. But with evil forces working against her and her new friends, can Chloe complete the trials of the maze or will her heart’s desires be left unfulfilled?

Chloe Rose and The Enchanted Maze is a powerful story of bravery, friendship, grief, and love.

You can find Chloe Rose and the Enchanted Maze on Goodreads

You can buy Chloe Rose and the Enchanted Maze here:
- Amazon
- Barnes & Noble
- Kobo
- Smashwords

Chloe Rose and the Enchanted Maze is a perfect story for children in military families, mixed race families, or for readers looking for more #ownvoices stories. Discussion questions and teaching materials are available.


The wind sang through the meadow under the open bright skies of Wilmoton, the land advanced confidently with warmth. Each new day, the promise of spring drew near as wildflowers rose from the earth. The Langerfield battle had ended two years ago, and peace had once again returned to Wilmoton. So, Chloe Rose spent some time alone in her special place. 
This was where she felt lighter and happier; its warmth spread to her heart. Here, Chloe’s favorite spot was on a little hill in the middle of a meadow that overlooked Wilmoton. It was one of the most beautiful views that her hometown had to offer. 
Surrounded by gentle whispers of nature, it was also Chloe’s special place to draw flowers and pick them for her mother. The sun glared down at her from the sky, and the breeze brushed her sun-kissed skin while she let her curly brown locks down. She smiled with every twirl on her dress on the soft-bedded grass. For a moment, everything was peaceful and her heart had a steady, calm beat. Here, she was not afraid of what haunted her thoughts, that which caused her to squeeze her eyes shut to make go away. Nor did she worry about the nightmares that came every night after those thoughts. Everything is brighter and calm here, Chloe thought now.
As time crept up on her, Chloe finished her drawing and brushed the pencil shavings and eraser crumbs from her dress. She walked down the slope of the Meadow and back home to her mother, Catherine. She picked some rosebuds for her mother—Mom likes to watch the petals expand slowly as they bloom. She also grabbed the sketch of her view of the meadow, which she made for her father, Michael. 
Chloe’s affection and admiration for her parents were unfathomable. She liked to believe her father had superpowers. Her father was the captain of the Wilmoton’s army. The ongoing dispute between Wilmoton and Cottondale was as old as time. A dispute over land and who owns what and who was the first one on the more fertile land. 
Cottondale’s features ranged from cracked sidewalks and deteriorated houses that either had weathered paints along their walls or were in ruins from previous conflicts. Remnants of broken swords and shields littered its fields. The people of Cottondale showed no inclination to repair these damages. Instead, they carried on with their lives in the only way they could, with the hope of reusing the broken swords and broken shields, whenever the situation would inevitably call for it again. 
Wilmoton was a quaint town with unsurpassed colorful cottages and a huge bell tower named “Armstrong” at the heart of its harmonious infrastructure. The women learned to sew and weave every day in workshops. The people of Wilmoton were hardworking, and it showed. It was the type of place where almost everyone knew each other and people greeted each other with a smile. Wilmoton was ruled by King Francis II, a kind king who protected his people. 
Apart from the never-ceasing war between Wilmoton and Cottondale, Chloe loved living in her hometown. As she skipped along the sidewalk, her pink gown flared up and down in the wind with every bounce. She soon spotted Mr. Andrews with the evening newspaper— a worried look on his face.  
   The Andrews family lived a couple of cottages away from the Roses, and their two daughters Chloe Rose and Thyra Andrews were best friends. Like Chloe’s father, Albert Andrews was in the army, too. 
During one of the many conflicts between the two towns, someone abandoned a baby in a wicker basket on the boundaries of Wilmoton. Disturbed by this little bundle of joy’s being abandoned, Mr. Andrews hurried back to his home with the baby, showing her to his wife, Ava, who had no child of her own. Ava Andrews was overjoyed, so they adopted the baby and named her Thyra.
Upon seeing his worry, Chloe waved her hand to say, “Hello, Mr. Andrews!” Her broad smile revealed her glittering brown eyes, which could cheer up any sad face on a normal day. This time, it did not. 

“Hello, Chloe,” Mr. Andrews replied in haste, his whole face lit up with worry and confusion. Chloe did not know how to interpret the look on his face, so she continued home.

And here she is...

