Thursday, May 31, 2018

Saving Each Other by Stacy Mitchell (Saving Series #1) [Blog Tour & Giveaway]

Purchase a copy - click here

What happens when an unconventional grief counselor gives two people each a private cell phone and only the first initial of the other person affected by an accident? How does this help them heal? And what else might happen?

About the book: 
Two hearts, two souls. Devastated by loss, united through destiny.

The rules: Communicate only through text messages and never reveal our real names or other personal details.

My name is Ean Montgomery. After the drunk driving accident that killed my wife, son, and unborn daughter, I was forced to see a grief counselor. In an unconventional move, she gave me a private cell phone and the first initial of the name of a woman who had been widowed by the same accident. I had no intention of ever texting her but with all hope and the will to live gone, I found myself quickly slipping down the rabbit hole. Desperate, lonely, and unbelievably sad, I reached out to her and she became my everything.

My name is Dani Adams. I was married to my college sweetheart, the love of my life. Together we were raising our four-year-old daughter and running a successful business. Then the accident happened and life as I knew it ended in the blink of an eye. I didn’t want to answer his text but I was barely hanging on by a thread and he was in tremendous pain, so I replied. And once again, my world was forever changed.

Over the course of a year, through texting alone, we bond. Friendship blossoms into something deeper. We were never supposed to meet, but fate had other plans, and in this world of loss and despair, something amazing began to grow… But can the passion we’ve found sustain itself with the deep, soul-twisting pain that never seems to fade?

Trigger Caution: This book is romantic fiction and is a story of hope, friendship, and the power of love. It also deals with the aftermath of great tragedy and grief and the deep emotional turmoil that can be encountered.

About the Author:
Stacy Mitchell was born and raised in Los Angeles, and lived in the South Bay for 20 years before moving to the Conejo Valley. She lives with her husband of 29 years and is the mom of two grown sons. When she’s not writing, she spends her time reading, hiking in the Santa Monica mountains or enjoying a glass of cabernet.

NOTE: I have not read this book and don't know the contents or reader audience appropriatness. However, the premise sounds intriguing and the life changing emotional involvement quotient compelling.

Begins May 31 
Ends June 21 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addesses only
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I was provided a copy by PR by the Book Publicity Group on behalf of the author to facilitate this blog tour. As of posting date, I have ot read the book.

The Captured Bride (Daughters of the Mayflower) [Review & 5-Winner #Giveaway]

My thoughts:  This was an amazing foray into the raw era of the French and Indian Wars in the newly settled upper New York area. French and English at war and two tribes of Indians involved in this conflict of cultures.

I found that the writing style in The Captured Bride thoroughly portrayed the essence of the characters, the wilderness area, and the war torn spirit of the people involved in this struggle to control a contested land.

The main story had three men and one lady trekking through the wilderness from one military encampment to another to stealthily move gold treasure. The intense difference in the four character''s traits and skills as they travel slowly through the woods and try to avoid the French soldiers and Indians - both which seek to kill them - is skillfully depicted.

The action is fast and furious. The tension in the story is fascinating. The historical setting and sense of reality is captivating. The struggle to find faith and the strength of their faith are part of this story as the characters work through the life issues each faces.

I highly recommend The Captured Bride.

About the book: Mercy Lytton, a scout with keen eyesight raised among the Mohawks, and Elias Dubois, a condemned traitor working both sides of the conflict, must join together to get a shipment of gold safely into British hands.

A brand new series for fans of all things related to history, romance, adventure, faith, and family trees.

A War-Torn Countryside Is No Place for a Lady. Mercy Lytton is a lady like none other. Raised amongst the Mohawks, she straddles two cultures, yet each are united in one cause. . .to defeat the French. Born with a rare gift of unusually keen eyesight, she is chosen as a scout to accompany a team of men on a dangerous mission. Yet it is not her life that is threatened. It is her heart. 

