Thursday, September 27, 2012

Dive into Restricted Waters

A mysterious black crust that sinks ships at sea while it also threatens to destroy the entire East Coast? Enter the young adult novel, RESTRICTED WATERS by Kara Lynn Conyer, the perfect read for any young budding marine biologist.

For months, this mysterious black crust has been spreading up the East coast, so world-renowned marine biologist, Dr. Candace Warren, has organized a team of experts to find the source of the destruction. Sixteen-year-old Alannis Summers volunteers to intern on the trip and it's believed that the black crust may have started in the mysterious islands of the Cubbarros. Allanis sets out to uncover the mystery and discovers a government conspiracy with a ton of adventure! On top of that, there’s also the drama of her relationship with Jake, another ship mate.

Anyone interested in marine biology will enjoy RESTRICTED WATERS. The book is full of drama and moves along quickly, taking you into the depths of the ocean.  Allanis is a strong character who must dig deep within herself to uncover the suspicions and also uncover her self-identity. What I love most about this book is that it's written by Kara Lynn Conyer who was a science diver for the Smithsonian Institution. With experience of being in the middle of the ocean, Conyer provides such vivid descriptions, you'll definitely feel as though you're on the expedition.

Additional Information:
File Size: 253 KB
Print Length: 160 pages
Publisher: Waterhouse Books (July 11, 2012)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Source of review copy: Author

Disclosure: Some of the books I review are received from publishers , PR agencies, and authors, but it does not sway my opinion of the book.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The MapMakers Sons changes the way boys look at reading

As most of you know, I have two boys, so I was intrigued to learn that a new publisher was starting and their mission was Middle Grade Books for boys. Let's face it, the market is inundated with the latest romantic vampire read and boy books usually get overlooked. Most parents and educators are always on the hunt to find ways to promote reading amongst boys, so it's refreshing to see Move Books want to change the way boys look at reading.

Their first title is THE MAPMAKER'S SONS by V.L. Burgess and I believe this will definitely help Move Books with their mission. Thomas Hawkins is like most boys in that he likes to hang with his friends, have pretend sword fights, and create his own adventures. However, he's a student at the Lost Preparatory Academy for Boys, a place full of rules and certainly not fun. I mean, bells alert the boys when to wake, when to eat, when to shower and more. One night, Tom decides to silence the bells, but instead finds a pirate who has come to deliver Tom's inheritance from a father he never knew--an old map. The map leads Tom back home to The Five Kingdoms where Tom learns his father was a mapmaker and Tom discovers a brother he never knew he had. Together, they must solve a prophecy to save the world and their lives.

THE MAPMAKER'S SONS is a quick read, which boys will love and they won't want to put it down because it's packed with mystery and action. Who doesn't love a story where you interact with pirates, voyage to a mysterious land and take on an evil ruler? If that doesn't appeal to boys, then I don't know what will!

Please visit Move Books for a preview of Chapter One.

Additional Information:
Reading level: Ages 10 and up
Pages: 176
Publisher: Move Books (October 2012)
ISBN: 978-0-9854810-0-1
Source of review copy: Publisher

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Discover Sarah Crossan's writing process

In a world without air, what would you do to breathe? Sarah Crossan's debut novel, BREATHE, follows three teens dealing with that dilemma when they leave everything they know behind.

About the book: In a barren land, a shimmering glass dome houses the survivors of the Switch, the period when oxygen levels plunged and the green world withered. A state lottery meant a lucky few won safety, while the rest suffocated in the thin air. And now Alina, Quinn, and Bea—an unlikely trio, each with their own agendas, their own longings and fears—walk straight into the heart of danger. With two days’ worth of oxygen in their tanks, they leave the dome.

The book goes on sale on 10/2, but you can check out the author Sarah Crossan in this video discussing her writing process.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

All About Poop a sure hit with young readers

Want to know which book is the biggest hit in my house right now? It's ALL ABOUT POOP by Kate Hayes. Yes, when you have two boys, anything that contains bathroom humor is guaranteed to be a hit.

