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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Giveaways, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 904
1. FRAGILE REIGN (Mortal Enchantment #2) by Stacey O'Neale {Cover Reveal & Giveaway)

We're thrilled to help reveal the cover for FRAGILE REIGN (Mortal Enchantment #2) by Stacey O'Neale! Check out the cover below, and let us know what you think in the comments. Then be sure to enter the giveaway for a chance to win a $100 Amazon or B&N gift card!   Details about the cover, from author Stacey O'Neale: In case you're curious about the cover, the model represents Marcus.

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2. Coloring Page Tuesday - H is for Hippo!

     I received the sweetest note from a librarian for the Cedar City Public Library in Utah recently. She's featuring a different alphabet letter for each of her storytimes this year and is using my coloring pages to help with the topics. How sweet is that!?
      But then it occurred to me - do I have a coloring page for every letter? Or better yet, do I have a reading critter for every letter? I have a lot, but there are a few holes, which I plan to remedy over the next few months...not neccessarily in order.
     This week - you get a HIPPO reading the awesome THE HICCUPOTAMUS by Aaron Zenz. Speaking of Zs (for Zenzzz), I can't wait to show you what I have for the more difficult letters of the alphabet. But lo, it must wait...You'll just have to come back to see!
     CLICK HERE for more coloring pages! And be sure to share your creations in my gallery so I can put them in my upcoming newsletters! (Cards, kids art, and crafts are welcome!)
     Sign up to receive alerts when a new coloring page is posted each week and... Please check out my books! Especially...

my debut novel, A BIRD ON WATER STREET, coming out next week! Click the cover to learn more!
     When the birds return to Water Street, will anyone be left to hear them sing? A miner's strike allows green and growing things to return to the Red Hills, but that same strike may force residents to seek new homes and livelihoods elsewhere. Follow the story of Jack Hicks as he struggles to hold onto everything he loves most.
AWARDS
**A SIBA OKRA Pick!**
**A GOLD Mom's Choice Award Winner!**
**The 2014 National Book Festival Featured Title for Georgia!**
**eLit 2014 Gold Medal Winner in the Environmental/Ecology/Nature Category**

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3. Monday Mishmash: 9/1/14


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. Back to School  My daughter starts second grade tomorrow. This summer flew by. I guess being out of my house had something to do with that. We've only been home for two weeks.
  2. Back to My Writing Schedule  Back to school means back to my usual writing schedule. I have two ideas battling it out in my head. I'll get to work on the one that screams the loudest. ;) I'm so excited to draft a new book.
  3. Into the Fire Author Copies!  Look what came in the mail last Friday!
  4. Free Monthly Newsletter  My newsletter goes out this evening. If you aren't signed up but would like to receive one, click here. My newsletters have information about my releases, giveaways, and writing tips each month.
  5. Perfect For You and Into the Fire Release Giveaway  I'm looking for people to help me spread the word about my two YA releases by posting my giveaway with teaser from both books sometime during the week of September 8th. If you can help me out, sign up below: 
    That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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4. Decatur Book Festival Photo Ops Signage

OMG - what is it about my creations going to large vinyl of late? Joe Davich of the Georgia Center for the Book (I'm a board member) asked to use two of my coloring pages to create photo ops for the upcoming Decatur Book Festival... He used my Reading Fairy and my Pirate Treasure images. I just LOVE the way these turned out - SO cute!!! I hope lots of folks will get their pictures made with these!

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5. DEATH BY TOILET PAPER by Donna Gephart - Guest Post and Giveaway!

This week, Donna Gephart stops by to talk about her latest novel, DEATH BY TOILET PAPER! I'm just going to leave this one to her...

We Make Our Own Luck

     We were so broke growing up in Northeast Philadelphia that my mom bought my sister and me sneakers from the “So Ugly They’re Cheap” rack, powdered milk was our drink du jour and our toilet paper sometimes had the consistency of gray party streamers.
      Our weekly entertainment came from treasured trips to the Northeast Regional Library, where I relished my time exploring the shelves. The characters in favorite library books like The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes and Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Florence and Richard Atwater became my companions during an otherwise lonely childhood.
      In response to our eternal lack of money, I entered contests, hoping to win what we needed. But all I ever won was $1.98 from a radio call-in talent show set up like The Gong Show and tickets to Great Adventure Amusement Park in New Jersey. The biggest prize I remember winning was a $200 savings bond from a writing contest.
      My sister, Ellen, was the real contest queen.
      Her persistence through the years with contests and sweepstakes netted her a million free air miles, a full-paid trip to New York City for her and her son, a week-long vacation to the island of her choice with her husband and many gift cards, movie tickets, etc.
      But all those winnings couldn’t compare to what happened to my sister on The Price is Right.
      Twenty-five years ago, Ellen was a contestant on The Price is Right when Bob Barker hosted the show. She won a bunch of prizes and the big showcase at the end. Having had so much fun, Ellen was determined to get on the show again.
      So she did!
      Ellen recently won a trip to L.A. for a movie premiere. It had nothing to do with The Price is Right, but while she was out there, she got tickets for her and her friend, Val, to sit in the audience. Three hundred people fill the audience. Nine of those are chosen to come up and play.
      My sister was called to Contestant’s Row . . . exactly twenty-five years after her first appearance on the show. But this time it seemed her luck didn’t hold. She couldn’t guess the right price to get up on stage. Someone else won every time. Drew Carey finally announced, “This is the last item up for bids.”
      Ellen bid and she came closest, charging up on stage and hugging the life out of Drew Carey.
      Then, in a matter of minutes, Ellen guessed the first two and last two digits in the price of a brand new Toyota Corolla. And she won the car!
      I’d never seen her so excited.
      On the way home to Philadelphia, Ellen worried about how she’d pay the taxes on the car. Back home, she played their hotel room number on a lottery ticket and won enough to pay the taxes.
      Some people say my sister is lucky, but I know the truth. She’s incredibly persistent. She enters thousands of contests and sweepstakes to win the ones she does. She subscribes to the SweepSheet newsletter and works consistently at her hobby.
     Donna's favorite writing spot.