Condemned as a traitor, Elias Dubois faces the gallows. At the last minute, he is offered his freedom if he consents to accompany a stolen shipment of French gold to a nearby fort—but he is the one they stole it from in the first place. It turns out that the real thief is the beguiling woman, Mercy Lytton, for she steals his every waking thought.   Can love survive divided loyalties in a backcountry wilderness?
Win 1 of 5 copies of "Captured Bride"
(Required entry: Sign up for Daughters of the Mayflower newsletter. This entry will be verified by publisher if you are chosen as a winner.)
Begins May 31
Ends June 22 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Barbour Publishing on behalf of the author to facilitate this review. Opinions are solely my own and are freely given. Winner's copy will be provided and shipped directly to the winner by publisher.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Create!: A Girl's Guide to DIY, Doodles, and Design (Faithgirlz) by Ashley Mays

ISBN: 9780310763161
Ages 8-12, Gr. 3-4
ZonderKidz Pub
My thoughts: With summer break from school (unless your kids are year-round-schooled), you most definitely are beginning to think that age-old question of, "What in the world am I going to do with the kids all summer? How am I going to occupy them and keep them from going brain dead or stir crazy?"

Well, grab a handy book like Create! A Girl's Guide to DIY, Doodles, and Design. Well, it says it is for girls, so you'll have to sneak some of these crafty ideas and make a way to adapt them so your boys, without their knowing they came from a "girl's book" (Horrors!), will have something to get their creative juices flowing. The book is, hands down, definitely and totally filled with girl things - artsy, decorative, curly-whirly-girly things to do.

Kidding aside, folks, this book is right up a parent's dream alley of gems to be placed on the "acquisition list" and placed in the hands of your kiddies. Glance through it and be sure you have some of the stuff needed already on hand so no time is lost when that spark of creativity ignites.

For the time when a Bible verse hits home they can begin doing some sketching and lettering  that helps cement the idea firmly in their mind for later. Or they can take a pair of jeans and re-purpose them into a really fun tote bag. And the book doesn't just have ideas, there are instructions to direct the actual project and some pictures to visualize how to go about doing it and how it might look when completed.

Definitely consider getting one for your girls to have on hand for those hazy, lazy,  crazy days of summer.

About the book: Ready, set, create! Whether you’re an aspiring artist or a just-starting-out doodler, Create! A Girl’s Guide to DIY, Doodles, and Design is the perfect book to inspire your creative side. From coloring pages to quick-and-easy crafts—like photo frames and duct-tape bags—and everything in between, this full-color book from the trusted Faithgirlz brand provides step-by-step guides to more than 50 fun and easy projects. Learn how to make your own DIY projects, create one-of-a-kind jewelry, and draw like a pro. Perfect for individual use or for sleepovers, birthday parties, and more, Create! is sure to bring out your inner artist.

Content includes:

  • DIY décor, photo frames, duct-tape purses, and more
  • Pages of quotes and designs to color
  • Easy-to-follow doodling and drawing guides
  • Jewelry making for friendship bracelets, earrings, and more
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from BookLook Book Review Program on behalf of ZonderKidz and the author to facilitate this review. Opinions are mine alone and are freely given.

ColorFull: Celebrating the Colors God Gave Us by Dorena Williamson with illustrations by Cornelius Van Wright & Ying-Hwa Hu

My thoughts:  Experiencing a world of color from the tiniest flower to the shade or color of one's skin can be a joyful experience and this little children's book beautifully illustrates that experience and teaches that one can accept who and what one is and our differences as a perfectly normal and beautiful fact of life.

Children with fair skin, freckles, and red hair often wish they were a "normal" brown hair person and darker skinned children whose hair is thick and tightly curled might wish to be different. But in Colorful: Celebrate the Colors God Gave Us leads children into accepting themselves and one another for the beautiful colors that exist.

In the back of the book, parents have guiding materials that will aid in leading their children into accepting that they are ".....remarkably and wondrously made..." from Psalm 139 and a "Think" guided discussion section.
The story is about two best friends who are as different as night and day and their joyful discovery of color and a colorful existence. The story is sweet and has a lovely granny that leads the girls along and a kid brother that is right there in the mix of fun.

Beautifully told story and lovely illustrations that exude joy and, yes, color.

About the book: Why be colorblind when we can be colorFULL instead?

