Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads

Blog Tour and Giveaway!: What if Everybody Thought That? by Ellen Javernick

What if Everybody Thought That?, by Ellen Javernick/Illustrated by Colleen Madden, (Aug. 2019, Two Lions), $14.99, ISBN: 978-1542091374

Ages 4-8

The third book in Ellen Javernick and Colleen Madden’s “What if Everybody…” series takes a look at our internal dialogues. You know what that means… those moments when you think you’re keeping your feelings to yourself, but those thoughts come out in other ways. Here, we see crossed arms, pouts, and sneers as kids make suppositions about classmates with special needs, classmates who stutter, kids on the playground that want to play basketball, but may be a little shorter than the others.

Many of us grew up being told that “you can think it, but just don’t say it”, but What if Everybody Thought That? is here to tell you that thoughts can be toxic, too. What if Everybody Thought That? is all about how what we think influences how we act toward others. Kids scrunch up their faces and glare at foods from other cultures at an international food fair, or decide that a special needs classmate who mispells a word isn’t smart enough to be in their class. Alternating spreads illustrate a situation where classmates thinking devaluing thoughts, only to have those conclusions turned on their head when the children show other talents. The classmate who had trouble spelling vacation? He’s a whiz at robotics. That food fair turns into a success when kids try exciting new foods and rave about their experiences. A boy with a stutter can sing with a clear and strong voice, bringing his classmates to their feet with resounding applause.

What If Everybody Thought That? is here to remind readers to give everyone a chance. We’ve all got different talents and abilities, after all. The book also illustrates how thoughts can lead to action – if we think devaluing or negative things about one another, it can eventually lead to us “othering” people – separating and isolating people who aren’t like us. As one boy says to another, “I think we should all be more thoughtful”. What if everybody thought that? Ellen Javernick’s repetitive message challenges readers to pause and take a moment to ponder what would happen if positive, as well as negative, thoughts were to go viral. It creates a thoughtful atmosphere, and provides opportunities for strong class discussions and teachable moments.

Colleen Madden’s artwork presents a multicultural group of kids with a wide range of abilities and challenges, and includes quiet background lessons that support and emphasize author Ellen Javernick’s message. A playground blacktop has encouraging messages, like, “You can do it!” written in chalk; a girl with alopecia stands in a bathroom that sports graffiti-ed statements like, “How do you know, if u don’t ask?” and “Put yourself in someone else’s s-h-o-e-s”; a stage curtain hosts the message, “things are seldom what they seem”.

This is a great series, and one that I’ll be reading during class visits in the coming school year. What if Everybody Said That? went over well last year, and I’m looking forward to introducing visiting teachers and students to What if Everybody Thought That? this year.

Want a chance at winning your very own copy of What if Everybody Thought That? Check out this Rafflecopter giveaway! (U.S. addresses only, please!)

 

Ellen Javernick is the author of more than twenty books for children, including the Children’s Choice Book Award finalist The Birthday Pet, illustrated by Kevin O’Malley, and the bestselling picture book What If Everybody Did That?, illustrated by Colleen Madden. She has been an elementary school teacher for more than twenty years and currently teaches second grade. She lives in Loveland, Colorado.

Colleen Madden is the illustrator of numerous children’s books, including the picture book adaptation of All I Want for Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey and the bestselling picture book What If Everybody Did That? by Ellen Javernick. She lives in the Philadelphia area with her husband and two sons. To see more of her work, visit: http://www.mbartists.com/cgi-bin/iowa/artists.html?artist=77

Posted in Non-Fiction

Portrait of an American Activist: Listen – How Pete Seeger Got America Singing

Listen – How Pete Seeger Got America Singing, by Leda Schubert/Illustrated by Raúl Colón, (June 2017, Roaring Brook Press), $17.99, ISBN: 9781626722507

Recommended for readers 5-10

Leda Schubert and illustrator Raúl Colón create a lyrical and beautiful tribute to singer, songwriter, and activist Pete Seeger. From the beginning of his career, strumming his banjo or guitar, Seeger led by example; first, by singing and encouraging his audience to chime in; later, through his activism: standing in peace lines to support unions, protest war, marching for civil rights, and caring for the environment. Whether he was talking to grownups or the children that loved his songs, Seeger always encouraged participation – “That’s what gonna save the human race” – and awareness. Schubert weaves Seeger’s song titles with the story text to highlight the relationship between Seeger’s songs and the causes he supported.

