The Journal of Angela Ashby by Liana Gardner
Published by: Vesuvian Books } Publication date: September 25th 2018
Genres: Middle-Grade, Paranormal
A Middle Grade “Death Note”
“With great power comes great responsibility.” ~Voltaire
I have great power.
That’s what she told me. The old fortune-teller at the school carnival.
I thought I was doing the right thing … with the magic journal she gave me. But nothing could prepare me for what happened next.
Or, for what I unleashed.
At a school carnival, a mysterious fortune-teller gives twelve-year-old Angela Ashby a journal and warns her to use it wisely. Nothing prepares Angela for the journal’s power—when she pours her heart onto its pages her desires come true.
She tests the journal by conjuring a gnome, a unicorn, and a farting fairy and then uses it to stop the school bullies in their tracks. But the unintended consequences alienate her best friend and puts her favorite teacher in danger of losing her job.
After she shares her deepest desire of all—that her parents get back together—her adversary steals the journal, and Angela fears she will use it to bring mayhem to the entire school if she doesn’t get it back.
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Liana Gardner is a two-time teen choice award-winning author of the Misfit McCabe series and finalist in 2018 International Book Awards for Children's Fiction. Daughter of a rocket scientist and an artist, Liana Gardner combines the traits of both into a quirky yet pragmatic writer and in everything sees the story lurking beneath the surface. Engaged in a battle against leukemia and lymphoma, Liana spends much of her time at home, but allows her imagination to take her wherever she wants to go.
She fostered her love of writing after reading Louisa May Alcott's Little Women and discovering she had a great deal in common with the character Jo. The making up of stories, dramatic feelings, and a quick temper were enough for her to know she and Jo would have been kindred spirits.
Liana volunteers with high school students through the International Trade Education Programs (ITEP). ITEP unites business people and educators to prepare students for a meaningful place in the world of tomorrow. Working in partnership with industry and educators, ITEP helps young people "think globally and earn locally."
Her debut Middle Grade novel, 7th Grade Revolution, launched 10/24/2017 and will be followed by The Journal of Angela Ashby out 9.25.2018. Currently she is working on a chapter book series as LK Griffie, with creator Luke Matthews and co-authors Olivia Claire and Jared Cross, entitled Timmy and the Golden Lion Tamarin. In addition to the children's book series, she is working on a Middle Grade series which will be released under the name Liana Gardner, with the first book titled, The Star Warriors and the Secret of the Red Key. Her most recent YA novel, Speak No Evil, will also be released under the name Liana Gardner.
Author links: Twitter | Website | Facebook | Goodreads |
Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL)
Nine-year-old Samuel lives alone in a once-great estate in Surrey with the family’s housekeeper, Ruth. His father is dead and his mother has been abroad for months, purportedly tending to her late husband’s faltering business. She left in a hurry one night while Samuel was sleeping and did not say goodbye.
Beyond her sporadic postcards, Samuel hears nothing from his mother. He misses her dearly and maps her journey in an atlas he finds in her study. Samuel’s life is otherwise regulated by Ruth, who runs the house with an iron fist. Only she and Samuel know how brutally she enforces order.
As rumors in town begin to swirl, Samuel wonders whether something more sinister is afoot. Perhaps his mother did not leave but was murdered—by Ruth.
Artful, haunting and hurtling toward a psychological showdown, The Boy at the Keyhole is an incandescent debut about the precarious dance between truth and perception, and the shocking acts that occur behind closed doors.
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MY REVIEW: (LAWonder10)
Samuel missed his mother so much! Hus father had recently died and their finances were critical, so his mother went across the ocean to get investors to help... at least that is what the housekeeper, Ruth, says. It has been months and only four postcards, but no other word from her. What is taking so long? Why couldn't he have gone with her?
His best friend puts some strange ideas in his head which "feed on" his suspicions. He is getting frantic and "out of control"!
This is a mystery/suspense story which addresses to subject of tragedy, grief, psychological situations, dysfunction, desperation, and assumptions, which are not always correct.
The Book Cover and title are "fitting". The cover is done uniquely.
The characters are very real, allowing the reader to feel a part of the take. The scenes are well-portrayed.
At first I had a hard time"getting into it", but as the story progressed, interest increased, and the ending is very profound.
I offer a Four Stars rating.
The publisher sent this to me, with no request for a positive review. This is my honest review.