Imani and Kayla are the best of friends who are learning to celebrate their different skin colors. As they look around them at the amazing colors in nature, they can see that their skin is another example of God's creativity! This joyful story takes a new approach to discussing race: instead of being colorblind, we can choose to celebrate each color God gave us and be colorFULL instead.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from the BH/Lifeway book review program on behalf of the publisher and author to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own and are freely given.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Colorama: From Fuschia to Midnight Blue by CRUSCHIFORM [Review & Giveaway-USA/CANADA]

ISBN: 978-3791373287
Ages 7+ -  280 pages
Hardcover $24.95

My thoughts:  First of all, this is a rather unique book. 

While classified as a children's book, I believe only older children would find it appealing. I believe that older children, teens, and adults who have interest in the story behind color designations and graphic arts would find this book to be worth investigating.

If you want to know where the term "carrot top" originated and the tonal color that this term implies, well, there is a sheet dedicated to that.

This is a well bound book with thick pages that will take much handling which makes it highly suitable for classroom and library collections. However, it should be understood that this book does not show every color, shade, tonal hue but is a wonderful collection of "named" colors.

Indexed in the back is the Color Palette covered in this volume as well as a Thematic Index. Basically, the book begins with White (White Snow) and proceeds from that to a host of colors and their shades.

I found the stories short and interesting. I found the variety of colors beautiful.

Read the "story" of the color "Celeste." I just think this is a stunning shade of blue!

A glimpse of the shades of "yellow" - from school bus yellow to soft tones.

About the book: What is the color white? The serenity of a snowfall? The peace of a dove? The purity of alabaster? This original and captivating exploration of color delves into the nuances of the universal palette while also explaining the history behind some of the terms used to describe certain hues. Elegantly designed it offers two-page spreads for 133 different shades. Each full-page of brilliant color faces a charming explanatory illustration and text of technical, scientific, historic, etymological, or linguistic terms. Two helpful indices present the colors in the order in which they appear in the book and also sorts them thematically in categories such as “Birds,” “Cloth,” “Modes of Transport,” and “Formulas.” The book also offers inspiration and guidance to painters and illustrators. Young lovers of art can understand why artists chose a particular shade over another. As fun to peruse as it is informative, this unique, cleverly designed, high quality book offers a wealth of surprises about the colors around us.

CRUSCHIFORM is a Paris-based creative studio that specializes in illustration and graphic design. It was founded in 2007 by Marie-Laure Cruschi.
Begins May 22
Ends June 13 at 12:01 a.m. EDT^
Open to USA & CANADA addresses only.
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from MMPublicity on behalf of Prestel Publishing to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own, alone, and are freely given without compensation. Giveaway copy is shipped directly to the winner by either the publicist or publisher.

The Accidental Guardian (High Sierra Sweethearts #1) by Mary Connealy

My thoughts:  Author Mary Connealy writes easy to read, often fun and light hearted, western historical romances. Even if I didn't know she is a delightfully "fun read," after seeing the cover of The Accidental Guardian with a big, strong cowboy holding the hand of an ethereal small girl, I was hooked.

Who doesn't love a good story of a man being a savior of ladies and small children? What's not to love?

The story opens with a bang up scene of two ladies and two little ones slipping from a wagon train to take care of "necessities" and whilst in the woods, hidden by the foliage, the wagon train is attacked and burned! Horrors! Now they are abandoned in a wilderness with no food, no help, no transportation and scared out of their wits.

And then..... along comes a stranger on a horse with a tag-along wolf-dog. He takes them under his wing and back to his "ranch." Now we all know that you simply don't go off with strange men. We all know you don't even talk to them. And we all know they couldn't survive in the situation in which they found themselves. So, the two ladies and the two small children and the strange man with his one horse and dog leave.

What follows is a story of gallant men of the west during the raw pioneer days and their care and respect for these two ladies. A story of adventure also follows as the band of mean men who attacked their wagon train haunt the trails and the dreams of the "guardian" and the ladies left bereft.

And of course, a sweet romance springs forth. But it isn't all despair, adventure, and romance. There is a liberal sprinkling of faith. And I believe the stage is set for a couple other books in this series with the introduction of characters about whom we'd love to know.

Another good to read book from author, Mary Connealy.

About the book: Trace Riley has been self-appointed guardian of the trail ever since his own wagon was attacked. When he finds the ruins of a wagon train, he offers shelter to survivor Deborah Harkness and the children she saved. Trace and Deborah grow close working to bring justice to the trail, but what will happen when the attackers return to silence the only witness?

