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1. MMGM Links (6/20/16)

In the middle of the all-nighter I'm pulling to get Lodestar turned in today (OMG MY BRAIN IS READY TO BREAK) So these may be the iffiest MMGM links yet. But here you go:

- Angela Russell joins the MMGM fun with a feature on FLICKERS. Click HERE to see why. 
- Emily at Literary Hoots is also joining the MMGM fun with a feature on WOLF HOLLOW. Click HERE to welcome her to the group!
- Dorine White thinks the AWESOME 8 are awesome! Click HERE to read her review.
Suzanne Warr has chills for ODD AND THE FROST GIANTS. Click HERE to see what she thought.
- Books 4 Learning is cheering for THE WEDNESDAY WARS. Click HERE to read her review.
- Greg Pattridge is spotlighting the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC KIDS ALMANAC 2017--with a giveaway! Click HERE to see what he thought.   
- Rosi Hollinbeck is reviewing--and GIVING AWAY--THE SLEEPOVER. Click HERE for details.   
- Natalie Aguirre has an author (and agent) guest post, and a GIVEAWAY of STICKS & STONES. Click HERE for details.
- Reading Violet is highlighting DAWN OF SPIES. Click HERE to see what she thought.  
- The Mundie Moms are always huge supporters of middle grade. Click HERE for their Mundie Kids site. 
- Karen Yingling also always has some awesome MMGM recommendations for you. Click HERE to which ones she picked this time.
- Joanne Fritz always has an MMGM for you. Click HERE to see what she's talking about this week.

If you would like to join in the MMGM fun, all you have to do is blog about a middle grade book you love on a Monday (contests, author interviews and whatnot also count--but are most definitely not required) and email me the title of the book you're featuring and a link to your blog at SWMessenger (at) hotmail (dot) com. (Make sure you put MMGM or Marvelous Middle Grade Monday in the subject line so it gets sorted accurately--and please don't forget to say what book you're featuring) You MUST email me your link by Sunday evening in order to be included in the list of links for the coming Monday. (usually before 11pm PST is safe--but if I'm traveling it can vary. When in doubt, send early!) (Also make sure the post you send me is a new post, not one from earlier in the week. I try to keep the content fresh)

If you miss the cutoff, you are welcome to add your link in the comments on this post so people can find you, but I will not have time to update the post. Same goes for typos/errors on my part. I do my best to build the links correctly, but sometimes deadline-brain gets the best of me, and I'm sorry if it does. For those wondering why I don't use a Linky-widget instead, it's a simple matter of internet safety. The only way I can ensure that all the links lead to safe, appropriate places for someone of any age is if I build them myself. It's not a perfect system, but it allows me to keep better control.

Thank you so much for being a part of this awesome meme, and spreading the middle grade love!


*Please note: these posts are not a reflection of my own opinions on the books featured. Each blogger is responsible for their own MMGM content and I do not pre-screen reviews ahead of time, nor do I control what books they choose. I simply assemble the list based on the links that are emailed to me. 

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2. Monday Mishmash 6/20/16


Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. After Loving You  I'm getting my Ashelyn Drake NA contemporary romance ready for it's early October release. I've gone through edits and now I'm proofing. 
  2. Visions of Mockingbird Point  The final installment of the Curse of the Granville Fortune series is now available. Find out if J.B. and the gang find the fortune and break the curse. Grab your copy here
  3. Father's Day  I hope all the dads had a great Father's Day!
  4. Exercise  I've been running, walking, playing tennis, and swimming. I love that I'm getting so much exercise, but my bedtime has gotten out of hand. I can barely stay awake until nine because I'm exhausted!
  5. The Secret Sister  My daughter is hard at work on her book, The Secret Sister. She's on chapter sixteen now and already has a cover! I can't wait to see the finished product.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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3. Friday Feature: Blues Bones Review by Guest Reviewer Ayla Hashway


As I'm sure you all know, I acquired Blues Bones by Rick Starkey so I can't review it. However, my daughter, Ayla Hashway, is here today to review the book since she chose to read it for her summer reading. Just a little bit about Ayla: she's nine years old, going into fourth grade, and is an avid reader. 

First, here's the cover and blurb:


Thirteen-year-old Rodney Becker has found the perfect cure for stage fright. Voodoo!

Armed with the stolen finger bones of a dead blues guitar player and a mishmash of voodoo spells from the Internet, he and his best friend enter a graveyard at midnight to perform their ritual. Now, all that stands in his way of winning a local guitar competition is the power of RETURN – a side effect of the voodoo that spells disaster for Rodney.
His cure has become a curse. How else can he explain jamming his finger so bad he can't hold a guitar pick, his part-time dad stealing his guitar, and his mom getting into an accident that could have taken her life?

How much is Rodney willing to risk to achieve his dream of being a guitar legend?

And now, here's Ayla with her review!

Hi,it's Ayla. I read the book Blues Bones for the first time! I kind of felt bad for Rodney when he froze up on stage at the school talent show, but it was funny at the same time. I think people can relate to Rodney with stage fright and other things. I also think it was cool when he played around with the voodoo spells. There were a lot of funny parts to this book. It was fun to read, especially with my mom. So I'm really glad Rick wrote this book. I hope many people get to read it and have as much fun reading it as I did. Have fun reading! Bye!


*Want your YA, NA, or MG book featured on my blog? Contact me here and we'll set it up.

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4. We Will Not Be Silent: The White Rose Student Resistance Movement That Defied Adolf Hitler by Russell Freedman

Russell Freedman has written a wonderfully succinct history of the short-lived White Rose resistance movement the formed in Nazi Germany after some friends became disillusioned with the whole National Socialist government and its leader Adolf Hitler.

Freedman highlights the White Rose's history through the lives of siblings Hans and Sophie Scholl.   Hans, once a willing participant in the Hitler Youth and a natural born leader, quickly began to realize that within the youth organization and Germany as a whole, there was no place for anything other than what had been decided by those in power.  Even singing folksongs from other countries around a campfire was met with severe reprimand.

Sophie, three years younger than her brother Hans, was a member of the League of German Girls, a part of the Hitler Youth.  She was also enthusiastic at first, but just like Hans, became disillusioned, especially after seeing some of the treatment the Nazis imposed on people who were not party members, or on Jews.

Disillusionment led to action and soon Hans, now a student at the University of Munich, Sophie and a small group of like-minded student friends were writing and mailing their Leaflets of the White Rose, exposing what they felt was the truth about the Nazi Regime and Adolf Hitler and asking the citizens of Germany to take responsibility and fight them.

