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1. Three Months of Book Giveaways: Kidlit Books with an Air of Mystery

With the winter months upon us, I feel this is a great time for readers of all ages to snuggle in with a good book. I have been blessed with tons of amazing books titles for kids over these last few months and I want to get these books into the hands of young readers. SO, for the next three months Jump Into a Book will be hosting a book giveaway every Wednesday! Some giveaways will be a single title, some will be a “Book Bundle,” but all will be books that your readers will love and cherish. I think these books will also make great gifts as well! Here’s what we are giving away this week (NOTE: All of these books are physical books, not Kindle versions).

giveaway9

Kidlit Books with an Air of Mystery INCLUDED IN THE GIVEAWAY:

The Calder Game by Blue Balliett

calder

This new mystery from bestselling author Blue Balliett is now available in After Words paperback!

When Calder Pillay travels with his father to a remote village in England, he finds a mix of mazes and mystery . . . including an unexpected Alexander Calder sculpture in the town square. Calder is strangely drawn to the sculpture, while other people have less-than-friendly feelings towards it. Both the boy and the sculpture seem to be out-of-place . . . and then, on the same night, they disappear! Calder’s friends Petra and Tommy must fly out to help his father find him. But this mystery has more twists and turns than a Calder mobile . . . with more at stake than first meets the eye.
Horten’s Miraculous Mechanism by Lisa Evans

horton

As if being small and having S. Horten as his name isn’t bad enough, now 10-year-old Stuart is forced to move far away from all his friends.But on his very first day in his new home, Stuart’s swept up in an extraordinary adventure: the quest to find his great-uncle Tony–a famous magician who literally disappeared off the face of the earth–and Tony’s marvelous, long-lost workshop. Along the way, Stuart reluctantly accepts help from the annoying triplets next door… and encounters trouble from another magician who’s also desperate to get hold of Tony’s treasures.

The Cabinet of Wonders by Marie Rutkoski

cabinet

Petra Kronos has a simple, happy life. But it’s never been ordinary. She has a pet tin spider named Astrophil who likes to hide in her snarled hair and give her advice. Her best friend can trap lightning inside a glass sphere. Petra also has a father in faraway Prague who is able to move metal with his mind. He has been commissioned by the prince of Bohemia to build the world’s finest astronomical clock. Petra’s life is forever changed when, one day, her father returns home – blind. The prince has stolen his eyes, enchanted them, and now wears them. But why?
Guys Read: Thriller

guysreadthrill

A body on the tracks

A teenage terrorist

A mysterious wish-granting machine

The world’s worst private detective

The second volume in the Guys Read Library of Great Reading is chock-full of mystery, intrigue, and nefarious activity.

DETAILS ON GIVEAWAY:

  • ONE winner each receive a one copy of all three books. Giveaway begins November 26th and ends December 3rd, 2014
  • Prizing & samples courtesy of Audrey Press
  • Giveaway open to US addresses only
  • ONE lucky winner will win one copy of each book listed above.
  • Residents of USA only please.
  • Must be 18 years or older to enter.
  • One entry per household.
  • Staff and family members of Audrey Press are not eligible.
  • Grand Prize winner has 48 hours to claim prize.
  • Winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter on November 27th

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The post Three Months of Book Giveaways: Kidlit Books with an Air of Mystery appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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2. 3 Months of Giveaways! 3 Mystery Books for Middle Readers

3 months of book giveaways

With the winter months upon us, I feel this is a great time for readers of all ages to snuggle in with a good book. I have been blessed with tons of amazing books titles for kids over these last few months and I want to get these books into the hands of young readers. SO, for the next three months Jump Into a Book will be hosting a book giveaway every Wednesday! Some giveaways will be a single title, some will be a “Book Bundle,” but all will be books that your readers will love and cherish. I think these books will also make great gifts as well! Here’s what we are giving away this week (NOTE: All of these books are physical books, not Kindle versions).

This week I am giving away some wonderful Mystery Books for Middle Readers. Three great titles that will appeal to both boys and girls. Good luck!

The Real Boy by Anne Ursu

The Real Boy

On an island on the edge of an immense sea there is a city, a forest, and a boy named Oscar. Oscar is a shop boy for the most powerful magician in the village, and spends his days in a small room in the dark cellar of his master’s shop grinding herbs and dreaming of the wizards who once lived on the island generations ago. Oscar’s world is small, but he likes it that way. The real world is vast, strange, and unpredictable. And Oscar does not quite fit in it.

But now that world is changing. Children in the city are falling ill, and something sinister lurks in the forest. Oscar has long been content to stay in his small room in the cellar, comforted in the knowledge that the magic that flows from the forest will keep his island safe. Now, even magic may not be enough to save it.

The House of Scorpion by Nancy Farmer

The House of Scorpion

Matteo Alacrán was not born; he was harvested.
His DNA came from El Patrón, lord of a country called Opium–a strip of poppy fields lying between the United States and what was once called Mexico. Matt’s first cell split and divided inside a petri dish. Then he was placed in the womb of a cow, where he continued the miraculous journey from embryo to fetus to baby. He is a boy now, but most consider him a monster–except for El Patrón. El Patrón loves Matt as he loves himself, because Matt is himself.

The BOO! Book

boo

Everyone has heard of haunted houses. You know, the ones that the mailman crosses the street to avoid. But it turns out that books can be haunted too. Of course all books are full of surprises—but The Boo! Book has a spooky one: A ghost! He rearranges the words, flips the pictures upside down, and waits very patiently for his special version of a surprise ending.
In the spirit of the classic The Monster at the End of this Book, this clever tale features a pop-up ghost encounter and friendly fun for all ages.

 

DETAILS ON GIVEAWAY: ONE winner each receive a one copy of all three books. Giveaway begins November 19th and ends November 26th

  • Prizing & samples  courtesy of Audrey Press
  • Giveaway open to US addresses only
  • ONE lucky winner will win one copy of.
  • Residents of USA only please.
  • Must be 18 years or older to enter
  • One entry per household.
  • Staff and family members of Audrey Press are not eligible.
  • Grand Prize winner has 48 hours to claim prize
  • Winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter on November 27th

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

The post 3 Months of Giveaways! 3 Mystery Books for Middle Readers appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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3. Sending You a Tropical Breeze - Review of Jan May’s Ocean Adventures Creative Writing Curriculum & a Giveaway!

by Sally Matheny

     
Sending You a Tropical Breeze
A cold wind may be whistling outside your window but today, a tropical breeze is coming your way.

     Do you have a young, reluctant writer in your home? I do. My fourth-grader freezes over when he’s required to write. He hates it. Which is why I was eager to try out Jan May’s curriculum, Ocean Adventures in Creative Writing.  Clearly stated on the front cover is the statement, “Even the reluctant writer will dive in!”

     
     Not only did I plan to get my reluctant writer’s toes in the water, but I also hoped the curriculum would splash enthusiasm into a homeschool co-op class I was teaching.

     The students ranged in ages from eight to twelve. Only a third of the class professed to enjoy writing. Here are a few of their comments upon completion of the class:

     I liked writing a story about my ocean adventure. I liked being able to choose my own animal instead of being assigned one. – Meredith (10)

     I’ve never been able to write this much in one week before. I never wanted to write this much before this class. – Samuel (8)

     I loved how fun it was. I liked the ocean theme. [The lessons] were easy to understand. – Zac (10)

     
     What makes this curriculum so likable to students?

Freedom
Ocean Adventures in Creative Writing
·         to research an own ocean animal of their own choosing
·         to create their own ocean community setting
·         to devise their own characters and plot
·         to focus on the story more than grammar and punctuation

Bite-Sized Lessons
·         Character, Setting, and Plot
·         Writing beginnings, middles, and endings
·         Spicing up your story
·         Editing

Fun Factor
·         Opportunities to interact with friends
·         Additional art and craft ideas
·         Spotlight presentation at the end


    What makes this 53-page curriculum attractive to teachers?

Easy
·         Easy to follow teacher notes
·         Clear and concise worksheets for students
·         Printables of twenty ocean animals and handwriting paper with an ocean-themed border

Adaptable
·         Easily incorporated into other school subjects
·         Written primarily for ages 8-12, it is great for use by students of various ages, within the same setting
·         For students at various writing skill levels

     The curriculum offers ten lesson plans before students present their final story. Jan May offers additional ideas that could easily stretch this curriculum over several months, if desired.

     A “spotlight theatre” is suggested for the culminating project where students present their stories. However, my class opted for a sunlight theatre outside. 





     The reluctant writers may not be in the deep waters of writing yet, but they sure enjoyed wading out past their knees.

     After presenting their stories, several students experienced the exhilaration of riding their first wave. That’s a great feeling and usually it prompts a desire to do it again!

     If your students are dreading the winter blahs of writing, consider sending them a fun, tropical breeze with the Ocean Adventures Creative Writing program.

                                                 *****
    

    
Author, Jan May is a veteran homeschool mom, freelance writer, and book author with a Christian worldview. Connect with her at www.newmillenniumgirls.com.

     Jan is graciously offering a free download of the Ocean Adventures Creative Writing curriculum to the one winner Rafflecopter selects on November 25, 2014. There are several ways to increase your chances of winning. 
Rafflecopter will accept entries between midnight on 11/17/14 and midnight 11/25/14.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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4. Guest Post & Giveaway: Deborah Halverson on Five Things YA Writers Should Know about New Adult Fiction

New Adult Covers
By Deborah Halverson
for Cynthia Leitich Smith's Cynsations

Just as the difference between a middle grade story and a young adult story is more than the characters’ ages and grades in school, the difference between a young adult story and a new adult story is more than the characters’ ages and their graduation from high school.

Young adult writers often ask me to articulate that “more than”—a task I’m happy to take on.

Some of those writers want to work out whether their stories on the upper cusp of teenhood are YA or NA, and others just want understand this new category that brushes up against their own.

Here are five key differences you need to know about YA and NA:

1.) Age: Yes, age matters. YA protagonists are usually 12 to 18 years old, still living the high school life or under some kind of adult oversight or power structure. NA protagonists are 18 to 25, often in college or taking first steps into career.

Notice the overlap at 18? Some young people are free from adult oversight at that age and are embarking on the next phase of life, so you’ll find them in NA. This is where you can get tripped up by focusing on age as the delineator: People point to stories of teen orphans or adventurers out battling the world for survival, far from their parents. Does being on your own mean you’re no longer a teen? No one would claim that about 14- and 15-year-olds, but what about 17- and 18-year-olds? At what age do you draw the line? See, problematic. That’s why numbers 2 and 3 below matter, too.