Veronica Elle Butler

Veronica Elle Butler is a Middle-Grade Author. Growing up, her childhood dream job is to become a doctor like most children but her life path leads her to a different role; wife, mom, twin daughters in a nutshell . She conceives the idea of an Enchanted Maze one night after reading bedtime stories to her twin daughters. She wants to create a world she could share with her daughters and other children as well, so, she begins to map out her story on a notebook every night when it’s quiet without distractions. Chloe Rose and the Enchanted Maze pulls the reader into a world of mystery that overlaps our mortal world all consisting of grief, pains of rejection, a curious twist of fate, heart of courage, and forming lasting friendships, she delivers an unforgettable adventure to her readers. She’s an avid scrabble player, enjoys documentaries and, learns along side of her husband the roles of a Military Man when she’s not writing. She enjoys spending time with her daughters and being a Mom. Her twins absolutely love Chloe Rose and the Enchanted Maze and she hopes every child would fall in love with it as much as they have. To find out more you can follow her on Twitter @MazeEnchanted. Her debut novel Chloe Rose and the Enchanted Maze will be available in Spring 2020.

You can find and contact Veronica Elle Butler here
- Website
- Twitter
- Goodreads
- Instagram

This book blitz is organized by Lola's Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 25 till 31 March. See the tour schedule here.

Sneak Peek: Poor Florida Cracker by Chelsea Falin with Giveaway!

Poor Florida Cracker 
by Chelsea Falin 
YA Coming of Age 

Sissy Collet and her siblings have grown up with neglectful parents, impoverished, and bullied by their small town. When they finally get their chance to break free, they take it - despite having the odds stacked against their favor. With nothing except a half-cooked scheme and an old beater, they set off without a set destination in the hopes they will finally be free of the baggage holding them back. Will Sissy get her happily ever after? Or will she never be anything more than a Poor Florida Cracker? 


Chelsea Falin is the 25 year old independent author of well over ten titles. She began writing with intents to publish in 2006, at age 16, and finally published in 2009, at age 19. Chelsea writes in a variety of genres, including but not limited to: romance, young adult, comedy, cooking, poetry, and dramatic fiction. Professionally, Chelsea is also a freelance blog/article writer, web designer, and book blogger. 

In her personal life, Chelsea is the mother of a six year old daughter. In her free time, she enjoys reading, writing, fishing, hiking, biking, traveling, and spending time with her friends or family. 

$10 Amazon Gift Card 

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Review: Pippa Park Raises Her Game by Erin Yun

by Erin Yun
Fabled Film Press
Middle Grade Contemporary
288 pages
ages 9 to 12

A Contemporary Reimagining of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens for Middle Graders

Life is full of great expectations for Korean American Pippa Park. It seems like everyone, from her family to the other kids at school, has a plan for how her life should look. So when Pippa gets a mysterious basketball scholarship to Lakeview Private, she jumps at the chance to reinvent herself by following the “Rules of Cool.”

At Lakeview, Pippa juggles old and new friends, an unrequited crush, and the pressure to perform academically and athletically while keeping her past and her family’s laundromat a secret from her elite new classmates. But when Pippa begins to receive a string of hateful, anonymous messages via social media, her carefully built persona is threatened.

As things begin to spiral out of control, Pippa discovers the real reason she was admitted to Lakeview and wonders if she can keep her old and new lives separate, or if she should even try.

Bonus Content
Discussion Questions, Author Q&A, and Korean Language Glossary and Pronunciation Guide



Pippa Park's spunk, determination and heart make her a character to love as she dribbles through all sorts of unexpected troubles.

Pippa Park might be great at basketball, but math is not her thing, and that causes some major troubles. Being raised by her older sister and her husband—since their mother had to return to Korea due to a lack of a green card—life wouldn't be too bad, but her older sister is strict. That means no basketball until Pippa gets her grades back up. When she's suddenly informed that she's been given a scholarship to the private school with expectations that she'll improve their basketball team, she not only can't believer her luck, she has no clue where it came from. She might be thrilled, but she's also knows that going to a rich school won't be easy. And it's even worse than she suspected.

What a engaging read! Pippa has the perfect balance of problems, humor, drama, determination and a little suspense. While it appears at times to hit cliche moments from a poor-kid-hits-rich-kid drama, these usually swing into completely different and unexpected directions, making it hard to know what Pippa's really up against and who she can depend on. Every scene adds something new to the story, making it a read, which isn't easily put down as she tries to find her spot in life and figure out how she can juggle everything.

Not only is this a school drama, but the author hits upon other topics. Pippa is Korean, and her family has been divided thanks to her mother's inability to remain in the US. Yet, she wants the best for her kids and leaves them behind...but the love and connections are still there. Aspects of the Korean culture flows in with ease, offering insight without becoming forced or overpowering. Even the other characters deal with their own problems, ranging from jealousy to dealing with family loss. And yet all of this never comes across as too serious thanks to the author's ability to sprinkle in just the right amount of humor and ease at just the right time. It's definitely a read to recommend.