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.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Beach Party Surf Monkey (Welcome to Wonderland #2) Blog Tour {review & giveaway}

Beach Party Surf Monkey
(Welcome to Wonderland #2)
By Chris Grabenstein
May 23, 2017
Random House BFYR
Source: from publisher for review
From the bestselling author of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library and coauthor with James Patterson of I Funny, House of Robots, and Treasure Hunters, comes the second hilarious, fun-in-the-sun adventure in his illustrated series about all the wacky things that happen when you live in a motel!
There’s always something wacky happening when you live in a motel, and P.T. (named after P. T. Barnum, of course) has grown up at the world’s wackiest! When word gets out that the hottest teen idols in Hollywood (plus current YouTube sensation Kevin the Monkey!) will be filming their next movie—Beach Party Surf Monkey—right in St. Pete’s Beach, Florida, P.T. and his friend Gloria know that the Wonderland would be the perfect location. Now they just have to convince the producers!
But when things start to go wrong (crazed fans? missing stars?), it will take all of Gloria’s business genius and P.T.’s wild stories to save the movie before both it and the Wonderland are all washed up!
BONUS: Includes fun extras like P.T. and Gloria’s Famous Fact-or-Fiction Quiz: Movie Edition

Here’s What People are saying about Welcome to Wonderland!

“Outrageous hijinks and nonstop hilarity—five-stars! Kids who check into this madcap motel will want to stay forever!” —Lincoln Peirce, author of the Big Nate series

“So funny I fell off my bed!”–Izzy B., age 10

“Classic Grabenstein. The mystery should satisfy Grabenstein’s “Mr. Lemoncello” followers, and the humor and visuals will appeal to fans of his collaborations with James Patterson. This new series should be a hit.”—School Library Journal

“A  delight. P.T. is a hoot and a half. A funny, madcap dash.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Charm galore. Easy and breezy, this well-paced novel . . . belongs in the hands of any readers wanting their bad guys bad, their good guys great, and a little of Wonderland’s promised fun in the sun.”—The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

Storyteller extraordinaire, P.T. Wilkie, and his business savvy best friend, Gloria, are back with another wacky adventure at the Wonderland Motel! When a major Hollywood movie, Beach Party Surf Monkey, needs a retro motel location in St. Pete’s Beach to film at, P.T. and Gloria scheme to make sure that motel is the Wonderland...which isn’t exactly easy to do when a fancy-schmancy hotel opens up right next door and the owner keeps trying to buy the Wonderland. And P.T. and Gloria soon find that making movie magic is anything but an easy-breezy day at the beach, especially when tantrum throwing superstars and monkey business are involved. Can P.T. and Gloria save the wondrous Wonderland Motel once again?!

Chris Grabenstein returns to his wacky and wild Welcome to Wonderland series with the delightful and entertaining Beach Party Surf Monkey! With Grabenstein’s signature wit, compelling storytelling, and ability to keep his intended middle-grade audience captivated and enthralled, Beach Party Surf Monkey is wonderful from beginning to end.

Like the first book in this series, Beach Party Surf Monkey is fast-paced, cleverly plotted, and impossible to put down. Middle-grade readers will love the outrageous scenarios, bone-tickling humor, and engaging characters, while easily being swept into the fun behind-the-scenes look at what goes into making a movie, P.T. and Gloria’s motel-saving ideas, and the fun mystery weaved throughout. Once again, the Wonderland Motel, with its beach front location; retro look; kitschy decor; and endless over-the-top stories, makes for a charming setting that readers will love and want to protect as much as P.T. and Gloria.

One of things I love most about this series are all the irresistibly likable (and sometimes deliciously unlikable) characters. From tall tale teller, P.T., smart and capable Gloria, endearingly kooky Grandpa Wilkie, an awesome internet famous monkey, a classy movie star, and a pain in the butt superstar, Beach Party Surf Monkey is bursting with larger than life characters to get to know and love.

Young readers looking for an off the charts fun, genuinely laugh-out-loud book to devour this summer will not be disappointed by Beach Party Surf Monkey!

