Category: Blog Tour

The Boy Who Steals Houses Book Blitz!

And now for something completely different! I am participating in the Book Blitz for the newest novel from one of my favorite bloggers and authors, C.G. Drews, aka Paper Fury. This is being put on by a group called the Aussie YA Bloggers, and I am so chuffed to be a part of it! Read on! And there’s a giveaway too!

But why, do you ask? Linda, you don’t even know Paper Fury. Why do you want to support an author halfway around the world? Well, man, let me tell you. I don’t know when I first began to follow C.G., but it was a few years ago. It started on Book Twitter (RIP Book Twitter, for the most part – this was Twitter before the 2016 election and other things crept in to spoil it). I followed her there, and she was just so NICE. And FUNNY. She was also kind of creepy how all her posts put into words how I felt. Then I found out she was writing a book. She shared so much! And I loved her blog, which sounded just like her tweets. Amazing.

Then three years ago I joined Bookstagram (yay, Bookstagram!), and followed her there. And so many chats! She answered all my DMs! I was in for a ride. I got to celebrate her first book with her, and I even created a swap photo for it (one of those where you sort of emulate someone else’s style as an homage). I mean, it wasn’t even close, but. Her pics are gorgeous!

Her books are not available in the US (what? I mean, come on!) but I was able to order her first book, A Thousand Perfect Notes, from Book Depository. And let me tell you – I cried! In public! Gah. But it was totally worth it. It was everything I was hoping for. Soft romance, awkward girl, damaged boy, lovely just lovely. I mean, I don’t usually read romance, and I hardly read any contemporary. But this was amazing.

Fast forward to The Boy Who Steals Houses! This is a genderbent Goldilocks retelling, and let me tell you, I am here for this! I don’t have a copy yet, but that lovely blogger group set this up, so I can participate in all the flailing anyway. Read on for more info. And go, follow Paper Fury on all the platforms you can find. Her content is STELLAR and she is a 100% awesome human bean.

The Boys Who Steals Houses is about…

Can two broken boys find their perfect home?

Sam is only fifteen but he and his autistic older brother, Avery, have been abandoned by every relative he’s ever known. Now Sam’s trying to build a new life for them. He survives by breaking into empty houses when their owners are away, until one day he’s caught out when a family returns home. To his amazement this large, chaotic family takes him under their wing – each teenager assuming Sam is a friend of another sibling. Sam finds himself inextricably caught up in their life, and falling for the beautiful Moxie.

But Sam has a secret, and his past is about to catch up with him.

About The Author

C.G. Drews lives in Australia with her dog, a piano, and the goal of reading every book in existence. Consequently, her brain has overflowed with words and she spends her days writing novel after novel. She blogs at Paper Fury, never sleeps and believes in cake for breakfast.

She believes in lots of cake. Find her on Twitter and Instagram @PaperFury and add this book on GoodReads!

You can buy The Boy Who Steals Houses by C.G. Drews on the following sites:
Australia and New Zealand:
Angus and Robinson, Booktopia, Amazon Australia, Fishpond
International:
Amazon US, Waterstones, Book Depository, Wordery

And if you see a copy in the wild, on a library or bookstore shelf, post it and tag her on social media, because she lives in a tiny town and hardly gets to see her book on shelves at all.

And now, for the international giveaway! Win a SIGNED and ANNOTATED copy of The Boy Who Steals Houses plus an official art print inspired by the book!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Boy Who Steals Houses by C.G. Drews
Paper, 347p, ISBN 9781408349922
Orchard Books, 2019

Book Review: Wizard for Hire: Apprentice Needed

Today I am participating in the blog tour for Wizard for Hire: Apprentice Needed by Obert Skye, which is  the second book in a series. Now, don’t be discouraged. The first book is so good, that you will be so happy that the second book is already out!

This is the Wizard for Hire series. In the first book, Ozzy grows up alone in the cloaked house in the woods. His parents were kidnapped from their house when he was seven. He is determined to find them some day, and then he sees an ad for a Wizard for Hire in a local newspaper. This is how he meets Rin.

There is also Sigi, who Ozzy meets out on the beach, who happens to be Rin’s daughter. And Clark, a sentient mechanical bird that Ozzy’s parents built, that keeps him company. And provides a lot of comic relief! The themes in this series, of loss, of grief, of realizing your potential, can be pretty heavy at times, so having Clark there is just as much a comfort for us as it is for Ozzy, it seems. We all come to like Clark so much, even though he has an affinity for mailboxes and spoons, that when he is threatened, it really makes you suck in your breath!