The White Rose began distributing their first leaflet in June 1942.  Altogether, six different leaflets were printed and distributed all over Germany by the thousands, so many that the Gestapo began to diligently search for the members of the White Rose.  On February 18, 1943, Hans and Sophie were arrested carrying a suitcase full of leaflets to be distributed and after a short trial, executed on February 23, 1943.

The story of Han and Sophie Scholl and the White Rose is an inspiring one and Freedman has presented it in a sensitive, thought-provoking manner.  I think its real strength lies in the simplicity with which Freedman tells the story of the White Rose, all the while quietly letting the courage, honor, and principles of these valiant dissenters shine through.  He makes clear that opposing Hitler was a dangerous business and that these young idealists were well aware of the danger they faced and died still believing they had done the right thing.

This is an excellent introduction to resistance in the Third Reich and would pair very nicely with Deborah Hopkinson's Courage & Defiance: Stories of Spies, Saboteurs, and Survivors in World War II Denmark and/or The Boys Who Challenged Hitler: Knud Petersen and the Churchill Club by Phillip Hoose for an interesting unit on Resistance vs. Acceptance (remembering the silence is acceptance).

We Will Not Be Silent includes copious photographs, including copies of the Leaflets of the White Rose, with some translation of their content.  Back matter also includes Source Notes, a Select Bibliography of books and films.

This book is recommended for readers age 9+
This book was an EARC received from Edelweiss/Above the Treeline

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5. MMGM Links (6/13/16)

Back to desperate deadline times, so here's a brain-broken attempt at the MMGM links:

- Jess at the Reading Nook is in stitches for A TANGLE OF KNOTS. Click HERE to see why. 
- Suzanne Warr is talking about the submission roller-coaster. Click HERE to see what that's all about
- Jenni Enzor is spotlighting THE BIRCHBARK HOUSE. Click HERE to learn more about it.  
 - Natalie Aguirre has an author guest post, and a GIVEAWAY of THE DISTANCE TO HOME. Click HERE for details.
- Books 4 Learning is cheering for BOOKED. Click HERE to read her review.
- Greg Pattridge is highlighting JOSH BAXTER LEVELS UP. Click HERE to see what he thought.   
- Rosi Hollinbeck is reviewing--and GIVING AWAY--SWEET HOME ALASKA. Click HERE for details.  
- Faith Hough is raving about WAITING FOR AUGUSTA. Click HERE for her review.  
- Reading Violet has a double feature--THE HIDDEN ORACLE and A BUSS FROM LAFAYETTE . Click HERE to see what she thought.  
- Sue Kooky is also spreading some love for THE HIDDEN ORACLE. Click HERE to read her review.   
- Joanne Fritz always has an MMGM for you. Click HERE to see what she's talking about this week. 
- The Mundie Moms are always huge supporters of middle grade. Click HERE for their Mundie Kids site. 
- Karen Yingling also always has some awesome MMGM recommendations for you. Click HERE to which ones she picked this time.


If you would like to join in the MMGM fun, all you have to do is blog about a middle grade book you love on a Monday (contests, author interviews and whatnot also count--but are most definitely not required) and email me the title of the book you're featuring and a link to your blog at SWMessenger (at) hotmail (dot) com. (Make sure you put MMGM or Marvelous Middle Grade Monday in the subject line so it gets sorted accurately--and please don't forget to say what book you're featuring) You MUST email me your link by Sunday evening in order to be included in the list of links for the coming Monday. (usually before 11pm PST is safe--but if I'm traveling it can vary. When in doubt, send early!) (Also make sure the post you send me is a new post, not one from earlier in the week. I try to keep the content fresh)

If you miss the cutoff, you are welcome to add your link in the comments on this post so people can find you, but I will not have time to update the post. Same goes for typos/errors on my part. I do my best to build the links correctly, but sometimes deadline-brain gets the best of me, and I'm sorry if it does. For those wondering why I don't use a Linky-widget instead, it's a simple matter of internet safety. The only way I can ensure that all the links lead to safe, appropriate places for someone of any age is if I build them myself. It's not a perfect system, but it allows me to keep better control.

Thank you so much for being a part of this awesome meme, and spreading the middle grade love!


*Please note: these posts are not a reflection of my own opinions on the books featured. Each blogger is responsible for their own MMGM content and I do not pre-screen reviews ahead of time, nor do I control what books they choose. I simply assemble the list based on the links that are emailed to me. 
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6. Monday Mishmash 6/13/16


Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. My Grandfather's 95th Birthday  Today I'm celebrating my grandfather's 95th birthday!
  2. Editing  I'm editing for clients again this week.
  3. Proofing Visions of Mockingbird Point  Book three in the Curse of the Granville Fortune series is almost ready. I'm proofing the ARC right now.
  4. Summer  I'm still getting used to my summer schedule. I'm not getting as much work done as usual, but I'm exercising like crazy.
  5. Orlando  My heart goes out to all those affected by the shooting in Orlando. 
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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7. Turning Pages Reads: DARA PALMER'S MAJOR DRAMA by EMMA SHEVAH

Welcome to another session of Turning Pages!Here's one of the infrequent middle grade novels we review here on this site; I chose it because the main character is a.) adopted and b.) Cambodian - just like my sister. She would have laughed a lot... Read the rest of this post

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8. MMGM Links (6/6/16)

Sooooooooo tired from a hectic (but fun) weekend at Phoenix Comic Con, so my brain is running at about 30%. But here's my best attempt at theMMGM links

- Heidi Grange is cheering for RAYMIE NIGHTINGALE. Click HERE to see why. 
- Suzanne Warr is featuring--*blush*--NEVERSEEN (thank you so much!). Click HERE to see what she thought.
- Jenni Enzor is spotlighting PAT OF SILVER BUSH. Click HERE to learn more about it.  
 - Andrea Mack is gushing about THE GIRL IN THE WELL IS ME. Click HERE to see what she thought.
- Books 4 Learning wants everyone to LISTEN, SLOWLY. Click HERE to read her review.
- Greg Pattridge is highlighting COUNTING THYME. Click HERE to see what he thought.   
- Rosi Hollinbeck is reviewing--and GIVING AWAY--A WEIRD AND WILD BEAUTY. Click HERE for details.  
- Dorine White has chills for THE ARCTIC CODE. Click HERE for her review.  
- Jess at the Reading Nook is championing WISHING DAY. Click HERE to see what she thought.  
- Sue Kooky is spreading some love for THE GOLD. Click HERE to read her review.   
- Joanne Fritz always has an MMGM for you. Click HERE to see what she's talking about this week. 
- The Mundie Moms are always huge supporters of middle grade. Click HERE for their Mundie Kids site. 
- Karen Yingling also always has some awesome MMGM recommendations for you. Click HERE to which ones she picked this time.


