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1. Guest Post and Giveaway: Sustained by Emma Chase

Thanks to Gallery Books, I have  a copy of Emma Chase’s latest, Sustained, up for grabs!  First check out Emma’s Top 5 favorite reads, then enter for your chance to win below!

Top 5 Favorite Reads by Emma Chase

1. Gentle Rogue by Johanna Lindsey: James is my ultimate male lead character! Sarcastically funny, possessive, sexy with just the right amount of tender moments to make me sigh. If I was stranded on a desert island, this is the book I’d bring with me (along with the entire Malory series if allowed).

2. The Bride by Julie Garwood: I’ll never get tired of rereading this one – sexy and heart-tugging moments, spirited characters mixed with a tiny bit of intrigue! I love all of Garwood’s historical romances.

3. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë: I’ve adored this book since I was fifteen years old – the drama, the passion! To me, Heathcliff is the prototype for every romantic “bad boy” who came after him.

4. Beautiful Player by Christina Lauren: Smart, sexy and fun! I love Will and Hanna, they never fail to make me giggle and blush. This book is always a good time.

5. The King by Tiffany Reisz: The Original Sinners Series is simply brilliant – and for me, it’s all about the characters. They’re sharp and complicated and so very funny at times! Every turn of the page is like peeling back a layer and discovering something brand new, making you care even more deeply for the characters and more invested in their unique happy ending.

About Sustained:

Emma Chase, New York Times bestselling author of the Tangled series, returns with a brand new funny, romantic, sexy story!
A knight in tarnished armor is still a knight.

When you’re a defense attorney in Washington, DC, you see firsthand how hard life can be, and that sometimes the only way to survive is to be harder. I, Jake Becker, have a reputation for being cold, callous, and intimidating—and that suits me just fine. In fact, it’s necessary when I’m breaking down a witness on the stand.

Complications don’t work for me—I’m a “need-to-know” type of man. If you’re my client, tell me the basic facts. If you’re my date, stick to what will turn you on. I’m not a therapist or Prince Charming—and I don’t pretend to be.

Then Chelsea McQuaid and her six orphaned nieces and nephews came along and complicated the ever-loving hell out of my life. Now I’m going to Mommy and Me classes, One Direction concerts, the emergency room, and arguing cases in the principal’s office.
Chelsea’s too sweet, too innocent, and too gorgeous for her own good. She tries to be tough, but she’s not. She needs someone to help her, defend her…and the kids.

And that—that, I know how to do.

About the Author

By day, Emma Chase is a devoted wife and mother who lives in a small, rural town in New Jersey. By night, she toils away bringing her colorful characters and their endless antics to life. Writing has always been her passion, and the release of her debut romantic comedy Tangled was nothing less than a dream come true. The subsequent books in her delightful, beloved series include Twisted, Tamed, and Tied. She is also the author of Sustained from her sexy new Legal Briefs series.

US mailing addresses only, please

a Rafflecopter giveaway ,/p.

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2. In which I give away Don Tate’s Poet — and a little behind-the-scenes info

One week from tomorrow, you can buy this beauty — the first book that my friend Don Tate has both written and illustrated: In the meantime, you can get in the running for a copy of Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton (Peachtree) that I’ll be giving away. More on that in a […]

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3. AUGGIE & ME Blog Tour and Giveaway

I'm back! And to celebrate I'm participating in the AUGGIE & ME blog tour and having a giveaway!






Auggie & Me: Three Wonder Stories by R.J. Palacio (August 18, 2015, Knopf Books for Young Readers, ages 8 to 12, 320 pages).

Source: Knopf/Random House

Synopsis: If you've read R.J. Palacio's Wonder, you'll remember August Pullman, or Auggie, the boy with cranio-facial differences. (Here's my review from 2012.)  Previously available only as ebooks, these three first-person companion stories are now gathered in one hardcover volume. They give us an extra peek at Auggie before he started at Beecher Prep and during his first year there. Readers get to see him through the eyes of Julian, the bully; Christopher, Auggie’s oldest friend; and Charlotte, Auggie’s new friend at school. Together, these three stories are a treasure for readers who don’t want to leave Auggie behind when they finish Wonder.

Why I recommend it: Here's what I said about Wonder: "Astonishingly realistic characters populate an inspiring story with short chapters. That format and the clear, straightforward writing help to make a difficult subject easy to handle." And the same holds true for Auggie & Me.  Like Wonder, this is a character-driven book. These kids' voices are so real they jump off the page. And kudos to Ms. Palacio. As K.M. Walton did for YA readers in Cracked, here R.J. Palacio gives us the bully's side of the story, and makes us realize he's human too. I think my favorite story, though, is Christopher's. It's called "Pluto" and it gives us a lot of insight into what Auggie was like before Beecher Prep. 

Favorite lines: "Funny how all our stories kind of intertwine. Every person's story weaves in and out of someone else's story."  (from  "Shingaling," page 281)

R.J. Palacio's website

Follow R.J. Palacio on Twitter





And now for the giveaway: Knopf generously sent me one hardcover of Auggie & Me and one Wonder Journal, so I'm offering them both in a package to one lucky winner. To enter, you must be a follower of this blog and you must comment on this post. International entries welcome. This giveaway ends at 10 pm EDT on Sunday August 30 and the winner will be announced on Monday August 31. Good luck!


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4. DUMPLIN': Willowdean’s First Peachbutt Text + Super Cute ARC Box Giveaway

When I finished Dumplin‘, I jotted this down at 3 in the morning: If this book were a movie, we’d all be at Julie Murphy’s slumber party piled in front of the TV in our jammies, both screaming with laughter and clutching each other the minute someone leaned in for a kiss. Everyone in the free world is about to find out how fun that imaginary party would be, because the book comes out next month and it’s been optioned for a movie! Party at Julie’s house, guys! This book is so funny and poignant and fiercely positive, most especially about body image and self-love. If you love your contemporary YAs filled with an adorable romance, family relationships, and great friends, don’t miss this one! Willdowdean Dickson will totally win you over with her sassy Texas attitude, and you’ll love her for being so whole-heartedly determined to be the person... Read more »

The post DUMPLIN': Willowdean’s First Peachbutt Text + Super Cute ARC Box Giveaway appeared first on The Midnight Garden.

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5. Querying: the Do’s and Don’ts and a worksheet

Hi, guys! Erin here.

Last month I asked what we could do to make PubCrawl a better, stronger, more useful resource for our readers. Over a hundred fifty of you took the time to fill out our survey and give us some feedback. We’re still in the process of sifting through all your comments and implementing changes, but in the meantime, as a thank you for sharing your thoughts, I want to offer up a query giveaway.

One trend that was immediately apparent in our survey was that we still have a lot of aspiring writers reading Pub Crawl, so posts on craft, querying, and breaking into the industry are always welcome. With that in mind, here’s a quick recap on queries.

DO:

  • DO personalize your query. (“I saw on on twitter you’re looking for X and thought you might like…”)
  • DO keep it around 250-250 words.
  • DO be professional and succinct.
  • DO include your bio and relevant references, such as major literary awards or writing organization memberships. (It’s okay if you don’t have any. I didn’t! Just sign off with your name, address, phone/email)
  • DO mention genre, word count, and (if applicable) comp titles.
  • DO polish the query until it shines. Every word should be necessary and purposeful.
  • DO proof it carefully (several times!) and read it aloud before sending. You only have one chance at a first impression.

