My TBR Pile

 

Two cousins embark on an exciting mystery to solve the riddle of their grandfather’s will. The boys from diverse backgrounds must work together to overcome natural and cultural obstacles. Can they save the ranch in time?

History, like magic, has a habit of repeating itself

It’s been six months since thirteen-year-old Alyssa McCarthy left magic behind for good. Or so she thought…

Then the enchanted objects that protected her disappear. Now a skeleton named Errol has cursed her with magical powers that keep getting her in trouble. Suddenly strange things are happening with disastrous effects, and if Alyssa can’t remove the magic, she will lose everything she holds dear.

In order to get rid of her unwanted wizardry, Alyssa will have to boost her bravery and confidence and determine who Errol really is. But every time Alyssa uses an enchantment, Errol is one step closer to getting his flesh back and becoming alive, and he will do anything to achieve his goals…even if it means destroying Alyssa’s happiness.

Originally published in 2016 as “Wizardry Goes Wild” and “The Unruly Curse” in 2019, “A Curse of Mayhem” is book two in the exciting and suspenseful “Magical Missions” series.

 

This exciting entry in Lee & Low’s “Story of” line of chapter-book biographies introduces readers to Robert Smalls, an enslaved steamboat wheelman who commandeered a Confederate boat during the Civil War and escaped with his family, crew, and their families to freedom.

Growing up enslaved in South Carolina, Robert Smalls always dreamed of the moment freedom would be within his grasp. Now that moment was here.

Robert stood proudly at the Planter’s wheel. Only seven miles of water lay between the ship and the chance of freedom in Union territory. With precision and amazing courage, he navigated past the Confederate forts in the harbor and steered the ship toward the safety of the Union fleet. Just one miscalculation would be deadly, but for Robert, his family, and his crewmates, the risk was worth taking.

The Story of Civil War Hero Robert Smalls is the compelling account of the daring escape of Robert Smalls, an enslaved steamboat wheelman who became one of the Civil War’s greatest heroes. His steadfast courage in the face of adversity is an inspiring model for all who attempt to overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges.

This Chapter Book edition includes black-and-white illustrations as well as sidebars on related subjects, a timeline, a glossary, and recommended reading.

What is in your TBR pile right now?

 

Christmas Titles at 4RV Publishing

Today, on the 4RV blog, I share our Christmas titles. These make perfect gifts for your little readers. Check out my post at https://4rvreading-writingnewsletter.blogspot.com/2019/12/christmas-titles-from-4rv-publishing.html to read more about each one of these.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4RV Publishing to Attend Luther Pecan Festival on Saturday, November 16

You’ll find my book, A Christmas Kindness, and other great 4RV Publishing titles at the Luther Pecan Festival this Saturday. Books make great gifts. Hope you’ll pay them a visit if you’re in the area. Visit https://www.facebook.com/events/luther-register-news/2019-luther-pecan-festival/502832737210237/ for more information.

 

Eight-year-old Robert is eager to share his wish list with Santa at the mall on Christmas Eve. When he meets Glenn, who only has one request for Santa, Robert is confused about what he should do. Can he cast aside what he wants and ask Santa to bring his new friend a special gift?

You can purchase this book at:

 

4RV Publishing Bookstore

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Kobo

 

 

Sophie Washington: Secret Santa by Tonya Duncan Ellis

If your child enjoys books with strong female protagonists, a hint of mystery, and the joy of Christmas, then Sophie Washington: Secret Santa by Tonya Duncan Ellis will be a perfect gift.

It’s a few weeks before Christmas and Sophie and her friends are busy as school is coming to a close before the break. When Sophie begins receiving presents from a secret Santa, she can only guess who it might be. Is it one of her friends or one of the boys she knows? The answer might surprise her.

Though this is the seventh book in the Sophie Washington series, it’s the first one I’ve read. It’s a quick, fun chapter book with cute illustrations. As the reader gets to know Sophie and her friends, they eagerly turn the pages to see if they can figure out who Sophie’s secret Santa really is. Sophie is spunky and she has a love him/not so in love with him relationship with her younger brother that makes her even more relatable. In addition to the mysterious Santa, the book also addresses the topic of bullying. I don’t think we can have enough books that tackle this issue, and I like the author’s handling of it within this story.