If you would like to join in the MMGM fun, all you have to do is blog about a middle grade book you love on a Monday (contests, author interviews and whatnot also count--but are most definitely not required) and email me the title of the book you're featuring and a link to your blog at SWMessenger (at) hotmail (dot) com. (Make sure you put MMGM or Marvelous Middle Grade Monday in the subject line so it gets sorted accurately--and please don't forget to say what book you're featuring) You MUST email me your link by Sunday evening in order to be included in the list of links for the coming Monday. (usually before 11pm PST is safe--but if I'm traveling it can vary. When in doubt, send early!) (Also make sure the post you send me is a new post, not one from earlier in the week. I try to keep the content fresh)

If you miss the cutoff, you are welcome to add your link in the comments on this post so people can find you, but I will not have time to update the post. Same goes for typos/errors on my part. I do my best to build the links correctly, but sometimes deadline-brain gets the best of me, and I'm sorry if it does. For those wondering why I don't use a Linky-widget instead, it's a simple matter of internet safety. The only way I can ensure that all the links lead to safe, appropriate places for someone of any age is if I build them myself. It's not a perfect system, but it allows me to keep better control.

Thank you so much for being a part of this awesome meme, and spreading the middle grade love!


*Please note: these posts are not a reflection of my own opinions on the books featured. Each blogger is responsible for their own MMGM content and I do not pre-screen reviews ahead of time, nor do I control what books they choose. I simply assemble the list based on the links that are emailed to me. 

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9. Monday Mishmash 6/6/16


Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. Visions of Mockingbird Point Cover  In case you missed the cover of the third and final installment of my Curse of the Granville Fortune series, here's Visions of Mockingbird Point (designed by True Poison): 
  2. Edits  I'm working on final edits for Visions of Mockingbird Point. I'm so lucky to work with one of my favorite editors on this series.
  3. Another Author in the Family  My nine-year-old daughter decided to write a book this summer. She's been working on it every day. I'm really excited for her.
  4. Exercise, Exercise, and More Exercise!  After taking two month off from running due to breathing issues, I'm back to it. My daughter also has me walking for an hour each day and swimming all afternoon. I'm exhausted!
  5. Reading  I'm so happy to be reading for enjoyment again. I read all the time because I edit so much, but reading a book without having to edit it is very relaxing.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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10. Friday Feature: Visions of Mockingbird Point Cover Reveal


I'm excited to share the cover of the final installment in my middle grade fantasy adventure series, Curse of the Granville Fortune. Check out Visions of Mockingbird Point.


Being grounded for a month is nothing compared to the mind-numbing visions thirteen-year-old J.B. has when he’s not with Edward and Noelle. The curse of the Granville fortune is getting worse, and if the three don’t find and return the stolen property soon, Noelle’s parents will die.

In a desperate attempt to break the curse, J.B., Edward, and Noelle sneak off to Mockingbird Point, the latest location in their visions. But the visions are also showing that Morgan Grimault is on his way. It’s a race to locate the final portion of the fortune and defeat Grimault once and for all.

With everything on the line, the visions might not be enough to save J.B. and the others from dying at the hands of this curse.

Huge thanks to True Poison for creating this beautiful cover! Don't all three look so nice lined up?


Look for Visions of Mockingbird Point coming late June!

*Want your YA, NA, or MG book featured on my blog? Contact me here and we'll set it up.

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11. MMGM Links (5/30/16)

Here's this week's MMGM links (sorry if I missed anyone--we lost a kitty today, so my brain is a little shot)

- Mark Baker wants everyone to solve THE MYSTERY OF MEMORIAL DAY. Click HERE to see why
- Andrea Mack is spotlighting JUST LIKE ME. Click HERE to see why. 
- Got My Book has a post on the benefits of audiobooks HERE. And a review of THE IRON TRIAL if you click HERE. 
- Greg Partridge is raving about ALL RISE FOR THE HONORABLE PERRY T. COOK. Click HERE to see what he thought.   
- Rosi Hollinbeck is reviewing--and GIVING AWAY--CICI RENO: #MIDDLESCHOOLMATCHMAKER. Click HERE for details. 
- Karen Yingling also always has some awesome MMGM recommendations for you. Click HERE to which ones she picked this time.
- Joanne Fritz always has an MMGM for you. Click HERE to see what she's talking about this week. 
- The Mundie Moms are always huge supporters of middle grade. Click HERE for their Mundie Kids site.


If you would like to join in the MMGM fun, all you have to do is blog about a middle grade book you love on a Monday (contests, author interviews and whatnot also count--but are most definitely not required) and email me the title of the book you're featuring and a link to your blog at SWMessenger (at) hotmail (dot) com. (Make sure you put MMGM or Marvelous Middle Grade Monday in the subject line so it gets sorted accurately--and please don't forget to say what book you're featuring) You MUST email me your link by Sunday evening in order to be included in the list of links for the coming Monday. (usually before 11pm PST is safe--but if I'm traveling it can vary. When in doubt, send early!) (Also make sure the post you send me is a new post, not one from earlier in the week. I try to keep the content fresh)

If you miss the cutoff, you are welcome to add your link in the comments on this post so people can find you, but I will not have time to update the post. Same goes for typos/errors on my part. I do my best to build the links correctly, but sometimes deadline-brain gets the best of me, and I'm sorry if it does. For those wondering why I don't use a Linky-widget instead, it's a simple matter of internet safety. The only way I can ensure that all the links lead to safe, appropriate places for someone of any age is if I build them myself. It's not a perfect system, but it allows me to keep better control.

Thank you so much for being a part of this awesome meme, and spreading the middle grade love!


*Please note: these posts are not a reflection of my own opinions on the books featured. Each blogger is responsible for their own MMGM content and I do not pre-screen reviews ahead of time, nor do I control what books they choose. I simply assemble the list based on the links that are emailed to me. 

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12. Monday Mishmash 5/30/16


Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. Memorial Day  Take time today to remember what the holiday is really about. 
  2. Book Signing At Blairstown Elementary  Last Monday I signed close to 100 books at Blairstown Elementary School. It was such a great day. This school has been so incredibly supportive, reading all of my picture books and my MG, Curse of the Granville Fortune, so I donated a copy of Mystery of Majestic Cave to the library so the student could continue reading the series.
  3. Editing  I'm finishing up one client edit and getting ready for the next this week.
  4. Revising  I've been working through my latest Ashelyn Drake NA contemporary romance. So far I've been pleasantly surprised by the first draft. It's not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I swear when I draft I go through periods where I think I'm writing nothing usable, but then I revise and surprise myself.
  5. End of the School Year  My daughter has a half day on Tuesday and then she's off for the summer. I can't believe another school year is finished.
  6. Visions of Mockingbird Point  True Poison, my cover designer for the Curse of the Granville Fortune series, sent me the draft of the cover for book three. As usual, it blew me away. Can't wait until it's finalized so I can share it with you all.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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13. Surveying Stories: The risks of rage in Robin Stevens' Wells & Wong mysteries

Literature trends toward patterns or themes which repeat -- sometimes because that's just what happens to hit the market at a given time, and other times it's the current zeitgeist and an active interest which people are seeking to promote.... Read the rest of this post

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14. MMGM Links (5/23/16)

Tonight's my last night "off" before entering the revision-deadline cave, so once again I'm putting the MMGM links together a little earlier than normal to grab a last night of decent sleep. So if you sent yours late and I missed you--sorry. I'm sure I'll be back to crazy late nights starting tomorrow.