Research for Writing New Adult Fiction
2) Narrative sensibility and character mind-set: This is about how your characters process the world, which affects their priorities, goals, dreams, and fears, and it's about about how they express themselves.

Teens are typically starting to look outward as they try to find their places in the world and realize that their actions have consequences in the grander scheme of life.

In contrast, new adults are typically picking up the self-exploration that began in adolescence, expanding their worldviews and becoming fully self-responsible after leaving some kind of adult-regulated life. They are now free to determine their own schedules and activities, are generally responsible for no one but themselves, and are increasingly making their own life plans as they gain wisdom through experience.

Overlaps remain between the two life phases, though. Friendships are intensely important to both age groups, although in new adulthood the traditional family structure gives way to a new “family” of friends. That word “new” matters, as new adulthood is a time of immense change and new stuff. Thus, new adulthood throbs with instability and the stress that goes with it.

Peer pressure is also important to both groups, as the part of the brain that helps us inhibit impulses, plan and organize our behavior to reach a goal, and manage our reward system isn’t done developing until age 25. This means teens and new adults are hyper-interested in risk-taking situations and very influenced by peer pressure; only, NAs are now totally free to indulge, so the partying and other risky behaviors can intensify.

This is why many people describe NA as seeming “bigger” or more intense than YA, even though teenhood is pretty dang intense itself.

Deborah's "mobile office"
3) Circumstances: The storylines we create for each age group reflect their phases of life. YA fiction features teens yearning for full independence despite their lack of experience and perspective. These young people think big and take big action, struggle with over- and under-confidence, mature in their decision-making and coping skills through their adventures, and embark on their first forays into romance, with romantic attraction becoming a significant part of life.

NA stories show young people with a little more experience under their belts—often just enough to make them over-confident. We get to watch them deal with the realities of that independence they craved, have high expectations for themselves that don’t always match reality, strive to break from their teen social status and build an identity from scratch, continue to mature in their decision-making, take big risks as they experiment and explore, and delve into more intense romances, laced by self-exploration and influenced by new a freedom to explore their sexuality.

Because there’s lots of planning and replanning during new adulthood, NA fiction includes first forays into careers, allowing the characters to test their career plans before they have to settle into adult life.

4) Sexual Explicitness: Romance is a part of almost every upper YA and NA story, as well it should be—love is a main area of identity exploration starting with puberty. Teens tend to be exploring love for the first time, trying to understand what it feels like, and NAs are starting to gauge who they want to be in these relationships and what they want out of their partners.

The explicitness of the physical love scenes differs for the two categories, big time. YA has its sexual content but writers must be sure that their level of detail is organic and necessary to the story. Generally, that which doesn’t happen off-scene altogether is softened so as not to be overly graphic. Even so, those stories can face “gatekeeper” challenges because they’re clearly positioned as teen fare.

The constraints are gone for NA, which is marketed for over-18s. New adults are free to explore relationships and sexual identity, experimenting as interest, opportunity, and willing partners allow.

Pioneering NA novels often featured explicit love scenes, but now, two years into the category’s evolution, NA writers and readers are debating just how vital steamy sex scenes are for the literature.

5) Audience: The YA audience includes teens and “crossover” adult readers.

NA may get some teen readers because young people do read up, but that said, many teens aren’t interested in that time of life yet.

NA writers who craft stories about 18-year-olds are aware they may have young readers, so often they’ll opt for a “Mature YA” label, giving them the elbow room to go into more detail with the sex but still keeping it tame.

We don’t have industry studies to confirm this, but it’s believed that the biggest NA readership is that same crossover adult readership that made YA a publishing industry juggernaut.

New adults themselves are considered a large secondary readership, happy to see their experiences finally reflected in their own fiction.

I hope these five things illuminate how YA fiction and NA fiction are near neighbors yet still distinct categories.

Personally, I’m happy to see NA fiction in the mix—the category is exciting for readers who long craved stories about this time of life, and it’s exciting for writers who yearned to explore the new adulthood experience and now have the opportunity to do so.

Happy readers, happy writers … sounds darn good to me.

View from Deborah's mobile office
Cynsational Notes 

Deborah Halverson is a veteran editor and the award-winning author of Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies.

Visit Deborah
Learn more
Her latest book, Writing New Adult Fiction, teaches techniques and strategies for crafting the new adult mindset and experience into riveting NA fiction.

Deborah was an editor at Harcourt Children’s Books for ten years and is now a freelance editor, the founder of the popular writers’ advice website DearEditor.com, and the author of numerous books for young readers, including two teen novels.

Visit DeborahHalverson.com or DearEditor.com.

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5. Giveaway: Win Eternal (Shadow Falls: After Dark) by C C Hunter!

This morning I have a giveaway for C. C. Hunter’s Eternal (Shadow Falls: After Dark)!  Open to US addresses only, please.

From Amazon:

Just when Della feels like she’s starting to figure out her life, she finds herself

reborn…and her new existence comes with a whole different rulebook.

Della’s secret powers always made her feel like an outsider in the human world. Now, just when she’s starting to feel like she belongs—at Shadow Falls, a camp for teens with paranormal powers—her life is turned upside down all over again. Attacked by a deadly virus, she must make the difficult choice to be reborn. It’s her only chance at survival, but it comes with a price: It irreparably bonds her to Chase, a tall, dark and mesmerizing vampire who makes her laugh one minute and infuriates her the next.

Chase already knows too many of Della’s secrets, and being eternally bonded to him is the last thing she wants. Even worse, she doesn’t fully understand what their bond means. Is the attraction she’s started feeling for Chase real—or does fate have something else in store? And what does that mean for Steve, the hot shapeshifter whose kisses make her weak in the knees? Now Della’s battered heart is about to take another hit. While investigating her latest case, she discovers shocking evidence about her father’s dark past, making her question everything she believes to be true…and her place in the world she loves.

Open to US addresses only, please

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The post Giveaway: Win Eternal (Shadow Falls: After Dark) by C C Hunter! appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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6. Three Months of Book Giveaways! Kidlit Books of Adventure and Courage!

3 months of book giveaways

With the winter months upon us, I feel this is a great time for readers of all ages to snuggle in with a good book. I have been blessed with tons of amazing books titles for kids over these last few months and I want to get these books into the hands of young readers. SO, for the next three months Jump Into a Book will be hosting a book giveaway every Wednesday! Some giveaways will be a single title, some will be a “Book Bundle,” but all will be books that your readers will love and cherish. I think these books will also make great gifts as well! Here’s what we are giving away this week (NOTE: All of these books are physical books, not Kindle versions).

 

giveaway

BOOKS INCLUDED IN THE GIVEAWAY:

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

The_Three_Musketeers

First published in 1844, Alexandre Dumas’s swashbuckling epic chronicles the adventures of D’Artagnan, a gallant young nobleman who journeys to Paris in 1625 hoping to join the ranks of musketeers guarding Louis XIII. He soon finds himself fighting alongside three heroic comrades–Athos, Porthos, and Aramis–who seek to uphold the honor of the king by foiling the wicked plots of Cardinal Richelieu and the beautiful spy “Milady.”

Captain Courageous by Rudyard Kipling

Captains Courageous

A pampered millionaire’s son tumbles overboard from a luxury liner and falls into good fortune, disguised in the form of a fishing boat. The gruff and hearty crew teach the young man to be worth his salt as they fish the waters off the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. Brimming with adventure and humor.

The Misadventures of Benjamin Bartholomew: You Wish

Benjamin Bartholomew

On his eleventh birthday, sad, orphaned Benjamin Bartholomew Piff accidentally adheres to all of the wishing rules—and, in wishing for the mother lode of limitless wishes, he unknowingly sets into a motion a chain of events that threatens to disrupt the balance between the magical realm of wishes and curses. Before long, Benjamin has been recruited by the Wishworks Factory director himself to fight the evil henchmen of the Curseworks Factory. In the process, Benjamin will reclaim his original wish—giving new credence to the old adage: “Be careful what you wish for . . . ”

GIVEAWAY DETAILS

ONE winner will receive a copy of each book The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas, Captain Courageous by Rudyard Kipling andThe Misadventures of Benjamin Bartholomew.  Giveaway begins November 14th and ends November 19th, 2014.

  • Prizing & samples  courtesy of Authors of the above books
  • Giveaway open to US addresses only
  • ONE lucky winner will win one copy of each of the above books.
  • Residents of USA only please.
  • Must be 18 years or older to enter
  • One entry per household.
  • Staff and family members of Audrey Press are not eligible.
  • Grand Prize winner has 48 hours to claim prize
  • Winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter on November 20th

<a Rafflecopter giveaway

The post Three Months of Book Giveaways! Kidlit Books of Adventure and Courage! appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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7. Giveaway: 10th Anniversary of Cynsations

Speaking at KidlitCon 2013
By Cynthia Leitich Smith
for Cynsations

Today marks the 10th Anniversary of Cynsations!

The blog launched on Nov. 12, 2004; and featured children's author Chris Barton, talking about consolidation and marketing.

There was no introductory post and no images--until Blogger introduced that option.

Thanks so much to each of you for reading and sharing your thoughts!

This is a condensed excerpt from a keynote I delivered at the 2013 KidLitCon in Austin:

I embraced the earliest days of the kidlitosphere for two reasons:

First—with all the optimism of a 20-something but not a word on the page—I quit my law job in downtown Chicago to write children’s books full time.

A favorite book from childhood.
For me, children’s literature had been a great blessing, and I committed my life to it.
I take my own writing to heart (and sometimes to play), but my plan was bigger than that.

It included the community. It included you.

It included everyone who plays a role in the connection of books to kids.

I got busy, writing and reaching out—by mentoring, teaching, advocating in person and online.

I began in part by, in 1998, establishing a substantive children’s literature resource site and launching a monthly e-newsletter that went out to a little over a thousand people and featured two author interviews along with a handful of recommended links. (I recall thinking that was a lot of content.)

My blog, Cynsations, launched in 2004. It likewise casts a broad net, emphasizing the craft of writing, the business of publishing and the writer’s life.

Wanting to offer something positive to children's-YA lit lovers, to the big wide world, that was my reason one.

Reason two?

My first book.
American Indians are vastly underrepresented in the body of literature and the industry more broadly.

