Monday, July 31, 2017

What could change... IN 27 DAYS by Alison Gervais

Hi there!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

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As we usher out the month of July (can you believe it's already over?!), I figured we'd go out on a high note with a review of a NEW RELEASE title from Blink, the YA division of Zondervan.  It's a story that I started and finished in the space of a day (give or take an hour), but will carry the message with me for a lifetime.  Now, I will warn you up front, it does deal with some strong issues like suicide, Death, PTSD, and criminal acts, but the story is definitely one to remember.  Ready or not, here comes today's book of choice...

9780310759058, In 27 Days, Alison Gervais

by
Alison Gervais
9780310759058
Blink

About the book...
Hadley Jamison is shocked when she hears that her classmate, Archer Morales, has committed suicide. She didn’t know the quiet, reserved guy very well, but that doesn’t stop her from feeling there was something she could have done to help him. Hoping to find some sense of closure, Hadley attends Archer’s funeral. There, Hadley is approached by a man who calls himself Death and offers her a deal. If Hadley accepts, she will be sent back 27 days in time to prevent Archer from killing himself. But when Hadley agrees to Death’s terms and goes back to right the past, she quickly learns her mission is harder than she ever could have known.

Hadley soon discovers Archer’s reasons for being alone, and Archer realizes that having someone to confide in isn’t as bad as he’d always thought. But when a series of dangerous accidents starts pushing them apart, Hadley must decide whether she is ready to risk everything—including her life—to keep Archer safe.



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What would YOU do if Death sat down with you for a cup of Joe?  What if he wanted to talk about propositions and the opportunity to save a life ended too soon? Would you ask 'where do I sign' or would you shy away?

It wasn't a question for Hadley, despite not really being acquainted with the young man in question. She and Archer had crossed paths once-upon-a-time, but they ran in different social circles, and we all know how high school goes...well, for most of us anyway.  That doesn't stop her from being any less human and feeling that what transpired was wrong. That doesn't make him any less human for succumbing to his own weakness when all else seemed lost. We're all a part of the same race here, and sometimes we just need to know that someone else is there, someone cares, someone would notice the lack of our presence if we suddenly weren't there. Over the course of the next (or rather previous) 27 days, they get to know each other better than anyone else knows them...and yet, that barely scratches the surface. Will it be enough to change the path of a mind already set? You'll have to read it to see, but trust me when I say, the message is clear...the smallest act of human kindness, the most insignificant seeming of actions we take to reach out to someone today, can actually change their tomorrow.


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So grab copy and get cozy in your favorite reading spot. Prepare to meet our leads, their families, and all the drama a life can offer...plus a little from the other side of that coin.  It's a great read for teens and older, and a great reminder to have courage and be kind in all that we do.



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About the author...

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Watty Award-winning author Alison Gervais has been writing for as long as she can remember. In 2011, she began posting her work on Wattpad.com and has been active on the site ever since. If she's not writing, she can be found re-reading Harry Potter, watching Supernatural, or trying to win the affection of her two cats, Kovu and Rocket.



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Special thanks to Zonderkidz for the copy for review as part of the Z Blog Squad.  (THANKS!)  For 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 this week, 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!






Sunday, July 30, 2017

STORYBOOK SUNDAY: The Bedtime Book by Mary Engelbreit

HI guys and gals!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.


We're celebrating another day of bookish fun with Storybook Sunday! For those not up to speed on the post, I read a lot of great storybooks and thought, why not give them their own day in the sun. Hence, Storybook Sunday! Feel free to join the fun and create a post on your own site with the same name. I'd love to see any linked up in the comments! Anywho...back to the matter at hand.

Today, we're celebrating those clouds of gray as we discover just how much fun can be had both in and after the rain via a Templar Books release that hit a little earlier this year.  So, if you'd be so kind as to grab your rain gear, we can get this party started!  Today's storybook on deck is...

by
Mary Engelbreit
9780310733294
Zonderkidz


This is a beautiful collection of prose, prayer, and illustrations.  Each two page spread is a full colored wonderland of images for readers, as well as the wee ones in their care, to explore, marvel at, and ultimately cherish.  We've the familiar inclusion of Twinkle Twinkle with a star shining brightly from above, the humorous Counting Sheep with a little piggy who can't seem to make his way to dreamland, and the adorable Sound Asleep that shares how our animal friends love to tuck in for the night, among other whimsical tales just right for settling in for a good night. It'd make a wondrous addition to any home library, or classroom collection, for perusal at bedtime, nap time, or quite frankly...anytime!