But on with the story. I don’t want to spoil you so I’m not going to recap the plot of the first book. I am, however, going to tell you to go get it right this minute, if you like anything to do with magic, and are game for a rollicking, irreverent Middle Grade. This is Harry Potter meets Discworld, in the best way. It is not perfect, but it has enough ah-ha moments, and laugh out loud funniness, and edge of your seat danger, that it will keep you turning pages long into the night.

In book two, we go on a wild ride from the cloaked house in Oregon to New York City. I loved the characters, and how they grew in this book, especially Ozzy. As I mentioned, the themes in this book touch on grief and loss, but here we get much more of Ozzy reaching for his own potential. He is suddenly declared to be Rin’s Apprentice, and finds out he has to undertake five tasks. But he doesn’t know what they are. And Rin ain’t talking. Or, well, he is, but sometimes it is hard to understand what he’s talking about.

Meanwhile, they are all being pursued by Ray, and his henchman, Jon. You won’t feel sorry for Jon for long. I really can’t say much more without spoiling it, so trust me, these are villains you will love to hate. I highly recommend this for anyone who has read Harry Potter, whether adult or child, and is looking for more of that idea of being an outsider who finds his crew, and there is every bit of a hint of magic here too. But is it really magic? I think we are about to find out.

Even though this book is a contemporary (like Harry Potter), it will feed your need for magic, and fantasy, and Rin lets us know more and more about Quarfelt, his wizard home. And there is plenty of homage to Harry Potter, so I think Skye is perfectly aware of similarities. Like the Cinco-Wizard Competition (or Cin-Wiz-Com) – the five tasks Ozzy needs to complete.

“Is that anything like the Triwizard Tournament in Harry Potter?”

“No, this one has five things. And it’s just for you.”

Don’t ever expect a straight answer from Rin. But sometimes, he can be very wise indeed.

I will definitely be looking for book three in this series. Book two released last week, so I have a bit of a wait. But that’s okay. I’m willing to binge all three. And Obert Skye also wrote the Leven Thumps series, and I have book one of that sitting here waiting for me.

 

Wizard for Hire: Apprentice Needed by Obert Skye
Hardcover, 416p, ISBN 9781629725291, $17.99

I received an advance copy of this book from Shadow Mountain Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

Book Review: A Monster Like Me

In A Monster Like Me, Wendy S. Swore has written a heart-tugging contemporary story that includes magic and some things that are all too real. Readers may start out thinking this is just a lovely imaginative story about monsters, but as you read, you find that the monsters are all around us. Sometimes, they are at the grocery store. Sometimes, they sit in the desk next to us. Sometimes, there are people who may seem like monsters, but they are just having a hard day themselves.

Parts of this book were difficult for me to read, because, spoiler alert, I was bullied as a child. I mean, I kind of think we all were, in some form or another. What I like here is that Swore has shown that Sophie has both a coping mechanism, and a deniability mechanism at the same time. She thinks that she is really cursed. But this stops her from accepting herself, and that stops her from standing up to the bullies. Until they start bullying someone else. It is sometimes easier to help someone else than to help oneself. And Sophie shows that in spades. Continue reading

Book Review: Potions Masters #2: The Transparency Tonic

 

I am pleased as punch to be included in the blog tour for the release of The Transparency Tonic by Frank L. Cole. This second installment of a Middle Grade series roars right out of the gate, and keeps it up with almost non-stop action. In between, we get that familiar junior high angst of wanting to please your friends, our hero questioning his own talents, and an ending that will surprise you.

Gordy and his mom are Elixirists – well, his mom Wanda is. He is just a Dram, an elixirist in training. But he is one of the best Ciphers she’s ever seen, and he can do this thing called Blind Batching that blows everyone away – sometimes literally. What’s a Cipher? What’s a Dram? What is Blind Batching? Well, glad you asked, because I am pleased to introduce you to a new world – of magic, of secrets, of carefully concocted potions. If you have read the first book in the series, The Eternity Elixir, then you know what I mean. Rest assured you are in for a treat. If you haven’t read the first book yet, go and do that as soon as you can. I’ll wait.

