E-Book Sale at Chronicle Books

chronicle

 

Check out the e-books on sale through August 31 at Chronicle Books!

book 1

With enough lunch for three, Mr. Magee and his dog Dee head out to the sea. But what begins as a fun day in the sun turns a bit bumpy when one playful whale decides to say hello. Soon the crew that once was floating finds themselves flying! How will they get down? Who will come to their rescue? And when will they ever get to eat lunch? Down to the Sea with Mr. Magee is a great read-aloud, sure to provide fits of giggles. Plus, this version includes audio and a read-along setting.

book 2
Join one of the youngest crews ever to sail around the world in this fourth installment of the Worst-Case Scenario Ultimate Adventure Novel series! Faced with fearsome dangers and difficult decisions, your choices will determine your fate on the deadly seas. Will you survive tropical storms, high winds, navigation crises, and sharks? Or will you be forced to return home early? Only the reader can decide how to survive. There are 24 endings to this adventure, but just ONE will lead to the ultimate success! With eye-catching comic book style illustrations and real-life facts about survival on the high seas, young readers can choose how to survive and jump to the next section in this interactive ebook.

 

book 3Seventeen-year-old Elena is vanishing. Every day means renewed determination, so every day means fewer calories. This is the story of a girl whose armor against anxiety becomes artillery against herself as she battles on both sides of a lose-lose war in a struggle with anorexia. Told entirely from Elena’s perspective over a five-year period and cowritten with her mother, award-winning author Clare B. Dunkle, Elena’s memoir is a fascinating and intimate look at a deadly disease, and a must read for anyone who knows someone suffering from an eating disorder.

 

For these and more e-books on sale visit http://ebooks.chroniclebooks.com/

New Book Arrivals

Here are some books that arrived recently in one way or another. These came from the publisher.

Book 1

Gena (short for Genevieve) and Finn (short for Stephanie) have little in common. Book-smart Gena is preparing to leave her posh boarding school for college; down-to-earth Finn is a twenty-something struggling to make ends meet in the big city. Gena’s romantic life is a series of reluctant one-night-stands; Finn is making a go of it with long-term boyfriend Charlie. But they share a passion for Up Below, a buddy cop TV show with a cult fan following. Gena is a darling of the fangirl scene, keeping a popular blog and writing fan fiction. Finn’s online life is a secret, even from Charlie. The pair spark an unlikely online friendship that deepens quickly (so quickly it scares them both), and as their individual “real” lives begin to fall apart, they increasingly seek shelter online, and with each other.

 

you

On Haven, a six-mile long, half-mile-wide stretch of barrier island, Mira Banul and her Year-Rounder friends have proudly risen to every challenge. But when a superstorm defies all predictions and devastates the island, when it strands Mira’s mother and brother on the mainland and upends all logic, nothing will ever be as it was. A stranger appears in the wreck of Mira’s home. A friend obsessed with vanishing is gone. As the mysteries deepen, Mira must find the strength to carry on—to somehow hold her memories in place while learning to trust a radically reinvented future.

Gripping and poetic, This Is the Story of You is about the beauty of nature and the power of family, about finding hope in the wake of tragedy and recovery in the face of overwhelming loss.

once

In the war-ravaged England of 1940, Charlotte Bromley is sure of only one thing: Kitty McLaughlin is her best friend in the whole world. But when Charlotte’s scientist father makes an astonishing discovery that the Germans will covet for themselves, Charlotte is faced with an impossible choice between danger and safety. Should she remain with her friend or journey to another time and place? Her split-second decision has huge consequences, and when she finds herself alone in the world, unsure of Kitty’s fate, she knows that somehow, some way, she must find her way back to her friend. Written in the spirit of classic time-travel tales, this book is an imaginative and heartfelt tribute to the unbreakable ties of friendship.

These came from the library book sale. Sure can’t beat audio books that are 4/$1.