When I entered the field, the literary depictions of Indians were almost uniformly historic, New Age-y, and/or inaccurate.
It was time to help change perceptions or I’d never be able to publish many of the stories I wanted to write.

By putting myself out there via tech, I was able to send the message that Native people are multidimensional. And that we have a past, a present and a future.

With that in mind, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Cynsations, I'm giving away a copy of Jingle Dancer (Morrow/HarperCollins, 2000). Author sponsored. Eligibility: international.

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8. Guest Post and Giveaway: Leigh Greenwood, Author of To Love and To Cherish

 

Please give a warm welcome to Leigh Greenwood!  She’s here with a Top 5, as well as a giveaway!

Top 5 reasons cowboys make such appealing heroes?

1 – They’re ruggedly handsome

2 – They don’t hesitate to stand against the world alone

3 – They are idealists as well as pragmatists

4 – They hold all women in high regard

5 – They have a gentleman’s code of ethics they won’t break for anyone. Their word is their bond.

Torn Between a Desire to be Free…

When Laurie Spencer said “I do”, she never realized she’d be trading one pair of shackles for another—until her husband’s unexpected death leaves her with an opportunity to escape her controlling family for good. Determined to be independent, Laurie approaches sexy rancher Jared Smith with an offer she hopes he can’t refuse…

And a Longing to be His…

Jared’s determined to make it in Texas, but with the local banker turned against him, it looks like his dream may be slipping through his fingers. When unconsciously sensual Laurie offers a partnership, his luck may be changing…but when she throws herself in as part of the deal, Jared’s not sure he’ll be able to respect the terms of their agreement and keep his eyes—and his hands—to himself.

There’s something about Laurie that awakens every protective instinct Jared has…and when all hell breaks loose, there’s nothing and no one who’ll be able to keep this cowboy from her side.

Leigh Greenwood is the USA Today bestselling author of the popular Seven Brides, Cowboys, and Night Riders series. The proud father of three grown children, Leigh resides in Charlotte, North Carolina. He never intended to be a writer, but he found it hard to ignore the people in his head, and the only way to get them out was to write. Visit him at www.leigh-greenwood.com.

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1suOlUq

Apple: http://bit.ly/1xw9imm

BAM: http://bit.ly/1nJZFAB

B&N: http://bit.ly/1tZr0kX

Chapters: http://bit.ly/1xwaki8

Indiebound: http://bit.ly/1oQkEm7

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1wBHWgb

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9. Win a Kindle Fire HDX & Other Prizes

I'm so embarrassed that I forgot to post this but better late than never. Two of my books are part of this event sponsored by Indie Hoopla Promotions.





Win a Kindle Fire HDX 7", Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash (up to $229 value)
The winner will have the option of receiving a 7" Kindle Fire HDX (US Only - $229 Value)

Or $199 Amazon.com Gift Card (International)
Or $199 in Paypal Cash (International)

1.) Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below.
2.) ”LIKE” and “Follow” the sponsoring authors that write the kind of books you love to read.
3.) Scroll through the book covers below to find your NEW favorite authors.


•••HINT••• Buy Our Sponsors’ Kindle Books for an EXTRA 10 Entry Points Every Day.



Our Sponsors

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Urban Fantasy/Vampires


YA/New Adult/Shifters




••• SECOND HINT••• There are 2 more ways to earn EXTRA 5 Entry Points Every Day. Check out the Rafflecopter below for details


 GIVEAWAY
1 winner will receive their choice of an all new Kindle Fire HDX 7" (US Only - $229 value), Amazon Gift Card ($199 value/International) or Paypal Cash ($199 value/International). Ebook prizes are the responsibility of the author(s). Ends 12/07/14. Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed. The winner has 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Indie Hoopla Services & Promotions and sponsored by the participating authors & bloggers. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.


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10. frog on a dime has a picture book giveaway winner!

Congratulations, Jennifer!

Congratulations, Jennifer!

Congratulations to [drum roll please] Ms. Jennifer Whistler! You’ve won your very own copy of IMANI’S MOON, the beautiful new picture book by JaNay Brown-Wood and illustrated by Hazel Mitchell.

Written by  JaNay Brown-Wood and illustrated by Hazel Mitchell/Charlesbridge Publishing/ISBN 978-1-934133-57-6, Ages 6-9

Written by JaNay Brown-Wood and illustrated by Hazel Mitchell/Charlesbridge Publishing/ISBN 978-1-934133-57-6, Ages 6-9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BIG thanks to everyone who entered and shared what you love about picture books–so many lovely comments. For example, here’s what Jennifer has to say:

I love picture books because of the bonding time they provided when my daughters were young. I read to them every day: at quiet time in the morning, at naptime in the afternoon, sitting on the window seat when it was raining outside, after bath time. Now that my daughters are grown, I still buy them picture books every so often, just because. 

Many thanks to Hazel for visiting Frog on a Dime this week and to Charlesbridge Publishing for your generosity!

 

A challenge is only impossible until someone accomplishes it. ~ JaNay Brown-Wood/IMANI’S MOON


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11. Guest Post & Giveaway: Kimberley Griffiths Little on Making the Switch: from MG to YA/YA to MG & Back Again

By Kimberley Griffiths Little
for Cynthia Leitich Smith's Cynsations

Over the last decade I’ve published seven middle-grade novels with Random House and Scholastic, focusing my last four titles on contemporary magical realism stories set in the bayous and swamps of Louisiana with page-turning plots and a lot of heart and family issues.

But I also write young adult and always have. I’ve just never published one—until now.

It’s funny because as promotion and publicity has been ramping up for the launch of Forbidden (HarperCollins, 2014), my YA trilogy debut, I’ve been getting a lot of inquiries filled with curiosity about my sudden change from writing middle grade to YA. Which is kind of humorous because, in some ways, it’s just the opposite.

During the craze of vampires, werewolves, and Harry Potter, I was writing an epic historical set 4,000 years ago with goddess temples, belly dance, and betrothals gone very, very bad.

When I first started trying to learn the craft of writing back in the DABI: Dark Ages Before the Internet, I took writing classes through the Institute of Children’s Literature, SCBWI, and the Southwest Writers organization in Albuquerque, that offered local classes and some terrific conferences. I experimented with every children’s genre trying to find my niche/voice: picture books, easy readers, chapter books, and novels. Toddlers to high school.

Back in the DABI, I printed out my short stories and full-length novel projects, and hauled them to the post office with big fat SASE’s. A practice unheard of in today’s fast pace of email and social media with hashtags like #PitchMadness.

My first writer’s conference was in Santa Fe and sponsored by a local independent children’s bookstore (which is now long extinct). The owner of that bookstore had chutzpah though!

She went big, and brought in Steven Kellog, Rosemary Wells, Richard Peck, Lois Duncan, and Katherine Paterson. This was before I even knew SCBWI existed!

(I helped start our state chapter a few years later).

Rosemary Wells, a well-known author of dozens of picture books, was overwhelmingly generous. After the conferences she let us newbie attendees send her a project and gave feedback—free of charge. When she read a couple of my picture book manuscripts she told me that she believed my true voice was for older readers.

I took her advice to heart (and agreed with it!) and began focusing exclusively on my stack of currently-drafting novels for 8-12-year-olds. Which finally garnered some success many years later.

Novels were my first love, and I’d written the first two longhand, typing them up on my college typewriter (DABWP = Dark Ages Before Word Processors).

I have filing cabinets filled with practice novels.

Well over 10 years ago I started the research and writing of Forbidden, which has experienced more reincarnated lives than Shirley MacLane.

The novel received interest from agents as well as a few editors I was developing a relationship with (when I switched agents and was querying new agencies for over a year). But they were skittish about some of the mature themes; abuse, rape, prostitution, and even though they loved the book they weren’t sure where to sell it—or if it was even young adult. Maybe it was adult—but it wasn’t clearly an adult novel, either.

Then the Vampire/Werewolf/Fairy/Mermaid/Zombie/Harry Potter decade hit.

My epic ancient historical floundered. Historical fiction got pushed aside, but I kept rewriting the book because I loved it. The almost fantasy-like time period and sensuous belly dance tapestry of the storyline wouldn’t leave me alone.

I changed the point of view. I added plot. I experimented with twenty different versions of the first chapter. In the middle of all this, I was orphaned three times on my first three novels - and changed agents because she left the business.

My new agent loved both my middle-grade and my YA novel. We went on submission. Six weeks later, we had a three-book deal with Scholastic for two MG novels and my YA ancient romance.

Wowza!

The Famine was over, right?

The first two middle grade novels came out to great reviews and enjoyed wonderful Scholastic Book Fair reception. I wrote two new proposals. Scholastic bought those. After the third middle grade novel was finished we turned our attention to Forbidden. After a fresh read, my editor confessed that she had forgotten just how sensuous and mature the book was.

Conference calls with my agent and editor ensued. Verdict: Based on the success of my middle-grade novels in the Scholastic Book Fairs, would I be willing to rewrite the YA and try to make it more middle grade?

I was flabbergasted. But I’m a pleaser.  

Okay, I agreed, albeit with trepidation.

I did the work, but in my heart the story, characters, tone, and theme was for older readers.

My agent wholeheartedly agreed.

We discussed the issue of censoring myself. But the story is what it is—and historically accurate.

My agent agreed again.

Learn more from Kimberley!
So what to do? What to do? The next few months were a combination of agony and strategy as we ended up pulling the book from Scholastic and giving them another middle grade in its place. (That book just came out, The Time of the Fireflies (Scholastic, 2014)).

Once again, Forbidden was an unsold manuscript. The original book deal happened in 2008. It was now the summer of 2011. I rewrote the book again, putting back in all that I had taken out.

We went on submission. It was nail-biting. I seriously wondered if this book would ever become a real book.

But miraculously, three weeks later we had a significant pre-empt from HarperCollins for the entire trilogy, not just a single title.

They loved it just as it was.

I began my first, tentative draft of this book in early 2003, after researching the time period and the people and culture and history for several years—and selling short stories set in ancient Arabia and Egypt to Cricket Magazine. I’ve watched the ups and down of young adult publishing run the spectrum from Twilight (Little, Brown, 2005) to The Hunger Games (Scholastic, 2008) to The Fault in Our Stars (Dutton, 2012).

As we used to say in the DABI, “You’ve come a long way, baby.”

Is the young adult world ready for an ancient historical with danger, murder, blackmail, and goddess temple prostitution? I’m counting on it!

