Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Pepperoni Pizza Pinching Chimps by Tracey C. Ayres




Children's Book, Middle Grade
Date Published: October 2019

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A Mystery unfolds when pizza delivery boys along with their pizzas keep disappearing, mostly pepperoni pizzas.

Keah is puzzled by strange noises that happen around the apartment building where she lives.

With the help of her friends, Keah is determined to find out why these things are happening before her family get back from the cruise.






Purchase Links





Excerpt

Chapter 1



Bang, bang, bang!

        The knock on the front door made Keah jolt awake. Rubbing the sleep out of her eyes she stretched and yawned.

        “Who is it?” she shouted as she stretched again.
        “Pizza!” The voice from the other side of the door shouted back.
        “I didn’t order any pizza,” Keah replied.
        Walking over to the front door, she picked up a small stool and placed it by the entrance before stepping on it. She pushed her eye up to the spy hole. Her dad had assumed that everyone was going to grow six-foot-tall when he had the spy hole fitted, but for Keah, who was struggling to reach five foot two, a stool was the only option.
Keah could see a mass of curly black hair with a red cap perched on top. A boy about her age, sixteen, moved away from the door and turned to face Keah's front door. He stood awkwardly, holding a stack of pizza boxes.

        “Someone at this address did, Miss. Someone has to pay for all these pizzas. My boss is gonna be livid if I take them back.”

        “I didn’t order any pizzas. Go away. I’m calling the police.” Keah stepped away from the door.

        That’s when she heard that noise. The sound that grated through every bone in her body. It was the noise that made her spine tingle like fingernails running down a blackboard. A thought rushed through her head: Is that two pieces of metal scraping together? She shuddered and took a deep breath.

        Looking back through the spy hole, she watched the boy look around quickly, then turn and head back down the hallway, shaking his head. She heard him talking loudly and cursing to himself as he shoved the boxes back into the pizza warmers. His boss was going to be so annoyed. He had just walked past Mrs. Joy’s front door—Mrs. Joy was Keah’s neighbour—when he stopped and turned. Walking back to Mrs. Joy’s front door, the pizza delivery boy spoke to someone, but Keah couldn’t quite see who.

        Keah thought she saw dark shadows enter the hallway and move around the pizza delivery boy. But she couldn’t quite see who it was before the hall light switched off. Keah desperately wanted to go out into the hallway and turn on the light just to see who the boy was speaking to, but instead, she stepped off the stool and slid down the door onto the floor.

        Taking a deep breath, she crawled over to the coffee table, grabbed her iPhone and then edged her way back to the door. Even with her ear pressed against the door, she heard nothing but silence. Pressing her phone to wake, she opened her keypad. Slowly she pressed the button 000. She then placed her phone on the carpet next to her. What if Mrs. Joy had visitors, and they had ordered the pizzas? How stupid would I look? She thought to herself as she rested her head against the door and yawned. What a weird smell. I feel so tired. Keah thought before she finally closed her eyes.

        Bang, bang, bang!

        The vibrations from the banging on the door awoke her with a start. The light was now streaming in through the window, and the traffic sounded noisy. She felt the door vibrate against her back as the knock came again. Realizing she must have fallen asleep by the front door, Keah crawled into her bedroom, crouched at the side of her bed and listened. She heard people outside in the hallway. Someone banged on her neighbour’s door. Mrs. Joy is getting a lot of visitors lately, she thought.

She showered quickly and got ready for school. Slightly hesitant, she opened the front door and stepped out into the hallway. A tall policeman stepped in front of her.

        “Oh,” she announced, quite startled. “What’s going on?”

        “Morning, Miss. Do you live in this apartment?” The policeman had a broad Australian accent. Keah stepped back. She turned and glanced at the door before nodding dumbly.

        “Why didn’t you answer your door when I knocked earlier?” The policeman leered at Keah, making her stomach turn.

        “Got ID?” Keah said, avoiding eye contact.

        The policeman fumbled inside his tunic and eventually pulled out a wallet and showed her his identification card. By now, he had been joined by another man. This one was not in uniform but in a dark grey suit.

        “Morning, Miss. Got a name? I’m Detective Sergeant Paul Grimes.” He whipped out his ID before she could even think of asking.

        “Keah. Keah Madelia.”

        Keah had stepped back again and was now squished up tight against her own front door.

        “Where are your parents, Keah? You don't live here alone, do you? You off to school?” The DS bombarded her with questions, and all she could do was shake her head.