Raul Colon’s art is beautiful. His technique provides both beautiful texture a vintage glow to his images, and his spread featuring Seeger’s boat, the Clearwater, sailing down the Hudson River, is breathtaking. Beautiful artwork and stunning images make Listen a great addition to picture book biography collections and a great read when explaining social justice activism to younger readers.

Leda Schubert holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts in the Writing for Children and Young Adults and was a core faculty member until 2012. She is the author of many award-winning titles, including The Princess of Borscht, Ballet of the Elephants, and Monsieur Marceau, winner of the Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction. Leda lives in Plainfield, Vermont, with her husband and two dogs. To learn more, and to download a curriculum guide, visit ledaschubert.com.

 

 

Raúl Colón has illustrated several highly acclaimed picture books, including Draw!; the New York Times-bestselling Angela and the Baby Jesus by Frank McCourt; Susanna Reich’s José! Born to Dance; and Jill Biden’s Don’t Forget, God Bless Our Troops. Mr. Colón lived in Puerto Rico as a young boy and now resides in New City, New York, with his family.

Leda Schubert provides some great links to recordings and videos of Pete Seeger here.

Praise for Listen: How Pete Seeger Got America Singing

★“Schubert and Colón ably demonstrate one of their book’s final assertions: ‘there really was nobody like Pete Seeger.’”—Kirkus Reviews (starred)

“A rousing tribute to a singular musician and activist who ‘walked the talk.’” —Publishers Weekly

“This inspiring picture book biography about one of America’s greatest folk heroes is sure to get a new generation of children singing.” —School Library Journal

“An inspiring and heartfelt tribute to, as Schubert calls him, a ‘true American hero.’” —Horn Book

Giveaway!

One lucky winner will receive a copy of Listen: How Pete Seeger Got America Singing (U.S. addresses; one entry per person.) Enter this Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance!

Posted in Fantasy, Preschool Reads

Funk’s Fine Fractured Fairy Tale: It’s Not Jack and the Beanstalk!

It’s Not Jack and the Beanstalk, by Josh Funk/Illustrated by Edwardian Taylor, (Sept. 2017, Two Lions), $17.99, ISBN: 978-1542045650

Recommended for readers 4-10

Happy Book Birthday to It’s Not Jack and the Beanstalk! I love fractured fairy tales: they let me get as silly as I want to be (need to be?) in a storytime, which lets the kids know they can be as silly as they want or need to be, too. After all, storytime is supposed to be fun, isn’t it?

The story starts out as usual: the fancy fairy tale font, the “Once upon a time” opening line… but wait. Jack is sleeping! The narrator nudges him, and demands that he put on pants (this is the part where every kid in the room is on board with Jack) and get into the story. That’s when we get the idea that this narrator is a little pushy, and that maybe Jack has different ideas about how this fairy tale is going to go. Poor Jack is badgered into trading his pet cow for beans that make him toot, climb a giant beanstalk, and face off against a giant that he really has no quarrel with. Jack takes the story into his own hands, and brings things to a more satisfying conclusion.

Loaded with fairytale references – keep a sharp eye and ask your readers to point them out as they see them – and fun, cartoony digital art, It’s Not Jack and the Beanstalk! is an essential to fractured fairy tale collections. It’s not just for the little readers, either – you can get a heck of a reader’s theatre going on here, thanks to all the side conversations and the power struggle between the Narrator and Jack. Wanna see it in action? Check out Josh Funk’s website, where teachers and librarians stage their own reading. It’s also a nice way to talk to kids about believing everything they read: the Narrator likes to embellish a few areas, but Jack is quick to call out alternative facts where he finds them.

If you haven’t enjoyed Josh Funk’s books yet, you have got to start. I love Pirasaurs – because there are pirate dinosaurs – and Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast make me laugh out loud. He’s got a load of great stuff available on his website, including downloadable coloring books and activity sheets, character cards, and book songs.

Want a shot at winning your own copy of It’s Not Jack and the Beanstalk? You know you do. Enter a Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance!

 

Josh Funk writes silly stories and somehow tricks people into publishing them as books – such as the Nerdy Book Club Award-winning DEAR DRAGON and LADY PANCAKE & SIR FRENCH TOAST along with IT’S NOT JACK AND THE BEANSTALK, and the upcoming ALBIE NEWTON, HOW TO CODE A SANDCASTLE (in partnership with Girls Who Code), and more.