After all, there have been rumblings in the publishing world since 2012 that readers are ready for juicy historical novels, and there are authors who are already obliging.

HarperCollins has designed a most spectacular book. I’m deeply grateful to my editor and my agent who took many risks with me to see that this book stayed “in the game” —and now, hopefully, will thrive.

Cynsational Giveaway

Enter to win a signed copy of Forbidden by Kimberley Griffiths Little (HarperCollins, 2014) and Book Club Cards. Author sponsored. Eligibility: U.S.

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12. Spotlight and Giveaway: Beauty and the Biker by Beth Ciotta

 
Enter to Win
A Kelly Rae Roberts Inspirational Cuff Bracelet

 
 
A new contemporary series—Impossible Dream—celebrating hope, love, and the magic of the human spirit!

Five long-time girlfriends—known as The Inseparables—find themselves in their thirties and battling disillusion. Tangled up in real-life troubles and stifled aspirations, they’re ready to ditch their deepest desires .. until they stumble upon the peculiar matchmaking company, “Impossible Dream,” where they each find the rare opportunity to make seemingly impossible dreams come true.


A series of modern-day fairytales beginning with . . . Beauty & the Biker



PRINCE CHARMING IS OUT THERE. SOMEWHERE.

Miracles happen every day. Even in Nowhere, Nebraska. That’s Bella Mooney’s philosophy and she’s sticking to it! A children’s librarian who writes fairy tales on the side, Bella has earned the reputation of fanciful Pollyanna. No surprise that she applied for her “ideal man” via ImpossibleDream.com, an Internet company designed to make dreams come true. However, even whimsical Bella has real-life issues, forcing her to take drastic actions in order to spin her dad’s life (and in turn her own) for the better. As fate draws her into the troubling world of her new neighbor—a cynical biker with a scarred soul and checkered past—Bella finds herself falling for the most unlikely man, twisting her perceptions of true love and testing her faith in dreams.

FATE LANDED HIM IN NOWHERE.

Expect nothing. Anticipate the worst. As a detective with the Chicago Police Department, Joe Savage witnessed heinous crimes and acts of cruelty on a daily basis, obliterating his faith in humanity. When a personal vendetta cost him his job and a quirky inheritance offered escape, Joe packed it in and steered his Harley toward a small town bordering Tornado Alley and the Twilight Zone. Where better to lose himself than Nowhere? Resigned to a dark and lonely existence, Joe’s life is suddenly shoved into the sunshine when his eccentric neighbor offers him a chance he can’t refuse, especially after her kiss of hope rekindles his dead heart. Inspired and challenged by Bella’s infectious optimism, Joe dares to make the impossible come true.

Buy Now
Amazon | Kobo | B&N


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Storytelling comes naturally to award-winning author Beth Ciotta. Dubbed “fun and sexy” by Publisher’s Weekly, Beth specializes in writing Romantic Comedy with a Twist of Suspense and is published in contemporary, historical, steampunk, and paranormal romantic fiction.

Beth lives in NJ with her husband, two zany dogs, and a crazy cat. A veteran professional performer, Beth now pours her artistic passion into her writing. To learn more about her colorful life, visit her website at www.bethciotta.com

Find Her Here: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

Excerpt

“Here’s the deal,” Bella said, bursting with anticipation. Is he or is he not a magical kisser? Because if he was, that was her sign. “Carson—that’s my ex, except he hasn’t accepted that fact—thinks he’s perfect for me.”

“What do you think?”

She didn’t want to detail her history with Carson. Admitting the reasons behind her poor judgment and bemoaning his manipulative pursuit were too personal. She’d glossed over the emotional aspects with her closest friends. Why in God’s name would she share them with a stranger?

Oddly enough, she didn’t feel the same when it came to citing their less than magical physical relations. Which only affirmed how impersonal those relations were. Her cheeks burned, but the words flowed.

“Carson doesn’t inspire earthquakes and fireworks, if you catch my drift. Then again no one ever has. Not that there’ve been that many,” she added. “I need to know it’s not me. That I’m not, I don’t know, broken somehow.  That I’m not expecting too much. That there’s…hope. Don’t get a swelled head or any kinky thoughts, but I think you’re gorgeous—in a menacing kind of way—and fascinating. Like a tortured hero in a gothic novel. You make my insides squishy. That’s a first. In real life anyway—as opposed to going all soft for a fictional guy in film or literature. If you can’t shake my world then, well…maybe I should settle for Carson.”

“Are you done?”

Blushing profusely, Bella shied away. So much for derring-do.

Savage caught her elbow and pulled her close. “Don’t get a swelled head or any kinky ideas, but I think you’re beautiful—in an irritating angelic way.” He stroked her cheek then threaded his hands through her hair. “How old are you anyway?”

“Twenty-nine.”

“You seem younger.”

“How old are you?” she asked.

“Thirty-five.”

“You seem older.”

His mouth crooked, implying a sense of humor. Ideal quality #1. “Do you want the earth to tilt?” he asked. “Or spin?”

It was the kind of arrogance Carson flaunted every day. Only Bella suspected Savage would make good on his offer. “You can do that?”

He held her gaze, weaving a seductive spell with spine-tingling silence.

“Spin, please,” she managed before the universe shimmied and glittered.

His embrace was tender yet possessive. His mouth soft and teasing then hard and demanding.  This kiss… This. Kiss. Was overwhelming. All consuming. It buzzed through her body, head to toe, heart to soul.

Lost.

In a magical kiss.

Bewitched.

Forever and always.

She curled her fingers into his shoulders, his hair. Holding tight as the world spun off its axis.

She responded to his touch, his heat, his need.

She pressed against his body. Wanting more. Needing more.

His desire was evident and pushed Bella over the edge. She imploded, trembling with an aftermath of erotic sensations.  

Orgasmic nirvana.

Compliments of a kiss.

Savage’s kiss.

“You’re not broken.”

His words cut through her sensual haze. Bella grappled for reality and balance. Heat suffused her cheeks as she bolstered her noodly limbs and met his intoxicating gaze. Assaulted by physical yearning and a riot of emotions, she could scarcely breathe. “Good. Great. Thank you.”

She backed out of his lethal embrace, willed dignity, and channeled the Inseparables. Any one of her friends was worldlier than her. Try as she might Bella couldn’t manage casual. Not when her heart and head pounded with a united thought.

He’s the one.

After months of sadness and unrest, in the midst of multiple personal trials, something good was happening. Unexpected and magical and charmingly improbable.  

Savage dragged his hands over his face, through his hair. He looked sinfully handsome, dark and dangerous, and absolutely miserable.

Probably because her heart was in her eyes.

“I’ll taint your world,” he said.

“I’ll take my chances.”

The post Spotlight and Giveaway: Beauty and the Biker by Beth Ciotta appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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13. Spotlight and Giveaway: Ghost of Christmas Past by Jessica Aspen

 
Enter to Win
$5.00 Amazon Gift Card or
eBook Copy of GHOSTS OF CHRISTMAS PAST

 
Ghosts of Christmas Past
Haunted Holidays # 1
By: Jessica Aspen
Released August 6th, 2014
 

Jen MacNamara flees the Christmas wedding of her best friend and cheating fiancé and runs to the country to spend the holiday alone. It’s the perfect plan, until her unexpectedly sexy neighbor and landlord, Nate Pierce, insists on bringing the holiday to her—complete with a Christmas tree, hot chocolate, and an unexpected kiss.

And that’s not Jen’s only problem.

The cozy country farmhouse is already occupied by something evil. Now Jen’s nights are spent wrapped in sensual dreams of a past life, and her days growing closer to Nate as they solve the mystery of the malevolent ghost that haunts not only the house, but also wants Jen dead.

Dare to discover Jessica Aspen’s sexy, new adult, contemporary, Gothic romance, today.




 
 
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Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at her website.

 
 
 
 
 

The post Spotlight and Giveaway: Ghost of Christmas Past by Jessica Aspen appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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14. Three Months of Book Giveaways! Middle Grade Reads

Welcome to Jump Into a Book’s Three Months of Book Giveaways!

giveaway5

With the winter months upon us, I feel this is a great time for readers of all ages to snuggle in with a good book. I have been blessed with tons of amazing books titles for kids over these last few months and I want to get these books into the hands of young readers. SO, for the next three months Jump Into a Book will be hosting a book giveaway every Wednesday! Some giveaways will be a single title, some will be a “Book Bundle,” but all will be books that your readers will love and cherish. I think these books will also make great gifts as well! Here’s what we are giving away this week (NOTE: All of these books are physical books, not Kindle versions)

Fish Finelli E.s. Farber

Fish Finelli

When Bryce Billings says he will clobber Fish Finelli in the Captain Kidd Classic boat race, Fish has no choice but to accept the bet. But Fish’s 1970s Whaler with a broken motor is no match for Bryce’s new, top-of-the-line, 9.9-horsepower Viper—even if Fish, Roger, and T. J. can fix their measly 5-horsepower motor, it can’t compete with Bryce’s boat. With $9.63 between them, do the guys even have a chance at the Classic? A hilarious romp, filled with fun facts seamlessly integrated into the story, Fish Finelli informs as much as it entertains for perfect middle-grade reading.

Fly by Night-by Frances Hardinge

flyrbynight

A breath-taking adventure story, set in reimagined eighteenth-century England. As the realm struggles to maintain an uneasy peace after years of civil war and tyranny, a twelve-year-old orphan and her loyal companion, a grumpy goose, are about to become the unlikely heroes of a radical revolution. Mosca Mye has spent her childhood in a miserable hamlet, after her father was banished there for writing inflammatory books about freedom. Now he is dead and Mosca is on the run, heading for the city of Mandelion. There she finds herself living by her wits among cut-throat highwaymen, spies and smugglers. With peril at every turn, Mosca uncovers a dark plot to terrorize the people of Mandelion, and soon merry mayhem leads to murder . . . With an unforgettable cast of characters and an inspiring message at its heart – sometimes the power of words can change the world!
Guys Read The Sports Page Edited by Jon Scieszka

guysread

Ten stories guaranteed to put you in the ring, under the basket, and right behind home plate, from the following perennial all-stars:

**All books in this giveaway are physical books, not Kindle versions.

DETAILS ON GIVEAWAY:

ONE winner each receive a one copy of all three books. Giveaway begins November 5th and ends November 12, 2014

  • Prizing & samples  courtesy of Audrey Press
  • Giveaway open to US addresses only
  • ONE lucky winner will win one copy of.
  • Residents of USA only please.
  • Must be 18 years or older to enter
  • One entry per household.
  • Staff and family members of Audrey Press are not eligible.
  • Grand Prize winner has 48 hours to claim prize
  • Winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter on November 13th
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    The post Three Months of Book Giveaways! Middle Grade Reads appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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15. The Silence of Six is now in stores!

