Coming in October: Ghosts of Greenglass House by Kate Milford

Welcome back to the irresistible world of Greenglass House where thirteen-year-old Milo is, once again, spending the winter holidays stuck in a house full of strange guests who are not what they seem. There are fresh clues to uncover as friends old and new join in his search for a mysterious map and a famous smuggler’s lost haul.   This exciting sequel to a beloved book that was praised in a starred review as “an enchanting, empowering read” is sure to thrill both fans and newcomers. Like its predecessor, it’s a smart, suspenseful tale that offers ghosts, friendships, and a cast of unforgettable characters, all wrapped up in a cozy mystery.

Age Range: 10 – 12 years
Grade Level: 5 – 7
Lexile Measure: 800
Hardcover: 464 pages
Publisher: Clarion Books (October 3, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 054499146X
ISBN-13: 978-0544991460

Pre-order at Amazon!

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A Pirate, a Blockade Runner, and a Cat by Beverly Stowe McClure

pirate-blockade-runner-cat-200x300A perfect, not too spooky, ghost adventure that kids will enjoy is the latest novel from award-winning author Beverly Stowe McClure.

Erik Burns is stuck in South Carolina with his mother and Aunt Molly after he finds a black lace bra in the glove compartment of his dad’s car. Whoops! Kept away from all his friends and the sport he loved to play in Texas, Erik is willing to do whatever it takes to get back home.

When Starry and Stormy Knight, a set of weird twins that live down the block, try to convince Erik that people have seen a light radiating from the deactivated lighthouse and a ghostly pirate ship prowling the harbor, he wants nothing to do with it. But when he witnesses these occurrences, he can’t deny the proof before him. That’s when he hatches a plan to help the ghosts rest in peace in exchange for a personalized haunting that will send his mother rushing back home to Texas so Erick can get his life back.

Beverly and I are in the same critique group, so I had the pleasure of watching this story unfold before it was published. Talented in the areas of contemporary and historical fiction, I am always amazed by how diverse her ideas are while staying true to her fan base. A Pirate, a Blockade Runner, and a Cat should be another big winner for her. Why? Because in a nutshell, no matter what Beverly is writing, she knows what relates well to her readers.

In this story, Erik has been uprooted. Not only is he away from all his friends and baseball, he’s pretty ticked his dad hasn’t tried to contact him since the move. Those emotions work their way into the unfolding stories of Major Stede Bonnet, Blackbeard, and the ghost residing in the deactivated Morris Island Lighthouse. Not only that, Erik’s mom is trying to get him to befriend a couple of odd twins, when all he wants is to be reunited with his friends in Texas.

This paranormal middle grade/tween novel has a lot to offer. A great read any time of the year, it will definitely get you in the mood for Halloween.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

File Size: 410 KB
Print Length: 265 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing (January 9, 2013)
ISBN 978-1-77127-219-3
Available in numerous digital formats. Visit the publisher’s website for more information.

 

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

 

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Interview with Janet K. Brown, Author of Victoria and the Ghost

janet (3)Janet K. Brown lives in Wichita Falls, Texas with her husband, Charles. She began writing while her three daughters were kids but did not study the craft or submit her work until she retired  in October,2005. Writing became a second career.

4RV Publishing released Janet’s debut novel, an inspirational young adult, Victoria and the Ghost, July 25, 2012.

She studies her three grandchildren for help with teen expressions and actions.

Pen-L Publishing released Janet’s non-fiction book, Divine Dining Dec. 6, 2012. It’s a 365 devotion book to Guide You to Healthier Weight and Abundant Wellness.

Janet belongs to such writing groups as ACFW, OWFI, CWFI, and RWA and continues to write short stories for teens and adults.

She and her husband love to travel with their RV, visit with family, and work in their church.

Contact Janet at:

Website: http://www.janetkbrown.com

Or E-mail: Janet.hope@att.net

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Janet-K-Brown-Author/143915285641707

Twitter: https://twitter.com/janetkbrowntx

Thank you for joining us today, Janet. Can you please start off by telling us a bit about yourself?