Book 4

Eleven-year-old Sallie March is a whip-smart tomboy and voracious reader of Western adventure novels. When she and her sister Maude escape their self-serving guardians for the wilds of the frontier, they begin an adventure the likes of which Sallie has only read about. This time however, the “wanted woman” isn’t a dime-novel villian, it’s Sallie’s very own sister! What follows is not the lies the papers printed, but the honest-to-goodness truth of how two sisters went from being orphans to being outlaws—and lived to tell the tale!

Book 5

Tiger Ann Parker is smart in school and good at baseball, but she’s forever teased about her family by the girls in class. Tiger Ann knows her folks are different from others in their small town of Saitter, Louisiana. They are mentally slow, and Tiger Ann keeps her pain and embarrassment hidden as long as her strong and smart Granny runs the household. Then Granny dies suddenly and Aunt Dorie Kay arrives, offering Tiger Ann a way out. Now Tiger Ann must make the most important decision of her life.

Book 2

Eleven-year-old Abigail Jane Stewart records the despair and hope of the difficult winter between 1777-1778–when she witnessed George Washington readying his young soldiers on the frozen fields of Valley Forge.

Book 3

Twelve-year-old Mem presents a diary account of the trip she and her family made on the Mayflower in 1620 and their first year in the New World.

The Adventures of Archibald & Jockabeb by Art Collins

Inside the Book:

 
 

Title:
 In the Forest
Author: Art Collins
Release Date: October 1, 2015
Publisher: A&J Publishing
Genre: YA Fiction
Format: Ebook

When two young brothers, Archibald and Jockabeb, find and old leather map hidden in the forest just beyond their backyard, they can’t help but sneak out one night to follow its path. So begins the first of the boys’ amazing adventures. After a terrifying encounter with supernatural creatures, the boys meet a young Indian brave, Haktu, who shares with them the tragic story of how he was separated from his tribe and placed under an evil spell. The saga leads the two boys into Haktu’s secret world behind the forest mist, the power of the blue feather, and teaches them the importance of friendship and loyalty in the face of untold evil.

 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpgB&N

 

Inside the Book:

 Title: In the Mountains
Author: Art Collins
Release Date: October 1, 2015
Publisher: A&J Publishing
Genre: YA Fiction
Format: Ebook

 

In the first book, the two brothers meet Haktu, the young Indian brave who was trapped inside the body of an underwater dragon, and then find his lost pony, Uno, deep within a mysterious forest. After the boys narrowly escape several vicious attacks from evil wolf-crows, they receive a magic blue feather from Haktu as he bids them his final farewell. Book Two begins with Archibald and Jockabeb flying to a secluded summer camp perched high in a rugged mountain range far from home. The fact that they are the only two campers to show up at Camp Bear Claw that summer is just the first of many surprises — incredible surprises that test the protective power of their magic blue feather in completely unexpected ways. On their way to a final face-to-face showdown with a deadly creature that possesses supernatural strength, the young boys meet several unforgettable characters who end up changing their lives forever. If you liked In the Forest, hold onto your hat as you read its sequel!

 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpgB&N

 

Inside the Book:

 Title: In the Amazon
Author: Art Collins
Release Date: November 10, 2015
Publisher: A&J Publishing
Genre: YA Fiction
Format: Ebook

 

In the first two books, Archibald and Jockabeb make a number of wonderful friends while battling unearthly foes that possess supernatural powers. In a dark forest close to home, they escape almost certain death with the aid of a young Indian brave, Haktu, and his pony, Uno. Later, in a distant mountain range, they come to know the kindness of Gran, Ben, Tommy Two Feathers, and their four-legged companions, Champ and Ghost Rider. Stalked relentlessly by the blood-thirsty wolf-crows in the forest, and then by the cunning devil cat in the mountains, the two brothers manage to barely escape with their lives. However, when they accept their uncle’s invitation to visit him in Brazil, little do they know that their most terrifying adventure is about to unfold — an amazing adventure that will again test the magical power of Haktu’s blue feather. So, as you prepare to read In the Amazon, get ready for an unforgettable journey into the dark recesses that lie between the crevices of reality and fantasy!