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featuring

E.C. Myers

Silence of SixI, Sooz, am so incredibly excited for E.C. Myers’ latest release: The Silence of Six. Not only is Myers a fellow Pub Crawler, but he’s also an Andre Norton Award winner. In other words: he’s a damned good writer.

Plus, even if he didn’t wield magical powers over prose, just read this summary or check out the amazing trailer.

“What is the silence of six, and what are you going to do about it?”

These are the last words uttered by 17-year-old Max Stein’s best friend, Evan. Just moments after hacking into the live-streaming Presidential debate at their high school, he kills himself.

Haunted by the image of Evan’s death, Max’s entire world turns upside down as he suddenly finds himself the target of a corporate-government witch-hunt. Fearing for his life and fighting to prove his own innocence, Max goes on the run with no one to trust and too many unanswered questions.

Max must dust off his own hacking skills and maneuver the dangerous labyrinth of underground hacktivist networks, ever-shifting alliances, and virtual identities — all while hoping to find the truth behind the “Silence of Six” before it’s too late.

AAAH! Don’t you just HAVE to find out what the Silence of Six is??? I know do!

To celebrate this latest release from E.C. Myers, we’re giving away copy of The Silence of Six. Just fill out the Rafflecopter form (sorry! US only!), and we’ll pick a winner next week.

CONGRATULATIONS!!!

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Eugene_ClaraE.C. Myers was assembled in the U.S. from Korean and German parts and raised by a single mother and a public library in Yonkers, New York. His Andre Norton Award–winning young adult novel Fair Coin and its sequel, Quantum Coin, were published by Pyr in 2012. His short stories have appeared in anthologies and magazines such as Sybil’s GarageShimmer, and Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine. He currently lives with his wife, two doofy cats, and a mild-mannered dog in Philadelphia. You can find traces of E.C. all over the internet, but especially at his websiteTwitterFacebook, and Tumblr.

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16. Spotlight and Giveaway: Sealing the Deal by Sandy James

SEALING THE DEAL by Sandy James (November 4, 2014; Forever Yours E-Book; $2.99)

After losing her sister, Bethany Rogers needs a shoulder to lean on more than ever-though she never expects that shoulder to belong to her new boss . . . 

Bethany has been in love with Robert Ashford since they were teachers at the same high school. After Robert leaves to start his own construction company, Beth puts her feelings aside to focus on her goals. When she finally lands a gig as a part-time designer, she is shocked to find her new boss is none other than Robert . . . and he’s hotter than ever. But Bethany’s happiness is short-lived when she receives word that her sister has been killed in combat.

With the success of building homes for one happy family after another, Robert is finally ready to settle down. When Beth is left to care for her nine-month-old niece, Robert can’t help but step in. And before long, the trio are inseparable. Yet convincing the cautious, bereaved Beth of letting him in proves difficult-but Robert will give everything he’s got for the chance at his own happily ever after.

Buy Links:

B&N

Kobo

iBooks

GooglePlay

Amazon

About the author:

Sandy James lives in a quiet suburb of Indianapolis with her husband. She’s a high school social studies teacher who especially loves psychology and United States history. Since she and her husband own a small stable of harness racehorses, they often spend time together at the two Indiana racetracks.

Social Media Links:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

Excerpt:

So warm and sweet.

Shivers ran the length of her body as Beth smiled, loving the way Robert was nuzzling her neck and rubbing her hip. Heat bloomed low in her belly, fanning through her as she wiggled her backside against the groin pressed hard against her.

“Hard” being the key word. The erection was easy to feel, even through their clothing. She wriggled again, loving how he growled against her skin and then ran his tongue around the shell of her ear.

His hand covered her breast, squeezing lightly before returning to her hip. Even more heat shimmered through her. She arched into his touch with the fleeting thought that it had been so long since she’d been with a man.

Years, actually.

But this man? This was the one she’d wanted for a long time, longer than she was willing to admit to herself. She’d always kept her distance, drawing clear lines between her and her colleague, who then became her boss. Besides, he’d never shown an interest in her before. Ever.

She’d only seen him with Barbie dolls. There had been more than a few. Come to think of it, she’d never seen him with the same one twice. Robert was a player, and Beth hated players.

So why this strange fascination?

Robert’s warm lips were on her neck again, and he hoarsely whispered, “Bethany…”

Until he’d said her name, she’d wondered if he was just in the throes of some erotic dream and had reached out to conveniently find a warm woman lying next to him. But he wanted her. Bethany.

The fire inside her flared to an inferno. She needed to show him how she felt, hoping he’d bare some of his own feelings in response. “Robert…”

His insistent hand on her hip turned her to her back. Then his body blanketed her, and his lips settled on hers. With little prelude, his tongue thrust deep into her mouth.

Beth couldn’t have stopped herself if she’d wanted to. And she sure didn’t want to. Returning the ferocity of his kiss, gliding her tongue over his, she looped her arms around his neck and arched into him.

His scent—masculine with a touch of pleasant, spicy cologne—intoxicated her. His taste was quickly becoming familiar, and when his knee nudged her legs apart, she welcomed him and the way his pelvis settled between her thighs.

The kiss continued, a chase of tongues that went on and on. Robert slid his hand over her breast again, squeezing with the perfect amount of pressure as he pressed his hips into her core.

This was going to happen. It was really going to happen.

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The post Spotlight and Giveaway: Sealing the Deal by Sandy James appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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17. jump to the moon with hazel mitchell (and enter her book giveaway!)

Written by  JaNay Brown-Wood and illustrated by Hazel Mitchell/Charlesbridge Publishing/ISBN 978-1-934133-57-6, Ages 6-9

Written by JaNay Brown-Wood and illustrated by Hazel Mitchell/Charlesbridge Publishing/ISBN 978-1-934133-57-6, Ages 6-9

Who isn’t mesmerized by the moon? Little Imani’s lunar fascinations go beyond enchantment to obsession as she wills herself to touch the moon. In doing so, she would prove her worth to all of the naysayers in her Maasai village who literally look down on her. Inspired by her mother’s tales of Maasai mythology, not only does Imani accomplish the feat, she proves to herself that “a challenge is only impossible until someone accomplishes it.” Imani is quite a someone.

Frog on a Dime is pleased to host the illustrator of IMANI’S MOON–the adorable Hazel Mitchell.

Hazel Mitchell is originally from England and now lives and works in Maine. When she wasn’t riding horses as a youngster she was drawing them. After attending art college in the UK, she spent several years in the Royal Navy and then worked as a graphic designer. Now she’s doing what she always dreamed of – creating books for children. Don’t you love it when dreams come true?

Welcome, welcome, Hazel. I’m excited to talk about your new book, written by JaNay Brown-Wood. What first attracted you to IMANI’S MOON? I loved the story and the fantastical elements. I also liked the idea of the setting in Africa and drawing a Maasai child! It was quite a challenge.

And now that it’s finished, what do you love most about Imani’s story? That it’s a book! (That’s always surprising.) I do love the way the colours and textures came out. Great job by Charlesbridge Publishing!

There’s been a lot of discussion lately about the need for greater diversity in children’s books. How do you think IMANI’S MOON helps to fill that gap? I think IMANI’S MOON is a great book to add to the diversity bookshelf. Imani is in her own environment. This is not a case of forcing a child of color into a story for the sake of diversity. She’s just Imani–in her culture with her trials and tribulations–just like any other child.

Hazel and her beloved friend Toby

Hazel and her beloved friend Toby

People outside children’s publishing or those new to the industry are often surprised (even alarmed) to learn that authors and illustrators do not often collaborate on a book. Can you talk about that? When I was a newbie I didn’t realize authors and illustrators worked separately either. At first, I thought the writer might feel cheated. And some do, I think. But the more you work in the industry, the more wisdom you acquire. We have editors and art directors for a reason. Having a little distance between the author and the illustrator is good. And the input from an art director and editor can be crucial. If there’s an issue with artwork, I’ve found that they’ll refer to the author when needed. It’s a team situation. Without the freedom to create, the illustrator can feel frustrated and then the art might not be as good as it could be. You can feel boxed in. The writer has his or her vision, and the illustrator needs to be able to have their vision as well.  A picture book is a collaboration; it cannot work without each part of the whole. That’s when the magic happens!

And we can see that magic in IMANI’S MOON, Hazel. It’s so lovely. Now, since Frog on a Dime exists to offer encouragement, could you tell us about what or who encourages you? Right. Oh, so many. First, all the books that I have read along the way and learned from. You can’t read enough. My peers – those I have met so far on the journey. It can be a lonesome profession and like minds are crucial to help you along. And those I have met who are further along the path and have been kind enough to mentor me. Going to conferences and workshops has been a great source of knowledge and inspiration.

Here’s your chance to be encouraging, Hazel. What’s one thing a writer or illustrator could do today to improve their craft? Create SOMETHING!!!

Love that! And what do you do when you’re “stuck” as you’re trying to create something? Make a cup of tea. Do something mindless (chores!). Work on something else. Read a book. Have a bubble bath. Talk to another creative.

I love those ideas, Hazel. I’m a big believer in the inspirational power of tea myself. Before you go, I’m curious to know what’s on the horizon for you. I have a busy year upcoming with three books I’ve illustrated – ANIMALLY from Kane Miller, WHERE DO FAIRIES GO IN WINTER? from Down East, KENYA’S ART from Charlesbridge and in 2016 by debut as author-illustrator TOBY from Candlewick Press.

How exciting! Thank you so much for visiting Frog on a Dime, Hazel. It’s been a delight getting to know you.

You can learn more about Hazel when you visit HazelMitchell.com. You’re welcome to purchase IMANI’S MOON directly from Charlesbridge.

__________________________________________

Enter a drawing to win your very own copy of IMANI’S MOON.

All you have to do is leave a comment about why you love picture books! It’s that simple.

The drawing will take place at Noon on Friday, November 7, so don’t dilly dally!

