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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The World's Greatest Adventure Machine Blog Tour (guest post & two giveaways)


Welcome to Day #3 of The World's Greatest Adventure Machine Blog Tour!

To celebrate the release of The World's Greatest Adventure Machine by Frank L. Cole (8/8/17), blogs across the web are featuring exclusive content from Frank and 10 chances to win a copy of Adventure Machine, as well as theme park tickets in the Grand Prize Giveaway!





An adventure novel about four lucky kids and a mysterious, but thrilling ride for fans of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or Jurassic Park! CastleCorp and the famous Castleton brothers are unveiling the World’s Greatest Adventure Machine! The roller coaster is an experience like no other, and four lucky kids have won the chance to be the first to ride it. There’s Trevor, whose latest stunt got him in trouble at school again. There’s Devin, whose father is pushing him to be the next Internet sensation. Nika’s wealthy grandfather isn’t too pleased about her participation. And Cameron, he’ll be the first to tell you, is a certified genius. The whole world is watching. But as the kids set off on their journey, they begin to realize that there is perhaps more to their fellow contest winners than meets the eye. And the Adventure Machine? It might just have a mind of its own. Join the contestants on their wild ride if you dare. Your adventure starts now!


Add on Goodreads






Favorite Theme Park Memory
by Frank L. Cole


My favorite memory would have to be the time Heidi (my wife) and I just decided out of the blue to take a weeklong trip to Disney World when we were still newlyweds. That was over 16 years ago, but I still consider it one of my favorite vacations of all time. We were young and excited and this was a big trip to plan when we rarely did anything crazy. I had expected the park to be swarmed with guests, because it was early May, but the place was all but empty. I’ve never seen The Magic Kingdom so barren of people. It felt as though they had opened everything just for us. We walked onto every ride without waiting more than a couple of minutes at the most. They even allowed us to stay on and ride again if we wanted because there was no one in line. We spent a lot of money on food and treats and souvenirs. Money well spent! We had enough time to slowly wander Main Street and The Living World at The Epcot Center and learn about things we never would have had the place been packed. It truly was magical seeing the characters walking around and having time to take pictures with them. I’ve since been back to Disney Parks seven or eight times over the years and they have always been beyond packed. It’s still amazing and I love the environment there, but we’ve constantly been rushed and I compare every experience I have to that first one when Heidi and I strolled alone through The Magic Kingdom. Nothing ever lives up to it.


FRANK L. COLE lives with his wife and three children out west. When not writing books, Frank enjoys going to the movies and traveling. The World’s Greatest Adventure Machine is Frank’s ninth published book and his second with Delacorte Press. His first was The Afterlife Academy. You can learn more about his writing at frankcolwrites.com or find @franklcole on Twitter. 
Follow FrankWebsite | Twitter | Facebook






Blog Tour Schedule:
August 14th — BookhoundsYA August 15th — Good Choice Reading
August 16th— Word Spelunking August 17th — Life Naturally
August 18th — A Dream Within a Dream August 21st— Reading Teen
August 22nd — Crossroad Reviews August 23rd — Novel Novice August 24th — YA and Kids Books Central August 25th — Once Upon a Twilight



(there are two giveaways, so be sure to fill out each Rafflecopter form to enter both giveaways)

Win a copy of  
The World's Greatest Adventure Machine!
I have one copy for one winner.
-US only
-ends 8/25/17
-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
Fill out Raffecopter form to enter:
a Rafflecopter giveaway


GRAND PRIZE GIVEAWAY
  • One (1) winner will receive a copy of The World's Greatest Adventure Machine and a set of two theme park tickets to the park of your choice (up to $125)
  • US Only
  • Enter via the rafflecopter below
  • Giveaway ends 8/27 at midnight ET
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, August 11, 2017

Spotlight and Giveaway: the middle-grade 100 Dresses Series by Susan Maupin Schmid

I'm excited to be spotlighting and giving away Susan Maupin Schmid's middle-grade series 100 Dresses...


If The Magic Fits
(100 Dresses #1)
by Susan Maupin Schmid
October 25, 2016
Random House BFYR

Inside an enchanted castle, there’s a closet—a closet with one hundred dresses that nobody ever wears. Dresses like those need a good trying-on, and Darling Dimple is just the girl to do it. When she tries on Dress Number Eleven, something unbelievable happens. She transforms into the castle’s Head Scrubber! It turns out that each dress can disguise her as someone else. And Darling is about to have an adventure that calls for a disguise or two…or a hundred.


