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Friday, December 18, 2015

#Grinchmas Campaign and Box Set Review


I'm so excited to share the #Grinchmas campaign, from Random House Children's Books, with y'all today. Learn all about the campaign and check out my review of the new box set...

Grow Your Heart 3 Sizes with Random House Children’s Books New Boxed Set with Good Deed Journal, and Sweepstakes!

The holiday season—brimming with letters to Santa and gift wishlists—is the best time to reinforce the value of compassion, and to teach our children to be kind, thoughtful and generous.  Since 1957, Dr. Seuss's beloved classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas! has been a reference point for just that. Now, for the first time ever, the book will come with a 14-inch, plush Grinch, and 32-page GOOD DEED JOURNAL in a sturdy boxed set. 

Children of all ages can read the iconic story while they cuddle with the iconic character whose heart grows three sizes when he learns the true meaning of Christmas.  And with room to record the details of 25 good deeds, the 32-page paperback GOOD DEED JOURNAL is the perfect way to encourage children to grow their own hearts by helping others—and a keepsake in the making! This special new boxed set is available in stores and retails at $32.99.

The Grinch-mas celebration continues with the robust return of the Costume & Storytime Tour. This year, 58 different venues across the country are participating! The complete list of locations and times can be found at Seussville.com

Visit GrinchGoodDeeds.com every day leading up to Christmas during the “25 Days of Good Deeds” to share your child’s good deeds. For every deed shared, Random House Children’s Books will donate a book to a child in need through First Book. Plus, your child will be entered to win a special “Grinch Daily Gift” from Random House Kids and our charitable sponsors. We also invite you to share your child’s good deeds on Facebook and Twitter to help inspire others by using #Grinchmas and #GrowYourHeart.

*I received a box set for review purposes

 
Is there any better holiday gift than a copy of Dr. Seuss’s beloved classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas? Yes! A copy of the book packaged in a sturdy gift box with a 14-inch tall, exclusively-available soft plush Grinch! Now children of all ages can read the story while they cuddle with the iconic character whose heart grows three sizes when he learns the true meaning of Christmas. Also included exclusively in this package is a 32-page paperback “Good Deed Journal.” Filled with simple activities and room for children to write and draw, it’s the perfect way to encourage children to grow their own hearts by helping others.

I think RHCB's #Grinchmas campaign is just awesome and this new box set is a wonderful way to share the campaign's message and encourage little readers to do and enjoy good deeds. The box set comes with a gorgeous copy of How The Grinch Stole Christmas!, a fun Good Deed Journal, and exclusive plush Grinch, all in a pretty gift box.


Reading How The Grinch Stole Christmas! during the holidays is such a treasured and fun tradition to start and/or continue and this box set makes that tradition even more special and sweet. Little readers will love squeezing their plush Grinch close, as his story is read aloud. The #Grinchmas campaign is all about encouraging good deeds and with each good deed added to their own Good Deed Journal, children will embrace this message and their hearts will grow. 

This box set makes a perfect gift for the little readers in your life...I know I can't wait to share my set and its joyous message with my beloved niece!

THEODOR SEUSS GEISEL is one of the most beloved children's book authors of all time. The books he wrote and illustrated under the name Dr. Seuss (and others that he wrote but did not illustrate, including some under the pseudonyms Theo. LeSieg and Rosetta Stone) have been translated into thirty languages, and have sold hundreds of millions of copies.


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Books To Give This Holiday Season


Books make awesome gifts, that's just a fact! So I've compiled a list of some of my favorite books I've read this year that I think would make spectacular presents this holiday season...

PICTURE BOOKS

(by John Huges & Kim Smith, from Quirk Books)

Introduce little readers to the fun of Home Alone the movie through this hilarious and entertaining picture book!

(by Daniel Kirk, from Put Me In The Story)

This is just one of many awesome books from Put Me In The Story that you can personalize!


(by Eric James, from Sourcebooks Jabberwocky)

This delightful book can be customized to your location!

(by Mark Pett, from Simon & Schuster)

A super sweet story about a boy and the dinosaur he loves!


(by Mary Ann Fraser, from Peter Pauper Press)

This charming and giggle-inducing book has gorgeous pictures!

(by Dan Stark & Allison Estes, from Sourcebooks Jabberwocky)

A silly tale about a girl and her unlikely pet!


(by Karin Lefranc, from Skypony Press

This is probably my favorite picture book I read this year!


MIDDLE-GRADE

(by Gregory Funaro, from Disney Hyperion)

From lovable characters, excellent world-building, and sparkling storytelling, this is one marvelous book that will delight and amaze young readers!