__________________________________________

Photo by Vicky Lorencen

Photo by Vicky Lorencen

And now, we’ll close with one of Hazel’s favorite quotes . . .

We are all lying in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. ~  Oscar Wilde

 

 


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18. Kindle Fire HD Kids Edition 7″ Tablet Giveaway through Nov 30th

Holiday Giveaway Kindle Fire Kids Edition 2014 - button

About the Kindle Fire HD Kids Edition 7″ Tablet

Fire HD Kids Edition Tablet

I was pretty excited to see this pretty cool new product available through Amazon. This is a HOT PRODUCT! The all-new Kindle Fire HD Kids Edition Tablet also comes with 1 year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited (which means kids get unlimited access to 5,000 books, movies, TV shows, educational apps, and games—at no additional cost!). It includes a quad-core processor for great performance, a vivid HD display, front and rear-facing cameras, and Dolby Audio PLUS comes with a Kid-Proof Case, and a 2-year worry-free guarantee – if they break it, return it and Amazon replaces it for free. No questions asked! Um… can you say Christmas present?

 

Fabulous Sponsors (Bloggers)

Thank you to the following bloggers who are sponsoring this giveaway. Please consider visiting at least one or two and thanking them personally.

Mother Daughter Book Reviews

Enter Here Canada

Lavender Likes, Loves, Finds and Dreams

I am a Reader

Addicted Readers

Crystal’s Tiny Treasures
A Bit Bookish

Home on Deranged

Book, Reviews and Giveaways

Tales of a Bookworm

BeachBoundBooks

A Leisure Moment

 

Fabulous Sponsors (Authors and Publishers)

A big thank you to all of the participating authors and publishers who are sponsoring this giveaway. Below you will find their fabulous books

Please consider purchasing one, two or more books that interest you as a “Thank You” to these generous sponsors. Some books are free, others only 99 cents!

Santa's Birthday GiftLobo's Howliday by C.L. MurphyThe Christmas Owl by Angela MuseFrizzy the S.A.D. Elf by Dorothea JensenWhen Violet Was Blue by Deb TroehlerThe Magic WordPlay yayPeter and the Whimper Whineys -coverGimme JimmyMy Fingerpaint Masterpiece - coverABC Adoption and MeGood-bye Baby Max by Diane CantrellCaptain No Beard and the Aurora BorealisIsabella Babysits Baxter by Melissa Perry MorajaThe Tail of a Boy Named Harvey by Gregory BrayThe Time Travel Storm - coverPopcorn: No one makes a mess like a hungry childManner-Man by Sherrill CannonSophias Jungle AdventureSometimes Snow Falls in the SummerIf You Were Me and Lived in GreeceIf You Were Me and Lived in PeruA Different Kind of Safari Helen HippKarmack by J.C. WhyteThe Bravest SquirrelThe WeaverFuzzy ForensicsBefore Happily Ever AfterCamp Bug JuiceThe Mystic Princesses and the WhirlpoolA Whirlwind of DiscoveryFinding Fuzzy by Cat MichaelsSweet T and the North WindThe IfsSecret Dinosaur - Book 1Dewy and the Seeds of Doom by Maggie LyonsDemonic Incident in ChinatownFrankie Dupont and the Mystery of Enderby Manor by Julie Anne GrassoThe Observations of the Obstreperous AnimalsGeorge Knows by Mindy MymudesA Place to Call Home by G.A. WhitmoreLegend of Ghost Dog IslandKT CS cover 2014WhipEye by Geoffrey SaignSticks n Stones and the Garden of Phea - SidebarPair of DocksDiego's DragonIlmarinenTime Square UFOSpartanicaThe SwiftThe Last Timekeepers and the Arch of AtlantisEscape from the Forbidden Planet julie grassoThePrincelingsoftheEast__FinalThe Secret Sisters Club - coverperf5.0625x7.8125.inddBingo Summer by Dawn MaloneDelores Fletcher - coverThe_Princess_Fables_Cover_for_Kindle - 50The Jewel of PeruThe Null DimensionRagesongGhost Leopard by Lars GuignardJohn Bloom and the Victory Garden

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Return to Cardamom by Julie Anne Grasso

 

 

 

 

Giveaway Details

Prize: One winner will receive either a new Kindle Fire HD Kids Edition 7″ Tablet (US only) a $200 Amazon gift card (International) or $200 PayPal cash prize (International)

Contest closes: November 30, 11:59 pm, 2014

Open to: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

NOTE: When the winner is chosen, ALL of their entries will be verified. If ANY of the winner’s entries is invalid, they will be disqualified and a new winner will be chosen.
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MDBR Book Promotion Services


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19. Imani’s Moon – Perfect Picture Book Friday and GIVE-AWAY

Title: Imani’s Moon Written by: JaNay Brown-Wood Illustrated by: Hazel Mitchell Published by: Charlesbridge, Oct. 14th. 2014 Themes/Topics: Maasai, being little, big dreams Suitable for ages: 6-9 Fiction, 32 pages Awards: winner of the NAESP Picture Book Competition Opening: “Look at tiny Imani!” the other children … Continue reading

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20. Forbidden by Kimberly Griffiths Little Preorder Giveaway


On November 4th, HarperCollins unveils Forbidden, a seductive YA debut from award-winning middle grade author Kimberley Griffiths Little. Forbidden transports readers back in time to the deadly deserts and sweltering heat of Ancient Mesopotamia for a tale of danger, duty, and forbidden love. Jayden is on the brink of womanhood and betrothed to her tribe’s prince, cold-hearted Horeb. But when tragedy strikes, Jayden meets Kadesh, a mysterious visitor from the south who makes Jayden doubt everything she knows. Torn between loyalty to her tribe and the chance to escape her fate, Jayden must make a choice that will change her life forever.



Kimberley is also offering a HUGE preorder giveaway from October 6th to November 4th (release day!) to celebrate. See below for full details on how to enter.


TO ENTER:

  • You must preorder Forbidden through an online retailer or your local bookstore, then email a photo of your receipt to forbiddengiveaway@gmail.com.
  • Fill out the rafflecopter below
  • US/Canada Only
  • Ends at midnight EST on November 3, 2014
  • Optional entries: share the trailer on your own site or social media, follow Kimberley on twitter, and tweet about the giveaway (can be repeated daily for extra entries!)
  • Winners will be announced and contacted November 4th (release day!)
  • If the winner does not respond with their mailing address within one week, a new winner will be chosen.


  • PRIZES:





    (1) GRAND PRIZE WINNER:



    1. NEWLY RELEASED Kindle Fire HD6 Tablet with 6" HD Display, Wi-Fi, Front and Rear Cameras, 8 GB -- choose your color! (Black, Magenta, White, Citron, or Cobalt)

    2. GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS by Rae Carson

    3. CHAOS OF STARS by Kiersten White

    4. Satin Belly Dance Skirt

    5. Belly Dance 150-Coin Hip Scarf

    6. Red Silk Veil (not pictured)

    7. Red Middle Eastern Earrings

    8. Belly dance DVD: Sensual Belly Dance with Blanca, a professional dancer (technique, choreography, and performances)

    9. "Will YOU risk it all?" button (not pictured)

    10. Set of 10 Book Club Cards

    11. Jeweled bookmark (not pictured)





    (1) SECOND PLACE WINNER:



    1. GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS by Rae Carson

    2. Red Middle Eastern Earrings

    3. Red Silk Veil (not pictured)

    4. Belly dance DVD: Sensual Belly Dance with Blanca, a professional dancer (technique, choreography, and performances)

    5. "Will YOU risk it all?" button (not pictured)

    6. Set of 10 Book Club Cards

    7. Jeweled bookmark (not pictured)









    (13) RUNNERS-UP WINNERS:




    1. Red Middle Eastern Earrings

    2. "Will YOU risk it all?" button (not pictured)

    3. Set of 10 Book Club Cards

    4. Jeweled bookmark (not pictured)










    Good luck!






    Preorder: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound


    About Forbidden: In the unforgiving Mesopotamian desert where Jayden’s tribe lives, betrothal celebrations abound, and tonight it is Jayden’s turn to be honored. But while this union with Horeb, the son of her tribe’s leader, will bring a life of riches and restore her family’s position within the tribe, it will come at the price of Jayden’s heart.




    Then a shadowy boy from the Southern Lands appears. Handsome and mysterious, Kadesh fills Jayden’s heart with a passion she never knew possible. But with Horeb’s increasingly violent threats haunting Jayden’s every move, she knows she must find a way to escape—or die trying.




    With a forbidden romance blossoming in her heart and her family’s survival on the line, Jayden must embark on a deadly journey to save the ones she loves—and find a true love for herself.




    Set against the brilliant backdrop of the sprawling desert, the story of Jayden and Kadesh will leave readers absolutely breathless as they defy the odds and risk it all to be together.




    Follow Kimberley:



    About Kimberley: Award-winning author Kimberley Griffiths Little was born in San Francisco, but now lives in New Mexico on the banks of the Rio Grande with her husband and their three sons. Her middle-grade novels, When the Butterflies Came, The Last Snake Runner, The Healing Spell, and Circle of Secrets, have been praised as “fast-paced and dramatic,” with “beautifully realized settings.” Kimberley adores anything old and musty with a secret story to tell. She’s stayed in the haunted tower room at Borthwick Castle in Scotland; sailed the Seine in Paris; ridden a camel in Petra, Jordan; shopped the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul; and spent the night in an old Communist hotel in Bulgaria. You can visit her online at www.kimberleygriffithslittle.com.

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    21. Giveaway: What Flowers Remember by Shannon Wiersbitzky

    Compiled by Cynthia Leitich Smith
    for Cynsations

    Enter to win one of two signed hardcover copies of What Flowers Remember by Shannon Wiersbitzky (namelos, 2014). Eligibility: U.S. From the promotional copy:

    Most folks probably think gardens only get tended when they’re blooming. But most folks would be wrong. According to the almanac, a proper gardener does something every single month. 

    Old Red Clancy was definitely a proper gardener. That’s why I enrolled myself in the Clancy School of Gardening. If I was going to learn about flowers, I wanted to learn from the best.

    Delia and Old Red Clancy make quite a pair. He has the know-how and she has the get-up-and-go. When they dream up a seed- and flower-selling business, well, look out, Tucker’s Ferry, because here they come.

    But something is happening to Old Red. And the doctors say he
 can’t be cured. He’s forgetting places and names and getting cranky for 
no reason. 

