Friday, March 31, 2017

The Uncommoners: The Crooked Sixpence by Jennifer Bell

Hi there!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

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Well, March is about to get its marching orders as we bid farewell to it's tumultuous weather and welcome...well, the month of showers, but they are said to bring the flowers so I'm still approaching it with a positive attitude .  ^-^  Anywho...

Today, we're diving between the pages of a recently released title via Random House Children's Books.  It's a work of Fiction that takes us below the streets of London to a place like you've never seen with people most uncommon and things that have purposes way outside the norm...at least how we know them in the common world. Ladies and gents, put on your best Hobsmatch and get ready to travel by suitcase (yes BY not WITH) as we greet today's book of choice...


The Uncommoners, Book 1
by
Jennifer Bell
9780553498431
Crown Books for Young Readers

About the book...
Welcome to a world where nothing is quite as it seems…

When their grandmother Sylvie is rushed to the hospital, Ivy Sparrow and her annoying big brother Seb cannot imagine what adventure lies in store. Soon their house is ransacked by unknown intruders, and a very strange policeman turns up on the scene, determined to apprehend them . . . with a toilet brush. 

Ivy and Seb make their escape only to find themselves in a completely uncommon world, a secret underground city called Lundinor where ordinary objects have amazing powers. There are belts that enable the wearer to fly, yo-yos that turn into weapons, buttons with healing properties, and other enchanted objects capable of very unusual feats.

But the forces of evil are closing in fast, and when Ivy and Seb learn that their family is connected to one of the greatest uncommon treasures of all time, they must race to unearth the treasure and get to the bottom of a family secret . . . before it’s too late.



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What begins as an accident, soon becomes a mystery most uncommon...

First, we make the acquaintance of the Sparrow children, Ivy and Seb, as they are forced into more grown up roles while parent-less-ly dealing with their grandma Sylvie's uncommon accident.  No, please don't shed any tears, she's still with us but only just...and there's much more danger ahead, so put on your big girl/boy pants, you're gonna need them. You see, though injured and bruised, it's the lack of "self" that concerns everyone most...not to mention the lurking man in gray, the mysterious feather pen gouging messages in walls, and ...wait, why do I smell wet dog?  *-* There's much to discover, uncover, and remember, as Ivy, Seb, and their growing cast of friends and not-so-friends, try to stop Twelfth Night 1969 from happening all over again and this time with even more dastardly results.  

It's exciting, it's curious, it's downright Lundinor at its finest and this is just the first book in the series!  Ivy was a sweet girl with a stubborn streak and a kind heart, and her brother seems to have a good head on his shoulders, but the tasks ahead could prove too mountainous even for them.   Good thing they have new friends they can depend on, right?  Umm, yes and no.  These are trying times and everyone's allegiance is called under fire.  Just when you think someone is on the side of good, BAM...something happens to throw them back under the doubt bus.  One things for certain though, if they can't stop the Dirge (uber bad and creepy group from long time past that wants to rule both common and uncommon worlds) despite being new to this whole uncommon under world, BOTH their worlds are at risk for meeting their expiration date.

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In the end, I was gobsmacked by the murder, mystery, and creative fun within!  I mean, come on!  A suitcase that really cuts down on travel time, a toilet brush that can incapacitate people, a yo-yo that creates vortexes, not to mention the vast range of "different people" that call Lundinor home, how can you NOT want to be a part of it all?!  My favorite uncommon item, Scratch.  LOVE that little bell!  Don't laugh, you'll see when you read it.  ^-^  It's an adventure and a half that ties our world and theirs together just right, blurring the line between reality and fiction enough to make current Londoners think twice when they hear a whisper there one shouldn't be. Recommended for Middle Grade readers and beyond.  The adventure does get dark in some places so wee readers below the target audience may want to consider bringing an adult with them for the ride.






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About the author...

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Londoner Jennifer Bell began working in children’s books as a specialist bookseller at Foyles, Charing Cross Road, one of the world’s most famous bookstores. After having the privilege of listening to children talk about their favorite books for many years, she started writing a book of her own on her lunch breaks. You can follow Jennifer on Twitter at @jenrosebell.


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Penguin Random House

Special thanks to Josh at Random House Children's Books for the ARC for review.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title, the author, or the publisher, feel free to click through the links provided above.  This title is available now via Crown Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Random House, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf or virtual retailer of your choosing.

Until next time, remember...if it looks good, READ IT!



Thursday, March 30, 2017

BOOK SPOTLIGHT: Mineran Influence by P.N. Burrows + EXCERPT!

HI guys!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

Today, we're joining a Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tour already in progress starring a work of Science Fiction.  What's that?  I don't normally feature sci-fi?  Ah yes, there you would be correct, however, from time to time I have been known to dabble...consider this the dabble. ^-^  Ladies and gents, if you'd be so kind to direct your attention front and center as our spotlight title is on deck...