(by John David Anderson, from Walden Pond Press)

With smart, sparkling storytelling; awesome characters; and an exciting premise, The Dungeoneers will charm and wow readers!

(by Cassie Beasley, from Dial)

Magic, heart, and gorgeous world-building make this a fantastic read!


(by Ammi-Joan Paquette, from Philomel)

Princess Juniper of the Hourglass, with its charming characters, enchanting settings, adventurous spirit, and sparkling storytelling, is a pure delight from beginning to end!

(by Rick Riordan, from Disney Hyperion)

Rick Riordan is a middle-grade genius and has done it again with this first book in his latest series!



(from Animal Planet)

Bursting with fascinating and educational information, stunning photographs, engaging content, and hours of captivating material, Animals: A Visual Encyclopedia has everything animal lovers could want and need. 

(from Donna Jo Napoli, from National Geographic)

Bursting with enthralling, enticing, and entertaining aspects of the complex world of Norse mythology, this book will captivate young readers and encourage further research!


(by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller, from Random House)

A spooktacular and witty series!



(by multiple authors, from Random House)

A super fun series perfect for introducing middle-grade readers to sci-fi!



(by Sheila Turnage, from Penguin)

This is one of my ALL-TIME most favorite middle-grade series, whose hilarious characters will charm readers! 

YOUNG ADULT

(by Courtney Summers, from St. Martin's Press)

A powerful, unforgettable, important book that will definitely leave a mark upon readers I found impossible to put down and highly recommend it!

(by Erin E. Moulton, from Philomel)

Myths brought to life, secret societies, awesome heroines, and sparkling storytelling...Keepers of the Labyrinth has all this and more!

(by David Hodmeyr, from Delacorte)

With its smart concept, exhilarating storytelling, and memorable characters, Stone Rider is an awesome debut and exciting Young Adult read.


(by Mindee Arnett, from Balzer & Bray)

A thrilling and smart sci-fi series!



(by multiple authors, from Random House)
*the bottom two books have not been released yet

Funny and fresh takes on Shakespeare classics that amuse and enrich!



(by Austin Aslan, from Random House)

A wonderfully complex and rich post-apocalyptic series!


HAPPY READING!





Monday, December 14, 2015

Interview & Giveaway: Pucked by Rachel Walter


I'm so pucking (teehee) excited to have author Rachel Walter here today to chat about her new young adult title, Pucked...


Pucked
by Rachel Walter
2/8/15
Does life get in the way of love or does love get in the way of life?

Riley Silk, captain of the Warriors Ice Hockey team at Dalesburg High, doesn’t think life can be lived if love is present.  If there’s two things in life he knows to be true, it’s that love causes pain and hockey is his ticket to a better life.  He’s worked hard to maintain his Frozen Silk reputation in order to stay focused on his duties and goals.

Audrey Jacobs, the Warriors’ number one fan, believes life can’t be lived without love. She can find love and beauty in the muddiest of situations.  Her best friend, Riley, is under a lot of stress at home, so she does her best to brighten his mood whenever she can.

When lines cross and blur, they struggle to keep control of the simplicity their friendship once held.  With Audrey’s outlook on life usually surrounded by light, the growing darkness of her doubts and insecurities threaten to deflect her toward the wrong path.  

Can she find her true self before her world burns around her?  When truths become lies, can Riley find the strength to fight his way through his own personal darkness that clings to his mind and soul?  Can he win this face-off that life has dropped in his zone, or will fate take him out of the game completely?

Who keeps the puck?

Pucked has been reader nominated for an award in Young Adult Fiction with Cybils Awards!

amazon: US UK AU CA


What three words best describe your novel, Pucked?

Hockey, trust, and friendship

Grab a copy of Pucked and answer the following:
I’m giving answers from a paperback, so I’m not one hundred percent sure how it would translate in ebook fofrmat.

favorite chapter? Chapter 28
favorite page? Page 74
favorite setting? At the mall
flip to a random page and give us a 1-2 sentences teaser:  “The play is yours to make. Don’t fake, don’t fail, and don’t give up.”

What inspired Pucked? How did the story come to be?

I’m not sure I can answer this. I was doing dishes one day when the first thought of this came to me. It was more of a scene. The first kiss scene, how the book got its name, is what came first. I sat on my kitchen floor to process the thought for a bit before I dried my hands and took a bunch of notes. I ended up writing the first three chapters in three weeks. Then I began doing research on the differences in NHL rule and high school ice hockey rules. It wasn’t until I wrote the eighth chapter that I realized this story would be much deeper than I thought. At that point, I did more research on Parental Alienation. I was already aware of it and its effects, but I wasn’t comfortable in my personal knowledge of it. I needed to know more, to understand as much as I could to write Riley to the best of my ability.