Ghost of a Chance
(100 Dresses #2)
by Susan Maupin Schmid
July 25, 2017
Random House BFYR

Inside an enchanted castle, there’s a closet—a closet with one hundred magical dresses that only Darling Dimple can wear.Each one disguises her as somebody else.
It turns out that Darling needs disguises. A thief is on the loose! Someone is causing an uproar among the servants—moving things around, stealing clothes from the laundry, and even pocketing Princess Mariposa’s jewels. Then Darling and her friend Roger think they spot a ghost roaming the halls. Could the culprit be a spirit? Can Darling and Roger get to the bottom of it all? With the help of the one hundred dresses, there just might be a ghost of a chance.



Praise for 100 Dresses
“A cheery start to a new series, this fairy-tale-style fantasy will brighten the cloudiest of days.” —Kirkus Reviews
A spunky and lively narrator, Darling Dimple is easy to love.” —School Library Journal
“A charming new fairy tale! Readers won’t want this adventure to end!” —Jessica Day George, New York Times bestselling author of Tuesdays at the Castle


Susan Maupin Schmid is the author of 100 Dresses: If the Magic Fits. She grew up next to a cemetery. She never saw a single ghost. Not one. But she did have a favorite tombstone: Princetta Blakely’s sparkly black granite monument. Susan liked to imagine what life would be like with such an amazing name. And she read books. So many that she exasperated her local librarian. When her parents built a summer home by a lake, she pocketed a library card at that library. Through the years, Susan has continued to read, imagine, and collect library cards. To find out more, visit SusanMaupinSchmid.com and follow her on Twitter at @maupinschmid


Win both books in the 100 Dresses series!
Susan has generously offered a paperback copy of If The Magic Fits and a copy of Ghost of A Chance, for three winners.
-US only
-ends 8/20/17
-three winners will each get both books
-must follow Susan on Twitter to enter
-winners will be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours
-word spelunking is not responsible for lost, damaged, stolen prizes in the mail
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Back To School Reading: Books For All Ages


Back to school time is just around the corner and I have a fantastic list of books, for all ages, to share today...

From National Geographic Kids

Weird but True! Daily Planner: 365 Days to Fill with School, Sports, Friends and Fun (ages 8-12, $12.99) - Nat Geo Kids has made getting organized for school FUN and injects some creative thinking into the process, too!  In the planner, each day of the school year is peppered with weird-but-true facts.  Turn the pages and write the class schedule for the year, record school work, keep track of activities, and plan social time, all while learning wild things about the world around them. Fun writing prompts invite students to celebrate weirdness and hone their writing skills at the same time. Plus there are homework help sections, useful distance, volume, weight and multiplication charts and tons of space to write or doodle their daily schedule any way they wish. With beautiful full-color artwork and engaging information and activities, this is the must-have planner for the 2017/2018 school year. Spiral bound and durable, it will last until the final school bell rings in June.  

National Geographic Kids United States Atlas, 5th Edition (ages 8-12, $12.99) - This is THE gold standard of atlases and a must-have reference for home or school.  Featuring more than 75 maps, over 350 color images, lively photo essays, and an easy-to-use place-name index, National Geographic ’s world-renowned cartographers have paired up with education experts to create an unparalleled resource of information about the United States.  Kids will discover the latest data and trends regarding land and water, people and places and eight socially themed maps on nature, population, energy and fire delve deeper into key issues.  

Picture Books

Kim Krans’s stunning picture book WHOSE MOON IS THAT? addresses the question: do any of us “own” nature?
When a curious cat asks the question, "Whose moon is that?", a panoply of animals try to stake their claim. The wolf, the owl, and the starry sky all have their reasons, but the moon ultimately answers for herself -- her light is meant to be shared by everyone. The stunning ink-and-watercolor illustrations beautifully illuminate this simple exploration of our relationship to the world around us and our place in it.
(Random House BFYR | Ages 3-7 | On sale August 1, 2017)