Mineran Series, Book 1
by
P.N. Burrows

About the book...
Sam, an ex-soldier who is trying to rediscover himself after twenty years of service, unwittingly stumbles upon a mysterious alien presence in rural Wales. He is drawn into a tangled web of intrigue, pitting him against forces bent on destruction and putting his life in peril. Feeling mentally eroded by his time in the army and having worked hard to overcome this, he is thrust upon an alien journey that will change his life and beliefs in a profound way.

Claims of benevolence are only the beginning of the mysteries he'll have to unravel as doubt and mistrust haunt him. He will have to form unlikely alliances in order to fathom the mysteries at the secret Mineran enclave, where intrigue, deception and imminent danger reside.

His journey for answers will introduce him to pernicious enemies with hidden agendas, as a heinous plot to kill him unravels. Can he defeat his personal demons to secure justice and discover the truth of who or what is behind the nefarious machinations and why?


AMAZON  US  |  UK


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~~~~ EXCERPT ~~~~

Sam could see rows of large stacked cubes. They were polished bright, reflecting the light from overhead. Sam cast a questioning glance at Reb.
‘Would it make sense if I said they are a by-product of the process? To be precise, they are two-metre tall cubes of solid steel or eight cubic metres of steel weighing over sixty-two thousand kilogrammes each. Does that help?’ The sarcastic tone failed to mask Reb’s amusement at Sam’s quandary.
Sam touched one of the cubes as he walked by. The sides were perfectly smooth, and he couldn’t see the top as it was above his head height. The edges and corners were rounded, giving the cubes a look of gigantic dice.
A subdued glow was faintly visible from the end of the conveyor. Sam calculated it to be a quarter of a mile away. He didn’t bother to figure out how many barrels were passing him on the conveyor. A steady stream of them, spaced six feet apart, were travelling lengthways, slightly faster than the pace they were walking at. They disappeared ahead, near the glow. Sam could not make out what was happening, it all seemed to be occurring in shadows, which didn’t make sense as it was also glowing.
He picked up his pace a bit, subconsciously eager to solve the mystery. ‘Do I need to wear a suit or anything?’ he enquired.
‘No, but do not and I stress DO NOT touch anything. In fact, put your hands in your pockets when you get there,’ Reb replied cryptically.
He could feel the heat; it was definitely getting warmer as he drew nearer to the glow. The air had the feel of a smithy he had once visited. It had a perceptible ferrous taste. He could partially see the end wall of the tunnel thirty or forty feet behind the glow, but something large and dark was obscuring the view.
The conveyor ended suddenly with a short downward section. The barrels seemed to enter a dark cave. Bastards, he thought, they are dumping the drums, after all, that bullshit and holier-than-thou crap he had been fed. The bright glow prevented him from seeing into the new cave or tunnel entrance. It seemed to be a set of ultra-bright strip lights. In his haste, Sam had gotten ahead of Reb at this point; he looked back with anger in his eyes.
‘You go ahead, I’ll catch you up. For your own safety, please do not go up the gantry steps or go into the red zone.’
Sam didn’t realise it, but he had broken out into a small jog as he strained to see clearly what was happening. What seemed to be a tunnel entrance from further back must be the opening of a large twenty-foot diameter pipe, whose opening was facing directly at him as the opening was floating in the centre of the tunnel.
He could see the barrels rise to the top of the conveyor’s apex and then descend, lost in the illumination from the bright strip lights. At thirty feet, his assumptions fell apart. He could see that the glowing strip lights were, in fact, a constant stream of bright luminescent liquid flowing into a grill in the floor. ‘None of this makes sense,’ he muttered to himself. ‘If the liquid was the toxic waste, what’s the pipe for?’ He looked back at Reb. ‘I don’t understand, you’re just dumping it all into the ground, but what’s the pipe for?’
‘Look closer, Sam, you not allowing yourself to see the truth.’





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About author P.N. Burrows....


Born in England and raised in Wales, I started my working life on a farm in the glorious rural Welsh countryside. I retrained to become an IT Consultant and having spent thousands on Microsoft, CompTIA and Cisco qualifications; I also obtained a contract to run and teach at a Cisco Academy in England. After this, I became a small business IT Advisor for WCBC and the Welsh Government. As this funding dried up, I retrained as a Business Advisor and have since helped thousands of people start up their own businesses.

In my leisure time, I work my way through a comprehensive bucket list with my Fiancée, Cath. This has caused us great delight as we have attended various courses and fun days out, such as beekeeping, pottery making, stained glass making, painting course, cooking courses, hawk walks, animal experiences, quad biking, gorge walking and much more. Our favourite one is learning to dance. This activity has remained with us and will hopefully do so for the rest of our lives. We can do a reasonable Waltz, collapse in laughter trying the Viennese Waltz, but it is the 1920’s Lindy Hop that we have fallen in love with. After three years of dancing, we still attend regular dance classes and events.

Strangely, for an ex-geek, my favourite gadget is my Italian Marcato pasta machine. I love real, unprocessed food and my freshly made pasta with a home cooked sauce is amazing.