Josh is a board member of The Writers’ Loft in Sherborn, MA. was the co-coordinator of the 2016 and 2017 New England Regional SCBWI Conferences, and has written a free 12-Step Guide to Writing Picture Books. Josh grew up in New England and studied Computer Science in school. Today, he still lives in New England and when not writing Java code or Python scripts, he drinks Java coffee and writes manuscripts.

Find out more about Josh at www.joshfunkbooks.com and on Twitter @joshfunkbooks.

Posted in Fiction, Intermediate

Happy British National Tea Day! Spend it with The Queen!

How the Queen Found the Perfect Cup of Tea, by Kate Hosford/Illustrated by Gabi Swiatkowska, (March 2017, Carolrhoda Books), $18.99, ISBN: 978-1-4677-3904-7

Recommended for ages 5-10

A pampered queen is fed up with her usual cup of tea and demands that her butler take her in search of the perfect cup of tea. The duo travel via hot air balloon to gorgeous, green, tea-growing lands and meet three children: Noriko, from Japan; Sunil, from India, and Rana, from Turkey, all of whom teach the Queen to make tea as they do – after she snuggles a kitten, dribbles a soccer ball, and dances. The Queen, noticeably more relaxed with each trip, returns home, invites the children to a tea party, and greets them, hair askew, smiling, and happy.

The soothing repetition of this story, combined with Gabi Swiatkowska’s colored pencils and the strong individual characters Kate Hosford creates all come together to give readers a story about unity, multiculturalism, and letting your hair down. The Queen’s transformation from stuffy and coddled to open and self-sufficient is a joy to watch. Each new experience, each new child she meets, expands her world view, signified by the different teas she enjoys.

The tea rituals are also repetitive in their own way; each ingredient is laid out, and the steps in making each tea are illustrated, inviting readers (with adult help) to make their own tea. An author’s note at the end touches on the history of tea and the author’s inspiration in coming up with the Queen.

This makes a great addition to a multicultural storytime, or a fun addition to a food-related storytime (have some cooled tea prepared for kids to try). I read this one with my 4 year old, who loved the idea of traveling by balloon and meeting new kids – wasn’t so interested in the tea – and that’s the whole point of the book. Talk to kids about being self-sufficient and open to new experiences, and you’ll be just fine.

Want a Queenly storytime? Pick up Gabi Swiatkowska’s own book, Queen on Wednesday (2014), and see how the two monarchs match up.

Updated: Lerner Books just posted an interview with the author AND downloadable tea recipes!

Don’t forget to enter this Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win a copy of How the Queen Found the Perfect Cup of Tea!

Posted in Early Reader, Fiction, Fiction

Aaron Becker’s Journey trilogy concludes with Return (and a giveaway!)

Aaron Becker’s beautiful series of wordless picture books reaches a conclusion with the release of Return. Beginning with 2014’s Caldecott Honor-winning book, Journey, readers follow a young girl who escapes into a magical land, courtesy of her red marker. In Quest, the girl and her friend encounter a king that they must rescue, armed with their imaginations and their markers. Now, it’s time for the girl to return home – what final adventure awaits her?

The adventure begins with Journey

journey_coverA 2014 Caldecott Honor Book

Follow a girl on an elaborate flight of fancy in a wondrously illustrated, wordless picture book about self-determination — and unexpected friendship.

A lonely girl draws a magic door on her bedroom wall and through it escapes into a world where wonder, adventure, and danger abound. Red marker in hand, she creates a boat, a balloon, and a flying carpet that carry her on a spectacular journey toward an uncertain destiny. When she is captured by a sinister emperor, only an act of tremendous courage and kindness can set her free. Can it also lead her home and to her heart’s desire? With supple line, luminous color, and nimble flights of fancy, author-illustrator Aaron Becker launches an ordinary child on an extraordinary journey toward her greatest and most exciting adventure of all.

 

…and continues with a Quest

questAaron Becker, creator of Journey, a Caldecott Honor book, presented the next chapter in his stunning, wordless fantasy.

A king emerges from a hidden door in a city park, startling two children sheltering from the rain. No sooner does he push a map and some strange objects into their hands than he is captured by hostile forces that whisk him back through the enchanted door. Just like that, the children are caught up in a quest to rescue the king and his kingdom from darkness, while illuminating the farthest reaches of their imagination. Colored markers in hand, they make their own way through the portal, under the sea, through a tropical paradise, over a perilous bridge, and high in the air with the help of a winged friend. Journey lovers will be thrilled to follow its characters on a new adventure threaded with familiar elements, while new fans will be swept into a visually captivating story that is even richer and more exhilarating than the first.