        “Well?” DS Paul Grimes said.

        The uniformed policeman started to look around the hallway as if he was losing interest in Keah.

        “My-my parents are cruising around New Zealand, somewhere. I’m on my own till they get back. I am old enough. I’m sixteen—well, I’ll be sixteen in a few weeks!”

        “Are you off to school?” DS Grimes asked again. “Which one?”

        “Yeah. St. Luke’s, at the corner of Holden Street,” Keah replied. Looking up at the DS, she asked him what all the police were doing in her building.

        “Don’t suppose you’d let my young officer here just poke his nose inside, would you? Only a pizza delivery boy went missing last night, and we believe this was his last delivery before he disappeared.”

Keah’s eyes widened, and her heart quickened. I saw him—I saw him talking to someone at Mrs. Joy’s front door. Keah wanted to scream at the detective, but instead she looked at her front door again then back at DS Grimes.

        “I’m late for school, and I didn’t order any pizza, perhaps Mrs. Joy did,” she declared boldly, pushing her key in the lock and letting the door swing wide open. “Knock ya self out.”

        Keah watched two policemen step out of Mr. & Mrs. Guey’s flat before she stepped back inside hers.

        She saw the uniformed policeman pull a pair of white disposable gloves from his pocket and watched as he rummaged around in the kitchen bin. Satisfied nothing was exciting in the waste bin, the policeman walked into Keah’s room, emerging a few moments later. Glad I tidied up after showering this morning. That could have been embarrassing, Keah thought. DS Grimes emerged from her parent’s bedroom. Her sister’s door was wide open. Mia would not be happy if she found out they’d touched her doll collection, which sat the whole length of one wall.

        “Did you hear anything last night, Keah? About 9 o’clock?” DS Grimes enquired softly.

Keah was already shaking her head from side to side and looking toward the window.

        “No, nothing, sorry. I-I um, I fell asleep quite early last night.”

        The DS reached into his inside pocket and pulled out what looked like a business card. He held it out to Keah.

        “Well, if you do recall anything, please call me. No matter how silly or small you may think it is, I would still like to hear about it. Okay?”

DS Paul Grimes pushed the card into Keah’s hand and left. The other policeman quietly followed, not even looking at Keah as he walked past her. Keah studied the card. Her older sister was around his age and single.

        And he is cute for a cop. Maybe a bit grumpy for Erin, Keah reasoned with herself.

        She slipped the card into her school bag before throwing it over her shoulder. Slamming the door behind her, Keah rushed past the policemen in the hall and skipped down the stairs into the street. She didn't look back or slow down until she’d reached her school three kilometers away.

Her best friend Abby was waiting for her at the gate as usual. A total contrast to Keah’s fair complexion and strawberry blonde hair, Abby had olive skin and dark hair that matched her equally dark eyes.

Keah turned and scoured the street before entering the school. She linked her arm through Abby's as they walked the long driveway to the school building.

        “Did you hear what happened last night?” Abby asked.

        Keah shook her head from side to side as if she hadn’t heard and glanced at Abby.

        “Another pizza boy disappeared. That’s four now,” Abby said, quite anxious.

        “Oh yeah, that—apparently it happened in our building. The boy delivered pizza to someone in our building then vanished,” Keah tried to act nonchalant but didn’t dare look at Abby again, in case she saw the guilt in her eyes.

        Keah knew she had been acting strange since her parents left for the cruise and that she should have gone to help that boy last night, but she hadn’t.

        “Oh, Keah! Did you see him? Did you order pizza? No—you wouldn’t—I know that, but Keah, how dreadful,” Abby cried as she let go of Keah’s arm and swung around to face her. “Have you told the police? Are you alright?”

        Keah nodded. She looked fine, but her stomach was knotted, and she felt shaky.

        No one had been there when Keah was woken up at 2am by the dreadful screams. She felt as if she was going mad with the scratching from the inside of her wardrobe. It came from the ceiling, from under the floor. She felt tired but didn’t want to tell anyone in case they thought it was because she was on her own and couldn't cope. Although she often spoke to her neighbours, neither had commented on the noises to Keah. The sounds started two days after her parents left with her six-year-old sister Mia. She now wished she had gone with them, but it was too late. At the time her exams were more important. Plus, the excitement of staying home all on her own for three weeks was more than she dared wish for.