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Bethany House a division of Baker Publishing Group to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own and are freely given.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

An Atlas of Imaginary Places by Mia Cassany and illustrated by Ana de Lima [Review & USA/CANADA Giveaway]

ISBN: 978-3791373478
Hardcover $19.95
Ages 4 and up
Prestel Publishing
My thoughts:  What happens when someone simply lets their imagination conjure up places to see that have never been seen? What about plants or animals never seen? What would your drawings of a mapping of these places, plants, and animals actually look like?

And what would your "telling" of this imagined place be like?

When author Mia Cassany and illustrator Ana de Lima imagined this imaginary places atlas, they delved into the dream world of upside down worlds of mountains, fish raining from the sky, critters changing colors (and patterns) upon a sneeze you might make.

They pictured this in the dreamy pastels that evoke softness and other-worldliness. The drawing are whimsical with an ethereal loveliness.

With a flowing text that simply narrates the possibilities of a labyrinth of dreams and imaginings, the book has more value in the perusal and discoveries to be made of the drawings. Young readers and younger non-readers will have a grand time finding the smallest details and then pursing their own imaginary places.

In a world of floating upside-down moutains

About the book: Upside-down mountains, volcanoes that spew bubble gum, a gentle humpback whale keeping an entire city afloat. These and other wonderful worlds may not exist on Earth, but elsewhere--who knows? Each spread of this captivating book invites readers on a fantastic voyage. Ana de Lima's whimsical, softly colored illustrations are filled with surprising details that reward close examination, while Mia Cassany's soothing narrator is a nameless fellow traveler. A jungle where the animals exchange stripes, spots, and markings each time they sneeze, an archipelago made up of dessert-shaped islands, and a lighthouse so tall you can draw a new galaxy with your finger are just some of the wild places to visit. Perfect for before-bed reading, or daytime dreaming, this stunningly illustrated book will delight young readers and encourage them to conjure their own imaginary places.
Begins May 21
Ends June 12  at 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA and CANADA addresses only
a Rafflecopter giveaway
PrestelDISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from MMPublicity on behalf of the publisher and author to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own alone and are freely given.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Tealyra© has borosilicate glass Carafe "Jambo" that is superb for hot or cold beverages (#sponsored)

If you visit the Tealyra website you will find a plethora of teas that will satisfy the tea lover's quest for that special tea they love. Whether it is a daily tea beverage you wish to consume or a special tea that is hard to find. Tealyra has teas.

But Tealyra© also has a nice assortment of tea accessories such as tea pots made of various materials and lovely pitchers. And in today's world of amazing materials, the beautiful borosilicate glass tea pots and pitchers make brewing and serving hot and cold beverages a wonderful experience.

Recently I reviewed the Tealyra tea pot and now I have the opportunity to use and tell you about my experience with a lovely Tealyra borosilicate glass pitcher. It holds 67 ozs. and has a metal lid with strainer.
Jambo borosilicate glass Carafe can be used on stovetop

If you like to strain the pulp from your orange juice, you can use this. If you like to serve veggie or fruit water infusions, you can slice and dice whatever you wish to toss into your pitcher of water. When you're ready to serve your beverage, the strainer keeps the bits and pieces and slices in the pitcher and you just pour your delightful  beverage.
Filter attached to underneath the lid filters as the beverage is poured.
I am serving a lovely black tea that is chilled and has added ice for coldness.

I like that I can brew my large pot of tea and take it straight out to serve. Why you could easily serve at least eight guests cups of tea with this lovely pitcher!

Needless to say, I think this is a real winner and I can recommend you look at the Tealyra© pitchers to see if you find one that delights you.

Straight into the 'fridge for storage. Cold beverages
work great in this lovely carafe.

Product description (from TeaLyra© website) Buy it - Click here

Tealyra shows the carafe with orange/citrus
juice that will be strained when poured.
Minimalist modern super large capacity glass pitcher (Carafe) can be used to serve both hot or cold beverages! Composed of high-quality borosilicate glass, our artistic design and transparent body allow you to clearly see the mouthwatering beverage it contains.