      My sister so inspired me that when I wrote my new book, DEATH BY TOILET PAPER, I gave my character my sister’s determined spirit and love for contests and sweepstakes. Twelve-year-old Benjamin Epstein enters the Royal-T Toilet Tissue slogan contest in hopes of winning $10,000 to save his recently widowed mom and himself from eviction. Ben’s determination to help his mom is inspiring, the way my sister’s determination inspired me. If you read the book’s dedication, you’ll notice a familiar name.
      I still enter contests occasionally. A few years ago, I wrote an entry for a contest to celebrate Whole Foods’ 30th anniversary. My husband and I were among thirty pairs of winners treated to a weekend in Austin, TX with dinners out and special events.
      But most of my creative energy goes into writing books for children. Books about kids who enter contests. Books about kids who become famous on YouTube with their pet hamster. Books about kids who get on Jeopardy! And books about kids whose mom is running for president. But each of the books is about something more, something deeper, like dealing with the loss of a parent, being bullied at school or feeling desperately alone.
      And I felt like I’d won the biggest contest of all when I discovered the books I’d written now sit on the shelves of the Northeast Regional Library, waiting to inspire a young person, who like I did all those years ago, seeks companionship and hope.

GIVEAWAY!
Donna has graciously agreed to send a free, signed copy of DEATH BY TOILET PAPER along with some bookmarks to one of my lucky followers. Must live in the US to win - enter below.

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6. Thanks for your loyalty!!!

I just discovered that every single one of my newsletter subscribers except for one, is signed up for my WEEKLY "e's news and coloring page Tuesdays" newsletter (plus book giveaways). As of today, that means 3,768 folks (the number is always fluctuating) get my newsletter in their in-box every week. WOW! I am so flattered!
     If weekly is too much, did you know I have a "Special Editions" option too, where you can just get my news every now and then? It only comes out every few months or so when I have big news to share. I try very hard not to inundate that group. Although, I thought there were more people subscribed to that option. Upon investigation this morning, I found that almost all the names in that group were redundant. Only one person had signed up that way!! ONE! Bigger WOW!
     That's a lot of loyalty I wasn't expecting to stumble across today. I'm so grateful!
     But I hope y'all know, signing up for my "Special Editions" is perfectly okay too! (You won't get the giveaway notifications, but we'll still be in touch from time to time.) Anyhow - for either one, you can sign up at http://dulemba.com/index_newsletter.html
     CLICK HERE to see an example of my latest newsletter!

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7. My Zombie Hamster, by Havelock McCreely | Book Giveaway

Enter to win a copy of My Zombie Hamster, by Havelock McCreely. Giveaway begins August 28, 2014, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends September 27, 2014, at 11:59 P.M. PST.

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8. AW, NUTS! by Rob McClurkan - GIVEAWAY!


Y'know how I talk about knowing people who I can just tell it's only a matter of time before they'll be published? Rob McClurkan is one of those. He's an amazing and fun talent, and all around great guy. When I first saw his portfolio at one of our early SCBWI Southern Breeze Illustrators' Days, I couldn't believe he hadn't been scooped up yet. Well, I'm happy to say that has since been remedied by HarperCollins with his debut picture book as author/illustrator - AW, NUTS! I'm thrilled to have Rob on today to talk about it!

Q. Rob - It seems I've been cheering for you for a while. Can you share your path to publication?
A.
The journey began when I attended that SCBWI Southern Breeze Illustrators Days. Already a full time illustrator, I was having a difficult time making the leap into children’s books. The one-day conferences helped me understand the business better and the critiques gave me the information I had been missing. You were such a huge help to me during the conference. You took the time to look over my book and gave me some things to work on. I took the feedback home and worked on it every day.
     The next year I came back armed with a new portfolio. During the critique, one of the Art Directors from Candlewick said such nice things about my illustrations I knew the hard work had paid off.
     In 2013, I attended my first SCBWI Winter conference in New York. At the time, I was more interested in illustrating stories than writing my own. Mark Teague and Moe Williams were two of the speakers that year. They both encouraged artist to write their own stories. Those conferences have a way of just encouraging, equipping, and energizing you. I went home and started writing and scribbling out ideas. Eventually, I had a story that I thought might have some potential.

Q. So, why AW, NUTS! You definitely relay the manic obsessiveness of squirrels. How did this story come to be?
A.
My 9th-grade science teacher had some exotic pets - a rattlesnake and two squirrels. At times, he would let them out for a little exercise. The squirrels, not the rattlesnake. The bigger of the two squirrels was harmless and tame, but if you were not familiar with him, you might get a little freaked out when he jumped on you. It was his way of saying hello. The other squirrel was a flying squirrel. I was fascinated by this cute little guy. One day during class my teacher let him out. The tiny squirrel climbed to the top of his head and leaped across the room to a student's desk. Eventually, the squirrel made his way to me. After a few minutes of petting the little guy, he rewarded me by climbing into my jacket pocket where he left me a tiny gift. I can still remember sticking my hand into my pocket that cold winter day realizing what that little booger had done. I thought we were friends.
      I was already working on a story idea that had a chase element to it. My wife reminded me of my squirrel experiences and it all came together. I added Squirrel chasing after the most delicious looking acorn ever, and the book practically wrote itself. Originally, AW, NUTS! was mostly a story about colors and that was how we pitched it. After hearing from an editor that passed on the story I started tinkering with the manuscript and dropped the color element to focus on squirrel as a character. That was the magic that was missing. We sent the story to HarperCollins and after a month or two of working with them on the project we had a book deal.