        Keah had planned get-togethers at her place and even a massive party. She had run the party idea through her mum because she knew someone would tell her parents. So, she told her it would be very low key and if her mum had wanted her oldest sister Erin, who lived way over at Happy Valley, to come and supervise, that was cool. At the time Keah had felt that she was old enough to cope with a few friends on her own. Now, she was not so sure.



About the Author


Tracey C Ayres writes action-packed mysteries which are fun and exciting for young readers. Most of her books have heroines rather than hero's, for no particular reason, and her characters are intrepid, quick-witted and smart, and sometimes they are even fearless. Because Tracey believes when we lose ourselves in a story, our imagination should hold no barriers.

Best known for her book Gularian Islands (the one with the blinking dragon eye on Youtube) which received an incredible five stars LitPik review.

Tracey was born in England where she grew up with two older sisters and three younger brothers. Studied childcare, social work and psychology and wrote for a local newspaper but now loves her current job the best and that is writing stories for young children.

Living in Australia with her husband, daughters, grandchildren and a menagerie of pets she loves to find a shady tree and lose herself in her adventures while writing.


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Monday, January 20, 2020

The Frights of Fiji (Alyssa McCarthy's Magical Missions Book 1) by Sunayna Prasad


Welcome to the book tour for The Frights of Fiji by Sunayna Prasad! Today she is talking about the process of revising her writing. Plus there is an excerpt from this fantasy book and a giveaway for a $25 gift card! Check out the rest of the tour for even more fun.


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It’s All About Revisions

Everyone who writes needs to revise sooner or later. Well, actually—it would be better if he or she waited until the draft was at the end. I even tried finding out ways to rewrite the last draft of my novel as soon as I completed it. I kept getting stuck.

I read pretty much every relevant article and even asked for help on a certain forum online. Everybody who responded to the thread said that I should give myself more time.

And they were right. While I successfully made a list of ideas for my next draft, I couldn’t actually start writing the next draft until recently. So, no writer had exaggerated about that. You do need to give yourself some time away from your WIP. Many writing experts suggest at least a month or two—often times, even more. But I didn’t really have several months.

I was going to submit the WIP to a certain editor, but I had to have that delayed due to just starting a new draft.

All right, maybe that’s enough backstory. I probably revise like most writers, although I often rewrite my stories long before I finish them. I try not to now, but I did before, because I was constantly getting bored with my writing. I started my current project four years ago, but for the first two years, I couldn’t finish a single draft. I would get bored by the tenth or eleventh chapter and give up. It was not until January 2018, that I discovered my actual writing process. That was when I could write an entire draft without quitting before it ended.

Now here’s a fun fact: I sometimes revise individual paragraphs. How? I wait a little, copy and paste that certain paragraph to another word doc, rewrite it there, and then copy and paste it to the main document.

Revision processes differ from person to person. So, you might revise in a way that wouldn’t necessarily work for me.




The Frights of Fiji


A world of magic and adventure awaits…

Sent to live with her strict, aloof, and uncaring uncle after her parents are killed in a car accident, twelve-year-old orphan Alyssa McCarthy longs for the life she used to have—one filled with fun and love. Then one stormy night, a message appears in the raindrops on the window that will change everything.

"Your life will never be the same again, as magic will interfere."

Before long, Alyssa is kidnapped by Master Beau, a banished sorcerer with a mysterious connection to her who can only regain his power by weakening hers. Suddenly hurled into a world of wizardry filled with fantastical beasts and marvelous technology beyond her wildest imagination, Alyssa must defeat Master Beau if she ever wants to get home again. But Master Beau will stop at nothing, including using Alyssa’s friends, to ensure he is triumphant.

Originally titled "From Frights to Flaws", this story is the exciting and enchanting first book in the "Magical Missions" series.



Free on Amazon
(affiliate link)


Read an excerpt:
The raindrops darkened into black, looking as if ink fell from the sky. Alyssa leaned closer to them. She squinted to determine the shapes they formed on the kitchen window… letters.

No! That couldn’t happen. Yet, a message spelled out as more pigments plopped onto the glass. Alyssa gasped at what it said.

Your life will never be the same again, Alyssa McCarthy, as magic will interfere.

What? Magic didn’t exist—at least that’d been what others had told her when she was little. No one on Orion Street could possess enchanted abilities.

