Book Blast & Giveaway: John William & The Bandits of Basswood by Elizabeth Parkinson Bellows

John William and the Bandits of Basswood by Elizabeth Parkinson Bellows

John William Drake was born an explorer; just like many, many Drakes before him. His adventure really began with the discovery of an old book hidden in the ceiling of the Drake home, followed by the mysterious disappearance of his father. He lived everyday in misery until his twelfth birthday. A new friend gave him an invitation he could not turn down… follow me and change your destiny.
He never imagined being captured by bandits and taken to a ship riddled with river rats was part of his fate. Not just any bandits – the Bandits of Basswood; known to be a ruthless and wild crew of thieves. Trying to escape would be a ridiculous idea. No one has ever escaped and lived to tell about it. Uncovering traces of his missing father gave him hope and upped the stakes. John William was determined to get off the ship alive and search for the missing pieces of the puzzle. The chase out of Basswood was on. He took a chance to change his destiny and ended up on a wild ride to solve the most important mystery of his life.

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Praise for the Book

“The imaginative world created by the author is especially fun. Some animals can talk (with attitude!), magic is in the air and emu-like creatures provide fast transportation. Yes, I realize this series is for children- and they can certainly read it. Just as soon as I’m finished.”

“A simple walk into the world of furry and fairy alike. Enjoyed the character building, as the young boy finds himself in a world with furry pirates, and a feisty fairy princess.”

“Love this book! Great kids book!”

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Excerpt

The Door in the Ceiling

John William huffed and dragged his feet over to the ladder. “I don’t like climbing this old thing.”

“You’ll be fine. I will be right behind you with the lantern.” His father gave him a nudge.

“Fine…” John William clutched his hands around the rails.

“Relax, son.” He rubbed John William’s white knuckled hands.

“This is just another walk in the park. You can do it.”

“Okay, let’s get this over with.” John William took one step,

then another; then he closed his eyes and climbed until his head hit the ceiling. He pounded the hatch with his fist repeatedly with no results. His father climbed up behind him.

Thud! He gave the ceiling one good hit. John William ducked his head and the hatch flew open. “Here, take the lantern.”

John William looked at his father’s excited smile. He swallowed the lump in his throat and grabbed the lantern. A chill hit his arm the instant it moved across the threshold. He used his elbows to boost his body through before he could talk himself out of it. “It is tight up here. My head hits the top; and the smell… it reminds me of Uncle Andrew’s old tree fort.

“Yes, yes… but do you see anything?” His father huffed.

John William moved the lantern around every part of the opening. “Aside from some scratch marks in the wood, it is completely empty – not a single trace of anything.”

“Maybe I should come up.” His father took another step up the ladder.

“Those scratch marks – they are from a rodent, right? Like a cute little mouse?”

“Yes, John William; don’t worry.”

John William crawled deeper in. Something in the wall caught his eye. He narrowed his eyes. “I, I think I see something. No, it can’t be.” Continue reading

Book Blast & Giveaway: Rescue by Susan Aylworth

 

Rescue by Susan Aylworth

What will it take to stay alive? When Dulce wakes up hanging in a giant mapajo tree, she fears she may be a lone survivor, stranded in the Amazon rainforest. What comes next may be even worse.

The last thing sixteen-year-old Dulce Donovan wants to do is move away from her friends and hot new crush. But her parents insist, and she has no choice but to get on the airplane taking her to Lima, Peru.

When the plane crashes in the middle of the Amazon jungle, Dulce feels lucky to survive. But as she faces injury, disease, and deadly insects and reptiles, she discovers that the price of living is high. Injured and miles from any civilization, Dulce must push her way through a dangerous jungle, looking for any miracle that might come her way.

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Praise for the Book

“RESCUE is exciting and fresh and inspiring. When Dulce is one of the only survivors of a plane crash deep in the Amazon jungle, she faces all kinds of dangers as she fights to survive. A fascinating insight into one of the most mysterious places in the world and a strong heroine that will make you cheer for her determination.”

“I found myself unable to put the book down. The story is well-crafted, with twists and surprises that kept me a little on edge, frankly–wondering what would suddenly leap out (or slither up to!) Dulce next. Aylworth cleverly weaves her considerable understanding of survival skills and of the native peoples of the Amazon throughout the story. I found myself mentally cheering Dulce on, impressed with her ingenuity at dealing with the harsh realities of her environment.”

“I really liked this book. It was very interesting how this young woman was able to survive this terrible tragedy.”