The elegant stainless steel lid fits tightly into the mouth of the pitcher so it will not fall out while serving. This is the perfect option for hot tea, iced tea, fruit infused water, punch, sangria!

Design features:

  • Dishwasher safe
  • Heat resistant glass; Stove-top Safe
  • Large capacity holds 67.5 oz (2000ml/2L) of liquid
DISCLOSURE: I was provided this product complimentary to facilitate this review. This is a #sponsored review. However, all opinions are my own and are given with no stipulation that a positive review must be given.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Animal Tails by Mary Holland (Arbordale Publishing) [Review & Giveaway]

ISBN: 9781628559774 
Paperback $9.95
Ages 4-9
My thoughts: 
As with other publications from Arbordale Publications, Animal Tails is packed with beautiful photographs and information that is thoroughly vetted professionally and brings a highly educational and enjoyable experience to the reader.

The book can be a simply enjoyable traipse through the world of the animal kingdom where glimpses of critters with an appendage that facilitates their activities with the reader having fun just casually looking and reading. Or since the book is complete with pages at the back of the book that provide further in-depth learning activities and creative inquiry, the reader can delve further into the intricacies of each critter's existence and his use of said appendage that provides balance, warms, supports, etc. his very life.

The skillfully captured images of each of the critters are truly beautiful and give the reader rare sights to behold. Elusive critters seen through the lens' eye and close up are such a treat.
Written for the young child to have read to him and for the younger elementary grade student to enjoy reading on his own, it can be an enlightening and interesting read. Get ready for summer outdoor activities by learning about small animals that might be encountered.

Animals in the book:   red squirrel, snapping turtle, common garter snake, green frog tadpole, white-tailed deer, beaver, striped skunk, Virginia opossum, red fox, bald eagle, muskrat, downy woodpecker, porcupine, honey bee, tortoise beetle

For Creative Minds link on Arbordale's website: click here

Find it here - Arbordale: Animal Tails

About the book: This nonfiction picture book with a cuddle factor includes a 4-page For Creative Minds section in the back of the book and a 30-page cross-curricular Teaching Activity Guide online. Animal Tails is vetted by experts and designed to encourage parental engagement. Its extensive back matter helps teachers with time-saving lesson ideas, provides extensions for science, math, and social studies units, and uses inquiry-based learning to help build critical thinking skills in young readers. The Spanish translation supports ELL and dual-language programs. The interactive ebook reads aloud in both English and Spanish with word highlighting and audio speed control to promote oral language skills, fluency, pronunciation, text engagement, and reading comprehension. Tap the animals and other things that make noise to hear their sounds.
Begins May 18
Ends June 8 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Arbordale Publishing to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own and are freely given. Winner's copy is provided by the publisher and sent directly to the winner by the publisher. 

Monday, May 14, 2018

TOGETHER FOREVER (ORPHAN TRAIN #2) by Jody Hedlund [Review & Giveaway]

Bethany House Publishers
Paperback $15.99
My thoughts:   The trauma and heart-hurting rawness of families torn apart, abandoned, suffering, and being given away to others is poignantly written into the pages of Jody Hedlund's Orphan Train series. She has fleshed out the story of peoples in the mid-1800's who because of poverty found themselves in conditions where there were thousands of children abandoned to the streets of New York. 

There are two main story lines or emphasis in Together Forever. The first would be the story of the children being taken from the streets of New York to be resettled with families in the mid-west. It is about them as individuals with fears, troubles, attitudes that make them either considered to be good or poor choices for those willing to take them in. The second story line in the book is a developing romance between the two main characters, Marianne Neumann and Andrew Brady. 

The children include many ages from toddlers to teens. When they stop at the towns that have families awaiting the opportunity to choose a child to take in, the children face a gamut of types of families. They are peered at, examined for ability to work, and scrutinized. Siblings are torn apart and some are deemed "unwanted." It was a sad time and socially both a good happening and a terrible blot on humanity. 

Being in close proximity for many weeks as agents transporting these children aboard the Orphan Trains, the young adults, Marianne and Andrew, became drawn to one another and it soon their friedship blossomed into a sweet romance. 

Together Forever can easily be read as a stand alone story. However, other characters in the book were in book one in the series and the continuity is nice and makes for a more enjoyable read.