Alyssa had lived here since she’d lost her parents in that car crash five years ago. She’d only been seven then. How would she tell her uncle, Bruce, about this? He’d consider her crazy. He’d already toughened up his attitude and rules. So he might consider it an excuse to escape this house.

Although Alyssa’s parents had designated her godfather as the first priority guardian, Uncle Bruce forbade her to try and contact him. He’d hidden the phone number and other information about him.

Since Alyssa’s aunt, Laura, had died three years ago, Uncle Bruce had required fun to be earned. And that took more effort than Alyssa could often accomplish.

Turning around, she spotted her babysitter, Mrs. Hutchinson, examining the kitchen floor. Alyssa’s eleven-year-old cousin, Hailey, watched the progress. Hailey had mopped the floor. Would she earn a break now? Ever since her uncle, Bruce, had hired Mrs. Hutchinson, Mrs. Hutchinson had admired the way Hailey had done her chores more than Alyssa.

“Hailey, you can take a break until your next chore,” said Mrs. Hutchinson. “Alyssa, get back to work. You’ve been staring at the rain for too long.”

“Okay.” Alyssa turned back—only to see the message gone and the rain back to its normal transparency.

“What did I say?” asked Mrs. Hutchinson.

Alyssa sighed. “Fine, I’ll finish washing the dishes.”


About Sunayna Prasad

Sunayna Prasad enjoys writing fantasy books for children, as well as cooking, creating artwork, watching online videos, and blogging. She has also written The Frights of Fiji, formerly titled as From Frights to Flaws. She is passionate about modern life, fantasy, and world-building. Aside from her website, sunaynaprasadbooks.com, she also has a blog about different creative and entertaining topics, including fiction and writing, called “Sunayna Prasad’s Blog”.

Sunayna has graduated from college in May 2017. She lives in Long Island, NY.

Website: www.sunaynaprasadbooks.com

Blog: www.sunaynaprasadblogs.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SunaynaPrasad



Sunayna Prasad will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, January 11, 2020

January $25 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway Ends 1/26


Have you seen all of the cool kits available now on Amazon? Plus there are tons of great new books coming out this year, as well as some new series.

What books are currently on your reading list?    

Here's your chance to either get them or get some money towards them. Just head below and enter to win! 

Giveaway is open to US &Can and ends on 1/26/2020 at 11:59pm EST. Must be 18yo+ To enter. Good luck!



Disclosure: All opinions are 100% mine. This giveaway is in no way associated with, sponsored, administered, or endorsed by Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, Google, Pinterest or any other social media network. All opinions and experiences are Conservamom‘s. Open to US & CAN , must be 18+. Confirmed Winner(s) will be contacted through email and have 48 hours to respond before a new winner will be drawn. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. The sponsor will be responsible for product fulfillment to winner(s) of the giveaway. The disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. For questions or to see your product featured in an Event you can contact  Elia At Conservamom

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Review of The Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee by Deborah Abela


The Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee

India Wimple can spell. Brilliantly. Every Friday night, she and her family watch the Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee on TV. When the Wimples suggest she enter the next Bee, India feels nothing but trepidation. She's sure she's not good enough – but with the support of her family, India finds the courage to sign up.

There are plenty of obstacles to reaching the finals, like Summer Millicent Ernestine Beauregard-Champion, a spoiled rich girl who isn't afraid to step on anyone who gets in her way of winning.

The whole thing seems rather calamitous to India. But with hope, hard work, and a little bit of heart, something splendiferous might be on the horizon...


Book Links


**My thoughts**
India is a girl after my own heart. She loves words and spelling and dreams of a winning a spelling bee. But she also has horrid stagefright. But she finally decides to take a chance and enters the spelling bee that she and her family regularly watch.

India has amazing support from her family, the Whimples, and all of Yungabilla. And she is fiercely devoted to them, willing to sacrifice her dreams for her brother Boo's health and her family's financial status. It shows how she has a big heart and how doing good for others can lead to others doing good for you.

The book also gives a peek into how parents can be completely overbearing in the name of winning and how much pain they cause when spoiling and ignoring their kids. India is one who is able to step up and be a friend to these kids, in spite of their treatment. It's a great lesson for kids on kindness. And parents should take note of the horrible behavior of these other parents and what they do their kids' self esteem.

Each chapter is headed by a vocabulary word with definition and sentence example. It's a great not-so-subtle unconscious way to impart some new vocabulary on readers. I got a kick out of that part.

Overall, a fun read for elementary kids that they could enjoy on their own or that could lead to some good classroom discussions.