- Carl at Boys Rule Boys Read! has four non-fiction recs this week. Click HERE to see what they are. 
- Michelle Mason is COUNTING THYME. Click HERE to see why. 
- Reading Violet is trying to solve A RIDDLE IN RUBY with an author interview. Click HERE for all the fun.
-  Suzanne Warr is spotlighting THE TURTLE OF OMAN. Click HERE to see what she thought.
- Michael Gettel-Gilmartin is cheering for CICI RENO: #MIDDLESCHOOLMATCHMAKER. Click HERE to see why
- Greg Pattridge is calling MAYDAY. Click HERE to see what he thought.  
- The Mundie Moms are always huge supporters of middle grade. Click HERE for their Mundie Kids site.  
- Karen Yingling also always has some awesome MMGM recommendations for you. Click HERE to which ones she picked this time.
- Joanne Fritz always has an MMGM for you. Click HERE to see what she's talking about this week.


If you would like to join in the MMGM fun, all you have to do is blog about a middle grade book you love on a Monday (contests, author interviews and whatnot also count--but are most definitely not required) and email me the title of the book you're featuring and a link to your blog at SWMessenger (at) hotmail (dot) com. (Make sure you put MMGM or Marvelous Middle Grade Monday in the subject line so it gets sorted accurately--and please don't forget to say what book you're featuring) You MUST email me your link by Sunday evening in order to be included in the list of links for the coming Monday. (usually before 11pm PST is safe--but if I'm traveling it can vary. When in doubt, send early!) (Also make sure the post you send me is a new post, not one from earlier in the week. I try to keep the content fresh)

If you miss the cutoff, you are welcome to add your link in the comments on this post so people can find you, but I will not have time to update the post. Same goes for typos/errors on my part. I do my best to build the links correctly, but sometimes deadline-brain gets the best of me, and I'm sorry if it does. For those wondering why I don't use a Linky-widget instead, it's a simple matter of internet safety. The only way I can ensure that all the links lead to safe, appropriate places for someone of any age is if I build them myself. It's not a perfect system, but it allows me to keep better control.

Thank you so much for being a part of this awesome meme, and spreading the middle grade love!


*Please note: these posts are not a reflection of my own opinions on the books featured. Each blogger is responsible for their own MMGM content and I do not pre-screen reviews ahead of time, nor do I control what books they choose. I simply assemble the list based on the links that are emailed to me. 

0 Comments on MMGM Links (5/23/16) as of 5/23/2016 7:52:00 AM
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15. Book Blog Tour and Guest Post: Black Lightning by K. S. Jones...


About Black Lightning:

Life moves on — no matter what...

Following his father’s puzzling disappearance and his mother’s death, ten-year-old Samuel Baker goes through the motions of living in a world turned upside down. He wears an Apache talisman, a long ago gift from his father, in hopes its promise of strength and guidance is true. But what he truly wants is the power to bring his parents back. 

Heartless Aunt Janis is elated at the prospect of becoming Samuel’s legal guardian. She is sure an orphan boy will elicit such an outpouring of public sympathy that her husband will win his Senate bid by a landslide. But when Grandpa Tate arrives, things don’t go as expected, especially when black lightning strikes!


From the award-winning author of Shadow of the Hawk

Title: Black Lightning

Author Name: K.S. Jones

Genre(s): Middle Grade, Science Fiction, Fantasy

Length: Approx. 132 pages

Release Date: May 17, 2016

Publisher:  Mirror World Publishing (www.mirrorworldpublishing.com)

Follow the Tour for Reviews, Guest Posts, Exclusive Excerpts, and Spotlight Posts:


~Black Lightning and its Apache influences~

A century ago, the word “Apache” would have conjured up images of warriors on horseback with whoops, hollers, and painted faces—worthy adversaries and fierce fighters trying to protect their families, their land, and their life-way. In my new middle-grade novel, Black Lightning, a modern-day (although rural) Chiricahua (cheer-uh-kaw-wuh) Apache family is integral to the story, adding flare to the tale with their traditional ways in a contemporary world.     

The Chiricahua are most closely associated with an area in southeastern Arizona known as the Chiricahua Mountains. Within this mountainous range is the Chiricahua National Monument, which today is part of the National Park Service. It is an amazing architectural wilderness of rock pinnacles and formations, once known to the Apache as the “Land of Standing-Up Rocks.”

Storytelling has always been important in the Apache culture, and Chiricahua children are expected to be well-versed in the oral traditions and lore. These storytelling sessions are often held for the benefit of the kids and usually take place at night. Can you imagine sitting outside under a starry night and listening to the story about a race of “supernaturals” who inhabit the nearby mountains? Or maybe hear the story of a girl who married a water monster? Or learn about a place that opened a door where no door had been before?

And sometimes, Apache men and women wear amulets, or talismans, made from wood struck by lightning, called tzi-daltai. Among other virtues, it is believed the wearer can learn things from the tzi-daltai and know the right direction when lost. Most amulets are made of wood, shaved-thin and incised with a simple human form then decorated with lines to signify lightning. Some even believe lightning talks to them, while others think the flash is the flight of the arrow thrown by the Thunder People. Talismans can be worn like necklaces or carried.

Black lightning, although not a rendering of Native American lore, has gained recent recognition in the science world with what scientists are calling “dark lightning.” And given the fact that the American Southwest has some of the most spectacular thunderstorms on earth, where better to imagine the phenomenon and its potential? To a storyteller, Native American or otherwise, the possibilities are endless and interesting!

More information related to the book BLACK LIGHTNING can be found on my Pinterest page! https://www.pinterest.com/ksjones/black-lightning-by-ks-jones/

Read an Excerpt:

Samuel stood beside his mother’s rain-speckled casket. He had cried his tears dry, so there was no point in trying to find more.

“Chin up, young man,” Aunt Janis said as her fingers nudged Samuel’s jaw upward. “Death is just part of life, and our photographer needs a good picture of you for the newspapers.”

A camera flashed, leaving Samuel’s red and swollen eyes burning as if stung by the sun instead of grief.