PRAISE For The Book:
“A fiendishly efficient, gorgeously written, nasty little thrill ride of a psychological thriller. I couldn’t put it down, and it’s entirely possible that I’ll never sleep again. A true tour-de-force of a debut novel.”–Lyndsay Faye, author of The Gods of Gotham and Jane Steele
“The Boy at the Keyhole is sinister and tight, amusing and intense, an emotional story of a sweet boy in a precarious psychological place. A fun and wicked read that is impossible to put down!”–Matthew Sullivan, author of Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore
About the Author:
Stephen Giles is the Australian author behind the lauded children's series "Anyone But Ivy Pocket", penned under the pseudonym Caleb Krisp. The series, published in the US by HarperCollins/Greenwillow and the UK by Bloomsbury, appeared on the New York Times Best Seller List, has been translated into 25 different languages and was optioned by Paramount Pictures.Prior to selling his first book, Stephen worked in a variety of jobs to supplement his writing including market research, film classification and media monitoring. "The Boy at the Keyhole" is Giles' first work for adults and the film rights for this book have been acquired by New Regency.
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GIVEAWAY! (my own)
1 Print copy of The Boy at the Key Hole for ONE LUCKY WINNER!(U.S./Can. ONLY)
Naomi doesn't expect anything unusual from her annual family trip to visit her grandparents in Ireland. What she expects is to celebrate her thirteenth birthday, hang out with her friends Ciara and Shehan, and deal with her gran's Alzheimer's. What she finds is a country hit by an unexpected virus that rapidly infects the majority of the Irish population over the age of twenty-one.
Amnestic-Delirium Syndrome (ADS) starts off with memory loss, but the virus soon turns its victims aggravated, blank, or violent. Naomi and her friends must survive on their own, without lucid adults, cut off from the rest of the world, until a cure is found.
But there are whispers that ADS is not terrestrial, and soon Naomi and her friends learn the frightening truth: we are not alone
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Guest Post: Which of the characters in this book do you relate to the most? In what ways?
Because I usually write in first person I’m continually placing myself directly in the point of view of the main character(s). In first person you see and experience everything through that one character (more than one character when writing in alternating first person which I’ve done in some of my other books) so you can’t help but feel close to them. It’s almost like being an actor – you need to develop a deep understanding of someone to write from their point of view and know what they’ll say and do in various situations.
In Stricken the main character is twelve turning thirteen-year-old Naomi Seiler so she’s the character I related to the most. But there are other reasons I feel close to Naomi too. Like me, she’s a middle class Ontario girl with Irish background. I didn’t visit Ireland until I was an adult but because I spent so much time there in my twenties—and still visit yearly—I really related to Naomi’s feelings in Chapter One: “Because we spent every July in Dublin, my time in Ireland felt sort of like another life. One with a different house and different friends. But even those differences felt almost normal to me.”
Unlike me, Naomi’s a hockey player and avid fan of the sport. I can probably count on one hand the number of professional hockey games I’ve sat through in my life. I’m not a big sports fan in general but my Dad passionately LOVES the Montreal Canadiens and my brother was a goalie as a kid so I definitely grew up in a hockey-loving family. It’s hard not to have some awareness of hockey in Canada; it’s knitted so deeply into the fabric of this country.
I think Naomi is stronger and surer of herself than I was at her age. I don’t mean that she’s not scared when the memory virus in Stricken picks up steam and society starts to fall apart, because of course she is, but for the most part she holds herself together. In many ways writing from Naomi’s point of view came very naturally—her fears, her loyalty to her friends, how close she is to her parents. I hope readers will feel they can relate to her too.
Title: Nocturnal Meetings of the Misplaced Author: R.J. Garcia
Genre: Young Adult Mystery | Number of Pages: 326
Publisher: The Parliament House | Publication Date: May 1, 2018
Mystery surrounds the town of Summertime, Indiana, where fifteen-year-old Tommy Walker and his little sister are sent to live with relatives they’ve never met. Tommy soon makes friends with Finn Wilds, a rebellious local who lives with his volatile and abusive stepfather, who also happens to be the town’s sheriff. Finn invites Tommy to late night meetings in the woods, where Tommy gets to know two girls. He forms a special and unique connection with both girls. The meetings become a place where the kids, who don’t fit in at school, or home can finally belong. As the group of friends begin to unravel clues to a cold case murder and kidnapping— they learn the truth is darker and closer than they ever imagined. Even if they live to tell, will anyone believe them?
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MY REVIEW: (LAWonder10)
Fourteen year old, Tommy, and his four-year-old little sister, Isabel, was soon to arrive at their Uncles' home...an uncle they never had met!
They had always lived in Chicago. They had no idea what their life would be like in the small town of Summertime, Indiana. Restless an fearful of the unknown, somehow, Tommy would protect Isabel.
