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

POWERLESS Blog Tour: Young Adult Authors Pick Their Superpower

To celebrate the release of POWERLESS, we’re answering the question: “If I could have any superpower…” So what would your superpower be? I’m kind of caught between wanting Magneto’s ability to control all things metal (plus, he can fly), or Wolverine’s invulnerability. But let’s check in with Powerless authors Tera Lynn Childs and Tracy Deebs, and some of your favorite YA authors, and see what they say.

PowerlessGraphic

TeraLynnChildsTera Lynn Childs, POWERLESS co-author

If I could have any superpower, I would want the power to breathe water. I’m a true water baby. Ever since I was little, I’ve wanted to be a mermaid—I blame the movie Splash. Growing up, I spent as much times as possible in, on, and around the water. I was a competitive swimmer for years and I visit the beach as often as living in the desert allows. The longer I can stay in the water, the better. And if I didn’t have to come back up for air…I might just stay underwater forever.

 

TracyDeebsTracy Deebs, POWERLESS co-author

If I could have any superpower in the world, I would choose telekinesis. From the time I was a little girl, I’ve been fascinated with the idea of being able to move things with my mind.  Whether it’s getting my cell phone from my bedroom when I’m too tired to get off the couch or carrying my very heavy youngest child when he falls asleep in the car or hanging my oldest kid upside down when he makes me insane or stealing the last cookie from the plate in the kitchen without anyone seeing me do it or making the lights turn off and on and freaking out my kids, I think having telekinesis would be an absolute blast!!!!
Learn more about Tera and Tracy at www.HeroAgenda.com. Don’t forget about the Rafflecopter giveaway from Sourcebooks – you can win your own copy of Powerless, plus some awesome lightning bolt jewelry!

 

Cori McCarthy, author of BREAKING SKY
If I had a superpower, it would be the ability to freeze everything. Not cold-freeze, but the good, old fashion, Zack Morris TIME OUT. This way I could hit pause on the world and take a few deep breaths. I could track down a cheese plate and watch an episode of Bones while the rest of the world stops spinning so dizzily for a second. Then when I was done with my chill out, I’d call TIME IN, and things could keep on rolling.
Cori’s teen protagonists take flight in her recent release BREAKING SKY. More information about this thriller can be found at http://www.corimccarthy.com/breaking-sky/.

 

Mari Mancusi, author of the SCORCHED series
If I had a superpower, it would be the ability to slow down time. To give people a chance to take a breath, to read a book, to smell the flowers and play with their children. We rush, rush, rush through life and some important details end up falling through the cracks. Slowing down time would give us a chance to explore our passions, nurture our spirits, and enjoy the quiet moments, without feeling anxious or worried that we were “wasting time.” Because with my superpower, we would have all the time in the world!
The third book in Mari’s Scorched series SMOKED releases in September. Catch up with the trilogy here http://www.marimancusi.com/.

 

Zoraida Cordova, author of THE VAST AND BRUTAL SEA
If I had a superpower, it would be to travel unharmed throughout space. I call it my Starlord meets Superman fantasy. I would go through the galaxies and explore different civilizations while listening to awesome playlists (on an iPod though). I’d be able to breath, and maybe eat starts as fuel.
Pick up Zoriaida’s YA novel THE VAST AND BRUTAL SEA available in trade paperback now. And contact the author on Facebook here https://www.facebook.com/CordovaBooks.

 

Read on for another POWERLESS Excerpt!

Powerless

All my life there have only been three absolutes: ordinaries are useless, villains are evil, and heroes are good. Heroes are supposed to be the people the rest of the world looks up to, the very best examples of humanity.

 

I’ve spent my whole life distrusting villains—hating villains—and now I find out that some heroes are just as bad. Maybe worse. This kind of brutality is worse than anything I’ve ever heard villains accused of. This is worse than what they did to my father. Worse than murder.

 

Heroes are the good guys, the ones who stop things like this from happening. The heroes I know would never do this. But they are. They are. So what’s going on?

 

Hypnosis? Mind control? I don’t know. Somebody is responsible for this. There’s no other explanation.

 

But who? What are they getting out of it?

 

Another scream pierces the air, and I shudder. I’ve never felt so useless in my life. There is nothing I can do to help him, to save him. Nothing I can do to make it stop. What I wouldn’t give to have any superpower.

 

You can check out GoodReads for more information on Powerless, and you can buy the book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, and Indie Bound. Make sure to check out the Hero Agenda website for more excerpts! Follow the fun on Facebook and Twitter.

Posted in Teen, Young Adult/New Adult

Spelled by Betsy Schow – an excerpt and a giveaway!

I recently reviewed Betsy Schow’s Wizard of Oz/fairy tale mashup, Spelled – now, you’ve got the chance to win your own copy, courtesy of Sourcebooks! Check out the excerpt below, and make sure to enter to win!

 SPELLED

Spelled, By Betsy Schow

Sourcebooks Fire

June 2, 2015

Advance Praise for Spelled

“A cute adventure with romance set in a world full of fairy-tale mash-ups. Readers will love Dorthea’s evolution from spoiled princess to strong, confident heroine… For Oz fans, this work is a great clean-read alternative to Danielle Paige’s Dorothy Must Die.” –School Library Journal

“This wickedly funny, fast-paced adventure has it all: brains, courage, and heart. (Plus a kickin’ pair of heels.) .” –Jen Calonita, author of The Secrets of My Hollywood Life and Fairy Tale Reform School series

“Fairy tale survival rule #1, do NOT read this book late at night. You will wake up your entire family with loud laughter. Fairy tale survival rule #2, if you love the Wizard of Oz, clever fairy tale mash-ups, and enough twists and turns to keep you guessing what will happen until the very end, you MUST read Spelled.” –J Scott Savage, award winning author of Farworld, Case File 13, and the Mysteries of Cove series.

A hilarious and snarky reimagining of the world of Oz, along with many other fairy tales injected throughout, “Spelled” is one fabulous read…Kick off those silver slippers and tuck in with this wonderful tale!” —Senator Sipes, Lil Book Bug (Palmdale, CA)

Book Info:

Talk about unhappily ever after. Dorthea is completely princed out. Sure being the crown princess of Emerald has its perks—like Glenda Original ball gowns and Hans Christian Louboutin heels. But a forced marriage to the not-so-charming prince Kato is so not what Dorthea had in mind for her enchanted future.

Trying to fix her prince problem by wishing on a (cursed) star royally backfires, leaving Dorthea with hair made up of emerald flames and the kingdom in chaos. Her parents and everyone she loves are stuck in some place called “Kansas.” Now it’s up to Dorthea and her pixed-off prince to find the mysterious Wizard of Oz and undo the curse…before it releases the wickedest witch of all and spells The End for the world of Story.

Amazon | B&N | BAM | !ndigo | IndieBound | Kindle |  Nook

Betsy Schow:

Betsy Schow is the author of the memoir Finished Being Fat, and has been featured on The Today Show and in The Wall Street Journal. She lives in Utah, but travels the country with Color Me Rad 5k, and partners with nonprofits to teach kids creative thinking and how to reach their goals.

Website| Twitter

Excerpt from Spelled:

Most of the crowd had dispersed. The final few stragglers looked at me with the all­ too-common look of fear mixed with trepidation. Pix ’em. They were just servants. It wasn’t like their opinion mattered.

Only one remained, watching me with open curiosity. He looked to be in his late teens or was magically enhanced to appear so. He could have been a hundred for all I knew. I’d never seen him before in my life. He was handsome enough, for a commoner, even in his worn leather pants and cracked work boots. A foreigner, his hair was unruly and dark auburn, which complemented his tanned but dirt-smudged complexion, though the tall, dark stranger vibe was ruined by his piercing pale blue eyes.

Well, I’d had enough of being a sideshow for the day. “If you’re the new gardener, the hedges are overgrown and in need of a trim.” I pointed in the direction of my father. “While you’re there, you can help the king with the wisps.”

The young man’s expression clouded over, but he didn’t move.

I stamped my foot and pointed more forcefully. “Off with you. Courtyard’s that way. Be sure to clean those awful boots before coming back in.”

“Someone told me I’d find a princess of great worth here. One with the strength to be the hero this realm needs.” He stared at me with those unsettling blue eyes. They were cold, like ice water—made me shiver from head to toe. Then his gaze seemed to search even deeper. Finally, he looked through me, like I was nothing.

In brisk steps, he strode across the marble to the courtyard. But before crossing the threshold, he turned back to glare at me with his lip curled ever so slightly. “It seems she was mistaken.”

Just like that, I had been sifted, weighed, and found wanting.

I felt my own lip curl in response. How rude! Who the Grimm was this peasant to judge me? I was wearing a Glenda original. Original! Not some fairy-godmother knockoff worn by those servant girls turned royal. I was a crown princess, for the love of fairy, and no one dismissed me.

Before I could put the boy in his place—down in the dirt, where he belonged—a clatter came from behind, making me nearly jump out of my shoes. I checked and was relieved that Sterling had simply dropped his sword. By the time I looked back, the gardener was gone.

After stowing his blade, Sterling held up his shield, not in defense of the entrance but so he could look at his reflection. “Clearly he’s blind and doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”

I didn’t ask for Sterling’s opinion, but it made me feel better.

Until he opened his mouth again.

“Worth, pffft. I mean, look around at all the jewels. Your palace has everything you could ever want. Honestly, I don’t know what you’re fussing about. Why would anyone want to leave?”

Because a cage is still a cage, no matter how big or glittering the bars are.

And I would find a way free, no matter the cost.

Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance at a copy of Spelled!

Posted in Preschool Reads

Daredevil Duck Blog Tour! Author interview and contest!

daredevil duckDaredevil Duck, by Charlie Alder (May 2015, Running Press) $16.95, ISBN: 9780762458929

Recommended for ages 3-7

Daredevil Duck wants to be brave. He really does, but there are so many scary things out in the world: fluttery things, the dark, heights – what’s a wannabe daredevil to do? One day, Daredevil Duck is called on to help a friendly Mole save his balloon, stuck up in a tree. This is Daredevil Duck’s big moment: can he face his fears and save the day?

This is a great story for the preschool and Kindergarten set. It addresses common fears, and tells a sweet story of how one young duck faced and overcame those fears in order to help someone. If that’s not great motivation, what is? It also addresses bullying, which is so important to tackle in these early years, when kids are forming their social patterns.

Most of all, Daredevil Duck is just fun. The book has interesting die cuts and flaps that kids will love exploring, and it adds great interest to a read-aloud. I love keeping the kids in suspense for a second or two before opening a flap and giving them an exciting reveal, and they love the delicious anticipation. The cartoony artwork, with bright primary colors inside a thick black outline, gives a child-friendly welcome to the story. Emphasized moments and text will catch readers’ attention and keep them giggling.

I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy of this book for review, and read it to my preschooler storytime classes, where it went over very well. The kids loved the reveals under the flaps and gatefolds, and they loved going on Daredevil Duck’s brave journey with him. A fun read-aloud to add to the collection.

 

I was thrilled to get Daredevil Duck‘s author, Charlie Alder to answer a couple of questions. Read on for more!

coffee-bearMomReadIt: Would you call Daredevil Duck an accidental superhero?
Charlie Alder: That’s a good question! Well, Daredevil Duck wants to be a superhero, but his fears get the better of him every time. It’s only when he’s really determined to help a new friend, and his fears have to be put to one side, that he realizes anything is possible! This realization is totally accidental to him, so I guess he really is an accidental superhero!

MRI: Is Daredevil Duck based on anyone you know?
CA: I would say Daredevil Duck is very similar to my little boy at age 4 or 5! Initially, when I first started coming up with story ideas and character sketches he was very much his own character, but as the story started to progress, I realized he had taken on many of the traits, hopes and fears of my little boy, and indeed many of his friends.

MRI: What advice would you have for anyone who wants to be a superhero, daredevil, or just sleep without a night light? How can someone channel Daredevil Duck in his or her own life?
CA: Well, being brave can take many different forms, from trying a new sport, making new friends or eating a new vegetable! Throughout the story Daredevil Duck kept telling himself he couldn’t do things, that he was too scared, but he never really tried! When he really tried to rescue the yellow balloon he surprised himself! The only way you’ll really know if you can do something or not is to try it, it doesn’t matter if you fail, at least you have tried… and you never know, you may surprise yourself too!

You can follow Charlie Alder on Twitter @chuckie346, or visit her author website for more information. Thanks, Charlie!

Win your own copy of Daredevil Duck with this a Rafflecopter giveaway
-good luck!

TAKE THE DAREDEVIL DUCK BLOG TOUR!

DAREDEVIL DUCK
By Charlie Alder
Blog Tour Schedule
>>>>
5/4 Wife Hat, Mom Hat
5/5 Geo Librarian
5/6 In The Pages
5/7 Stacking Books
5/9 Bea’s Book Nook
5/10 ReaderKidz
5/11 Coffee for the Brain
5/12 The Picture Book Review
5/13 Mrs. Brown Loves Bookworms
5/14 Mom Read It
5/15 Unpacking the POWER of
Picture
Books
5/16 Cheryl Rainfield
5/17 Unleashing Readers