Let me help you out a bit – in the first book, Gordy is just a fledgling elixirist, not even a Dram. He isn’t sure what he can do, and he makes the mistake of thinking he has things under control. There is a re-animated mummy, a wickedly nasty elixirist out to get something that Gordy’s Aunt Priss found in the desert and shipped to his house, and a whole lot of people getting Blotched (that’s bamboozled to you and me, where you are under the power of another person and don’t remember what you are doing), including Gordy’s dad. The world building is detailed and interesting. The potion brewing is well done and includes all kinds of ingredients and considerations. You know you are doing some serious brewing when you are working with catfish eyes, a mill worm cut in half, pickled cobra hoods and scorpion stingers.

It all comes down to Gordy’s Grandpa, who he thought was dead, the powerful elixirist Mezzarix. This man doesn’t take banishment lightly. We are introduced to the potion Community, the B.R.E.W. (Board of Ruling Elixirists Worldwide) headquarters, and a host of potions that do all kinds of things. There is also, thankfully, a seven-page glossary that helps sort out all this new information. The world-building in the first book is very complete, and there is plenty of action once things get under way.

In the second book, The Transparency Tonic, we already know all that. So it is open the door and you’re in it. Keep your wits about you, and don’t pretend that you know what anyone’s motivation is. There are dangers around every corner, and Gordy has to decide who he can trust. The stakes are higher and the action is faster.

Lucky for Gordy, he has two best friends, Max and Adilene, who will help him on his journey. When Gordy and his friends start eighth grade, things start to change. But who is this new girl, Sasha? Why does she want Gordy to come to a party at her house? Things get especially touchy when Gordy picks Max as his lab partner. Adilene had really had her heart set on it. Then she meets an odd girl named Cadence, and finds she may be able to do things on her own.

Meanwhile, Sasha’s mom, the new head of B.R.E.W., is cracking down. All is well until she cracks down on Wanda. And remember Gordy’s Grandpa? Well, he is not one to be put aside. What he can do with a single human hair… Well. It’s not going to be good. Let’s just say there are new villains galore.

There is a whole lot going on in this second installment. The predicament of the kids rings true, and so does the situation with Wanda. We meet again with Wanda’s co-workers Bolter and Zelda, and we are introduced to various other factions of the potions Community, which opens up a whole world that Gordy can now take part in. I am not going into any more detail as I don’t want to spoil the best bits. But if you love Middle Grade, you will love this. Five stars on GoodReads! Highly recommend for fans of Harry Potter, Percy Jackson and books that include magic and action.

Potion Masters: The Transparency Tonic (Potion Masters #2) by Frank L. Cole
Hardcover, 384 pages, ISBN 9781629724881

Potion Masters: The Eternity Elixir (Potion Masters #1) by Frank L. Cole
Hardcover, 304 pages, ISBN 9781629723587

Thanks to Callie at Shadow Mountain Publishing for including me in this launch blog tour! The Transparency Tonic released on Jan 16, so go look for it now! Frank Cole will be touring the western United States, so check the website for dates and places to see if he is coming near you!

Roald Dahl 100 Celebratory Blog Tour! Plus Giveaway!

roalddahl

This year Penguin Young Readers and the Roald Dahl Literary Estate are
celebrating 100 years since the birth of
Roald Dahl —the world’s number one storyteller.

In honor of Roald Dahl’s 100th birthday this year on September 13, Penguin Young Readers has published new collectible hardcovers editions of some of Roald Dahl’s beloved stories, which were released on September 6, 2016, including Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and James and the Giant Peach! Penguin Young Readers has also released brand new covers of all of Roald Dahl’s works in paperback.

If you’ve been thinking about Charlie and the Chocolate Factory a lot since the passing of Gene Wilder, you owe it to yourself to become familiar with the rest of Dahl’s wonderful body of work. I have the privilege of giving you a look at George’s Marvelous Medicine, a short chapter book suitable for ages 7 and up. I am excited to be offered this opportunity from the fine folks at Penguin Young Readers/Puffin!

Book Review: George’s Marvelous Medicine

georges-marvelous-medicineI have read some of Dahl’s other works, and of course seen some of the movie adaptations but I had never read this book before. It was not a big surprise that this book had a little bit of a dark side to it – if you think that George is going to take things lying down, you don’t know Dahl!