The plight of the children in this series touches my heart as my own mother was raised in a orphanage because circumstances prevented her mother keeping her at home. Her situation was not as dire as that of the children consigned to the outbound Orphan Train, but it is a reminder that life can be hard and when hardship comes, the children suffer the most.

I recommend Together Forever.

About the book: Marianne Neumann has one goal in life: to find her lost younger sister, Sophie. When Marianne takes a job as a placing agent with the Children’s Aid Society in 1858 New York, she not only hopes to give children a better life but seeks to discover whether Sophie ended up leaving the city on an orphan train.. 

Andrew Brady, her fellow agent on her first placing trip, is a former schoolteacher who has an easy way with the children–firm but tender and funny. Underneath his handsome charm, though, seems to linger a grief that won’t go away–and a secret from his past that he keeps hidden. As the two team up placing orphans amid small railroad towns in Illinois, they find themselves growing ever closer . . . until a shocking tragedy threatens to upend all their work and change one of their lives forever.
Begins May 15
Ends June 7 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
DISCLOSURE: I receive a complimentary copy to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own and are freely given.

Friday, May 11, 2018

If You Were Me and Lived In...Israel: A Child's Introduction to Cultures Around the World by Carole P. Roman & illustrated by Kelsea Wierenga [Review & Giveaway]

My thoughts:  As with the author's other books in this extensive series on countries and cultures, two young children learn what it would be like if they experience life in that country. This book features Israel.

This is a land much disputed over religion and politics. The author has presented simply an introductory look at the land and culture briefly touching on the several religions that call the land "home."

Names for boys and girls, what you would call your mother or father, sports that are favorites and the word used for school are covered in a storytelling style. A visit to the market (an outdoor market) and celebration of a major holiday are fleshed out in an appealing manner helping the young reader to glimpse into the world of a child in Israel.

As is definitely appropriate, the strife, discord, war and terror that are a major daily occurrence in this middle eastern land are not addressed in this work for young children. This is an introduction to culture and not a treatise on the land with its many facets politically or religiously.

This is another nicely done book by Carole P. Roman in this series. Most of the books in the series have been reviewed here on  Chat With Vera and a simple search will most likely locate them for any reader who wishes to find them. I recommend this series for homeschooling families and classroom libraries.

About the book: Join Carole P. Roman when she visits the exciting land of Israel in the newest book of her informative series. Learn about the varied customs and cultures. Travel to the Middle East to discover what you would eat and do for fun. See the land through the eyes of a youngster like you and understand what life is like in this exciting place.

About the author:  Carole P. Roman is the award-winning author of over fifty children's books. Whether it's pirates, princesses, or discovering the world around us, her books have enchanted educators, parents, and her diverse audience of children. She hosts two blog radio programs and is one of the founders of a new magazine, Indie Author's Monthly. She's been interviewed twice by Forbes Magazine. Carole has co-authored a self-help book, Navigating Indieworld: A Beginners Guide to Self-Publishing and Marketing. Oh Susannah is her first Early Reader Chapter book series. She lives on Long Island with her husband and near her children and grandchildren.
Begins May 12
Ends June 5 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy to facilitate this review. I was not compensation and opinions are mine alone. Winners copies will be mailed to them by the author.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Blog Tour: How to Trick the Tooth Fairy by Erin Danielle Russell [Giveaway - USA/CANADA]

Welcome to Day #3 of the How to Trick the Tooth Fairy Blog Tour!

To celebrate the release of How to Trick the Tooth Fairy by Erin Danielle Russell and illustrated by Jennifer Hansen Rolli on May 1st, blogs across the web are featuring exclusive content from Erin, as well as 5 chances to win a copy of How to Trick the Tooth Fairy!

My Fantasy (Animated) Movie Cast
by Erin Danielle Russell

Kaylee:  Storm Reid from A Wrinkle in Time.  She’s spunky, smart, and adorable, so she could easily get away with pranks!

The Tooth Fairy:  Kristin Chenoweth.  I absolutely loved her as Glinda in the Broadway show Wicked!

Kaylee’s Mom:  Tracee Ellis Ross.  I’m a big fan and think she’s funny, classy, and the perfect TV mom in Blackish.