 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpgB&N

 

Inside the Book:

 Title: In the Desert
Author: Art Collins
Release Date: April 2015
Publisher: A&J Publishing
Genre: YA Fiction
Format: Ebook

In the first two books, Archibald and Jockabeb make a number of wonderful friends while battling unearthly foes that possess supernatural powers. In a dark forest close to home, they escape almost certain death with the aid of a young Indian brave, Haktu, and his pony, Uno. Later, in a distant mountain range, they come to know the kindness of Gran, Ben, Tommy Two Feathers, and their four-legged companions, Champ and Ghost Rider. Stalked relentlessly by the blood-thirsty wolf-crows in the forest, and then by the cunning devil cat in the mountains, the two brothers manage to barely escape with their lives. However, when they accept their uncle’s invitation to visit him in Brazil, little do they know that their most terrifying adventure is about to unfold — an amazing adventure that will again test the magical power of Haktu’s blue feather. So, as you prepare to read In the Amazon, get ready for an unforgettable journey into the dark recesses that lie between the crevices of reality and fantasy!

 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png

 

Inside the Book:

 Title: In the Caribbean
Author: Art Collins
Release Date: April 2015
Publisher: A&J Publishing
Genre: YA Fiction
Format: Ebook

 

The fifth book in The Adventures of Archibald and Jockabeb series picks up right where the fourth book left off. With many questions about what really happened in the Sonoran Desert still unanswered, Archibald and Jockabeb’s family head to the island of Jamaica for spring vacation. What begins as an idyllic stay at a secluded beachfront inn soon takes a turn for the worse when the boys and the inn’s proprietor, Salty, charter a fishing boat for the day. The captain of the boat is none other than Tommy Nat, Mr. Natonto’s estranged son. The violent storm that follows turns out to be only the first of many unexpected events that quickly propel the two brothers toward an unexpected showdown on another Caribbean island. The elusive Tommy Nat, a mysterious island doctor, a giant Haitian named Maurice, and unseen zombies all combine to set the stage for another classic clash between the forces of good and evil. While the final confrontation that unfolds inside a deserted cafe ultimately provides answers to the remaining mysteries of Lizard Flats, it also places the boys in untold danger. The book contains a number of interesting facts about the Caribbean, its culture and religion, and a bit of the occult. As in past books, the reader observes firsthand how Archibald and Jockabeb grow as brothers and young teens, all the while learning the true meaning of friendship.”

 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png

 

Inside the Book:




Title: In the Big City
Author: Art Collins
Release Date: April 2015
Publisher: A&J Publishing
Genre: YA Fiction
Format: Ebook

 

The sixth book in The Adventures of Archibald and Jockabeb series finds the two brothers and their younger sister travelling to New York City to spend a long weekend with their aunt. After finishing a wonderful dinner at Sardi’s the first night, the boys become separated from Tess and Aunt Claire in nearby Times Square. Events quickly take a menacing turn when a mysterious person from the past suddenly appears with two henchmen in tow. Frantically trying to escape, Archibald has no idea what he’ll find when he leads Jockabeb down the stairs into a nearby subway station-and what the boys do find launches one their strangest and most electrifying adventures to date. A beautiful young girl named Willow, a one-armed man called Meatloaf, and a dangerous gang leader who goes by the name of Shabazz are just a few of the characters who the boys meet in the abandoned subway tunnels far below the streets of Manhattan. As Archibald and Jockabeb try to make their way safely back to Aunt Claire, they only move closer to a final confrontation with their pursuers, both human and non-human alike. The reader will learn interesting facts about America’s largest city while once again watching the teenage brothers’ personalities evolve. As in all the previous books, the forces of good and evil are pitted against one another-this time, above and below the streets of “The Big Apple!”

