Thursday, April 10, 2014

Blog Tour -- Wish You Weren't


Wish You Weren't
by Sherrie Petersen

I am thrilled to be a part of the blog tour for this recently released, MG sci-fi/fantasy novel by  Sherrie Petersen. What a wonderful story! It's a story that will come back to you when you can't fall asleep at night or when you're driving in your car and your mind wanders. I highly recommend.

Marten doesn't believe in the power of wishes. None of his have ever come true. His parents ignore him, his little brother is a pain and his family is talking about moving to Texas. Not cool. So when he makes an impulsive wish during a meteor shower, he doesn't expect it to make any difference. Until his annoying brother disappears.With the present uncertain and his brother’s future in limbo, Marten finds himself stuck in his past. And if he runs out of time, even wishes might not be enough to save the ones he loves.

Praise for WISH YOU WEREN’T:

“If you’re looking for the same old formula middle grade fantasy, this isn’t it. Wish You Weren’t is magically real. You wouldn’t be surprised if you met Marten in “real” life, but what he encounters in this story is pure magic.” ~VALERIE HOBBS, award-winning author of Wolf, Sheep and Minnie McClary Speaks Her Mind

“Wish You Weren’t is a sweet story about the blessings of family contained within the rip-roaring roller coaster of time travel. It is a page turner that kids are going to love!” ~KATIE D. ANDERSON, bestselling author of Kiss & Makeup

“I love all the science details mixed with fantasy in Wish You Weren’t — just the kinds of flights-of-science-fancy I wish I had as child!” ~SUSAN KAYE QUINN, bestselling author of the Mindjack Trilogy, Faery Swap and Third Daughter 

“Fun and accessible, rich with realism and heart, this magical adventure reminds us of the things truly worth wishing for.” ~CASEY McCORMICK, literary agent intern and blogger at Literary Rambles

You can find/purchase 
by following any of the links below: 


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Blog Tour -- Regine's Book



In honor of Young Adult Cancer Awareness, I am honored to have the opportunity to share this book with you. Written by Regine, a Norwegian teen battling cancer and clinging to normalcy, this the touching, beautiful story of her final fight. This is a book perfect for teens who know someone struggling with the disease or who may be facing it themselves. It touched my heart.

Regine’s Book: A Teen Girl’s Last Words
17- year-old blogs about living with leukemia and accepting death

Regine Stokke began her blog after being diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukemia in 2008. Her goal was to paint a realistic picture of what it’s like battling a life-threatening illness—and to share her experience with the world. During the 15 months Regine was sick and to her death she transformed from an average teenage girl, upset that she doesn’t have a private hospital room, to a grateful and humble young woman with a deep appreciation for the beauty all around her.

Regine’s Book is Regine’s story, as it was written on her blog, and is supplemented with a selection of photos as well as comments from blog readers and entries from those who loved her most. The book deals with all the facets of living with cancer, from the good days to the bad and everything in between.

“I’ve been thinking a lot about people who permanently lose their hair,” wrote Regine, who had lost her own hair due to chemotherapy. “Can people actually get used to it? I haven’t. Society today is obsessed with looks. [But] I wore a wig to the hospital today and finally avoided all the stares. That felt good…”

At an age when Regine’s biggest concern should have been what dress she was going to wear to prom, she was worrying about whether or not the wig she’s wearing looks natural and about all the things she may soon be leaving behind. “The fear of no longer existing never goes away,” Regine laments only a few months before her death. “I’m afraid to leave the world and I don’t want to do it. I think about my family, and about my friends. I have to fight for them. I can’t leave them behind with that sorrow. I have to try everything I can, despite how bleak everything looks.”
It was this incredible hope and love for others that carried Regine through the 15 months of her illness. During this time she also had her photographs displayed in a museum exhibit, attended concerts, enjoyed her friends and family and advocated for others to register as blood and bone marrow donors. Regine’s Book shows her as a typical teenager in a terrifying situation, with an amazing will to live, and the lessons she learned have relevance for all of us. Through her eyes, readers will discover a more vivid world—and a new appreciation for life, art, and the power of the human spirit.

Regine Stokke was a lover of life—a poet, photographer, blogger, and leukemia patient, who blogged about her devastating struggle with the illness and shared her story with a world of strangers. Originally published in her homeland of Norway, Regine’s Book was awarded the Norwegian Literature Abroad (NORLA) foundation for a translation grant. 

