Poseidon and the Sea of Fury Book Blast Giveaway!

I have read some of the Goddess Girls books and enjoyed them, but I haven’t had a chance to check out any of the Heroes in Training titles.  They look like fun reads, too!  Enter below for your chance to win a $100 Amazon or Paypal Gift card!
 
Poseidon and the Sea of Fury

A young Poseidon must triumph over aquatic terrors in this Heroes in Training adventure. The merciless Cronus and his Titan buddies are in hot pursuit of Zeus, Hera, and Poseidon, who plan to travel across the treacherous boiling sea in order to save a fellow Olympian. They have a boat, but they also have a problem: Poseidon can’t swim and is terrified of the water (well, really of the creatures that lurk in its depths). The group faces danger after danger as they battle singing sirens, a fishy and ferocious Titan named Oceanus, and people-eating monsters sent by Cronus himself. Can Poseidon overcome his fears and help his fellow heroes escape Cronus and his cronies?






Purchase



Heroes in Training by Joan Holub & Suzanne Williams
Authors Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams deliver fun, adventures, and a few surprises as ten-year-old Olympians go on a journey of a lifetime to discover their true identities and defeat their Titan enemies.


Praise for Heroes in Training
"Readers will gobble this down and look for more, make no mythtake."
~ Kirkus

“This is a fun read, casting Zeus in the role of relatable kid, and there is a nice balance between his primary goal of survival and his sense of destiny and adventure. . . Share this title, and likely more to come, with those still too young for Percy Jackson’s adventures.”
~ School Library Journal



The Series

#1 Zeus and the Thunderbolt of Doom
#2 Poseidon and the Sea of Fury
#3 Hades and the Helm of Darkness
#4 Hyperion and the Great Balls of Fire

Aladdin Paperbacks (ages 6-9)
http://series.simonandschuster.com/Heroes-in-training



Zeus and the Thunderbolt of Doom (Book 1)


After pulling a magical thunderbolt from a stone, ten-year-old Zeus goes on the adventure of a lifetime in this thrilling start to a brand-new series! The terrible Titans–merciless giants who enjoy snacking on humans–have dominated the earth and put the world into chaos. But their rule is about to be put to the test as a group of young Olympians discover their powers and prepare to righteously rule the universe….
   
     Ten-year-old Zeus is mystified (and super-annoyed) by the fact that he keeps getting hit by lightening. Every. Single. Year. He also longs for adventure, as he has never been far from the cave where he grew up.

     Zeus gets his wish–and a lot more than he bargained for–when he is kidnapped by dangerous, giant Titans! In self-defense, he grabs the first thing he sees–an actual thunderbolt he pulls from a stone that is covered in mysterious markings. Zeus is the only one who can decipher the markings, and sets off on a quest to rescue his youthful fellow Olympians from the evil Cronus. Armed with his trusty thunderbolt (named Bolt, of course), Zeus is on an adventure of a lifetime–and a journey to fulfill his destiny as King of the Gods.



Hades and the Helm of Darkness (Book 3 coming April 2013)


The Heroes in Training are entering the Underworld—if Hades can conquer his canine fears, that is.

The Underworld usually isn’t really meant to be a fun place—but tell that to Hades! He loves the dark and the stinky smell of sulfur. However, there is one thing that Hades is not a fan of: dogs. And when Zeus and his fellow Olympians encounter Cerberus—a snarling, three-headed dog—Hades must conquer his fears and tame the hound so everyone can continue into the Underworld and deposit their Titan prisoner, Oceanus, back where he belongs!

But with magical water that causes forgetfulness, hot beds of lava, and another epic battle with two more Titans standing in their way, will Zeus and his heroes make it out of the Underworld with everyone intact?



Author Suzanne Williams

Suzanne Williams is the award-winning author of nearly 40 books for children, from picture books and easy readers to chapter books and middle grade fiction series. A former elementary school librarian, she lives near Seattle. Her picture book Library Lil (illustrated by Steven Kellogg) won the New Mexico children’s choice award in 2000 and was on several other state award lists. She is co-author (with Joan Holub) of the popular Goddess Girls series(for ages 8 – 12) and Heroes in Training (ages 6 – 11). Other series include Fairy Blossoms and Princess Power.








Author Joan Holub

I graduated from college in Texas with a fine arts degree, and then freelanced as an art director at a graphic design firm for eight years. I dreamed of working in children’s books, so I moved to New York City and became associate art director in Scholastic trade books, where I designed books for children and worked with editors and illustrators. It was a great job.