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Excerpt

I’m almost out of the clearing when I’m stopped cold. What I see looks like a thick, bright green vine curled around the limb of a tree. What I recognize is the ambush-hunting strategy of a pit viper, a seriously venomous threat. I know what it is because Chambi pointed one out on one of our jungle walks. Silently thanking him, I change direction. We’ll avoid that risk by leaving this clearing in an entirely different direction. Even as I think it, I realize it may be foolish; we could run into poisonous snakes anywhere. I’ll just have to be careful to keep a close watch on the foliage.

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About the Author 

Susan Aylworth started her first book when she was nine. “It was called Buff, The Proud Stallion. I wrote eight whole pages.” For her fifth grade career day, she stated her ambition to become “a rich and famous author.” Decades later, she is pleased to have achieved the ‘author’ part of that goal. A former university professor, she enjoys researching backgrounds and careers for her novels. “It’s one way to live many lives at once.”

Susan lives with Roger, her husband of 48 years, who is also a writer. Although they maintain a home in northern California, they currently serve as addiction recovery missionaries in the Navajo Nation. Susan loves hanging out with her seven children, their perfect-for-them spouses and 26 grandchildren. When she can’t be with her blood family, she hangs with her fictional characters, the children of her mind. Rescue is her fifteenth published novel.

Website * Facebook * Twitter

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Giveaway Details

$50 Amazon Gift Code or Paypal Cash

Ends 6/5/18

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 and will have 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 Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Book Blast & Giveaway: Bash and Lucy Fetch Team Vera and the Dream Beasts by Lisa & Michael Cohn

 

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Title: Bash and Lucy Fetch Team Vera and the Dream Beasts
Authors: Lisa and Michael Cohn
Genre: Children’s Book
Number of Pages: 86
Publisher: Canines and Kids Publishing
Publication Date: May 15, 2018
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Summary:

Sensitive Bash gets grumpy and disruptive when his life is too bright, too loud, too smelly, or too busy. He counts on his dog, Lucy, to help keep him calm. But Paula, Bash’s girl-power cousin, is causing all sorts of trouble. Paula says her soccer team has the right to take Lucy away from Bash because girls deserve the very best canine coaches. And superstar Lucy is the most successful coach around! How can Bash show he respects the girls’ rights while keeping dear Lucy by his side? Award-winning mom-son authors Lisa and Michael Cohn have appeared on the Today Show, AM Northwest, and SiriusXM Radio, and in Disney’s Babble, as well as other media.
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 Amazon | Book Shout

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My Review

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About the Authors

Award-winning mom-son authors Lisa and Michael Cohn have appeared on the Today Show, SiriusXM Radio, AM Northwest, and in Disney’s Babble, the Oregonian, and other media outlets. They are founders of the Roving Reader Leaders. Michael and Lisa have “traveled” 540,000 miles and visited students in 15 countries around the world via Skype in the classroom to discuss their books.

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Book Blast Giveaway

Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card or $25 PayPal cash prize, winner’s choice

Giveaway ends: June 4, 11:59 pm, 2018

Open to: Internationally
How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
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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 sponsored by the author, Lisa Cohn and is hosted and managed by Stacie from BeachBoundBooks. If you have any additional questions feel free to send an email to stacie@BeachBoundBooks.com.
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Book Blast: Model Marine by Sondra Sykes Meek

 

Literary Fiction / Military Fiction    

Date Published: January 13, 2018   

Molly Monroe had her future planned out for her. When she makes an impulsive decision to join the Marine Corps, her boyfriend breaks up with her, her brother bears the burden of guilt, and her mother feels betrayed. The people in Molly’s life have always tried to protect her, but she wants to protect herself.

As a Combat Camera Marine, Molly observes and records her environment from behind the lens, where image shapes day-to-day life. After she is wounded during a combat deployment, her dreams are frightening, and her memories are a kaleidoscope of scattered and chaotic scenes; a collision of past and present, real and unreal. Snapshots in time. Glimpses of war. Fragments of love: lost and found.

This story unfolds through multiple perspectives and as the negatives and positives develop, an image of the Model Marine is sharpened into focus. 

KDP Countdown Deal from 23 May – 30 May. The book will be priced at $.99. 

Purchase Link: Amazon

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Excerpt

Corporal Molly Monroe

She sat on the hill with Ramirez, overlooking the Airboss tent. The desert stretched for miles across an endless horizon. The orange glow of the sun peeked over the sea of sand and sent violet and crimson streaks into the fading night sky. It reminded her of another time, when the sea was ocean instead of sand—when love rekindled and then withered again. She marveled at the natural beauty of a place that was so perilous.

            “Thanks for coming with me,” Ramirez said.

            “Of course. I’m glad you brought me along,” Monroe said. “Will they be here soon?”