Can you tell us a bit about your main characters Riley and Audrey? What sets them apart from other YA characters and what do you love about them?

Audrey is sweet and witty. She grew up with three older brothers and parents that are happy and together. Her favorite place to be is on her ATV in the mud. I would call her a “Positive Polly” because she tries to look for the positives in everything. Her outlook on life is almost poetic, as she sees love in everything. I love that Audrey isn’t the “typical” teenaged girl. She’s not worried about appearances and what others think of her. She sees that being true to yourself is what’s important.

Riley is more cold. His lifestyle is different from Audrey’s. His parents split when he was 11 and since then his mother wasn’t much of a mother. She made some awful decisions for herself and her children, and that forced Riley into an adult at a young age. He became the caregiver of his little sister who was only one when their parents split. He had school, his sister, hockey, and jobs over the off seasons to pay for his hockey equipment and car. He didn’t believe in love, he thought it only brought pain because of the life he had. He didn’t see the unconditional love from his parents, so he didn’t see it when it was shown to him. One of my favorite things about Riley is his passion. When he’s passionate about something, love becomes natural and pure. He doesn’t recognize it as love though, because the love he’s experienced wasn’t pure. It’s a learning experience for him.

Who would you cast to play Riley and Audrey in the Pucked movie?!

Oh wow. I haven't  thought about this, ever. I did loosely base Riley’s appearance on Beau Bennett of the Pittsburgh Penguins. I don’t keep up with actors and actresses, but for Audrey, maybe, Lily Collins or Amanda Seyfried. I’m not sure if they’re young enough though. I would try for an unknown actor and actress if that could be done.

You deal with some heavy issues in Pucked, involving different types of abuse...how important was it to you to capture and explore these issues authentically and realistically?

This was extremely important to me and to Riley’s character. I wanted to shine a light on a possible scenario in the realm of Parental Alienation, but from the child’s view. I cannot tell you how many people I spoke with that went through P.A. to some degree and on each side of the problem. Those were the most painful discussions I’ve ever had, completely heartbreaking. 

What do you hope readers will walk away with after reading Pucked?

I just want to remind the reader that sometimes things aren’t what they seem. I want them to hold on to what they believe in. If they’ve been through any form of Parental Alienation, I hope they know they aren’t alone. 

What other writing projects are you working on and/or are excited about?

I’m currently working on the third installment of my young adult paranormal series: Twisted Destiny (The Soul Mate Series). In the series, each book features a different character and this book is an all new character. She moved into Lupiterra at the end of book two, Soul Promise, so she isn’t in the original core group that books one and two have centered around.

Fill in the blanks:
I’m really awesome at _making hockey sticks out of pipe cleaners for my 6yo’s My Little Pony figures__.

I’m really embarrassed to admit _that I cannot cook bacon properly_.

The last great book I read was _Thicker Than Blood  by Madeline Sheehan & Claire C Riley and Traded by Rebecca Brooke__.

If you were to create and bake a cupcake inspired by Pucked, what would it look and taste like, and what would you call it?

I think I’d make two. Mostly because I like the sounds of them both, haha.
First, I’d use a devil’s food cake chocolate cupcake and top it with chocolate icing that’s been whipped with chili powder, and topped with shaved dark chocolate and crushed pretzels. I’d call it Pennsylvania Mud.

For the second cupcake, I’d put some coloring in butter cream icing to make it turquoise and then chill it. I would use a vanilla bean cupcake this time, and then pipe the chilled icing on top. I would top with shaved white chocolate and a dark chocolate coated cream cheese mint shaped like a hockey puck. This one would be named Frozen Silk.

Thank you so much for giving me one of the hardest interviews I’ve had. It was so much fun!

You're so very welcome, Rachel! And thank YOU for stopping by :)

Rachel is a wife and mother from Central Pennsylvania. Her favorite season is fall, for hockey, changing leaves, and bonfires often. She’s also a coffeenista with an insomnia problem. When Rachel isn’t playing with the people inside her head, making her family believe she belongs in the loony bin, she enjoys spending time with her family, friends, species confused cat (he believes he’s part dog, love him), and finding new books and music. blog * twitter * facebook * instagram * pinterest * amazon * goodreads


Win an ebook copy of Pucked!
Rachel has generously offered up one e-copy for one winner.
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