I illustrated my first published children’s book in 1992 and soon began illustrating full time. I began completing manuscripts and mailing them out to publishers in the early 1990s. In 1996, I sold my first two manuscripts — Boo Who? A Spooky Lift-the-Flap Book (Scholastic) and Pen Pals (Grosset & Dunlap). Yippee!

Now I write full time and have written and/or illustrated over 130 children’s books. Creating books that entertain, inform, and interest children (and me) is a fabulous job that I truly love.





Book Blast Giveaway
$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 12/9/12


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Interview with Adrienne Kress, Author of The Friday Society

Please welcome Adrienne Kress, author of The Friday Society, to the virtual offices today.  She’s here to chat about her latest release.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Adrienne Kress] An author/actor who is utterly fabulous in every way, and beyond humble.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about The Friday Society?

[Adrienne Kress] In very brief:  Steampunk Charlie’s Angels without the Charlie.

In slightly less brief: Three female assistants to powerful men in London society (lab assistant, magician’s assistant, combat assistant) realise that they are just as talented (if not more so) than their bosses and team up to solve a series of murders and thefts, as well as save the city from general destruction, in London 1900. 

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Adrienne Kress] This is a tough question.  The story is kind of a combination of many different things I’m interested in, Steampunk, strong female characters (as well as strong female friendship – no cattiness in my story, no frenemies, just true loyal quality friendship like the relationships I have with my female friends), mystery, humour.  I’ve also been a temp to make ends meet so I know what it’s like to be an assistant and not really get the credit or respect you are really owed.  I figured pairing that with the sexism of the Late Victorian/Early Edwardian period could result in a pretty interesting story about girls finding their way in life, as well as learning that they are strong individuals and worthy of stepping out of the shadow of their bosses.

In general I have an interest in (and distaste for) labels and how society puts everyone into categories and doesn’t seem to want to recognise people as individuals.  This is also why I address classism and racism in my story, not just sexism. 

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Nellie?

[Adrienne Kress] Honest, sweet (though prone to anger), bold

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Cora won’t leave the house without.

[Adrienne Kress] Her pistol that her boss, Lord White, had customised for her.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Michiko’s bedroom?

[Adrienne Kress] Comfortable bedding, any decorative features, friends. (Michiko lives with her boss, Sir Callum Fielding-Shaw, and he doesn’t treat her particularly well.  He provides a roof over her head and food, but not much else.  He also doesn’t permit visitors.)

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Adrienne Kress] Douglas Adams, Shakespeare, Edward Gorey, children’s authors such as A.A. Milne, Lewis Carroll, J.M. Barrie, Norton Juster

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Adrienne Kress] Computer, tea, focus

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Adrienne Kress] A rather disturbing (and definitely not for kids) adult fantasy novel called THE PATTERN SCARS by Caitlin Sweet

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Adrienne Kress] I can’t think of just one.  The books of Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary really made me love reading as a kid.  But THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY made me see books (and writing) in a whole different light.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Adrienne Kress] I’m a huge cinephile, so I enjoy going to the movies a lot.  Otherwise just spending time with friends and family makes me perfectly content.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Adrienne Kress] Easiest way is to email me at adriennekress(at)gmail(dot)com.  Or I’m on Twitter at @AdrienneKress.  I also have a website (and blog): www.adriennekress.com

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

You can order The Friday Society from your favorite bookseller or by following the links below.  In stores December 6th.

About the book:

An action-packed tale of gowns, guys, guns–and the heroines who use them all

Set in turn of the century London, The Friday Society follows the stories of three very intelligent and talented young women, all of whom are assistants to powerful men: Cora, lab assistant; Michiko, Japanese fight assistant; and Nellie, magician’s assistant. The three young women’s lives become inexorably intertwined after a chance meeting at a ball that ends with the discovery of a murdered mystery man.

It’s up to these three, in their own charming but bold way, to solve the murder–and the crimes they believe may be connected to it–without calling too much attention to themselves.

Set in the past but with a modern irreverent flare, this Steampunk whodunit introduces three unforgettable and very ladylike–well, relatively ladylike–heroines poised for more dangerous adventures.