    As his condition worsens, Delia takes it upon herself to save
 as many memories as she can. 

    Her mission is to gather Old Red’s stories so that no one will forget, and she corrals everybody in town to help her.

    What Flowers Remember is a story of love and loss, of a young girl coming to understand that even when people die, they live on in our minds, our hearts, and our stories.

    Cynsational Notes

    A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book are donated to the Alzheimer’s Association. November is National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month and National Caregiver Month in the United States.

    In a recent interview with Cynsations, Shannon says:

    "There was a lot of truth I could have drawn from. Moments when we battled the disease and sometimes my grandfather, too, as his personality, as well as his physical and mental abilities changed. In the end, I included only one truth.

    "The emotion of being forgotten." 
    Reviewers say:

    "[Delia’s] frustration, fear and sense of loss will be readily recognizable to others who have experienced dementia in a loved one, and her story may provide some guidance on how to move down that rocky path toward acceptance and letting go. ...What do flowers remember? The stories of the people who cared for them, of course, as Wiersbitzky’s sensitive novel compassionately conveys." – Kirkus Reviews

    “Fans of wholesome, uplifting stories similar to Canfield’s Chicken Soup for the Soul collections, will best enjoy this gentle reminder of the goodness of life and people.” 
    a Rafflecopter giveaway

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    22. Blog Tour Launch & $100 Giveaway: A Year in the Secret Garden by Valarie Budayr and Marilyn Scott-Waters

    The Blog Tour has begun!

    A Year in the Secret Garden

    Just this week our delight was compounded when Valarie announced that the physical version of the book had arrived, just in time for the upcoming launch and blog tour.

    A Year in the Secret Garden

    This book was a labor of love between two creative people (Valarie and Marilyn) who not only wanted to bring a classic children’s tale to life, but encourage families to step away from the computer and into the garden, craft room and kitchen.

    Title: A Year in the Life of the Secret Garden | Author: Valarie Budayr | Illustrator: Marilyn Scott-Waters | Publication Date: November, 2014 | Publisher: Audrey Press | Pages: 144 | Recommended Ages: 5 to 99

    Book Description: Award-winning authors Valarie Budayr and Marilyn Scott-Waters have co-created A Year in the Secret Garden to introduce the beloved children’s classic, The Secret Garden to a new generation of families. This guide uses over two hundred full color illustrations and photos to bring the magical story to life, with fascinating historical information, monthly gardening activities, easy-to-make recipes, and step-by-step crafts, designed to enchant readers of all ages. Each month your family will unlock the mysteries of a Secret Garden character, as well as have fun together creating the original crafts and activities based on the book.Over 140 pages, with 200 original color illustrations and 48 activities for your family and friends to enjoy, learn, discover and play with together. A Year In the Secret Garden is our opportunity to introduce new generations of families to the magic of this classic tale in a modern and innovative way that creates special learning and play times outside in nature. This book encourages families to step away from technology and into the kitchen, garden, reading nook and craft room.

    Amazon * Audrey Press * Goodreads

     

    buy1

    A Year in the Secret Garden provides the perfect companion to the original story.  The book is divided into major sections by months of the year.  For each month, a character from the book (e.g., Mary Lennox, Dickon, Colin) is introduced and their role in the story is described.  Each month also features a number of activities including planting activities, crafts, recipes, children’s games, as well as snippets of information about some of the themes covered in the story (e.g., death in Victorian England, language spoken in Yorkshire), and so much more!’-Renee @Mother/Daughter Book Reviews

    In honor of this exciting new release,  there will be a special blog tour that will run from November 1 to 30, 2014. We encourage our readers to stop by and experience the magic of A Year in The Secret Garden through book reviews, author interviews, guest posts and excerpts from this activity-packed book.  The blog tour will include a shared giveaway for a $100 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash prize, open worldwide.

    To get a snapshot of A Year in the Secret Garden book month-by-month AND a sneak peek at the blog tour schedule, go HERE.

    For a chance to enter to win our Amazon $100 Gift Card, Go HERE

    A Year in the Secret Garden Blog Tour Schedule

    A Year in the Secret Garden blog tour

    EXPLORING SEPTEMBER

    November 1

    Mother Daughter Book Reviews (Launch)

    Coffee Books & Art (Guest Post)

    WS Momma Readers Nook (Book Review)

    November 2

    Cherry Mischievous (Excerpt)

    Hope to Read (Excerpt)

    November 3

    Eloquent Articulation (Book Review)

    Enter Here Canada (Excerpt)

     

    EXPLORING OCTOBER

    November 4

    BeachBoundBooks (Excerpt)

    Books, Babies and Bows (Book Review)

    November 5

    Monique’s Musings (Book Review)

    November 6

    SOS-Supply (Book Review)

     

    EXPLORING NOVEMBER

    November 7

    Randomly Reading (Book Review)

    November 8

    Adalinc to Life (Book Review)

     

    EXPLORING DECEMBER

    November 9

    100 Pages a Day (Book Review)

    November 10

    Edventures With Kids (Book Review)

     

    EXPLORING JANUARY

    November 11

    Icefairy’s Treasure Chest (Book Review)

    November 12

    Girl of 1000 Wonders (Book Review)

     

    EXPLORING FEBRUARY

    November 13

    Seraphina Reads (Guest Post)

    November 14

    Juggling Act Mama (Book Review)

     

    EXPLORING MARCH

    November 15

    Pragmatic Mom (Author/Illustrator Interview)

    Purple Monster Coupons (Book Review)

    November 16

    Stacking Books (Book Review)

     

    EXPLORING APRIL

    November 17

    Oh My Bookness (Book Review)

    November 18

    Crystal’s Tiny Treasures (Book Review)

     

    EXPLORING MAY

    November 19

    The Blended Blog (Book Review)

    November 20

    All Done Monkey (Book Review)

    November 21

    Geo Librarian (Book Review)

    Grandbooking (Author/Illustrator Interview)

     

    JUNE

    November 22

    My Tangled Skeins Book Reviews (Book Review)

    November 23

    Christy’s Cozy Corners (Book Review)

    My Life, Loves and Passions (Book Review)

    November 24

    Bookaholic Chick (Excerpt)

    Hide-N-(Sensory)-Seeking (Book Review)

    JULY

    November 25

    Ninja Librarian (Guest Post)

    November 26

    Jane Ritz (Book Review)

    Rockin’ Book Reviews (Book Review)

    November 27

    I’d Rather Be Reading At The Beach (Book Review)

     

    EXPLORING AUGUST

    November 28

    Deal Sharing Aunt (Book Review)

    November 29

    Mommynificent (Book Review)

    November 30

    This Kid Reviews Books (Book Review)

    Java John Z’s (Author/Illustrator Interview)

    Visit our A Year in The Secret Garden page to learn more about this one-of-a-kind unique keepsake book for children and families.

    PicMonkey Collage

    The post Blog Tour Launch & $100 Giveaway: A Year in the Secret Garden by Valarie Budayr and Marilyn Scott-Waters appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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    23. Julie Ann Walker’s Black Knights Inc. Quiz

    Here’s a fun quiz to get your Monday off to a great start.  Julie Ann Walker is celebrating the December release of Full Throttle with a giveaway. Check it out!

    Which Hero From Julie Ann Walker’s Black Knights Inc. Series Is Perfect For You?

    In her Black Knights Inc. series, bestselling author Julie Ann Walker introduces readers to strong, smart, sexy heroes. This group of deep cover military men are good at what they do…kicking ass and taking names. And when they aren’t out saving the world, they’re customizing motorcycles at a Chicago garage that is the perfect cover for men who need to take off at a moment’s notice. The Black Knights have a lot in common — they are all loyal and brave. But each man is unique and offers a different skill set to this elite fighting force. So which of these modern day warriors is right for you? This quiz will help you pick your personal BKI hero.

    1) What does your ideal man look like?

    a) He has jet black eyes and raven hair that he inherited from his Cherokee grandfather.

    b) He’s a mountain of a man with some bad ass scars that give him character.

    c) My guy is so handsome that he makes all the women stare — thanks to his killer dimples.

    d) Perfection is a man with dark brown hair with auburn highlights, high cheekbones, a square jawline, and a deliciously kissable mouth.

    e) Gimme some washboard abs and chocolate brown eyes!

    f) There is nothing better than a southern boy with a sexy tattoo.

    g) Lickable caramel colored skin…need I say more?

    2) What is your man’s favorite hobby?

    a) Anything that gets his mind off of his painful past.

    b) Bossing everyone around.

    c) Thinking up new ways to woo his lady.

    d) Psychology. He likes to find out what makes people tick.

    e) Reading.

    f) Hanging out with friends at the local biker bar.

    g) Studying medicine.

    3) What is your hero’s idea of a perfect vacation?

    a) A long road trip with his lady.

    b) Working on motorcycles.

    c) He’s a Navy SEAL that loves the water — and a day at the beach.

    d) Relaxing on the bayou.

    e) He likes to blow off steam by blowing things up…literally.

    f) Working the Texas land.

    g) Getting comfy in a romantic hut in the jungle.

    4) What’s your heroes best ‘look’?

    a) I’m a sucker for a frosty stare that holds just a hint of vulnerability that only I can see.

    b) I love an intense expression that says my guy means business.

    c) Oh, flash me a signature smirk and include those dimples!

    d) Old Levi’s and a tee shirt. No need to get dressed up…he won’t be wearing clothes long anyway.

    e) Any shirt that lets his tattoos peek out.

    f) Cowboy boots make my knees go weak.

    g) Cargo pants and jungle boots. There is something about seeing him ready for a mission that revs my engine.  

    5) What is the biggest surprise about your man?

    a) He appears to be the ‘strong silent type’, but he knows what to say when the chips are down.

    b) His private life, which seems to be pretty wild, is VERY different than anyone ever dreamed.

    c) He is a fierce warrior, but terrific with kids.

    d) He is surprisingly good at calming down hysterical women, especially when he starts whispering in French.

    e) He has the looks of a biker, but the soul of an academic.

    f) He has a soft spot for dogs.

    g) His favorite scent on earth is a combination of Downy dryer sheets and Palmer’s Cocoa Butter lotion.