If you'd like to visit Regine's blog, it's written in her native Norwegian, and can be found HERE

** Zest Books made a donation to The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Team in Training in Regine’s honor upon publication of her book.

 ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Regine Stokke began to blog about her day-to-day life shortly after she was diagnosed with leukemia in 2008. Regine’s stated purpose with her posts was to give people a sense of "what it's like to live with" such a serious illness, and her blog became an almost instant classic. It was first adapted into book form in 2010, and became a bestseller in Norway. Regine was also a gifted photographer, and had her photos exhibited at both the 2009 and the 2010 Nordic Light photography festivals in Kristiansund. 

Henriette Larsen (translator) grew up in Switzerland and the U.S., speaking Norwegian at home. She has fond memories of beautiful summers (but no winters) in Norway. She earned a Bachelor's degree in French Literature from Pomona College and completed graduate coursework in French and Comparative Literature at SFSU. Henriette lives in San Francisco.

Social Media links:
Regine's Book at Zest Books: HERE
Regine’s Book on Goodreads: HERE
Regine’s Book LibraryThing: HERE

Books can be purchased from these online booksellers, 
as well as from any bookstore:

Monday, March 24, 2014

Blog Tour -- The Ruby Pendant by Dorine White

 Blog Tour

 The Ruby Pendant: Cleopatra's Legacy 2
by Dorine White

Welcome to New Orleans- home of Mardi Gras, jazz music and voodoo. Eighth grader Melanie Belaforte is home for Spring break and itching for excitement. Late one night she discovers a hidden chamber and a secret journal in her deceased Aunt Florence’s bedroom.

The diary contains the writings of a mad woman, along with vague clues to the whereabouts of a ruby necklace that once belonged to Cleopatra. The ruby bestows upon the wearer the power to hear other people’s thoughts- even the thoughts of the dead!

And so the hunt begins. Melanie, her best friend Sybil, and a haunting specter unravel clues that take them from crumbling graveyards, to the busy streets of the French Quarter, and then into murky swamps, all to find the prize. But they need to watch out, because a murderous cult is matching them step for step, and they won’t give up, ever.

And the awesome book one:  
The Emerald Ring

Sara Bogus’s life turns upside down when she discovers an emerald ring that once belonged to Cleopatra. The fun of discovering the ring’s unique abilities turns to fear when she finds out a dangerous cult bent on restoring Rome to power is after the ring. Forced to choose between keeping the ring and saving her friends, Sara learns the price of bravery in this electrifying read!

I love both of these books! These are ideal for all middle grade readers -- boys and girls alike.  If you are looking for an exciting new series, this is it! 

Here's what others are saying: 
"Rich with atmosphere, and full of delightful shivers, The Ruby Pendant pulled me right in. Part mystery, part ghost story, it is completely enjoyable." ~  BRADEN BELL, author of the Middle School Magic series
“The Ruby Pendant is a non-stop thrill ride through the heart of New Orleans and beyond. A great read for adventurers of all ages.”
 ~  JENNIFER SHAW WOLF, author of Breaking Beautiful and Dead Girls Don’t Lie
“Secret rooms! A missing necklace! Ghosts! The Ruby Pendant is a thrill-ride through New Orleans, a creative blend of suspense, mystery, and historical tidbits sure to tantalize readers of all ages. A worthy sequel.” ~ LAURISA REYES, Editor-in-Chief of Middle Shelf Magazine

You can find out more about Dorine White here:

Author Website
Blog- The Write Path-
Twitter @Dorinewhite-
Facebook Author Page-

Monday, March 17, 2014

Blog Tour + Giveaway -- Luminescence by Braden Bell

Blog Tour -- Luminescence
by Braden Bell

Luminescence blog tour

I have reviewed this series in the past. It is a huge favorite of my son's--and me, too. I love the originality of the storyline, the relationships between the kids and their mentors/parents/each other, and the arc of development from one book to the next. This series is brilliant and a must-read for ALL fans of MG fantasy and adventure.

About Braden:
Braden Bell earned  a Ph.D. in educational theatre from New York University. He holds a B.A. and M.A. in theatre arts and child drama from Brigham Young University. He and his family live on a quiet, wooded lot in Tennessee, where he teaches theatre and music at a private middle school--the world described in The Kindling and Penumbras (whether his evenings and weekends are spent fighting evil is something he cannot disclose). An experienced performer, Braden enjoys singing, acting, reading, gardening, and long walks with the dog.

