Thursday, May 7, 2015

A conversation with Mindy and George from 'Tillie's Tale' by Mindy Mymudes


The characters from Tillie's Tale decided to stop by to share their insight into why middle grade readers love spooky stories. :)

Mindy:
I think middle grade readers love spooky stories. If they are in scouts or do any group camping, stories about ghosts are told over a fire in the inky darkness. It’s so easy to see one forming…

George:
Well I think I was asked this question. You are just my secret-ary. I hired you to handle the keyboard on the computer, since that’s a distinctly Peep form of prejudice. Not that dogs need to write to prove our perfection. However, Peeps can’t interpret dog language, so we have to do all the work and learn Peep. We are very good.
Dogs are excellent characters in middle grade books. What’s not to like about us? When our Girl and Boypeeps are afraid, we are there to take care of them. Dogs aren’t worried about ghosts. Or even of horrible Hodags. When our young packmates are sad, we snuggle up to them and let our fur soak up their tears.
We enjoy walks with them, so we all get exercise. Dogs are excellent teachers. When we’re out on our walkies, our poo is important, so our young Peeps pick it up in special bags. Responsibility is very important to learn. Since we don’t have fingers, they have to feed and give us water.
Besides, we’re cute, give kisses with our magical drool, and our fur is very soft to pet. Lastly, we’re are very smart, and I’m the smartest dog of all. Basset hounds are perfect, and I’m not only a basset, but also a magical familiar.
I think I’ve made my point. Dogs should be the main character in all books, not just young Peeps.

Mindy:
<Sigh> I guess George covered everything. Thanks for having me.

George:
<Cough> Thanks for having me.


Tillie’s Tale – Magical Drool Mysteries

by Mindy Mymudes


~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

Who is the mysterious ghosty haunting puppygirl Tillie? And why? George, the magical basset hound familiar is on the trail.

It’s not often a basset hound puppy is haunted by an unhappy ghost, but George’s packmate, Tillie, manages to attract one. George and Tillie need to find out how to help the ghost before she turns into a poultry-ghost.

Read an excerpt:
“Wrrrrttttle.”

Tillie’s tail is spinning in circles. She’s staring at a filmy thing sitting on the steps of an old, rough-brick building. I know it’s really a large Peeps’ den, but since it’s bad to be in the dog house, I assume it’s bad to be in a house. Why don’t they just call it a den if houses are so bad? From the smelltaste of cooking, Peeps, dust, skin, and the other stuff Peeps like, there are many small dens inside. Tillie “wrrrrrtttles” again and adds a soft “wuff.” Her front goes down into a play bow. The thing she’s trying to get to play is shimmery and clear, with thick and thin spots swimming on the surface.

“Snoof. Snuffle” I lick my lips. There’s a disturbing smelltaste of dustmoldlightningozone.

Oh mousefleas.

It’s a ghosty.

http://amzn.to/1AGrYRC

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

I've worked in a hazardous waste lab, where under the sign for the Right To Know law, was added: if you can figure it out. I've been a metals tech, a bakery clerk, a professional gardener, taught human anatomy and ran two university greenhouses. Along the way I picked up my Master's Degree in Biology, specializing in the population genetics of an endangered plant. I am also a top breeder, handler, trainer of English springer spaniels, with three in the equivalent of the National Club's (ESSFTA) hall of fame. Every time I think I know dogs, another dog comes along and proves my beliefs are totally wrong.


Links:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Mindy-Mymudes/486126501426333

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6702514.Mindy_Mymudes

Website: http://mindymymudes.weebly.com

Blog: http://bassetbones.wordpress.com


Mindy will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Follow along for more chances to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Review of 'The Venetian Job (Max Books)' by Sally Gould


The Venetian Job
The Max Books
Book 3

by Sally Gould


Genre: Middle Grade Action & Adventure
Publisher: Orbis Media
Date of Publication: March 2015
ISBN: 9780994182746
ASIN: B00QY0ACJY
Number of pages: 108
Word Count: approx. 20,000 words
Cover Artist: Dane at eBook Launch

Book Description:

In 'Mafia Encounter', when Max is on a family holiday in Sicily, he and Charlie notice the mafia seem to be following them. Are they related to the mafia boss? Will they have to learn the business? Will their lives ever be the same?

