Thursday, December 21, 2017

Midwinter's Eve Giveaway Hop


I recently posted a review of the new MG novel, Vinetrope Adventures, by Sherry L. Ross. My daughter and I loved it so much, that I'm going to send a copy to one lucky winner!

Must be over 18 or have your parents permission to enter. 
An email will be sent and you have 48 hours to reply or a new winner will be chosen. 
The Winner will be announced within 48 hours at the end of the giveaway. Giveaway is organized by Bookhounds and sponsored by the BookHounds.

Please visit the Hop's other participating blogs!

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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Vinetropes by Sherry L. Ross - Review

Vinetrope Adventures Book One:
Return of the Vinetropes

by Sherry L. Ross

The wee-folk have returned. But we are surprised to learn they are called vinetropes, not fairies. Uncover the mystery of who vinetropes are and why they have returned in this first book in The Vinetrope Adventures series. Following a young girl, Sara, who has recently lost her mom to cancerReturn of the Vinetropes tells the story of the birth of remarkable fairy-like creature who Sara discovers in her backyard. She is Lucinda Vinetrope, born wise, full grown and all alone, but possessing some astounding powers. In fact, the very blood circulating in her body is a form of clean energy! Lucinda knows the world is different, not at all like she remembers it from her dreams in her growing chamber, but she is born and she must survive. The two protagonists, both lonely and bewildered by loss, instantly bond and begin a quest to see if other vinetropes do exist. Could Lucinda's birth herald the making of a Vinetrope Nation? But if so, it might also mean the return of their ancient, evil counterparts and put humans, vinetropes and all creatures of our earth in danger. With unique and life altering powers, vinetropes have the ability to shape the course of history for the better, but if the bad folk return as well, the future of mankind could be grim. 
Chocked full of fantastic characters, such as the comical squirrel brothers Ekle and Apkin, the elegant and courageous owl named Owletta, and Jamuna, Sara's human friend who has the gift of prophesy, book one takes the reader on a mystifying journey into an unpredictable future.

My 13-year-old daughter and I took turns with this wonderful, new story. As soon as she saw the cover, she announced that she was going to read it first.  It didn't disappoint.

The world building and character development are both original and fascinating. The idea of plant people, vinetropes, who can heal the world, allow animals and other species (including humans) to communicate, as well as a myriad of other wonders is awesome. And personally, I fell in love  the squirrel brothers!

My daughter's favorite thing about the book was the gorgeous illustrations. They add another layer to the experience.

Despite its length, I recommend this book for all middle school and high school students. It is a wonderful beginning to an exciting new series! I look forward to book 2.

Next Monday, tune in for a guest post from author, Sherry Ross!!  

Monday, April 3, 2017

MMGM - 6th Grade Revengers

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

6th Grade Revengers:
Cat Crimes and Wannabes
by Steven Whibley

Jared and Marcus aren't like other 11-year-olds...they're also Revengers. They fix problems and they're awesome at it-at least, they will be if they ever get a chance to show off their skills. What they need is exposure. Luckily, they have the perfect target in mind: Jared's sister's boyfriend. He's a jerky, wannabe rock star, a relentless bully and he smells like old gym socks. Enough is enough. The tone deaf jerk's days are numbered. There's only one hitch: Marcus already offered their services elsewhere. 
A stray cat with serious aggression issues apparently has a whole neighborhood boarding up their windows. What the boys think will be an easy-money job quickly turns into a dangerous game of wits. The cat's a monster. It takes all the ingenuity the boys can muster to deal with this beast. Two targets at once. It's time to prove themselves as the awesome after-school problem-solvers they know they are. That is, if their plan doesn't backfire. Because they'll either be feared fixers or a couple kids who can't even take out a kitten. 

Jared and Marcus enjoy one adventure after another, "revenging" other people's issues in order to make the money they need to go to spy camp. From tackling the evil neighborhood cat to ridding themselves of an irritating sister's boyfriend, the duo are always full of fun. Middle grade readers--boys especially--will enjoy the fun pace and spot on humor of this one!

Shannon Whitney Messenger decided it was time to give middle grade stories the attention they deserve and "Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays" was born.

Monday, March 20, 2017

MMGM -- The Eye of the North

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

The Eye of the North
by Sinead O'Hart

When Emmeline's scientist parents mysteriously disappear, she finds herself heading for a safe house, where allies have pledged to protect her. But along the way, she is kidnapped by the villainous Doctor Siegfried Bauer, who is bound for the ice fields of Greenland. There he hopes to summon a mystical creature from the depths of the ancient glaciers, a creature said to be so powerful that whoever controls it can control the world.

Unfortunately, Bauer isn't the only one determined to unleash the creature. The North Witch has laid claim to the mythical beast, too, and Emmeline along with a scrappy stowaway named Thing may be the only one with the power to save the world as we know it. Can Emmeline face one of the greatest legends of all time and live to tell the tale?

This is the PERFECT middle grade roller coaster ride--one that will appeal to both boys and girls equally. Emmeline and Thing are the perfect pair, complimenting each other's strengths and weaknesses. The reader can't help but cheer them on. Likewise, the mad scientist villain is the perfect recipe for trouble and danger. This should be a hit with readers everywhere! I highly recommend.