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About the author/illustrator...

Photo by Susan Jackson http://www.susanjacksonphoto.com/
Photo from author's site
Mary Engelbreit grew up studying the illustrations in the vintage storybooks of her mother’s own childhood, and she developed a unique style that harkens back to those simpler times. Mary’s distinctive images have made her a celebrity to millions, who eagerly snap up gift items, calendars, books, fabrics, and more. Mary’s dearest wish has always been to illustrate for children. Her New York Times bestselling The Night Before Christmas is already part of the holiday tradition for families across the country.


SITE  |  FACEBOOK  |  TWITTER


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Special thanks to Joshua and the entirety of the Zonderkidz team for the copy 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 just celebrated its BOOK BIRTHDAY this past Tuesday, 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!



Saturday, July 29, 2017

The Sinking of the Angie Piper by Chris Riley

HI there!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

Today, we're sailing through rough seas to bring you an adventure filled work of Fiction that reads like real life.  It's the debut novel from this new talent and I can already see the makings of a huge following in a few of the niche genre fans.  So, if you like adventure, the great (and not so great) outdoors, internal struggles, and true to life accounts of the heck life can put us through with a glimmer of hope at the end...get your sea legs ready because we're pulling out of port with today's book of choice...


by
Chris Riley
9781603813891
Coffeetown Press

About the book...
Ed and his childhood friend Danny are gearing up in Kodiak, Alaska, preparing to join the Angie Piper’s crew for another season of crab fishing. Ed is a relative newcomer, but despite the perils of the trade, he sees no reason to fear for Danny’s safety. The Angie Piper has always been blessed. She has a stalwart captain, Fred, a crack engineer, Dave, and two time-tested pros to keep the rest of the operation running smoothly, exuberant Loni and the more reticent Salazar. Every season has a greenhorn, the one who works for a pittance in order to learn the ropes. This time around it is Ed’s friend Danny, no ordinary crewman. Their shared history is complex. Though strong, brave, and hardworking, Danny is a simple soul, and Ed is weighed down by guilt, dark memories of the many times he failed to defend his friend against the inevitable bullying. And cantankerous Dave believes Danny is a bad omen, so much so that his bitter opposition may endanger them all. The season starts off strong, and the crew is elated by the bounty of their catch. Then their luck turns. The skies grow dark, the waves swell, and Mother Nature bears down on them with her full arsenal. When the storm finally abates, who will live to tell the tale?




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This one has me reading with shades of The Sea WolfMoby DickThe Perfect Storm, and those Discover Channel crabbing shows a few years back, floating through my mind...but in a good way!  A wild, exciting adventure upon the high seas, full of danger, hardships, and uncertainty... but also triumphs, self realizations, and hope. 

We know from the start that the Angie Piper is going down...hence the title...but though we know that for fact, the when and how are still up in the air, as is every little thing that will transpire in-between.  The crew is a memorable collection of personalities.  Straight from the port, there's friendly ribbing, bets, and letting loose before the work really begins, but there is also uncertainty and speculation as to the intelligence behind bringing on board a certain greenhorn.  Seriously, it may not have bothered Danny, but for the love of Pete, I was ready to come through the epage and take those macho muckups down to size.  They weren't even prepared to give him a chance to prove himself, which happened to be the only part that his "friend" really opened his mouth about.  I'm sorry, but Ed really had a lot to learn about friendship despite the years these two had been a duo.  He may have known how to talk to Danny and teach him, but that's only half (if that!) the duty of a true friend. Luckily for him, he's about to learn that lesson...the HARD way...and with terrible repercussions that may end any chance he has to be the better man he claims to want to be. 

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In the end, it's definitely top pick for adventure seekers, both of the armchair and real life varieties, that puts you right there in the action, for better or worse.  Though a rough and tumble crew, the way they come together when all heck breaks loose, will steal your breath and stir your heart.  Danny is the unlikely hero in this group, but that heart of gold and innocent determination refused to be extinguished.  (Hooyah to you Danny!) So, strap on a life vest and prepare to be amazed as you climb aboard the ill-fated Angie Piper for a final voyage she, nor we, are likely to forget.





