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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Cover Reveal: Eternal Seas by Lexi Rees

I'm thrilled to help reveal the cover for the upcoming middle-grade, Eternal Seas, by Lexi Rees...


Eternal Seas 
by Lexi Rees

Such a small parcel shouldn't cause experienced smugglers much trouble, but this parcel is far from normal. Lost and scared after a violent storm, Finn and his sister, Aria, take shelter on a remote island. They discover the parcel contains a relic belonging to a long forgotten people. Locked inside are powers which will change their lives, and the world, forever. As Finn realises his connection to the relic, a vision strikes him - but what does it mean? Who should they trust? And if they decide to follow their hearts rather than their orders, will they manage to deliver the relic in one piece? Chased across the seas as they try to solve the mysteries within the parcel, the fate of this ancient people depends on them. Finn and Aria must choose between what is right and what is easy - and time is running out ... With brave protagonists and life lessons of courage and honour, Eternal Seas speaks from a `flawed' character perspective that everyone can relate to. Young readers who enjoy daring plots and exciting adventures will delight in this original story of different races and tough choices. 

Lexi Rees spends as much time as possible sailing and horse riding, both of which she does spectacularly badly. Attempts at writing whilst horse riding have been disastrous, so Eternal Seas was written on a boat; the storm described in the book was frighteningly real. 

Monday, August 13, 2018

Review: Who Eats Orange? by Dianne White (giveaway)

Who Eats Orange? 
By Dianne White 
Illustrated by Robin Page 
August 14, 2018 
Beach Lane Books 
Source: from pub for review 

Who eats orange—a chicken? A bunny? A bear? Find out in this unique exploration of colors and animals’ favorite foods. 

Animals eat a rainbow of different foods. Gorillas in the mountains eat green, octopi in the ocean eat red, and toucans in the canopy eat purple. Young animal enthusiasts will love digging into this lively journey around the world to explore the colorful diets of many animals, from the familiar to the exotic. 

What do bunnies eat? How about bears or octopuses or even quetzals? And just what color is all that food all those animals eat? In Who Eats Orange? author Dianne White takes little readers on a trip around the world to explore the many different colors of food that animals (familiar and exotic) eat...including what people eat! 

Who Eats Orange? with its bright colors, delightful text, and fun factual information put such a big smile on my face! Dianne White’s simple, yet effective text will charm and captivate little readers as they learn all about different kinds of animals and the various foods they eat. And Robin Page’s colorful, lively and wonderfully engaging illustrations perfectly capture those animals and foods being explored. Plus, included at the back of the book is even more neat information about each of the animals, foods, and geographies found in the book. 

Who Eats Orange? is a cleverly amusing and sweetly illustrated way to explore the fascinating world of animal diets and colors! 

Dianne White has written several picture books, including the celebrated Blue on Blue, illustrated by Beth Krommes. This summer she also released Goodbye Brings Hello: A Book of Firsts, illustrated by Daniel Wiseman. She lives in Gilbert, Arizona, with her family.  For more information, and to download a free activity kit, visit diannewrites.comTwitter @diannewrites 
Robin Page has written and illustrated several picture books, including the 2003 Caldecott Honor recipient What Do You Do with a Tail Like This?, which she created with her husband Steve Jenkins, and A Chicken Followed Me Home! and Seeds Move!, which she both wrote and illustrated. Robin and Steve live in Boulder, Colorado. 

Win a copy of Who Eats Orange?
Simon & Schuster have generously offered one book for one winner.
-US only
-ends 8/19/18
-winner will be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours
-Word Spelunking is not responsible for lost, damaged, stolen prizes

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Friday, August 10, 2018

Interview and Giveaway: Jonathan Rosen, middle-grade author

I'm thrilled to have author Jonathan Rosen here today to chat about his fun middle-grade series...

Night of the Living Cuddle Bunnies

Twelve-year-old Devin Dexter has a problem. Well, actually, many of them. His cousin, Tommy, sees conspiracies behind every corner. And Tommy thinks Devin's new neighbor, Herb, is a warlock . . . but nobody believes him. Even Devin's skeptical. But soon strange things start happening. Things like the hot new Christmas toy, the Cuddle Bunny, coming to life. 

That would be great, because, after all, who doesn't love a cute bunny? But these aren't the kind of bunnies you can cuddle with. These bunnies are dangerous. Devin and Tommy set out to prove Herb is a warlock and to stop the mob of bunnies, but will they have enough time before the whole town of Gravesend is overrun by the cutest little monsters ever? This is a very funny "scary" book for kids, in the same vein as the My Teacher books or Goosebumps.  

From Sunset Till Sunrise 

Devin Dexter and his cousin Tommy just saved the city of Gravesend from the menace of magical, malicious Cuddle Bunnies brought to life by the warlock, Herb. But there’s no rest for the wicked, as a new mysterious neighbor moves in across the street. At night. With a coffin. Tommy immediately jumps to conclusions as he thinks this can only mean one thing: Vampires. 