ALL ABOUT POOP tackles the subject so many of us probably don't want to think about, but young readers will be fascinated by because just say the word poop, and chances are, they'll be laughing hysterically. As soon as you open the book, you can't help but smile as you see the boy with his pants around his ankles, spraying air freshener in the air. (don't worry, he has underwear on!) From there, young readers learn why our bodies make such stinky goop from eating and digestion, and where it goes after we flush. Not to mention cleanliness and germs.

What I really love about this book is that it's written in rhyme, making it a fun read for an unpleasant subject. Young and old readers will get a kick out of the illustrations as you see poop in its various forms and even falling from the sky in parachutes! If your kids are in that 'bathroom humor' stage, ALL ABOUT POOP will not disappoint and they won't even realize they're learning all about science.

Additional Information:
Paperback: 38 pages
Publisher: Pinwheel Books (September 1, 2012)
ISBN-10: 098542480X
ISBN-13: 978-0985424800
Source of review copy: Publisher
Disclosure: Some of the books I review are received from publishers , PR agencies, and authors, but it does not sway my opinion of the book.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Cover Reveal of Solstice by PJ Hoover

I'm thrilled to be one of the very first to show you the cover of the highly anticipated SOLSTICE by PJ Hoover coming from Tor Teen in June 2013. I can't wait to read this one. Take a look at the cover...

It's literally smoking, isn't it? If you're a fan of dystopia, mythology, and romance, you won't want to miss this one. Here's a sneak peak about the book:

Each day brings hotter temperatures and heat bubbles that threaten to destroy the earth. Amid this global heating crisis, Piper lives under the oppressive rule of her mother, who suffocates her even more than the weather does. Everything changes on her eighteenth birthday, when her mother is called away on a mysterious errand and Piper seizes her first opportunity for freedom. Piper discovers a universe she never knew existed—a sphere of gods and monsters—and realizes that her world is not the only one in crisis. While gods battle for control of the Underworld, Piper’s life spirals out of control as she struggles to find the answer to the secret that has been kept from her since birth. An imaginative melding of mythology and dystopia, Solstice is the first YA novel by talented newcomer P. J. Hoover.

Are your juices flowing yet? If that's not enough, Cynthia Leitich Smith, New York Times  bestselling author says, “Solstice is one red-hot read—it intrigues, sizzles, and satisfies.”

I don't know about you, but I can't wait to get my hands on this one and it will be a wonderful addition to the Young Adult section on your bookshelf! To celebrate the SOLSTICE cover reveal, PJ Hoover will be running a contest on her blog today in which she'll be giving away a handful of books, so be sure to visit her blog and enter for a chance to win!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Entice proves this is one gripping series

I'm a big fan of Jessica Shirvington's novel, Embrace and couldn't wait to read the next book in the series, Entice, which was released this month. In Embrace, we were introduced to Violet, who learns she's a Grigori--part human and part angel and struggles with embracing it or not. Yes, she chooses the angel path, but it doesn't make things easier when you throw in a love triangle, and a battle between good and evil.

In Entice, Violet is back and not only is she trying to embrace the fact she's a Grigori, she's also trying to figure out her relationship with Lincoln. As you turn each page and discover how hot their chemistry really is, you'll be screaming for them to be together already, however that would be too easy, which is why Shirvington serves up this dramatic read. On top of the romance, Violet tries to save the one thing the Exiles could use to destroy the Grigori and is up against Phoenix, who knows how to affect Violet. Who can she trust and why is everyone hiding something?

Entice offers a few new characters, but delivers the same roller coaster ride full of emotions. Hot, spicy, wild, dark, and crazy, Entice is a must read for 2012. I love Violet's character, who is strong and doesn't back down from her challenges and the action is non-stop as you step into a world full of mystery and intrigue. If you haven't read Embrace, I highly recommend reading it and if you do, you'll find yourself diving right into Entice.

