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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Spotlight and Giveaway: An Arrangement by Lindsay Marie Miller



An Arrangement
by Lindsay Marie Miller
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
August 30, 2016
When Claire Andrews returns home from college for the summer, her little sister is rushed to the hospital due to a life-threatening heart condition. On her twenty-first birthday, Claire will receive a trust fund set aside by her late father with enough money to cover all medical expenses.

The catch?

Claire must marry a rich man or her access to the trust will be denied.

Her childhood crush, Benjamin Lewis, is a twenty-eight-year-old billionaire business mogul and New York City’s most eligible bachelor. When Ben agrees to marry Claire, her financial problems are solved.

But will the price Claire must pay in return be too much for her heart to bear?

Available Now for .99 cents!


Excerpt
“They can treat Amy,” I announced, staring blindly out the window. “It’s experimental stuff, but the doctors are going to do everything they can. It’s not too late.”
Mom breathed a sigh of relief, and I seemed to feel it more than see or hear it.
“Insurance won’t cover it, but I told Dr. Abrams that it wouldn’t be a problem.” I looked back over my shoulder at Mom, confused by the fearful look on her face. Her cropped black hair looked frazzled and worn, while her blue eyes, Amy’s eyes, shifted with terror and panic. “What? What is it?”
“Claire,” she cried, grabbing ahold of my wrist until I sat down in the chair beside her. “We can’t afford that. We don’t have the money.” The tears started up again, and I wanted to slap her for lying to me.
“What are you talking about?” I jerked at her shirtsleeve. “What do you mean we don’t have the money? Daddy left you a fortune!”
“Your father only left me with enough to live on until you girls came of age. That and the house.”
“Came of age?” I crossed my arms over my chest, while she dabbed her eyes with his handkerchief.
“The rest of your father’s wealth is in a trust fund that he set up especially for you girls. He wanted to take care of the two of you, maybe because he knew that I couldn’t.”
Wouldn’t was more like it.
“And why wasn’t I told about this? This mysterious trust fund?”
“Because you can’t access it until you turn twenty-one,” she clarified.
“My birthday’s next week,” I noted, stating aloud what we both already knew.
It was my twenty-first birthday to be exact.
“I know.” Her tears dried immediately, as she reached into her handbag to grab her phone. “I’ll call your father’s attorney. He drew up the contract. I think there were some other stipulations.”
“What do you mean?” My frustration resurfaced, while I watched her dial numbers on the LED touch screen. “What kind of stipulations?”
“In order to access all of the money in the trust…”
“Yeah,” I answered, nudging her on. “I have to be twenty-one. What else?”
“I think you have to be married, too.”
Married? How could that even be legal?
I sat down on the floor and held my head in my hands. Everything had happened too soon, making my world spin out of control. I penned a mental list in my head that summed up the main points of the day.
Amy was sick. And her condition, if not treated, was most likely fatal.
Insurance would not cover the experimental treatments, and Mom didn’t have the money to pay.
Instead, my late father’s wealth had been stowed away in a trust, which I would soon have access to.
As long as I married. As long as I had a husband. And all the while, Amy’s heart could be failing.
Money was the only way to save my sister, and at present, marriage was the only way to get the money.
I needed a husband by next week.
And I didn’t even have a boyfriend.


Also Available:
S.I.N.G.L.E. is FREE! (Reg. Price $4.99)
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August 29th—September 2nd
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LINDSAY MARIE MILLER was born and raised in Tallahassee, FL, where she graduated from high school as Valedictorian. Afterwards, Lindsay attended Florida State University and graduated Summa Cum Laude with an English Literature major, Psychology minor, and Specialized Studies in Markets and Institutions.

Lindsay is the author of the Jones Series, Jungle EyesEmerald Green, S.I.N.G.L.E. and An Arrangement. An incurable romantic at heart, she enjoys writing about strong heroines and the honorable gentleman who claim their hearts, often utilizing elements of suspense, adventure, or even comedy. While the context of her writing is diverse, one factor always remains at the center of every novel: Love.  

In her free time, Lindsay enjoys singing, playing the piano and guitar, and writing songs. The author resides in her hometown of Tallahassee, FL, where she is currently working on her next novel.

Connect with Lindsay Marie Miller
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Win an ebook copy of An Arrangement!
Lindsay has generously offered one ebook copy of her book for one winner.
-open to everyone
-ends 9/4
-winner will be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours
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Friday, August 26, 2016

Celebrate National Dog Day with Maxi's Secrets and a Giveaway!


I'm helping Penguin Kids celebrate National Dog Day and the new middle-grade, Maxi's Secrets, with a giveaway and a pet story from me...