Devin isn’t so quick to believe, as he is struck by the neighbor’s daughter, a girl his age. Even though Tommy points out that they have never seen her during the day. Yet when she invites him to a dance at her school—the Nosfer Academy of Talented Understudies—how can Devin say no? Tommy, though, realizes that this is an opportunity. After tackling a wizard last winter, surely they can protect Gravesend from some measly vampires, right?

Q1.  What three words best describe your book Night of the Living Cuddle Bunnies? 
 Funny, scary, and let’s see . . .  did I mention funny? 

 Q2. Grab a copy of Night of the Living Cuddle Bunnies and answer the following: 

Favorite chapter? It’s tough for me to pick the favorite of anything in the book, since I love all of it, but for this question, I’ll go with Chapter Two: Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner. It’s a funny chapter, where Devin and Tommy discuss all the items needed to defeat a witch.  

Favorite page? I love page 123, where Devin is forced to speak to a therapist, who uses a sock, and refers to him as Dr. Sockmond Freud.  

Favorite setting? My favorite setting in the story is the big showdown at the mall. Huge scene there with Cuddle Bunnies, and more. Don’t want to spoil it for anyone. 😊 

Flip to a random page and give us a 1-2 sentences teaser: 
P 246: I whirled the flashlight around, to come face to face with two black Cuddle Bunny eyes staring right back at me. 

Q3. What inspired Night of the Living Cuddle Bunnies? How did this story and series come to be? 

The inspiration for this story was wanting to do a horror/comedy. As a kid, I loved the scary/funny movies, like Gremlins and Fright Night. Naturally, I was also a huge fan of Goosebumps, and wanted to do something in that vein. For a while, I had thought about a story where that season’s hot new Christmas toy came to life and terrorized a town, so I combined all the things I wanted. I made the town a creepy one, which has a history of paranormal activity. I used a lot of horror tropes and played with them. Twisting them, to make them as funny as could be.  

Q4. Can you tell us a bit about your young characters, Devin and Tommy? What makes them unique? 

I think Devin and Tommy are very funny and are slightly self-aware. They mention the tropes and lore, and give little winks to the reader, as if to say, we’re aware of what you’re thinking, but this is going in a different direction. Devin is more reserved and cautious. The part of the reader who thinks things through and logically wouldn’t want to go charging into danger. Tommy is the part of the reader who they wish they were. Aware of the danger, but doesn’t care. We’ll go charging in, and confronting it head-on. 

Q5.  Living Cuddle Bunnies sound sweet and innocent, but they're actually dangerous....what three survival tips would you give readers to deal with any Living Cuddle Bunnies they encounter? 

  1. You can’t go anywhere in Gravesend without Holy Water, and it works wonders on Cuddle Bunnies.  
  1. Also, a good, sharp pair of scissors.  
  1. And perhaps, the most important, your phone with plenty of music stored on it. Especially, the kind of music the Cuddle Bunnies hate, like the Hugging Hippo song.  

 Q6. What's next for Devin and Tommy in their next adventure, From Sunset till Sunrise? 

In From Sunset Till Sunrise, Devin and Tommy have a new neighbor, who invites them to a dance at a performing arts school. Unfortunately, for them, the school is filled with vampires. It’s both funny and scary, with a touch of gore. But, even the gory stuff comes out as funny.  
 Q7. Fill in the blanks: 

I'm really awesome at ___.humor. 

I'm embarrassed to admit ___.that there are a couple of really famous classics that I’ve never read. Won’t name them, because it’s too embarrassing!  

The last great book I read was ___.I’ve read so many good ones. Tough to pick just one. But, the last one I read, I really enjoyed, Evangeline of the Bayou by Jan Eldredge.  

 Q8. If you were to create and bake a cupcake inspired by Night of the Living Cuddle Bunnies what would it look and taste like, and what would you call it? 

 Hmmm, I like this question. I love anything chocolate, so it would have to include that. But, let’s also include lots of berries inside, and call it the Bunny Berry Cupcake. It would be delicious at first, but then have a vicious aftertaste. 

  This was a lot of fun, and thank you for having me!  

Jonathan Rosen is a transplanted New Yorker, who now lives with his family in sunny, South Florida. He spends his “free” time chauffeuring around his three kids. Some of Jonathan’s fondest childhood memories are of discovering a really good book to dive into, in particular the Choose Your Own Adventure Series, and Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Jonathan is proud to be of Mexican-American descent, although neither country has been really willing to accept responsibility. He is the author of Night of the Living Cuddle Bunnies, which is out now, and the sequel, From Sunset Till Sunrise, coming August 21. You can find him on TwitterFacebookFromtheMixedUpFiles.Com, The Tuesday Writers and his own website,  

Win both books in this fun series!
Jonathan has generously offered copies of each book in this series for one winner.
-US only
-ends 8/17/18
-winner will be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours
-Word Spelunking is not responsible for lost, damaged, or stolen prizes
a Rafflecopter giveaway