So many important days had come and gone without his father, but surely he would come home today, wouldn’t he? Samuel closed his eyes. He pretended his father was beside him holding his hand. They had a right to hold hands, he told himself. Not because he was ten, but because it was his mother’s funeral. Two years had passed since his father left, never to be seen again. Vanished, was the word his mother had used. Into thin air, she’d said.

“Take that silly thing off.” Aunt Janis flicked Samuel’s wood and bead necklace.

“No,” he said and shook his head. “My dad gave it to me.” It was a pinewood tile, the size of a domino shaved nickel-thin, which hung from a leather cord around his neck. Burned onto the front side of the wood was a lightning bolt. Its flipside bore the blackened imprint of a tribal dancer. It had a turquoise nugget and a shiny black hematite bead strung together on each side. His father had given the talisman to him with a promise: It will guide you and give you strength when you need it most.

Today, dressed in a black suit and starchy white shirt, Samuel wore it in hopes the promise was true.

As mourners gathered, Samuel’s friend Brian came to stand beside him. “Hey,” he said.

“Hey,” Samuel answered without taking his eyes off the casket.

“Is that the necklace your dad gave you? You don’t usually wear it.” Brian’s wire-rimmed glasses slid down his straight arrow nose. He pushed them back up the bridge with one finger until they encircled his eyes again. “Can I see it? I promise I’ll give it right back.”

“It’s not a necklace.” Samuel pulled the leather cord off over his head, mussing his overgrown blond hair. “It’s a talisman.” He handed it to Brian. “My dad said it would help me, but it hasn’t done anything yet. I think it was just one of his stories. It’s probably just an old piece of scrap wood with a couple rocks tied to it.”

Brian shrugged after examining the piece then he handed it back to Samuel. “I think it’s cool. You should keep wearing it anyway.”

Nodding, Samuel hung the talisman around his neck again, but this time he dropped it down beneath his shirt where it was no longer visible. It felt warm against his skin.

“Has anybody told you where you’re going to live now?” Brian asked.

“Probably with Aunt Janis and Uncle Jack.”

Brian frowned. He kicked the tip of his shoe into the muddy soil. “They live so far away. Why can’t you just stay here and live with Mrs. Abel? She doesn’t have any kids.”

Mrs. Abel was their fourth grade teacher. She had plainly stated to all who would listen that her job was to teach the proper use of the English language to children who behaved properly. A babysitter, she had said, she was not. Today, she stood in the rain with the other mourners, eyeing the ground where the hem of her long, gray dress lay caked in mud. Tufts of brown hair jutted out from under her pink plaid scarf. Even though she stood a few feet from him, she had not spoken to Samuel since his mother’s death. Few people had. Everyone had words for Aunt Janis and they talked to Uncle Jack, but no one but Brian and a few classmates had spoken to him. Maybe talking to an orphan was harder than talking to a normal kid.

Purchase Links:

Mirror World Publishing
 http://mirror-world-publishing.myshopify.com/products/black-lightning-ebook

Amazon
http://amzn.to/24H7yrY

Barnes & Noble
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/black-lightning-ks-jones/1123660287?ean=9781987976120

Quote:

“If you’ve forgotten the magic that lives in a child’s heart, this book will remind you. Black Lightning is a rare and beautiful mythic journey about one boy’s struggle with paralyzing grief and the powerful bonds that can carry a person through this world and beyond...” W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O’Neal Gear USA TODAY and NEW YORK TIMES bestselling authors of People of the Thunder

Meet the Author:


Karen (K.S.) Jones grew up in California, but now lives in the beautiful Texas Hill Country northwest of San Antonio with her husband, Richard, and their dogs Jack Black, Libby Loo, and Red Bleu. Black Lightning is her first middle-grade novel. She credits her love of fantasy to the early influences of authors J.R.R. Tolkien, Jules Verne, and H.G. Wells. Her award-winning first novel, Shadow of the Hawk, a Young Adult Historical, released in 2015.

Visit K.S. Jones:







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16. Monday Mishmash 5/23/16


Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. Book Signing at Blairstown Elementary  I'm returning to Blairstown Elementary today. You may remember I had a school visit there in March. Well, the students had the opportunity to order my books and I'm returning today to sign them. I was amazed at how many ordered books. I'm doing hand exercises to get ready for all the signing. ;) 
  2. Drafting  Drafting at half my usual pace is going well. It's hard for me to not fully jump in and let the manuscript consume me, but I'm forcing myself to only write half the day to keep balance between editing and drafting. So far so good. Or so I keep telling myself.
  3. Editing  I'm managing to stay on pace with edits even though I'm cutting my day's in half. The key is I'm staying sane and healthy. No stress. I'm calling it a win.
  4. Summer Schedule  This is my daughter's last full week of school, which means my summer schedule will be in full effect beginning June 1. My work hours will be early mornings and late evenings so I can spend the bulk of my day being Mom (my favorite job of all).
  5. Visions of Mockingbird Point  I should be getting edits back on the third book in the Curse of the Granville Fortune series in early June. This is the final installment and while I'm sad to see the characters go, I'm happy with how the series ends. Expect the book sometime in July.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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17. Announcing the Winner of Our New Visions Writing Contest

New Visions Award sealTu Books, the middle grade and young adult imprint of respected multicultural children’s publisher LEE & LOW BOOKS, is thrilled to announce that author Supriya Kelkar has won its third annual New Visions Award for her middle grade historical fiction novel, Ahimsa.

The award honors a middle grade or young adult novel for young readers by an author of color who has not previously published a novel for that age group. It was established to encourage new talent and to offer authors of color a chance to break into a tough and predominantly white market.

Supriya Kelkar
Supriya Kelkar

Ahimsa takes place in 1940s India, an era of great change as Indian citizens fight for independence from British colonial rule. When ten-year-old Anjali’s mother announces that she has quit her job to become a Freedom Fighter following Mahatma Gandhi, Anjali must find her place in a rapidly changing world.

The story was inspired by Kelkar’s own great-grandmother, who joined the freedom movement against the British. “She worked alongside Gandhi and spent time in jail, too, for her part in the nonviolent movement,” Kelkar says. “I hope that readers can be inspired by the fact that people were able to make such a huge impact on their world not through war, but through non-violence.” Kelkar will receive a cash prize of $1,000 and a publication contract with Tu Books.

One manuscript received the New Visions Award Honor: Alexandra Aceves’ young adult horror story Children of the River Ghost. Set in contemporary Albuquerque, Children of the River Ghost is a unique reimagining of the la llorona myth told through the eyes of La Llorona herself. “I wanted to give her a voice, to give her the opportunity to tell her side of the story,” Aceves says. Aceves will receive a cash prize of $500.