 

… and now, it’s time to Return.

return_cover

Before Return is released on August 2nd, enter the Journey Giveaway from Candlewick Press for your chance at winning a prize pack, containing hardcover copies of Journey and Quest! One winner from the US or Canada will win. Enter a Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance!

 

Giveaway details

1 prize pack includes:

1 hardcover copy of Journey by Aaron Becker

1 hardcover copy of Quest by Aaron Becker

 

Parents and educators, there’s a great Journey Trilogy Activity Kit with activities to stimulate your children’s imaginations!

Posted in Fantasy, Fiction, Teen, Young Adult/New Adult

Blog Tour: Poet Anderson …Of Nightmares Excerpt

The publicity team for Poet Anderson …Of Nightmares was kind enough to give me a sizable excerpt to feature, so you can get sucked in like I did. Read, enjoy, and don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win your own copy of the book, plus some nice swag!

PAON-cover-640

Excerpt from Chapter 10, Poet Anderson …Of Nightmares, by Tom DeLonge and Suzanne Young

 

Jarabec splashed some water on his face, clearing off the dust and grime. “I was like you, Poet,” he said, using the bottom of his shirt to wipe his eyes. “A Lucid Dreamer—a bit of a lost soul. The man who owned this garden taught me through my dreams. He too, was a Poet. I learned how to garden, at first. Dreams can be useful that way. An indestructible training ground. I could kill the plants and bring them back without ever damaging a single stem. Eventually, the man’s lessons extended into other skills: how to fight, how to be strong, how to survive. And long after he was gone and this place had been razed, I recreated it—every detail near perfection.” Jarabec glanced around, and for a split second, Poet saw a touch of melancholy cross his features.

“It’s beautiful,” Poet said. Jarabec smiled, and crossed the yard to his monocycle, squatting in front of it to adjust a piston near the tire. “So this means I can enter your memories?” Poet asked. He wasn’t sure he wanted that sort of invasive power.

“No,” Jarabec said. “You can’t enter a memory. What you’ve done is enter my dream.” Jarabec stood, wiping his palms along the thighs of his pants. “You see,” he continued, “most people start their dreams in the Waking World— at their jobs, their homes, their memories. Their personal dream world is only slightly different. A few, like you or me, can get deeper, find a place like Genesis.

“Occasionally, a lost soul will end up in the Dream World. That’s where you come in,” Jarabec said. “You can guide them out; bring them home. You return them to the safety of their dreams with your tunnels. Someone like you can gain access to anywhere, I suppose. We don’t know the limits yet.”

Poet walked over to sit on a bench, facing Jarabec. There was so much he wanted to know that he wasn’t sure where to start. He ran his palm roughly over his face and looked at the Dream Walker. “So you can enter my dreams, too?” Poet asked.

“No,” Jarabec replied. “That is a Poet’s talent. When I found you on the subway, you’d already left your dreams on your way to Genesis. And this time, you found me.”

Poet thought about that, nodding his head. “My brother and I would share dreams, though,” Poet said. “Does that mean Alan—?”

Jarabec shook his head. “No, your brother is not a Poet. All that time, you were in his dream. You tunneled in and lived it with him. Perhaps neither of you realized.”

“Okay,” Poet said. “Well, then what was up with that thing, the Night Terror—it almost killed me.” He could still picture the creature’s glowing red eyes, the way it was ready to devour him.

Jarabec nodded, and crossed to a vertical garden planter with shelves and picked up a pair of garden shears, examining the blade. “You’re right,” Jarabec said, running his thumb along the sharp edge. “But it didn’t. And it won’t. You’ll find a way to kill the Night Terror when you need to.” Jarabec walked over to a row of rose bushes, trimming off the buds that were wilted.

Old habit, Poet thought. Jarabec’s movements were deliberate and practiced, as if the dream was pulling him into his old role.

“Why didn’t you just kill the monster in the subway?” Poet asked him. Surely the Dream Walker was better equipped to handle murderous monsters than he was. Jarabec clipped a dead rose and let it fall to the ground.

“Because it’s not my Night Terror.”

“Fair enough,” Poet said, holding up his hands. “Explain things, then. Are there rules to this? Because, honestly, I have no fucking clue what’s happening.”