George suffers from, well, an insufferable Grandma, who happens to live with him, making her that much more unbearable. She is nasty, rude and demanding, a combination that George finds hard to take. And then one morning, he starts to think that there may be more sinister factors at play, when he suddenly hears her speak in a voice that he had never heard before. Could she really be… a witch? She certainly looks like one.

George decides to take matters into his own hands. Now, he is a dutiful son, at the very least, and he has been instructed to give Grandma her medication at a specific time. So he just decides to, um, doctor it up a little.

The ensuing chaos and unexpected consequences give George and his family a day they will not soon forget. And as for Grandma? Well, she’s probably okay. Maybe. And George? He is that much more certain of the existence of a certain kind of magic in the world.

This is classic Dahl. Singular child faced with a very unusual situation. Things blow out of proportion – literally. And there is no lesson, no moral here. The child is not punished in the end. The bad behavior of the adult is not redeemed. There is no such thing as political correctness (I even checked the publication date, and nope, it was not published before that term came into general use).

My advice to parents is that if you have a particularly suggestible child, perhaps you should wait to read this to them. But if you have a precocious, rambunctious child who delights in the absurd, this would be just the ticket. Just don’t let them go anywhere near the medicine cabinet. Or the bathroom in general. Or the laundry room. Or the barn. Or… well, you’ll see.

Dahl gives us delightful imagery that has always helped to translate his stories into movies well. If the idea of Grandma’s mouth puckering up like the behind of a dog does not appeal to you, well, you can get over it. The many ramifications of George’s medicine and the permutations of Grandma and assorted barnyard animals are rendered in lively language that would make this fun to read aloud.

Do keep an eye on the kids, though, won’t you?

 

If you’d like to read an excerpt of George’s Marvelous Medicine, check out Novel Novice’s blog for the first chapter and a bit about how this book shaped her reading life. Also check out some of the other tour stops for more excerpts, features and reviews!

For more information on the tour and the author, check below. I am so excited to be a part of this international, year-long celebration of one of the world’s most beloved authors!

Giveaway! (oh, isn’t this exciting?)

Penguin Young Readers/Puffin is holding a giveaway of the whole newly-designed paperback collection of fifteen titles with new covers and a special edition Roald Dahl tote bag to hold them in! One lucky winner will be chosen by the publisher from Rafflecopter entrants at the end of September or early October (date to be determined).

This giveaway is being offered and run by Penguin Young Readers/Puffin. Go ahead and enter and then tell me in the comments what your favorite Roald Dahl book is! And if you enter and tweet about the Giveaway, don’t forget to use the hashtag #RoaldDahl100 – and tag me at @LindaWonder!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Titles included in this special giveaway include the following:

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Boy: Tales of Childhood

Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator

Danny the Champion of the World

Esio Trot

Fantastic Mr. Fox

Matilda

The BFG (now a major motion picture)

The Witches

James and the Giant Peach

The Twits

George’s Marvelous Medicine

The Magic Finger

The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me

Going Solo

“If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.” – Fantastic Mr. Fox

About the Author

roald-photo-officialRoald Dahl (1916-1990) was born in Wales of Norwegian parents. In 1951, Roald Dahl met his future wife, the American actress Patricia Neal, who starred in films including The Day the Earth Stood Still, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and Hud, for which she won an Oscar. After establishing himself as a writer for adults, Roald Dahl began writing children’s stories in 1960 and wrote two of his best-known novels, James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in the U.S.

In September 1964, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was published initially in the U.S. with the U.K. following a few years later. It would go on to become one of the most famous and best-known of Roald’s stories. The idea for the story grew out of his own well-documented love of chocolate and his school-day memories of acting as a taster for a famous chocolate factory. These first stories were written as entertainment for his own children, to whom many of his books are dedicated.

Today, Roald Dahl’s stories are available in 58 languages and have sold more than 200 million books. With more than 40 million Roald Dahl books in print in the U.S. alone, Dahl is considered one of the most beloved storytellers of our time and his popularity continues to increase as his fantastic novels, including James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, The BFG, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, delight an ever-growing legion of fans.

For more information please visit the author’s website at roalddahl.com/usa .

About the Blog Tour

Visit any of these blogs for more fun information and another chance at the giveaway! Wherever possible I have linked to the Blog Tour post.