DON’T:

  • DON’T tell the agent how great the book is. Let the query speak for itself.
  • DON’T open with hypothetical questions, use first person narration, or experiment with other unique approaches.
  • DON’T spell out the ending. That’s for a synopsis. The query should be the premise and hook. (Read the flap copy of your favorite books for inspiration.)
  • DON’T submit to multiple agents within the same agency at once. (If agent #1 passes, then you can query agent #2 at that agency. Unless they have a “no from one means no from all” policy.)
  • DON’T give up. Remember that every published writer has been through rejection—every last one—and it only takes one “yes.”

 

Basic Query Format

In my opinion, Nathan Bransford still has the best “fill in the blanks” query worksheet. It looks like this:

Dear [Agent name],

I chose to submit to you because of your wonderful taste in [genre], and because you [personalized tidbit about agent].

[protagonist name] is a [description of protagonist] living in [setting]. But when [complicating incident], [protagonist name] must [protagonist’s quest] and [verb] [villain] in order to [protagonist’s goal].

[title] is a [word count] work of [genre]. I am the author of [author’s credits (optional)], and this is my first novel.

Thank you for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Best wishes,
[your name]

For reference, here’s my query for Taken (then titled The Laicos Project), which landed me my agent in 2011. Please note there are a few slight Taken spoilers ahead.

Dear Sara Crowe,

Happy New Year! I read on your Publishers Marketplace profile that you are seeking strong, original new voices, and given your representation of a variety of  YA subgenres, I thought you might enjoy my YA science fiction thriller THE LAICOS PROJECT.

Gray Weathersby is counting down the days until his eighteenth birthday with dread, for in the primitive and isolated town of Claysoot, a boy’s eighteenth is marked not by celebration, but by his disappearance. When his older brother meets this mysterious fate, vanishing in the phenomenon the villagers have come to call the Heist, Gray begins to question everything about the place he’s called home. It all feels wrong: The Wall that no one can cross without dying, the Council leaders and their secrets, the nature of the Heist itself.

Desperate for answers, Gray climbs the Wall. But Emma follows him. Emma, who Gray has admired since the day he first stole a wooden toy from her hands as a child. The two are surprised to find a modern city beyond their Wall, not to mention the Franconian Order—a mysterious group of black-suited soldiers that hold the two hostage and then call for Gray’s execution. Running for his life, Gray takes to the forests. These woods are rumored to hold hostile Rebels amongst their trees, violent civilians banding together in opposition of the Order. But the Rebels also have answers. Answers Gray has long searched for, and answers he may soon wish he never unearthed.

THE LAICOS PROJECT tells the tale of a boy caught in events far greater than himself, as in Philip Reeve’s MORTAL ENGINES, and I believe it will appeal to readers who enjoyed the fast-paced and mysterious elements of James Dashner’s THE MAZE RUNNER. Complete at 83,000 words, THE LAICOS PROJECT is the first in a trilogy, although it also works as a stand-alone.

Thank you, in advance, for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
Erin Bowman
[contact info redacted]

This comes in at 325 words total and looking back on it now, I think it could be streamlined a bit farther. Even still, you can see that my query follows the basic intro > premise + hook > summary format.

Please keep in mind that like every aspect of writing, there are always reasons to break rules, but I do think it’s especially risky with queries. The query is a tool. Agents receive hundreds of them a week. Going outside the box is unlikely to make you stand out to an agent in a good way. What will make you stand out is a professional, well-polished query with a fantastic hook and some killer sample pages to back you up.

Getting back to that giveaway I promised you…
As a thank you for helping us out with our survey, I’m giving away three query crits to Pub Crawl readers! Simply fill out the widget below for a chance to win. I’ll draw winners a week from today.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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6. Book-Jumper Summer Reading Series: Sea of Trolls Book Review

Ohhhh, I have such wonderful Norse God and Viking-related book goodness going on this week! For those just tuning in, this week I have spent much time revisiting my Valli-the-Viking history with glorious books from assorted female authors. On Monday I jumped into the amazing book Runemarks from Joanne Harris and also a robust Book-Jumper Summer Reading: A Norse God and Viking Booklist!

A Norse God and Viking Booklist!

Now it’s time to delve into another family favorite :)

The Sea of Trolls is the first volume of a fantasy trilogy by three-time Newbery Honors winning author, Nancy Farmer.

The Sea of Trolls

Jack was eleven when the Berserkers loomed out of the fog and nabbed him. “It seems that things are stirring across the water,” the Bard had warned. “Ships are being built, swords are being forged.”

Is that bad?” Jack had asked, for his Saxon village had never before seen Berserkers.

“Of course. People don’t make ships and swords unless they intend to use them.”

The year is A.D. 793. In the next months, Jack and his little sister, Lucy, are enslaved by Olaf One-Brow and his fierce young shipmate, Thorgil. With a crow named Bold Heart for mysterious company, they are swept up into an adventure-quest in the spirit of The Lord of the Rings.

Award-winner Nancy Farmer has never told a richer, funnier tale, nor offered more timeless encouragement to young seekers than “Just say no to pillaging.”-Amazon

My View:

My family is made up of hearty Swedish Americans who come from solid Viking stock. We have always been fascinated by Viking lore and love studying and learning about the Vikings.

Reading The Sea of Trolls left us wanting to become Skalds, which is just another name for bard….which (in case you were wondering!) was a professional poet employed by a patron, such as a monarch or nobleman, to commemorate the patron’s ancestors and to praise the patron’s own activities. In a nutshell, we wanted to tell our stories through song and poems, learn to be one with nature, and who wouldn’t want to include a dragon or two?

Even though this book does deal with thought-provoking subject matter such as death, slavery, pillaging and magic. There are not gross or morbid details. This story wonderfully weaves the interactions of three very different cultures. It does so with a seamless blend of history, humor, and suspense.

In The Seas of Trolls the main character Jack is thrilled when the Bard takes notice of him. It’s a highly sought after opportunity to be the old man’s apprentice and learn the magic that this particular Bard possesses. But Jack’s life is suddenly thrown into chaos when a nightmare sends the Bard into insanity and a band a Berserkers attacks his village. Jack is captured along with his beloved sister Lucy. Jack knows he is now at the mercy of Olaf One-Brow.

Olaf One-Brow

This fantasy has such a rich texture and weaves history (Viking Berserkers, and the destruction of the Holy Isle) with legends (Jotunheim, trolls, Norse gods and Yggdrasil), and never makes you leave your belief that it could have happened just like this. The Bard has wonderful insight into nature and happiness which alone is worth reading this book. Jack himself also evolves wonderfully throughout the story and turns from an ordinary farm boy into a sensitive, intelligent bard.

Something To Do

Wolf and Sheep Game

Many times throughout the story Jack would play a game called “Wolf and Sheep” with Thorgil or others that they were spending time with. This is a very old Viking game originating in Iceland. It can be found throughout Scandinavia but also in England,Scotland, and Ireland.

Playing boards are either made out of clay,or cloth. We made a salt dough version which is fun and easy.

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup salt
1 cup cold water
In a large bowl, mix the salt and flour together. Add the 1/2 cup of water and stir until you have a dough. You might need to get your hands in there to complete making it into a round ball.

To make the board: Place a little flour on a cutting board. Take 2/3 rds of the dough and roll it out into a circle a 1/2 inch thick. With a marble or glass stone make marks in the dough for the game board. Three circles across and 7 circles down. For the horizontal rows do the same thing intersecting with the vertical lines.