In 'The Venetian Job', Max desperately wants bad guys and action, so he’ll have a good story to tell when he goes back to school. He and Charlie hang out with their policeman uncle, but there doesn’t seem to be a bad guy in Venice. Then in a Palace on the Grand Canal, Max notices something that doesn’t make sense. Will Max get bad guys and action after all?

Read an excerpt of Chapter 3 from Mafia Encounter:
Sharing a hotel with a mafia boss – even if he was a little old man – didn’t make me feel safe and warm inside. I could feel my stomach doing somersaults while we waited for the elevator. I wondered if Charlie was nervous too. He wouldn’t admit it, even if he were.

Eventually there was a ping and the doors of the elevator opened. It was empty. That was good. Well, it was good as long as no mafia guys got in before we got out.

“I think I’ll do fifty laps,” said Charlie, after the elevator doors closed.

“What about Marco Polo? I want to say we played Marco Polo in Italy.”

He looked at me like I was stupid. “Marco Polo came from Venice; Italy wasn’t a country back then.”

Trust him to turn something fun into a history lesson. “Yeah, whatever.”

The doors of the elevator opened and we followed the signs to the pool. It was an indoor pool, there were three lanes and it was probably about fifteen metres long – long enough for races. I knew as soon as I saw it that Charlie would want to race.

At first I didn’t see anyone in the pool, but then I noticed a figure push off from the edge. Geez, I wanted to have the whole pool to ourselves. Then I saw two men in black suits sitting at the side of the pool. The bad feeling in my gut came back. At first I didn’t recognize them because they weren’t wearing sunglasses. One of them got up and came over to us as Charlie and me were stripping down to our swimmers. I could barely take off my shorts, I was shaking so much.

The man in black was tall and he had big shoulders. He said something to us in Italian.

Charlie said, “Parla inglese?”

I knew that meant, Do you speak English? I hadn’t worked out how Charlie could say four English words in only two Italian words.

“Come back to swim later,” ordered the man in black.

“Sure,” I said and began to put my shorts back on. I wasn’t stupid. I knew from school that if someone three times bigger told me to do something, it was best to do it.

“We’re staying at the hotel. We’re allowed to use the pool.” Charlie folded his arms.

Was he crazy? “We can go back to our room and watch the wrestling,” I said to him. “Let’s go.”

The man in black leaned toward Charlie and said very softly, “Mr. Petruzzelli owns hotel.”

Mr. P must’ve been Mr. Mafia in the pool. That was good enough for me. I was out of here. If Charlie wanted to stay and get his head blown off, that was his business. Real casual, I began to walk back toward the elevator.

I heard a voice behind me. “Boy! You stop!”

Available at 
Amazon * iTunes * BN * Kobo


**My thoughts**

Max is the kind of kid who does well as the middle grade book hero. He is excessively curious, which can often get him into trouble. He also has a large imagination and sometimes lacks impulse control. At the same time, he is also very bright, which contributes to all of these traits.

In these two stories, Max and his family are on vacation in Sicily. From what I can gather, as this is the first book in the series that I have read, Max is prone to making up grandiose stories. His brother, Charlie, helps to contribute to his wild imagination. The two of them feed off of each other to create situations that get them involved with the Mafia and a large art heist. Their antics are amusing and there is enough suspense to keep readers engaged.

I am now curious about the other books in the series, to find out what else Max has gotten himself into. I wish that this book would have given a bit more of Max's background. I am probably not the only one who randomly picked up a book in the middle of the series. A bit more character and story background, even as mere references to previous adventures, would help us get to know the characters more, as well as entice us even more to pick up the previous installments. I felt like this one just jumped into the story and I was a little lost at first. Who is this Mr. Mafia and from where did the idea originate? Is this something alluded to in a previous book? Nevertheless, a fun read that any kid who likes crazy adventures will enjoy.

About the Author:

Sally Gould loved books from a young age, but never considered writing them. While she was busy getting up to the mischief that teenagers get up to, she forgot about books all together. Then total insanity took hold and she became a corporate lawyer.

Fortunately, she had two sons and they inspired her to write stories for children. Of course, her oldest son is responsible, logical, studious, considerate, grateful and even makes his bed. The youngest one is only interested in having fun - lots of it. And, except for his teachers, he makes everyone laugh. Their antics have inspired many of Sally's stories. Sally lives in Melbourne, Australia with her family and two dogs - Pebbles, who is sensible, and Jade, who just wants to have fun.