 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png

Meet the Author:

When Art Collins retired as a highly successful chairman and CEO of a Fortune 500 company, he didn’t write the book on leadership that many had expected. Instead, he decided that penning adventure stories that could be enjoyed by young and old would be far more interesting, not to mention much more fun. Borrowing two characters, Archibald and Jockabeb, from tales told by his father many years before, and drawing upon his own rich imagination, Art introduces the two young brothers to an incredible cast of characters—some human, some otherworldly—in locations that range from the mysterious forest behind the boys’ house to the lush and exotic Amazon. The nine book series reflects his love of the mountains and ocean, as well as his extensive travels that have taken him to every continent except Antarctica. Art currently divides his time between Chicago and the Vail Valley in Colorado. 

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 AJ Adventure Banner

Life On Base: Quantico Cave by Tom and Nancy Wise Book Blast & Giveaway!

LifeOnBasecover

 

For Stephen, his life on base is much the same as most other children’s. The difference is in the details. Look both ways before crossing a tank path and be sure to check if the spent bullet casings you find in the long-abandoned trenches are actually empty. Sports stop at the sound of the evening trumpet call as he and his friends stand at attention while the flag is retired. Quantico Cave is a story of friendship and competition, and when Stephen meets up with a friend he once knew at a previous home station, the contest hits a whole new level that places everyone at risk.

EXCERPT:

Stephen had noticed Jimmy was a lot happier these days. “Keep an eye on the target,” he told him as he followed at a brisk pace down the heavily wooded hill. “Hear from yer dad yet?” He avoided Jimmy’s eyes, not wanting to see the hurt that might come with the answer.

“No,” Jimmy said and offered nothing more.

His head down, Stephen muttered, “It’s only been a few weeks,” knowing Jimmy would change the subject again.

Things tended to get quiet at home when Jimmy’s dad shipped out with the fleet. The deployment meant less stress for Jimmy since his relationship with his father was normally pretty contentious. When a parent was mobilized, the rules were laxer, so little things changed. Kids would let their hair grow longer, stay up a bit later. For Jimmy, not having Dad around meant more free time on weekends—and less fighting.

“Miss him?” Stephen asked quietly with a glance behind to see the shadow trailing along the ridge to their left.

Jimmy ducked beneath an arch of tangled brush where deer had pushed through, keeping his eye on their target to maintain their line of travel toward the checkpoint. “Drop it.”

“Okay.” Stephen crouched in behind. “This is north—” he added, touching the damp, mossy side of a tree.

“We should stash some of the spears we made in here.”

We need to make up some time. “What we should do is go about fifty yards, then down the slope.” Stephen pushed Jimmy forward as they emerged from the brush. “C’mon,” he said, tired of the distractions.

The boys trotted the next fifty yards, or “klicks” as they liked to call them, then turned down a steep slope to make up time. “Shoot.” Jimmy let out a yelp as his feet skidded on the loose dirt and leaves.

Looking over his shoulder as he bounced down the hill, Stephen allowed himself to slide until his feet grabbed the dirt and then hopped again to keep his momentum. “Turn sideways. Watch.” He dug into the slope with each hop, doing as his dad had showed him. He heard Jimmy yelp again. I hope he sees this. I’m doing it the way you showed me, Dad. The next hop was cut short as Jimmy slipped, kicked his feet up as he landed hard on his butt, and slammed into Stephen’s leg. Both boys smashed into the soft earth and tumbled down the hill.

Stephen slid, his back to Jimmy’s chest, for another five feet before he got his sneakers planted to stop their descent. “Shit, Jimmy,” he said over his friend’s moans. Oh, my gosh. We need to move. Calm. Stay calm. Stephen glanced up the hill to see if they were being watched.

“Oh, man.” Jimmy groaned, trying to get his feet under him, but sending them another three feet down the slope.