Cover Shot! Heart of Iron by Bec McMaster

Cover Shot! is a regular feature here at the Café.  I love discovering new covers, and when I find them, I like to share.  More than anything else, I am consumed with the mystery that each new discovery represents.  There is an allure to a beautiful cover.  Will the story contained under the pages live up to promise of the gorgeous cover art?

The second book in Bec McMaster’s steampunk series, Heart of Iron, recently had a cover reveal.  While I love the covers and the commotion in the background, I wish we could see a little more of the guy’s face. 

In stores May 2013

 

In Victorian London, if you’re not a blue blood of the Echelon then you’re nothing at all. The Great Houses rule the city with an iron fist, imposing their strict ‘blood taxes’ on the nation, and the Queen is merely a puppet on a string…

Lena Todd makes the perfect spy. Nobody suspects the flirtatious debutante could be a sympathizer for the humanist movement haunting London’s vicious blue blood elite. Not even the ruthless Will Carver, the one man she can’t twist around her little finger, and the one man whose kiss she can’t forget…

Stricken with the loupe and considered little more than a slave-without-a-collar to the blue bloods, Will wants nothing to do with the Echelon or the dangerous beauty who drives him to the very edge of control. But when he finds a coded letter on Lena—a code that matches one he saw on a fire-bombing suspect—he realizes she’s in trouble. To protect her, he must seduce the truth from her.

With the humanists looking to start a war with the Echelon, Lena and Will must race against time—and an automaton army—to stop the humanist plot before it’s too late. But as they fight to save a city on the brink of revolution, the greatest danger might just be to their hearts…

Excerpt: Wyoming Bride by Joan Johnston

I am back from Disney World, trying to recover from a week long vacation from work and a cold.  Dean and I have dubbed WDW the germiest place on earth, because we always get sick there.  I even got a flu shot this year!  Please enjoy this Romance @ Random excerpt of Wyoming Bride by Joan Johnston while I recharge and attempt to get back on track with the blog posts.

 

WYOMING BRIDE by Joan Johnston, Excerpt

About the book:

The sensational second novel in Joan Johnston’s new Western historical romance series set in the world of Bitter Creek.

CAN SECRETS AND SECOND CHOICES EVER LEAD TO LOVE?

After three months in a mail-order marriage, Hannah Wentworth McMurtry is a widow—pregnant, alone, and near death in the Wyoming wilderness. Though she is saved by a man with a face cut from stone, she still grieves the husband who died on their journey west. Hannah needs a husband, but does she dare marry another stranger?

Flint Creed has also lost someone he loved—when the woman he hoped to marry chose his younger brother instead. Now he must find a ranch wife of his own. But every female in the remote Wyoming Territory is too old, too young, or already married . . . until he discovers Hannah on the prairie. Flint doesn’t pretend to love her, but he doesn’t tell her he loves another woman, either. Hannah doesn’t pretend to love him, but she doesn’t tell him about the child she carries. Though danger surrounds them on the Wyoming frontier, the greatest threats of all are the secrets within—revelations that could destroy the new life Hannah and Flint have begun to cherish.

If you enjoyed this excerpt, follow the links below to purchase a copy.

Cover Shot! Cold Copper by Devon Monk

Cover Shot! is a regular feature here at the Café.  I love discovering new covers, and when I find them, I like to share.  More than anything else, I am consumed with the mystery that each new discovery represents.  There is an allure to a beautiful cover.  Will the story contained under the pages live up to promise of the gorgeous cover art?

Oh. My!  I love this cover!  The dude is hot and look at how fierce his expression is!  This is on the wish list!  In stores July 2013  (gives me time to catch up on the series!)

 

 

 

Not available

Review: Construction Beauty Queen by Sara Daniel

 

 

Title: Construction Beauty Queen

Author: Sara Daniel

Publisher: Entangled

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

Chicago socialite Veronica Jamison is determined to shake off her sheltered lifestyle and overbearing parents. She heads to her grandfather’s small town of Kortville, ready to roll up her sleeves and work for the family construction business. She’ll prove her worth, even if it means answering to the company’s ruggedly handsome co-owner, Matt.

Matt Shaw just wants to run his business, spend time with the niece he’s raising on his own, and give back to the townspeople who have stood by him. Managing a spoiled-rotten princess he knows he’ll never be good enough for? Not part of his plan. But as he gets to know Veronica, he learns there’s more to her than her beautiful looks and designer clothes. She’s got a heart as rich as her background.
With the quirky townspeople rallying against Veronica inheriting her grandfather’s business, it’s up to Matt to try to drive her out of town. But how can he, when instead she’s driving her way into his heart?