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About the author...

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Raised in southern California, Chris Riley moved to the Pacific Northwest for college, where he quickly grew accustomed to the colder climate. Since college, he has worked through a variety of careers, until becoming a school teacher for students with special needs. Ambition not yet quenched, he began an additional career in writing, and has had nominal success with the short form markets, before delving into the longer narrative.

Chris’ debut novel, THE SINKING OF THE ANGIE PIPER, is a coming-of-age story about an Alaskan crab fisherman who learns what it takes to be a man from his best friend with Down’s syndrome. Compared to as both “literate and heart-pounding,” the novel combines the elements of human survival, forgiveness, and tear-jerking triumph, against a backdrop of the harsh, Alaskan seas.

Currently, Chris lives in central California with his wife and children, hiding from the heat, and slowly unearthing his second novel. He vows one day to return to the Pacific Northwest.





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Special thanks to author Chris Riley for the ebook for review.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title, the author, or his future works, feel free to click through the links included above.  This title is available now, 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!




Friday, July 28, 2017

SPOTLIGHT ON: My Weirdest School, Fast Facts, and Author Dan Gutman!

HI there!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

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Today, we're shining the spotlight on the one and only, author Dan Gutman!  At some point in your reading journey, you're bound to have stumbled upon, read, or shared one of his plethora of releases (The Genius Files fan, right here!).  From Children's Fiction to Middle Grade series, his work is spread throughout the genre, and now, he's not only adding to his EVER POPULAR My Weirdest School series, but he and his beloved characters are branching out into the Non-Fiction realm as well. Let's take a look at THREE of his latest releases to see what all the BUZZ is about...


9780062429339 
In this eighth book in the new My Weirdest School series, it’s Grandparents Day at Ella Mentry School! Alexia’s grandmother Mrs. Master makes weird inventions for a living, but A.J. and the gang come up with the weirdest invention of all. And they’re going to make a bazillion dollars from it! Will they succeed? Or will their great big idea be flushed down the drain? Perfect for reluctant readers and word lovers alike, Dan Gutman’s hugely popular My Weird School chapter book series has something for everyone. Don’t miss the hilarious adventures of A.J. and the gang!


My Weird School FAST FACTS:
9780062306234
Think fast with A.J. and Andrea from My Weird School! Did you know that the word “independence” never appears in the Declaration of Independence? Did you know that soldiers in World War I collected thousands of glowworms in jars to help them see at night?! Learn more weird-but-true U.S. history facts with A.J. and Andrea from Dan Gutman’s bestselling My Weird School series. This all-new series of nonfiction books features hundreds of hysterical facts, plus lots of photos and illustrations. Whether you're a kid who wants to learn more about our country's history or simply someone who wants to know how many Americans are involved in toilet-related injuries each year, this is the book for you!


My Weird School FAST FACTS:
9780062306265 
Think fast with A.J. and Andrea from My Weird School! Did you know that the planet Jupiter has at least fifty moons? Did you know that Albert Einstein’s brain was stolen after he died?! Learn more weird-but-true science facts with A.J. and Andrea from Dan Gutman’s bestselling My Weird School series. This all-new series of nonfiction books features hundreds of hysterical facts, plus lots of photos and illustrations. Whether you’re a kid who wants to learn more about science or simply someone who wants to know how many million times the earth could fit into the sun, this is the book for you!




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Pretty cool stuff, right?
That's what I thought too...
...but I also had some questions and wouldn't you know it?
The author was kind enough to answer them AND MORE!
Let's give a BIG SFIR WELCOME to author Dan Gutman!



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INTERVIEW:  AUTHOR DAN GUTMAN

Dan GutmanHow did you come up with the very first weird school story?
It was 2003.  My daughter Emma was in second grade.  Up until that point, my books had all been for older kids.  I was doing a lot of school visits, and I didn’t have much to say to the little ones.  So I thought I should try something for a younger audience.  Emma was reading Junie B Jones at the time, and I thought there should be something like that told by a boy.  So I wrote “Miss Daisy Is Crazy!” and dedicated it (of course) to Emma.  That was the start of My Weird School.  We’re past sixty books now, and it has by far been the most successful thing I ever wrote.  And Emma is almost finished with college.

