Renee Hand and Tweet for Literacy Giveaways

Tweet-for-Lit-Logo-sidebar-sepia I just posted my review of The Legend of the Golden Monkey, the third book in The Crypto-Capers Series by Renee Hand. Renee is a supporter of the Tweet for Literacy Giveaways and a copy of the first book in this series, The Case of the Missing Sock, is just one of the great books you can win in Prize Package Three.

See here for details on how you can enter and win.

The Crypto-Capers in The Legend of the Golden Monkey by Renee Hand

The Legend of the Golden MonkeyThe Crypto-Capers are back with a new adventure, a new mystery to solve, and some new friends in  The Legend of the Golden Monkey.

Max, Mia, and Nellie “Granny” Holmes travel to the ancient ruins of Chichen Itza, which was once a flourishing Mayan city filled with secrets. Now in the midst of a treasure hunt, the Crypto-Capers must sabotage the Panther’s efforts to find the treasure first. While Morris helps remotely from Max and Mia’s home in England, the Crypto-Capers must depend upon each other and their new friends in order to discover the truth that will locate the items needed to unlock the treasure room and bring closure to an archeologists whose history is tied to the Golden Monkey.

Author Renee Hand has kicked it up a notch in this latest installment of  The Crypto-Capers Series.  Max, Mia and Granny are again pitted against their nemesis, the Panther, to be the first ones to find the items that will solve the mystery of the Golden Monkey. We met the Panther in the second book of this series, The Case of Red Rock Canyon, and we only get a glimpse into how dangerous this person can be. In Book 3, we learn more about the Panther and exactly what lengths he’ll go to, to get what he wants.

In addition to the Panther, Maggie Devereaux is a character that is carried over from the second book, though she plays behind the scene roles.

Hand has done an excellent job of further developing her characters as she continues this series. All the Crypto-Capers are learning more about themselves and each other.  Morris is moving forward with bringing them top-notch technology to help solve the crimes, and the strength and cohesiveness of the team continues to grow. The addition of new characters, while developing those who have been present since the start is flawless. I enjoyed Emmanuel and Spencer–characters created by young fans of The Crypto-Capers Series–and how they become involved in this current mystery. I am glad they will return in the next book.

The cryptograms from this book are slightly more challenging, but even without a key there are enough clues to figure them out, so that this reading experience, like for the other books in this series, is interactive and fun.

The Crypto-Capers Series by Renee Hand includes some of the best and most engaging books for children in grades 4 through 7.  I continue to look forward to the next book in this series. If you decide to purchase a copy of this one, make sure you hold onto it because like all the other Crypto-Caper books, they are tied into each other and you will need them later.

  • Publisher: North Star Press of St. Cloud, Inc
  • ISBN-10: 0878393307
  • ISBN-13: 978-0878393305
  • SRP:  $12.95

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    Tweet for Literacy Giveaways – Prize Package Three Announced!


    Our Motto: “The family that reads together has a lot of fun!”

    The Tweet for Literacy Giveaway is a campaign designed to raise awareness of the importance of involving the whole family in a child’s reading activities. Tweet for Literacy will be giving away literacy-related prizes every two days throughout the month of November in honor of National Family Literacy Month. Help a child to read, and let the fun begin!

    How to Enter the Tweet for Literacy Giveaways

    Step 1: Follow our 7 sponsors on Twitter. This step is required. We will all follow you back!

    Step 2: Re-tweet (RT) any post about the giveaway. Use the hashtag #Tweet4Lit on each RT. Be sure to add the URL link for this contest page. It’s .

    Sample Entry Re-tweets

    RT @ccmalandrinos Tweet for Literacy is giving away 12 prize sets and a grand prize thru Nov. Enter here.  #Tweet4Lit

    RT @ccmalandrinos Enter Tweet for Literacy giveaways here! New prize sets every 2 days. #Tweet4Lit

    Step 3: That’s it! See the Official Rules below.

    Official Rules

    You can re-enter as many times as you like. Prizes are awarded every 2 days starting on November 8. First day to enter is November 6, 2009. Last day to enter is November 30. A prize package will be awarded on each even day of the month. Each prize package will be a set of items that are literacy related. See below for specific information on prizes.

    The name of the winner will be selected at random and will be drawn at approximately 6pm CT. The winner will have 3 days to respond. If we don’t hear from the winner, we will select another winner for that prize package. We will notify our 13 winners by Direct Message (DM) on Twitter.

    Whereas you can enter as often as you like, if you are not following all 7 sponsors on Twitter, which will be verified, your entries will be disqualified. All entries that comply with the above rules will be valid for each drawing, including the Grand Prize. The Grand Prize will be awarded on December 1, 2009.

    Open to residents of the U.S. only. Must be at least 18 years old to enter.

    If you have any questions or comments about the giveaway, please contact Linda Thieman at blog (at) katieandkimble (dot) com.

    Our Sponsors


    Holly Hardin, author of the children’s picture book Aurora of the Northern Lights
    Twitter name: @hollyhardin
    Blog: Holly’s Helpful Hints

    Sheri Kaye Hoff, Life Coach and author of Keys to Living Joyfully
    Twitter name: @sherikayehoff
    Blog: Coach Sheri’s Living Joyfully Everyday blog

    Nicole O’Dell, author of the Scenarios books for girls ages 10-15
    Twitter name: @nicole_odell
    Blog: Nicole O’Dell blog

    Linda Thieman, author of the Katie & Kimble: A Ghost Story chapter book series for ages 7-10
    Twitter name: @lindathieman
    Blog: The Katie & Kimble Blog


    Susan Buetow, homeschooling mom/blogger
    Twitter name: @susieqtpies
    Blogs: The Homeschool Messenger; Scraps of Life

    Cheryl Malandrinos, writer/mom/book blogger
    Twitter name: @ccmalandrinos
    Blog: The Children’s and Teens’ Book Connection

    April Pohren, mom/book blogger
    Twitter name: @cafeofdreams
    Blog: Café of Dreams

    Prizes and Winners

    The Tweet for Literacy campaign was designed to encourage family literacy. Our motto is “The family that reads together has a lot of fun!”