Review:

I really wanted to like this book, but I never connected with the secondary characters.  In fact, I thought most of them were just plain mean, especially at the beginning.  Veronica has just arrived in the tiny town of Kortville with a basketful of dreams.  She wants to escape the meaningless life her parents have planned for her, and stand on her own two feet.  She wants to make a difference with her life.  She wants a real job, and she has worked her tail off for years, first by graduating from college, and then earning an MBA which she paid for all by herself, thank you very much.  Her parents can’t see the sense of her having an education, since she’s just going to marry the man of their choosing anyway.  Uh, no thanks, Mom and Dad!

After emailing her grandfather, Veronica has been given a challenge.  If she can stick it out for 30 days working at the construction firm her grandfather has a stake in, he will let her take over operations at his successful distribution firm.  Putting every bit of faith in this man she has never met, Veronica sells everything she owns to pay off her college loans, purchases a clunker of a car, and makes the journey from Chicago to Kortville.  Once there, she is met with nothing but contempt.  The residents resent her because her grandfather was going to sell his company and invest the profits in the town.  Matt, the guy who owns the other half of the construction company, makes her feel as welcome as an army of fire ants at a picnic.  It is all of these awful people and their determined efforts to derail Veronica’s plans that kept me from engaging in the plot.  I couldn’t stand these people.  Matt and her grandfather even put her in harm’s way, instructing her to undertake tasks that she was clearly not ready for.  I had to hand it to her, though.  She didn’t know how to accept defeat, and she never gave up.  Besides Matt’s young niece, Veronica is the only character in this entire book that I had any bit of respect for.  Even Matt, super studly construction dude, was a turd, constantly putting her in situations where she could have been seriously hurt.

I had a hard time getting behind the romance because I didn’t like Matt.  He was dumped by his big city girlfriend after he moved to tiny Kortville, and as a result, he couldn’t give Veronica any slack at all.  He made an effort to keep his niece firmly isolated from “girly” things, too, lest she turn into a fashion snob and want to leave town, too.  This did not earn any brownie points for Matt.  Neither did his constant projection of his ex’s faults onto Veronica.  He gave her nothing but grief for the first half of the book because she was from the big city and had a wealthy upbringing.  Then, after proving herself time and time again, he gave her grief because she had ideas how he could expand his business and make it more profitable.  I didn’t get this, and it made Matt look like a hick.  He didn’t want the ability to provide a better life for his niece?  At this point, I just wished that Veronica would walk away from him and the rest of the narrow-minded town.

Overall, the behavior of the secondary characters diminished my enjoyment of Construction Beauty Queen.  I did not enjoy how they trivialized Veronica at every opportunity.  It made me angry because she never treated them with anything other than warmth and openness.  The residents of Kortville did eventually make a turn around, but I was so irritated with them by then that it didn’t make a difference to me.

Grade:  C-

Review copy provided by publisher

Waiting on Wednesday–In the After by Demitria Lunetta

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

In stores June 2013

      

Attack. Not isolated. Fate of Americans unknown.

Amy is watching TV when it happens, when the world is attacked by Them. These vile creatures are rapidly devouring mankind. Most of the population is overtaken, but Amy manages to survive—and even rescue “Baby,” a toddler she finds in an abandoned supermarket. Marooned in Amy’s house, the girls do everything they can to survive—and avoid Them at all costs.

After years of hiding, they are miraculously rescued and taken to New Hope, a colony of survivors living in a former government research compound. While at first the colony seems like a dream with plenty of food, safety, and shelter, New Hope slowly reveals that it is far from ideal. And Amy soon realizes that unless things change, she’ll lose Baby—and much more.

Rebellious, courageous, and tender, this unforgettable duo will have you on the edge of your seat as you tear through the pulse-pounding narrow escapes and horrifying twists of fate in this thrilling debut from author Demitria Lunetta.

What are you waiting on?

COVER REVEAL: Hector by Elizabeth Reyes

Elizabeth Reyes revealed the cover for Hector, the third book in her 5th Street series.  This is a New Age/ Mature YA contemporary novel.  Hop over to Elizabeth’s blog to enter her mega giveaway! Link is at the bottom of this post.

 



 
Author
 

"I write because I must. It’s not a choice or a pastime, it’s an unyielding calling and my passion."
~Elizabeth Reyes~