Veteran children’s author Margery Cuyler and illustrator Will Terry deliver a true bone-ified friendship story in BONAPARTE FALLS APART.
Young skeleton Bonaparte was having a tough time just hanging loose when he couldn't keep hold of himself. When he plays catch, his throwing arm literally takes a flyer. Eating lunch can be a real jaw-dropping occasion. How can he start school when he has so many screws loose? Friends Franky Stein, Black Widow, and Mummicula all have some bone-headed ideas to help, but it takes a skeleton's best friend—a dog named Mandible—to retrieve Bonaparte's missing confidence.
(Crown BFYR | Ages 3-7 | On sale August 15, 2017).
Penny Parker Klostermann and Ben Mantle offer a fun fractured fairy tale about an aspiring chef who mistakenly turns story ingredients into delectable dishes in A COOKED-UP FAIRY TALE.
William doesn't quite fit in in the magical land of fairy tales. He'd rather poach pears than pursue princesses, and values gnocchi over knighthood. When he stumbles on a delivery of food destined for Fairy Tale Headquarters, (a pumpkin, an apple, and a few measly beans), he decides to spice things up and whips the paltry ingredients into delectable dishes. But as you might have guessed, Snow White doesn't exactly need her magic apple baked and drizzled with caramel. The team that brought you There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight delivers a hilarious fractured, whipped, and souffled fairy tale that is chock-full of delicious details and jokes to satisfy every appetite!
(Random House BFYR | Ages 3-7 | On sale September 5, 2017).
Acclaimed illustrator Bob Staake brings us an emotionally rich picture book about a character who discovers that the search for knowledge is more important than knowledge itself in THE BOOK OF GOLD.
Young Isaac Gutenberg isn't a curious boy . . . that is, until he meets an old shopkeeper who tells him about The Book of Gold, a special book, hidden somewhere in the world, that turns to solid gold when opened. Isaac is determined to find the book—it will make him rich! He opens many books in his search, and quickly closes them when they don't turn to gold. But when a glance at a page makes a question pop into his mind, everything changes, and he begins reading every word. This sweeping picture book asks important questions: Is searching for knowledge better than having it? How important is curiosity? And what makes a life meaningful?
(Schwartz & Wade | Ages 4-8 years | On sale September 12, 2017)

Shake, wiggle, and tickle the monster out of this book--an interactive bedtime read-aloud by a YouTube star, musician, and children's book author!

With the irresistible pull of Herve Tullet's Press Here and the charm of The Monster at the End of This Book, Tom Fletcher's inviting interactive read-aloud will have kids tilting, spinning, and shaking the book to get the adorable little monster out! That's right! He's out of the book . . . and in their room somewhere. Uh-oh!!
The co-author of the Dinosaur That Pooped series has created a monster that readers will fall in love with--and want to play with--again and again! It will get your own little monster tuckered out and snuggled in!
Tom Fletcher has a huge social-media presence, with over a million followers on Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. His videos "Buzz and the Dandelions" and "My Wedding Speech" went viral and have been viewed tens of millions of times all over the world.

(Random House BFYR | Ages 3-7 years | On sale September 5, 2017)

A beautifully illustrated picture book about Barbie--the most famous doll in the world--and her visionary creator, Ruth Handler.

After noticing how her daughter played with "grown-up" paper dolls, Ruth Handler wanted to create a doll that would inspire little girls to use their huge imaginations and big dreams about their futures. While others told her it wasn't possible, Ruth Handler proved them all wrong by creating the most famous doll ever. This beautiful hardcover picture book will inspire children ages 3 to 7 to believe that anything is possible--especially with Barbie!

Since 1959, Barbie has shown girls that they can live their dreams. From an astronaut to a chef to a president, she knows that girls can do anything!

(Random House BFYR | Ages 4-8 years | On sale September 5, 2017)

Goodnight moon,
goodnight sun.
Goodnight, goodnight,
to everyone

Every child is getting ready for bed. But children aren't the only ones who go to sleep at night--so do plants, animals, and everything else. It's time to say goodnight to the world!

This gentle, rhyming book with soft, beautiful illustrations is perfect for snuggling up with at bedtime.

(Bloomsbury USA Children’s | Ages 3-7 years | On sale August 15, 2017)

When the news reports are flooded with tales of hatred and fear, a girl asks her papa what she can do to make the world a better place. "Come with me," he says. Hand-in-hand, they walk to the subway, tipping their hats to those they meet. The next day, the girl asks her mama what she can do--her mama says, "Come with me," and together they set out for the grocery, because one person doesn't represent an entire race or the people of a land. After dinner that night, the little girl asks if she can do something of her own--walk the dog . . . and her parents let her go. "Come with me," the girl tells the boy across the hall. Walking together, one step at a time, the girl and the boy begin to see that as small and insignificant as their part may seem, it matters to the world.