            “Any minute. I prepared the last one for this flight a couple hours ago.”

            “I can’t imagine having your job, Ramirez. Does it ever get to you?”

            “I try to detach myself. You know how that goes. But sometimes, they look so young. I can’t help thinking about my kid brother. I can’t help imagining what their families are going through. Sometimes, it starts to feel like I know them.”

            Two Humvees approached the flight line and parked; the Marines inside waited for their cue.

            The CH-53 helicopter roared to life, the rotating blades sending desert dust particles funneling around the gray bird. The Marines exited their vehicles and pulled the large black bag out of the back. Placing it on a field-expedient stretcher, they somberly carried their brother up the ramp, into the belly of the bird. They showed no sense of urgency, as they repeated the slow procession from the Humvee to the helo two more times. On their final trip out of the helicopter, the Marines formed a line from a distance. As the bird began ascent of the Angel Flight, Corporal Monroe and Lance Corporal Ramirez stood and joined their fellow warriors in a final salute.

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About the Author

Sondra Sykes Meek is originally from Florida, but she has lived in several locations in the United States and abroad. She is a wife and mother of two, a retired Marine Corps Master Sergeant, and a Project Manager in the Defense Industry. She earned a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, and has several stories in various stages of progress. She hopes to write full-time one day, but for now, she writes in the spare, quiet moments of her life.

Sondra wrote and published Model Marine: A Novel to reveal the courage and sacrifices of Marines and their families. She wanted to offer readers another kind of hero: someone who is not supernatural, immortal, or from the future. Although the events of this story are fiction, the setting and characters are influenced by her experiences as a Marine. The narrative is as authentic as it can be without excluding civilian readers. The protagonist is named after a Marine Corps icon, “Molly Marine.” This is especially relevant now, as 2018 marks 100 years since the first woman joined the United States Marine Corps.

Sondra hopes all readers enjoy this emotional journey of love, loss, and sacrifice. There are real heroes hidden within the pages of her debut novel. She invites you to meet them, love them, and remember them.

Contact Information

Website: sondrasykesmeek.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ModelMarine/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/modelmarine/

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/modelmarine/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/ssmeek

Book Blast & Giveaway: Love by Marcelle


Love by Marcelle

When a hard-working, Southern boy rescues an opinionated, capable girl…

Welcome to a Southern Louisiana cul-de-sac where a single mother, her college-aged daughter, two orphans, a Cajun, a Creole, and five Mexicans live as one lively, extended family. Together, these neighbors share a lot of sweet romance, friendship, laughter, and sorrow.

Ava Baptiste and her Mama live a tranquil life in the rural South. A brutal event leads her into a deep bond of friendship with Remi, a noble, young man burdened with life’s difficulties. Ava and her boisterous neighbors encourage Remi to persevere through the challenges he faces. Grateful for finding nourishment for his disillusioned soul, Remi encourages his new friends to obey their hearts and pursue love. Through lots of laughter and occasional pain this group of friends, young and old, persevere together to squeeze every drop of goodness they can get out of life.

A stand-alone, Christian, coming of age story with lovable characters, tender romance, and terrific humor. A moving tale of a community bonded by their love of life and their genuine faith. Greater love has no one than this …

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Praise for the book:

“A must read! Very well written. I love the characters in this book. Couldn’t put it down, especially the parts where Ava and Remi affectionately and humorously interact with one another. A beautiful love story even in the midst of hardships. And, of course, I love happy ever after!!!” Amazon Customer

“Our generation needs more books like this one. Great book, it was very insightful and inspiring. I hope there are more books to come from this author.” Raige, Amazon

“This was a great book that I truly enjoyed. It made me laugh often and it made me cry once. There was a lot of romance between several characters, a little suspense, some action, adversity, and many funny moments. The characters were engaging and the dialogue between them was realistic. It was a stand-alone and it was clean, which I really liked. Five stars, definitely!” Cyrano, Goodreads

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About the Author

Marcelle has lived many places, but always in the Deep South. She is married to the most romantic and affectionate husband in the history of the world. Cupid in the flesh without the speedo and jelly belly. Just ask their children, they will tell you that when it comes to Mama, Papa is a real, non-suicidal Romeo.

Marcelle is also Mama to ten, literally, remarkable children. Yes. That is correct. She endured childbirth ten times. Yet, she is still practically sane, and every single child was so worth it. Life is sweet.