Website: www.sallygould.com.au

Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/sallygould

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5010299.Sally_Gould

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sallygouldchildrensauthor

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

'The Witches of Altenburg: The Beginning' by Cindi Walton


Blurb:

Strange and mysterious things are happening in, around and under the Crunklewood trees of Altenburg and it is all because of those witches, the ones that might not be witches at all. Follow the adventures of Isaac T. Cole as he writes down exactly what happened the day the witches appeared, and life in Altenburg was changed forevermore. Along the way Isaac encounters an odd assortment of characters and strange creatures. Is it all a tall tale or are things not as they appear to be? Come along and find out in book one: The Beginning...part of "The Witches of Altenburg" series for young readers 7-12.

http://amzn.to/1axsdas

About the Author 

Cindi Walton is a native Northern Michigan resident and the wife of Michael, mother of two grown daughters, , Nana to William and Kaleigh Jean and the doggy mom of Maxwell House, her standard poodle. Cindi believes that childhood should be a time of magic and wonder.She is the founder of sock monkey nation a kindness and anti-bullying program.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

FREE 2/28-3/1 'Jala and the Wolves' by Marti Dumas, plus audiobook release!


Blurb:

Jala is a curious girl with a penchant for canines. In addition to playing pretend and being something of a gourmand, she spends most of her time learning new facts about animals—especially wolves. One day, after being severely scolded in the kitchen, she returns to her room and is only a little surprised to find that a mysterious mirror has appeared. Like Alice’s looking glass, the mirror is only the beginning. It transports her to a new land where she must use all her knowledge and strength to save an ailing pack of wolves.


Read a Sample Chapter on SoundCloud: 



http://amzn.to/1KXplzd
Also now available as an audiobook!

Author Bio: 

Marti Dumas loves ancient oak trees and watching thunderstorms from the shelter of her front porch. Luckily she lives in her native New Orleans where there are oak trees and thunderstorms aplenty. Although she is southern girl at heart, Marti has spent a good deal of time navigating the hustle and bustle of Manhattan, gazing at winter snowscapes in quiet New England towns, and trying to spot dolphins on Florida’s First Coast. However, once her two children entered the mix she and her husband knew that their more than 300 years of Louisiana ancestry would eventually pull them back home. It did.

Marti currently resides in New Orleans with her husband, her son, her daughter, a gray cat named Gris-Gris (get it?), and a guinea pig whose name changes almost daily. The earthly remains of Oscar the fish may still be in the freezer.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

5 Reasons Author Marti Dumas Loves Reading Aloud (And You Should, Too!)



5 Reasons I Love Reading Aloud (And You Should, Too!)

World Read Aloud Day is March 4, 2015. If you didn’t already know that this is an actual thing and not something I made up, check it out at litworld.org.

I needed to clarify because, in truth, the existence of something called World Read Aloud Day is totally something I would have made up. A whole day? Dedicated to reading? Aloud?!?! What’s not to like?

Now, to be fair, I was one of those super annoying [read: awesome] little kids who read every single sign we passed. Every single sign. With perfect diction.

“Woolworth!” “Winn Dixie!” “Tchoupitoulas!” “No Ped X-ing!” “One Hour Martinizer!” “Please Take a Number and Wait to Be Served!”

Nothing was safe. Not even the fine print on cans of air freshener. And my mother, bless her soul, never stopped me. In fact, it wasn’t until the end of kindergarten when I was loudly (and proudly) reading an Amelia Bedelia book during naptime that my teacher, Miss Carmen, gently suggested I try reading in my mind. For a moment I didn’t even understand what she was saying, the concept was so foreign. Would it even work? [Spoiler Alert: It did.]

The wide world of silent reading was open to me from that point on, but that did not take away the luster of read aloud. I love reading aloud—by myself, with my kids, with my class, to perfect strangers—and here are 5 reasons why you should, too!

Have Smarter Kids

You read aloud to them when they were really little, plus they have your genes, so they’re already smart. But why not bump that up to super smart? Genius, even? According to these people and these people, reading aloud to children even after they can read to themselves generally increases their awesomeness both in and out of school. Audiobooks improve performance, too, so no lame excuses like: “But I’m Driving/Cleaning/Cooking/Making Dinner!”

Form a Secret Society

Reading aloud with your kids makes for all sorts of inside jokes that other people won’t get. For example, “Mr. Fuzzypants” has taken on a life of its own in my family. If you can decode that one, you can totally join our club.