Q. I've always enjoyed your fun, bold style. What is your method?
A.
Most of my illustration work is created in Adobe Illustrator. When I started AW, NUTS! I completely abandoned my tried and true illustration process.
      I don’t know if that is the wisest thing to do when you get your first book deal, but I wanted to try something new. I had to create a new process of painting using Adobe Photoshop. I had not done any of this before I started the project. The transition was not too difficult. I used a Cintiq so it is a very natural way of working digitally. I do recommend you get the okay from your publisher before you just jump into a new style. Luckily, I had already done some color images in my dummy book with character development, so they were on board with my new process. I am so glad I took the leap. It has been fun to see how my work has changed since completing Aw, Nuts! I still do work in Adobe Illustrator, but I now have two styles to showcase.

Q. I love how the acorn just keeps getting away from squirrel and all the things he tries to catch up with it. But I really want to know, what do the other eyes belong to under the sidewalk?
A.
I’m pretty sure it’s a family of moths with very thick glasses.

Q. How does it feel to see your first book in print? (I'm so happy for you!)
A.
Thank you. It is very exciting! Once you get a book deal the whole process takes about a year, so it has been a long time coming and kinda hard to believe it’s finally here. The real reward is when you see others enjoying the book. I have already received letters and drawings from students from a school I recently visited. I was not expecting that. It blew me away. For me, that was the real reward.

Q. Are you doing anything special to help promote it?
A.
Earlier this week I released my book trailer (below). This was one of those items I was wondering if it would be worth doing. I am so glad I did. The trailer has the same energy as the book and brings Squirrel to life in such a fun way. I also completed a giveaway through teachersnotebook.com, which was great fun. I am planning on doing book signings as well as school visits. If a reader is interested in a school visit, they can email me through my website seerobdraw.com and I will set it up. If distance is an issue, I am open to a classroom Skype session. (Click the image to go see the trailer on Youtube.)

Q. Anything else in the pipeline for you? (I hope so!)
A.
I have several manuscripts I am waiting to hear back on that are with publishers now. I am so excited about these new stories, I hope I have the opportunity to share them.

Q. Wishing you much continued success, Rob!
A.
Thanks Elizabeth for the opportunity. It’s been fun.

Q. GIVEAWAY!
HarperCollins is generously offering to send a free copy of AW, NUTS! to one of my lucky commenters. Must live in the US/Canada to win. Enter below.

0 Comments on AW, NUTS! by Rob McClurkan - GIVEAWAY! as of 8/28/2014 11:57:00 AM
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9. Guinea Dog 3, by Patrick Jennings | Book Giveaway

Enter to win a copy of Guinea Dog 3, by Patrick Jennings. Giveaway begins August 27, 2014, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends September 26, 2014, at 11:59 P.M. PST.

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10. Coloring Page Tuesday - Build a Book!

     Teachers, are you talking to your students about writing? Do they wonder what elements go into the creation of a book, both creatively and logistically? This week's image could be a great kick-off to that discussion!
     CLICK HERE for more coloring pages! And be sure to share your creations in my gallery so I can put them in my upcoming newsletters! (Cards, kids art, and crafts are welcome!)
     Sign up to receive alerts when a new coloring page is posted each week and... Please check out my books! Especially...

my debut novel, A BIRD ON WATER STREET, coming out next week! Click the cover to learn more!
     When the birds return to Water Street, will anyone be left to hear them sing? A miner's strike allows green and growing things to return to the Red Hills, but that same strike may force residents to seek new homes and livelihoods elsewhere. Follow the story of Jack Hicks as he struggles to hold onto everything he loves most.
AWARDS
**A SIBA OKRA Pick!**
**A GOLD Mom's Choice Award Winner!**
**The 2014 National Book Festival Featured Title for Georgia!**
**eLit 2014 Gold Medal Winner in the Environmental/Ecology/Nature Category**

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11. Coloring Page Tuesday - Build A Book!

     Teachers, are you talking to your students about writing? Do they wonder what elements go into the creation of a book, both creatively and logistically? This week's image could be a great kick-off to that discussion!
     CLICK HERE for more coloring pages! And be sure to share your creations in my gallery so I can put them in my upcoming newsletters! (Cards, kids art, and crafts are welcome!)
     Sign up to receive alerts when a new coloring page is posted each week and... Please check out my books! Especially...

my debut novel, A BIRD ON WATER STREET, coming out next week! Click the cover to learn more!
     When the birds return to Water Street, will anyone be left to hear them sing? A miner's strike allows green and growing things to return to the Red Hills, but that same strike may force residents to seek new homes and livelihoods elsewhere. Follow the story of Jack Hicks as he struggles to hold onto everything he loves most.
AWARDS
**A SIBA OKRA Pick!**
**A GOLD Mom's Choice Award Winner!**
**The 2014 National Book Festival Featured Title for Georgia!**
**eLit 2014 Gold Medal Winner in the Environmental/Ecology/Nature Category**

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12. SUMMERFALL (Winterspell Prequel) Teaser & Giveaway by Claire Legrand