“Put your feet sideways.” Stephen inched his way forward to give Jimmy some room.

Jimmy rose sideways to the hill, stood, shook the dirt out of his shirt. Cautiously, he hopped his way down the remaining incline ahead of Stephen, his feet breaking loose on each hop as he got the rhythm. When they reached the base, Jimmy dropped to his butt and crossed his arms over his knees in a huff. He stared straight ahead, not saying a word, as if searching for something.

Purchase at http://www.amazon.com/Life-Base-Tom-Nancy-Wise-ebook/dp/B018N4HK7K

Tom and Nancy Wise are award-winning authors. Their first novel, The Borealis Genome, is the grand- prize winner of the Chanticleer Book Reviews Dante Rossetti 2013 Award for YA Novels and Award Lab Lit Category. Thomas grew up in a military family moving from base to base as the child of a Marine, living the life of an officer’s brat in times of war while Nancy was raised the youngest child of a WWII veteran. When not working together on their novels, Tom teaches at University and authors articles on project management topics and nonfiction books published by Gower Publishing in the UK.

https://www.facebook.com/Tom-Nancy-Wise-678608352235570/

http://www.authorthomaspwise.com/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bxsiPspN0g

https://twitter.com/BorealisGenome

Tom and Nancy Wise will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

 

Enter to win a $20 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

LifeOnBase_Banner copy

The Adventures of Archibald and Jockabeb Series by Art Collins

 

Inside the Book:

 
 

Title:
 In the Forest
Author: Art Collins
Release Date: October 1, 2015
Publisher: A&J Publishing
Genre: YA Fiction
Format: Ebook

When two young brothers, Archibald and Jockabeb, find and old leather map hidden in the forest just beyond their backyard, they can’t help but sneak out one night to follow its path. So begins the first of the boys’ amazing adventures. After a terrifying encounter with supernatural creatures, the boys meet a young Indian brave, Haktu, who shares with them the tragic story of how he was separated from his tribe and placed under an evil spell. The saga leads the two boys into Haktu’s secret world behind the forest mist, the power of the blue feather, and teaches them the importance of friendship and loyalty in the face of untold evil.

 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpgB&N 

 

Inside the Book:

 Title: In the Mountains
Author: Art Collins
Release Date: October 1, 2015
Publisher: A&J Publishing
Genre: YA Fiction
Format: Ebook

 

In the first book, the two brothers meet Haktu, the young Indian brave who was trapped inside the body of an underwater dragon, and then find his lost pony, Uno, deep within a mysterious forest. After the boys narrowly escape several vicious attacks from evil wolf-crows, they receive a magic blue feather from Haktu as he bids them his final farewell. Book Two begins with Archibald and Jockabeb flying to a secluded summer camp perched high in a rugged mountain range far from home. The fact that they are the only two campers to show up at Camp Bear Claw that summer is just the first of many surprises — incredible surprises that test the protective power of their magic blue feather in completely unexpected ways. On their way to a final face-to-face showdown with a deadly creature that possesses supernatural strength, the young boys meet several unforgettable characters who end up changing their lives forever. If you liked In the Forest, hold onto your hat as you read its sequel!
 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpgB&N 

 

Inside the Book:

 Title: In the Amazon
Author: Art Collins
Release Date: November 10, 2015
Publisher: A&J Publishing
Genre: YA Fiction
Format: Ebook

 

In the first two books, Archibald and Jockabeb make a number of wonderful friends while battling unearthly foes that possess supernatural powers. In a dark forest close to home, they escape almost certain death with the aid of a young Indian brave, Haktu, and his pony, Uno. Later, in a distant mountain range, they come to know the kindness of Gran, Ben, Tommy Two Feathers, and their four-legged companions, Champ and Ghost Rider. Stalked relentlessly by the blood-thirsty wolf-crows in the forest, and then by the cunning devil cat in the mountains, the two brothers manage to barely escape with their lives. However, when they accept their uncle’s invitation to visit him in Brazil, little do they know that their most terrifying adventure is about to unfold — an amazing adventure that will again test the magical power of Haktu’s blue feather. So, as you prepare to read In the Amazon, get ready for an unforgettable journey into the dark recesses that lie between the crevices of reality and fantasy!
 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpgB&N 