If you set a story at Christmas, you’ve already partially won my heart. Sophie Washington: Secret Santa also inspires me to check out the previous books in the series to follow more of Sophie’s adventures.

EXCERPT:

“Jingle bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg!”

“Be quiet, Cole!” I put my hands over my ears to muffle my brother’s out-of-tune singing and focus back on my laptop to finish my English essay. It’s less than three weeks until winter break and my teachers have been piling on the assignments to make sure we get our end of semester grades in.

There sure is a big change between fifth and sixth grade, workwise, at Xavier Academy, the private school my brother and I go to. Between all the essays and projects and studying for final exams, I feel I can barely take time to pat my dog, Bertram, when I get home; whereas, my eight-year-old brother Cole acts like he’s already on vacation.

Since we got home from school an hour ago, he’s been living it up, shooting hoops in the driveway, eating a snack and now playing on the handheld video game player that my mother would make him put up if she were downstairs with us. I ought to tell on him now…

Ding Dong!

The doorbell interrupts my thoughts.

“Can you get it, Sophie?” Mom yells from upstairs. “I’m putting some clothes in the closet.”

I would ask her why she wants me to answer the door, and not Cole, but I already know the answer: “Because you’re the oldest.”

Of course, that logic doesn’t hold when it comes to who gets the first dessert or who doesn’t have to do the dishes at night. As the baby of the family and favored child, my little brother has got it made.

I trudge to the front door in time to see the mail carrier heading back to his truck. He’s left a medium-sized box on the porch. Wonder what it is?

My mother sometimes has holiday packages delivered to the house, but Cole and I haven’t made our Christmas lists yet, so I doubt it’s anything for us. I open the door, pick the package up, and check out the label. It’s got my name on it in bright, red ink, “Sophie Washington.”

Who could this be from?

I never get any mail, except for birthday gifts my Granny Washington sends to our house in Houston from Corpus Christi when she can’t be here, and I don’t remember my parents ordering anything for us online. Granny is driving up to see us tomorrow, so I doubt she would mail presents here when she could just bring them with her.

“Mom, I got a package!” I call out.

“What is it?” Cole bounds from the family room to stare at the box as I set it on the kitchen counter.

“Back off, Cole, it’s mine,” I move him to the side with my hip and take a closer look at the delivery. The box is wrapped in brown paper, and there is no return address. It looks difficult to open with my fingers, so I pull a butter knife out of a drawer in the kitchen and slit through the tape on the side. A sweet, sugary scent fills the air.

“Cool!” exclaims Cole in appreciation as the brown wrapping slides off to reveal a box filled with packages of licorice, gummy bears, gum, and red and green M&Ms. I notice a typed note underneath.

Dear Sophie,
Hope your day is super sweet!
Your Secret Santa

Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Grade Level: 2 – 6
Series: Sophie Washington (Book 7)
Paperback: 122 pages
Publisher: Page Turner Publishing (September 10, 2018)
Language: English

Digital version available for only 99 cents!

Also available in softcover!

Website: tonyaduncanellis.com

Facebook: @tonyaellisbooks

Twitter: @TonyaDEllis

I received a digital copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

GIVEAWAY

Tonya Duncan Ellis will be awarding $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

 

New from Guardian Angel Publishing

Megan is bullied because she has rabbit ears. She writes her diary about her problem. But her friend Tory convinces her instead of always hiding them under hats to learn to love herself for who she is and not let anyone else’s opinions make her hide.

Tootsie is a little dog who pees a lot and in all the wrong places. He pees in the library, the grocery store, the café, and anywhere else he pleases. When his mischievous behavior catches up with him, Tootsie must make a decision, but will it be too late?

In the early 600’s, a baby found on the steps of a monastery becomes a kitchen boy for the fearsome Father Pieter. Beggar boys, a monster oven, and mystery bread lead us to a new understanding of Lent. Includes a recipe for pretzels.

An easy-to-sing-and-stage children’s Easter musical created to help children understand the power of the cross and resurrection of our Lord. The simple drama and kid-tested songs make this book a valuable ministry resource for Christian schools and children’s choirs. A must-have for churches with limited resources.