Kaylee’s Dad:  Sterling K. Brown.  He’s a great TV dad in This is Us and has a funny bone too.

Kaylee’s Little Sister:  Marsai Martin.  I love her as the little sister in Blackish because she has a big personality.


Blog Tour Schedule:

May 7th — Mrs. Mommy BookNerd
May 8th — Books My Kids Read
May 9th — Chat with Vera
May 10th — A Foodie Bibliophile in Wanderlust
May 11th — Word Spelunking

BuyAmazon | Indiebound
Follow ErinWebsite | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram
From the coauthor of Dork Diaries comes a witty and engaging picture book about a prankster who wants to pull off the best prank of all—pranking the Tooth Fairy!

Kaylee loves pulling pranks: from dropping water balloons on passers by to even tricking Santa Claus, she’s a prize-winning prankster!

But is she the Princess of Pranks? No! That title is held by none other than the Tooth Fairy. But when Kaylee loses a tooth and the Tooth Fairy goes about her usual tooth-taking business, Kaylee pranks her with a fake frog. As Kaylee and the Tooth Fairy try to out-prank one another, things get way out of hand, until the two finally see eye and eye and decide to share the crown!

About the Author: Erin Danielle Russell has been writing stories since she learned how to spell. When she grew up, she became coauthor of the New York Times bestselling Dork Diaries series with her mom, Rachel Renee Russell. She currently lives in Virginia with her husband, Jacob, and her spunky teddy bear, Stanley. When Erin’s not writing or daydreaming, she likes to cook, travel, play video games, and watch cartoons.

About the Illustrator: Jennifer Hansen Rolli grew up with lots of siblings who were waiting around corners with a trick or two up their sleeves. Today she lives with her own pranking family in Newtown, Pennsylvania (which is really a very old town). She is the author/illustrator of the picture books Just One More and Claudia and Moth. You can find more of her work at

❀❀❀❀ GIVEAWAY ❀❀❀❀

Begins May 9
Ends May 20 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
One (1) winner will receive a copy of How to Trick the Tooth Fairy
US/Canada only
DISCLOSURE: Information for this post provided by MMPublicity on behalf of publisher and author.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Blog tour & giveaway to celebrate the release of "On Gull Beach" by Jane Yolen

Welcome to Day #8 of the On Gull Beach Blog Tour!

To celebrate the release of On Gull Beach by Jane Yolen and illustrated by Bob Marstall on March 27th, blogs across the web are featuring a scavenger hunt interview with Jane, plus 10 chances to win a set of On Bird Hill, On Duck Pond, and On Gull Beach! Follow along each day to see a new answer or poem from Jane!

Q: Who would play you in the movie of your life? Why?

Jane: Natalie Portman--probably because she managed to touch on two key strands of my life already: Ballet (I took ballet at Balanchine's School of American Ballet for seven years as a child, from 7-14). And she played a Star Wars character. Note-- I was president of the Science Fiction Writers of America for two years. Also I have won two Nebulas science fiction/fantasy short stories, as well as being named a Grand Master of SFWA.).  Also Ms. Portman and I are both smart, small Jewish mothers. Of course she is also gorgeous, young, and a movie star. I am an old writer. Otherwise--we are twins.

❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀

Blog Tour Schedule:

April 30th - Living Simply
May 2nd - The OWL
May 7thWord Spelunking
May 8th - GeoLibrarian
May 9thChat with Vera
May 10thBooks My Kids Read
May 11thMundie Kids

Where to buy: Cornell Lab Publishing
Together again! On Gull Beach reunites bestselling children’s author Jane Yolen and award-winning illustrator Bob Marstall for the third installment of the acclaimed On Bird Hill and Beyond series of children’s books written for the renowned Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

In On Bird Hill, Yolen and Marstall took readers on a surreal journey with a boy and his dog as they see the natural world, ultimately witnessing the miracle of a chick emerging from an egg.

On Duck Pond continued their journey, this time at a serene pond filled with birds, frogs, and turtles who are suddenly disrupted by their intrusion, but soon settle back into a quiet equilibrium. On Gull Beach brings us to an idyllic shoreline in Cape Cod, where gulls hover, dive, and chase with pitched acrobatics in pursuit of a seastar. This enchanting sequel in a brand new habitat will delight readers young and old.