    Our goal is to empower children and teens, especially girls, who are so often overlooked. We also seek to teach tolerance and self-acceptance through reading and through family interaction.

    Our third prize package winner will be selected on November 12, 2009, at 6pm CT. Total value of Prize Package Three is $109.

    Prize Package Three

    1) Henry & the Crazed Chicken Pirates by Carolyn Crimi and John Manders for ages 4 to 8. ($15.99 value) This is the sequel to Henry & the Buccaneer Bunnies. Donated by Blue Slip Media.

    2) Aurora of the Northern Lights by Holly Hardin (autographed — an $18.95 value), the delightful Yuletide-themed picture book by one of our Tweet for Literacy sponsors. Donated by the author.HollyHardin-Aurora-cover

    3) The Crypto-Capers: The Case of the Missing Sock (autographed) by Renee Hand ($12.95 value). Readers help the detectives solve the case by figuring out puzzles! For ages 9-12. Donated by the author.

    Crypto-Capers cover pic 0014) Capital Mysteries #3: The Skeleton in the Smithsonian [A Stepping
    Stone Book(TM)] by Ron Roy, for ages 9-12 (Value $3.99). Donated by Tweet for Literacy sponsor April Pohren.

    5) Truth or Dare (autographed), Book 1 from the Scenarios for Girls interactive series by Nicole O’Dell. For ages 10-15. ($7.97 Value) Donated by the author, one of our Tweet for Literacy sponsors.

    6) 1 set of SnapWords™  List A Teaching Cards by Child1st ($23.95 value). These are the most popular SnapWords™ product and are excellent foundational help for kids who are just learning to read. Donated by Child1st Publications, LLC.

    7) Lighting Their Fires: Raising Extraordinary Children in a Mixed-up, Muddled-up, Shook-up World by Rafe Esquith ($24.95 value). Donated by FSB Associates. 

    Check back here daily as we will continue to update the list of prizes.

    The Kids Book Connection Got Tagged!!!

    hove_outsideA talented author named Linda Thieman over at the Katie & Kimble blog tagged us today! That means that I have to play tag by answering a few little interview questions! Then I have to blog tag someone else! So, here are my answers and here are the bloggers I am tagging! I guess I’m it!  By the way, we reviewed the first two Katie & Kimble books here, so take a look at what they’re all about (Book 1 and Book 2).

    1. Which words do you use too much in your writing?

    If I could just stop using “just” when I’m writing I would just be thrilled.

    2. Which words do you consider overused in stuff you read?

    Tags such as “she said”, “he replied” and “she asked”.  Arg, give me an action tag for crying out loud!  Kids are smarter than we give them credit for.  Unless we’re talking books for children under the age of three, they’ll figure it out.

    3. What are your other favorite blogs?

    There are “just” so many!  🙂 I’ll have to limit myself to three.

    Hook Kids on Reading by my friend and fellow G.A.P. author Margot Finke.  If you have a reluctant reader or know one, you need to check out this blog!

    Just a Mom’s Take on Things by Deb Steenhagen.  In addition to being an excellent virtual blog tour host for Pump Up Your Book Promotion, Deb reviews books and runs numerous contests and giveaways at her blog.  You have to stop by there because it’s an amazing place!

    The Crypto-Capers Review by Renee Hand.  Renee is one of my former clients, whose Crypto-Capers books we’ve also reviewed here.   This is an engaging and fun interactive children’s detective series where readers solve cryptograms to help the detectives solve the crimes.  Renee has spent the summer visiting libraries, reviewing children’s books, and creating Book 3 in the Crypto-Capers series, which is coming out soon.  You’ll want to stay plugged in to her blog so you don’t miss the new release!

    4. Name a favorite word:

    “Plethora”, meaning to be full or to have an abundance of.  I have a plethora of decorations for Christmas because it is my favorite holiday.

    5. And a word you’re not so keen on:

     “Union”, when it is coupled with the word “credit”, as in a credit union.  I cannnot say these two words together.  I worked at two different credit unions when I was in my 20’s, and I was never able to speak these two words clearly when answering the phone.

    A credit union is a financial institution where all the members  are shareholders who have voting power.

    6. What would you like to improve about your writing and/or blog?

    I would actually like to have more time for more own writing and to research interesting things to add here.

    7. What’s your writing ambition?

    To use the gifts God gave me to bring enjoyment to readers.

    I now blog tag the following blogs / bloggers:

    LadyD Books by piano teacher and book blogger Diane Rogers

    On Words by children’s author Janet Ann Collins

    Reviews by Donna from children’s and inspirational author Donna Shepherd

    Rooter and Snuffle by children’s author Shari Lyle-Soffe


    * The picture is of Hove Library in the U.K. where one of my fellow Little House on the Prairie chums works.

    Video Trailer for The Crypto-Capers

    Back when Renee Hand toured with Pump Up Your Book Promotion to discuss her new interactive children’s detective series, The Crypto-Capers, I created a video trailer to help promote these great books.  You’ll find reviews of Book 1 and Book 2 on this blog. 

    You can visit Renee online at her website or check out her new Crypto-Capers blog.  I believe a new Crypto-Capers book is due out sometime in the fall.