Author Assistant Services

Are you an author in need of help and looking for an assistant on a full-time, part-time, or as-needed basis? Well, then I'm your gal! Learn more about the services I provide HERE.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Here In The Real World Blog Tour (review & giveaway)

I'm so excited to have the Here In The Real World Blog Tour stopping by today. This tour is sponsored by HarperCollins Children's Books and hosted by The Children's Book Review.

Here In The Real World 
By Sara Pennypacker 
Balzer + Bray 

From the author of the highly acclaimed, New York Times bestselling novel Pax comes a gorgeous and moving middle grade novel that is an ode to introverts, dreamers, and misfits everywhere. 

Ware can’t wait to spend summer “off in his own world”—dreaming of knights in the Middle Ages and generally being left alone. But then his parents sign him up for dreaded Rec camp, where he must endure Meaningful Social Interaction and whatever activities so-called “normal” kids do. 

On his first day Ware meets Jolene, a tough, secretive girl planting a garden in the rubble of an abandoned church next to the camp. Soon he starts skipping Rec, creating a castle-like space of his own in the church lot. 

Jolene scoffs, calling him a dreamer—he doesn’t live in the “real world” like she does. As different as Ware and Jolene are, though, they have one thing in common: for them, the lot is a refuge. 

But when their sanctuary is threatened, Ware looks to the knights’ Code of Chivalry: Thou shalt do battle against unfairness wherever faced with it. Thou shalt be always the champion of the Right and Good—and vows to save the lot. 

But what does a hero look like in real life? And what can two misfit kids do? 

Eleven-year-old Ware is just fine with living in his own little world and is looking forward to doing just that as he spends the summer at Big Deal’s (his grandma) retirement community. Then Big Deal has an accident that lands her in the hospital and Ware finds himself signed up for Rec camp, where his mom hopes he has Meaningful Social Interactions. But an empty lot next to the Rec center, that is home to a demolished church, and a mysterious girl named Jolene, provide Ware with an unexpected sanctuary and an even more unexpected purpose driven mission. 

Sara Pennypacker’s Here In The Real World is a quiet, yet powerful exploration of identity, family, friendship, courage, and love. A tenderly written, character driven story, full of heart swelling moments make this a fiercely lovely middle-grade read. 

The true heart of Here In The Real World are its relatable, engaging, always surprising characters- from chivalrous Ware, determined Jolene, direct Big Deal, Ware’s fix-it-all mother, and more. Introverts, dreamers, artists, activists, misfits, outcasts, do-gooders, never-give-uppers, and visionaries are joyously celebrated throughout this story. Every reader who has ever felt out of place, lost, or too different will see themselves shine bright through these characters.  

Here In The Real World  is a beautifully written middle-grade book, with unforgettable characters and a heartfelt, stirring story. 

Sara Pennypacker is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Pax; the award-winning Clementine books and its spinoff series, Waylon!; and the acclaimed novel Summer of the Gypsy Moths. She divides her time between Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and Florida. You can visit her online at 


Instagram: @HarperKids 

Enter for a chance to win a Sara Pennypacker book prize pack! 

Five (5) winners receive: 
  • A hardcover copy of Here in the Real World 
  • A paperback copy of Pax 

Giveaway begins January 21, 2019, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends February 21, 2019, at 11:59 P.M. PST. 
Open to legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, who are eighteen years of age or older in their state or territory of residence at the time of entry. Void where prohibited by law. 
HarperCollins is responsible for prize fulfillment. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Great Books To Look For This January

Today I'm sharing some fantastic books to check out this January...

From DC Zoom and DC Comics 

Diana: Princess of the Amazons 
By Shannon Hale and Dean Hale 
Illustrated by Victoria Ying 
DC Zoom 

Cut off from the rest of the world, Diana had an idyllic childhood on Themyscira. But now 11-years-old, she's beginning to feel more and more isolated. Though she has many "aunties" and a loving mother, she is an only child. THE only child, in fact. 

After an escapade goes wrong, Queen Hippolyta chastises Diana for not living up to the Amazon standard. Diana just can't seem to measure up, no matter what she does! Literally every other person on the island is an adult proficient in their trade and mighty in body, while she is gangly, sometimes clumsy, and not particularly proficient in anything. She's not Wonder Woman yet. What Diana needs is a friend; someone her own age whom she can talk to. But when she decides to take matters into her own hands — she may just make a monster instead. 

Diana: Princess of Amazons is a thrilling and engaging graphic novel that introduces young readers to Wonder Woman when she was just an extraordinary child living on the island of Themyscira. Shannon and Dean Hale have created a relatable, admirable young Diana, offering readers a fun glimpse into the people, places, and experiences that made Wonder Woman who she is. Victoria Ying wonderfully captures the spirit and wonder of Diana and her home, through her softly colored energetic and cute illustrations. A sweet, captivating graphic novel, that perfectly introduces this beloved heroine to a new generation. 

Green Lantern: Legacy 
By Minh Le 
Illustrated by Andie Tong 
DC Zoom 

The owner of the Jade Market has a secret--one that will soon change her grandson's life. 

Thirteen-year-old Tai Pham lives in the apartment above his grandmother's store, where his bedroom is crammed with sketchpads and comic books. But not even his most imaginative drawings could compare to the colorful adventure he's about to embark on. 

When Tai inherits his grandmother's jade ring, he soon finds out it's more than it appears. Suddenly he's being inducted into a group of space cops known as the Green Lanterns, his neighborhood is being overrun by some racist bullies, and every time he puts pen to paper, he's forced to confront that he might not be creative enough or strong enough to uphold his ba's legacy. 