5/5 Cupcakes

Chris Grabenstein is the author of the New York Times bestsellers THE ISLAND OF DR. LIBRIS and ESCAPE FROM MR. LEMONCELLO'S LIBRARY as well as the co-author (with James Patterson) of the #1 Bestselling series I FUNNY, HOUSE OF ROBOTS, and TREASURE HUNTERS. Website * Facebook * Twitter

Win a copy of Beach Party Surf Monkey!
Random House has generously offered one book for one winner.
-US only
-ends 5/30
-winner will be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours
-Word Spelunking is not responsible for lost, stolen, damaged prize in the mail

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, May 22, 2017

Celebrate Father's Day With Put Me In The Story (giveaway)

Celebrate Dad with a Personalized Gift from!

Put Me In The Story is the #1 personalized books platform in the United States. Celebrate Dad this Father’s Day with an incredible personalized book from Put Me In The Story!

Dad, Dada, Daddy, Pappa, Pa, Pops, Papi – what you call your father can differ at different times in your life. The one constant is the story you and he write every day and through the years.

For all his dedication and love, sometimes it’s hard to show just how much you appreciate him. Our personalized books for dads – superheroes all – are truly special keepsakes he’ll treasure and return to often. You can definitely say this is “My Dad, My Story" and many of Put Me In The Story’s personalized books for dad below.

Don’t miss your chance to get a free downloadable coloring sheet for dad! Visit their site HERE to access the downloadable.

Plus, Put Me In The Story is offering all of you a chance to win a personalized gift for Dad or Grandpa in their giveaway. Scroll down to enter! Giveaway ends Monday, June 5th. Open to U.S. and Canada only.

$34.99 - personalized book

Create a personalized keepsake for the kids to give to Dad this year! This heartwarming story celebrates all the ways fathers show their children that they care. Featuring adorable illustrations by Marianne Richmond, My Dad Loves Me reminds little ones that dads are special because they protect, teach, and play with their children. This delightful bestselling book is sure to be one that is treasured at nighttime to show all of the wonderful ways that love is shared.

(Ships: to U.S., Canada, U.K., Guam and Puerto Rico)

$34.99 - personalized book

A young child starts off this laugh-out-loud picture story by listing all the ways his dad is NOT a superhero: he can’t leap tall buildings, run faster than a speeding bullet, or shoot webs out of his wrists.

But even though Dad may not be “super-hero worthy,” he's still a hero at heart. The sweet ending depicts all the cool—if not super—activities Dad does do with him like throwing a baseball, playing checkers and going toy shopping.

“And although he may not be a super-hero, He's my Dad...and he's definitely my hero.”

My Dad, My Hero is the perfect personalized gift for Father’s Day, Dad’s birthday, or any other time you want Dad to know just how great he is. Personalize this book with a name, photo, and special dedication message that will last for many celebrations to come.

(Ships to: U.S., Canada, U.K., Guam and Puerto Rico)

$34.99 - personalized book

With stunning photography and heartwarming sentiments, Why a Son Needs a Dad describes a father and son’s relationship in a powerful way. Dad taught you so much, from simple lessons like tying a tie to profound ones like loving others unconditionally. Add your own photo and dedication to this New York Times bestseller to show your father how proud you are to be his son.

(Ships to: United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Guam, Puerto Rico, U.S. Outlying Islands and U.S. Virgin Islands)

$34.99 - personalized book

Let your father know that he has played an irreplaceable role in your life with Why a Daughter Needs a Dad. A New York Times bestseller, this book brings back memories of daddy-daughter dances, summer fishing trips, and more. Personalize this gift with a photo and dedication message to create an unforgettable keepsake for Father’s Day, a birthday, or any other celebration.

(Ships to: United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Guam, Puerto Rico, U.S. Outlying Islands and U.S. Virgin Islands)

$34.99 - personalized book

Perfect for a grandchild of any age, Grandpa Loves Me! is as sweet as can be. This book shows your grandson or granddaughter how much you care about him or her every time they read it.

Personalize to include your grandchild’s name and Grandpa’s custom name (e.g. Opa, Granddad) to appear on the front cover of the book and to be incorporated throughout the text. You’ll also create a special dedication message with a personal note from you and your grandchild’s photo.

(Ships to: United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Guam and Puerto Rico)

$34.99 - personalized book

No one can take the place of Grandpa in your life. He shares with you a lifetime of wisdom and makes you feel as though you are the most important person in the world. He teaches you the value of hard work and how to have fun. Show Grandpa the type of love he deserves in the most special way—a book personalized with his photo and a dedication message from you.