Maxi’s Secrets
Lynne Plourde
August 23, 2016
Nancy Paulsen Books
When a BIG, lovable, does-it-her-way dog wiggles her way into the heart of a loudmouth pipsqueak of a boy, wonderful things happen that help him become a bigger, better person.
Timminy knows that moving to a new town just in time to start middle school when you are perfect bully bait is less than ideal. But he gets a great consolation prize in Maxi—a gentle giant of a dog who the family quickly discovers is deaf. Timminy is determined to do all he can to help Maxi—after all, his parents didn't return him because he was a runt. But when the going gets rough for Timminy, who spends a little too much time getting shoved into lockers at school, Maxi ends up being the one to help him—along with their neighbor, Abby, who doesn’t let her blindness define her and bristles at Timminy’s “poor-me” attitude. It turns out there’s more to everyone than what’s on the surface, whether it comes to Abby, Maxi, or even Timminy himself.


PRAISE FOR MAXI’S SECRETS
“This story is a tender reminder that perceived shortcomings don't define us and that the power of friendship can't be underestimated.”–Publishers Weekly
“This earnest boy-and-his-dog tale makes a strong case for Secret No. 11: ‘There's nothing so bad in the world that dog kisses won't make it better.’—Kirkus Reviews
“Perfect for reading aloud, any middle-level or younger student, especially dog lovers, will adore this humorous, heartwarming story of overcoming adversity.” –VOYA
“The characters are fully developed, and the delicate subjects of bullying and disabilities are dealt with deftly and with humor…heartbreaking, yet satisfying.”  --School Library Journal
“Maxi's story is one I know readers are going to love so much. I loved the friendship between Timminy and Abby, as well as the unlikely friendship found with Rory. All three of those characters are so multidimensional, giving readers a lot to think about as they navigate their own friendships during the difficult middle grade years… You really CAN learn a lot from a dog!” –Susan Dee, The Nerdy Book Club
“Recommended for kids and grownups who feel like they might never fit in, who worry about having their differences pointed out to all the world, and most of all who love dogs.” –Julie Falatko, author of Snappsy the Alligator (Did Not Ask to Be in This Book)

The author of more than 30 picture books, MAXI'S SECRETS is Lynn Plourde’s debut middle-grade novel. She writes of her switch: “At sixty years of age, why write my first middle grade novel? To bring my dog Maggie back to life, of course. When my beloved Maggie died three years ago, I got greedy. I wanted more time with her… Maggie gave me permission to sprinkle make-believe on her truth. To add, take away, change whatever I needed to in order to make the best story I could. And so I did. I turned my medium-sized, black, Irish-setter-mix Maggie into a giant, white, Great Pyrenees Maxi.”


The fun folks at Penguin Kids have asked bloggers to share a memory or story of a childhood pet (real or imaginary)...
This is our family cat, Kimchee, and my baby sister in 1997

Growing up I had a few pets that were considered mine (some fish, an evil hamster, a hamster that ran away...don't ask), but Kimchee (pictured above) was our first family cat. My father, who was working at a school at the time, found Kimchee, who would hang around the school and was fed by the school children...so my dad brought him home, we named the sweet kitty Kimchee, and he was ours from then on. Kimchee lived a long, happy life and I have many great memories of him, from playing circus with him, cuddling him, and on Halloween, as a teen, I would dress up as a cat and hand out candy, and Kimchee would sit next to me on the porch all night long...the trick-or-treaters loved seeing a "cat" with her very own real cat, lol!

But one memory that sticks out in my mind, is the time Kimchee got stuck in a wall! One day, my family kept hearing Kimchee meow, but couldn't find him, and it turns out he somehow found a small hole in the attic, fell down the hole, and ended up inside the wall. We tried everything to get him out: we rigged up a sheets and basket contraption and lowered it in the hole, hoping he'd climb in...but he was too scared. Finally, my dad decided the direct approach was the best, went outside, carefully cut a hole near where Kimchee was stuck, and got him out! Poor, sweet Kimchee wasn't hurt, just dirty and happy to be saved! 

I'll never forget that day and will always remember our sweet, frisky Kimchee!!
Win a new copy of MAXI'S SECRETS and an art print of the cute cover!
The awesome folks at Penguin have one copy of the book and one print for one winner.
-US only
-ends 9/3
-winner will be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours
-Word Spelunking is not responsible for lost, damaged, or stolen prizes
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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Review: Darcy Swipes Left and Scrooge #worstgiftever (OMG Classics Series)



Darcy Swipes Left
By Jane Austen and Courtney Carbone
Sept. 27, 2016
Random House
Source: from pub for review
Pride and Prejudice, one of the greatest love stories ever told . . . in texts?!
Imagine: What if Lizzy Bennet and Mr. Darcy had smartphones and dated IRL (in real life)? A classic is reborn in this clever adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice!
A truth universally acknowledged: a rich guy must want a wife.
A terrible first impression.
A couple that’s meant to be . . . if they can just get over themselves. #hatersgonnadate
Don’t miss: Lydia taking selfies with soldiers, Mrs. Bennet’s humble-brag status updates, Lizzy texting from her long walks, and Darcy swiping left on a dance card app.
tl;dr Jane Austen’s most famous novel told through its characters texting with emojis, posting photos, checking in at locations, and updating their relationship statuses. The perfect gift for any teen (or any reader with a sense of humor)!
A glossary and cast of characters are included for those who need it. For example: tl;dr means too long; didn’t read.