Heat oven 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Place on parchment paper in the oven for two hours or until the dough is hard.

Any leftover dough place in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to be used later.

The Game:

  • First we need to decide who will be the sheep and who will be the ram. The one whose first name is closest to the letter Z is the one who gets to pick which they would like to be Sheep or Wolf.
  • The Sheep person always goes first. They move one step at a time. They can move forward,diagonally forward or sideways but never backwards.
  • The wolf can go in any direction. If there is an empty hole in any direction around the lamb the wolf may skip over the lamb and take that playing piece off of the board. If the wolf can skip over many sheep in the same move it may do so, removing the lamb pieces off of the board.
  • The lambs win by encircling the wolf so that he cannot move anywhere to take away the sheep pieces.
  • The wolf wins if he has taken away all of the sheep pieces, or if he can get to one of the holes in the bottom row.

 

ONE MORE THING! Don’t forget to enter Jump Into a Book’s GIVEAWAY of Joanne Harris’ Runemark Trilogy series that includes:

  • Runemarks
  • Runelight
  • The Gospel of Loki

Joanne Harris' Runemark Trilogy

****

End of Summer Audrey Press Book Sale!!

book sale

Summer is slowly winding down and thoughts are turning to the upcoming school year and reads that will take us into (and through) the colder months ahead. Instead of being sad to see summer go, I choose to Celebrate! And what better way to do it than with an End of Summer Audrey Press Book Sale. For two weeks only readers can get a great deal on two of my most popular books. But don’t delay; this super special sale ends August 14, 2015.!

First up The Waldorf Homeschool Handbook: The Simple Step-by-Step guide to creating a Waldorf-inspired #homeschool. And for a limited time, this best-selling book by Donna Ashton, The Waldorf #Homeschool Handbook is now only $17.95 until August 14th, 2015 ! http://amzn.to/1OhTfoT

Enjoy more month-by-month activities based on the classic children’s tale, The Secret Garden! A Year in the Secret Garden is a delightful children’s book with over 120 pages, with 150 original color illustrations and 48 activities for your family and friends to enjoy, learn, discover and play with together. AND, it’s on sale until August 14th ! Grab your copy ASAP and “meet me in the garden!” http://amzn.to/1DTVnuX

Two great children’s books-Your choice, $17.95 each!

The post Book-Jumper Summer Reading Series: Sea of Trolls Book Review appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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7. Book-Jumper Summer Reading: A Norse God and Viking Booklist!

We’re continuing on our Book-Jumper Summer Reading series path with Norse God/Viking Week here on Jump into a Book!
 A Norse God and Viking Booklist!
On Monday we looked at the great series by Joanne Harris.
Runemarks
I feel as if I know Joanne. She is with us everywhere we go. We simply can’t leave home without one of her books. I’ve enjoyed her adult fiction for years and only read her in the summer while on vacation. She is my little treat to myself. My son loves her Runemark series and we have either one or two of those books with us whenever we travel. They are big books and quite heavy. Last year I said, “I put them on the Kindle, we’ll read them from there.” After the first chapter, Wonder Son said, “It’s not the same. I need to see the book…” and he refused to listen any further. This year as he went off to see family in various countries, he had his little suitcase of Joanne Harris with him. All three books this time.
So in honor of our friend Joann Harris, the friend we’ve never met, we are dedicating this weeks give away to her Runemark trilogy. We are giving away Runemark, Runelight, and The Gospel of Loki to one lucky winner. There’s part of me that wants to donate a little suitcase to go along with because you will be transporting these books everywhere with you. But alas, it’s just the books we are giving away this week.
Also for your reading pleasure I’ve created this Norse God/ Viking middle age reading booklist. Through the year’s we’ve found some great series that fill this need of ours to live with Norse Gods while being Vikings.
Norse God/Viking Middle Grade Fiction Booklist
 
Joanne Harris Runemark Trilogy
Runemarks
Seven o’clock on a Monday morning, five hundred years after the end of the world, and goblins had been at the cellar again. . . . Not that anyone would admit it was goblins. In Maddy Smith’s world, order rules. Chaos, old gods, fairies, goblins, magic, glamours–all of these were supposedly vanquished centuries ago. But Maddy knows that a small bit of magic has survived. The “ruinmark” she was born with on her palm proves it–and makes the other villagers fearful that she is a witch (though helpful in dealing with the goblins-in-the-cellar problem). But the mysterious traveler One-Eye sees Maddy’s mark not as a defect, but as a destiny. And Maddy will need every scrap of forbidden magic One-Eye can teach her if she is to survive that destiny.
Runelight
The squabbling Norse gods and goddesses of Runemarks are back! And there’s a feisty new heroine on the scene: Maggie, a girl the same age as Maddy but brought up a world apart – literally, in World’s End, the focus of the Order in which Maddy was raised. Now the Order is destroyed, Chaos is filling the vacuum left behind… and is breaching the everyday world.
The Gospel of Loki
This novel is a brilliant first-person narrative of the rise and fall of the Norse gods—retold from the point of view of the world’s ultimate trickster, Loki. A #1 bestseller in the UK, The Gospel of Loki tells the story of Loki’s recruitment from the underworld of Chaos, his many exploits on behalf of his one-eyed master, Odin, through to his eventual betrayal of the gods and the fall of Asgard itself.
K.L. Armstrong and M.A. Marr Blackwell Pages Trilogy
Loki's Wolves
“The runes have spoken. We have our champion…Matthew Thorsen.”
Matt hears the words, but he can’t believe them. He’s Thor’s representative? Destined to fight trolls, monstrous wolves and giant serpents…or the world ends? He’s only thirteen.While Matt knew he was a modern-day descendent of Thor, he’s always lived a normal kid’s life. In fact, most people in the small town of Blackwell, South Dakota, are direct descendants of either Thor or Loki, including Matt’s classmates Fen and Laurie Brekke. No big deal.
Odins Ravens
When thirteen-year-old Matt Thorsen and Fen and Laurie Brekke, modern-day descendants of Thor and Loki, discovered they were fated to take the places of the Norse Gods in a battle against the apocalypse, they thought they knew how things would play out. Gather the other descendants, defeat a giant serpent, and save the world. No problem, right? Wrong. The descendants’ journey grinds to a halt when their friend Baldwin is poisoned and Matt, Fen, and Laurie must travel to the Underworld in hopes of saving him. From there, they’ll have to reunite…
Thor's Serpents
Thirteen-year-olds Matt, Laurie, and Fen have beaten near-impossible odds to assemble their fellow descendants of the Norse Gods and complete epic quests. Their biggest challenge lies ahead: battling the fierce monsters working to bring about the apocalypse. But when they learn that Matt must fight the Midgard Serpent alone and Fen and Laurie are pulled in other directions, the friends realize they can’t take every step of this journey together.
An award -winning exceptionally great series by Nancy Farmer-The Sea of Trolls trilogy
Sea of Trolls
The year is A.D. 793. In the next months, Jack and his little sister, Lucy, are enslaved by Olaf One-Brow and his fierce young shipmate, Thorgil. With a crow named Bold Heart for mysterious company, they are swept up into an adventure-quest in the spirit of The Lord of the Rings.
The Island of the Blessed
The fields of Jack’s home village are devastated, the winter ahead looks bleak, and a monster—a draugr—has invaded the forest outside of town. But in the hands of bestselling author Nancy Farmer, the direst of prospects becomes any reader’s reward. Soon, Jack, Thorgil, and the Bard are off on a quest to right the wrong of a death caused by Father Severus. Their destination is Notland, realm of the fin folk, though they will face plenty of challenges and enemies before get they get there. Impeccably researched and blending the lore of Christian, Pagan, and Norse traditions, this expertly woven tale is beguilingly suspenseful and, ultimately, a testament to love.
the land
“Like the druidic life force Jack taps, this hearty adventure, as personal as it is epic, will cradle readers in the ‘hollow of its hand’ (Booklist, starred review). Jack has caused an earthquake. He was trying to save his sister Lucy from being thrown down a well, but sometimes the magic doesn’t quite work out. Not only does Jack demolish a monastery, but Lucy is carried off by the Lady of the Lake, and Jack has to follow her through the Hollow Road, which lies underground.
****
 **some of these links are affiliate links
****