Marcelle is a voracious bibliophile who has recently come to accept that it is not unethical to use an electronic device to read a book. Although she still experiences utopian sensations in the midst of a library filled with old tomes, she is now able to read an ebook without feeling aberrant

Having always loved to read and to write, Marcelle became an author with the hope of sharing her love for encouraging, Christian fiction with new friends. She had so much fun writing her first novel, Love, that she is industriously burning up her keyboard at her top speed of twenty words per minute, composing her next work of Christian fiction.

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Book Blast & Giveaway: White Heat by Paul D. Marks

 

White Heat by Paul D. Marks | Tour Banner

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White Heat by Paul D. Marks

Genre: Mystery, Crime, Thriller
Published by: Down & Out Books
Publication Date: May 21st 2018
Number of Pages: 340
ISBN: 9781370062423
Series: Duke Rogers #1

P.I. Duke Rogers finds himself in a combustible situation in this racially charged thriller. His case might have to wait…

The immediate problem: getting out of South Central Los Angeles in one piece during the 1992 “Rodney King” riots and that’s just the beginning of his problems.

Duke finds an old “friend” for a client. The client’s “friend,” an up and coming African-American actress, ends up dead. Duke knows his client did it. Feeling guilty that he inadvertently helped the killer find the victim, he wants to track down the client/killer. He starts his mission by going to the dead actress’ family in South Central L.A.—and while there the “Rodney King” riots ignite.

While Duke searches for the killer he must also deal with the racism of his partner, Jack, and from Warren, the murder victim’s brother, who is a mirror image of Jack in that department. He must also confront his own possible latent racism—even as he’s in an interracial relationship with the dead woman’s sister.

 

Check out White Heat by Paul D Marks on: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Books, & Goodreads

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Read an excerpt:

We came to Florence and Normandie. Half a block away the cops were regrouping. Or retreating. Or hiding out. It was hard to tell. There was a swarm of them, but they weren’t doing much of anything. People were looting, throwing rocks, bottles and the like right under their noses. As we left the intersection, I glanced back. A large semi was pulling into the intersection. We continued away from the intersection. Later I learned that this was where Reginald Denny, the driver of the semi, was pulled from the truck. Beaten within an inch of his life. We were gone before it happened. But I still have pangs of guilt for having been so close and having done so little. Now I know how lucky we were.

In a sense it was a quid pro quo situation. Tiny’s black face was my passport among his people. My white face was his insurance that the cops might just leave him alone—if they knew he was with me. That might have been why he wanted to help me out. Protection. But it wasn’t an uneasy truce. I felt comfortable with him. Like we’d known each other all our lives. Maybe we had. The last thirty minutes had been a lifetime.

We crouched behind a low wall at a service station, surveying the situation. He watched two sides. I watched the other two, covering each other’s backs. We were both armed; neither of us wanted to use our guns.

Noise barked from every direction. Sirens. Shouts. Choppers hovering. Shots. Too many shots. It all blended into a cacophony of confusion. The din was ear-shattering and lifeless, inert, all at the same time.

“Why’re you helping me?” I asked Tiny as we scoped the street out. He never answered my question, though I asked several more times.

There was an explosion in the distance, then the shock wave. A new column of black smoke appeared every few minutes. Slow-motion funnel clouds.

“Man, don’t they know they’re tearing down their own goddamn neighborhoods,” he said, scanning the horizon. “Where’re they gonna get food and clothes when all this burns to the ground?

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Excerpt from White Heat by Paul D. Marks. Copyright © 2018 by Paul D. Marks. Reproduced with permission from Paul D. Marks. All rights reserved.

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Author Bio:

Paul D. Marks

Paul D. Marks is the author of the Shamus Award-Winning mystery-thriller White Heat. Publishers Weekly calls White Heat a “taut crime yarn.” His story Ghosts of Bunker Hill was voted #1 in the 2016 Ellery Queen Readers Poll. Howling at the Moon (EQMM 11/14) was short-listed for both the 2015 Anthony and Macavity Awards. Midwest Review calls his novella Vortex “…a nonstop staccato action noir.” Marks’ story Windward, from the Coast to Coast: Private Eyes from Sea to Shining Sea anthology, has been selected for the 2018 Best American Mystery Stories (fall 2018), edited by Louise Penny & Otto Penzler.

Catch Up With Paul D. Marks On:
pauldmarks.com, Goodreads, Twitter – @pauldmarks, & Facebook – paul.d.marks!

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Tour Participants:



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Giveaway:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Paul D. Marks. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on May 8 and runs through May 14, 2018. Void where prohibited.

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Book Blast & Giveaway: The Mercenary: The War Chronicles by Petra Landon

 

SciFi Romance, Space Opera

Date Published: August 25, 2017 

On Sale for $0.99 for the Blast! 