Trepidation filled Tommy and silence encompassed Isabel as his Uncle Holden and his wife Reese,. tried to make "small talk" on their way to their "new home". After arriving Uncle Holden introduced them to his neighbors, Finn, (Tommy's age) and his younger siblings, one the same age as Isabel...little did they each know these would become devoted close friends.
Tommy's uncle soon led them to a pink bedroom upstairs for Isabel and in the basement was Tommy's small room...he'd had much worse.
At the bus stop Monday, Tommy joined Finn as they boarded the bus. Soon the bus stopped and two young girls got on. One was cute and blond -Silence - and the other not s noticeable and had a mouth full of metal - Annie. The four of them would become the young "Mispalced Nocturnals.".
This is an eerie, mysterious, young love, and unexpected friendship tale The suspense and mystery builds until the very end of the story. Things are not always as they seem!
Although the story is told by two different individuals, the "flow" is not interrupted and it is easily discovered who is telling his part of the tale.
The mystique deepens and the suspense builds as the tale nears its end. It will surely keep the reader's attention.
This covers many subject matters such as: bullying, abuse, addiction, first date, first kiss, new environment, human frailties, deceit, trust, loyalty, and childlessness, plus, more.
The characters,and scenes are both depicted very well and the reader almost feels as if he.she is there among them. The Book Cover is a great "fit" but not eye-catching to the"browser". The Title is intriguing and fits well.
*Beware: there is sometimes strong language but no real profanity.
I offer a Four and a Half stars rating.
*This book was gifted me with no expectations of a positive review. This is my honest review.
R.J. Garcia is a wife, and proud mom of two smart kids. She earned her MSW and worked with foster children and as a school social worker. Writing has been her other great love. She has published several non-fiction pieces. She has been writing short stories for as long as she can remember. To her amazement, those short stories became novels!
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Presented by Beach Bound Books
Book Title: The Blue Moon Narthex by N.J. Donner
Category: Middle-grade Fiction (Ages 8 to 12), 360 pages
Publisher: Steele Page Press | Release date: February 7, 2017
Content Rating: PG (Some violence between forces of good and evil, but it's not bloody or gory) - Tour dates: June 4 to 29, 2018
It’s 1919 and thirteen-year-old Cole McCarthy just wants more time with his father, who is a busy railroad executive. But a horrific train accident leaves Cole’s stepmother as his only family. Alone and lost, Cole wanders his family’s estate and runs into an old family friend who gives him a special object that belonged to his father.
Cole just wants to be a kid, not the owner of the most powerful object in the world. The Blue Moon Narthex is made from tangible bits of Karma and gives Cole the power to transport himself and control Karma.
Now, Alsin Gideon, traitor of the Legion of Karma, is on rampage to take Cole’s narthex and add to his body count. For their safety, Cole and two of his prep school friends are pulled into the enormous secret headquarters of the Legion, which operates like an underground 1920s spy organization. While living at the secret location, Cole learns about the secret double life of his father.
With the pressure to find his role within the legion, maintain a strained relationship with his stepmother, and live up to a daunting legacy left by his father Cole, withdraws and makes secret plans to take on his father’s enemies.
Alsin Gideon cleverly taunts Cole, to meet him at a prearranged battle meant for his father. Cole’s anger and determination boil over and he is willing to risk his powerful tool and Karma’s stability for the hope of getting his parents back.
Will Cole, along with his friends, be able to work together to bring back his parents, keep Karma’s in balance, and stay alive?
About the Author:
N.J. Donner is a dad who loves to tell stories and create worlds. He has created 3D models of parts of the Legion’s secret headquarters and drawn extensive maps of the underground world where the Legion operates. He loves to explore and to figure out why and how things work, including Karma.
When he's not writing, N.J. runs a successful steel fabrication business in the Midwest. He loves to travel with his wife, Amanda, and their three children.
Six books are planned for the series taking the three main characters and the Legion of Karma to new continents and new adventures across the world.
Connect with the author:
Website ~ BookWebsite ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram
Here is the tour schedule.
Prizes: Win 1 of 10 prize packages that contains a signed copy of The Blue Moon Narthex, a mug, bookmark, lapel pin, and stickers and tattoos (open to USA & CAN - 10 winners)
(ends July 7, 2018)
Title: Selah's Painted Dream (Dream Horse Adventures, Book 3) | Author: Susan Count | Publisher: Hastings Creation Group | Publication Date: May 7, 2018 | Genre: Children's Novel | Number of Pages: 174
Thirteen-year-old Selah’s life is about as perfect as it gets. She has horsy friends at school, and on weekends, she rides her black mare on Grandpa’s farm. Training the horse to do upper-level liberty work is what makes her heart beat.