GIVEAWAY TIME! One lucky winner will score Joanne Harris’ Runemark Trilogy series that includes:

  • Runemark
  • Runelight
  • The Gospel of Loki

Joanne Harris' Runemark Trilogy

 Giveaway begins August 5, 2015 and ends August 13, 2015

  • 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 August 14th

a Rafflecopter giveaway

End of Summer Audrey Press Book Sale!!

book sale

Summer is slowly winding down and thoughts are turning to the upcoming school year and reads that will take us into (and through) the colder months ahead. Instead of being sad to see summer go, I choose to Celebrate! And what better way to do it than with an End of Summer Audrey Press Book Sale. For two weeks only readers can get a great deal on two of my most popular books. But don’t delay; this super special sale ends August 14, 2015!

First up The Waldorf Homeschool Handbook: The Simple Step-by-Step guide to creating a Waldorf-inspired #homeschool. And for a limited time, this best-selling book by Donna Ashton, The Waldorf #Homeschool Handbook is now only $17.95 until August 14th, 2015 ! http://amzn.to/1OhTfoT

Enjoy more month-by-month activities based on the classic children’s tale, The Secret Garden! A Year in the Secret Garden is a delightful children’s book with over 120 pages, with 150 original color illustrations and 48 activities for your family and friends to enjoy, learn, discover and play with together. AND, it’s on sale until August 14th ! Grab your copy ASAP and “meet me in the garden!” http://amzn.to/1DTVnuX

Two great children’s books-Your choice, $17.95 each!

The post Book-Jumper Summer Reading: A Norse God and Viking Booklist! appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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8. National Coloring Day is August 2nd! GIVEAWAY time!

Tomorrow is NATIONAL COLORING BOOK DAY so to celebrate, I am having a GIVEAWAY! To win 3 of my Coloring Books just released a month ago...Be sure to follow all the steps below.

1. LIKE my Phyllis Harris Designs Facebook page and

2. SHARE this post and be sure you share from this post directly so I can document the shares.

3. I will pick a random winner on Sunday, August 9th at NOON, EST!

4. Double your chances by following and re-posting my Instagram post as well over at https://instagram.com/phyllisharrisdesigns/

Be sure to get your copy with FREE US SHIPPING by using the coupon code USShipFree at: http://phyllisharrisdesigns.com/collections/top-sellers/products/coloring-book-for-adults-and-children-the-heart-of-childhood-by-phyllis-harris


https://www.facebook.com/PhyllisHarrisDesigns/photos/a.395728017135129.84738.392779124096685/924782264229699/?type=1&theater

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9. Apologetics Study Bible for Students

I get quite a few requests to review items on my blog - some jump out at me and some don't.  This one, however, was one that I truly hoped I'd make it on the blog review team.  The Apologetics Study Bible for Students is one I wish we'd had when my boys were younger.  One of my sons has been deep into theology and apologetics since he could read - he just devoured anything on these topics and he would have thoroughly enjoyed this Bible as a reference tool he could sink his teeth into!  The articles in the Bible (120 of them) are written by some of today's leading Christian thinkers and they deal with some of the big questions - Homosexuality, Yoga, New Age Movement, Cloning, Gambling, Scientology, Rape and Incest and more.  The articles are thoughtful and well-written and give our teens some great topics to ponder.  The Bible is created to be appealing to teens - both the design and layout.  We also thought the Twisted Scripture articles were great!  These are written to discuss topics that current religious movements use to twist Scripture and go against historic Christian teaching.  This is another area where we want to strengthen our kids' faith in the world in which we live.

The other thing we loved about this Bible is the resource library of videos online.  There are videos still yet to be added - but some there already as well that answer the tough questions in video format - you can stream them or download them OR even share to social media.  I was excited with the quality of the videos and the topics they covered.  http://www.apologeticsbible.com/video-archive/

Don't forget to enter the Confident Faith Sweepstakes while you are surfing - this is a great contest when you can win a Bible, mini apologetic library or even a trip!  https://app.promo.eprize.com/confidentfaith/

ADDED BONUS - I was told I could give away a copy as well here on my blog!  So - you get an entry for commenting below.  AND leave a separate message for each social media platform you share this giveaway on and you will get additional entries.  Winners will be chosen on August 7!



"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

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10. FREE Webinar: Creative Playgrounds

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While making notes for Salli’s upcoming class – BUILD A FREELANCE ILLUSTRATION BUSINESS – she realized that one topic was worthy of it’s own session: Creative Playgrounds, which Salli and her brother/business partner Nate Padavick believe can energize your career. What IS a Creative Playground and why are they so important? Join us for the FREE webinar August 10th at 4:00 EST (or watch any time after the live class).

Take it from Albert Einstein “Play is the highest form of research.”

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11. Bartography Express for July 2015, featuring Lindsey Lane’s Evidence of Things Not Seen

This month, one subscriber to my Bartography Express newsletter will win a copy of Evidence of Things Not Seen (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) by Lindsey Lane. If you’re not already receiving Bartography Express, click the image below for a look. If you like what you see, click “Join” in the bottom right corner, and you’ll […]

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12. Release Blast: Release Me by Ann Marie Walker and Amy K Rogers

 
Enter to Win
$50.00 Amazon eGift Card

 
RELEASE ME
Chasing Fire #2
Ann Marie Walker & Amy K. Rogers
Releasing July 21st, 2015
Berkley/Intermix
 
 
The second in the “seriously sexy and sinfully steamy”* Chasing Fire series, about a pain too deep to forgive and a passion too hot to forget…

Alessandra Sinclair knows that Hudson Chase is the last man she should want. The boy from the wrong side of the tracks has grown into a man who would do anything to get ahead, even if it means breaking Allie’s heart. But whenever she’s near him, the attraction between them is undeniable. And now that they’re working together, keeping her distance from Hudson is almost as impossible as keeping her feelings in check…

Hudson already lost Allie once and he refuses to lose her again. He’s determined to use their new business partnership to rekindle the spark he knows is still there. Only the closer he gets to winning her over, the clearer it becomes there are still secrets that could tear them apart for good…

 
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As Allie watched the Chicago River flow into Lake Michigan, she thought about the last time she’d seen Hudson Chase. It was the morning she’d uncovered the truth about his plan to take control of Ingram Media. She stared unseeingly at the gray horizon and her thoughts began to drift back to that day. Hudson standing in his foyer, a towel slung low around his hips as water dripped onto the hardwood floor. He’d begged her to let him explain, but what explanation could have possibly justified his lies and betrayal? She’d refused to hear him out, and while in her heart she knew it had been the right decision, the look on his face as the elevator doors slid closed that morning had haunted her ever since.

