Danny Roberts is enjoying life. He’s a straight A student playing in the school orchestra and on the fast track to university. But when Danny defies authority for the first time, things go wrong quickly. Luckily Danny doesn’t let these challenges get him down. He decides to fight back on his own terms and charts his own course to success. With the support of his parents, Plan B might just work.
In his second book, Steven Verrier, author of Tough Love, Tender Heart, switches gears to bring young adult readers a fun and engaging story of teenager Danny Roberts, whose life goes from charmed to downright awful in the span of a few days. I don’t want to spoil anything for potential readers by giving away too much of the beginning, but it is certainly the perfect opener for Plan B. Just imagine what it might have been like at your high school: your next class is at one end of the building, you’re at the other, you’ve just eaten lunch, and unfortunately the distance is so great between Point A and Point B that you can’t fit in the crucial pee break without being late for class.
Such starts the downward spiral of Danny’s high school career. From there, it just gets funnier, as inept school administrators and educators use Danny’s first challenge to authority to derail his model high school career and potentially his future.
Problem is, after Danny gets beyond the high school issues, he doesn’t have a lot of conflict to deal with–unless you want to count deciding which girl to spend time with. That’s where the book lagged a bit for me, because the conflict didn’t keep pace with the rest of the story: it came on strong in the beginning and then waned. Because Danny is pretty much a genius, he is able to easily meet most of his challenges. I wanted to see his resolve tested more.
Despite that, Plan B kept me turning the pages, and I found it to be a quick, light read that I believe many teens will enjoy. I would definitely be interested in reading more from Verrier in the future.
Publisher: Saga Books
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I received word from Guardian Angel Publishing this week that my first children’s picture book, The Little Shepherd Boy will be released in August, a few months earlier than I thought. I’m very excited.
I’ll be looking for virtual book tour hosts in October, November and December, so I hope you’ll consider reviewing this book or hosting me at your blog in some other way.
Thanks to all my online friends who have in the past and continue to offer support and encouragement as I make the journey from aspiring author to published author!
A delightful book from a talented young writer is what you’ll find in Martha & Chip by Katharine Sohler.
Peace has reigned for a long time in the kingdom of Crabbapple. If anything goes awry, however, they have the White Magi to handle things. But then Mage Mabel’s worst fears are confirmed. The witch Aylis has been capturing the White Magi one by one. Now, only she and Mage Martha are left.
While Martha isn’t afraid of any old witch, she doesn’t know who she is up against. She’ll be forced to look for help in the strangest of places.
What a fabulous and fun fantasy adventure for young readers ages 9 through 12. Not liking how rats were portrayed on TV and in the movies, young Sohler set out to write a story where one of the heroines would be a rat.
Martha meets Chip (the rat) while trying to defeat Aylis and save the White Magi. Together, they can do amazing things, which shows young readers the importance of friendship, cooperation, and working together for the greater good.
While at times I felt the sarcastic banter between the characters was a bit forced, it took nothing away from the sheer enjoyment of reading Martha & Chip’s story. While the main characters are girls, there are enough dragons around to entertain the boys in your house. The book opens with an Introduction to the Introduction, which sets the stage for what you’re going to find the rest of the way through: a great story worth reading time and again.
Sohler also illustrated the book, so I tip my hat to her. Katharine Sohler is definitely a young writer and artist to keep your eye on!
Publisher: Arx Pub
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After almost a month long hiatus, this column is back. North Carolina was wonderful. I worked some of the time promoting virtual book tour clients, read some great books, and wrote two chapters of my WIP along with almost two full chapters of my first ghostwriting project. Since I read the most while we were away, I guess I’ll start with me. This is the list of books I brought with me. I also had my Kindle:
Lingering Spirit by Marilyn Meredith (romance with supernatural flare) *
The Last Operative by Jerry B. Jenkins (Christian thriller)*
Keeping the Wolves at Bay Media Training by Jonathan Bernstein (Business)*
Beautiful Malice by Rebecca James (psychological thriller)*
Plan B by Steven Verrier (this review will appear at this blog) YA*
Bowdancer III: Warrior Women by Janie Franz (providing back cover blurb)*
When Love Ends and the Ice Cream Carton is Empty by Jackie Johnson (Christian relationship book) – reading now
Healing with Words: A Writer’s Cancer Journey by Diana M. Raab
Harvest Moon by Chastity Bush (paranormal)
State of Reservations by Elysabeth Eldering (this review will appear at this blog) (Children’s)*
Evenings on Dark Island by Rhett DeVane & Larry Rock (Southern fiction with vamps)*
All the titles with an asterisk are ones I read while we were away. I also read the romantic suspense novel Capturing Karma by K.M. Daughters. This is the fourth installment of The Sullivan Boys series. I love these books. Reviews of all those I’ve read are either posted or soon to be posted, so keep an eye out for them.