Kitsy and her two brothers grew up in California’s Mojave Desert during the 1940’s. In Mischief and Horses Kitsy recounts some of the hardships, struggles, and joys faced during their childhood of moving from one foster care farm to another.

It’s Groundhog Day in Amazing Grace Acres! Gracie Groundhog holds the spotlight as the official forecaster of spring. Her brother, Grover, devises a plan to steal the show! Will Grover succeed? Will Gracie find a way to forgive him? Will spring come early or will the animals have to hunker down for six more weeks of winter?

Visit www.guardianangelpublishing.com for these and other children’s books.

Results Are In!

As part of the Author Fair I participated in, visitors voted on which of my story ideas I should work on next. Here are the winners listed by popularity.

Picture Book/Early Readers

  1. Re-imagined Little Red Riding Hood with a modern girl who outwits the wolf.
  2. On a cold Christmas Eve, a tiny buck is frightened away from his home by a bear. He’s gone so far that he doesn’t know the way home, but then he remembers something his mother always told him and her wisdom help guides him home.
  3. An ingenious turkey comes up with ways to avoid becoming Thanksgiving Day dinner.
  4. Five-year-old Beatrice and her make-believe friend Charlotte go on an adventure where they imagine the lawn mower is really a dinosaur eating up everything and they must escape.
  5. A young boy comes up with a plan to save Christmas when Santa cancels the holiday because there are too many kids on the naughty list.

Middle Grade/Tween

  1. When an eleven-year-old victim of excessive bullying commits suicide, the residents of her small town are left with the struggle of maintaining the status quo or changing how they treat each other.
  2. A time travel series where two or three kids travel to the past via a certain object and meet historical figures along the way, helping to solve some problem. Once the problem is solved, the object brings them back home.
  3. A time travel story where a child journeys to the future and helps an older person, discovering at the end that the person she helped was her older self.
  4. A mystery about private school kids on a field trip who work to uncover a missing artifact or find a student who goes missing.

Young Adult and Adult

  1. Modern day Romeo and Juliet story.
  2. Thriller about a wife who attempts to murder her husband and then disappears. With the help of a private investigator who is his former girlfriend he works to track down his wife.
  3. A mystery with a love triangle set in the 1970s.
  4. A story of three sisters from a dysfunctional family each coping with a crisis and how those crises draw them together.

Please vote for your favorites in the comments section of this post. Thanks.

New from Guardian Angel Publishing

book 1

A touching story about eight year old Ellie and her separation from her family in the midst of World War II when Jews were not safe. Neighbors and strangers risk their lives to keep her alive and get her on a ship that will take her to relatives in America. A historical chapbook for older kids.

book 2

Giving can come in a variety of ways. This warm thought-provoking story is told to pass on the art and joy of “heart giving” to children. Anyone can give, anytime, anywhere! The best gifts are those which come from deep inside our hearts. Share the story – love giving.

book 3

When Dad loses his job, their family must move in with grandparents. Sarah, Owen and Olivia struggle with the loss of their old house, friends, and school, but their outlook improves when the family begins stargazing. Through the allure of astronomy and the opportunity to talk together undistracted, they discover ways to “see in the dark”.

book 4

A dish of bubble gum and learning to count has never been so much fun! Match colors and watch the bubble get bigger and bigger as you count higher and higher. Chomp, chomp, chew, chew. Look at the bubble you blew! Learn to count 1-10 with bubble gum and learn colors, too!

book 5

 

Sloth is a lazy and overweight dragon taking up space atop of a hoard of gold and jewels within a mountain inhabited by dwarves. One dwarf helps Sloth lose weight through diet and exercise. The grateful dragon, now able to fly, leaves the dwarf and his people a special gift.

book 6

 

The giggle provoking story of Poopsie, a playful ten-month old baby, who discovers Mommy’s ear and won’t let go, until he discovers that Daddy has ears too! Little Poopsie epitomizes the fascination babies develop for body parts. The story elicits a jovial joy ride in alliteration and rhyme.

For these are more books from Guardian Angel Publishing, please visit http://guardianangelpublishing.com/