(Ships to: United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Guam, Puerto Rico, U.S. Outlying Islands and U.S. Virgin Islands)

$34.95 - personalized picture frame

Make Dad feel like a Superhero with this personalized frame!

Our exclusive design features the phrase “The Only Superhero I Know Is Dad.” At the bottom you make it extra special by adding any two lines of personalization you choose.

Overall frame dimension is 8" x 10"
Holds a 4" x 6" photo
Sits on a table or wall mounts
Personalize two lines, up to 18 characters on each

Note: This personalized gift takes 5-7 business days to be created and shipped, and will ship separately from other products on your order.

(Ships to: United States)


5 winners will receive one personalized Father’s Day book. Giveaway starts 5/16/2017 and ends 6/7/2017.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms & Conditions:

No purchase necessary to enter or win. A purchase does not improve your chances of winning. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Open to legal residents of USA who are 18 years or older. Giveaway begins on May 16, 2017 at 11:59 CST and ends on June 7, 2017 at 12:00 am (“Promotion Period”). Enter the Giveaway during the Promotion Period online by submitting the entry form. The entry form can be found on the following website at . Winner will be selected by and be notified by email. Winner has 48 hours to respond before a new winner is selected. Five (5) winner(s) will receive one (1) copy of a personalized Father's Day book of their choice (approximate retail value or "ARV": $34.99). By providing your information in this form, you are providing your information to Put Me In The Story. Put Me In The Story does not share or sell information and will use any information only for the purpose of this giveaway. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are in no way associated with this giveaway.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Product Review: Apparel N Bags

From time to time, Word Spelunking is asked to write product reviews. Sometimes these are book related products, sometimes they are not. Today, I have a non-book related product review to share...

Apparel N Bags offers a wide variety of wholesale apparel, accessories, and bags and has a large selection of brands, styles, and sizes for men, women, and children. Their clothing and accessories range from casual to work-wear, athletic wear, and outer wear. Apparel N Bags also offers customized decorations through embroidery, screen print, heat transfer, applique, and laser etching services. With affordable and competitive prices and such a huge selection of products, Apparel N Bags is a great one stop shop for businesses, schools, sports teams, and more!

Connect with Apparel N Bags


For this review, Apparel N Bags allowed me to choose $25 worth of products from their store. I chose the following five shirts (all size 4T) for my niece, who is also modeling them...quite adorably to boot:

Rabbit Skins 3301T Toddler Tee

Color: Chill

Rabbit Skins 3301T Toddler Tee

Color: Aqua

Rabbit Skins 3327 Toddler Fine Jersey Ruffle T-Shirt

Color: Hot Pink

Rabbit Skins 3327 Toddler Fine Jersey Ruffle T-Shirt

Color: Lavender

Rabbit Skins 3037 Toddler Fine Jersey Football Tee

Color: Vintage Hot Pink/Blended White

Seriously, how cute are her poses?!

First, I was super impressed with how fast my ordered shipped and arrived (within a few days).

My niece, Little A, LOVES clothes and, as you can tell from the pictures above, she just adores her new, colorful shirts! Apparel N Bags has a nice selection of cute, casual, and comfy tees and shirts for toddlers. And the color choices are just awesome! Little A is currently crazy about all things in the turquoise/light teal/bluish range, so the t-shirts in Chill and Aqua are her favorite. All five shirt colors are true to their name and the colors are bright. The Rabbit Skins brand is new to us, but all five shirts seem to be well made and both Little A and I like how light and soft each shirt feels. These are the perfect go-to-shirts to wear with jeans, shorts, or leggings, and can be worn casual or dressed up.

The simplicity of the shirts leave plenty of room for customization and decoration. We're planning on getting some cute iron on images and decals to glamorize a few of the tees!

Apparel N Bags has an impressive selection of clothes for men, women, children, toddlers, and babies, in a wide range of styles, fits, and colors. Overall, the make, fit, color, size, and attractiveness of each shirt I chose exceeded my expectations!