Scrooge #worstgiftever
By Charles Dickens and Brett Wright
Sept 27, 2016
Ranom House
Source: from pub for review
A Christmas Carol, one of the holiday’s greatest traditions told . . . in texts?!
Imagine: What if Scrooge, Marley, the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, and the whole Cratchit family had smartphones? A classic is reborn in this clever adaptation of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol!
One grouchy old man who can’t stop asking “How did you get this number?!”
Three ghosts who communicate in the most modern ways, including one who ONLY uses emojis!
And a status update with the most “likes” ever: God bless us, everyone!
This retelling will cure even the worst bout of Bah hummingbird! #darnyouautocorrect
A glossary and cast of characters are included for those who need it.

*****************************************************

The OMG Classics series offers readers two more hilarious additions, Darcy Swipes Left and Scrooge #worstgiftever. These Pride & Prejudice and A Christmas Carol retellings are cleverly given a modern, fresh twist by being told completely through texts, emojis, social media postings, emails, and more.

What I love about this series of books, is the way each retelling manages to be cool and hip, yet still captures the essence and timelessness of each story. Both Darcy Swipes Left and Scrooge #worstgiftever are full of refreshing humor, relatable storytelling, and laugh-out-loud moments, but the stories remain as classic and thoughtful as ever. Scrooge #worstgiftever has great gallows humor and a entertainingly and darkly fantastical vibe, but Dicken’s poignant message still shines through.

Darcy Swipes Left is bursting with smart humor, just enough fanciful whimsy, and wonderfully snarky and engaging characters. Lizzy and Darcy’s personalities, so full of wit; sarcasm; and bite, are effortlessly captured through modern language and expression.

These two books, and the others in the OMG Classics Series, are perfect companions to their classic counterparts, especially for teen readers.

MY RATING for both books
4/5 Cupcakes


Monday, August 22, 2016

5th Blogiversary Giveaway!



Word Spelunking is 5 years old today!!

Ahhh, I can't believe I've been blogging at Word Spelunking for five years! It's been an amazing five years, filled with great books, wonderful authors, and the most awesome blog readers and followers in the world...seriously, y'all rock my socks and bake my cupcakes! I still can't believe that people actually take the time to visit my blog, leave lovely comments, and engage in thoughtful discussion.

I've experienced many fantastic things because of my blog, including my career, and I can't wait to see what the next five years will bring!

And to celebrate five years of bookish fun and to thank ALL OF YOU MAGICAL READERS, I have a little giveaway to celebrate...
Win a $10 Gift Card to 
the retailer of your choice!
The winner can choose any retailer, as long as I can email the gift card to the winner.
-open to everyone, everywhere
-ends 9/18
-the winner will be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours

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Sunday, August 21, 2016

Dr. Fell and the Playground of Doom Blog Tour {review, guest post, giveaway}


I'm thrilled to have the Dr. Fell and the Playground of Doom Blog Tour stopping by today...


Dr. Fell and the Playground of Doom
David Nelisen
August 9, 2016
Random House
Source: from pub for review
When the mysterious Dr. Fell moves into the abandoned house that had once been the neighborhood kids’ hangout, he immediately builds a playground to win them over. But as the ever-changing play space becomes bigger and more elaborate, the children and their parents fall deeper under the doctor’s spell.
Only Jerry, Nancy, and Gail are immune to the lure of his extravagant wonderland. And they alone notice that when the injuries begin to pile up on the jungle gym, somehow Dr. Fell is able to heal each one with miraculous speed. Now the three children must find a way to uncover the doctor’s secret power without being captivated by his trickery.


Praise
“Deliciously dark, funny, and foreboding, Neilsen’s first novel delivers with broad appeal.” —Booklist

“Recommended for school libraries that need to breathe life into their traditional mystery collections.” —School Library Journal
“Such deliciously creepy fun! I fell in love with Dr. Fell! So will urchins and whippersnappers everywhere.” —Chris Grabenstein, author of the New York Times bestsellers Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library and The Island of Dr. Libris


The abandoned house at the end of the street has long been the chosen hangout and playground for the neighborhood children. But then strange, mysterious Dr. Fell moves in. The children are sad to lose their spot, but soon a magnificent and ever growing play structure is erected by Dr. Fell in his front yard. And with the wondrous playground comes disastrous injuries, ouchies, and booboos...but don’t worry, Dr. Fell is there to miraculously heal them. Soon all the kids and grown-ups in town are under Dr. Fell’s spell...all except young Jerry, Gail, and Nancy. These three kids will brave the spookiness of Dr. Fell to uncover the truth behind his powers.