SUMMERFALL Winterspell Prequel by Claire Legrand Rinka is a faery, passionate and powerful, determined to maintain the tenuous peace between faeries and humans. Alban Somerhart is a human, a reluctant king trapped in an arranged marriage, desperate to prevent war. Their love could save the kingdom of Cane . . . or shatter it forever. In this captivating novella, prequel to the upcoming

0 Comments on SUMMERFALL (Winterspell Prequel) Teaser & Giveaway by Claire Legrand as of 8/26/2014 2:31:00 AM
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13. Giveaway: Summerfall by Claire Legrand (International)

 

Summerfall

Author’s Name: Claire Legrand

Novella’s Release Date: 8/26/14

 

 

About the Book

Summerfall:
 

Rinka is a faery, passionate and powerful, determined to maintain the tenuous peace between faeries and humans.

Alban Somerhart is a human, a reluctant king trapped in an arranged marriage, desperate to prevent war.

Their love could save the kingdom of Cane . . . or shatter it forever.

In this captivating novella, prequel to the upcoming Winterspell, Claire Legrand weaves a story of magic, political intrigue, and forbidden love that sets the stage for the rise of a wicked queen and the journey of a human girl named Clara . . .

Find the prequel novella on Goodreads and check out a special teaser below!

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_SUMMERFALL-teaser-18.jpg

 
Winterspell:
 
The clock chimes midnight, a curse breaks, and a girl meets a prince . . . but what follows is not all sweetness and sugarplums.

New York City, 1899. Clara Stole, the mayor's ever-proper daughter, leads a double life. Since her mother's murder, she has secretly trained in self-defense with the mysterious Drosselmeyer.

Then, on Christmas Eve, disaster strikes.

Her home is destroyed, her father abducted--by beings distinctly not human. To find him, Clara journeys to the war-ravaged land of Cane. Her only companion is the dethroned prince Nicholas, bound by a wicked curse. If they're to survive, Clara has no choice but to trust him, but his haunted eyes burn with secrets--and a need she can't define. With the dangerous, seductive faery queen Anise hunting them, Clara soon realizes she won't leave Cane unscathed--if she leaves at all.

Inspired by The Nutcracker, Winterspell is a dark, timeless fairy tale about love and war, longing and loneliness, and a girl who must learn to live without fear.
 
Find the book on Goodreads.
 
 
b2ap3_thumbnail_Winterspell.jpg


b2ap3_thumbnail_clairelegrand_authorphoto1-680x1024.jpgAbout the Author

Claire Legrand used to be a musician until she realized she couldn't stop thinking about the stories in her head. Now a full-time writer, Claire is the author of The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls, a New York Public Library Best Book for Children in 2012, The Year of ShadowsWinterspell, and its prequel novella, Summerfall. She is also one of the four authors behind The Cabinet of Curiosities. Claire lives in Princeton, New Jersey. Visit her at claire-legrand.com and enterthecabinet.com.
 
Follow Claire on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and Pinterest.

 

 

Giveaway Details

One winner will receive a Winterspell prize pack (1 signed bookmark, 1 signed bookplate, and 4 signed character postcards).

Entering is simple, just fill out the entry form below. Winners will be announced on this site and in our monthly newsletter (sign up now!) within 30 days after the giveaway ends.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 


Read More

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14. Contaminated 2: Mercy Code, by Em Garner | Book Giveaway

Enter to win a copy of Contaminated 2: Mercy Code and Contaminated, by Em Garner. Giveaway begins August 25, 2014, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends September 24, 2014, at 11:59 P.M. PST.

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15. Watch Out, Hollywood! Blog Tour

We're featuring the second book in the Confessions of a So-Called Middle Child--Watch Out, Hollywood!  Read on for a quick interview with the author and a chance to win a copy of the books.

Confessions of a So-Called Middle Child cover.jpg Watch Out Hollywood! More Confessions of a So-Called Middle Child cover.jpg

About the Book

Hilarious tween heroine Charlie C. Cooper—reformed bully, misguided fashionista, and so-called middle child—is back! This sequel to Confessions of a So-called Middle Child will delight fans of Louise Rennison, Mean Girls, and Harriet the Spy.

Charlie's adventures offer a fresh look at middle school, bullying, and mean girls. In Book Two, Charlie navigates sudden celebrity and auditions for a television series, but a little white lie may endanger the one friendship Charlie can truly count on—and her connection to swoon-worthy crush Bobby! Poignant and seriously funny, Charlie's account of her dilemma is one all tweens will relate to.

Charlie knows what it feels like to be stuck in the middle, but it's finally her time to shine. After saving her friend Marta in the old Houdini tunnels of Los Angeles, Charlie's become a local hero, gained sudden celebrity, and *MIGHT* just become a TV star! But will Charlie let her newfound fame go to her head? Watch out, Hollywood!

Q&A with Maria T. Lennon

RNSL: What's the most important thing you try to emphasize when you write a story like Charlie's? Is it humor and fun, a life lesson, or a balance of several aspects?

MTL: When you write a book I think you need to have skin in the game—to quote Jonathan Franzen. It has to mean something. So, when I started writing about Charlie I wanted to write a story about a young girl trying to figure out who she was and how she fits in. Kids all try to see how they fit in, and they’ll try on a variety of different identities to see which one fits. Am I an athlete? Am I a brain? Am I—wait I’m none of these things. Then what? Am I bad? Am I the troublemaker? That’s the girl who interests me. The girl who just can’t find the thing that fits. So, it begins with a girl, there has to be a point and, of course, humor. Humor is everything in life.