Counting the days for Emblaze!

Additional Information:
Reading level: Ages 13 and up
Hardcover: 464 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire (September 4, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1402268432
ISBN-13: 978-1402268434
Source of review copy: Publicist
Disclosure: Some of the books I review are received from publishers , PR agencies, and authors, but it does not sway my opinion of the book.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Lula's Brew now available in print

One of my favorite illustrators is Elizabeth Dulemba. Her artwork is so colorful, vibrant and always has such a fun feel, which is why I wanted to share with you that LULA’S BREW, her popular children’s book app which has been downloaded over 10,000 times, is finally available as a hardcover picture book - just in time for Halloween!
LULA’S BREW was one of the first children’s book apps available for the iPhone and iPad and follows Lula who faces quite the dilemma. Lula's Aunties want her to be a witch like them. But Lula would rather study cookbooks than spell books (and hates to fly on a broom). Lula wants to be a famous chef. In desperation, the Aunties insist she try to make one last potion. Lula secretly adds her cooking flair and creates a brew that bewitches the entire town, including her Aunties! This fun rhyming tale transcends the typical Halloween story to appeal to cooks and "foodies" throughout the year.

Dulemba offers free activities for Lula’s Brew on her website,, which include a word find puzzle, coloring pages, computer wallpaper, recipes, etc. She also offers a new free coloring page on her blog every week for teachers, librarians, booksellers and parents to enjoy with their children. With over 1.5 million visitors per year, and over 3,000 subscribers, it’s quite popular.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Back to School Offers and Giveaways

The pencils, Post-its, labels and notebooks are all stocked, which means it's time for school. When school starts, many companies offer great deals to help your kids feed their imagination, so here are a few you might want to check out...

Scholastic has unveiled Storia--an eReading app that works on multiple platforms, from a PC to an iPad or Android tablet.From favorite picture books to the hottest news series, Storia has the titles kids want, by the award-winning authors they love to read. With close collaboration from Scholastic's reading experts, Storia offers you and your child more than 1,500 highly curated titles for all ages and reading levels—and the list is growing all the time! They're currently running an offer where you get 5 FREE ebooks when you download the Storia app.

Check out this exclusive offer from Kellogg's and Scholastic: When you purchase two specially marked Kellogg's products or one Kellogg's Tri-Pack at Walmart you'll receive a coupon for a FREE book of your choice* from Scholastic (up to a $5 value)! Enter the codes found inside participating boxes at Watch for your confirmation email containing your Scholastic Book Coupon. Then, click here to choose your book!

Scholastic has teamed up with Purell for the Healthy Starts for Classroom Smarts Sweepstakes. Visit this website and enter today for your chance to win a $250 back-to-school shopping spree, 25 Scholastic books and Purell products.

Did you know you can turn bottles of SunnyD into Free books? Help your child's class collect 20 SunnyD UPC labels, send the labels to your child's teacher who then mails in the official entry form. 20 labels= 20 Scholastic books for the classroom! Visit for all the deets!

When you buy any Brita water bottle, Scholastic will send you a free children's book, The Magic School Bus. For deets on how to receive your book, visit

When you buy GoodNites Underwear, just mail one proof-of-purchase UPC and you can receive a free book! This offer begins August 20th to October 31st or until all 150 books have been claimed.  To receive a Free Scholastic Book (while supplies last), mail one (1) proof-of-purchase UPC from any GoodNites Underwear product along with your name, daytime phone, email address, and complete mailing address to:
GoodNites Underwear Book Offer
557 Broadway PO BOX 711
New York, NY 10012

I think this is so cool--Scholastic News Kids Press is hiring a team of reporters ages 10-14 to cover everything from the election to celebrity news to sports and more. Visit between August 1st and October 19th to apply.