Behind her the conference room door opened with a soft click and the low murmur of voices told her the other board members had begun to filter into the room. But instead of greeting them and engaging in the sort of sympathetic small talk that had consumed the past few days, she remained by the windows, enjoying the last moments of calm before the eventual storm.

There was a sudden flurry of activity outside the meeting room, and instinctively she knew he had arrived. A wave of anxiety rolled through the pit of her stomach, but she took a deep, calming breath. These board meetings, while infrequent, would be inevitable. The sooner she got used to seeing him in this setting, the better.

She turned around, and a moment later Hudson Chase strolled into the boardroom. The hum of quiet conversation ground to a halt and all heads turned as one to assess the corporate raider who’d quietly amassed the second largest percentage of Ingram shares right out from under their noses.

The sight of him nearly took her breath away. Wearing a charcoal suit, white shirt, and silver-gray tie, he looked every bit the powerful, in-control CEO. But Allie knew the passion that burned behind those eyes, and when she looked at his dark, unruly hair, she knew he’d run his fingers through it just before stepping into the room. He moved with measured grace, his muscles flexing beneath his perfectly tailored suit. Allie knew every inch of that body intimately, how it felt beneath her touch, how it moved over her . . . inside her. She knew the man, not the corporate myth. He was the one who she’d fallen for. He was the one who’d broken her heart.



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Though thousands of miles apart, Ann Marie Walker and Amy K. Rogers are in constant contact, plotting story lines and chatting about their love of alpha males, lemon drop martinis and British supermodel, David Gandy. You can find them on twitter as @AnnMarie_Walker and @Amy_KRogers.


 
Amy K. Rogers

 
Ann Marie Walker


Haven’t Joined the #HudsonChasers?

 
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13. Peek A Boo

Visit My Page to Browse the Store
Lately there has been so much information on how to run a business, so much to read and prepare, that I feel like I'm falling behind while moving ahead. Crazy how it works eh?

I haven't forgotten about my blog or my newsletter, or Facebook for that matter, but working out new schedules, system for what I offer where, and how to find "me" time in it all. Because let's face it, when you can't take care of yourself, what you give out is no where near what you hoped it would be.

Wings are getting a bit clipped over on my end, but all for the better. Thank you for all of your patience and support. :)

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14. Pretending to Be Erica: Guest Post + Giveaway

I’ve said this is the year of the cute contemporary in YA…but it’s also the year of another important genre, the YA thriller! I’ve read a lot of thrillers, and for some reason it’s not often that I find YA ones that keep me engaged. But this year there have been some really terrific suspense novels for teens, including this sure-footed debut. Pretending to Be Erica is about a girl who’s seen it all, done it all, and is planning on conning everyone around her. You see how she’s been raised since childhood to deceive and swindle, you see how she’s calculating the best way to take advantage of someone else’s misfortune and suffering. And yet because the narrative voice is so terrific, and because the plot is so surprisingly plausible for the most part and well-executed, you’re invested in her story. I enjoyed this one from start to finish,... Read more »

The post Pretending to Be Erica: Guest Post + Giveaway appeared first on The Midnight Garden.

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15. Bookjumper Summer Inkheart Trilogy Giveaway

Author Cornelia Funke is one of our favorites and this week we have been celebrating her Inkheart series and other books from her collection. Earlier this week we jumped into her book The Thief Lord and also a deeper look at her Inkheart series here.

I’m so happy to be giving away her Inkheart Trilogy to bring your summer days alive. These are 3 of our favorite books which have been read over and over again.

Inkheart

Inkheart

One cruel night, Meggie’s father reads aloud from a book called INKHEART– and an evil ruler escapes the boundaries of fiction and lands in their living room. Suddenly, Meggie is smack in the middle of the kind of adventure she has only read about in books. Meggie must learn to harness the magic that has conjured this nightmare. For only she can change the course of the story that has changed her life forever.
This is INKHEART–a timeless tale about books, about imagination, about life. Dare to read it aloud.

Inkspell

Inkspell

The sequel to Inkheart.

Although a year has passed, not a day goes by without Meggie thinking of INKHEART, the book whose characters became real. But for Dustfinger, the fire-eater brought into being from words, the need to return to the tale has become desperate. When he finds a crooked storyteller with the ability to read him back, Dustfinger leaves behind his young apprentice Farid and plunges into the medieval world of his past. Distraught, Farid goes in search of Meggie, and before long, both are caught inside the book, too. But the story is threatening to evolve in ways neither of them could ever have imagined.

Inkdeath

Inkdeath

The conclusion to the trilogy.

The Adderhead–his immortality bound in a book by Meggie’s father, Mo–has ordered his henchmen to plunder the villages. The peasants’ only defense is a band of outlaws led by the Bluejay–Mo’s fictitious double, whose identity he has reluctantly adopted. But the Book of Immortality is unraveling, and the Adderhead again fears the White Women of Death. To bring the renegade Bluejay back to repair the book, the Adderhead kidnaps all the children in the kingdom, dooming them to slavery in his silver mines unless Mo surrenders. First Dustfinger, now Mo: Can anyone save this cursed story?

inkheart trilogy

Giveaway Guidelines:

ONE winner will receive one copy of each book. Giveaway begins July 17th, 2015

  • Prizing & samples  courtesy of Author of the above books
  • Giveaway open to US addresses only
  • ONE lucky winner will win one copy of each of the above books (Inkheart, Inkspell, Inkdeath)
  • 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 July 26th, 2015

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16. Spotlight and Giveaway: Toxic by Kim Karr

This morning I have a giveaway for Kim Karr’s Toxic.  Check out the excerpt and enter for your chance to win!

Synopsis: New York Times bestselling author Kim Karr turns up the heat in a smoking hot, emotionally compelling romance that takes you into the world of Manhattan’s elite.

Meet Jeremy McQueen, a sexy, intense, brooding entrepreneur who goes after what he wants, and Phoebe St. Claire, a socialite-turned-CEO who’s been drifting through life searching for something she thought she’d never find again—the right man to share her future.


Phoebe St. Claire has devoted herself to saving her family’s hotel empire—but her best efforts have not been good enough. With her whole world in turmoil, the tenacious go-getter turns to the once love of her life. Far from innocent, Jeremy McQueen was a guy from the wrong side of the tracks and her parents would never have approved. Their years apart have only made the sexy bad boy more irresistible than ever—and their reunion is explosive.

When she asks Jeremy to help her salvage her family business, he agrees immediately, with only one condition—he wants her in his bed.

But soon surprising circumstances leave Phoebe reeling. Was this fairy tale romance just too good to be true? Will Jeremy’s secrets pull them apart all over again?

Kim Karr is the New York Times bestselling author of the Connections series, including Connected, Frayed, Mended, and Torn. She lives in Florida with her husband and four kids. She’s always had a love for books and recently decided to embrace one of her biggest passions—writing.