There were three New Visions Award finalists: Alex Brown (Hate Crime), Hilda Burgos (The Castle of Kings), and Elizabeth Stephens (The Rougarou).

Last year, books by authors of color comprised less than eleven percent of the total number of books published for young readers, according to the Cooperative Children’s Book Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The annual New Visions Award is a step toward the day when all young readers can see themselves in books.

Congratulations to all of the New Visions Award winners and finalists — we look forward to seeing your future books!

1 Comments on Announcing the Winner of Our New Visions Writing Contest, last added: 5/19/2016
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18. MMGM Links (5/16/16)

Just got home from TX, and the jet-lag is FIERCE, so I'm putting the MMGM links together a little earlier than normal. So if you sent yours late and I missed you--sorry.

- Suzanne Warr has chills for ANYA'S GHOST. Click HERE to read her review. 
- Patricia Tilton is singing praises for BLACKBIRD FLY. Click HERE to see why. 
- Sue Kooky has been struck with love for THE LIGHTNING THIEF. Click HERE to read what she thought.
-  Laurisa White Reyes has an interview with author Gary Paulsen--and a GIVEAWAY! Click HERE for details.
- Natalie Aguirre has a guest post from Jessica Lawson and agent Tina Wexler--with a GIVEAWAY. Click HERE to learn more. 
- Greg Pattridge is giving some mad love to HATTER MADIGAN: GHOST IN THE H.A.T.B.O.X.  Click HERE to see what he thought.  
- Dorine White is championing BAILEY'S STORY. Click HERE to see what she thought.  
- Joanne Fritz always has an MMGM for you. Click HERE to see what she's talking about this week. 
- The Mundie Moms are always huge supporters of middle grade. Click HERE for their Mundie Kids site.  
- Karen Yingling also always has some awesome MMGM recommendations for you. Click HERE to which ones she picked this time!

If you would like to join in the MMGM fun, all you have to do is blog about a middle grade book you love on a Monday (contests, author interviews and whatnot also count--but are most definitely not required) and email me the title of the book you're featuring and a link to your blog at SWMessenger (at) hotmail (dot) com. (Make sure you put MMGM or Marvelous Middle Grade Monday in the subject line so it gets sorted accurately--and please don't forget to say what book you're featuring) You MUST email me your link by Sunday evening in order to be included in the list of links for the coming Monday. (usually before 11pm PST is safe--but if I'm traveling it can vary. When in doubt, send early!) (Also make sure the post you send me is a new post, not one from earlier in the week. I try to keep the content fresh)

If you miss the cutoff, you are welcome to add your link in the comments on this post so people can find you, but I will not have time to update the post. Same goes for typos/errors on my part. I do my best to build the links correctly, but sometimes deadline-brain gets the best of me, and I'm sorry if it does. For those wondering why I don't use a Linky-widget instead, it's a simple matter of internet safety. The only way I can ensure that all the links lead to safe, appropriate places for someone of any age is if I build them myself. It's not a perfect system, but it allows me to keep better control.

Thank you so much for being a part of this awesome meme, and spreading the middle grade love!


*Please note: these posts are not a reflection of my own opinions on the books featured. Each blogger is responsible for their own MMGM content and I do not pre-screen reviews ahead of time, nor do I control what books they choose. I simply assemble the list based on the links that are emailed to me. 

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19. MMGM Links (4/11/16)

And the sleepless deadline days stretch on (why, LODESTAR--WHY WON'T YOU COOPERATE???). But I still got to the MMGM links.

Oh--but in case you missed it, the LET THE WIND RISE Pre-Order giveaway is ON. Click HERE to see how to get your free, exclusive swag (all pre-orders get it) plus some other fun bonuses. But hurry--it ends 4/25/16.

Okay, now, on to the links:

- Laurisa White Reyes has an interview with author Leila Sales--and a GIVEAWAY of ONCE WAS A TIME.  Click HERE for all the fun. 
- Suzanne Warr is talking about HALF UPON A TIME. Click HERE to see why.
- Patricia at Children's Books Heal is chatting about TRASH TALK: MOVING TOWARD A ZERO-WASTE WORLD . Click HERE to see what she thought.
- Sue Kooky is raving about MY LIFE IN PINK AND GREEN. Click HERE to read her review!
- Cindy at Cindy Reads A Lot is out of her mind for OUT OF MY MIND.  Click HERE to see what she thought.  
- Books 4 Learning is championing LOCOMOTION. Click HERE to read her feature. 
- Greg Pattridge is singing praises for THE DRAGON WHISTLER. Click HERE to see what he thought. 
- Sonora at Destined 4 Weirdness is cheering for THE BOOK SCAVENGER. Click HERE to see what she thought.    
- Andrea Mack is caught up in MY DIARY FROM THE EDGE OF THE WORLD. Click HERE for her feature. 
- Jenni Enzor is championing LILLIPUT. Click HERE to see why.   
- Natalie Aguirre has an interview with author Lindsay Eagar, and a GIVEAWAY of HOURS OF THE BEES. Click HERE for details.  
- Kim Aippersbach is highlighting CASTLE HANGNAIL. Click HERE to see why.  
- Rosi Hollinbeck wants everybody TO STAY ALIVE. Click HERE for her review. 
- The Mundie Moms are always huge supporters of middle grade. Click HERE for their Mundie Kids site. 
- Karen Yingling also always has some awesome MMGM recommendations for you. Click HERE to which ones she picked this time! 
- Joanne Fritz always has an MMGM for you. Click HERE to see what she's talking about this week.

If you would like to join in the MMGM fun, all you have to do is blog about a middle grade book you love on a Monday (contests, author interviews and whatnot also count--but are most definitely not required) and email me the title of the book you're featuring and a link to your blog at SWMessenger (at) hotmail (dot) com. (Make sure you put MMGM or Marvelous Middle Grade Monday in the subject line so it gets sorted accurately--and please don't forget to say what book you're featuring) You MUST email me your link by Sunday evening in order to be included in the list of links for the coming Monday. (usually before 11pm PST is safe--but if I'm traveling it can vary. When in doubt, send early!) (Also make sure the post you send me is a new post, not one from earlier in the week. I try to keep the content fresh)

If you miss the cutoff, you are welcome to add your link in the comments on this post so people can find you, but I will not have time to update the post. Same goes for typos/errors on my part. I do my best to build the links correctly, but sometimes deadline-brain gets the best of me, and I'm sorry if it does. For those wondering why I don't use a Linky-widget instead, it's a simple matter of internet safety. The only way I can ensure that all the links lead to safe, appropriate places for someone of any age is if I build them myself. It's not a perfect system, but it allows me to keep better control.

Thank you so much for being a part of this awesome meme, and spreading the middle grade love!