Through the years of rearing my three daughters and supporting my husband’s success, I wrote as therapy for depression despite my busy hours. I loved my life, but because of my own choice, as with most mothers, I hid my desires and reveled in those of my family. In 2005, I realized time was passing for me to enjoy my oldest granddaughter, so I retired from my job as medical coder and bookkeeper for a pulmonary doctor and set out to enjoy grandkids and write.

I joined a local RWA chapter, studied everything they threw at me, wrote, and submitted to one publisher after another. Thank God, I improved over those first efforts, and thanks also, for Vivian Zabel and 4RV Publishing for offering me my first contract, only 6 years after I started, a proverbial short time in trying to sell your first book. God does give us the desires of our heart.

When did you first get bit by the writing bug?

I love to write. My first story came in junior high. My English teacher that year dished out more aggravation to me than to any of my fellow students. At the end of the year, she told me she did that because she saw promise in my writing. Imagine that, a little Texas girl who was so shy she trembled at walking into class every day.

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

Years ago, I wrote a coming-of-age novel about a college girl. It was my princess falls for a criminal and saves him from himself piece. Victoria and the Ghost was my first teen story. I’ve always loved writing for teenagers. I think I never quite grew up. I’ve written teen short stories for several years. I discovered Clara Cemetery, the real place for part of my setting for Victoria and the Ghost about the time my granddaughter was going through her rebellious teens. The two things just clicked in my feeble brain.

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

Favorite part – It’s just plain fun. You have the freedom to say things an adult wouldn’t say for fear they’d offend someone. Giggle.

Greatest challenge – Hands down, it’s keeping up with the latest technology  that’s commonplace with teens. Also keeping abreast of the “in” sayings. Thank God for my grandkids’ help and kids in my church. They never realize how much I study them.

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

At fifteen, Victoria, a city girl, loses her mother’s love and copes with country isolation, no friends, and no one who cares, until she meets a ghost.

When her mother leaves the family to become a Dallas trophy wife, Victoria’s dad moves her and her sister to a North Texas farm to herd cattle and raise chickens. Refusing to believe this is more than a temporary set-back, Victoria tries to make new friends which isn’t an easy task. The first one stabs her in the back with gossip and a sharp tongue. Meanwhile, her new stepsister takes Victoria’s place in her mother’s heart. Rejection and anger stalk Victoria like a rattlesnake in the cemetery. Good thing she makes friends with a ghost and through him, a good-looking teenaged cowboy.

What inspired you to write it?Victoria and the Ghost - Cover

As I said, the real Clara Cemetery caught my attention, a well-maintained area on the lonely plains, like a Garden of Eden in the midst of desert. Another thing, that brought that inspiration was my granddaughter left a huge high school to go to graduate from a much smaller one with only 100 in her graduating class. She called it “that hick school.” Funny, but that made me think how traumatic something like that is to a teen.

Where can readers purchase a copy?

You can purchase it from my publisher at:

http://www.4rvpublishingcatalog.com/janet-brown.php

It can also be found on Amazon. The link is:

http://www.amazon.com/Victoria-Ghost-Janet-K-Brown/dp/0983801878/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=

What is up next for you?

I’m 2/3 through with a sequel to Victoria and the Ghost. For those who read that one, they will remember Victoria’s irritating friend/enemy, red-headed Shelley. This will be her story of a country girl who must move to the city without friends or horses.

Her father gets a job as a janitor at the old Collin County Courthouse. When he fights alcoholism, Shelley covers his job for him. I explore the ghost legend at the old courthouse at McKinney, Texas. My working title for the manuscript is A Ghost for Shelley.

I plan on once again pitching it to Vivian Zabel at 4RV Publishing. I can only keep my fingers crossed.

Thank you for spending time with us today, Janet. We wish you much success.

Thank you so much, Cheryl, for allowing me to tell you and your readers about my story.