Buy links: Kindle: http://amzn.to/1yb3rGY

Amazon Paperback: http://tinyurl.com/q6saca2
Nook: http://tinyurl.com/ozhrudt
B&N Paperback: http://tinyurl.com/nld4foq
iBooks: http://tinyurl.com/ozxclzy
BAM: http://tinyurl.com/oxro3xg
IndieBound: http://tinyurl.com/pwqezsf
Google: http://tinyurl.com/p7hak78
Kobo: http://tinyurl.com/pcztymj

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23276722-toxic?from_search=true

Excerpt: Feeling a bit drunk and overwhelmed with so many and so few choices at the same time, I needed some time alone and snuck off toward the beach path.

I ran toward the ocean and twirled in the sand as the wind blew around me. Once I started to feel dizzy from twirling, I still wasn’t ready to head back to the party, so I took the path that would lead me to the large Olympic-sized pool. I tugged my sandals off with thoughts of putting my feet in the water to rinse the mud and sand away. As I approached the pool, I noticed how it glowed like it was lit by small pale fires. Lost in the enchantment of it, the sudden movement beneath the surface startled me.
A fair-haired boy emerged from the water. He pulled himself up and out so quickly that I was momentarily stunned. And then when he drank me in with his eyes, I shuddered.
I couldn’t help it, the way he looked at me just made me shiver. No one had ever looked at me like that before and I found myself gazing back into his intense eyes.
He was utterly beautiful. His bare chest was sculpted but not overly bulky like Danny or Jamie. They worked out every day pumping obnoxious amounts of iron to look the way they did. In contrast, the boy standing before me had a swimmer’s build.
He stood stoic and a cautious look crossed his face. He was long and lean in a pair of bright green neon swim trunks.
Right away I could tell he didn’t care what anyone thought about him.
I loved the idea of that.
So I smiled at him.
He shook his head and his hair fell into his eyes.
I wanted to reach out and push it away. It wasn’t long, but it wasn’t short. It was perfect.
“Hey,” he said, grabbing a towel off the ground.
It didn’t belong to the club. It was small, beige, and a bit worn—not the large hunter-green fluffy ones monogrammed in white I’d always gotten when I used to come here to swim as a kid.
“Hey,” I said back, swinging my sandals nervously.
He grabbed a pair of jeans that lay next to where the towel had been and walked right by me.
I turned to watch him as he strode into one of the cabanas and dropped his trunks. I froze and squeezed my eyes shut, thinking I shouldn’t be watching him but then opened them quickly when I couldn’t resist maybe catching a glimpse.
“Didn’t your parents ever tell you it isn’t polite to stare?” His voice was low and sexy, and it tugged me out of my own head.
I put my hands on my hips. “Didn’t your parents ever teach you not to get dressed in mixed company?”
He pulled his jeans on and laughed. “My mother might have mentioned that once or twice but I’ve never been good at following the rules.”
And it didn’t escape my notice that he didn’t put any underwear on first.
Hot. Totally and completely hot.
I didn’t see anything I shouldn’t have seen, it was too dark, but something inside me electrified at the thought of seeing him naked and I stepped closer. That’s when I noticed the scuffed-up black work boots on one of the lounges with a T-shirt thrown next to them.
I raised a brow. “Is this your changing room?”
He laughed again but this time added a smile and put his hands up. “Okay you caught me. I better get out of here before anyone else does.”
He was adorable and charming and my heart skipped a beat or two.
Then I stepped even closer and entered the cabana entrance, effectively blocking his way. “Why? You’re not doing anything wrong.”
He shrugged but he didn’t try to move around me. “I usually swim in the ocean but when the water is too rough, like tonight, I come here.”
I bit my lip in contemplation before speaking. “Does it really matter if you get caught?”
He crossed his arms over his bare chest. “Let’s just say it’s not just the swimming. It’s more that I’ve been caught doing a few too many things that I shouldn’t have been doing in the past.”
A bad boy.
The thought made my pulse thunder. “So you’re not a member at this club?”
He cleared his throat and shifted from foot to foot. “No,” he laughed but his laugh was anything but genuine. “Are you?”
I hesitated as I considered my answer. “No, I was just walking the beach and wanted to rinse my feet. I’m Phoebe,” I said extending my hand. Technically, I wasn’t lying. I wasn’t a member, my parents were. I hadn’t even been here in years. And I was out for a walk.
Amusement danced in his blue eyes. “Jeremy,” he said back.
When I chewed on my lower lip, I noticed how his eyes focused on it.
Mine focused on the entirety of his mouth—his strong, firm jaw, his sensuous lips, and his tongue that had snuck out to lick his lips.
That mouth.
It was almost too much.
Almost.

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17. ALA 2015: event recap + giveaway!

I’m back from the American Library Conference in San Francisco! Well, I’ve been back for almost a week, but was so wiped out (and still nursing minor injuries), so this post is just now going live. But here I am with tidbits and goodies to share. Fair warning that I was bad at taking photos this year, but it was for good reason–I was having such a good time that I often forgot! Last year’s trip was great, but ALA 2015 surpassed my expectations, in ways I didn’t even imagine. Stick around, since we’re also giving away TWO prizes–a box of 10 coveted ARCS to a U.S. reader, and an awesome tote “Reading is my Everything, Everthing” bag filled with swag to an international reader. The Authors There were so many great authors at ALA this year, and I trotted around like an obedient pony trying to find them all.... Read more »

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18. Weekend Links: Celebrating Our Wonderful Earth with Booklists (and a Giveaway!)

Welcome to Weekend Links! This is my chance to share the best-of-the-best thanks to my online travels of the course of the week. This week has been filled with wonderful booklists and activities surrounding loving and celebrating our Earth and all that inhabit it. Here are some of my top picks this week.

weekend links

This week we’ve been celebrating the planet we live on, Earth. Earlier this week I created a very Love the Earth  booklist which honors amazing people preserving and restoring areas on our planet as well as others reusing items to accomplish great feats. The great thing about this list is that I am giving it away!

Love the Earth booklist

Enter to win the Giveaway HERE and don’t delay! It ends July 13th

Seems to me it’s SharK Week on Animal Planet so I though this booklist from Brain Power Boy was very fitting :)

shark booklist

Sharks!  They can be so fascinating and just a bit scary as well. We found some great non-fiction shark books for your boys.

{just for fun}

sharkweek

Mia at PragmaticMom had a wonderful book review of a book that lets young readers readers explore the ocean floor. Explore Ocean Forests with Non Fiction eBook

Explore the Ocean Floor

Since we are looking way down low into the ocean floor, let’s look way up high at the sky. Here’s a great past JIAB post that will help get your family interested in stargazing! Stargazing & Astronomy Booklist for the whole family.

stargazing booklist

I loved encouraging kids and families to GET OUTSIDE! That’s why I adore this Backpack Nature Books and FieldGuides Booklist from KCEdventures! “Outdoor guides for kids to take on their next hike — what a fun way to encourage reading this summer!”

field guides for kids

Speaking of “getting outside”…did you know that my book A Year in the Secret Garden is filled with all sorts of outdoors activities inspired by the classic children’s book The Secret Garden?

SecretGardenCoverLeft-e1407422792456

Enjoy more month-by-month activities based on the classic children’s tale, The Secret Garden! A Year in the Secret Garden is a delightful children’s book with over 120 pages, with 150 original color illustrations and 48 activities for your family and friends to enjoy, learn, discover and play with together. AND, it’s on sale for a limited time! Grab your copy ASAP and “meet me in the garden!” More details HERE! http://amzn.to/1DTVnuX

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19. Weekend Links: The Importance of Reading Aloud & The Last Day on the Giveaways!