She’s a prisoner of the Imperial Forces. He’s a nomad with a mercenary army. Can her desperate gamble and a fierce warrior’s love turn the tide of war and rewrite the destiny of their corner of the galaxy?

In a distant corner of the galaxy, Quadrant Five burns in the flames of a deadly war. The Budheya people are one of the worst affected.

Saakshi
Imprisoned by the Ketaari Imperial Forces, a young Budheya rebel is sent to a distant space station to work in an alehouse. For a girl who has known only hardship in her short life, things could be worse. Until an old foe walks into the alehouse.

Zoran
Zoran is Hadari’Kor – notoriously fierce mercenaries who only fight for hire. Drawn to a weary-eyed server girl, Zoran is forced to confront age-old traditions and question his role in the war.

The Rebel & The Mercenary
Alone, friendless and far from home, Saakshi makes a desperate gamble to trust an enigmatic stranger whose hot gaze haunts her dreams. The echoes of this unlikely alliance reverberate across the quadrant. As a relentless enemy hunts Saakshi, Zoran must fight with everything in his arsenal to protect her. When passion ignites amidst the embers of a smoldering war, will a warrior’s quest for justice bring a mighty Empire to its knees …

Author’s Note : A spirited and resilient girl, a fierce warrior with a mighty heart, a fiery passion that flares amidst the debris of a deadly war and a love that will alter the fate of an entire quadrant.
This is a standalone story that sets the scene for The War Chronicles – a collection of futuristic SciFi Romance & Space Opera tales with passionate love stories and swashbuckling adventure.

Purchase Link: Amazon  On Sale for $0.99 for the Blast! 

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About the Author

An avid reader all her life, only recently has Petra allowed her own imagination to run riot. She loves to travel, loves the outdoors and reads everything she can get her hands on, time permitting. Her taste in books is very eclectic – she tends to like stories with vivid and quirky characters that have elements of fantasy, adventure, romance and mystery interspersed together. A good book for her is one that makes the reader think long after it has been finished and set aside. And one that draws the reader back to it, again and again. To share the characters and tales that have lived in her imagination for so long is a labor of love and a lifelong dream come true for her.

 

Contact Information

Website: www.petralandon.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/PetraLandon

Amazon : www.amazon.com/author/petralandon

Goodreads : www.goodreads.com/PetraLandon

Book Page: www.petralandon.com/The-Mercenary

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Book Blast & Giveaways: The SockKids by Michael John Sullivan

 The SockKids are partners with Friends of Kids With Cancer, a non-profit organization that helps kids be kids during their cancer treatments. 

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The Socks

 

The Socks are available for purchase at http://thesockkids.storenvy.com/.

 

Sale of the Socks will benefit Friends of Kids with Cancer.

 

 
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About the Book

The SockKids – Solving The Mystery Of Your Missing Socks! Where do our missing socks go? Readers find out in our children’s series, The SOCKKIDS. We follow the Socker family through many adventures; from encountering the slobbery mouth of the family dog to meeting Santa as he comes down the chimney on Christmas Eve to helping a fireman save a baby to the most shy Socker going to the school dance for the first time. Thanks to the time-travel opportunities afforded by the spin cycle of the washer, they learn about some of the most important humans in the world. Children two and up and their parents will be drawn to the diversity of the family and the universal and timeless lessons they teach: don’t be afraid of new experiences, treat others as you would like to be treated, and of course, beware of the spin cycle!
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Where Do Our Missing Socks Go? We tell you! Readers find out in our children’s series — The SOCKKIDS. We follow the Socker family through many adventures, from encountering the slobbery mouth of the family dog to meeting Santa as he comes down the chimney to helping a fireman save a baby to the most sky sock going to the school dance for the first time. Thanks to the time-travel opportunities afforded by the spin cycle of the washer, the Sockers learn about some of the most important humans in the world. Children two and up and their parents will be drawn to the journeys of the family and the universal and timeless lessons they teach: don’t be afraid of new experiences, treat others as you would like to be treated, and of course beware of the spin cycle! In this book’s story, we read about Sudsy landing on the foot of inventor Ben Franklin. Sudsy, the bug-playing boy sock, discovers with Ben Franklin the wonders and dangers of electricity. The book includes safety rules and discussion questions put together by an experienced classroom teacher in helping parents and children respect the power of electricity.
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The SockKids focus on educating children and adults how bullying affects us all and what we can do about it.

Do you know where your socks go when they go missing in the washing machine? Well, the SockKids know! The SockKids are a mismatched family of socks that sometimes time travel through the spin cycle, teaching universal lessons of love and kindness, and focusing on creating a greater awareness of the many social issues that children are faced with today. The SockKids help to educate and encourage children from 2 to 92 to find solutions in helping to make this a better world.