September 5 – Peace Loves BooksCharlie and the Chocolate Factory Excerpt
September 5 – The Compulsive ReaderDanny, The Champion of the World Review
September 5 – The Starry Eyed RevueJames and The Giant Peach Review
September 6 – Ex Libris KateThe Witches Review
September 6 – Cracking the CoverThe Magic Finger Feature – Short Review and History
September 6 – Lost In LitThe Witches Feature – Revisiting The Witches as an adult
September 7 – Cozy Reading CornerCharlie and the Great Glass Elevator Excerpt
September 7 – The Plot BunnyThe Magic Finger Review
September 7 – Lilli’s ReflectionsThe Twits Excerpt
September 8 – The Irish BananaMatilda Review
September 8 – Ticket To AnywhereDanny, The Champion of the World Excerpt
September 8 – Cuddlebuggery – Quentin Blake’s Illustrations of Roald Dahl’s Books Feature
September 8 – Beth Fish ReadsGoing Solo Review
September 9 – Ravenous ReaderThe BFG Excerpt
September 9 – Paper CutsThe Giraffe, the Pelly and Me Excerpt
September 9 – The Lovely BooksThe Witches Excerpt
September 9 – A Glass of WineJames and the Giant Peach Excerpt
September 10 – Novel NoviceGeorge’s Marvelous Medicine Excerpt
September 10 – YA BibliophileFantastic Mr. Fox Review
September 10 – Watercolor MoodsThe Magic Finger Feature – Collage
September 11- Jessabella ReadsCharlie and the Chocolate Factory Review
September 11- Who R U BlogCharlie and the Glass Elevator Feature – Trivia
September 12 – Belle of the LibraryThe Twits Review
September 12 – BookManiaLifeGeorge’s Marvelous Medicine Review
September 12 – The Book SwarmDanny, The Champion of the World Excerpt
September 12 – Book BellesJames and the Giant Peach Feature – Book to Movie
September 12 – Alexa Loves BooksMatilda Feature – Style Files
September 13 – Roald’s birthday! – Brittany’s Book RamblesMatilda Excerpt
September 13 – Roald’s birthday! – Mundie KidsThe BFG Review
September 13 – Roald’s birthday! – Read Now Sleep LaterBoy Excerpt
September 13 – Roald’s birthday – Consumed By BooksMatilda Excerpt
September 13 – Roald’s birthday – I Am A Reader – James and the Giant Peach Excerpt
September 13 – The Novel Life – Lessons that Roald Dahl has taught me feature
September 13 – The Book RatEsio Trot Excerpt
September 14 – Belle’s BashThe BFG Excerpt
September 14 – WinterHaven BooksEsio Trot Excerpt
September 14 – A Book and A LatteThe Magic Finger Excerpt
September 14 – Hello ChellyMatilda Feature – BookBags
September 14 – Loving Dem Books – Youtube Feature
September 15 – Writing My Own Fairy-TaleGeorge’s Marvelous Medicine Review
September 15 – The Book BanditThe Giraffe, and the Pelly and Me Review
September 15 – Hopelessly Devoted BibliophileEsio Trot Review
September 15 – Coffee, Books and Me – Top Ten Reasons You Should Read Roald Dahl’s Books
September 16 – Undeniably Book NerdyBoy Review
September 16 – Supernatural SnarkJames and the Giant Peach Review
September 16 – My Friend AmyGoing Solo Excerpt
September 16 – The Quiet ConcertDanny, the Champion of the World Review
September 17 – Book BriefsCharlie and the Great Glass Elevator
September 17 – Andi’s ABCsCharlie and the Chocolate Factory Feature – ABCs
September 17 – Just Another Rabid ReaderThe Magic Finger Review
September 17 – Adventures of Cecelia Bedelia – Roald Dahl Feature – Food Feature
September 18 – Bumbles and Fairy-TalesMatilda Feature – Reading With Dad
September 18 – Addicted 2 NovelsEsio Trot Review
September 18 – Pure ImaginationFantastic Mr. Fox Excerpt
September 18 – Green Bean Teen Queen – What Roald Dahl Means To Me Feature
September 19 – BookiemojiThe Witches Excerpt
September 19 – Shooting Stars Blog – Roald Dahl Feature – Etsy Products
September 19 – Nightly ReadingMatilda Review

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