Jarabec turned to him and looked him over. “I can’t tell you how to beat your Night Terror. You have to find the answer in yourself. He’s the manifestation of your fear.”

Poet scoffed. “You can’t give me a hint?”

“No.” Jarabec touched his chest, and the armor opened, his Halo rising up above his shoulder.

Although Poet had seen it before, in this calm moment, he was struck by the beauty of the Halo. The sphere was gold and majestic. He narrowed his eyes as the Halo began to revolve around them, and noticed its scrapes and scars. Scorch marks.

“So that’s your soul?” Poet asked quietly. He’d seen Jarabec use it to protect them, but he hadn’t thought about how it would be affected. “It’s…damaged.”

“It is,” Jarabec said, watching the Halo circle. “And I feel every wound.” He touched his chest. “A constant ache in the Waking World. Some Dream Walkers have little left of their Halos—their souls harden like a weapon. Let’s just say their waking selves can become a bit unfeeling because of it.”

“So it changes who you are in the other reality,” Poet asked.

“Oh, yes. But it was a choice we made,” Jarabec said. “In the dreamscape, your soul is your life. And the souls of Dream Walkers are especially bright—so strong they can exist outside of our bodies. They protect us, but at great cost. It’s not a decision to be made lightly.”

“But…how?” Poet asked. “How did you release your soul?”

Jarabec stiffened and glanced at the bamboo fencing, as if waiting. Poet listened a moment, but heard nothing. Still, the Dream Walker’s change in demeanor piqued his concern. “That’s a story for another time,” Jarabec said. “Right now we need to figure out how we can develop your talents. Get you ready.”

“Talents?” Poet said. “Well, I can break into your dreams, apparently. Create giant holes that I can pull people through. I used to be able to make stuff, but not always. And not when I was in the city.”

“No, you won’t be able to,” Jarabec said. “In your dreams, you control your surroundings, so long as you can focus your mind. But in Genesis—the Dream World—you’re just a Poet: a guide for the lost souls.” The Dream Walker began to pace, his Halo widening its circle to follow as he walked the rows of flowers, rubbing his chin. “And it is exceedingly rare to meet a Poet. Most know better than to be found.”

Poet leaned forward, elbows on his knees. “And why’s that?”

“Your bright souls make you targets,” Jarabec said. “If REM were to get his hands on one of you, you can’t imagine the havoc he could inflict on the Waking World. The power of your soul would allow him passage to destroy and terrorize. To cause nightmares. And nightmares give him strength, power. He won’t be content until the entire world dreams of destruction and misery. And even then, that probably won’t be enough.”

Posted in Realistic Fiction, Teen, Young Adult/New Adult

Spotlight On: The Upstate Boys

 

The Upstate Boys Tour Banner

2a278-final2bupstate2bboys2bcoverThe Upstate Boys
by Ofer Aronskind

Release Date: 8/31/15

Summary from Goodreads:
John Shepherd (Shep) is a kid of the streets. An orphan bounced around from one foster family to another until he winds up in a juvenile detention center in upstate New Y ork. While incarcerated, Shep and his fellow inmates are subjected to regular beatings and forced hard labor
by the corrupt warden who runs the facility, along with his squadron of armed guards. But Shep is no ordinary minor and has no intention of spending the rest of his youth behind bars. Shep and a handful of other inmates hatch a bold plan, culminating in a spectacular turn of events and changing the lives of the young prisoners and their captors forever.

The Upstate Boys is a tale of adventure, redemption and the unbreakable will of the human spirit. A must read for young and old alike, for anyone who ever dreamed of freedom, especially for those who made it happen.

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Buy Links:

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Barnes and Noble
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54500-ofer2baronskindAbout the Author
Ofer Aronskind was born in Tel Aviv, Israel and came to the United States at the age of six. He grew up in Little Neck, Queens, on the outskirts of New York City. He attended SUNY Albany, then took a year off after college where he spent the year in Los Angeles writing screenplays. The following year, he came back to NY to attend St. John’s University School of Law and graduated in 1989. He went to work at the law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges as a real estate attorney and worked there until 1997. He now lives in Short Hills, New Jersey with his three sons and is a real estate investor.