In this story, Sudsy and Wooly discover their human is being bullied at school and team up against bullies with Ethan’s newest friend, Olivia. They discover bullying hurts everyone and staying silent is not an option.

More Inside! Children’s counselor and licensed therapist, Jamie Ross, gives adults and children guidelines on how to handle bullies.

My Review

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About the Author

Michael John Sullivan is the creator of the SockKids. Constantly searching for his socks, he wondered whether the missing foot comforters had found another pair of feet to warm. So he searched and searched, until he discovered these elusive socks likely time traveled. Before his interest in socks, Michael started writing his first novel while homeless, riding a NYC subway train at night. After being rescued off the train, he spent much of the past two decades helping raise two daughters while working at home in New York.

Michael eventually returned to his subway notes in 2007 and began writing Necessary Heartbreak: A Novel of Faith and Forgiveness (Simon & Schuster, Gallery Books imprint). Library Journal named Necessary Heartbreakone of the year’s best in 2010. His second novel, Everybody’s Daughter (Fiction Studio Books, 2012) was named one of the best books of 2012 by TheExaminer.com. He completed the trilogy by having The Greatest Gift published by The Story Plant in 2015.

Michael has written articles about the plight of homelessness for CNN.com, The Washington Post.com, Beliefnet.com, the Huffington Post, and America Online’s Patch.com service. He is a former board member of the Long Island Coalition For the Homeless.

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About the Illustrators

Shelley Larkin performs many tasks for the SockKids. She develops ideas, co-writes books, and is the marketing and promotions director. She has spent a lifetime of wondering where her missing socks go. The SockKids are grateful to finally solve this mystery for her.

She loves that children and their parents are drawn to the diversity of the SockKids family and the universal and timeless lessons they teach: don’t be afraid of new experiences; treat others as you would like to be treated, and of course, beware of the spin cycle! In addition, she is dedicated to finding the right soap for Sudsy.

Shelley is also a passionate child advocate, working with a variety of cause-driven organizations such as Destination Imagination, Up & At It!, Child Abuse Prevention Council, 3 Strands, the International Bullying Prevention Center, and Big Brothers, Big Sisters Youth Organization. Shelley has developed a keen sense of awareness of what children experience today in dealing with such important issues including bullying and recognizes the importance of putting into place the type of value-added programs that will effectively strike a nerve in preventing our youth from losing their way to a safe and productive future.

In her spare time, she is an event planner and resides in California.

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Susan Petrone lives in Cleveland, Ohio with her husband, her daughter, and two silly dogs. When she isn’t writing SockKids stories, she writes novels and short stories (her work has been published in Glimmer Train, Featherproof Books, The Cleveland Review, Muse, Conclave, and Whiskey Island) writes about her beloved Cleveland Indians at ItsPronouncedLajaway.com for ESPN.com’s SweetSpot network. Her most recently, Throw Like A Woman, was published by The Story Plant in 2015.

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Alexandra /SugarSnail
dreamed of becoming an illustrator since childhood, even though she didn’t know the profession actually existed. She later graduated from college with an MFA in graphic design.She never gave up on her dream, so she decided to do what she loved best – become a children’s illustrator. SugarSnail’s beautiful artwork can be seen in many children’s books.

To reach Alexandra Gold/SugarSnail, follow her on Facebook.

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Book Blast Giveaways

Prize: One winner will receive a $50 Amazon gift card or $50 PayPal cash prize, winner’s choice and a second winner will receive One pair of SockKids Socks
Giveaway ends: May 14, 11:59 pm, 2018
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 sponsored by the author, Michael John Sullivan and is hosted and managed by Stacie from BeachBoundBooks. If you have any additional questions feel free to send an email to stacie@BeachBoundBooks.com.

Book Blast: The Brotherhood of Merlin Book Two by Rory D. Nelson

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About the Book:
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Merlin returns to Lycenea a hero, victorious over the Visi-Gauls in a gruesome and exhaustive campaign that claimed the life of one of his men and saw the annihilation of the Visi-Gauls’ Southern Army.
Merlin’s peaceful reprieve is cut short however, as he must now find and expose the corrupt Senator who initiated the war in the first place and plots to subvert the Empire for himself. He is aided by the powerful sorceress, Morgana and Felinius, a former disgraced and condemned knight who knows the inner workings of the Brotherhood.
Merlin must also protect two of the captives he rescued during the war with the Visi-Gauls, one of whom is a boy named Dante, whose power has been prophesized to defeat Herod Antipaz, the corrupt Senator, and his deadly allies who threaten to destroy Gilleon.
Herod makes plans of his own for eliminating Dante. The boy’s problems continue to mount precipitously- for not only is he being ruthlessly hunted down by Herod’s minions, but he must also face down a brutal training program in Round Table Academy, where he faces elimination on a daily basis. Should he be eliminated, he will no longer be under the protection of Merlin and his Brotherhood and his death almost a foregone conclusion.
His only hope, his only salvation is Merlin- as is the country of Gilleon.