RNSL: Where do you get your sense of humor?

MTL: My father. He was so funny—like hold-your-stomach funny. He had one of the driest, funniest senses of humor I’ve ever come across and thankfully I think we’ve inherited it by osmosis. No matter what we went through as kids—and we went through a lot—he had us laughing. And we still laugh all the time.

RNSL: Have you always been a writer? Tell us how you got started on the path that led you to your current career.

MTL: Yes. Always. First it was notes slipped under my mother’s door to apologize when I did something bad, and then when I went to school in England all I did was write essay after essay. I had great teachers and they supported my efforts.

RNSL: Is there a book or screenplay out there that you love so much, you wish you had been the one to write it? (I'll tell you mine: The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger--the book, NOT the so-called movie!)

MTL: Million Dollar Baby and Brokeback Mountain are, in my humble opinion, perfection.

RNSL: If you could live anywhere else in the world except Los Angeles, where would it be and why?

MTL: In my mind there is always an act three. Act one: Get your life together, figure out who you are and what you want to be. Act two: Build a family and a life. And then Act three—do whatever the heck you like. Now, I’m still in act two but when act three comes along I’d like to have a house in the south of Italy. My husband is from Italy and we lived there for a long time before moving back to LA and having children. Life by the sea there is a good life. 

About the Author

Maria T. Lennon is a graduate of the London School of Economics, a novelist, a screenwriter, and the author of Confessions of a So-called Middle Child, the first book featuring the irrepressible Charlie C. Cooper. When not driving one of her four children to school or volunteering at school libraries, she can be found sitting in a parked car, a café, or a library, writing novels, travel articles, or just passed out. To learn more, and to download a free curiculum guide, visit her website: http://confessionsofasocalledmiddlechild.com/.

Blog Tour Schedule

Follow all of the stops on Maria Lennon’s blog tour!

Wed, Aug 13 - The Hiding Spot
Mon, Aug 18 - Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
Tues, Aug 19 - The Book Monsters
Wed, Aug 20 - The Children's Book Review
Thurs, Aug 21 - Kid Lit Frenzy
Fri, Aug 22 - Booking Mama
Mon, Aug 25 - Read Now, Sleep Later
Tues, Aug 26 - Once upon a Story
Wed, Aug 27 - The Late Bloomer's Book Blog
Thurs, Aug 28 - The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia
Fri, Aug 29 - Beauty and the Bookshelf

Giveaway

One lucky winner will receive both books featuring Charlie C. Cooper--Confessions of a So-Called Middle Child, new in paperback, and Watch Out, Hollywood! More Confessions of a So-Called Middle Child, in hardcover! (U.S. addresses only.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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16. Amity, by Micol Ostow | Book Giveaway

Enter to win an autographed copy Amity, by Micol Ostow. Giveaway begins August 24, 2014, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends September 23, 2014, at 11:59 P.M. PST.

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17. Terra Elan McVoy's IN DEEP - Guest Post and Giveaway

Terra Elan McVoy is a book hero in my neighborhood. Not only has she helped run the Decatur Book Festival (next weekend!) and our local children's bookstore, Little Shop of Stories, I've had the great pleasure to watch her writing career take off and blossom into a book-a-year phenomenon. So, I'm thrilled to help promote her latest (6th) novel, IN DEEP. Terra stopped by to talk about it...

     When someone gets praise or wins something and I don’t—even someone I genuinely like—I can think surprisingly mean things about them.

      In certain situations I push myself to be intimidating, just so I don’t get scared.

      Sometimes I have to think of people as less-than-people so they don’t distract me from my own goals.

      No matter how well a behavior, relationship, or routine works for you, every now and then life forces you to change it in order to survive.

      Superiority feels better than inferiority.


      In the summer of 2012, these thoughts were all floating in my brain, but I wasn’t paying much attention to them. Instead I, and just about the rest of the country, was distracted by the London Olympics, and especially swimming.
      Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, and Missy Franklin were everywhere in those weeks. Phelps alone was proving to be one of the greatest swimmers possibly ever, as he became the most decorated Olympian of all time, at the age of only 27. Watching him was stupendous, exciting, and inspiring, but as medal after medal kept coming—so many broken world records—all I could think was: The best thing that guy has to look forward to now is being in a Subway commercial.
      I was horrified a couple years later when I actually saw him in one.
     Days after the closing ceremonies, I was still thinking. Phelps had announced he was retiring, and I wondered what it would be like to have disciplined yourself so hard for something that was over so fast. He had tons of sponsorships, so I guessed he could do whatever he wanted next, but this was a young man who’d spent over three-quarters of his life in the pool. What was it going to be like, now that all the glory was over? Didn’t seem like it would be a very smooth adjustment.
      The whole thing made me curious. And just as was the case when I started my novel Criminal, my Florida State University Creative Writing mentor’s words came to my head: “Write what you want to understand.”
      Fortunately, I already had a character who was a swimmer, and who was having trouble with normal society. Her name was Brynn Polonowski, and she was the camp Bad Girl in my third novel, The Summer of Firsts and Lasts. As a secondary character, I hadn’t given Brynn a lot of backstory—her being a swimmer had been relatively arbitrary. She was, however, a great rabble-rouser and troublemaker. She also countered the Winthrop sisters’ pro-camp attitudes, and served as someone who longed for sisterly closeness, but remained an outsider. My cousin’s main comment when she finished the book was, “What’s up with this Brynn character? She is pretty interesting.”
(Terra's fave writing spot.)