Welcome to Weekend Links!

I don’t know about you but summer is has been crazy-busy so far! We have mountains of books to read, travel plans galore and I am enjoying yet another batch of baby fox kits who have taken up residence at my house. As always I am determined to provide booklists, activities and giveaways to keep the whole family pulling books from shelves and stories from pages during the lazy, hazy days of summer.

Speaking of giveaways, did you know I have TWO wonderful ones that will be ending TODAY??!! (6/21)

One is a Linda Sue Park Booklist Giveaway. Linda Sue Park has written many children’s books, many of which one lucky reader will win! You can view the booklist and giveaway HERE.

Linda Sue Park book giveaway

The second giveaway is my Book-Jumper Summer Reading Series Secret Garden Booklist giveaway. More chances to win great books! Read the booklist and view the giveaway HERE.

The Book-Jumper Summer Reading Series

I have another awesome giveaway running right now that will end June 27th. Again, this booklist and giveaway is based on yet another amazing female children’s literature author. Pam Muñoz Ryan is the author of more that thirty books for young readers, including four beloved novels, Riding Freedom, Esperanza Rising, Becoming Naomi León, and Paint the Wind, which collectively have garnered, among countless accolades, the Pura Belpré Medal, the Jane Addams Award, and the Schneider Family Award. She lives in Southern California with her family. You can visit her at www.PamMunozRyan.com.

ONE winner will receive a copy of  each of these Pam Munoz Ryan books: Esperanza Rising, Echo, Riding Freedom, Becoming Naomi Leon. The Dreamer and Paint the Wind. Giveaway begins Wednesday June 17th and ends June 27th, 2015. You can enter the giveaway HERE.

pam munoz ryan collage

All three are great opportunities to get some wonderful books into the hands of your young readers.

Reading at any age is soooo important. I recently found some great articles that reinforce this fact so I will post them here for you to read and enjoy:

Why Keep Reading Aloud in the 5th Grade? Monique at Living Life and Learning offers up a great perspective.
Reading Aloud

@NerdyBookClub Parenting, Bonding, and Reading Aloud by Jenny Houlroyd

@NerdyBookClub Reading Aloud by Debbie Shoulders

TOP TEN Read-Aloud Books for Students with Special Needs by Aimee Owens

Slow Reading Family Style by…ME!

reading aloud

Read Aloud to Ignite a World of Possibility at Huffington Post

huff

Do you read aloud in your family? Which books are the best for reading aloud?

Looking for more ways to not only get your youngsters reading, but get them OUTSIDE as well? Enjoy more month-by-month activities based on the classic children’s tale, The Secret Garden! A Year in the Secret Garden is a delightful children’s book with over 120 pages, with 150 original color illustrations and 48 activities for your family and friends to enjoy, learn, discover and play with together. AND, it’s on sale for a limited time! Grab your copy ASAP and “meet me in the garden!” More details HERE! http://amzn.to/1DTVnuX

A Year in the Secret Garden

The post Weekend Links: The Importance of Reading Aloud & The Last Day on the Giveaways! appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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20. Emmy & Oliver: guest post + HarperCollins giveaway

We’re very lucky this year, my friends, because it’s the year of the cute contemporary novel. That’s a weird thing to say about a book in which a boy was kidnapped by his father as a child, I know–and it’s true that there are serious moments in it, as well as important friendships and family relationships explored. But it’s also a sweet, funny book about a friendship between two kids that might have a chance at something more. Emmy & Oliver is the perfect book to read this summer when you’re at the beach, which is great since author Robin Benway is with us today to tell us what she’s going to be up to during her break! As a fellow LA resident, I can vouch for her list being a stellar representation of why it’s so great to live here. It even includes one of my all-time favorite southern... Read more »

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21. Bartography Express for June 2015, featuring Jacqueline Kelly’s The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate

This month, one subscriber to my Bartography Express newsletter will win a copy of The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate (Henry Holt and Co.) by Jacqueline Kelly.

If you’re not already receiving Bartography Express, click the image below for a look. If you like what you see, click “Join” in the bottom right corner, and you’ll be in the running for the giveaway at the end of this week.

20150622 Bartography Express

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22. The Reading Strategies Book + Giveaway

A little peek inside the final chapter of THE READING STRATEGIES BOOK and a giveaway!

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23. THE UNLIKELY ADVENTURES OF MABEL JONES by Will Mabbitt - Guest post and giveaway!





The Unlikely Adventures of Mabel Jones by Will Mabbitt (hardcover, Penguin Random House, June 2015, for ages 8 to 12)

Source: hardcover from Penguin Random House

Synopsis (from the publisher)Have you ever picked your nose? Have you ever picked your nose and EATEN IT? Have you ever picked your nose, eaten it, and, by doing so, opened a portal to a world run by PIRATES?

Mabel Jones has.

Kidnapped, Mabel is forced to serve aboard The Feroshus Maggot with the strangest crew you’ll ever meet. And the captain—an odious wolf named Idryss Ebenezer Split—won’t let her go until she helps the pirates uncover the treasure they seek. 

Mabel’s voyage takes her across the Greasy Pole of Certain Death, into the belly of a whale, and underground to a decrepit crypt. And she does it all…in pajamas!




Why I recommend it: I didn't expect to like this book. It really didn't seem like my cup of tea. Then I started reading. And before I knew it, I was giggling, then snorting, then laughing out loud. A rip-roaring, snarky adventure with a lovable cast of characters. I was most impressed by Will Mabbitt's imagination. And I adore the drawings by Ross Collins. This will appeal to kids who like quirky books and lots of adventure and laughs.


Bonus: Visit the website (http://mabeljonesbooks.com) for a terrific trailer, the cast of characters, and some super-fun activities. Seriously, allow some time to explore. You can even learn how to make invisible ink! 




#MabelJones


And now, for a special treat, Will very kindly wrote an exclusive guest post about his writing process and where he gets his ideas.

Will Mabbitt from the website


Take it away, Will:

I have my best ideas when I am daydreaming. This is usually when I am supposed to be doing something else. This habit really annoys people I am with because it involves me not listening to a word they are saying. My wife will ask something like “Did you hang the clothes up to dry?” and I will reply “How long would it take for a human to be digested by a whale?”

When I get an idea it gets stored somewhere in my head. Then I usually forget it. Sometimes though, the idea will pop out a bit later and I will start writing it down properly. I begin by finding somewhere to write. The Unlikely Adventures of Mabel Jones was written entirely on my daily train ride to and from London Bridge station. Now I mainly write in cafes. I’m writing this in a cafe as we speak. I’ve been here for hours but I’ve only bought one coffee. If the barista gets annoyed I will grudgingly buy the cheapest slice of cake that is available.

Sometimes I know that the words I write will never be used - maybe even this sentence right now will get deleted. If you are reading this then I guess it has made the grade. Sometimes I delete a whole days work. This makes me sad but I know that I need to do this to get to the days where I actually like what I write. 

After the first draft is done I wait for as long as I can manage then print it out and read it to myself. There are usually loads of mistakes. I don’t worry about mistakes when I am writing the first draft. I just want to get to the end. Then before I show it to anyone I start to edit it. I love this part as every single thing I do makes the story better. If there’s enough time I’ll also show it to my older brother. He writes snarky remarks about punctuation and grammar in the margin. He is annoyingly helpful like that. Sometimes I’ll show it to my writing group. They are a lovely bunch who are great at spotting things that maybe I am too close to see.