Shannon Whitney Messenger decided it was time to give middle grade stories the attention they deserve, and "Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays" was born. 

Monday, February 20, 2017

Blog Tour -- Stu Stories

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

Stu Stories
by Patrick Hueller

Stu Sanderson is no ordinary eighth-grader. Almost seven feet tall, he vanishes into thin air, duels knights with ninja stealth, lifts the downtrodden, and woos the coolest, best-calved girl in school. Become a middle-grade legend with Stu and his sidekick, Bird Bones, on the journey of a lifetime in Stu Stories.

This book is just  plain FUN! Both of my sons would have LOVED this when they were younger. The antics and adventures of Stu and his sidekick are adorably funny. The chapters are perfectly titled to get your attention--my favorite is "Stu's Head Falls Off". I find it difficult to imagine a single elementary school boy (and many middle schoolers) who would NOT enjoy this super-fun book.

Shannon Whitney Messenger decided it was time to give middle grade stories the attention they deserve, and "Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays" was born. 

Monday, February 13, 2017

MMGM -- Dragonwatch

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

by Brandon Mull

In the long-awaited sequel to Fablehaven, the dragons who have been kept at the dragon sanctuaries no longer consider them safe havens, but prisons and they want their freedom. The dragons are no longer our allies.... 
In the hidden dragon sanctuary of Wyrmroost, Celebrant the Just, King of the Dragons, plots his revenge. He has long seen the sanctuaries as prisons, and he wants nothing more than to overthrow his captors and return the world to the Age of Dragons, when he and his kind ruled and reigned without borders. The time has come to break free and reclaim his power.
No one person is capable of stopping Celebrant and his dragon horde. It will take the ancient order of Dragonwatch to gather again if there is any chance of saving the world from destruction. In ancient times, Dragonwatch was a group of wizards, enchantresses, dragon slayers, and others who originally confined the majority of dragons into sanctuaries. But nearly all of the original Dragonwatch members are gone, and so the wizard Agad reaches out to Grandpa Sorenson for help.
As Kendra and Seth confront this new danger, they must draw upon all their skills, talents, and knowledge as only they have the ability to function together as a powerful dragon tamer. Together they must battle against forces with superior supernatural powers and breathtaking magical abilities.

Brandon Mull is, without question, among my favorite authors. When I had the opportunity to receive an advanced copy of Dragonwatch, I jumped at it. As expected, I was not disappointed. This is classic Brandon Mull--excellent world building, powerful character development, and loads of page turning entertainment. DO. NOT. MISS.

Shannon Whitney Messenger decided it was time to give middle grade stories the attention they deserve, and "Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays" was born. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Remnant Blog Tour + Giveaway


The Remnant
by William Michael Davidson
Release Date: February 7, 2017

Author William Michael Davidson is on tour with MC Book Tours featuring his new novel, THE REMNANT, being released Feb. 7 by Dancing Lemur Press L.L.C.

You can follow Davidson’s tour schedule HERE for reviews, excerpts, interviews, features, and a chance to win a copy of his book.


One nation, without God...
          Colton Pierce apprehends Abberants—those who display symptoms of faith—and quarantines them on a remote island to ensure public safety.  Years prior, the government released a genetically-engineered super flu that destroyed the genes believed to be the biological source of spiritual experience in an effort to rid the world of terrorism. As an extractor with the Center for Theological Control, Colton is dedicated to the cause.           
But Colton's steadfast commitment is challenged when he learns his own son has been targeted for extraction. An underground militia, the Remnant, agrees to help Colton save his son in exchange for his assistance with their plan to free the Aberrants on the island.           
Colton is faced with the most important decision of his life. Remain faithful to the CTC? Or give up everything to save his son?