Ofer, a father of 3 boys, has had a lifelong passion for reading and writing. He began writing his first book, Summer Sleep Away, the summer he sent his own sons off to camp for their first time. Ofer spent endless nights sitting at the edge of their beds, telling his children stories from his own years in camp. As the boys embarked on their journey, they encouraged Ofer to turn his stories into a book… so became Mattie Kleinfeld and the beginning of Ofer’s prolific career.

New Jersey resident Ofer Aronskind remembers what it was like to be 12 years old: the challenges of middle school, making new friends, attending summer camp for the first time, having your first crush. By drawing on events from his life, as well as those of his three teenage
sons, he has been able to vividly recreate some of life’s most memorable experiences in his young-adult novels.

To find more about Ofer and his books for young adults, please visit www.oferaronskind.com.

Quotes from The Upstate Boys
“We were gettin out or we were gonna die tryin.”
“We dug and clawed for the freedom that awaited us on the other side of that barbed wire fence.”
“Shep was running for his life, for the life of every one of those boys.”
“There was no turning back now…nowhere to go but forward.”
“They were the poor, the orphaned, the dispossessed. They were the boys that had been sent
upstate and came back as heroes.”
Author’s Writing Inspiration
My inspiration for The Upstate Boys came when I read an article in the New York Times about the Arthur G. Dozier school for boys. The stories of the abuse, neglect and murder struck a chord and I wanted to change the story.

Author Links:
Website: http://oferaronskind.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/736391.Ofer_Aronskind

Twitter: @oferaronskind

Make sure to enter this Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win your own copy of The Upstate Boys!
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Book Tour Organized by:
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Posted in Horror, Teen, Young Adult/New Adult

Spotlight Tour: Rin Chupeco’s The Suffering!

I just finished reading Rin Chupeco’s The Suffering – the sequel to last year’s The Girl from the Well – and you are in for a treat. Well, you’re in for an even bigger treat, because Sourcebooks Fire has a Rafflecopter giveaway for you, along with an excerpt from The Suffering!

sufferingThe Suffering
By Rin Chupeco
September 1, 2015; Hardcover ISBN 9781492629832; Trade Paper ISBN 9781492629849
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Praise for the Suffering:

“Rin Chupeco’s The Suffering is a horror lover’s dream: murders, possessed dolls, and desiccated corpses. I cringed. I grimaced. You won’t soon forget this exorcist and his vengeful water ghost.”
–Kendare Blake, author of Anna Dressed in Blood

“Chupeco deftly combines ancient mysticism with contemporary dilemmas that teens face, immersing readers in horrors both supernatural and manmade. The Suffering is a chilling swim through the murky waters of morality.”
–Carly Anne West, author of The Bargaining and The Murmuring

Summary:

Breathtaking and haunting, Rin Chupeco’s second novel is a chilling companion to her debut, The Girl from the Well.

The darkness will find you.

Seventeen-year-old Tark knows what it is to be powerless. But Okiku changed that. A restless spirit who ended life as a victim and started death as an avenger, she’s groomed Tark to destroy the wicked. But when darkness pulls them deep into Aokigahara, known as Japan’s suicide forest, Okiku’s justice becomes blurred, and Tark is the one who will pay the price…

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24789796-the-suffering?from_search=true&search_version=service_impr

Buy Links:
Amazon- http://ow.ly/PrKxL

Barnes&Noble- http://ow.ly/PrKLh

Books A Million- http://ow.ly/PrL7j

iBooks- http://ow.ly/PrLCI

!ndigo- http://ow.ly/PrLOZ

Indiebound- http://ow.ly/PrLXu

 

chupecoAbout the Author:
Despite uncanny resemblances to Japanese revenants, Rin Chupeco has always maintained her sense of humor. Raised in Manila, Philippines, she keeps four pets: a dog, two birds, and a husband. She’s been a technical writer and travel blogger, but now makes things up for a living. Connect with Rin at www.rinchupeco.com.

Social Networking Links:
Website: http://www.rinchupeco.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RinChupeco

Excerpt from The Suffering:
It’s still early morning when our group is given clearance to enter. Aokigahara is a deceptive forest. It has all the hallmarks of a popular tourist destination: narrow but well-maintained hiking trails with a surprising amount of litter, not to mention strips of tape and ribbon wrapped around tree trunks. The leader explains that hikers use them as markers to maintain their bearings. Later on, one of the other volunteers whispers to us that some of the tapes were left by those who came here to kill themselves, in case they decided to change their minds. The revelation horrifies Callie.