In the old days that would be the end of the process. The story would get saved on my computer and never read again. Something different happened with The Unlikely Adventures of Mabel Jones. Someone at my writing group showed the first three chapters to an agent. The agent liked it and showed it to a publisher. The publisher liked it and then it became a book.

Now when I’ve finished something I always show it to my agent to check that it doesn’t have anything in it that will enrage my publisher. After all the swearing and violence has been taken out I send it on to my editor. Then I wait. The waiting is terrible. I haven’t been a professional writer very long and I am afraid they won’t like what I have written. Sometimes I think maybe they have got me confused for a different Will Mabbitt and commissioned the wrong book. Sometimes I imagine them all in a meeting laughing at how awful it is. Last time I was waiting for a manuscript back, my wife told me she dreamt I had received an email from my editor which just read: NOT FUNNY. 

Comments like that don’t really help. 

Luckily my editors are really nice and after a brief period of huffing, puffing, and moodily glaring out to sea I usually agree with their points - most of which are fairly minor. Then I change it for the last time. Then it’s done.

I love writing. I think I am very lucky to be able to do it everyday.


Thank you so much, Will! You are lucky to do what you love.  


Now for the giveaway:  One lucky reader will win a hardcover copy of The Unlikely Adventures of Mabel Jones. To enter, you must be a follower of this blog and you must comment on this post. International entries welcome. If you spread the word via Twitter or Facebook (or other social media) please let me know and I'll give you extra chances for each mention. This giveaway ends at 10:00 pm EDT on Saturday July 11 and I'll announce the winner on Monday July 13, 2015. 


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24. Guest Post by Maria Gianferrari, Author of Penny & Jelly The School Show

To follow on from my review of Penny & Jelly: The School Show last Friday, I am very happy to have the author, Maria Gianferrari on the blog today to share about the inspiration for her debut picture book and offer … Continue reading

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25. A Love the Earth Booklist: Preserve,Restore, Reuse {Giveaway}

Welcome to the next installment of my Book-Jumper Summer Reading Series! This is my way of inspiring parents who are looking for creative ways to keep their kids reading this summer. All of our protagonists are girls or women and most of our showcased authors are women as well. I will be offering up a combination of themed weeks, great novels, booklist giveaways, and blog post recaps so be sure and stop by to discover more wonderful ways have A Book-jumper Summer while Exploring Our World and Beyond!

Bookjumper Summer Reading

This week we’ve been celebrating the planet we live on, Earth. On Earth Day I created a very fun booklist which honors amazing people preserving and restoring areas on our planet as well as others reusing items to accomplish great feats.

earth day book list

Every library should have these inspiring stories from Wangari Mathai who planted an entire forest saving her country, to William Kamkwamba who created a windmill to end a drought in his town, to Isatou Ceesay who started with just one plastic bag. On this list you’ll also find entertaining chapter books with a environmentalist theme to them as well. Each person can contribute something.

One of the more amazing things about this booklist is that we’re giving it away. Have a look below and get inspired.

A Love the Earth Booklist

Wangari Maathai: The Woman Who Planted Millions of Trees by Franck Prevot, Illustrated by Aurelia Fronty

earth day booklist

Wangari Maathai received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for her efforts to lead women in a nonviolent struggle to bring peace and democracy to Africa through its reforestation. Her organization planted over thirty million trees in thirty years. This beautiful picture book tells the story of an amazing woman and an inspiring idea.
A book for young readers. It involves new kids, bullies, alligators, eco-warriors, pancakes, and pint-sized owls. A hilarious Floridian adventure!

One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia

One plastic bag

Plastic bags are cheap and easy to use. But what happens when a bag breaks or is no longer needed? In Njau, Gambia, people simply dropped the bags and went on their way. One plastic bag became two. Then ten. Then a hundred.

The bags accumulated in ugly heaps alongside roads. Water pooled in them, bringing mosquitoes and disease. Some bags were burned, leaving behind a terrible smell. Some were buried, but they strangled gardens. They killed livestock that tried to eat them. Something had to change.

Isatou Ceesay was that change. She found a way to recycle the bags and transform her community. This inspirational true story shows how one person’s actions really can make a difference in our world.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba

Boy who harnessed the wind

When a terrible drought struck William Kamkwamba’s tiny village in Malawi, his family lost all of the season’s crops, leaving them with nothing to eat and nothing to sell. William began to explore science books in his village library, looking for a solution. There, he came up with the idea that would change his family’s life forever: he could build a windmill. Made out of scrap metal and old bicycle parts, William’s windmill brought electricity to his home and helped his family pump the water they needed to farm the land.

Retold for a younger audience, this exciting memoir shows how, even in a desperate situation, one boy’s brilliant idea can light up the world. Complete with photographs, illustrations, and an epilogue that will bring readers up to date on William’s story, this is the perfect edition to read and share with the whole family.

SeedFolks by Paul Fleishman

earth day booklist

A vacant lot looks like no place for a garden. Until one day, a young girl clears a small space and digs into the hard-packed soil to plant her precious bean seeds. Suddenly, the soil holds promise.

Heroes of the Environment by Harriet Rohmer

This inspiring book presents the true stories of 12 people from across North America who have done great things for the environment. Heroes include a teenage girl who figured out how to remove an industrial pollutant from the Ohio River, a Mexican superstar wrestler who works to protect turtles and whales, and a teenage boy from Rhode Island who helped his community and his state develop effective e-waste recycling programs. Plenty of photographs and illustrations bring each compelling story vividly to life.

earth day booklist

John Muir: My Life with Nature by Joseph Comell

earth day booklist

Written mostly in the words of Muir, it brims with his spirit and adventures. The text was selected and retold by naturalist Joseph Cornell, author of Sharing Nature with Children, who is well known for his inspiring nature games. The result is a book with an aliveness, a presence of goodness, adventure, enthusiasm, and sensitive love of each animal and plant that will give young adults an experience of a true champion of nature. It is a book that expands your sense of hope, adventure, and awareness. Adults will be just as fond of this book as young readers. Cornell includes numerous explore more activities that help the reader to understand and appreciate the many wonderful qualities of Muir.

Wild Wings by Gill Lewis

Earth day booklist

This “vividly imagined and well-written novel” (Booklist, starred review) tells a gripping story about a boy from Scotland and a girl from West Africa who join together to save a migrating Osprey—and end up saving each other.

When Callum spots crazy Iona McNair on his family’s sprawling property, she’s catching a fish with her bare hands. She won’t share the fish, but does share something else: a secret. She’s discovered a rare endangered bird, an Osprey, and it’s clear to both her and Callum that if anyone finds out about the bird, it, and its species, is likely doomed. Poachers, egg thieves, and wild weather are just some of the threats, so Iona and Callum vow to keep track of the bird and check her migratory progress using the code a preservationist tagged on her ankle, no matter what.
But when one of them can no longer keep the promise, it’s up to the other to do it for them both. No matter what. Set against the dramatic landscapes of Scotland and West Africa, this is a story of unlikely friendships, the wonders of the wild—and the everyday leaps of faith that set our souls to flight.

Earth Booklist Giveaway

GIVEAWAY DETAILS

ONE winner will receive one copy of each of the books above. Giveaway begins July 1,2015

  • 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 July 13th, 2015

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The post A Love the Earth Booklist: Preserve,Restore, Reuse {Giveaway} appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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