Annoy People in Public

To be fair, only people who are already annoyed will be annoyed by your reading. And then only if you’re on a *really* crowded bus. Most people will just be stoked to see you engaging in high-quality parenting. If they’re not, just smile, nod, and read on.

Sound Fancy at Dinner Parties

EH-ROO-DITE? AIR-YOU-DITE? Reading Aloud gives you a chance to say words that are usually only found in books—and be corrected so you sound erudite before things get messy. I promise you that there were a whole lot of BATTA-lions (roar) marching off to war before my mother heard and corrected me. And one of the smartest people I know wondered what the difference was between horse-doo-vrees and hors d'oeuvres for years.

Talk Like Pee-wee On the Regular

Silly voices work for the Big Bad Wolf, but why stop there? Even the most boring news articles can be made palatable with a good Pee-wee Herman impression. Go on. Give it a try.


Marti Dumas is a native New Orleanian with a passion for storytelling. When she is not teaching or parenting, she is reading or writing. She prefers to do some combination of the above within view of ancient oak trees or the banks of the river. Or both.

Her book, Jala and the Wolves, makes a great read aloud. ;-)

Get it on Amazon here.

Friday, February 13, 2015

'Jala and the Wolves' by Marti Dumas now available in paperback!


Blurb:

Jala is a curious girl with a penchant for canines. In addition to playing pretend and being something of a gourmand, she spends most of her time learning new facts about animals—especially wolves. One day, after being severely scolded in the kitchen, she returns to her room and is only a little surprised to find that a mysterious mirror has appeared. Like Alice’s looking glass, the mirror is only the beginning. It transports her to a new land where she must use all her knowledge and strength to save an ailing pack of wolves.


Read a Sample Chapter on SoundCloud: 



http://amzn.to/1KXplzd


Author Bio: 

Marti Dumas loves ancient oak trees and watching thunderstorms from the shelter of her front porch. Luckily she lives in her native New Orleans where there are oak trees and thunderstorms aplenty. Although she is southern girl at heart, Marti has spent a good deal of time navigating the hustle and bustle of Manhattan, gazing at winter snowscapes in quiet New England towns, and trying to spot dolphins on Florida’s First Coast. However, once her two children entered the mix she and her husband knew that their more than 300 years of Louisiana ancestry would eventually pull them back home. It did.

Marti currently resides in New Orleans with her husband, her son, her daughter, a gray cat named Gris-Gris (get it?), and a guinea pig whose name changes almost daily. The earthly remains of Oscar the fish may still be in the freezer.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

'Ghosts of Manitowish Waters' and other titles by G.M. Moore on sale for $0.99!



Blurb:
"Powerful. Clever. A solid ... choice for both girls and boys." --Publishers Weekly

A secret sect, an Indian curse, and a bad boy--it's a mix fifteen-year-old Tess O'Brien can't seem to resist. When poachers threaten an albino fawn, three young adults brave the Wisconsin wilderness searching for the mystical herd to which it belongs. Filled with page-turning action and suspense, Ghosts of Manitowish Waters is a coming of age story about finding your own path and following it. It's a lesson in knowing when to obey your parents and when to have the courage to defy them.

http://amzn.to/1FbkYCh

Get this and G.M. Moore's other titles on sale for $0.99. Visit the website to preview all available books!

Bio:

G. M. Moore is a former newspaper writer, editor and columnist. She currently works as a magazine art director and writes fiction as a hobby. The author grew up battling game fish and exploring the lakes of northern Wisconsin, and uses that state's enchanting wilderness as her muse. During the summer months, you can still find the Chicago-area author "up north" and out on the lake.

"Ghosts of Manitowish Waters" is the author's first young adult book. Moore is also the author of a middle grade action-adventure series. The Up North Adventure series includes, "Muskie Attack" (Book 1), "Ancient Elk Hunt" (Book 2) and "Snakehead Invasion" (Book 3).

Moore was inspired to write her first book, "Muskie Attack", by her then 9-year-old nephew who, in a literary world filled with fantasy, was struggling to find books that appealed to his outdoor interests and adventurous spirit.

When not writing, Moore can be found walking her dog, Piper, or feeding the fish, birds and flying squirrels in her Snow White-like backyard.

Visit Moore on Facebook at www.facebook.com/upnorthadventure, follow her on Twitter @upnorthbooks or visit her Web Site at www.gmmoorebooks.com.