 

Ghost Dog of Roanoke Island by C.K. Volnek

You’ll find a fascinating story that taps into a more than 420-year-old mystery in Ghost Dog of Roanoke Island by C.K. Volnek.

Twelve-year-old Jack Dahlgren is angry that he and his family have moved onto Roanoke Island away from the life they used to have. As a hurricane makes a beeline for the island–and Jack’s new home–he is soon put on a course that leads him to the mystery of the lost colony and a hateful campaign of revenge.

My family and I have visited the Outer Banks of North Carolina many times over the last 20 years. The Lost Colony is a centuries old unsolved mystery involving colonists who settled on Roanoke Island and then disappeared with barely a trace. Into this mystery, author C.K. Volnek has woven a story that seeks to provide a possible answer for what happened to Virginia Dare and the rest of the colonists. Rich in detail and filled with Native American mysticism, this story will captivate readers from start to finish. Crammed with adventure, middle grade readers will enjoy following Jack along his journey to unravel the mystery and halt a beast bent on revenge.

What I feel Volnek did a superb job with is keeping the tension level high. There weren’t a lot of valleys in this story. With numerous storms, the fractured relationship between Jack and his father, and the suspense of the mystery, readers will be on the edge of their seats most of the time. My one tiny nitpick, and it is very tiny since it didn’t take away from the story at all–the author focuses too much on the eyes. Everyone is staring, looking, gazing, etc. While eyes are very expressive, so are other body parts. I would have liked to see a more balanced approach.

The Ghost Dog of Roanoke Island is middle grade ghost story worth every penny. The adventure, mystery and historical elements blend together to create a superb read.

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • File Size:338 KB
  • Print Length:218 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN:0615568351
  • Simultaneous Device Usage:Unlimited
  • Publisher:MuseItUp Publishing (September 18, 2011)
  • Sold by:Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language:English
  • ASIN: B005O0K8ZI
  • SRP: $5.50

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

Reading Now! – Ghost Dog of Roanoke Island by C.K. Volnek

In 1587, 121 colonists disappeared from Roanoke Island, NC, never to be seen again.

Something evil is haunting Roanoke Island and it’s up to twelve year-old Jack Dahlgren to unravel the mystery of the lost colony and stop the hateful campaign of revenge. But can Jack solve the puzzle in time to destroy the beast, before it destroys him?

Excerpt:

Jack rushed to the front door and reached for the doorknob. His hand stopped in midair as the door shuddered violently, shaking on its hinges. A deafening howl roared on the other side. The boards covering the windows shook, the nails screeching as though giant hands were trying to rip them from the house. The lights flickered and went out, leaving the house pitch dark.

Sweat broke out on Jack’s forehead. His heart drummed in his ears. Turning, he fumbled with the dials of the battery-operated radio on the end table. The announcer’s voice sputtered between static crackles. “Hurricane Da…earlier than expec…winds reaching…residents on Roanoke Island…take cover immediately. Stay…”

Jack leaned against the door, his mind whirling. Regret twisted inside as the argument with his dad hammered in his head…

Genre: Middle Grade Ghost Story
Release: September 23, 2011
Pages: 161
ISBN: 978-1-927085-65-3
E-book price: $5.50

PURCHASE AT MUSEITUP PUBLISHING.COM

Mom’s Choice Awards® Names the Katie & Kimble Series by Linda Thieman among the Best in Family-friendly Media

The Mom’s Choice Awards® has named the Katie & Kimble (A Ghost Story) series by Iowa author Linda Thieman among the best in family-friendly media, products and services. The MCA is an annual competition known for establishing the benchmark of excellence in these areas.

When the great flu pandemic struck America’s shores in 1918, it took with it an estimated 675,000 men, women and children.

In her imaginative first book in the award-winning chapter book series, Katie & Kimble: A Ghost Story, author Linda Thieman follows one of the young victims, named Kimble, and her nine-year-old friend, Katie, who just moved into Kimble’s old house.