 

Inside the Book:

 Title: In the Desert
Author: Art Collins
Release Date: April 2015
Publisher: A&J Publishing
Genre: YA Fiction
Format: Ebook

In the first two books, Archibald and Jockabeb make a number of wonderful friends while battling unearthly foes that possess supernatural powers. In a dark forest close to home, they escape almost certain death with the aid of a young Indian brave, Haktu, and his pony, Uno. Later, in a distant mountain range, they come to know the kindness of Gran, Ben, Tommy Two Feathers, and their four-legged companions, Champ and Ghost Rider. Stalked relentlessly by the blood-thirsty wolf-crows in the forest, and then by the cunning devil cat in the mountains, the two brothers manage to barely escape with their lives. However, when they accept their uncle’s invitation to visit him in Brazil, little do they know that their most terrifying adventure is about to unfold — an amazing adventure that will again test the magical power of Haktu’s blue feather. So, as you prepare to read In the Amazon, get ready for an unforgettable journey into the dark recesses that lie between the crevices of reality and fantasy!

 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png 

 

Inside the Book:

 Title: In the Caribbean
Author: Art Collins
Release Date: April 2015
Publisher: A&J Publishing
Genre: YA Fiction
Format: Ebook

 

The fifth book in The Adventures of Archibald and Jockabeb series picks up right where the fourth book left off. With many questions about what really happened in the Sonoran Desert still unanswered, Archibald and Jockabeb’s family head to the island of Jamaica for spring vacation. What begins as an idyllic stay at a secluded beachfront inn soon takes a turn for the worse when the boys and the inn’s proprietor, Salty, charter a fishing boat for the day. The captain of the boat is none other than Tommy Nat, Mr. Natonto’s estranged son. The violent storm that follows turns out to be only the first of many unexpected events that quickly propel the two brothers toward an unexpected showdown on another Caribbean island. The elusive Tommy Nat, a mysterious island doctor, a giant Haitian named Maurice, and unseen zombies all combine to set the stage for another classic clash between the forces of good and evil. While the final confrontation that unfolds inside a deserted cafe ultimately provides answers to the remaining mysteries of Lizard Flats, it also places the boys in untold danger. The book contains a number of interesting facts about the Caribbean, its culture and religion, and a bit of the occult. As in past books, the reader observes firsthand how Archibald and Jockabeb grow as brothers and young teens, all the while learning the true meaning of friendship.”
 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png 

 

Inside the Book:




Title: In the Big City
Author: Art Collins
Release Date: April 2015
Publisher: A&J Publishing
Genre: YA Fiction
Format: Ebook

 

The sixth book in The Adventures of Archibald and Jockabeb series finds the two brothers and their younger sister travelling to New York City to spend a long weekend with their aunt. After finishing a wonderful dinner at Sardi’s the first night, the boys become separated from Tess and Aunt Claire in nearby Times Square. Events quickly take a menacing turn when a mysterious person from the past suddenly appears with two henchmen in tow. Frantically trying to escape, Archibald has no idea what he’ll find when he leads Jockabeb down the stairs into a nearby subway station-and what the boys do find launches one their strangest and most electrifying adventures to date. A beautiful young girl named Willow, a one-armed man called Meatloaf, and a dangerous gang leader who goes by the name of Shabazz are just a few of the characters who the boys meet in the abandoned subway tunnels far below the streets of Manhattan. As Archibald and Jockabeb try to make their way safely back to Aunt Claire, they only move closer to a final confrontation with their pursuers, both human and non-human alike. The reader will learn interesting facts about America’s largest city while once again watching the teenage brothers’ personalities evolve. As in all the previous books, the forces of good and evil are pitted against one another-this time, above and below the streets of “The Big Apple!”
 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png