*Please note: these posts are not a reflection of my own opinions on the books featured. Each blogger is responsible for their own MMGM content and I do not pre-screen reviews ahead of time, nor do I control what books they choose. I simply assemble the list based on the links that are emailed to me. 

0 Comments on MMGM Links (4/11/16) as of 1/1/1900
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20. Cover Reveal: Black Lightning by K.S. Jones...

Welcome to the Cover Reveal for K.S. Jones' upcoming release

Black Lightning!!

Book Information:

From the award-winning author of Shadow of the Hawk

Title: Black Lightning

Author Name: K.S. Jones

Genre(s): Middle Grade, Science Fiction, Fantasy

Length: Approx. 136 pages

Release Date: May 17, 2016

ISBN eBook:  978-1-987976-12-0
ISBN Paperback:  978-1-987976-11-3

Publisher:  Mirror World Publishing 

Are You Ready for the Cover?


About Black Lightning:

Life moves on — no matter what...

Following his father’s puzzling disappearance and his mother’s death, ten-year-old Samuel Baker goes through the motions of living in a world turned upside down. He wears an Apache talisman, a long ago gift from his father, in hopes its promise of strength and guidance is true. But what he truly wants is the power to bring his parents back. 

Heartless Aunt Janis is elated at the prospect of becoming Samuel’s legal guardian. She is sure an orphan boy will elicit such an outpouring of public sympathy that her husband will win his Senate bid by a landslide. But when Grandpa Tate arrives, things don’t go as expected, especially when black lightning strikes!

Read an Excerpt:

Samuel stood beside his mother’s rain-speckled casket. He had cried his tears dry, so there was no point in trying to find more.

“Chin up, young man,” Aunt Janis said as her fingers nudged Samuel’s jaw upward. “Death is just part of life, and our photographer needs a good picture of you for the newspapers.”

A camera flashed, leaving Samuel’s red and swollen eyes burning as if stung by the sun instead of grief.

So many important days had come and gone without his father, but surely he would come home today, wouldn’t he? Samuel closed his eyes. He pretended his father was beside him holding his hand. They had a right to hold hands, he told himself. Not because he was ten, but because it was his mother’s funeral. Two years had passed since his father left, never to be seen again. Vanished, was the word his mother had used. Into thin air, she’d said.

“Take that silly thing off.” Aunt Janis flicked Samuel’s wood and bead necklace.

“No,” he said and shook his head. “My dad gave it to me.” It was a pinewood tile, the size of a domino shaved nickel-thin, which hung from a leather cord around his neck. Burned onto the front side of the wood was a lightning bolt. Its flipside bore the blackened imprint of a tribal dancer. It had a turquoise nugget and a shiny black hematite bead strung together on each side. His father had given the talisman to him with a promise: It will guide you and give you strength when you need it most.

Today, dressed in a black suit and starchy white shirt, Samuel wore it in hopes the promise was true.

As mourners gathered, Samuel’s friend Brian came to stand beside him. “Hey,” he said.

“Hey,” Samuel answered without taking his eyes off the casket.

“Is that the necklace your dad gave you? You don’t usually wear it.” Brian’s wire-rimmed glasses slid down his straight arrow nose. He pushed them back up the bridge with one finger until they encircled his eyes again. “Can I see it? I promise I’ll give it right back.”

“It’s not a necklace.” Samuel pulled the leather cord off over his head, mussing his overgrown blond hair. “It’s a talisman.” He handed it to Brian. “My dad said it would help me, but it hasn’t done anything yet. I think it was just one of his stories. It’s probably just an old piece of scrap wood with a couple rocks tied to it.”

Brian shrugged after examining the piece then he handed it back to Samuel. “I think it’s cool. You should keep wearing it anyway.”

Nodding, Samuel hung the talisman around his neck again, but this time he dropped it down beneath his shirt where it was no longer visible. It felt warm against his skin.

“Has anybody told you where you’re going to live now?” Brian asked.

“Probably with Aunt Janis and Uncle Jack.”

Brian frowned. He kicked the tip of his shoe into the muddy soil. “They live so far away. Why can’t you just stay here and live with Mrs. Abel? She doesn’t have any kids.”

Mrs. Abel was their fourth grade teacher. She had plainly stated to all who would listen that her job was to teach the proper use of the English language to children who behaved properly. A babysitter, she had said, she was not. Today, she stood in the rain with the other mourners, eyeing the ground where the hem of her long, gray dress lay caked in mud. Tufts of brown hair jutted out from under her pink plaid scarf. Even though she stood a few feet from him, she had not spoken to Samuel since his mother’s death. Few people had. Everyone had words for Aunt Janis and they talked to Uncle Jack, but no one but Brian and a few classmates had spoken to him. Maybe talking to an orphan was harder than talking to a normal kid.

Praise:

“If you’ve forgotten the magic that lives in a child’s heart, this book will remind you. Black Lightning is a rare and beautiful mythic journey about one boy’s struggle with paralyzing grief and the powerful bonds that can carry a person through this world and beyond...” W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O’Neal Gear USA TODAY and NEW YORK TIMES bestselling authors of People of the Thunder

Meet the Author:

Everyone has a story. Tell it so well that the world listens!


Karen (K.S.) Jones grew up in California, but now lives in the beautiful Texas Hill Country northwest of San Antonio with her husband, Richard, and their dogs Jack Black, Libby Loo, and Red Bleu. Black Lightning is her first middle-grade novel. She credits her love of fantasy to the early influences of authors J.R.R. Tolkien, Jules Verne, and H.G. Wells. Her award-winning first novel, Shadow of the Hawk, a Young Adult Historical, released in 2015.

Visit K.S. Jones:




Visit Tour Hosts Featuring the Cover:

Jojo Debrazza 

Book Babble 

Sharon Ledwith: I came. I saw. I wrote. 

Bookworm for Kids 

Fang-tastic Books 

Tales from the Bayou and Other Worlds

jrsbookreviews 

T's Stuff 

Literary Escapism 

Vampyre Lady's Book Stuff 

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21. Added to the List #22


Last week I got a fun pack of middle grade books from HarperCollins.  There were a few in here that had escaped my attention so it was nice to see them in person!

I have but haven't read the first Ivy Pocket.  The covers are amazing, a little bit of goth and whimsy mixed.  And they look like such fun reads.  I need to read the first one soon!  I put them both on my last book order of the year.

This one also is the second book in a series.  The Backyard Witch is such a fun character, can't wait to see what is happening with her in this story!

Eleven and Holding by Mary Penney:
 This is a middle grade book that had escaped my attention before I got it in the mail.  It looks so good and like it would be such a good addition to any library.  I might not be able to read this one yet because of emotions, but I will hopefully sometime this summer.  Ordered it for the fall for my library.