David Neilsen’s Dr. Fell and the Playground of Doom is a spooktacular and wildly fun middle-grade adventure! Neilsen creates an atmospheric tale full of humor, fun frights, imagination, and an irresistible villain.

With a snarky, clever, and pitch-perfect voice, Dr. Fell and the Playground of Doom provides plenty of laughs and amusing storytelling. Young readers will be enthralled by the whimsically dark atmosphere and frightfully fun and age-appropriate scary elements. The wondrous and impossible playground, with its ever growing and marvelous sections, and Dr. Fell’s creeptastic home, make for a thrilling and captivating setting. The story is full of wacky, humorous, and exciting twists and turns.

Dr. Fell and the Playground of Doom is full of awesomely over-the-top and outrageous characters, from a gaggle of absurdly named children and their silly parents. And of course, the strange, kooky, maybe sinister Dr. Fell, is a bad guy young readers will just love and be fascinated by!

My final thoughts: Dr. Fell and the Playground of Doom is a spooky fun read that will entertain and excite young readers who enjoy fun frights, clever humor, and spine-tingling villains.
4/5 Cupcakes

Dr. Fell and the Cupcakes of Doom
by David Neilsen

I can very honestly say that I have never before been asked to imagine any of my characters as cupcakes. Or, for that matter, as any form of baked goods whatsoever. Be that as it may, I have taken the challenge to heart and now serve up the following menu of literary delectables.

  1. Vanilla is the Finest of the Flavors
Our first joyful concoction is inspired by the always-dependable Gail Bloom. A vanilla cake covered with rich (but-not-too-rich) vanilla frosting and topped with rainbow sprinkles, it is the perfect treat for any boy or girl who’s been good and deserves something special. Not quite as daring as other flavors of cupcake, Vanilla is the Finest of the Flavors is happy to wait in the box until most of the other, more adventurous cupcakes have been chosen and eaten, and the eater thinks to himself or herself, “Why don’t I choose Vanilla more often?”

  1. Deviously Delicious
Next up, this red velvet treat is inspired by perky, mischievous Nancy Pinkblossum. Wholesome and pure, it nevertheless gives the mouth a surprisingly bold experience. The soft, smooth red velvety cake with a rich, chocolatey filling is topped with chocolate frosting, but the true surprise is the unexpected sprinkle of coconut on the top. The combination makes each bite an unexpected surprise.

  1. Chock Full O’ Nature’s Goodness
A cupcake with nuts and whole-grain fiber? But, of course! Just because you’re indulging doesn’t mean you have to skip a chance to eat healthy. Inspired by the intelligent-if-underappreciated Jerry Bloom, Chock Full O’ Nature’s Goodness is the smart choice--the cupcake your mother would want you to eat. It is a moderately healthy, gluten-free cake topped with a thin layer of honey--nature’s sweetener. It may not look like much, but it is surprisingly delicious.

  1. The Deep, Black Darkness of the Soul
Inspired by the mysterious, nefarious Dr. Fell, this impossibly-rich cupcake is shocking both to look at and to sample. Made with the darkest of dark chocolate and frosted thoroughly with bright purple frosting, The Deep, Black Darkness of the Soul easily blends into the forgotten corners of your kitchen. When spotted, one is almost compelled to take a bite. Doing so rewards the sweet tooth with a spurt of the sweetest, fullest, most powerful dark chocolate fudge imaginable flowing from an unformed, gooey center. But one bite is never enough. Once you have tasted The Deep, Black Darkness of the Soul, you are overcome with a desire to swallow the rest whole and reach for another--all the while rotting your teeth with each tender bite.

David Neilsen is a classically trained actor/storyteller, a journalist, and a theater/improvisation teacher for children and adults. During the Halloween season, David can be found telling spooky tales to audiences of all ages, or performing one of his one-man shows based on the stories of horror author H.P. Lovecraft. David lives in New York with his family. Dr. Fell and the Playground of Doom is his first novel. Visit him at neilsenparty.wordpress.com.

We hope you’re enjoying the blog tour for David Neilsen’s Dr. Fell and the Playground of Doom! In case you missed yesterday’s post, head over to Book Blather to check it out. The tour continues tomorrow on Reader Girls.

Win a brand new copy of
Dr. Fell and the Playground of Doom!
The awesome folks at Random House have offered up one book for one winner.
-US only
-ends 8/28
-the winner will be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours
-Word Spelunking is not responsible for lost, damaged, or stolen prizes
Fill out Rafflecopter to enter: