Monday, December 5, 2016

Middle Grade Holiday Reads, IWSG, & Giveaways!

I've decided to end Writer's Alley's 2016 sharing an amazing list of potential middle grade reads for your holiday list and also summing up my fears and insecurities for this year, so please bare with this long post. TY! 
First things first: debut middle grade books from my fellow @TheSweet16s authors. Seriously, this was a huge year for MG readers. Such talent in this group. Even better? They are amazing people and they want to chat with you! Visit their sites and leave them a message. Better yet - check out their next book signing. And ooh, a few are even offering up a goodie or two for you to enter to win! 

   Goodreads Link     Goodreads Link         Goodreads Link      Goodreads Link

  Goodreads Link     Goodreads Link         Goodreads Link      Goodreads Link
Goodreads Link   Goodreads Link  Goodreads Link  Goodreads Link  Goodreads Link

Goodreads Link   Goodreads Link  Goodreads Link  Goodreads Link  Goodreads Link
My Review | Purchase          My Review | Purchase          My Review | Purchase
My Review | Purchase       My Review | Purchase       My Review | Purchase

My Review | Purchase        My Review | Purchase       My Review | Purchase

My Review | Purchase        My Review | Purchase 

Read on for my next contribution to Shannon Messenger's MMGM genius plan 
to give middle grade reads their just due! Click HERE for the other participants.

~And now my giveaways~

My Review | Purchase
by Cynthia Reeg

Description: Monster is as monster does, but Frankenstein Frightface Gordon is totally the wrong shade of ghastly green—pale, baby blue, in fact—and he's more concerned with keeping his pants neat and tidy than scaring the pants off his victims. But when a new law is passed to rid Uggarland of misfits such as Frank, he must decide if he will become the monster his parents can be proud of or be the monster he can be proud of. Trusting the monsterliest monster he knows, Frank looks to the grave and his dead grandmother to make his choice, entering into an adventure that will either seal his doom or prove he is truly monster enough. 
Goodreads | Purchase

by Tricia Clasen

Description: Since her mom died, Andie’s family has crumbled. Instead of working, her dad gambles away insurance money, while her sister, Paige, has put her future on hold in order to pick up extra waitressing shifts. Andie’s afraid of what will happen if people find out just how bad things are. She’s not sure how long she can hide the fact that there’s no food or money in the house...or adults, for that matter.

When her science partner suggests they study paranormal activity, Andie gets an idea. She wants a sign from her mom—anything to tell her it’s going to be okay. Maybe the rest of her family does too. So she starts a project of her own. Pretending to be her mother’s ghost, Andie sprays perfume, changes TV channels, and moves pictures. Haunting her house is Andie’s last hope to bring her family back into the land of the living.
For anyone who loved Counting by 7s, The Haunted House Project is a journey through loss and grief, but ultimately a story of hope and self-reliance. As much as Andie has been changed by her mother’s death, the changes she makes herself are the ones that are most important. 

Review | Purchase

by Shari Schwarz

Description: An epic adventure—that’s all Bryce wants this summer. So when he stumbles upon a treasure map connected to an old family secret, Bryce is determined to follow the clues to unearth both, even it means hiking in the wilderness in the middle of nowhere. Bryce must work with his bickering brother, Jack, or they may never see the light of day again!

Goodreads | Purchase

by Claire Fayers

Description: Twelve-year-old Brine Seaborne is a girl with a past--if only she could remember what it is. Found alone in a rowboat as a child, clutching a shard of the rare starshell needed for spell-casting, she's spent the past years keeping house for an irritable magician and his obnoxious apprentice, Peter.

When Brine and Peter get themselves into a load of trouble and flee, they blunder into the path of the legendary pirate ship the Onion. Before you can say "pieces of eight," they're up to their necks in the pirates' quest to find Magical North, a place so shrouded in secrets and myth that most people don't even think it exists. If Brine is lucky, she may find out who her parents are. And if she's unlucky, everyone on the ship will be eaten by sea monsters. It could really go either way. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I also hope you'll keep my middle grade debut, 
MOTLEY EDUCATION, on your holiday reading list! 

And as an added incentive here's a separate giveaway that ends on the same date: December 25!  

Keep watch on Twitter between December 19 & 24 to Enter for your chance to WIN one of two Motley Education prize packages! 
Both prizes contain: a signed bookmark, ghostly pencil, Motley Mulisha customized notebook, stickers, a beautifully printed map of Yggdrasil showcasing Ebony & Fleishman's travels in Yggdrasil so far, and some ghoulish hot chocolate encased in a coffin! Get it - the Boneyard. *wink, wink* 
Look for the hashtags @TheSweet16s & @SA_Larsen

My newsletter subscribers get to earn extra entries. If you'd like to earn extra entries as well just sign up HERE and I'll send you off the newsletter with all the deets!

So how does all of this play into a final fear or insecurity for 2016? Easy, just look at all the work so many talented writers accomplished. Yes, I was blessed to be part of it. But, honestly, can I keep it up? Do I have what it takes? Will life constantly keep getting in the way? My debut young adult novel is releasing in March, and I'm so far behind with all my other writing I wonder if I'll be able to pull it all off.

I could go on and on with those sorts of questions, but I won't. Instead I'll give you my answer to these questions, anymore like them clogging up the highway to my creativity, and to give you a little inspiration for the upcoming year. My answer is simply one word: YES. And you have what it takes, too. 

Note: Speaking of the new YA, if you'd like to help out either revealing the cover or being part of my blog tour feel free to leave a comment below or enter your name HERE. I'll get in touch when I know more.💖

(The purpose of the IWSG is to share and encourage, posting on the first Wednesday of each month. You'll find writer doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Support and a common understanding spread throughout the group as many fellow writers can relate. Feel free to JOIN in anytime.)

Have a safe & enjoyable holiday season. 
I wish you all much success in 2017! Looking forward to all we'll do together. 
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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Happy Release CATALYST by Kristin Smith!

When one of your besties releases her debut young adult novel what do you do?

Join in to help her spread the world. Well...after you freak out and all. Please join me in celebrating the release of CATALYST by Kristin Smith. She's one of my critique partners, amazing supporters of my work, and all around sweet person! I've also read the entire manuscript in its birthing stage and beyond. Trust me. You'll love it.

Catalyst (The Deception Game, #1)
by Kristin Smith

Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing
Release date: November 21st 2016
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Too pretty.
Too smart.
Too perfect.
In a crumbling, futuristic Las Vegas where the wealthy choose the characteristics of their children like ordering off a drive-thru menu, seventeen-year-old Sienna Preston doesn’t fit in. As a normal girl surrounded by genetically modified teenagers, all of her imperfections are on display. But after the death of her father, everything she’s ever known and loved changes in an instant. 
With little skills to help provide for her family, Sienna clings to the two things that come easily—lying and stealing. But not all thief-for-hire assignments go as planned. When a covert exchange of a stolen computer chip is intercepted, she becomes entangled with a corrupt government official who uses her thieving past as leverage, her mother as collateral, and the genetically modified poster boy she’s falling for as bait. 
In order to rescue her mother, there may only be one option—joining forces with the Fringe, an extremist group, and their young leader who’s too hot to be bad. Problem is, these revolutionaries aren’t what they seem, and the secrets they’re hiding could be more dangerous than Sienna is prepared for. In the end, she must be willing to risk everything to save the one thing that matters most.
Catalyst is a thrilling adventure of danger, romance, intrigue, and deception.
“You need to learn a little hand-to-hand combat.” Trey puts his fists up by his face. “Always protect your soft spots—your face being numero uno.” He glances at my bandaged arm. “You right-handed?”

It’s after breakfast and we’re in the training facility, a large, gym-type room with thick mats, punching bags, weights, and a long wall of mirrors. The smell of sweat and stinky feet assault my nose as I stand across from him on the pile of black mats used to create a “ring”. We have the gym to ourselves. Most likely because everyone else is too smart to work out right after a meal.

I nod and flex my right hand, the one that’s not bandaged.

“You should be fine, then. I’ll take it easy on you.” He grins. “Go ahead—hit me.”

I take a step back and shake my head. “I’m not gonna hit you.”

He moves forward to decrease the distance between us. “I said, hit me.”

I raise my arms as if I’m about to fight him, but all I can think is how much he’s done to help me. How can I punch the man who saved me from the government facility, removed my tracker, and is willing to help rescue my mother?

When he realizes I won’t fight, he lowers his hands. “Remember, Sienna, these men don’t care that you’re a girl. They don’t care how old you are. If given the opportunity, they will hurt you.” His eyes harden. “Now hit me.”

I punch him as hard as I can, and he’s not expecting it. The force of the blow to his face knocks him backward, and my hand throbs from the impact. He looks stunned, especially when a trickle of blood makes its way out of his nose. But then he grins.

Wiping his nose on his shirt, he motions with his hands for me to come closer. “Nicely done. Now, hit me again.”

Surely, he must be crazy. I’m about to walk away, but his words echo in my mind. If given the opportunity, they will hurt you. I can’t give them that opportunity.


Author Bio:
Kristin Smith writes young adult contemporary and science fiction novels. When she’s not writing, you can find her dreaming about the beach, beating her boys at Just Dance, or belting out karaoke (from the comfort of her own home). Kristin currently resides in the middle-of-nowhere North Carolina with her husband and five incredibly loud but extremely cute boys. To read more about her obsession with YA novels or her addiction to chocolate, you can visit her at Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

I also want to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving! 
My daughter (kiddo #3) turns 18 on the 25th, so we'll be celebrating double-duty. <3 
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