      So after the Olympics, I let myself think about Brynn more. What was up with her? Why was she such a rebel? Why did she so badly want to be included, but fail at being a real friend? Was she, for some reason, having to rethink her life as a swimmer? What would lead her to that decision? What was her story?
      These questions about Brynn all dovetailed rather nicely into my Olympics musings, but they also brought more personal themes to the surface. Writing, just like swimming, is a solitary sport. It’s very easy to become achievement-focused. Anyone and everyone can be your competition—and not just other writers. On deadline, when time is precious, friends and family, social events and cultural experiences are all vying for your attention, too. Sometimes it’s easier to shut it all out. But in disciplining yourself to produce every day it’s equally easy to forget to live.
      Writing Brynn’s struggle around the difference between being “the best” and being her best self helped me remember things I already know, but could always be reminded of: That the people who love you are vital, and even great success is temporary. That how you recover from setbacks is more important than not having them in the first place. That what you achieve is far from the sum total of who you are, and that your life is valuable not because of what you accomplish, but simply because you are.
      Brynn is still struggling with these things, even at the end of In Deep, but I gained a lot of insight from writing it. I hope you will too as you read.
Many thanks,
Terra Elan McVoy
Author of Pure, After the Kiss, The Summer of Firsts and Lasts, Being Friends with Boys, and 2014 Edgar Award finalist Criminal
http://terraelan.com

GIVEAWAY!
Terra is generously giving away a free, signed and dedicated copy of IN DEEP to one of my lucky followers. Must live in the US to win - enter below!

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18. SURVIVAL COLONY 9 {Excerpt & Giveaway}

From Simon & Schuster Written by Joshua David Bellin Fourteen-year-old Querry Genn's world is a desert where small groups of survivors struggle against heat, starvation, and the creatures known as the Skaldi, monsters that appeared on the planet after war swept away the old world. Suffering from amnesia brought on by an accident, Querry struggles to recover the lost memories that might save

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19. WILD THINGS - Guest Post and Giveaway!

Two of my favorite librarians have teamed up to create what is sure to be the new must read in children's lit scholarly circles and I couldn't be happier for them. Julie (Jules) Danielson and Betsy Bird have combined their considerable talents with the new blog WILD THINGS and the new book, WILD THINGS: ACTS OF MISCHIEF IN CHILDREN'S LITERATURE. The journey has been bittersweet since co-author Peter Sieruta passed away before the book went to publications - but oh, what a tribute the book is! I'm thrilled that Jules and Betsy were able to stop by to talk about their collaboration...

      Jules and I are very lucky. In promoting our new book Wild Things: Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature (co-written with the late Peter Sieruta) we’ve gotten to field all sorts of interesting questions. One that we were handed recently concentrated on the subversive nature of our book. You see, in Wild Things we authors attempt to debunk the very notion that all things associated with children’s literature are fluffy bunnies and sparkly rainbows. I think Maurice Sendak said it best when he said “I think it is unnatural to think that there is such a thing as a blue-sky, white-clouded happy childhood for anybody. Childhood is a very, very tricky business of surviving it. Because if one thing goes wrong or anything goes wrong, and usually something goes wrong, then you are compromised as a human being. You're going to trip over that for a good part of your life.” With that in mind we set out to write a book that talks about the true stories behind children’s books and what they set out to do. It’s been arduous but fun and we’ve really enjoyed it.
      The question that I was recently asked that really caught my eye, however, regarded our favorite example of subversive writing in children’s books. And let me tell you, that is a hard thing to choose. Just one? Would you go with The Paper Bag Princess, written by Robert Munsch and illustrated by Michael Martchenko which turns princess-based tales turned on their heads (a perfect gift for baby showers, yes?). Or should it be the great Stinky Cheese Man himself, bacon smile and all? Should it be Uncle Shelby’s ABZs by Shel Silverstein (which wasn’t really for children anyway) or a more recent title like A Rule Is to Break: A Child’s Guide to Anarchy by John Seven and Jana Christy (a book that made the Tea Party go crazy not too long ago) or the upcoming Me & Dog by Gene Weingarten (which may be the first atheist picture book I’ve ever seen)?
      No. In the end my heart belongs to a boy with wild tangled hair and fingernails who has never seen a bath a day of his short life. Struwwelpeter by Heinrich Hoffman was subversive before there was subversion, and its lessons have fed the nightmares of parents world round for years (kids apparently take the “lessons” with a grain of salt and aren’t as affected). Hoffman wrote the tales as a reaction against the namby pamby didactic lesson books for kids that were coming out at the time. Read the right way, there’s a morbid humor to his style. Whether it’s a story about a rabbit taking revenge on a hunter or why you shouldn’t suck your thumbs (Scissor Man, anyone?) once you’ve read these stories you will NEVER forget them.
      The kicker is that the book wasn’t published in the last five years. It wasn’t published in the last ten years. It wasn’t published in the last ONE HUNDRED years even!
     Oh. And Mark Twain was a big fan. Even brought them to America from Germany where he’d found them.
      Basically if you’re looking for a book that gives you some insights behind-the-scenes to stories like this one and lets you know the true dirt behind books for the young, ours is the one for you. As Walter de la Mare is often quoted as saying, “I know well that only the rarest kind of best in anything can be good enough for the young.” Or, put another way by Maurice Sendak, “. . .from their earliest years children live on familiar terms with disrupting emotions, fear and anxiety are an intrinsic part of their everyday lives, they continually cope with frustrations as best they can. And it is through fantasy that children achieve catharsis. It is the best means they have for taming Wild Things.” Consider our Wild Things untamed.