Of all the titles you've released, which one would you most like to get lost between the pages of?
“Johnny Hangtime.”  It is the story of a kid who is a Hollywood stunt man.  So he’s always jumping out of windows, setting himself on fire, stuff like that.  “Johnny Hangtime” was not a successful book, but I have always thought it was my best.  Usually, the stuff I think is my best doesn’t sell.

Does it ever feel old hat or are you just as excited for your latest releases as you were the first? 
To be completely honest, nothing compared to the excitement when my first books came out.  “Honus & Me” was rejected by ten publishers from 1995-1997.  “Casey Back At Bat” was rejected by twenty publishers over the course of ten years.  When those two books finally got accepted and were published, it was a BIG deal.  It’s still a great feeling when I get the first copy of a new book in the mail, but it’s not nearly as exciting as when I was starting out and having to prove myself.

Two of your latest releases are the first and second book in your new NONFICTION series, My Weird School Fast Facts.  Why the turn to reality, so to speak?
Actually, “Fast Facts” was not my idea.  My publisher, HarperCollins, suggested it.  But it was a good idea, and I’m really having fun letting my fictional characters A.J. and Andrea argue with each other about sports, geography, science, and history.   I like learning new things and telling kids about them.  There will be more Fast Facts books to come: Animals, Dinosaurs, and more
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If you hadn't taken the road of the writer, where do you think your career path would have led?
Well, I would have been a rock and roll star if I had any musical ability.  But I don’t.  I would have been a professional baseball player if I had any athletic ability.  But I don’t.  So if I wasn’t writing books for kids, I would probably get a job working on a newspaper, a magazine, or a web site.  Something working with words.

Any advice for readers out there wishing to follow in your footsteps as they "write" for the stars?
A few things.  First, and most important, they should read my book “My Weird Writing Tips.”  It’s not some BORING writing book.  It’s a My Weird School book, so it’s funny and silly and crazy.  But it will help you with your writing.  Besides that, read everything you can get your hands on.  Read a newspaper every day.  Be curious about the world around you.  Ask questions more than talk.  Be persistent.  Don’t take rejection personally.  And just WRITE.  The more you do anything, the better you get at it.


Now for a little game of favorites.  I say FAVORITE and you say the first thing on your mind.  Ready? Favorite... 
...school subject?  English.  Well, now it’s called “language arts,” I guess.
...teacher? Mrs. Hamilton.  But one time, she picked up Norman Peters and threw him against the chalkboard!  Teachers don't do that anymore, fortunately.   But that's my most memorable moment of third grade.
Image result for manatee fart...fun fact you've learned so far? Manatees swim by farting.  Hey, you asked.  And it’s true!  Look it up if you don’t believe me.
...season?  Fall and Spring
...holiday? Halloween
...food? Watermelon
...color? Blue, but I’m partly color blind (red/green)
...place to visit? New York City (which is why I live there)
...book (not your own)? “The Invention of Hugo Cabret,” by Brian Selznick    



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Dan Gutman may be weird, but he is also beloved by kids, parents, and teachers across the country. Dan lives in New York City (a very weird place), with his weird wife, Nina, and their two weird children, Sam and Emma. You can visit him on Facebook , Twitter, or at his weird website: www.dangutman.com.




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Special thanks to Laura at HarperCollins Children's Books for making this post possible as well as to author Dan Gutman for taking the time to humor my barrage of questions.  (THANKS GUYS!)  For more information on the titles listed, the author, or the publisher, feel free to click through the links provided above.  These titles hit bookstore and virtual shelves June 2017, but there's always more to come from this wordy writer, so keep an eye on your favorite book buying outlets for future adds to your personal library!

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



Are you an avid reader looking for your next "fix"? Can't bear to be without some form of reading material in your spare time? Welcome to my world! Whether you are seeking a new book to "feed your need", or you are an author seeking an unbiased point of view on your own recent masterpiece, this is the place to be. With life as with books, you never know where the next step might take you...
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