Book Links:
Goodreads * Amazon

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Check Out Book One: Gilleon

Five hundred years after the death of King Arthur, a sadistic tyrant of Visi-Galia, attacks unprotected and vulnerable townships in Gilleon, igniting a deadly chain of events. Because he was unfairly denied a proper chance to compete for valuable mine rights and outbid by a Councilman from Gilleon, he reasons that he can invade Gilleon’s vulnerable townships and force the Council to negotiate with him.
Merlin, the lead knight in Lycenea, has foreseen just such a predicament. With the gifts of premonition, telepathy and intelligence, he and 9 of his most formidable knights go into battle against Jason and his force of nine thousand.
At stake is everything. The fate of the prisoners who are awaiting to be sold into slavery rests in the hands of the deadly knights. Specifically, two girls who were attacked in Missalia and are now orphaned, are at the mercy of the sadistic King. Will Merlin and his band of knights be able to rescue them in time?
Adele, the older sister, has plans of her own for escape. Will she prove successful or will her plans be foiled? If she is caught, what will become of her and her sister, Sylvia?
Dante, a boy from Coifen, is also now orphaned. He is the sole survivor of a brutal attack on his family. An unlikely heroine has come to his rescue- a mysterious white wolf. Unfortunately, the attack has left him blind. He and his guardian make their refuge in a remote cave. He clings desperately to the hope that God has spared him for a reason. Every night he goes to bed, he says a prayer to his talisman, the Merlin, a game piece that his father gave him before he was forced to abandon him. It was the last gift he received before all hell broke loose. Will he be rescued? Will he find a permanent haven? His fate also lies in the hands of the Merlin.
Merlin and his troupe lead the Visi-Gauls in a high stakes game of cat and mouse. Jason, though capricious, is not stupid. He uses every means at his disposal to eliminate Merlin. Who will prove the victor? Fighting a severe war of attrition, it seems at times that Jason will inevitably win; but don’t count the Merlin out. He is beyond slippery. Every time it seems that Jason has the gifted knight, he is thwarted yet again.

Book Links:
Goodreads * Amazon

 

Get Your Copy of Book One: Gilleon for FREE!

Character Study – Dante

He once lived a peaceful existence in the quaint little town of Coifen with his mother, Sophia, his father Lucian, sister Isabella and dog Mitz. That life is abruptly shattered when his father is  exiled and the rest of the family is plunged into a fight for their life. With assassins on their trail, they are eventually cornered and forced to defend themselves, along with the aid of their neighbors.

Tragically, Dante’s mother, sister and dog are brutally killed. He barely escapes with his own life, if not for the intervention of a mysterious white wolf, whom he named Cammilia. Together, they hole up in a remote cave for months until they are finally rescued by Merlin.

Though blinded in the attack that killed his family, Dante is brought to Round Table Academy by Merlin and given the choice to enter their school as a recruit. Feeling it is the only way he can regain some control over his life and maintain a safe haven, he accepts.

As promised by his headmaster, Germanicus, the training is brutal, the academics grueling and mentally demanding. In addition, he faces elimination bouts nearly everyday. Should he fail in even one of his tests or lose an important match, he will be expelled from the school- most are. Almost fifteen hundred boys enter Academy, but only a dozen or so make it to knighthood. So the odds are not in his favor.

Yet he toils on with an indefatigable spirit and inadvertently makes a powerful enemy- Maximus, the start recruit and only son of King Menelaeus. He is everything Dante is not- over-privileged, spoiled, arrogant. He has an ingrained sense of self-entitlement and it is reinforced by his stellar performance as a recruit.

Despite this, he feels threated by Dante and makes it his mission to see that Dante is removed from the Academy- at all costs. And he is not above resorting to dirty tricks and subterfuge to achieve it.

Dante’s problems continue to mount precipitously. Not only is he in danger of being removed from the school since being targeted by Maximus, but he also faces the looming threat of the man that ordered his death. Little does he know that Herod, the man who seeks his demise and the dissolution of the Brotherhood is right under his nose. And he has put his own plans into action, leveraging the rivalry between Dante and Maximus.