BIOs:
Betsy Bird is the youth materials collections specialist for the New York Public Library and is the author of Giant Dance Party, illustrated by Brandon Dorman. In addition to writing for The Horn Book magazine, she is the creator of the blog A Fuse #8 Production.

Julie Danielson is a regular contributor to Kirkus Reviews, and in her blog, Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast, she has featured and / or interviewed hundreds of top names in picture books. Julie Danielson lives in Tennessee.

Peter D. Sieruta (1958–2012) was an author, book critic, and frequent reviewer for The Horn Book magazine. His blog, Collecting Children’s Books, served as inspiration for his contributions to Wild Things!


GIVEAWAY!
Candlewick has generously agreed to send a free galley to one of my lucky followers. Must live in the US to win - enter below.

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20. 5th Blogaversary Giveaway

I've been blogging on and off since 1998. It's been such a fun and fulfilling part of my life and though I slow down now and then, I never really stop, and probably never will.

Some big things happening on this, the 5th anniversary of my current blog, Read Now Sleep Later:

1) We are going to be switching over to a new blog! readnowsleeplater.com will remain where it is for now, but new posts will only appear on readnowsleeplater.org, so update your bookmarks! We have a new Twitter @rnslbooks, but Facebook and Email followers, no need to switch :) 

2) CleverBee began as a group blog experiment with posts written by myself, Alyson Beecher from Kid Lit Frenzy, and David Yenoki from davidyenoki.com. I've decided to continue on my own, and Read Now Sleep Later will still cover book reviews, events, and giveaways. However, I'll also be blogging about other things I think are cool or interesting under the CleverBee banner. Interested? Click "CleverBee" on the menu above.

3) Giveaways! Oh my gosh so many giveaways. Thanks to all of our followers, new and old, for reading and following our blogs.

Enter with the Rafflecopter widgets below, depending on where you are. Please read our contest policy if you enter any of the giveaways.

Giveaway #1

For our US followers, we have $100 worth of books from the oldest children’s bookstore in America, Once Upon a Time Bookstore (winner’s choice)! Make sure you follow them on Twitter and Facebook

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway #2

For our non-US followers, we have $50 worth of books from Book Depository (winner’s choice)!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway #3

Open to all Etsy shop followers anywhere in the world, 36 Book Geek buttons (a random selection) from my Etsy shop!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway #4

Open to all school- or library-affiliated US blog followers, a 10-pack of Live to Read posters (16" x 24")! Keep one for yourself and give the rest of them away to your students, friends, colleagues. (Or keep them all for yourself; we won’t tell!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck, and thanks again for your loyalty! We love you!

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21. Coloring Page Tuesday - Drawing Mouse

     Many of our little ones are heading back to school to read, write, and (I hope) draw a little bit too! The arts keep the brain elastic and flexible, open to new ideas!
     The original drawing for this mouse went to one of my students in the MFA in Writing and Illustrating program at Hollins University this past summer.
     CLICK HERE for more coloring pages! And be sure to share your creations in my gallery so I can put them in my upcoming newsletters! (Cards, kids art, and crafts are welcome!)
     Sign up to receive alerts when a new coloring page is posted each week and... Please check out my books! Especially...

my debut novel, A BIRD ON WATER STREET, coming out next week! Click the cover to learn more!
     When the birds return to Water Street, will anyone be left to hear them sing? A miner's strike allows green and growing things to return to the Red Hills, but that same strike may force residents to seek new homes and livelihoods elsewhere. Follow the story of Jack Hicks as he struggles to hold onto everything he loves most.
AWARDS
**A SIBA OKRA Pick!**
**A GOLD Mom's Choice Award Winner!**
**The 2014 National Book Festival Featured Title for Georgia!**
**eLit 2014 Gold Medal Winner in the Environmental/Ecology/Nature Category**

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22. Watch Out, Hollywood!: More Confessions of a So-called Middle Child | Book Giveaway

Enter to win copies of both CONFESSIONS OF A SO-CALLED MIDDLE CHILD and WATCH OUT, HOLLYWOOD! MORE CONFESSIONS OF A SO-CALLED MIDDLE CHILD, by Maria T. Lennon. Giveaway begins August 20, 2014, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends September 19, 2014, at 11:59 P.M. PST.

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23. Zeus the Great Dane (And a BRANDED Giveaway) by Abi Ketner & Missy Kalicicki

BRANDED (Sinners #1) Abi Ketner and Missy KalicickiPublisher: Month9Books Amazon | Barnes & Noble |Goodreads Fifty years ago The Commander came into power and murdered all who opposed him. In his warped mind, the seven deadly sins were the downfall of society. To punish the guilty, he created the Hole, a place where sinners are branded according to their sins. Sinners are forced to live a

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24. MADDIE'S FRIDGE by Lois Brandt, illustrated by Vin Vogel - GIVEAWAY!


There's a quiet problem in our country...hunger. What's a kid to do when she discovers her best friend's refrigerator is nearly empty, and that she doesn't drink the milk because she is saving it for her little brother? What's that same kid to do when she promised her best friend that she wouldn't tell anybody about it?
      MADDI'S FRIDGE written by Lois Brandt and illustrated by Vin Vogel addresses the issue in a light-handed way, through a delightful story of friendship. I'm thrilled to have Lois on my blog today to talk more about it...