5 Times Revenge by Lindsay Eland
Another one that had escaped my attention until now!  Looks like such a fun middle school romp, can't wait to give it a try!

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22. Obsessing Over #4


I know that the reason I am obsessing over this book so much is because of the cover.  It just appeals to me so strongly!  The synopsis isn't that bad either, but it's a book I know that I want to hold in my hands.  I have ordered a few copies for my library and can't wait until they come it.  This is going to be a must read right away!  Here's the synopsis:

When robot Roz opens her eyes for the first time, she discovers that she is alone on a remote, wild island. Why is she there? Where did she come from? And, most important, how will she survive in her harsh surroundings? Roz's only hope is to learn from the island's hostile animal inhabitants. When she tries to care for an orphaned gosling, the other animals finally decide to help, and the island starts to feel like home. Until one day, the robot's mysterious past comes back to haunt her.

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23. Added to the List #23


The other day I was lucky enough to get a finished copy of Wishing Day by Lauren Myracle in the mail.  This is a book that was high on my TBR list for this spring so I squealed a bit when I opened my package.  Thanks so much Katherine Tegen Books and Harper Collins.  Here is the synopsis:

On the third night of the third month after a girl’s thirteenth birthday, every girl in the town of Willow Hill makes three wishes.

The first wish is an impossible wish.
The second is a wish she can make come true herself.
And the third is the deepest wish of her secret heart.

Natasha is the oldest child in a family steeped in magic, though she’s not sure she believes in it. She’s full to bursting with wishes, however. She misses her mother, who disappeared nearly eight long years ago. She has a crush on one of the cutest boys in her class, and she thinks maybe it would be nice if her very first kiss came from him. And amid the chaos of a house full of sisters, aunts, and a father lost in grief, she aches to simply be...noticed.

So Natasha goes to the willow tree at the top of the hill on her Wishing Day, and she makes three wishes. What unfolds is beyond anything she could have imagined.

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24. MMGM Links (5/9/16)

Here are this week's MMGM links:

(OH, and if you live in Austin or Houston, I am heading your way this week. Click HERE for event details!)

- Jeanene at GOT MY BOOK is featuring joining the MMGM fun with a feature on THE MAP TO EVERYWHERE. Click HERE to welcome her to the group.
- Sally's Bookshelf is cheering for FINDER, COAL MINE DOG. Click HERE to see why.
- Carl at Boys Rule! Boys Read! Has two reviews this week. Click HERE to see his Star Wars recommendations. And click HERE for the SECRETS OF THE DRAGON TOMB.  
-  Laurisa White Reyes is spreading the word about a very special Bookraiser she's organized. Click HERE for details.
- Mark Baker is buzzing about NICK AND TESLA'S SOLAR-POWERED SHOWDOWN. Click HERE to read his review. 
- Greg Pattridge is can't get enough DIEGO'S DRAGON BOOK 4.  Click HERE to see what he thought.  
- Sonora at Destined 4 Weirdness is spreading some love for *meep* EVERBLAZE (Keeper of the Lost Cities #3). Click HERE to see what she thought.  (and thank you!)  
- Reading Violet wants everyone to know that SOMEBODY ON THIS BUS IS GOING TO BE FAMOUS. Click HERE to see why. 
- Michael Gettel-Gilmartin is raving about MANIAC MAGEE. Click HERE to see why he loves this classic! 
Michelle Mason is highlighting STORY THIEVES: THE STOLEN CHAPTERS. Click HERE to read her review!
- Karen Yingling also always has some awesome MMGM recommendations for you. Click HERE to which ones she picked this time! 
- Joanne Fritz always has an MMGM for you. Click HERE to see what she's talking about this week. 
- The Mundie Moms are always huge supporters of middle grade. Click HERE for their Mundie Kids site. 

If you would like to join in the MMGM fun, all you have to do is blog about a middle grade book you love on a Monday (contests, author interviews and whatnot also count--but are most definitely not required) and email me the title of the book you're featuring and a link to your blog at SWMessenger (at) hotmail (dot) com. (Make sure you put MMGM or Marvelous Middle Grade Monday in the subject line so it gets sorted accurately--and please don't forget to say what book you're featuring) You MUST email me your link by Sunday evening in order to be included in the list of links for the coming Monday. (usually before 11pm PST is safe--but if I'm traveling it can vary. When in doubt, send early!) (Also make sure the post you send me is a new post, not one from earlier in the week. I try to keep the content fresh)

If you miss the cutoff, you are welcome to add your link in the comments on this post so people can find you, but I will not have time to update the post. Same goes for typos/errors on my part. I do my best to build the links correctly, but sometimes deadline-brain gets the best of me, and I'm sorry if it does. For those wondering why I don't use a Linky-widget instead, it's a simple matter of internet safety. The only way I can ensure that all the links lead to safe, appropriate places for someone of any age is if I build them myself. It's not a perfect system, but it allows me to keep better control.

Thank you so much for being a part of this awesome meme, and spreading the middle grade love!


*Please note: these posts are not a reflection of my own opinions on the books featured. Each blogger is responsible for their own MMGM content and I do not pre-screen reviews ahead of time, nor do I control what books they choose. I simply assemble the list based on the links that are emailed to me. 

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25. Friday Feature: The Haunted Stepsister


Today, I'm excited to share a book I acquired and edited for Leap Books Seek. I feel in love with The Haunted Stepsister immediately for several reasons. First, Medeia's writing is great. Second, it's about a haunted bathroom! Third, this is a diverse book.

If you haven't checked out The Haunted Stepsister yet, give it a try. You won't be disappointed.


Sixth grade isn’t easy for Jesenya Moradi, especially since her father's recent remarriage and tension with her new stepsister, Kammy. After an incident at school that nearly destroyed Kammy's life, Jess has been desperate to get on Kammy’s good side. But a fateful trip to an allegedly haunted bathroom changes both girls’ lives forever. 

The rumors about the bathroom are true, and now Jess is convinced a demon's possessing Kammy. Eerie things happen whenever she's around – flying objects, flickering lights, not to mention the fact that something, or someone, is making people into its puppets. 

Worse, the demon seems fixated on making Jess confess her part in ruining Kammy's reputation. Sticking to her Muslim faith, Jess enlists the help of an imam to exorcise the demon from Kammy. But can they get rid of the demon before it destroys her new family?

Find it on:
Medeia Sharif was born in New York City and presently calls Miami her home. She received her master's degree in psychology from Florida Atlantic University. Published through various presses, she writes middle grade and young adult short stories and novels. In addition to being a writer, she's a public school teacher.


*Want your YA, NA, or MG book featured on my blog? Contact me here and we'll set it up.

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