About the Author: Jane Yolen has authored more than 370 books, including the Caldecott-winning Owl Moon, which every budding young ornithologist owns, You Nest Here With Me, which is a popular new favorite, and the New York Times bestselling series How Do Dinosaurs. Jane Yolen’s books have been translated into over 20 languages and are popular around the world. Jane's husband, David Stemple, was both a well known bird recordist and a professor of computer science and he taught the entire family how to identify birds. Many of Jane’s books are about wildlife subjects, especially the winged kind. Jane lives in Easthampton, MA. Visit her online at

About the Illustrator: Bob Marstall is the illustrator of nine nonfiction children’s books, including the The Lady and the Spider, which sold over a quarter-of-a-million copies and was a Reading Rainbow selection. Bob has also been honored with an ALA Notable; an IRA Teachers’ Choice; a Smithsonian Magazine Notable Book for Children; and three John Burroughs selections.

In addition, two of Bob’s books are included in the New York Times Parent’s Guide’s “1001 Best Books of the Twentieth Century.” Bob Lives in Easthamton, MA. Visit him online at

About the Cornell Lab: The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is a world leader in the study, appreciation, and conservation of birds. Our hallmarks are scientific excellence and technological innovation to advance the understanding of nature and to engage people of all ages in learning about birds and protecting the planet.
One (1) winner will receive a set of On Bird Hill, On Duck Pond, and On Gull Beach -- great summer reads!
Begins May 9
Ends May 20 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
Information for this blog tour and books for giveaway provided by MMPublicity on behalf of Cornell Publishing and the author. I received a compimentary book which will be shared with a local school library. 

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Adventure Bible Book of Daring Deeds and Epic Creations 60 Ultimate Try-Something-New, Explore-the-World Activities by Zonderkidz

ISBN: 9780310763178
Hardcover $12.99
ZonderKidz Publishing
My thoughts:  I know from experience that the summer break from school can lead to long days of, "Mom, I'm bored!" You pack in vacation, camp, swimming at the pool, etc. and still the days need something to fill them up.

And then there are those rainy days (any time during the year) and those too-sick-to-go-to-school but bored with inactivity and you need something to occupy those little ones populating your domain.

Zondervan Publishing has just the item. The Adventure Bible Book of Daring Deeds and Epic Creations has 60 "try-something-new" activities that a variety of kids would totally enjoy doing. And what makes this so extra special is the connectivity to Scripture. Example: On the "finger knitting" activity, the scripture is Psalm 129:13-14 "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together...."

This isn't a true devotional or Bible study book. It is a true activity book but has a bit of God's Grace and His Word sprinkled throughout. A nice way to stay focused on what's important.

Basically, each of the 60 activities has 3 parts. (1) The activity with directions and good, clear pictures of the activity, (2) A "Think About This" that gleans some deeper thinking that could be connected to the activity, and (3) The passage of Scripture that zones in on this particular connection.

Now granted, some of the activities need the guidance and oversight of an adult but this will be based on the age of the child. And some of the activities can be done by young children and some older. The book is designed for the 8 to 12 year old.

I highly recommend this for homes with children. You find days, weeks, well, even years of activities that you can use to fill your children's lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer or those snow-bound days of the winter blahs.

About the book: Begin your adventure here! The Adventure Bible Book of Daring Deeds and Epic Creations: 60 Ultimate Try-Something-New, Explore-the-World Activities contains lessons on knot tying, writing coded letters, building tree swings, and more, perfect for kids ages 8 and up. Boys and girls will love this interactive book filled with step-by-step guides and fun, full-color illustrations, and parents will enjoy the key verses and biblical takeaways that make this the perfect companion to the NIV Adventure Bible, the #1 Bible for kids. From easy, do-it-yourself crafts to fun outdoor activities, this book will show kids how to find adventure indoors and out.

Adventures include:

Top-secret coded letters
Geocaching fun
Identifying animal tracks
Camping like a pro
Learning sign language
Bible arts and crafts
And more!
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from the BookLook Review program on behalf of Zondervan Publishing to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own and are freely given.