Dante is resourceful, intelligent and relentless, but will it be enough to thwart the pressures that seem to be closing in on him like a coiled serpent? He has the support of his newfound companion, Cammilia and Merlin. He clings to them desperately like a raft in the middle of the ocean, but will they be enough to stop the machinations of Gilleon’s most powerful senator and his vast resources? Only time will tell.

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About the Author:

Author Rory D Nelson is an accomplished actor and has been seen in several high school productions of “Oedipus Rex,” “My Fair Lady,” and “Little Shop of Horrors.” He owns a window cleaning business in the Sacramento area, enjoys wine tasting, snowboarding, traveling and working out. Rory D Nelson is an eclectic and prolific writer, having written numerous comedy skits, commercial parodies, and ghost-written many humorous t-shirts. He has the most unusual imagination of any fantasy author, since he also brings his deranged sense of humor into play in his books.

Contact the Author:
Website * The Brotherhood of Merlin * Facebook * Twitter 

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Book Blast & Giveaway: The Staircase of Fire by Ben Woodard

 

Staircase of Fire copy

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Staircase Front Cover

Title: The Staircase of Fire (A Shakertown Adventure, Book 3)
Author: Ben Woodard
Genre: Young Adult Mystery
Number of Pages: 276
Publisher: Miller-Martin Press
Publication Date: May 25, 2018

Summary:

A quiet town in Kentucky explodes from a racial incident and fourteen-year-old Tom Wallace is in the thick of it. His past haunts him and now he’s witness to a horrific event leaving him devastated and afraid. He must escape his town and its memories. But leaving has consequences, too. He will have to betray his friends and his new love.

Nothing stops his nightmares. Not high risk activities or running away. But when his past returns, Tom is forced to confront his greatest fear and finally realizes he cannot escape himself. Now he has to take a stand that could change his life—or end it.

 

“…a highly recommended pick for teens looking for something different…”
D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

Amazon ~ iTunes ~ Kobo ~ Barnes & Noble

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Other books in the series…

734616620A Stairway to Danger (A Shakertown Adventure, Book 1)

An eyeless body. A menacing stranger. And a tangled mystery.
It’s the summer of 1923 and two cousins hunting for hidden gold stumble on an decayed body. Fourteen-year-old Tom Wallace is convinced the death was murder and drags his older cousin into a harrowing struggle against a shadowy group. Not even attempts on their lives can stop the boys from relentlessly pursuing the mystery. But when their curiosity leads them to investigate a derelict barge, what they find is bigger and more dangerous than anything they could have imagined.

A STAIRWAY TO DANGER is a fun-filled thriller with humor and adventure in a Twain-like setting.

Winner! Orangeberry Hall of Fame Best Young Adult novel for 2013

AmazonBarnes & Noble

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798082799Steps Into Darkness (A Shakertown Adventure, Book 2)

Explosions, sabotage, deadly warnings, and a dangerous red-haired man. Imagine The Hardy Boys meet Tom Sawyer. Add a layer of teen angst and excitement plus a mysterious group stirring up racial tensions.

That’s STEPS INTO DARKNESS, the second book in the Shakertown Adventure Series by Ben Woodard.

Fourteen-year-old Tom Wallace again makes plans to escape the small town in the 1923 Kentucky countryside—the town that won’t let him forget his past, when a horrific event changes his mind. He teams with his cousin, Will, and young FBI agent Rick Sweeney to solve a perplexing mystery. Attempts on the boys’ lives and a bewildering list of suspects keep them on edge and confused until they discover the real villain—and then wish they hadn’t.

STEPS INTO DARKNESS is a fun, page-turning thriller with a hint of romance that delivers adventure and mystery while exploring the fears of a teen living with a frightful memory.

Amazon ~ Kobo ~ Barnes & Noble

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About the Author

Ben Woodard Author ImageBen is a (mostly) retired amateur adventurer who has traveled across Tibet, climbed to 18,000 feet on Mt. Everest, and solo backpacked wilderness areas. Now his adventures come in the form of imagining stories, writing and telling them to kids and teens. He works with teachers, schools and literacy organizations spreading the word that books are vital—and fun.

Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads ~ Google+
Author’s Website ~ Publisher’s Website ~ Netgalley

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Book Blast Giveaway

Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card or $25 PayPal cash prize, winner’s choice
Giveaway ends: May 8, 11:59 pm, 2018
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 sponsored by the author, Ben Woodard and is hosted and managed by Stacie from BeachBoundBooks. If you have any additional questions feel free to send an email to stacie@BeachBoundBooks.com.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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