    6) What is your ideal man’s theme song?

    a) “Hard to Love” – Lee Brice

    b) “Free Bird” – Lynyrd Skynyrd

    c) “Heartbreaker” – Pat Benatar

    d) “Broken Road” – Rascal Flatts

    e) “Blow It Up” – The Vaccines

    f)  “Wanted Dead or Alive” – Bon Jovi

    g) “Hero” – Enrique Iglesias

    7) What is your signature drink?

    a) The Ghost: vanilla vodka, chocolate liqueur, half and half, simple syrup, and white chocolate shavings as a garnish.

    b) The Rum Dum: white rum, DeKuyper Tropical Blue Pucker, Squirt, and a blue raspberry Dum Dums lollipop as a garnish.

    c) The Snake Bite: lager beer, apple cider, and lime.

    d) The Creole Cocktail: bourbon whiskey, sweet vermouth, Bénédictine, maraschino liqueur, and a lemon twist.

    e) The Boom Boom: vodka, Sprite, and pineapple chunks.

    f) Lagavulin: single malt Scotch, straight up.  

    g) Tequila Por Mi Amante (Tequila For My Lover): Tequila and strawberries.

    8) What is your ideal man’s best quality?

    a) His selflessness

    b) His protectiveness

    c) His strong will

    d) His fierce loyalty

    e) His huge heart

    f) His honesty

    g) His intelligence

    If you chose mostly A’s…watch out for the quiet ones because still waters run deep. Nate “Ghost” Walker from Hell on Wheels is a man that has lost his heart to his best friend’s sister. Nate has loved Ali Morgan nearly half his life, but he is so ashamed of his past that he keeps his feelings and secrets to himself. When Ali arrives at his doorstep in serious trouble, Nate has no other option than to protect her from the bad guys, but who will protect her from him.

    If you chose mostly B’s…your engines are revved by men in charge. Get ready to meet the sexiest Alpha in town — Frank “Boss” Knight from In Rides Trouble. Munitions, missiles, and mayhem are Frank’s way of life. So when he decides to use Becky “Rebel” Reichert motorcycle shop as the cover for his elite special ops team, he shelves the attraction he feels towards her. She is too young and green for him anyway. Becky never actually goes looking for trouble, it just has a tendency to find her. When she ends up in a hostage situation at sea, Frank is determined to rescue her…at any cost.

    If you chose mostly C’s…you like the modern day reformed rake. And you are certain to welcome Jake “the Snake” Sommers from Rev It Up with open arms. “The Snake” got his SEAL nickname by striking quickly and quietly and he sure won Michelle Carter’s heart in record time. But he was just as quick to call it quits when the going got tough. Four long years later, Jake is determined to earn a second chance, however, before he can return to Michelle’s loving arms, Jake is going to have to prove he’s a changed man.

    If you chose mostly D’s…you want to know what makes a man tick especially the secretive Rock Babineaux from Thrill Ride. As an ex-Navy SEAL, Rock’s new assignment is to obtain information, but one mission gets him in too deep and he is wanted by the US government. Even his best friends at Black Knights Inc. aren’t sure they can trust him. But Rock’s former partner—a curvy bombshell who knows just how to drive him wild — refuses to cut him loose. Sure, the sexy Cajun has his secrets, but there’s no one in the world Vanessa Cordova would rather have by her side in a tight spot. Which is good, because things are about to get very tight…

    If you chose mostly E’s…you like ‘em wild and your man is William “Wild Bill” Reichert from Born Wild. This demolitions expert fell in love with Eve Edens when they were way too young and when it ended, she just didn’t break his heart, she destroyed it. Born into fabulous wealth, Eve has been abandoned, used, or manipulated by almost everyone she’s ever met. The resentments and jealousies never stop, however, the recent attempts on her life show that her enemies aren’t harmless or petty — they are lethal. Eve and Bill must search for answers, but being together means having to face the red-hot passion that still simmers between them.

    If you chose mostly F’s…you like your man a bit rough around the edges just like Bryan “Mac” McMillan from Hell For Leather. Mac thinks that beautiful women can’t be trusted, but he puts his natural wariness aside in order to help the sexiest women he has ever known. Only the most urgent crisis could force Delilah Fairchild to abandon her beloved biker bar but when her uncle — the man who raised her — has vanished into thin air, she knows that Mac is the only person with the right connections to help her find him. This ex-FBI agent is about to take her on the wildest ride of her life…

    If you chose mostly G’s…me encantan a los hombres calientes — I love hot men!  Everything is sexier when Carlos “Steady” Soto says it with a accent in his book is Full Throttle. Carlos has been on tons of dangerous missions, but nothing has prepared him for the emotional roller coaster he faces when he’s tasked with rescuing the only woman he’s ever loved — Abby Thompson. While ruthless terrorists stalk them, Abby and Carlos must learn to trust each other again and let the past go in order to forge a new future…together.

    Coming December 2014!

    She Needs a Hero…

    Abby Thompson didn’t sign up to be the daughter of the President of the United States. The position was forced on her by the small matter of her birth. Preferring a quiet life of study, she’s content to leave the politics and the international intrigue to her father. Unfortunately, the most powerful man on the planet is sure to make enemies. When a group of armed thugs takes her hostage half a world away, demanding the U.S. government release prisoners in exchange for her safe return, she fears her father’s policy of “not negotiating with terrorists” means she’ll never see the shores of the Potomac again. Luckily, there’s one glimmer of hope. His name is Carlos Soto. And though she abruptly ended things with him years ago, she knows now he’s the only man who can save her…

    Black Knights, Inc. to the Rescue…

    Carlos “Steady” Soto has taken part in his fair share of dangerous missions working at the covert government defense firm of Black Knights Inc. But nothing prepared him for the emotional rollercoaster he faces when he’s tasked with rescuing the only woman he ever loved-who also broke his heart. Racing against time and outmaneuvering a group of trained terrorists will take everything he’s got. Plus there’s the heat simmering between them which is threatening to ignite into an inferno. While ruthless enemies stalk them, they must learn to trust each other again. Even if they do make it out alive, will Abby turn her back on him… for the second time?

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    The post Julie Ann Walker’s Black Knights Inc. Quiz appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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    24. Win a Kindle with 50 Books!

    Back in September, I was lucky enough to join the Emblazoners, a group of middle grade authors–some indie, some traditionally published–who strive to produce top-notch literature for kids. We have a shared goal of creating lifelong readers and all our books are geared toward tweens. Wouldn’t you know it, we’re already hosting a giveaway, and […]

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    25. Guest Post & Giveaway: Shirley Parenteau on Ship of Dolls

    By Shirley Parenteau
    for Cynthia Leitich Smith's Cynsations

    This picture of my then three-year-old granddaughter Michelle inadvertently sparked the idea for Ship of Dolls (Candlewick, 2014) and a forthcoming sequel, Dolls of Hope.

    My son and daughter-in-law had taken Michelle to visit her maternal grandparents in Japan in time for the traditional girl’s day festival of Hintamatsuri.


    I’d just begun writing a series of picture books for Candlewick Press. Michelle’s blend of formal Japanese kimono and getas with American girl exuberance suggested a new picture book.

    Online research whisked me through time and space to a surprising and little-known true event, The Friendship Doll project of 1926.

    The exact number is in question, but that year American children collected an astonishing twelve to thirteen thousand dolls for children in Japan, to create friendship between the countries.

    Five ships found space for the dolls, each in her own packing box, to leave for Japan on Jan. 10, 1927, arriving in time for Hintamatsuri on March 3.

    My hope for a picture book took shape instead as a middle-grade novel featuring a fictional 11-year-old Oregon girl who takes part in the project in hope of reuniting with her mother.

    In 2015, Candlewick Press will publish a second novel telling the story through the eyes of a Japanese girl.

    In the mid-1920s, fathers earned about twenty-five cents an hour so it wouldn’t have been easy to find the money for the 16-inch “Mama” dolls, plus passports and steamship tickets. However, children across America, working with school classes, church groups and clubs, sent more than 12,000 of the dolls to children in Japan.

    After receiving the dolls with celebration and ceremony, Japanese children sent back 58 elegant dolls of gratitude, each about three feet tall, with many accessories to show life in their country.

    All the dolls carried messages of friendship and peace.

    Sadly, a few years later World War II erupted and the dolls became symbols of the enemy. The Japanese government ordered the American dolls destroyed. American museums packed the Japanese dolls into storage and forgot them. A few were sold. Others were lost to natural disasters such as flooding. However, the story has a happy ending.

    The surviving dolls are now on display in both countries.

    Once again, children are exchanging letters of friendship.

    I’m thrilled that the Japanese publisher of translations of my “bears” picture books, beginning with Bears on Chairs, has also purchased Ship of Dolls and Dolls of Hope. He plans to publish in Spring of 2015 to tie the story to the 70th anniversary of the end of the war in the Pacific. He feels Dolls of Hope will help express to his young readers his company’s wish for world peace and friendship.

    As an author, I can think of nothing more humbling or more gratifying.

    Cynsational Notes

    Shirley says:
    My husband and I recently moved from a three-acre farm to a one level home about a mile away.

    Our calico cat Folly, once a barn stray and then an indoor/outdoor cat, has settled nicely into strictly indoor urban living. The previous owner’s craft table in a sunny room serves as my desk for now.

    Here’s my current writing space and Folly pretending she hasn’t once again walked across the keyboard.

    Cynsational Giveaway

    Enter to win a copy of Ship of Dolls by Shirley Parenteau (Candlewick, 2014). Eligibility: N. America. Publisher sponsored. From the promotional copy:


    It’s 1926, and the one thing eleven-year-old Lexie Lewis wants more than anything is to leave Portland, Oregon, where she has been staying with her strict grandparents, and rejoin her mother, a carefree singer in San Francisco’s speakeasies. But Mama’s new husband doesn’t think a little girl should live with parents who work all night and sleep all day. 

    Meanwhile, Lexie’s class has been raising money to ship a doll to the children of Japan in a friendship exchange, and when Lexie learns that the girl who writes the best letter to accompany the doll will be sent to the farewell ceremony in San Francisco, she knows she just has to be the winner. But what if a jealous classmate and Lexie’s own small lies to her grandmother manage to derail her plans? 

    Inspired by a project organized by teacher-missionary Sidney Gulick, in which U.S. children sent more than 12,000 Friendship Dolls to Japan in hopes of avoiding a future war, Shirley Parenteau’s engaging story has sure appeal for young readers who enjoy historical fiction, and for doll lovers of all ages.

    Can a ship carrying Friendship Dolls to Japan be Lexie’s ticket to see her fun-loving mother again? A heartwarming historical novel inspired by a little-known true event.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

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