(G.P. Putnam’s | Ages 5-8 years | On sale September 5, 2017)

Middle-Grade

Think fast with A.J. and Andrea from My Weird School!
Did you know that the planet Jupiter has at least fifty moons? Did you know that Albert Einstein’s brain was stolen after he died?!
Learn more weird-but-true science facts with A.J. and Andrea from Dan Gutman’s bestselling My Weird School series. This all-new series of nonfiction books features hundreds of hysterical facts, plus lots of photos and illustrations.
Whether you’re a kid who wants to learn more about science or simply someone who wants to know how many million times the earth could fit into the sun, this is the book for you!
With more than 11 million books sold, the My Weird School series really gets kids reading!
(Harper Collins | Ages 6-10 years | On sale July 20, 2017)

Think fast with A.J. and Andrea from My Weird School!

Did you know that the word “independence” never appears in the Declaration of Independence? Did you know that soldiers in World War I collected thousands of glowworms in jars to help them see at night?!

Learn more weird-but-true U.S. history facts with A.J. and Andrea from Dan Gutman’s bestselling My Weird School series. This all-new series of nonfiction books features hundreds of hysterical facts, plus lots of photos and illustrations.

Whether you're a kid who wants to learn more about our country's history or simply someone who wants to know how many Americans are involved in toilet-related injuries each year, this is the book for you!

With more than 11 million books sold, the My Weird School series really gets kids reading!

(Harper Collins | Ages 6-10 years | On sale July 20, 2017)

With more than 11 million books sold, the My Weird School series really gets kids reading!

In this eighth book in the new My Weirdest School series, it s Grandparents Day at Ella Mentry School! Alexia s grandmother Mrs. Master makes weird inventions for a living, but A.J. and the gang come up with the weirdest invention of all. And they re going to make a bazillion dollars from it! Will they succeed? Or will their great big idea be flushed down the drain?

Perfect for reluctant readers and word lovers alike, Dan Gutman s hugely popular My Weird School chapter book series has something for everyone. Don t miss the hilarious adventures of A.J. and the gang!

(Harper Collins | Ages 6-10 years | On sale June 20, 2017)



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

Friday, August 4, 2017

Dewey Fairchild, Parent Problem Solver Blog Tour (interview & giveaway)


I'm thrilled to have the Dewey Fairchild, Parent Problem Solver Blog Tour stopping by today! This blog tour is hosted by The Children's Book Review and sponsored by AmberJack Publishing...



Dewey Fairchild, Parent Problem Solver
Written by Lorri Horn
Illustrated by Agnieszka Grochalska

Dewey Fairchild isn’t just good with parents, he’s great with them. He’s so good at handling parents that he’s built a thriving business out of it. He even has a secretary, Clara―a great alibi and an even better baker. Dewey settles the most troublesome of cases, from an overprotective mom who won’t let her child go to class on her own, to a dad who can’t stop picking his nose any chance he gets!
Dewey has no problem handling other people’s parents, but when he overhears his parents talking one day, he faces a challenge he never expected. Dewey can solve any problem parents may cause, but what will he do when the parents who are causing problems are his own?

Ages 9-12 | Publisher: Amberjack Publishing | August 8, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1944995164

Available Here:



Q1. What three words best describe your book, Dewey Fairchild, Parent Problem Solver?

Amusing, perceptive, delightful

Q2. Grab a copy of Dewey Fairchild, Parent Problem Solver and answer the following:
Favorite chapter?

“Tiny Developments”—The title is ironic in a number of ways: Pee Wee’s size, what a big development it must be for Seraphina, and meanwhile, all that is happening internally for Dewey as he puts his trust in Clara. It turns out no one needs Dewey’s help this chapter, and I think that’s a compelling development as well.

Favorite page?

Page 41—I like how once Seraphina’s mom finally crosses over, it seems simple—“that was that.” From there, the rest of the page follows with the simple proposition that remains the backbone of the story: Dewey is a Parent-Problem-Solver if you ever need one. And everyone pretty much needs one of those.

Favorite place/setting?

Dewey’s office with the air conditioning ducts the clients crawl through and get cookies along the way as they enter.

Flip to a random page and give us a 1-2 sentences teaser:

“When we return: one father’s near encounter with utter ruin, only it was all a big joke. Can children abuse their parents? When we get back . . .” (75).

Q3. Tell us a bit about your character, Dewey Fairchild. What makes him special and what do you love about him?

Dewey Fairchild equally loves a good challenge and a good snack. He possesses a natural curiosity, and his mind easily wanders sometimes from one idea to another as he free-associates. To some in his life, this might prove frustrating, but it’s part of his charm and enables him to become the problem-solver he does. Dewey is a fixer, not just a suggester—which, evidently, I find much more satisfying. We all have our foibles. When we can acknowledge them, laugh about them, apologize for them, the better everyone fares. Dewey Fairchild is the liaison between parents and kids because sometimes we parents don’t always do those things as well as we’d like. No one really wants to admit to her kid she was picking her nose and rolling a booger into the carpet, you know? But Dewey helps us be the better person who can say, “Gosh, how embarrassing! I was just picking my nose right then! I felt so caught when you asked that I actually lied and said I wasn’t!”     