**Disclaimer: I received these products free of charge for review purposes and my honest review was not effected by this. The thoughts, opinions, and photos in this post are all mine.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Lemons Blog Tour (guest post & giveaway)

I'm thrilled to have the Lemons Blog Tour stopping by today with a guest post from Melissa Savage and a book giveaway...

by Melissa Savage
May 2, 2017
Crown BFYR
What do you do when you lose everything that means anything?

Nine-year old Lemonade Liberty Witt doesn’t know the answer to that question, except what her mom taught her. When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. But what if those lemons are so big that you forget how?

How do you make lemonade out of having to leave everything you know in San Francisco to move to the small town of Willow Creek, California and live with a grandfather you’ve never even met? In a town that smells like grass and mud and bugs. With tall pines instead of skyscrapers and dirt instead of sidewalks. Not to mention one woolly beast lurking in the woods.

That’s right, Bigfoot.

A ginormous wooden statue of the ugly thing stands right at the center of town like he’s someone real important, like the mayor or something. And the people here actually believe he’s real and hiding somewhere out in the pine filled forests.

How can anyone possibly be expected to make lemonade out those rotten lemons?

Everything is different and Lem just wants to go back home. And then she meets Tobin Sky, the CEO of Bigfoot Detectives, Inc. and sole investigator for the town. He invites her to be his Assistant for the summer and she reluctantly agrees. At least until she can figure out her escape plan.

Together, Lem and Tobin try to capture a shot of the elusive beast on film and end up finding more than they ever could have even imagined.


“An enjoyable and welcome exploration of sorrow, healing, and friendship.” —School Library Journal
“An enjoyable and comforting middle-grade handbook on navigating new experiences and the heartache of losing loved ones early in life.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Savage injects enough humor, mystery, and lively interaction among the characters to give this two-hanky debut a buoyant tone.” —Booklist

Reading, Writing, and LEMONS
by Melissa Savage

Reading has been a life guide for me ever since I was a young child. It was even a book that I read in elementary school called, Don’t Hurt Laurie by Willo Davis Roberts, a story about child abuse, that influenced my decision to work in counseling with children who have had a history of abuse and neglect. And it is my work with children and love of reading that influenced me to write issue driven books for kids. I love to write stories about adversities that kids are faced with in the world. I think it’s important for kids to understand that they are not alone in their struggles and that others share their experiences and feelings. And mostly that there is hope despite adversity.
Most recently I have been affected by a difficult loss in my own life and have since worked with children grappling with losses of their own and have found that grief and loss is a very difficult subject matter for many people to talk about. Yet it’s something everyone will face in their lives, even losses such as divorce, or a best friend moving away, or even saying good-bye to a beloved teacher at the end of a school year. So, I wanted to write a story about the adversity of loss and how healing can come in the form of the kindness and love and willingness to stand by another in their grief. Because it is with the support from others that can make a real difference in someone’s life when a difficult loss has occurred.
Why Bigfoot? I love science and history! I am fascinated when scientists discover unknown facts about our planet and beyond, including species of animals that were either thought to be extinct or they didn’t know existed. That makes the mystery of Bigfoot even more intriguing and fun. I wanted to share that with kids set in the very place where Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin claimed to have filmed a real Bigfoot in 1967. I think the concept of grief can be a tough one, especially for children, and to provide a backdrop of adventure and fun is a nice balance when reading about difficult subject matter.
Lemons is a fun adventure searching for the elusive Bigfoot, however it is also a story about friendship, acceptance, kindness and most of all hope. The life journey that Lemonade Liberty Witt must endure is not unlike a journey others may face, it’s full of hardship and kindness, struggles and friendship, lemons and love. Lemonade learns in the end that the best way to endure her own lemons is to find gratitude in adversity and embrace new changes with optimism and courage while recognizing the gifts given despite the sadness loss can bring.

Melissa D. Savage is a writer and a child and family therapist. Her desire to write purposeful, issue-driven books for young people, coupled with her interest in cryptozoology and the mystery of Bigfoot, inspired her to write Lemons. Melissa lives in Minneapolis. You can follow her on Twitter at @melissadsavage, and visit her at Twitter * Facebook

Win a brand new copy of Lemons!
I have one copy, from Crown BFYR, for one winner.
-US only
-ends 5/19
-winner will be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours
-word spelunking is not responsible for lost, damaged, or stolen prizes in the mail

a Rafflecopter giveaway