A few miles into our hike, anything resembling civilization disappears. Roots crawl across the hard forest floor, and it’s easy to trip if you’re not constantly looking down. We’re outside, but the trees make it feel claustrophobic. They reach hungrily toward the sun, fighting each other for drops of light, and this selfishness grows with the darkness as we move deeper into the woods.

It’s quiet. The silence is broken by the scuffling of feet or snapping of dry twigs as we walk. Every so often, volunteers call back and forth to each other, and rescue dogs exploring the same vicinity that we are will bark. But there are no bird calls, no sounds of scampering squirrels. We’re told that there is very little wildlife in Jukai. Nothing seems to flourish here but trees.

This deep into the woods, any roads and cleared paths are gone. At times, we’re forced to climb to a higher ledge or slide down steep slopes to proceed, and there’s always some root or rock hiding to twist an ankle.

And yet-the forest is beautiful. I like myself too much to seriously think about suicide, even during my old bouts of depression, but I can understand why people would choose to die here. There is something noble and enduring and magnificent about the forest.

That sense of wonder disappears though, the instant I see them. There are spirits here. And the ghosts mar the peacefulness for me. They hang from branches and loiter at the base of tree trunks. Their eyes are open and their skin is gray, and they watch me as I pass. I don’t know what kind of people they were in life, but they seem faded and insignificant in death.

Okiku watches them but takes no action. These are not the people she hunts. They don’t attack us because they’re not that kind of ghosts. Most of them, I intuit, aren’t violent. The only lives they had ever been capable of taking were their own.

I’m not afraid, despite their bloated faces, contorted from the ropes they use to hang themselves or the overdose of sleeping pills they’ve taken. If anything, I feel lingering sadness. I can sympathize with their helpless anguish. These people took their own lives, hoping to find some meaning in death when they couldn’t find it in life. But there’s nothing here but regret and longing.

And there’s that tickle again, so light it is nearly imperceptible. Something in this forest attracts these deaths. It lures its unhappy victims with its strange siren’s call and then, having taken what it needs, leaves their spirits to rot. A Venus flytrap for human souls.

Something is wrong here, and suddenly, the forest no longer looks as enticing or majestic as when we arrived.

 

18509623New in Paperback from this Author: The Girl From The Well

Praise for The Girl From The Well:

“[A] Stephen King-like horror story.” -Kirkus Reviews

“Told in a marvelously disjointed fashion.” -Publishers Weekly STARRED Review

“This gorgeously written story reads like poetry.” -Brazos Bookstore

“Darkly mesmerizing.” -The Boston Globe

“A superior creep factor that is pervasive in every lyrical word.” -Booklist

 

Summary:
The Ring meets The Exorcist in this haunting and lyrical reimagining of the Japanese fable.

Okiku has wandered the world for hundreds of years, setting free the spirits of murdered children. Wherever there’s a monster hurting a child, her spirit is there to deliver punishment. Such is her existence, until the day she discovers a troubled American teenager named Tark and the dangerous demon that writhes beneath his skin, trapped by a series of intricate tattoos. Tark needs to be freed, but there is one problem-if the demon dies, so does its host.

With the vigilante spirit Okiku as his guide, Tark is drawn deep into a dark world of sinister doll rituals and Shinto exorcisms that will take him far from American suburbia to the remote valleys and shrines of Japan. Can Okiku protect him from the demon within or will her presence bring more harm? The answer lies in the depths of a long-forgotten well.

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25263927-the-girl-from-the-well

Buy Links:

Amazon- http://ow.ly/PrQwE

Barnes&Noble- http://ow.ly/PrQFa

Books A Million- http://ow.ly/PrQQU

iBooks- http://ow.ly/PrR6c

!ndigo- http://ow.ly/PrRlE

Indiebound- http://ow.ly/PrQp2

 

Click here for a Rafflecopter giveaway!

 

Posted in Teen

Blog Tour: Ken Baker’s Finding Forever

EXCLUSIVE GIVEAWAY!

finding forever

ATTENTION LOVERS OF THRILLERS/DETECTIVES/HOLLYWOOD STORIES! E! News correspondent Ken Baker is running a preorder campaign with amazing prizes! His new YA series starts with Finding Forever: A Deadline Diaries Exclusive, about a teen celebrity blogger who investigates the dark side of Hollywood. The sweepstakes runs from August 10th until 11:59pm (PST) on August 23rd. Every few days, Ken will choose a winner. He’ll choose the “Grand Prize” Kindle Fire winner on August 24th.