But one word can ruin a perfect life—moving.
A move would separate her from her horse, so she plots to get her name on the farm mailbox instead. She’s sure she could persuade Grandpa—except he’s overly distracted by a sheep-loving neighbor.
Determined not to let Grandpa's new sweetheart take her place in his heart, Selah puts her hope in a painted dream horse from Grandpa’s past. When she snugs up the girth and buckles on her spurs, Selah rides to win.
MY REVIEW: (LAWonder10)
Selah was going through difficult changes physically and emotionally at the tender age of thirteen. On top of those changes within her body, she had a few more very disturbing changes within her family. To "cap it all off" , those she thought were her friends. she began to question.
This is a story of a girl and a horse facing drastic changes, during the girls difficult formative years. Selah is forced to grow up and face change in what she once felt was a solid foundation.
This story is filled with adventures, emotional situations, and reads a lot like real life.
Selah evolves from a spoiled, self-centered child into a courageous, more mature individual as she discovers she does not control life and must adjust to changes.
The characters are very well portrayed and realistic, as are the background scenes. The reader will certainly get "caught up" in Selah's story.
This is an ideal book for Summer Reading Programs for ages 8 to 14 years old.
The Book Title is very fitting and the cover image is very colorful and eye-catching to a "browser".
I offer a Four and a Half Stars rating on this novel.
*This was sent to me with no request for a positive review. This is my honest review..
Other Books in The Series:
A story of love and determination in the face of adversity that will steal your heart.
Twelve-year-old Mary longs to have a horse of her own, but she's limited to reading horse books. A talented artist, she spends her days on a blanket in the grass sketching the horses at the farm next door. She falls in love with one of the foals and is outraged to learn the filly is considered worthless as it was born lame.
Mary befriends and enlists the help of twelve-year-old Laura, whose family owns the horse farm. Against the better judgment of the farm manager, a brief reprieve is negotiated for the foal's life. The girls conspire to raise money to save her, but time is running out. Sadly, it appears the expensive surgery the foal needs has little chance to correct the problem anyway. Mary isn't about to let her own disability hold her back. She sacrifices what she holds dear - the trust of her papa, to gain her heart's desire. But she could lose everything in her struggle to save the foal.
TxAuthors Best Book Award Winner for 2017 - Juvenile - Coming of Age
Feathered Quill - 2017 GOLD Award - Children's Fiction - Animals
Purple Dragonfly - 2017 First Place - Disability Awareness
A delightful read. Plenty of twists and turns which makes the book a great little adventure. Selah embodies perseverance, hope, determination, compassion, and spunk.
Twelve-Year-Old SELAH'S quest to be equestrian superstar is impossible without a horse. Then she spots buzzards circling in the grasslands behind Grandpa's farm. They're stalking a horse trapped in wire and Selah is its only hope. But the mare she rescues might be a bigger challenge to her dream than not having a horse at all. When an old friend of Grandpa's and a world renowned horse trainer offers to work with the wild and defiant mare, Selah jumps at the opportunity. She trains with a fierce determination to equal the equestrian talent of the deceased grandmother who instilled the love of horses in her. But when the horse causes mayhem at the trainer's facility, he sends them home. Selah must gather her courage and face up to the trainer or watch her dreams gallop away.
American Horse Publications - FIRST PLACE - Equine Fiction..... Feathered Quill - GOLD Award.....Readers Favorites - GOLD Award.....
About the Author
As a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, American Christian Fiction Writers, and Texas Association of Authors, I take studying the craft of writing seriously. Revision is my super-power.Instilled with the need to create, I love building projects and writing adventure stories. I’m a life-long equestrian and owned by a Rocky Mountain Horse. I adore grandchildren, horses, bunnies, mochas, and forest trails.
I’ve published three books in an equestrian series. I write at an antique secretary desk that occupies a glass room with a forest view. Fittingly, it once belonged to the same wise grandmother who introduced me to the love of reading via Walter Farley's horse books. That desk has secret compartments which hold memories, mysteries, and story ideas.
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BLOG TOUR GIVEAWAY!
Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card or $25 PayPal cash prize, winner's choice
Giveaway ends: May 29, 11:59 pm, 2018
Open to: Internationally
How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Susan Count and is hosted and managed by Stacie from BeachBoundBooks. If you have any additional questions feel free to send an email to stacie@BeachBoundBooks.com.
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