Braden is available for school assemblies, classroom visits, and book clubs in person or via Skype.
  • Website: HERE
  • Blog: HERE
  • Twitter: @bradenbellcom

 The Series

The Kindling:

All thirteen-year-old Connor Dell wants to do is pass pre-algebra, play lacrosse, and possibly kiss Melanie Stephens, but when a run-in with the school bully ignites strange powers inside him, Connor's normal teenage life goes up in flames. Now he'll need his new powers to defeat the Darkness that's coming for him. Fast-paced and original, this book's guaranteed to keep you guessing!


Conner, Lexa, and Melanie are back! Just when they think life is normal again, a dangerous shadow creature begins to hunt them. The trio must develop their powers in order to conquer this new peril and protect their school. Filled with action and even more magic, this book continues the exciting adventure in the Middle School Magic series.


Determined to rescue their favorite teacher, Conner, Lexa, and Melanie confront their worst fears and use their powers in unexpected ways to defeat Lady Nightwing, the treacherous Darkhand leader. But when the trio makes a terrible choice to save Dr. Timberi, their powers may not be enough to keep everyone alive. A thrilling conclusion to the Middle School Magic series!

The Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Braden is wonderfully approachable online, and I know he'd be happy to do any interviews or guest posts for your blogs. I adore him almost as much as his books!


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Blog Tour -- Junction of Sunshine and Lucky

The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky
by Holly Schindler

“Beasts of the Southern Wild” meets Because of Winn Dixie in this inspiring story of hope.

August “Auggie” Jones lives with her Grandpa Gus, a trash hauler, in a poor part of town. So when her wealthy classmate’s father starts the House Beautification Committee, it’s homes like Auggie’s that are deemed “in violation.” Auggie is determined to prove that she is not as run-down as the outside of her house might suggest. Using the kind of items Gus usually hauls to the scrap heap, a broken toaster becomes a flower; church windows turn into a rainbow walkway; and an old car gets new life as spinning whirligigs. What starts out as a home renovation project becomes much more as Auggie and her grandpa discover a talent they never knew they had—and redefine a whole town’s perception of beauty, one recycled sculpture at a time. Auggie’s talent for creating found art will remind readers that one girl’s trash really is another girl’s treasure.

I've been caught in the fantasy genre for such a long time, I think I forgot what it was like to read a story with such real and familiar elements. The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky is a wonderful story--the middle grade voice of Holly Schindler, equally as powerful and beautifully written as her YA novels. I loved it so much that when I finished, I gave it to my daughter to read. She loved it too, which is a big deal since she primarily reads animal and dragon stories right now and needed to be convinced to give this book a chance. Once I told her about Auggie and her grandpa, though, she was all in. Truthfully, I can't remember the last time she read a book that had people as the main characters!

I loved Auggie. She is spunky and brilliant and creative and full of all things delightful. The relationships between Auggie and her grandpa and the neighbors and the "Beautification Committee" are powerful and full of subtle lessons about what's truly important in life and what "true beauty" is all about. I highly recommend this book for fans of all genres and readers of all ages, because Auggie should be met and loved by everyone!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Blog Tour + Guest Post + GIVEAWAY -- Porcelain Keys

Porcelain Keys Blog Tour and 
Guest Post with Sarah Beard

Aria's life is full of secrets--secrets about her mother's death, her father's cruelty, and her dream to go to Juilliard. When Aria meets Thomas, he draws out her secrets, captures her heart, and gives her the courage to defy her father. But when tragedy strikes and Thomas disappears, Aria is left alone to transform her broken heart's melody into something beautiful. Porcelain Keys is a captivating love story that will resonate long after the last page is turned.

Guest Post -- Music:

            Do you remember the song you first slow-danced to? I do. It was “Forever Young” by Alphaville. What about that song you listened to over and over after your first breakup? Mine was “A Thousand Hours” by The Cure. Ask me about any event in my life, and I can tell you the music I was listening to. I can tell you when there was no music because it caused too much pain, or when music was constantly playing because it drowned out heartache. I can tell you when I danced in celebration to it, or kissed to it, or ran a half-marathon to it.
            Music is a thread that runs through all our lives. It is a part of being human, the need for rhythm and melody. It’s no secret that music is a universal language that connects people all over the world. It has the power to express the inexpressible, inspire and comfort, and amplify emotion. As Plato so eloquently put it centuries ago, “Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.”
            On my sixteenth birthday, my parents bought me an electric piano. I’d always been drawn to the neighbor’s piano, but we’d never been able to afford a real piano or lessons. So I eagerly set up that electric piano in my bedroom and played to my heart’s content into the wee hours of morning. It was the greatest gift I’d received up to that point in my life. Like a new voice that had the ability to say the things I didn’t know how to say. I was going through a lot of difficult things at the time, and when it all seemed too much to bear, I would sit down at that keyboard and let it all out. Somehow my incompetent fingers would find the chords that resonated with my feelings, and each one would open a little door in my soul and set something free.
            In my novel, Porcelain Keys, my main character is a seventeen-year-old pianist named Aria. Music is everything to her. It’s how she makes sense of her world and how she identifies herself. And it is the one thing that connects her to her musician mother, who died five years before the story begins. So when her dad forbids her to play the piano, it’s very difficult for her because music is such an integral part of her self-identity. She feels trapped and hampered in her situation, and she’s biding her time until she has the opportunity to set herself free. It’s not until she meets a boy named Thomas that she realizes that sometimes we have to make our own opportunities instead of waiting for them to fall into our laps.
            Although the theme of music runs through the story, Porcelain Keys mostly centers around the romance between Aria and Thomas. But I would hope that the musical lens through which the story is told enhances and intensifies their love story. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Photo Credit: Heather Clark Photography
 Author Bio:
SARAH BEARD is the author of Porcelain Keys, a YA contemporary romance. She has
a degree in communications from the University of Utah and splits her time between
writing and raising three energetic boys. She is a cancer survivor and a hopeless
romantic. She enjoys reading and composing music, and lives with her husband and
children in Salt Lake City, Utah.

You can follow Sarah: 

* Links for purchase:

"Emotionally rich, elegant description, beloved characters--Sarah Beard delivers a fresh,
new novel that will go on my list of classics." --Stephanie Fowers, author of With a

"Aria is a heroine worth rooting for, and the plot is an emotional melody that weaves a
spell so potent, it can only be broken by reaching the end. And even then, I couldn’t stop
thinking about Aria and her story." --Heather Frost, author of The Seers Trilogy

"Emotionally gripping, this beautifully crafted young adult romance will pull at readers’
heartstrings from tragic beginning to happy ending. A must-read for fans of
contemporary romance, both young and seasoned. " --Julie Ford, author of Replacing

"Porcelain Keys is a fresh, heart-wrenching take on boy-meets-girl. Using fantastic and
musical imagery to tell the poignant love story of Aria and Thomas, the author leads the
reader to a swelling crescendo as if we're part of the song—and what a beautiful song it
is." --Cindy C. Bennett, author or Geek Girl and Rapunzel Untangled

"A lyrical love story that will leave your heart singing. Porcelain Keys is a masterpiece
with emotional depth, young love, and family angst. Beard takes us on a journey of selfdiscovery,
second chances, and ultimately, sweet resolution." --Heather Ostler, author
or The Siren's Secret  

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Cover Reveal -- Feral by Holly Schindler

Awesome Cover Reveal

by Holly Schindler


It’s too late for you. You’re dead.
Those words float through Claire Cain’s head as she lies broken and barely alive after a brutal beating. And the words continue to haunt her months later, in the relentless, terrifying nightmares that plague her sleep. So when her father is offered a teaching sabbatical in another state, Claire is hopeful that getting out of Chicago, away from the things that remind her of what she went through, will offer a way to start anew.

But when she arrives in Peculiar, Missouri, Claire quickly realizes something is wrong—the town is brimming with hidden dangers and overrun by feral cats. And her fears are confirmed when a popular high school girl, Serena Sims, is suddenly found dead in the icy woods behind the school. While everyone is quick to say Serena died in an accident, Claire knows there’s more to it—for she was the one who found Serena, battered and most certainly dead, surrounded by the town’s feral cats.

Now Claire vows to learn the truth about what happened, but the closer she gets to uncovering the mystery, the closer she also gets to discovering a frightening reality about herself and the damage she truly sustained in that Chicago alley. . . .

With an eerie setting and heart-stopping twists and turns, Holly Schindler weaves a gripping story that will make you question everything you think you know.


FERAL will be released by HarperCollins on August 26, 2014.  


  • You can pre-order FERAL HERE
  • You can add FERAL to your Goodreads shelf HERE
  • Check out Holly's website HERE

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