I have always enjoyed reading, and in my early teenage years, I read authors ranging from Harry Harrison to HG Wells. Later in life, I turned to thriller writers such as the 3 C’s; Clancy, Cussler and Child. Also, I will always have a Pratchett book on my phone for light reading. His imagination was and always will be, inspiring. I have wanted to write the Mineran Series for several years prior to actually starting and with the encouragement from Cath, who has suffered my many varied, imaginative pranks over the years, I have begun.


SITE  |  TWITTER  |  FACEBOOK



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Special thanks to Cami at RAVBT for the chance to participate in this promotion.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title, the author, THIS TOUR, or those on the horizon, feel free to click through the links provided above.  This title is available now, so click on over to your favorite online retailer to snag your copy today.

Until next time, remember....if it looks good, READ IT!




Wednesday, March 29, 2017

BLOG TOUR: A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold

Hi there!
Welcome back to post number two for the day here at the most bookish place in the blogosphere (okay, ONE of the most bookish ^-^), Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.


Today, we're diving between the pages of a Children's Fiction release from Walden Pond Press.  I've actually been waiting to talk about this book for a while now (way to keep the anticipation building guys!  ^-^), as I had the honor of reading an ARC at the start of the year, but until the blog tour rolled around, I had to play mum...mostly.  What?  You can't tell me you haven't wanted to spill the beans or at least hint at the goodness that awaits a new reader when you've gotten your hands on a copy pre-release...because if you do, you'll be fibbing and Bat knows that's not a good thing to do, and so should you.  Speaking of Bat, let's get back to stacks and discover my journey through the pages of today's blog tour guest and book of choice...



by
Elana K. Arnold
Illustrated by
Charles Santoso
9780062445827

About the book...
From acclaimed author Elana K. Arnold and with illustrations by Charles Santoso, A Boy Called Bat is the first book in a funny, heartfelt, and irresistible young middle grade series starring an unforgettable young boy on the autism spectrum.

For Bixby Alexander Tam (nicknamed Bat), life tends to be full of surprises—some of them good, some not so good. Today, though, is a good-surprise day. Bat’s mom, a veterinarian, has brought home a baby skunk, which she needs to take care of until she can hand him over to a wild-animal shelter.

But the minute Bat meets the kit, he knows they belong together. And he’s got one month to show his mom that a baby skunk might just make a pretty terrific pet.





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Is it any wonder why Bat thought the kit and he were a perfect fit?  Just look how CUTE that little guy is up there!  It's hard to imagine anyone not falling in love with him....but the kit's cuteness isn't in question here.  The real question or lesson here is in learning that what's best for others, in this case the little kit, may not always be exactly what WE desire, but it doesn't make it any less of a good choice.  That can be hard enough for the average adult to understand but when you're dealing with unsinkable youth and a type of learning impairment, it can turn even more challenging in a heartbeat. Especially when that someone has their heart set on a new little black and white pet... 

That learning obstacle I mentioned, is autism and it is just that, an obstacle.  I choose to see it as a different way of thinking, not a disability, because in truth, many autistic individuals are ridiculously intelligent to the point of sheer genius, they just relate to others differently.  We all have our strengths and we all have our weaknesses, but in spite of those, we make connections through common interests, a friendly smile, or even a moment where we laughed at ourselves for the sheer audacity of it all.  Bat connects with the world most easily through the animals he loves.  His knowledge on the topic is astounding, and his desire to learn more equally awesome, which makes him the prime candidate to convince his veterinarian mother that THIS is the pet for him.  Yeah...about that...

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Before you get too attached, let me tell you this, they make the right choice for all in the end, allowing Bat to grow from the experience while still realizing that not everything can be the way we want simply because we desire it that way.  I think the author does a great job of letting us behind the eyes of such a wonderful character and I for one feel THAT much richer having "met" him, as I believe you will too.  It's a great story overall for young and old alike, but also a good way to help kids along the same lines as Bat know they are not alone, in this world or the fictitious one. 



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About the author...

Elana K. Arnold grew up in Southern California, where she was lucky enough to have her own perfect pet—a gorgeous mare named Rainbow—and a family who let her read as many books as she wanted. She is the author of picture books, middle grade novels, and books for teens. She lives in Huntington Beach, California, with her husband, two children, and a menagerie of animals. You can find her online at www.elanakarnold.com.



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Special thanks to Danielle at Walden Pond Press for the ARC for review as well as the chance to bring this tour to you.  (THANKS!) Fore more information on this title, the author, or the publisher, feel free to click through the links provided above.  This title just celebrated its BOOK BIRTHDAY earlier this month via Walden Pond Press, an imprint of HarperCollins, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf or virtual retailer of your choosing.


BE SURE TO CHECK OUT THE OTHER SITES ON THIS TOUR FOR MORE GREAT POSTS, FEATURES, AND FUN!

March 14 All the Wonders
March 15 Teach Mentor Texts
March 19 Nerdy Book Club
March 30 LitCoachLou




Until next time, remember...if it looks good, READ IT!




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