Meet the Author:

When Art Collins retired as a highly successful chairman and CEO of a Fortune 500 company, he didn’t write the book on leadership that many had expected. Instead, he decided that penning adventure stories that could be enjoyed by young and old would be far more interesting, not to mention much more fun. Borrowing two characters, Archibald and Jockabeb, from tales told by his father many years before, and drawing upon his own rich imagination, Art introduces the two young brothers to an incredible cast of characters—some human, some otherworldly—in locations that range from the mysterious forest behind the boys’ house to the lush and exotic Amazon. The nine book series reflects his love of the mountains and ocean, as well as his extensive travels that have taken him to every continent except Antarctica. Art currently divides his time between Chicago and the Vail Valley in Colorado. 

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Interview with Annette Oppenlander, Author of Escape from the Past

AuthorPhoto_EscapeFromThePastTheKidAnnette Oppenlander writes historical fiction for young adults and anyone who loves stories set in the past. When she isn’t in front of her computer, she loves indulging her dog, Mocha, and traveling around the U.S. and Europe to discover amazing histories.

“Nearly every place holds some kind of secret, something that makes history come alive. When we scrutinize people and places closely, history is no longer a number, it turns into a story.”

Website/blog: http://www.annetteoppenlander.com
Thank you for joining us today, Annette. Can you please start off by telling us a bit about yourself?

I grew up in Solingen, Germany, a city known for its cutlery and sharp kitchen knives. After completing a business degree at the University of Cologne I moved to the U.S. for a one-year work assignment. Instead, I met my future husband at a Super Bowl party and got married a year later. That was in 1987. I’ve been living in different parts of the U.S. ever since.

I’ve been married for 28 years and have fraternal twins (24) and a son (27). My roommate is an old mutt, Mocha, a pooch we adopted from the Humane Society 11 years ago.

When did you first get bit by the writing bug?

Becoming a writer/author was a process that took several years. In the beginning–the late 90s–I wrote children’s stories for early readers. I didn’t know anything about writing for children, the market nor the submission process, so this went nowhere. In 2002 I interviewed my parents about their lives during WW2 in Germany which led to a number of short stories. I didn’t really imagine writing a novel, let alone several, I merely wanted to preserve the memories for my family.

But I became aware how much I enjoy the writing process. How I felt while I did it. I worked for a PR agency and did lots of business related writing. I’d go home at night and write some more, spent my weekends writing fiction. I grew more and more invested, took classes, read books on craft, attended conferences and joined a critique group. In 2009 I attended a short story class at Indiana University and that’s when the light bulb turned on fully. I’ve known ever since that writing is my passion and I must do it even if publication is light years away. I finished the first manuscript in 2010. The first book was published in 2015.

Why did you decide to write stories for the YA market?

Maybe I never quite grew up. I have vivid memories of my teenage years and I raised three kids through the rough and tumble teen years. It’s an age so full of wonder and turmoil, but also of tough times. I think it’s one of the most interesting periods in a human’s life.

What is your favorite part of writing for this group? What is the greatest challenge?

I love the quirkiness, the surprise moves my characters make. Sometimes, Max, my main character just throws me for a loop. He’s unpredictable and rash, but he also has a good heart and means to do well. It just doesn’t always work out that way. At the same time I love taking my readers on an exciting journey. I want them to ‘feel’ the action, be there with the characters, bring history alive.

The challenge is getting into the heads of the teen characters and understanding that their approach to things is quite different from adult logic.

Can you tell us what your latest book is all about?

In “The Kid,” book two in the “Escape from the Past” trilogy, time-traveling gamer, Max, intends to return to his friends in medieval Germany, but mistakenly lands in the Wild West of 1881 New Mexico.