Entrants can win:

• 1 autographed copy of Finding Forever
• A set of autographed copies of all of Ken’s YA books: Fangirl, How I Got Skinny, Famous, and Fell Madly in Love, and Finding Forever
• Ask Ken Anything: Two fans will win exclusive Skype, FaceTime, or VidChat sessions with Ken
• Grand Prize: 1 Kindle Fire HD

Here’s how to preorder:

You will have to enter the Rafflecopter below AND email proof of your final order to Ken at deadlinediariesbooks@gmail.com. You can forward an email, take a screenshot of the order page, or attach a picture or pdf of the order. You can order from anywhere—online or at any local bookstore. Ken will choose the winners from Rafflecopter and check to make sure he has proof of their orders.

Enter here: a Rafflecopter giveaway OR http://www.runningpress.com/deadlinediaries/contestsandbookextras

Posted in Teen, Young Adult/New Adult

Book Blitz: They Call Me Alexandra Gastone, by T.A. MacLagan

 Books can show us visions. Have you ever found your mind beginning to imagine the characters you meet within the pages? Have you experienced a film projector of scenes in your
head as you read about the girl who travels to the fifth dimension, or the boy who’s trying to graduate from being a wallflower? When you read, your mind naturally creates images, almost like watching a movie.  Why not turn those images into a reality by making a movie poster?
Full Fathom Five and T.A. Maclagan are hosting a movie poster design contest to celebrate the
release of T.A.’s debut, They Call Me Alexandra Gastone, a novel heralded by Booklist as “An intricate, debut spy thriller…” The contest will run from July 7th to August 15th.
One winner will receive a $100 gift card to the retailer of their choice, a book from FFF’s
list of authors, and Alexandra Gastone swag! All participants will be featured on T.A. Maclagan’s blog and Tumblr, and the winner will be featured on the Full Fathom Five website! Artists may use any medium from crayon to Photoshop.
They Call Me Alexandra Gastone
Release Date: 05/20/15
Full Fathom Five Digital
226 pages
Summary from Goodreads:
When your life is a lie, how do you know what’s real?Alexandra Gastone has a simple plan: graduate high school, get into Princeton, work for the CIA, and serve her great nation.

She was told the plan back when her name was Milena Rokva, back before the real Alexandra and her family were killed in a car crash.

Milena was trained to be a sleeper agent by Perun, a clandestine organization from her true homeland of Olissa. There, Milena learned everything she needed to infiltrate the life of CIA analyst Albert Gastone, Alexandra’s grandfather, and the ranks of America’s top intelligence agency.

For seven years, “Alexandra” has been on standby and life’s been good. Grandpa
Albert loves her, and her strategically chosen boyfriend, Grant, is amazing.

But things are about to change. Perun no longer needs her at the CIA in five
years’ time. They need her active now.

Between her cover as a high school girl—juggling a homecoming dance, history
reports, and an increasingly suspicious boyfriend—and her mission in this
high-stakes spy game, the boundaries of her two lives are beginning to blur.

Will she stay true to the country she barely remembers, or has her loyalty shattered along with her identity?

Praise for They Call Me Alexandra Gastone:
“An intricate, debut spy  thriller…readers will keep turning pages, and the surprise ending will have them anxiously awaiting a sequel.” —Booklist
“…the intersection of action, espionage, and drama makes for solid…entertainment: readers will gladly sit back and watch Alexandra navigate the obstacle course that comes with playing her role too well. It’s a strong debut for New Zealand author Maclagan.” —Publisher’s
Weekly

“Death-threats, global takeover, double-agents, hidden files and a blown cover—by the time you get to the shocking conclusion of this cliff-hanger, you won’t know who to trust…” Girls’ Life

About the Author
T.A. Maclagan
is a Kansas girl by birth but now lives in the bush-clad hills of Wellington, New Zealand with her Kiwi husband, son and four pampered cats. With a bachelor’s degree in biology and a Ph.D. in anthropology, she’s studied poison dart frogs in the rainforests of Costa Rica, howler monkeys in Panama and the very exotic and always elusive American farmer. It was as she was writing her ‘just the facts’ dissertation that T.A. felt the call to pursue something more
imaginative and discovered a passion for creative writing. They Call Me Alexandra Gastone is her first novel.
You can find her online at:

YA Bounk Tour ButtonBook Blitz Organized by: YA Bound Book Tours