Dad finished the Christian historical, The Return to Zion, by Bodie and Brock Thoene while we were away and started a counterterrorism thriller by Vince Flynn, The Third Option.
The Lil Diva seems to be over her desire not to read anything and picked up one of The Boxcar Children books today.
The Lil Princess is moving along with her summer reading program. She goofed off while we were away, but she’s polished off 9 of the 25 books she needs to read by August 5th. We visited the library today and she’s already read all of those, so we’ll be going back tomorrow for more.
That’s it for now. I would love to hear what you’ve been busy reading this summer.
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The Junior Geography Detective Squad (JGDS) returns in Book 3, State of Reservations by Elysabeth Eldering.
The adventure continues with the third book in this fabulous series for middle grade students. When Matt gets a surprise visit from Jolene, they decide to use his Junior Geography Detective Squad video game to study for an upcoming test. As usual, they place their bets, and the loser has to do whatever it is the winner has chosen–in this case, Matt will have to carry Jolene’s dance bag and participate in warm ups at her ballet class or Jolene will have to come to the skateboard park dressed in grungy clothes and watch Matt’s team compete on Saturday. Neither seems appealing and they are both determined to be the first one to figure out the clues and correctly guess the state in question.
I’ve been a fan of this series since it began. It’s a great way to help children learn interesting facts about the United States and it encourages them to learn more once the last page is turned. New characters pop up alongside the regular cast of characters in each book, which keeps readers eager to pick up the next book in the series. The bets are funny and it’s entertaining to read along and see who ends up winning and witnessing the losers’ reactions. As with other books in the series, there is a section that includes additional facts about the state covered in the current book. There is also a set of discussion questions at the end.
I have a couple of tiny nitpicks for this one. I wasn’t as pleased with the illustrations in this book as compared to the previous two. There was one illustration I didn’t understand at all and another where I couldn’t even identify what the object in the illustration was until I read the text. I also noticed that the back cover spells Jolene’s name wrong twice. The word “Detective” was also left out of the series name on the back cover. Perhaps I received an ARC, but the book isn’t identified as one.
Those small challenges don’t take away from a great story that will entertain and educate your children. State of Reservations by Elysabeth Eldering is just another reason for me to love the Junior Geography Detective Squad series. I’m looking forward to the next book.
Publisher: 4RV Publishing LLC
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My country, ’tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing;
Land where my fathers died,
Land of the pilgrims’ pride,
From every mountainside
Let freedom ring!
Happy Fourth of July everyone!
Well, I’m packing up for the Outer Banks, and as usual, I am bringing a ton of books with me. Thankfully, this year I have the Kindle so my bag will be lighter and less bulky.
Here’s what I’ll be reading while we’re away:
- Lingering Spirit by Marilyn Meredith
- The Last Operative by Jerry B. Jenkins
- Keeping the Wolves at Bay Media Training by Jonathan Bernstein
- Beautiful Malice by Rebecca James
- Plan B by Steven Verrier (this review will appear at this blog)
- Bowdancer III: Warrior Women by Janie Franz (providing back cover blurb)
- When Love Ends and the Ice Cream Carton is Empty by Jackie Johnson
- Healing with Words: A Writer’s Cancer Journey by Diana M. Raab
- Harvest Moon by Chastity Bush
- Reservations by Elysabeth Eldering (this review will appear at this blog)
- Evenings on Dark Island by Rhett DeVane & Larry Rock
Unless noted, these reviews will appear at my main blog, The Book Connection.
I hope you have a great couple of weeks. I’ll try to post at least once while we’re away.
Thank you for all your support!