Q. Lois - How did you first become aware of the hunger issue? What inspired this story?
A.
I first became aware of the issue of childhood hunger the same way my character, Sofia, did.
      I was about 10 years old and was having a great playdate with my best friend. Do you remember those times, playing with your friends and sharing secrets, chasing grasshoppers, swinging on the swings? It was one of those days.
      I got hungry, ran into my best friend’s house, and opened her refrigerator door. It was empty except for condiments and one small carton of milk, the kind they gave out with school lunches. My friend had saved her milk for her little brother, who was too young to go to school.
      That image of my friend’s empty refrigerator has stayed with me my entire life.

Q. Lois - This had to be a tricky story to write without being too heavy with the message, yes? How long did it take you?
A.
I might have written the first draft as long as ten years ago. Boy did I have angry kids in those early drafts. The girls were so mad that at one point they were throwing rocks at a dry creek bed. In another draft they were kicking soccer balls with a vengeance. Maddi and Sofia (and this author) were very upset that we have so many hungry children in our wealthy nation.
      At some point, after comments from editors (one editor called the story grim – something my husband still teases me about), I began to put some of the magic of best friends into the story. I asked myself: What do these girls like to do when they are having fun? How do they show each other that they care?
      When I focused on the girls’ friendship, I found the heart of this story.

Q. Lois - Flashlight Press always does such lovely, high quality books. How did you end up getting published by them?
A.
After many many revisions, I began to get positive responses to MADDI'S FRIDGE and knew the manuscript was close to publishable quality. I reached out to my MFA adviser, Kirby Larson, and she suggested Shari Dash Greenspan at Flashlight Press.
      The first time I held a Flashlight Press book, Jodi Moore’s WHEN A DRAGON MOVES IN, was a wow moment. Flashlight produces stunningly beautiful books. I knew Maddi’s story was in excellent hands.

Q. Lois - A large part of this book seems to be to inspire action, like on your website MaddisFridge.com. How do you spread the word, and how can we help?
A.
The first thing to do is talk about childhood hunger. Again and again people I meet are surprised by the numbers. 16 million children, 1 in 5, live in families without consistent access to food.
      MADDI'S FRIDGE is just one story of hunger. There are 16 million stories of childhood hunger happening at this very moment in the United States.
      We can beat childhood hunger, but we need to accept that this growing problem belongs to all of us. These are our friends and neighbors who are struggling to get food for their children.
      Find out the facts about hunger in your community and state. Share what you learn. A good place to start is my website or FeedingAmerica.org.

Q. Lois - This is your first book and wow, what a doozie it is! What's been your writing journey?
A.
I’ve always loved to write, but didn’t get serious until my children forced me to.
      Like most parents I made up stories at bedtime. We’d read a few books and then I’d tell a story. There was a problem, though. I could never consistently remember all of the details of the stories I told. My oldest son, Alex, called me on it. I started writing down the stories in self-defense, so I could get my own details right.
      The more I wrote, the more stories bubbled up from inside of me. Many of them, like MADDI'S FRIDGE, came from places close to my heart.
      I took a class on writing for children from author Peggy King Anderson, formed a critique group with members from that class, and joined SCBWI. That path led me here.

Q. Lois - How are you getting the word out about MADDI'S FRIDGE?
A.
I visit schools, contact librarians and food banks, and do readings. This has allowed me to meet some of the wonderful people who are working hard in the fight against childhood hunger.
      The school visits are my favorite activity. Kids get MADDI'S FRIDGE. They get friendship, promises, and helping. If second graders were in charge of the world, there would be no empty refrigerators.
      When a school holds a food drive, I will Skype or come for a visit at the beginning or end of the drive. During my visit I have the children write or draw with me about a time they helped someone, or a time someone helped them. Their stories illustrate the web of relationships that we all live in – friends helping friends and neighbors helping neighbors.

Q. Vin - I love your characters big eyes and that happy yellow. What is your illustration method?
A.
Thank you! In general, I make sketches with pencil on paper and scan them. As soon as they are approved, I start working on the final illustrations with a digital tablet. For this book I took photos and used Google Map for reference material. You can find more information about the process here: https://www.facebook.com/vinvogelillustration.

Q. Vin - This isn't your first book - by a longshot! How did you get turned onto Flashlight Press?
A.
I have illustrated more than 45 books, mostly published in Brazil and Canada. Shari found my website and contacted me. When I read the story I was hooked! I admire Lois and Shari for writing and publishing a picture book about hunger. And discussing hunger in America is even more courageous!

Q. Vin - What was your path into the children's book industry?
A.
I have worked as a journalist (because I also love writing), as well as a 2D animator and illustrator for advertising. My dream was to write and illustrate picture books. So I started to illustrate PB's in Brazil in 2005 and have never stopped. I have recently started to write my own PB's and my debut book will be launched by Dial in the Fall 2015.

Q. Vin - A you mentioned, you're originally from Brazil. What was the children's book market like there?
A.
Let's say I wish kids read more in Brazil. Way more.

Q. Vin - Was it exciting to work on a book with such an important message?
A.
Sure! As I have mentioned before, I was thrilled to illustrate a book about such delicate subject! Plus, the book carries a message of friendship and helping the ones in need. Many times simple solutions are right under our nose: Lois passed the message in a very sweet and effective way.

Q. Lois and Vin - have you met? Or will you be promoting the book together at all?
A.
Not yet. Lois is promoting the book on the West Coast; I'm the East Coast branch!

Note: Feeding America has declared September as Hunger Action Month, so it's a great opportunity for my readers to get involved and make a difference!

GIVEAWAY!

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25. Win an iPod Touch and The Darracia Saga, by Michael Phillip Cash | Giveaway

Enter to win audiobook downloads of The Darracia Saga, by Michael Phillip Cash, and an iPod touch Space Gray!

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