Now Tai must decide what kind of hero he wants to be: will he learn to soar above his insecurities or will the past keep him grounded? 

Minh Le’s Green Lantern: Legacy is an action-packed graphic novel that excitedly introduces readers to the complex Green Lantern world. Fast-paced, with great humorous moments, fun training montages, and clever twists, this graphic novel will keep young readers eagerly turning pages. Minh Le has filled this tale with wonderfully diverse characters, including an Asian American protagonist. Andie Tong’s sharp, stylized illustrations, with their bold colors and kinetic energy, perfectly capture all the action, humor, and heart of the story. An engaging superhero origin story full of family, friendship, and tradition. 

Wonder Woman: Warbringer (the Graphic Novel) 
Based on the nove by Leigh Bardugo 
Adapted by Louise Simonson 
Illustrated by Kit Seaton 
DC Comics 
Add on Goodreads 

She will become one of the world's greatest heroes: WONDER WOMAN. But first she is Diana, Princess of the Amazons. And her fight is just beginning. Based on the New York Times bestselling novel by Leigh Bardugo, this graphic novel adaptation brings to life Diana's first adventure beyond the hidden shores of Themyscira. 

Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law--risking exile--to save a mere mortal. Even worse, Alia Keralis is no ordinary girl and with this single brave act, Diana may have doomed the world. 

Alia just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn't know she is being hunted. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer--a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery. 

Together, Diana and Alia will face an army of enemies--mortal and divine--determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. If they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war. 

Wonder Woman: Warbringer is the graphic novel adaptation of Leigh Bardugo’s YA novel, full of fiercely rendered and crafted characters, engaging storytelling, and captivating darkly atmospheric illustrations. 

From Aladdin 

Mindy Kim and the Yummy Seaweed Business 
By Lyla Lee 
Illustrated by Dung Ho 

Fresh Off the Boat meets Junie B. Jones in this first novel in an adorable new chapter book series about Mindy Kim, a young Asian American girl who is starting a snack business! 

Mindy Kim just wants three things: 
1. A puppy! 
2. To fit in at her new school 
3. For her dad to be happy again 

But, getting all three of the things on her list is a lot trickier than she thought it would be. On her first day of school, Mindy’s school snack of dried seaweed isn’t exactly popular at the lunch table. Luckily, her new friend, Sally, makes the snacks seem totally delicious to Mindy’s new classmates, so they decide to start the Yummy Seaweed Business to try and raise money for that puppy! 

When another student decides to try and sabotage their business, Mindy loses more than she bargained for—and wonders if she’ll ever fit in. Will Mindy be able to overcome her uncertainty and find the courage to be herself? 

Lyla Lee’s Mindy Kim and the Yummy Seaweed Business is a delightful and charming own voices novel, for younger readers, about a plucky, relatable Korean American seven-year-old girl named Mindy. Through Mindy’s honest, endearing voice, humor, and a lot of heart, Lyla Lee expertly explores topics like grief, cultural identity, loneliness, friendship, and responsibility in age appropriate and fun ways. Mindy’s Korean heritage, culture, and traditions are wonderfully celebrated throughout the story, shining a bright light on Asian representation, which is sorely lacking in kid’s lit. Mindy Kim and the Yummy Seaweed Business will engage, entertain, and educate young reeaders...and make them crave yummy Korean food! 

From Quirk Books 

The Message of Destiny 
(Knights Club #2) 
By Shuky, Waltch, Novy 
Quirk Books 

This middle-grade graphic novel series makes YOU the valiant hero of a fantasy quest--pick your panel, find items, gain abilities, solve puzzles, and play through new storylines again and again! 

In the School of Knighthood, Captain Karinka trains her students to make them worthy of the elite royal guard, and you do pretty well! So the king entrusts you to carry a message of utmost importance to the leader of the neighboring country. But traps and enemies await! Forge your weapons, win points, be victorious in battle, and advance through the levels to become strong enough to see your mission to a successful end. 

The Buried City 
(Knights Club #3) 
By Shuky, Waltch, Novy 
Quirk Books 
Add on Goodreads 

This middle-grade graphic novel series makes YOU the valiant hero of a fantasy quest—pick your panel, find items, gain abilities, solve puzzles, and play through new storylines again and again!  

After years of dedicated training and adventure, you are finally a full-fledged knight! You are sent on your first official mission by Elliot, a famous merchant. Impressed by your strength and skill, Elliot entrusts you with the search for a list of precious objects, all hidden on a distant island. Can you find all the objects and bring them back? Can you even return alive from this treacherous and mysterious island? Your success depends on your choices alone, because the hero is you! 

• To begin your quest, select your character. • Numbers are hidden in every panel. Decide where you want to go next, and then flip to the panel with the matching number. • Solve puzzles, collect supplies, and defeat enemies in your quest for success. • If your mission fails, just start again at the beginning! You can play the book over and over again, making different choices every time.  Remember, this is no ordinary comic book—what happens next is up to you! 

Books two and three in the fun Knights Club, a graphic novel series that allows readers to choose their own adventures and outcomes. Smart, funny, exciting storytelling and engaging illustrations combine in this Choose Your Own Adventure meets Dungeons and Dragons meets video games off all kinds series! 

**I received copies of the titles above for review/feature purposes. All thoughts, opinions, and reviews are my own.