Thank you to NetGalley for my review copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Preorder Derek Hyde Knows Spooky When He Sees It by E. Michael Lunsford

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Derek Hyde Series, Book 1
Middle-Grade Paranormal
Date Published: 12-21-2019
Publisher: INtense Publications LLC

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Twelve-year-old Derek Hyde isn’t thrilled that the spookiest old mansion in town is about to become the Hyde Funeral Home & Used Coffin Outlet. Especially since he has to live there with his mortician parents, Jack and Formalda.

Of course, being driven in the family hearse to his first day at middle school doesn’t exactly add whipped cream to his broccoli.

As if things couldn't get more horrific, an evil classmate named Nussbaum attacks him in the cafeteria with a plate of beef stroganoff. Seems this kid used to love living in the old mansion himself, but got yanked out after accidentally blowing up his own mom and dad. With his chemistry set. Now his dead parents are stuck as ghosts and Nussbaum is a foster kid stuck on revenge, vowing to get even with Derek’s family for taking over his haunted home.

Derek desperately craves a nice place to live, but a couple of minor details stand in his way—just some blood-curdling apparitions that scare the pants off him and a classmate bent on landing him in his parents’ embalming room. As a client.


Purchase Links


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About the Author

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E. Michael Lunsford is the author of an award-winning play, Scary, Scary Night, and a book of wacky kid’s poems, Sometimes I Get My Shoes on Backwards, winner of the Readers’ Favorite International Book Award. His debut novel is the first of the funny Derek Hyde series of spooky middle grade books published by INtense Publications. Michael is also a musician, composer, inventor, entrepreneur and chief cook & bottle washer who works and lives with his wife and love of his life in San Carlos, California.


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Monday, November 11, 2019

Our Military Family by Suzan Johnson



Our Military Family

Many families miss loved ones when they are away serving in the military. Sometimes the service men and women are away from moms, dads, brothers, and sisters. In this story Dad and the kids, Harmony and Dominic, are home missing mom. Mom is in the United States Army, and during her deployment, she is sometimes gone for up to 12 months. Throughout the book, you experience what the family has to do to cope without mom, all the while missing her. I hope this book is a testament to those families who make many sacrifices at home and abroad so that we can enjoy the freedoms that we have.



(affiliate link included)

About Suzan Johnson

Suzan Johnson has been the Media Specialist at an elementary school for over ten years. She is a voracious reader of books of all genres. Growing up, she loved and enjoyed participating in sporting activities such as cheerleading and softball. As a teacher she encourages her students to read a variety of books and participate in sports. Suzan has been a member of South Florida Writer’s Association, and Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Johnson currently lives in the South Florida area.

Email: shjstories@gmail.com
Website: https://www.shjstories.com/


I was compensated via Fiverr for sharing this book. I only share those books that I feel will be of interest to my readers.

Monday, October 14, 2019

The Day the Grapefruits Took Over the World by Sandi Smith


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Children's Humor
Children's Chapter Books (Books)
Publisher: 102nd Place, LLC
Date Published: June 6, 2019



Mayor Pinkie Grapefruit smiled slightly, "Well . . . well . . . well . . . look who we have here. Nathaniel Joseph Parker! I don't really care what you think Nathaniel Joseph Parker, and, yes, we know your name. You are one of the biggest offenders of them all. You are ruining everything for us, but you won't be doing that much longer. You will be changing the way you think, whether you want to or not. We have very persuasive methods to change people's minds. We have decided to take over the world, and we will be number one in the kitchen, in restaurants, and, well, everywhere!"

Grapefruits rule!


Purchase Link
Amazon
Should you make a purchase through my affiliate link, I may earn a few pennies at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting my websites! 


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About the Author

Sandi Smith spent her time as a young girl combing the shelves of the public library. She has always enjoyed the magic that books have to offer and was inspired by her high school English teacher, Mr. Coolidge to embrace the arts. The author found her calling as a writer early one morning as her first story came to her in the form of a poem. Since then she has written more than 15 children’s books, with her most popular series about the adventures of an adorable spider in the A.R. Achnid series. Sandi is happily married to her inspiration and husband of 40 years, John. She continues to write for her two precious grandchildren. When she’s not penning a new story, Sandi and John like to camp, kayak and to enjoy the simple life in their home in Pembroke, NH. To learn more about Sandi go to: www.authorsandismith.com



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