Though ghostly in its viewpoint, the story does not fit into its genre’s stereotype. Rather, Thieman’s ghost is a funny, adventuresome little girl who not only helps Katie, but receives help from her friend in return.

Written to inspire the 7- to 10-year-old set, Katie & Kimble: A Ghost Story is an educational adventure for the parental set, too, giving insight into the worldwide pandemic, Kimble’s Jewish customs, and even a bit about the supernatural.

Parents, educators, librarians and retailers rely on MCA evaluations when selecting quality materials for children and families. The Mom’s Choice Awards® seal helps families and educators navigate the vast array of products and services and make informed decisions.

MCA judges are bound by a strict code of ethics which ensures expert and objective analysis free from any manufacturer association. The evaluation process uses a propriety methodology in which entries are scored on a number of elements including production quality, design, educational value, entertainment value, originality, appeal and cost.

To be considered for an award, each entrant submits five identical samples of a product. Entries are matched to judges in the MCA database. Judges perform a thorough analysis and submit a detailed assessment. Results are compiled and submitted to the MCA Executive Committee for final approval.

The end result is a list of the best in family-friendly media, products and services that parents and educators can feel confident in using.

Other past Mom’s Choice Awards® recipients have included Meredith Vieira, Founder of Club Mom and Today Show Co-Host (Celebrity Mom of the Year) and O, The Oprah Magazine (Magazine of the Year).

Thieman graduated from Storm Lake Community High School and received a B.A. and an M.A. from the University of Northern Iowa. She now resides in Sioux City, Iowa.

For more information on the awards program and the honorees, visit MomsChoiceAwards.com

For more information on the Katie & Kimble series, visit http://www.katieandkimbleblog.com

I would like to personally congratulate Linda on winning this award. Her Katie & Kimble books are two of the only books my reluctant reader has been eager to read, and she’s already sending Linda ideas for future books.  LOL! This is a well-deserved honor and we wish Linda much success!



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Ghost for Rent by Penny Lockwood

Start your Halloween reading early with a copy of Ghost for Rent by Penny Lockwood.

Eleven-year-old Wendy Wiles is distraught when she discovers her parents are separating and that she, her  older brother, Mike and their Mom are moving out of the city and to a rundown house in the country.  Wendy is not a country girl and she’s not happy.  Then mysterious things start happening.  Ghostly things. 

When Wendy’s new friend, Jennifer tells her that some people believe the house the family is living in is haunted, Wendy with Jennifer’s and Mike’s help decides to do some ghost hunting so they can learn what really happened at Lockland Road farm.

A mysterious and engaging story evolves within the pages of Ghost for Rent.  The heroine, Wendy is taken away from all she cares about and with her parents’ separation and possible divorce, Wendy’s fairly certain nothing will ever be the same again.  The typical sibling rivalry is witnessed between Mike and Wendy, and she can’t understand why he’s not more upset about their move.  Mom’s certain there is a logical explanation for all that is happening in their house because there is no such thing as ghosts.  It’s nice to see both Mike and Wendy make a new best friend fairly soon after moving to the old farm, and Jennifer proves very helpful when it comes time to figure out exactly what is going on since she’s lived in town a while.

Not an overly complex story, but one that draws the reader in and keeps her turning the pages to see if she can figure out what happened in Wendy’s house before Wendy, Jennifer and Mike do.  I honestly didn’t expect it all to play out the way it did, which is one of the reasons I love mysteries–it’s so much fun seeing if you pick up on the right clues.

Ghost for Rent is a quick read, and perfect for the middle grade market.  I would love to see Wendy, Jennifer, Mike and maybe Jennifer’s brother, Peter team up and solve more mysteries in their little town.

Rating:   🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Published by: Hard Shell Word Factory(i)
  • eBook ISBN: 9781102233701
  • Filesize: 128.70 KB
  • SRP:  $4.50
  • Also available from Hard Shell Word Factory as a trade paperback.