Chapter 3 Excerpt


Colton listened to the opening of Brian Barclay’s speech, but his mind wandered. He reflected on the organization he worked for and everything that had led to this point in history. The Super Flu of 2061 was infamous, and skeptics long debated the true source of the illness. Some said the Chinese government engineered the flu and released it intentionally, while others maintained that it was actually a product of the United States, and due to a security breach, accidentally spread amongst the public. Although some still debated its source, nobody debated what the Super Flu of 2061 really was: A genetically engineered virus with a 99.9% communicability rate that quickly and systematically destroyed a host’s VMAT2 gene, the lone genetic reason humans had the ability to undergo spiritual experiences. After a couple days of coughing and a mild fever, a patient was rendered a guaranteed atheist.
Colton had always leaned toward the theory that the Super Flu of 2061 was the result of a United States attempt to infect the Middle East with a hacking cough that would rid the region of religious fundamentalism and, subsequently, acts of terrorism and violence. The United States had done all but admit responsibility for it, and while some conspiracy theorists still insisted it was the Chinese government or some other country, Colton had never given them much credence. But he was glad, like the rest of the population and the CTC, that the virus had been unleashed. Not only had religious fundamentalism and wars dissipated in the Middle East, but religious crime and intolerance had virtually evaporated from the globe.“What we are doing here is one of the most important jobs we can offer society,” Brian said. The audience was rapt. “Since the VMAT2 gene was wiped off the face of the earth, all of you have benefitted from the results. Our great-grandparents could only imagine a world like the one we live in today—where terrorist attacks motivated by religious squabbles no longer dominate the news, and where wars are no longer ignited because of religious intolerance. This is a world they could only dream of, a world that is our reality.“But we must not just remember the global benefits of the Super Flu of 2061; we must also remember the local ones. It may seem foreign to us today, living under the protection of the CTC in the aftermath of the destruction of the VMAT2 gene, but religious belief was one of the main links to violent criminal activity in the modern world. No more mass suicides or people drinking the Kool-Aid. Hey, speaking of Kool-Aid, can someone fetch me a bottle of water? I’m dying up here. Not Jim Jones Kool-Aid either, okay? Don’t need any real life examples up here.”Brian wiped the sweat from his forehead, and some aide in the front row handed him a bottle of water. The crowd laughed while Brian took several gulps. The bottle of water looked unnaturally small in his big, beefy hands.“Now that’s better,” he said, screwing the lid back on his water and placing it on his podium. Maybe it was due to the bright lights on him or the extra hundred pounds he was carrying, but he was dripping sweat. “Now, as I was saying, we live in a world that our great-grandparents simply couldn’t imagine. Sure there’s crime, and too much of it. We’ll never be perfect. But could you imagine all of the out-of-their-wits extremists who would have gone into our schools, our hospitals, our parks, those now abandoned places of worship, and slaughtered us by the hundreds—by the thousands—if things were like they were? Some of you may not even be here. Some of your children may not be here. It’s a sobering thought.

THE REMNANT is available to order in eBook form at the following sites:

The print format of the book is available at these sites:

Be sure to add THE REMNANT to your bookshelf on Goodreads.

About the Author:
William Michael Davidson lives in Long Beach, California with his wife and two daughters. A believer that "good living produces good writing," Davidson writes early in the morning so he can get outside, exercise, spend time with people, and experience as much as possible.A writer of speculative fiction, he enjoys stories that deal with humanity's inherent need for redemption.For more on Davidson and his writing, connect with him on GoodreadsTwitterFacebook, and Amazon Author’s Page.

This is a tour-wide giveaway for two (2) print copies that are available to those living in the U.S. only and one (1) eBook copy available international. The giveaway will end at 12 a.m. (EST) on Sunday, Feb. 26. You can enter to win at each stop of the tour.

Thanks for stopping by today. Be sure to visit the other blogs on the tour for more chances to win. The schedule is located HERE.

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Monday, January 23, 2017

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday - Dogsled Dreams

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

Dogsled Dreams
by Terry Lynn Johnson

Twelve-year-old Rebecca dreams of becoming a famous dog sled racer. She's an inventive but self-doubting musher who tackles blinding blizzards, wild animal attacks, puppy training, and flying poo missiles. All of her challenges though, seem easier than living up to the dogs' trust in her abilities.

Through the bond she shares with the dogs, Rebecca learns that hard work, dedication, and living in the moment bring their own rewards.

Exhilarating...It's very easy to get lost in the pages of Dogsled Dreams — Lisa Barker,
Demonstrates the bond between mushers and their dogs, the devotion mushers feel for their dogs, and the lengths to which they will go to ensure their dog's health and well-being — Pam Flowers, Alone Across the Arctic: One Woman's Epic Journey by Dog Team 
A warm, coming-of-age story about hopes and dreams, but most of all, finding the true meaning of family and friends, whether they have two legs or four! — Darcy Johns, Youth Services Librarian, Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia
Johnson's intimate knowledge of the dogs she describes is real, heart-warming and often humorous. Both elementary and secondary teachers can use this in their classroom to engage at-risk readers — Teri Treftlin, Secondary School teacher, Geraldton, Ontario
full of rich details and fascinating information about dog sled racing. Rebecca and her dogs not only came alive, but they brought me along on their adventures — Cynthia Chapman Willis, author of Dog Gone
Rebecca's experiences are applicable to any young girl ready to emerge from the security of childhood to the freedom of adolescence. This is a captivating and exciting debut novel — Superior Outdoors Magazine
I was charmed by Becca and her focus on achieving what she set out to do. A great book for moms and daughters to read together and talk about setting goals — Cindy Hudson, Mother-Daughter Book Clubs

Terry's passion for the outdoors evolved while she paddled in Quetico Provincial Park as a Canoe Ranger. One winter she worked for a dogsledding company, and eighteen huskies followed her home. Terry's debut novel features those quirky dogs who entered her life and heart. 

Terry is an award-winning member of the Outdoor Writers of Canada and Dog Writers' Association of America .
  • Selected by the Iditarod Education Department as a Recommended Read
  • For more information visit the website:

Any teacher using Gary Paulsen's WOODSONG would want Terry Johnson's DOGSLED DREAMS. Terry's realistic writing style and word choice bring the reader through experiences that bring emotions to the surface...emotions of real life living with sled dogs. -- Diane Johnson, Iditarod's Education Director

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