Q4. Fill in the blanks:
I’m really awesome at analyzing ideas and people.
I’m really embarrassed to admit I’m not a good speller.
The last great book I read was My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante.

Q5. If you were to create and bake a cupcake inspired by Dewey Fairchild, Parent Problem Solver, what would it look and taste like, and what would you call it?

I just spent an hour baking a prototype Dewey Fairchild cupcake. I dumped it though. You’ll never taste it. I’ll tell you why. Because I can’t bake just a single cupcake. I’m a baker. I bake a dozen. Maybe half a dozen. No sooner had I taken the Fairchild out of the oven to cool for you to taste, I panicked in that way I do. What if I want to open a bakery and make a Dewey cupcake or a Wolfie cupcake or a Clara, Colin, Seraphina or Pooh Bear one, and I baked just a single cuppiecake never considering how the rest of the batch needed to turn out? I just tossed a cupcake into the trash right now, and in doing so, may have salvaged the future of some other cupcake’s destiny. It’s possible, you know. Don’t rush me. I gotta rethink the whole Fairchild cupcake now. I don’t want to reveal too much, but I just dumped a perfectly dense, delectable, tender, stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth marbled chocolate and vanilla cupcake with the tiniest dancing flecks of salt into the garbage, and I think those of you who read Dewey Fairchild will know soon enough why that would have been a disaster of a choice come the day I want to open a bakery of my own and have a cupcake called Wolfie. Clearly, he’s a black and white! I don’t know what I was thinking. Clearly, I wasn’t. I had my nose straight in the batter. Close call.



About the Author
Lorri Horn is an educator and an author. She has a degree in English, a teaching credential, has been Nationally Board Certified, and has taught pubic school for over 14 years. She loves cheese (and wants it to be its own food group, which made working on a vegan book a challenge), humor, baking, books, and spending time with her family. Lorri’s background as a career schoolteacher and instructional leader make her especially sympathetic to the needs and perspectives of children, and this sensitivity features in her work as an author. Lorri blogs on her website,lorrihorn.com. Her work has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, The Huffington Post, Phi Delta Kappan, The College Board and Mayim’s Vegan Table. Lorri lives in California with her husband, son, and their dog, Wolfie.




About the Illustrator: Agnieszka Grochalska is an illustrator living and working in Warsaw, Poland. As a child she wanted to be an astronaut or a jet pilot. Eventually she changed her mind and dedicated her keen eye and steady hand to drawing precise and detailed compositions reminiscent of classical storybook illustrations.
She received a MFA in Graphic Arts in 2014, exploring traditional painting, printmaking, and sculpting along the way. Currently she works predominantly in digital medium, striving to make it look as natural as her works drawn traditionally. Her illustrative works were featured in group exhibitions both in Poland and abroad.
Agnieszka enjoys travel and cultural exchange with people from around the world, referencing those experiences in her works alongside the Slavic folklore of her homeland. When she isn’t drawing or traveling, you can find her exploring the worlds of fiction in books and story-driven games.
Agnieszka’s works can be viewed in her online portfolio at agroshka.com.


Enter to win a Dewey Fairchild, Parent Problem Solver themed prize pack!
One (1) winner receives:
  • A copy of Dewey Fairchild, Parent Problem Solver, by Lorri Horn
  • A Dewey Fairchild themed gift pack. Includes items such as cookies, gum, notebooks, pens/pencils, Tootsie Rolls, Monopoly game etc.

Giveaway rules:
  • NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.
  • Enter between 12:00 AM Mountain Time on August 1, 2017 and 11:59 PM on August 31, 2017.
  • Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older.
  • Winners will be selected at random on or about September 3, 2017.
  • Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.
Prizes provided by Amberjack Publishing.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR SCHEDULE

The Children's Book Review
8/1
Teacher Dance
8/2
Jrsbookreviews
8/3
Word Spelunking
8/4
To Read, or Not To Read
8/7
Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
8/8
icefairy's Treasure Chest
8/9
Tales of A Wanna-Be SuperHero Mom
8/10
ShootingStarsMag
8/11
LitPick Student Book Reviews
8/14
The Fairview Review
8/15