Struggling to get his bearings and coming to terms with Dr. Stuler’s evil computer game misleading him, Max runs into Billy the Kid. To his amazement Billy isn’t at all the ruthless killer history made him out to be. Trouble brews when a dying Warm Springs Apache gives Max a huge gold nugget to help his sister, Ela, escape from Fort Sumner. Shopping for supplies Max attracts the attention of ruthless bandits. Before Max can ask the Kid’s help, he and Ela are forced to embark on a journey to find his imaginary goldmine. This is book 2 in the Escape from the Past trilogy.EscapeFromThePastTheKid

What inspired you to write it?

Growing up in Germany, I’ve always been fascinated with the Wild West. I remember watching westerns with my father and reading books about pioneers, American Indians and the gold rush. After I moved to the U.S. I continued reading historical fiction set in the eighteen and nineteen hundreds.

I chose Billy the Kid because I see him as a tragic character who encountered a string of bad luck and was basically set up to fail. He isn’t much older than Max and can easily see how any young man could’ve had Billy’s fate. The second important character is Chief Nana, A Warm Springs Apache warrior, who in the summer of 1881 rode a 3,000 mile vengeance war against the U.S. Army. He was never caught nor were his fifteen or so warriors. The amazing thing about him was his age. He was around eighty years old then and had a bad leg.

Where can readers purchase a copy?

“Escape from the Past: The Kid” is available at any bookstore and online. Here are a few links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Escape-Past-Kid-book-2/dp/178535213X/

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/escape-from-the-past-annette-oppenlander/1122768791

IndieBound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781785352133

What is up next for you?

I just finished the third book in the trilogy, “Escape from the Past: At Witches’ End” which takes Max back to the Middle Ages. The manuscript is currently in editing at the publisher. My current writing project is a story about two teens growing up during WW2 in Germany. It’s a love story based on my family, but it is ultimately a story of forgiveness.

Do you have anything else to add?

I always love hearing from readers and invite you to leave a comment or note here on the blog or on my website, Goodreads or Facebook author page https://www.facebook.com/annetteoppenlanderauthor/

Thank you very much for having me!

 

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

 

Enter to win a $25 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

EscapeFromThePastTheKid_Banner copy

Candy and the Cankersaur by Jason Sandberg

CandyandtheCankersaur

A fun, zany adventure with several learning lessons along the way is what readers will find with Candy and the Cankersaur by Jason Sandberg.

Candy is a wealthy girl who has a father that showers her with gifts instead of spending time with her. She has a next door neighbor named Chucky who every time she gets a new gift, he gets a bigger and better version of what she has. But when Candy’s father buys her a Cankersaur, Chucky can’t seem to one up her. Instead, he decides to get even a different way with some interesting results.

I must start off by saying the humor in this story is great and the intention behind delivering a story with wonderful lessons is admirable. The artwork is superb and matches well with the zaniness of the story. The challenges with this story are related to craft.

The author seems to have bitten off a bit more than he can chew by delivering too many lessons at once: parents needing to spend quality time with their children, understanding why children sometimes mistreat each other, and how working together gets the job done. The story also occasionally drifts away from Candy’s point of view to give the reader a chance to get to know the father’s and Chucky’s internal thoughts. This isn’t something you would typically see in a children’s picture book. The lessons are also delivered in a fashion where they are told to the reader by the narrator more than delivered through the actions of the characters. These are all issues, however, that working with an experienced editor will fix.

In the end, I see a bright future for Sandberg in children’s book publishing. His artwork is amazing and his story ideas compelling. This book has also received numerous 4- and 5-star reviews, so it’s worth checking out this book and more of his work.

Rating:🙂🙂🙂

File Size: 8358 KB
Print Length: 34 pages
Publisher: Jason Sandberg eBooks (June 12, 2012)
Publication Date: June 12, 2012
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
ASIN: B00K9H4O8I

The author provided me with free digital copy of this book. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.